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CSI Urges Obama to Keep Eradication of Sudanese Slavery on Agenda

September 17, 2010

The torture that blinded 14-year-old Ker Aleu Deng failed to kill his optimism and craving to learn. Enslaved by jihadi militiamen during Sudan's North-South civil war (1983-2005), Ker was hung upside down from a tree by his master, Zacharia Salih, who then rubbed chili peppers into his eyes. The master's motive was to prevent the boy from helping his abused mother – Zacharia's sex slave – escape from captivity. With the assistance of CSI, Ker has now started to memorize English words and is eager to receive a formal education.

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Ignoring the slave trade

This article originally appeared in The Jewish Advocate
By Charles Jacobs & Sasha Giller
January 6, 2011
Friends of Israel have long fumed over what they felt was the human rights community’s disproportionate and unfair criticism of the Jewish state: Major rights organizations typically portray Israel as among the cruelest of nations, while this planet’s actual dictatorships and tyrannies get wrist slaps.
Last year, this charge was bolstered by scandals engulfing Human Rights Watch (HRW), an NGO behemoth with an annual budget of $44 million.
In October, Robert L. Bernstein, HRW’s founder and a former chairman, blasted his own organization in The New York Times for obsessively focusing on Israel, while ignoring authoritarian Arab and Iranian regimes and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Bernstein charged that HRW “lost critical perspective on a conflict” by blaming Israel, the “repeated victim of aggression.”
HRW used Bernstein’s criticism to raise funds from Israel’s adversaries. The Wall Street Journal reported that HRW officials visited Saudi Arabia and bragged to potential donors about the organization’s “battles with pro-Israel pressure groups in the US.” HRW’s head Kenneth Roth affirmed this account and even admitted his focus on Gaza was intentional. “It’s not that we’re exclusively focusing on Israel. But if the question is, ‘Why are we more concerned about the [Gaza] war rather than on other rights abuses [in Israel]?’ Well, we’ve got to pick and choose; we’ve got finite resources,” he told Tablet Magazine.
What’s the basis of Roth’s selectivity? A study published in Foreign Policy by two university sociologists from Canada, James Ron and Howard Ramos, found that HRW’s bias extends beyond Israel: HRW publications pay little attention to the “worst places on earth” in terms of poverty, repression and conflict. What explains this bizarre focus?
We have proposed a theory – The Human Rights Complex – to explain this human rights “selectivity.” Western rights groups, predominantly composed of decent white folks, seek to scold behavior they deem immoral – but only when it’s committed by people like themselves. When confronted with evil committed by non-Westerners, rights advocates avert their eyes. Off the record, rights activists explain that Westerners don’t have moral standing to criticize “others.” “We,” after all, stole the land from the Indians, enslaved blacks, invaded other countries or what have you. In truth, however, in today’s PC world, criticizing the “other” invites painful accusations of bigotry, racism and Islamophobia. Criticizing your own is saintly. HRW’s recent Saudi visit did not establish this long settled policy. It was simply meant to monetize it.
But who’s the real victim here? While these virtue-seeking folks march under the banner of “not in my name,” as they morally preen in the hope of ridding themselves of the taint of “Western crimes,” they do enormous damage, yes to Israelis and Americans, but much more to the millions of victims of non-Western oppressors their much touted “compassion” conveniently ignores.
HRW’s treatment of Mauritania’s black slaves cinches our case. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania has more slaves per capita than any other nation on Earth. It abolished slavery in 1905, 1961 and 1980; the country criminalized it in 2007, but the UN, the US State Department, and Amnesty International report that slavery continues. According to UN reports – confirmed by our Mauritanian abolitionist allies – slaves in Mauritania are the wholly owned property of masters, passed on through their estates, like furniture or cattle. Slave girls are given as wedding gifts.
You might think black slaves would be a top priority for an American rights champion. But there’s a problem. While the slaves are African, their masters are not white Europeans; they are Arab-Berber Muslims.
HRW knows all this but won’t tell anybody. Its reports have mentioned slavery in Mauritania only four times since 1994. Why? Because there is no political gain, no expiation, no dollars – or dinars.
Actually, HRW once – just once – did tell the truth. In 1994, HRW’s Africa bureau made it clear that slavery in Mauritania was part of a general program to Islamize and Arabize the country’s Africans. Their one report went on to describe several tortures inflicted upon “uppity” slaves, among them the Camel Treatment: “The slave’s legs are tied to the sides of a camel who has deliberately been denied water for up to two weeks. The camel is then taken to drink and as the camel’s stomach expands, the slave’s legs, thighs and groin are slowly dislocated.”
The human rights movement, founded in response to the civilized world’s failure to act during the Holocaust, was originally dedicated to Western values of freedom – and a universal standard of human conduct. No more. After valiantly fighting Soviet tyranny, the rights movement morphed into its current anti-Western posture. Once, in the 1990s, HRW told the world that Arabs have black slaves. That report actually led to a popular movement in the US to end slavery around the world. But today, as its officials tell us, HRW has other fish to fry, and so it has abandoned these, and millions whose oppressors are non-Westerners – people whose suffering it deems to be none of its business. It doesn’t do “human rights.” It’s doing something else.

This article originally appeared in The Jewish Advocate

By Charles Jacobs & Sasha Giller

January 6, 2011

Friends of Israel have long fumed over what they felt was the human rights community’s disproportionate and unfair criticism of the Jewish state: Major rights organizations typically portray Israel as among the cruelest of nations, while this planet’s actual dictatorships and tyrannies get wrist slaps.
Last year, this charge was bolstered by scandals engulfing Human Rights Watch (HRW), an NGO behemoth with an annual budget of $44 million.



In October, Robert L. Bernstein, HRW’s founder and a former chairman, blasted his own organization in The New York Times for obsessively focusing on Israel, while ignoring authoritarian Arab and Iranian regimes and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Bernstein charged that HRW “lost critical perspective on a conflict” by blaming Israel, the “repeated victim of aggression.”

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305 Southern Sudanese Slaves Liberated

In the end of July, our partners from Christian Solidarity International returned from their latest slave liberation mission in Sudan.

July 30, 2010

Separated for nearly a yearly one year, freed slave Abuk Kiir is overjoyed to be reunited with her two missing children, Garang and Akoor. Five-year-old Garang and eight-year-old Akoor were just two of 305 Black African slaves who were liberated from Northern Sudanese masters this month and repatriated to Southern Sudan by CSI-supported slave retrievers.

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A Message from AASG President, Charles Jacobs

charlesjacobsDear friends,

You know us-American Anti-Slavery Group -as the small, feisty set of abolitionists who broke the stunning story that modern day human bondage thrives around the globe.. You know us as the people who helped free slaves in Sudan and America. You know as those who helped former slaves educate tens of thousands about slavery. And you know us as the folks who successfully helped press the US government to stop the genocide and slave raids in South Sudan.

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Freeing Jihad slaves in Sudan

If you think that enslaving blacks ended in the 19th century, you are dead wrong. Last week 603 black women and children were freed from the horrors of chattel slavery that to this day exists in Sudan, Africa’s largest country. Christian Solidarity International USA, a Christian human rights organization, frees slaves in Sudan. The stories the freed slaves tell them are simply horrific.
Abuk Ngor Anyuon was forcibly converted to Islam; her genitalia mutilated. Two of her sons were sold off to another master and her finger was cut off. Akuc Kiir Deng also accepted Islam under the threat of death. Akuc was blinded and ritually circumcised, and two of her children were taken from her. Akuot Anei Wol, freed last September, recollects: “I lost my sight in my eye soon after I was captured. I was still just a girl then. My master’s wife was called Howah. She made me grind grain and clean the house. One day, she was angry and accused me of failing to wash the dishes and sweep the floor properly. Howah grabbed a horse whip and struck me in the face. It hit me in the eye. I lost sight immediately. Howah said: “I’ll blind your other eye if you don’t work.”
Slavery in Sudan, a centuries-old phenomenon, gained widespread publicity in the United States in the 90’s. At that time an Arab regime in the Northern Sudan declared a “holy war” (jihad) against the African population of the South, which is largely Christian and animist. Arab militias, sponsored by the government and often joined by the Sudanese army, raided hundreds of villages, executing the men and taking women and children into slavery in the North. Unlike in the American South, slave owners in Sudan do not need the muscles of men to work plantations: they use boys as goat herds, and women for sex and for their wombs, to produce children who will be Muslims.
When confronted with facts of modern-day enslavement of blacks in the 1990’s, many Americans joined the neo-abolitionist movement spearheaded by groups like CSI in Europe and our own American Anti-Slavery Group. Some donated and raised funds to free Sudanese slaves; others participated in demonstrations and lobbied politicians. CSI’s emancipation operations were extensively covered by the media. The movement’s efforts bore fruit when the US-brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) forced the suspension of the slave raids in 2005.
As a consequence, Americans’ interest in Sudanese slaves decreased. Today, when up to 35,000 of blacks are still enslaved by the Arabs in the North, the media has fallen silent on the issue. Human rights giants like Human Rights Watch, which were never particularly helpful, also abandoned these slaves: a simple search of HRW’s website for “Sudan slavery” reveals that its most recent related report dates back to 2003.
As Sudan approaches January 9, 2011 – the day the Southerners are scheduled to vote to remain with the North or to secede – the chances to emancipate those still in bondage become increasingly smaller. Most experts believe the South will vote for independence. No one can predict the Muslim reaction in the North to the South’s choice of freedom. There is the possibility of revenge attacks and acts of violence against the slaves and other Southerners living in the North. Some even think the North-South war might be rekindled.
Yesterday The New York Times reported on a speech given by Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, an indicted war criminal, who promised to impose Islamic Law (Shariah) in the North in case separation. “Shariah and Islam will be the main source for the Constitution, Islam the official religion and Arabic the official language,” he said. Al-Bashir also indicated that in his future state there will be no protection for non-Arab, non-Muslim minorities: “If South Sudan secedes, we will change the Constitution, and at that time there will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity.” Interestingly, The New York Times “forgot” to report on his recent statement reflective of the state he envisions. Commenting on the popular YouTube video that shows a woman being flogged in public by the police, Al Bashir said: “If she is lashed according to Shariah law, there is no investigation. Why are some people ashamed? This is Shariah.”
CSI and the AASG are determined to liberate as many slaves as possible before the referendum takes place.
This article originally appeared on Bigpeace

By Charles Jacobs and Sasha Giller

December 22, 2010

If you think that enslaving blacks ended in the 19th century, you are dead wrong. Last week 603 black women and children were freed from the horrors of chattel slavery that to this day exists in Sudan, Africa’s largest country. Christian Solidarity International USA, a Christian human rights organization, frees slaves in Sudan. The stories the freed slaves tell them are simply horrific.

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