Bold and timely international photo exhibition opening in Victoria

Montreal, April 24, 2014  — CJPME is delighted to announce the imminent opening of a bold and timely international photo exhibition entitled Dispossessed, but Defiant: Indigenous Struggles from Around the World.  The exhibition documents different aspects of indigenous peoples’ experiences of dispossession and their inspiring struggles to resist these processes. The three indigenous groups whose experiences figure in the exhibition are Canada’s Indigenous peoples, the Palestinians and Black South Africans.  Continue reading

Baird’s visit to Egypt sends wrong message

Montreal, April 16, 2014 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is deeply concerned by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s plan to visit Egypt later this week. According to a ministerial announcement, the Minister will be meeting with members of Egypt’s interim government during an April 17-20 visit. “The Minister is ignoring the fact that Field Marshall Al-Sisi and his cronies assumed power via a coup and since then, according to neutral international human rights organizations, have ruthlessly violated human rights,” says C JPME President Thomas Woodley. CJPME warns that Baird’s visit will be interpreted as tacit approval of the regime’s conduct, of its overthrow of a democratically elected president, and of the recent mass death sentences handed down on March 24 to 529 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Continue reading

CJPME supports U. of Windsor student referendum on BDS

Montreal, March 17, 2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) welcomes the University of Windsor students’ recent decision to support divestment from companies implicated in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. CJPME notes that this is the first time that such a decision has been taken by a campus-wide referendum, rather than by the student association’s council.  CJPME laments U of W President Alan Wildeman’s current attempt to discredit the referendum, and believes his actions are in response to coercive pressure from donors who are hostile to Palestinians and Muslims.  “It is lamentable that in this day and age, a university president is making vague threats against a student organization because the results of a student referendum are not to his own liking, or to that of certain donors,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. Continue reading

CJPME condemns surge in violence between Israel, Islamic Jihad

Montreal, March 13, 2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) condemns the recent escalation of cross-border violence between Israel and the militant group Islamic Jihad, operating in Gaza.  CJPME also condemns the Canadian government’s lop-sided response to the escalation. The Harper government condemned the rocket attacks from Gaza, but ignored Israel’s role – beginning on Tuesday – in the current surge of violence.  “On what basis does the Harper government condemn one act, and condone another,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. Canada has thus far also failed to critique Israeli airstrikes in Gaza conducted late Wednesday.  CJPME urges the Canadian government and Canadian MPs to press both Israel and Islamic Jihad to respect the cease-fire. Continue reading

Canadians to protest detention of journalists in Egypt

Montreal, February 25, 2014  — Canadians will demonstrate with others around the world this Thursday, February 27th, in a global Day of Action against the arrest of journalists in Egypt.  Protests are planned for Toronto, Nathan Phillips Square, and Montreal, the Egyptian Consultate, and perhaps other Canadian sites at noon on Thursday.  They join dozens of other events around the world in a global Day of Action under the theme: “Journalism is not a Crime.”  “Journalists are being arrested and detained in Egypt simply for doing their jobs,” asserted Thomas Woodley for Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME).  “It is time for the world – Canada included – to demand their release.”   Continue reading

Palestinian lawyer to the ICJ to speak in Canada

Montreal, February 25,  2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is pleased to announce that it is hosting a three-city lecture tour by Diana Buttu March 19th to March 21st. Ms. Buttu is a Canadian human rights lawyer, now based in Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). From 2000 to 2005, Ms. Buttu worked as an advisor to the Palestinian peace negotiations team. In that capacity she was part of the legal team that successfully represented Palestinians before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), resulting in the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on the Israeli Wall: Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004). Continue reading

Detention of Fahmy extended; Canadian gov’t detached

Montreal, February 20, 2014  — As news that Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and two other Al Jazeera journalists will remain in jail until March 5, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has learned that Canadian officials have underserved both Fahmy and his family.  The three journalists are accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood – now virtually outlawed in Egypt – and of broadcasting “misleading” news about events in Egypt.  The three journalists pleaded not guilty, but the Egyptian court has refused them bail.  Continue reading

CJPME urges Egypt to free Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy

Montreal, February 3, 2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) calls on Egypt to release Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy and the other Al Jazeera journalists currently languishing in jail there.  CJPME also calls on Canadian political leaders to get involved to prompt Egypt to drop all trumped up charges that have been filed against Fahmy and other Al Jazeera journalists. Egypt’s Prosecutor General announced on January 29 that it would try 20 Al Jazeera journalists on charges of incitement, distorting Egypt’s image broad and fabricating news to aid the Muslim Brotherhood. “Egyptian authorities must release Mohamed Fahmy, and Canadian political leaders must address this terrible travesty of justice,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. Continue reading

Three years after Tahrir, democracy eludes Egyptians

Montreal, January 27, 2014 — CJPME laments that three years after the massive protests that eventually toppled authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak began in Tahrir Square, democracy is still eluding Egyptians. According to a January 23 Amnesty International (AI) report, at least 1400 people had been killed in political violence since the military ousted elected president Mohammed Morsi July 3. AI says that Egypt has witnessed “state violence on an unprecedented scale over the last seven months.” In addition, on Saturday, January 25, 49 anti-government protesters were killed, and another 1079 were arrested, according to media reports. Continue reading

Torture report reflects need for more urgent engagement in Syria

Montreal, January 23, 2014  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) implores the Canadian government to address the Syrian civil war with urgency and greater substance.  Earlier this week, a report by renowned international war crimes judges, with the aid of forensic scientists, confirmed evidence of massive torture of prisoners committed by the Assad regime.  The thousands of photos document severe beatings, starvation and strangulation. This report makes meaningful involvement by Canada even more urgent.  Canada must press both sides of the Syrian conflict to respect human rights and international humanitarian law. Continue reading