Tag: activist

Despite Challenges, Volunteerism is Giving Young Jamaicans Hope

Are the voices of Caribbean youth being heard? Are they being listened to, and what are their concerns? Some youth-led volunteer organizations are beginning to emerge that are seeking to empower young Jamaicans to address their issues head on.

Global Voices recently caught up with Neville Charlton, a Kingston student who founded his own youth volunteer group four years ago called The Positive Organization. It currently has approximately 60 members, mostly in Kingston and its environs. One member in Montego Bay has started her own initiative, Retirement Youths for Change, in the vulnerable community of Retirement; another youth-led group, Okinos Helping Hand, has started working in deep rural St. Andrew.

Yet Another Environmental Activist Is Murdered in Honduras. When Will It End?

“Lesbia Yaneth lives, the fight continues! Berta lives, the fight continues!”

With those words, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras, or COPINH) concluded their statement on their blog about the murder of community leader Lesbia Yaneth Urquía in Honduras on July 7. Her body was found in a garbage dump; she reportedly had suffered injuries to the head.

Her death was nationally and internationally condemned as yet another blow to the environmentalist fight in the region. The news came at a time when the country is still trying to recover from the loss of Berta Cáceres, the co-founder of COPINH who was murdered four months ago.

Azerbaijan: Activists Face Bogus Drug Charges

Azerbaijani authorities are using spurious drug charges to pursue long prison sentences against two youth activists, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges apparently are in retaliation for painting graffiti on a monument. The authorities should immediately free them and investigate credible allegations that they were ill-treated in police custody.

Giyas Ibrahimov, 22, and Bayram Mammadov, 21, were detained on May 10, 2016. On May 12, the Khatai district court ordered them held in pretrial detention for four months. The men were denied access to their lawyer until shortly before the May 12 hearing. During the hearing, the men described abuse and ill-treatment in police custody and the court agreed to investigate the allegations. If convicted they face up to 12 years in prison and confiscation of property.

“Azerbaijan has a sad history of fabricating drug charges against youth activists to intimidate them and deter others from following suit,” said Giorgi Gogia, South Caucasus director at Human Rights Watch. “Ibrahimov and Mammadov are the latest blatant examples of this government tactic to suppress dissent.”