Inminds Human Rights Group - Review of 2019
26 May 2020
In 2019, Inminds Human Rights Group carried out dozens of actions in solidarity with the oppressed in Palestine, Bahrain, Nigeria, the USA and the UK. With Allah's mercy, many of the campaigns were very successful, with prisoners being released and multinationals changing policy. For other campaigns, the struggle continues..
We would like to thank all our activists and supporters. Without their tireless dedication to justice, coming out to each protest, rain or shine, none of this would have been possible.
If you would like to join our actions, after the current pandemic is over, please contact us so we can keep you informed.
INMINDS REVIEW OF 2019
REVIEW OF 2019
The year began with a guerilla projection on Marble Arch on 11th Jan 2019, to mark the anniversary of the execution of three pro-democracy activists in Bahrain - Abbas al-Samea, Ali al-Singace, and Sami Mushaima, who were executed by the Bahraini dictatorship on 15th January 2017. Amnesty reported that they had been tortured for three weeks - given electric shocks, beaten, burnt with cigarettes, deprived of sleep and sexually assaulted before being executed. Their torturers had been trained by the UK government as part of the 863 days of training given to Bahrain's notorious prisons at UK tax payers expense. The projection highlighted the fact that the UK government was propping up the Bahriani dictatorship with £67 million in arms to use against its own people over the last three years.
The projection demanded freedom for Bahraini hunger strikers, Ali Haji and human rights activist Naji Fateel, who were on day 57 of their hunger strike demanding medical care and family visits. The hunger strike ended after 75 days, when the Bahraini authorities promised medical care for the prisoners.. a promise the authorities subsequently reneged on.
Inminds supported the global campaign to free Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi who was facing extradition from Thailand to torture in Bahrain. A video of his image projected onto Marble Arch demanding his freedom was released. The global campaign was successful, and Hakeem al-Araibi was freed by Thailand a few weeks later, on 11th February 2019, to return to his family in Australia.
The projection also demanded freedom for three tortured Bahraini female prisoners - Hajer Mansoor, Medina Ali, and Najah Yusuf. Inminds continued these campaigns with protests and further projection as the year progressed, with some success. Hajer Mansoor was freed in March 2020.
USA - MARZIEH HASHEMI
On 13th January 2019, outspoken female African-American Journalist Marzieh Hashemi, news anchor at Press TV, was abducted by the FBI to an undisclosed location. She was not charged with any crime, and no reason was given for her abduction. Inminds partnered with other organisations to launch a global campaign for her freedom.
On 18th January a projection on BBC Broadcasting House was held demanding freedom for Marzieh Hashemi and ask why the BBC was silent when a fellow journalist had been abducted. This was followed through with a protest outside the US embassy. The campaign was successful, and after 10 days of imprisonment without charge, Marzieh Hashemi was released.
In 2018 Inminds had launched a campaign against Puma in solidarity with the call of over 215 Palestinian sports clubs asking Puma to end its apartheid sponsorship. Puma sponsors apartheid Israel Football Association, which includes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements, and which plays its football games on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank. As part of this continued campaign, on 15th February, Inminds protested outside Puma's flagship store in Carnaby Street, with further protests later in the year.
In March, commencing on the eve of the 2019 Formula One Grand Prix, Inminds held a series of protests outside the global headquarters of Formula One demanding Formula One end its complicity in human rights abuses in Bahrain by dropping the Bahrain leg of the Formula One Grand Prix. The protests focused on demanded freedom for Najan Yusuf, a Bahraini mother of 4 who was tortured, sexually assaulted and given a 3 year prison sentence for a facebook post criticising the Formula One coming to Bahrain. The campaign was partially successful with Najan Yusuf winning her freedom in August.
At the start of April, in the run up to Ramadan, Inminds launched its annual boycott Israeli dates campaign. Israel is the world's 3rd largest exporter of dates, and the UK is Israel's 2nd largest market for dates. 60% of Israeli dates are grown on illegal settlement plantations in the Jordan Valley, with 75% of the worlds Medjoul dates being produced in Israel.
PRISONERS DAY - HP
Palestinian Prisoners Day was commemorated on the Southbank with a vigil, on 20th April, focused on Palestinian child prisoners and on HP's complicity in the caging and torturing of Palestinian prisoners. Hewlett Packard provides the essential IT services, systems, and infrastructure that enable the Israeli Prison Service to function.
ASSANGE - MANNING
On 26th April, Inminds joined the global campaign for Assange and Manning with a guerilla projection on parliament to demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who published evidence of US war crimes that were leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Assange is imprisoned in the UK facing extradition to the the US, whilst Manning, despite being pardoned, is imprisoned in the US. Both have been tortured in prison.
BLOOD DIAMONDS - DE BEERS ANGLO AMERICAN AGM
On April 30th, Inminds protested outside the AGM of Anglo American. Anglo American is the parent company of De Beers diamonds - a target of the campaign against Israeli blood diamonds. The protest demanded an end to the trade in Israeli blood diamonds, some activists went inside the AGM to ask difficult questions of the board.
AL QUDS DAY
In June Inminds joined thousands of Londoners from all walks of life, from all faiths and none, from all ethnicities and cultures, uniting for Palestine, for the annual international Al Quds Day in London. It was commemorated with a march on Downing Street followed by a rally. The Inminds speech focused on how people living in the west can still with small acts of solidarity help the struggle against apartheid Israel, giving the example of Mary Manning, a cashier at Dunnes grocery store in Dublin, who during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, refused to handle South African grapefruit. This act of solidarity eventually lead to a country wide ban on South African goods in Ireland.
US EMBASSY - ASSANGE & MANNING
On 22 June, Inminds, as part of its ongoing campaign to free Assange, held a protest outside the embassy of the United States demanding freedom for journalist Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
DEAL OF THE CENTURY
On June 25th, Inminds protested outside the Bahraini Embassy against the Bahrain Workshop which was hosted by the Al Khalifa dictatorship in Bahrain . The Bahrain Workshop was the first phase of Trump’s so called ‘Deal of the Century’ which, with the support of pro-Israel Arab dictatorships, aims to sell off the Palestinian struggle for freedom.
With Sheikh Zakzaky's medical condition deteriorating rapidly and the discovery of poisoning of the Sheikh, global protest against his illegal imprisonment were initiated. On 9th July, Inminds with other groups protested outside the Nigerian Embassy demandinf Buhari stop poisoning Sheikh Zakzaky and release him for medical treatment.
MEDIA FREEDOM - ASSANGE
On 10th July, Inminds, along with other groups, held a protest outside the UK government hosted 'Media Freedom Conference' to highlight the hypocrisy of the British government, touting media freedom whilst just up the road it is caging and torturing journalist Julian Assange, at the behest of the Trump regime, for exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan .
NIGERIA - SHEIKH ZAKZAKY
As Sheikh Zakzaky's health worsened, several groups including AIM, IHRC, and Inminds initiated a 24 hour 7 day a week sit in outside the Nigerian High Commission demanding Sheikh Zakzaky's release for medical treatment. The sit in, started on 11th July and continued for over a month, till Sheikh Zakzaky was temporarily released for a medical treatment in India. As part of the campaign Inminds held a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission on 16th July, followed by a guerilla projection on Parliament on 21st July demanding Sheikh Zakzaky's release. On 30th June Inminds along with IHRC occupied the First Bank of Nigeria, and another protest on 16th August outside the Nigerian High Commission to pressure the Nigerian regime to release Sheikh Zakzaky.
The campaign was partially successful in that Sheikh Zakzaky was allowed to go to India for treatment, but he received no treatment due to the conditions the Buhari regime had imposed, and he soon returned to Buhari's dungeon.
On 20th September, Inminds helds a second protest outside Puma's flagship store on Carnaby Street, in solidarity with the call of over 215 Palestinian sports clubs asking Puma to end its apartheid sponsorship.
GERMANY - ANTI-BDS LAWS - KAMILA SHAMSIE
On 27th September, Inminds picketed outside the German governments cultural centre, the Goethe Institut, to protest Germany's attacks on Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement for Palestinian Rights. The German state has relentlessly persecuted the renowned Palestinian writer and activist Khaled Barakat; has demanded the American rapper Talib Kweli publicly denounce BDS before he is permitted to perform in Germany; and its latest attack was on novelist Kamila Shamsie who on 18th September was stripped of her literary award for supporting BDS.
ICRC - TORTURE - SAMER ARBEED
On 4th October, Inminds held a vigil outside the UK Mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in London to demand ICRC intervene to protect tortured Palestinian detainee Samer Arbeed, ensuring his safe and immediate release. Samer Arbeed was savagely tortured by the Israeli secret police Shin Bet - torture that was directly sanctioned by an Israeli judge. We held a fruitful meeting with the Deputy Head of Delegation for ICRC, which led to the ICRC immediately issuing a press release on Samer Arbeed.
In October Inminds launched a successful campaign to free Heba Labadi, a Palestinian Jordanian citizen who was imprisoned and tortured by Israel for nearly two months without any charge, and who had began a hunger strike in protest. The campaign kicked off with a protest outside the Jordanian Embassy on 15th October to urge the Jordanian government to use its considerable influence to help free Jordanian citizen Heba Labadi. A fruitful meeting was held with the Jordanian Ambassador to action pressure on the Israeli regime, and the ICRC to free Heba.
Then on the 25th October, Inminds held a protest outside the UK Parliament demanding the UK government use it influence to fee Heba Labadi. This was followed through on 2nd November with a guerilla projection on the walls of BBC Broadcasting House, the iconic headquarters of news media in the UK, asking why the media was silent at the abduction, torture and caging of a young girl on hunger strike who has not been charged with any crime, let alone given the opportunity to defend herself at trial. Four days later, after 40 days on hunger strike, Heba Labadi won her freedom. Upon her release Heba graciously send a very warm message thanking Inminds.
MICROSOFT - ANYVISION
AnyVision is an Israeli defence contractor, led by former Israel military and intelligence personnel. It specialises in facial recognition technology used in mass surveillance of Palestinians, that forms part of the separation wall apparatus declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Following revelations in the media that Microsoft had invested up to $31 million in AnyVision, Microsoft had in November 2019 hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether the funding complies with its ethics principles.
At this critical time Inminds decided to add pressure on Microsoft to divest by protesting outside its flagship store. Microsoft's flagship store is located at the intersection of Regent Street and Oxford Street - Europe's busiest shopping street with around half a million daily visitors. Microsoft customers entering the store snapped up over 500 leaflets in no time. Protestors entered the Microsoft Store and gave the manager a leaflet, which she promised to pass up the management chain. Private security and police were called, causing a huge commotion in front of Microsoft customers. They were shocked that Microsoft was involved in the illegal checkpoints, and in Israel's mass surveillance of Palestinians. They felt that for them Bill Gates reputation as a humanitarian had been shattered by this revelation. Some scanned the QR code, given in the leaflet, on their mobiles to sign the petition by Jewish Voices for Peace asking Microsoft to drop AnyVision. Over 75,000 people signed the petition.
In March 2020 Microsoft announced it was divesting from AnyVision following the conclusion of the Holder investigation which confirmed AnyVision tech was being used at the illegal checkpoints in the West Bank. A great BDS victory.
CHILD PRISONERS - HP
On 22nd November, to commemorate International Children's Day, Inminds held a vigil on the Southbank to demand freedom for Palestinian children caged in Israeli dungeons, and to demand HP end its complicity in the caging and torturing of Palestinian child prisoners.
Inminds finished a busy year with a protest on 14th December outside the world's largest diamond company, De Beers Jewellers, to expose De Beers dirty secrets in the exploitation of black Africans; and to highlight the link between De Beers diamond jewellery and Israeli war crimes in Palestine. With ten days of shopping left before Christmas, shoppers were urge to boycott Israeli diamonds that fund war crimes.
Also Of Interest
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