Demonstration Monday 11/7 - President Biden, Press Egypt’s Ruler to #FreeAlaa
Press Release: for immediate release
The Middle East Crisis Committee is calling for a rally in front of the Federal building at 450 Main St. at noon on Monday November 7 to call for President Biden to press Egypt’s ruler Abdul Fattah El-Sisi to free Egyptian political prisoners in particular well-known activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah. Biden is going to Egypt this weekend to attend the COP 27 climate conference.
Alaa Abd El-Fattah has been in prison for years for peaceful protests that demand basic democratic rights. He has been on a partial hunger strike for months and is starting a total hunger strike this Sunday. Egypt has tens of thousands of people in al-Sisi’s prisons for the “crime” of standing up for human rights. The Human Rights Watch estimate is 60,000 political prisoners.
Stanley Heller, Executive Director of MECC said, “Alaa ate his last bit of food Friday and will stop drinking water Sunday. We must do all we can to free this man. We’re directing our message to President Biden and Congress since Biden will be in Egypt Sunday for the COP27 climate conference and because the U.S. gives the Egyptian dictatorship about $1.5 billion in aid each year. Certainly the U.S. has means of leverage.”
To see the bright yellow banner we’ve created for this event go to:
The Middle East Crisis Committee was founded in 1982 in New Haven and has interest in working for human rights especially in Middle Eastern and north African countries. Our website is https://TheStruggleVideo.org 203-444-3578
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Very Concerned about a Possible Immediate Mass Execution of Saudi Prisoners
I’ve been in touch with a number of Saudi dissidents, principally those part of the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights. They are worried that the Saudi regime is preparing a new mass execution. The last one was in March of this year when 81 prisoners were executed on the same day.
They say the same pattern is developing, an increased number of death sentences, but no executions and handing out of “ultra-long” prison sentences. Then several score are executed at once. In April 2019 some 37 were executed at once. This is the regime way. It is also the regime way to tell families of the executions only after they have been done and to often not release the bodies of the executed prisoners.
I ask you to use your influence to get the president and the State Department to press the Saudis not to execute prisoners.
In particular some of the “crimes” for which the death penalty has been ordered to are actions that are protected by human rights principles, for instance “attending funerals of human rights activists”, sending tweets calling for fundamental freedoms in the kingdom and in one case attending a demonstration in Bahrain. Human Rights Watch notes that one crime that can get the death penalty is the vague “inciting strife and spreading chaos”. ESOHR says it is monitoring the cases of 7 minors. The Saudi courts sometimes order executions for minors that are delayed until they reach the age of 18.
For more information you can contact the ESOHR hereor via this email. Their most recent information is posted here on Twitter(in Arabic).
Middle East Crisis Committee
The Middle East Crisis Committee was founded in New Haven in 1982.
Sunday, May 29, 2022
CONTACT: Stanley Heller 203-444-3578
Slain Palestinian Journalist Killed by
Gun Produced by Connecticut Company
Al Jazeera and Reuters report that the Palestinian Attorney General has concluded that Shireen Abu Akleh, the reporter who was killed on May 11, 2022 in Jenin on Palestine’s West Bank, was killed with a bullet from a Mini Ruger gun. Palestinian Attorney General Akram Al-Khatib said tests showed that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was a 5.56 mm round fired from a Ruger Mini-14 semiautomatic rifle, which is used by the Israeli military. The Mini Ruger is produced by Sturm Ruger and Company whose headquarters is in Southport (Fairfield), Connecticut.
Abu Akleh was a prominent Arab journalist, known all over the Middle East, who worked for Al Jazeera for 25 years. CNN described her as “a household name across the Arab world for her coverage of Israel and the Palestinian territories.” The Palestinian foreign minister announced that the Palestinian Authority had formally asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Abu Akleh’s killing.
Stanley Heller Executive Director of the Middle East Crisis Committee said, “For years we’ve been calling attention to sales of Ruger guns and ammunition to the Israeli military which is a serial human rights violator. We’re part of a coalition called “No Rugers to Israel” ( website NoRugers2Israel.org ). We can document over 200 Palestinians killed or injured by Rugers though we believe the true number to be far higher.
“Now Ruger has got its most infamous kill, a reporter doing her job, well-known by the Israeli military, shot while wearing an outfit clearly marked ‘Press’. We repeat again, Sturm Ruger should not be selling its weapons or ammunition to the Israeli government.
“Sturm Ruger, the U.S.’ largest firearms company, is known to have given millions of dollars to the National Rifle Association, which after the Uvalde Massacre has itself has come under harsh criticism for its rejection of gun control measures and its promotions of gun sales.
“We’ve written to town officials of Fairfield calling on the Board of Selectmen to ‘call on Sturm Ruger to break all ties with the National Rifle Association, to stop selling its products to Israel and to make a full public accounting of how its weapons were used by Israel and the times its weapons were used deliberately to kill innocent people in the United States.’”
The Middle East Crisis Committee was founded in New Haven, CT in 1982.