Friday, July 18, 2014

International Human Rights Committee Wins 2 Awards

Congratulations to ABA International Human Rights Committee and its Vice Chairs of Communication Joseph Jacob and Stephanie Williams for winning the ABA Section of International Law's 2014 Outstanding Website Award* and the 2014 Best Use of Social Media Award!

These awards will be presented on behalf of the committees at the 2014 Section Retreat in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, August 7, 2014 at the Harvard Club of Boston located at 374 Commonwealth Avenue.

We'd like to thank the Section of International Law for recognizing our committee and its dedicated members.

Additionally, we'd like to extend a special thanks to:

ABA IHRC Co-Chairs - Elizabeth "Liz" Turchi and Joseph "Joe" Federici who exemplify leadership and professionalism. They worked countless hours to ensure the committee ran smoothly and exceeded both its objectives and our audience's expectations.

ABA IHRC Leadership - Vice Chairs Osas Justy Erhabor (Outreach & Diversity; Special Projects), Cleveland Ferguson III (Publications), Joseph Jacob (Communications & Social Media), Theresa Harris (Programs), Russell Kerr (Int'l Human Rights eBrief Newsletter Editor), Greg MacKenzie (Special Projects), Tammie Smith-Long (Programs), Natalie Williams (Outreach & Diversity), and Stephanie Williams (Communications & Social Media). Each of our Vice Chairs excelled in their respective capacities and often contributed in multiple areas. Their commitment to international human rights is unparalleled and we extremely grateful for their service.

ABA IHRC Members, especially Gigi Nikpour, Stephen Zollman, Ryan McClure, Will Pons, Michelle Keith, and Taylor Dalton. These members consistently and eagerly responded to the committee's Calls to Action and provided the support we needed to reach our goals.

YOU, our fans and supporters, for promoting our committee and participating in programs, teleconference, special projects and events. We couldn't have done it without you!

*Congrats to the China Committee who also received the 2014 Outstanding Website Award!

Happy Birthday, Nelson "Madiba" Nelson!!

Happy Birthday, Madiba!! 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo, Transkei, on 18 July 1918. He was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Over 260 Dead in Gaza As Israel Expands to Ground Operations

A ball of fire is seen following an early morning Israeli air strike, July 11, 2014, on Rafah in the southern of Gaza strip. (Photo credit: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli tanks rolled into the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday night and naval gunboats pounded targets in the south as Israel began a ground invasion after 10 days of aerial bombardment failed to stop Palestinian militants from showering Israeli cities with rockets.

Israeli leaders said the incursion was a limited one focused on tunnels into its territory like the one used for a predawn attack Thursday that was thwarted. They said it was not intended to topple Hamas, the militant Islamist movement, from its longtime rule of Gaza.

As rockets continued to rain down on Israeli cities, a military spokesman said the mission’s expansion was “not time bound” and was aimed to ensure Hamas operatives were “pursued, paralyzed and threatened” as it targeted “terrorist infrastructure” in the north, south and east of Gaza “in parallel.”

As midnight approached Thursday, residents of some sparsely populated farmland in northern Gaza were cowering in their homes, afraid to answer mobile phones or peek out windows. Some sent text messages reporting that they could hear tank shelling, heavy artillery, and F-16s dropping bombs. Moussa al-Ghoul, 63, who lives northwest of Beit Lahiya, said his neighborhood had turned into “a war zone” with tanks surrounding his home, having destroyed those of two of his sons. He said shells were landing “everywhere.”

Gaza news outlets reported that electricity had been cut to 80 percent of the coastal territory after cables bringing power from Israel were damaged.

After the early-morning tunnel episode, the day settled into an extended calm as both sides observed a United Nations request for a five-hour humanitarian pause in the fighting. But by 3 p.m., the violence roared back as the Palestinian death toll neared 250 and more than 120 rockets rained on cities throughout southern and central Israel all afternoon and evening.

Israel began to call up 18,000 reservists, adding to 50,000 already mobilized in recent days; Colonel Lerner said the ground forces would include infantry and artillery units, armored and engineer corps, supported by Israel’s “vast intelligence capabilities,” air force and navy.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, called the invasion “a dangerous step.”

Excerpts, read article here.

Malaysian Airline Struck by Missile Explodes Over Ukraine, Killing 298 Passengers and Crew

GRABOVO, Ukraine — A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 298 people aboard exploded, crashed and burned on a flowered wheat field Thursday in a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists, blown out of the sky at 33,000 feet by what Ukrainian and American officials described as a Russian-made antiaircraft missile.

Ukraine accused the separatists of carrying out what it called a terrorist attack. American intelligence and military officials said the plane had been destroyed by a Russian SA-series missile, based on surveillance satellite data that showed the final trajectory and impact of the missile but not its point of origin.

There were strong indications that those responsible may have errantly downed what they had thought was a military aircraft only to discover, to their shock, that they had struck a civilian airliner. Everyone aboard was killed, their corpses littered among wreckage that smoldered late into the summer night.

Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, blamed Ukraine’s government for creating what he called conditions for insurgency in eastern Ukraine, where separatists have bragged about shooting down at least three Ukrainian military aircraft. But Mr. Putin did not specifically deny that a Russian-made weapon had felled the Malaysian jetliner.

Whatever the cause, the news of the crashed plane, with a passenger manifest that spanned at least nine countries, elevated the insurgency into a new international crisis. The day before, the United States had slapped new sanctions on Russia for its support of the pro-Kremlin insurgency, which has brought East-West relations to their lowest point in many years.

Making the crash even more of a shock, it was the second time within months that Malaysia Airlines had suffered a mass-casualty flight disaster with international intrigue — and with the same model plane, a Boeing 777-200ER.

Read article here

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The ABA International Human Rights Lobby Day 2014 Feedback Form

ABA IHRLD 2014 Participants,

Thank you for participating in the 2nd Annual ABA International Human Rights Lobby Day on June 19, 2014.  We couldn't have done it without you! Please take a moment to share your lobby day experience with us by completing our Feedback Form. Your responses, comments and suggestions will help us focus our resources and efforts as well as highlight areas for improvement going forward. 

INFO: Select your primary level of participation from the drop-down menu on page 1. The form will advance to the appropriate section based on your answer here.

TIP 1: If your lobby day efforts included more than one primary level of participation, select "In person lobbyists" (D.C. or local),  answer the remaining questions on the page, and then click the "Continue" button. Complete all relevant sections (i.e., sections that pertain to your levels of participation).

INFO: In person and phone lobbyists who did not participate at any other primary level AND who made contact with more than three (3) congressional members’ offices should answer “Yes” when asked about additional contacts. Answer the remainder of the questions on the page and then click “Continue”. You will be redirected to a supplemental page that allows you to provide details and feedback about additional office visits or phone contacts.

TIP 2:  SKIP the question on additional congressional contacts if you participated in more than one capacity and wish to provide feedback on all levels of participation.  Note: You will still be able to provide info about additional contacts. The difference here is that you will be able to complete other sections before reaching the additional contacts page.

INFO: Those who provide feedback on more than one primary level of participation may encounter some of the same question(s) in different sections.

For example, at the end of each section we ask, “Can you we count on you to participate in next year’s lobby day?” If you only participated at one level, say social media, you will only see this question once. Those who participated in more than one capacity and provide feedback about each may see the question more than once.

TIP 3: You may skip any question that appears in another section if 
previously answered.

INFO: Questions marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

TIP 4: If you cannot advance to the next page/section or if you receive an error message when attempting to submit the form, check to make sure you have answered all required questions.

Contact IHRC immediately at if you have any questions or experience any issues completing or submitting this feedback form.