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Ragip Zarakoglu honoured in Switzerland

by the International PEN Club

On 20 November from 8 p.m. Espace Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Geneva is to hold a special evening sponsored by the Swiss, German and Italian branches of the International PEN Club in favour of the many writers and journalists who are jailed in Turkey. 

Most important guest is publisher, writer and Gariwo friend Ragip Zarakoglu, who was imprisoned last year with his son during a crackdown of Erdogan against freedom of thought and activists for the truth about the Armenian genocide and the plight of the minorities in his homecountry. 

21 November 2012

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Civil courage

the strength of human dignity

Genocide cases and extreme circumstances of human rights violations, persecutions and deprivation of freedom have occurred all over the world. Those who find the courage to oppose, safeguard their own moral integrity, assessing the duty of truth, reporting the crimes against humanity and struggling to defend the founding value of civil coexistence can be defined as Righteous peopleJournalists like Sihem Bensedrine in Tunisia and writers like Gao Xingjian in China, diplomats like Enrico Calamai in Argentina and artists like Sunila Abeysekera in Sri Lanka, students like Bo Kyi in Burma and (union) activists or politicians like Maria Elena Moyano in Peru, Guillermo Chen in Guatemala, Fannie Lou Hamer in the USA, scientists, lawyers, doctors, intellectuals like Vassili Nesterenko in Belarus, Sylvie Maunga Mbanga in Congo, Halima Bashir in Darfur, Hashem Aghajari in Iran. Not to forget the prominent female figures advocating the rights of women trampled on in many world areas, like Betty Makoni in Zimbawe, Hawa Aden Mohamed in Somalia,  Khalida Toumi Messaoudi in Algeria,  Lydia Chaco in Mexico.
As well as the best-known advocates of human and civil rights like Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, Anna Politkovskaja in Russia, Orhan Pamuk in Turkey, Natasha Kandic in Serbia and Svetlana Broz in Bosnia, Ayaan Hirsi Ali from Somalia, the mothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. 

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Keshia Thomas

Activist, humanitarian, community organizer, professional public speaker.