A call to action

Let’s not forget Raif Badawi…

otium satis

Those who keep track of the fate of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, most especially his brave family, will know that this year is marked by a special kind of sad anniversary: on 17 June Raif Badawi will have completed his fifth year in prison.

Five years at the hand of a spiteful regime that does not seem to know the difference between concerns about overdue reforms and blasphemy. Five years of isolation from his beloved family, from all that might sustain his spirit during his imprisonment. And on top of all this Raif Badawi has suffered a cruel public flogging – 50 out of the inhuman total of 1000 lashes. As far as we know he has not been subjected to another flogging. But the threat, that his horrible punishment might be resumed, keeps hovering like Damocles’ sword that might fall again anytime.

All this has happened, because Raif…

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Václav Havel o naději

Nejdřív bych měl asi říct, že naději, o níž dost často přemýšlím (zvlášť v situacích obzvlášť beznadějných, jako například ve vězení), chápu především, původně a hlavně jako stav ducha, nikoli stav světa. Naději v sobě prostě máme, nebo nemáme, je rozměrem naší duše a není ve své podstatě závislá na nějakých pozorováních světa či odhadech situace. Naděje není prognostika. Je to orientace ducha, orientace srdce, přesahující svět bezprostředně žitého a zakotvení kdesi dál, za jeho hranicemi.

Mírou naděje v tomto hlubokém a silném smyslu není míra našeho rozveselení z dobrého běhu věcí a naší vůle se investovat do podniků viditelně mířících k blízkému úspěchu, ale spíš míra naší schopnosti usilovat o něco proto, že to je dobré, a nikoli pouze proto, že to má zajištěn úspěch. Čím nepříznivější je situace, v níž svou naději osvědčujeme, tím hlubší tatonaděje je.Naděje prostě není optimismus. Není to přesvědčení, že něco dobře dopadne, ale jistota, že má něco smysl – bez ohledu na to, jak to dopadne.

…Myslím si zkrátka, že tu nejhlubší a nejdůležitější naději, tu jedinou, která nás dokáže navzdory všemu udržet nad hladinou, přimět k dobrým činům a která je jediným pravým zdrojem závratnosti lidského ducha a jeho snažení, bereme tak říkajíc „odjinud“. A tato naděje to také především je, co nám dává sílu žít a pořád znovu něco zkoušet…

Václav Havel about hope

​Hope is a state of mind, not a state of the world. Either we have hope within us or we don’t.Hope is not a prognostication—it’s an orientation of the spirit. You can’t delegate that to anyone else.

Hope in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy when things are going well, or the willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something to succeed.

Hope is definitely NOT the same as optimism. It’s not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

It is hope, above all, that gives us strength to live and to continually try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now.In the face of this absurdity, life is too precious a thing to permit its devaluation by living pointlessly, emptily, without meaning, without love, and, finally, without hope.

Three years of injustice – Freedom for Mahmoud Abu Zeid „Shawkan“

Here is another human rights case I have been following through the last years. Therefore I’d like to share this excellent post writen by CiLuna, which not only sums up Shawkan’s story and ordeal, but also provides some advise how to help to end this injustice.

There is also a sequel to this post by the same author named Sky for Shawkan that proposes another way to show your support to this imprisoned photojournalist.

ciluna27's Blog

bg_bild_ShawkanMahmoud Abu Zeid who is better known under the name „Shawkan“ is a young Egyptian photographer. He is 28 years old and he worked as freelance photographer and contributed to the photo agencies Demotix and Corbis. His photographs were in many well-known and well-regarded newspapers and magazines like the German newspaper Die Zeit and the US Time magazine. He made photos of daily life in Egypt, including festivals and street life. With the beginning of the Arab Spring uprising he also covered political protests. You can find a sample of his amazing photos here.

Shawkan has been in prison for almost three years without a trial or a judgement. By his ongoing detention, Egypt violates International law, but also their own laws. Pursuant to Art. 134 Egyptian Code for Criminal Procedures the pre-trial detention must not exceed two years (if the alleged offence is punishable by life imprisonment or death, in other cases…

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