40 ways to occupy a territory

Occupation – a word which tells little of the untold pain and sorrow experienced by those who struggle for freedom. Morocco has occupied Western Sahara for 40 years.
This is what SAIH has tried to put focus on in our campaign 2015.

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“All I knew of Morocco was that it was a nice place to visit…”

This campaign taught me that it has been a brutal occupier of West Sahara for 40 years, with impunity. Saharawis have been protesting peacefully against the occupation since the 90s, but the world and the media have forgotten about their struggle. Today West Sahara is Africa’s last colony.

How does Morocco do it?
Here is what we learnt.

1. Claim the territory as yours, but treat its population worse than your own

2. Do not let them vote on whether to be independent

3. Support settlers colonising the territory

4. Support settler violence toward the original inhabitants

5. Exploit their natural resources (e.g., oil, fish, phosphate)

6. Prevent their organisations from registration

7. Deny them jobs

8. Expel their students who express cultural differences or dissent

9. Close their mosque

10. Do not let them gather and protest peacefully

Divide and isolate

11. Build a 2700-km long wall

12. Plant mines and police checkpoints along it

If anyone protests

13. Keep them under surveillance and harass them

14. Make prison conditions unbearable

15. Detain them whenever you feel like it

16. Do not tell their family where they are

17. Do not let them speak with their family

18. Do not let them communicate with a lawyer

19. Keep them in solitary confinement

20. Beat them brutally

21. Torture them

22. Force them to sign false confessions

23. Deny them medical treatment

24. Let them die in prison

25. Threaten to assault them and their children (sexually)

26. Sexually assault them, regardless of gender or age

27. Kill them

28. Do not treat them equally under your laws

29. Delay their trials for as long as possible

30. Accuse them of planning violence

31. Use false confessions to put them on trial

32. Use military courts to convict civilians

Prevent witnesses and allies

33. Teach your population that the territory is yours

34. Convince them that contrary accounts are treasonous / part of a foreign conspiracy

35. Prohibit national media from reporting what is happening

36. Prevent UN peacekeepers from reporting human rights violations

37. Expel foreigners who visit to bear witness

38. Persuade other countries (e.g., France) to support your occupation with impunity

39. Do not investigate any alleged wrongdoing

40. Set up human rights institutions, but exclude inhabitants of the occupied territory

For more information about Western Sahara, please visit SAIH’s website. And read the report  “Acting With Impunity: Morocco’s Human Rights Violations in Western Sahara and the Silence of the International Community” that documents the extent of human rights violations in Western Sahara from 1.april 2014 – 1.march 2015. 

Like SAIH Tromsø’s Facebook page to find out more about upcoming activities! 
#HowToOccupy #lastcolony #Vestsahara

Written by: Kelly Then, SAIH Tromsø

 

 

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International Seminar: Freedom of speech in Iran

Thursday february 14. the Students Peace Price, in cooperation with SAIH Tromsø, arranged the International Seminar at the Tromsø Library.

The subject was freedom of speech in Iran.

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In Iran the winner of the Students Peace Price 2013, Majid Tavakoli, is imprisoned because of his work for human rights. Everyday Iranian students are arrested for “propaganda against the system”.

– How can you live in a country where the consequence of political commitment at the best means jail?

– What is done to put pressure on the Iranian regime?

– How does Norway relate to this issue?

The speakers were:

Mahnaz Parakand – Iranian human rights lawyer, earlier imprisoned and sentenced to death for her political commitment as a student. Released after 5 years in the Evin-prison.

Mohammad Izadi – An expert in Norwegian-Iranian relations at UiO. Originally from Iran, where his father was executed because of his opposing opinions.

The attendance was very good, and the seminar lasted from 8-10 pm. It was very inspiring and informative.

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Campaign Week is Here!

After a week full of fascinating lectures and having the opportunity to meet with award winning human rights activists, we’re ready to kick off the campaign week!  This year’s campaign is about students’ fight for democracy and human rights.  Go here to find out more about the campaign and sign our petition, or come to one of our great events this week!

Monday:

Is education a crime?

In cooperation with the Student Parliament of the UiT, SAIH Tromsø hereby invites you to a debate, which focuses on students who have been expelled from their universities for being politically active in their home countries.

SAIH Tromsø has invited international exchange students who come from countries where being politically active can get you expelled from school, harassed by the police, or even arrested. Each of these students will be giving a presentation of the political situation in their home country, as well as sharing some of their personal experiences.

You are then welcome to join the debate with the international students.

Ghana, Botswana, Uganda, Egypt and Colombia are some of the countries that will be represented.

There will be free food at this event! :)

Thursday:

SAIH Tromsø invites YOU to OPEN MIC NIGHT!  Come and sing, play an instrument, read poetry, drama, etc.  We’ll provide the mic and snacks!  Let us know in advance if you would like to perform: saih.uit@gmail.com or call 409 76 445…or just drop-in!  Please show up 10 minutes early to get place in the line-up.  Bazinga, at 16:00.

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Exciting lecture, this Tuesday!!

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FN sliter i Vest-Sahara – Norge snill gutt på sidelinjen

SAIH-Tromsø inviterer til Internasjonalt Seminar torsdag 20.9!  Internasjonalt Seminar er et informasjons- og debattforum i Tromsø, med nord/sør-problematikk, miljø/klima, fattigdom/utvikling og krig/fred som sentrale tema.

Verdens mest glemte flyktninger er fra Vest-Sahara. FN har jobbet med saken i snart 50 år.

Norske bedrifter gjør profitt på naturressurser i Vest Sahara.

Kan vi gjøre noe?

Kommer flykningene hjem snart?

Noe håp i høstens stortingsmelding om FN?

Ferske inntrykk fra Vest Sahara og FNs Menneskerettighetsråd, og perspektiv på Norges vesentlige FN-engasjement.

Innledere:

Erik Hagen, Støttekomitéen for Vest Sahara

Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, leder Troms SV og nestleder i SVs programkomite

Torsdag 20. september, kl 20:00

Tromsø bibliotek, plan 2

Mer informasjon finnes her.

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Info Meeting!

This Wednesday the 22nd at 16:00, SAIH-Tromsø will be holding our info meeting to new students.  We’ll be at the Center for Peace Studies, Nedre Lysthus on the UiT campus.  Come and find out about all of the exciting things that SAIH does and what we have planned so far for this semester!  Click here for more information and hope to see you there!

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Semester Start!

Summer is almost over and school is back.  But its not all bad, because that means SAIH is back too!  We’ll have stands around campus the next couple weeks and will be having an information meeting Wednesday August 22nd at 16:00 at the Center for Peace Studies, Nedre Lysthus.  Come and find out about all of the exciting events we have planned for the fall and enjoy some snacks!

 

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Annual Meeting 2012!

Notification of annual meeting in Student’s and Academic’s International Assistance Fund (SAIH), Tromsø local chapter.

Date: 05.06.2012

Time: 16:00 – 18:00

Place: Center for Peace Studies

We hereby invite all activists to SAIH – Tromsø’s annual meeting.

The annual meeting is the local chapter’s highest organ, and it is here that the important decisions are made regarding SAIH – Tromsø’s profile and work. All votes and resolutions are made by simple majority, with the exception of changes to the statutes or the closure of the local chapter, which require a 2/3 majority.

If you want to take part in deciding how we will function as an organization and what we are going to focus on in the next year, its important that you come to the annual meeting and make your voice heard!

Items to be taken up at the annual meeting must be sent to the board no later than May 29th. This must be sent in email to: saih.uit@gmail.com.

Normally, a new board would be elected at the annual meeting, but we are going to postpone elections to September 2012, due to few activists.

Welcome to the annual meeting everyone!

Hope to see you all there!

Best Regards,

Kris and Marthe

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Spring Gathering 2012!

Earlier this month, SAIH-Tromsø sent three of its members to participate in the national spring gathering outside Oslo in Røyken.  The event lasted from April 13-15th and was packed full with information, strategy, and lots of fun!!

The first night started off with getting to know each other.  There were over 70 from the local chapters, the central office in Oslo, SAIH’s member organizations, and our guests from Zimbabwe and Belarus!  After dinner, our guests gave presentations about the situation for students in their respective countries.  First, we heard about the work that one of our partner organizations in Zimbabwe, Student Solidarity Trust does.  Next we listened to representatives from different student groups in Belarus and learned about the challenges that they face as students living in Europe’s last dictatorship.

The next day began with a sneak-peek into SAIH’s strategies and goals for this fall’s campaign.  We also received a deeper picture of the situations in Zimbabwe and Belarus.  After lunch, we went on a tour of the 5 countries that SAIH works in and learned about some of the organizations and programs that SAIH supports.  After dinner we had a debate about the Kony 2012 campaign.

Sunday was a relatively light day in contrast to the rest of the weekend.  We received a report on the board’s progress to this point in the year, and heard about what they were planning on doing from now to the fall.  We then broke into groups for specialized workshops to give the local chapter activists some relevant skills.

The evenings were spent socializing around a bonfire on the beach (or inside for those that got cold) and were a great opportunity to meet people from other local chapters, share experiences, and trade new ideas as well.

All in all, it was a great weekend and really energized those that were there to get to work!  We’re already looking forward to the fall gathering and eagerly planning our next event.  Thanks to the central offices for doing a fantastic job organizing and putting everything together and to everyone who took part!

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Report on Academic Freedom In Zimbabwe

SAIH has released a report on systematic attacks on academic freedom in Zimbabwe entitled “The Language of the Police Batons: Attacks on Teachers and Students in Zimbabwe”.  Students and teachers are targeted because they are questioning and critical of society, authorities and politics.  Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is himself a former teacher and understands the power that they hold.  He fears them because he cannot control them.  Teachers are dangerous because they are well-educated, powerful people, that are shaping the next generation.  Mugabe’s tactics of violence and of making it economically infeasible to be a teacher in Zimbabwe has led to approximately 65,000 teachers leaving the profession in the last decade.  Laws have been passed to restrict students’ ability to organize and protest against high tuition.  Those that are able to finance their education and still protest are often expelled from school.  In 2008, schools and universities were only open for 23 days uninterrupted.  Learn more by downloading the report here!

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