Freedom for Roman Protasewitsch!
For the release of Belarusian journalist and blogger Roman Protasevich and his partner Sophia Sapega! The abduction and imprisonment of journalist and blogger Roman Protasevich and his partner Sophia Sapega in Belarusian airspace on May 24, 2021 is the brutal response of a totalitarian regime to someone who has exercised his human right to freedom of expression. As a journalist and blogger, the 26-year-old has pointed out social and political grievances in his country of Belarus. With the harsh action against the young man and his partner, President Alexander Lukashenko continues the systematic suppression of freedom and human rights with which he acts against opposition figures, dissidents and cultural workers. The case of this tragic kidnapping is an inconceivable interference in the life of a young person, which we cannot accept. We call on you, Mr. Lukashenko, to immediately release Belarusian journalist and blogger Roman Protasevich and his partner Sophia Sapega and to end the persecution and harassment of opposition figures, journalists* and cultural workers in Belarus. The abduction and imprisonment of the Belarusian blogger and his partner is an arbitrary and unlawful act and a serious interference with freedom of expression. Roman Protasevich has done nothing but exercise this human right. We cannot and will not accept your behavior, Mr. Lukashenko, in this way. We will ensure that acts such as these are not forgotten and are repeatedly brought to the attention of an international public. By acting against these two young people and a multitude of others, you, Mr. Lukashenko, are trying to gradually silence the critical and admonishing voices in Belarus. You will not succeed in doing so before the eyes of the world. Criticism is elementary for a free, diverse democratic society. Freedom of speech is a human right and non-negotiable. We appeal to the German government and the political forces in the EU to stick to their course and to consistently and sustainably stand up for freedom of expression in Belarus. We call on them to defend the human right of freedom of expression without fail and not to weigh it against geostrategic and economic interests and to relativize its central importance in negotiations. As the association of the German book trade, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels is committed to freedom of opinion, information and the press, because freedom of opinion is the foundation of a free, diverse democratic society. This is under increasing pressure worldwide. As the initiator of the Freedom of Expression Week from May 3 to 10, 2021, together with a broad alliance of partners, we have created a substantive foundation with the Charter of Freedom of Expression, which persecuted people around the world can refer to, and which is at the same time a strong commitment of civil society to freedom and justice.
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Support the 2022-2023 Afghan Fulbright Semi-finalists
First, the 2022-2023 Afghan Fulbright Semi-Finalists would like to thank the US Government for supporting thousands of Afghan students to pursue their higher education through the Fulbright Program. Each year, the Fulbright Scholarship candidates are selected from among the brightest students in Afghanistan. We (the 2022-2023 Afghan Fulbright Semi-finalists) have been shortlisted for the program this year; but, due to COVID-19 pandemic, our interviews have been delayed and re-scheduled on September 2021. Last week, we heard the news that the applicants in other countries have received emails for their interviews but the Afghan Semi-finalists are still left behind. Therefore, we kindly request the US State Department to conduct the interviews of the 2022-2023 Afghan Fulbright Semi-finalists and keep the Fulbright Program in Afghanistan. As the prospect Fulbright Scholars, we have had a common mission of enhancing mutual understanding between Afghans and Americans through cultural exchanges and contributing to strengthen the two nation's long-lasting friendships. Again, thank you very much for your considerations, we are looking forward to hearing a positive response from you on conducting the concerned students interviews and carrying on the Fulbright Program in Afghanistan. #SupportAfgFulbrightSemiFinalists2022
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We want JOHNNY DEPP back as CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW
Johnny Depp has been out recently as Captain Jack Sparrow. We don't really know the real reason though. He has been playing this role since 2003 when we first saw him arriving at the Port Royal in his boat with that epic background music playing. But can you imagine no Jack Sparrow at all? No epic entry scores, no humorous dialogues and the guy with the most good and bad luck at the same time? Don't they know that without Johnny Depp or Jack Sparrow they will sink, they will never be able to reach that horizon. Even if it means nothing to you but please, sign this petition for the ones who REALLY want Johnny Depp as their Captain of the Black Pearl! They have to bring him back to rule the seas again, UNLESS it is actor's own choice to withdraw from the role.
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End the sales of eggs from caged hens in Tesco
I have been campaigning to end caged hen farming through letter writing for several years now. I have five hens myself, two of them are ex- commercial barn hens and one of them once lived in commercial colony cages. They are amazing animals to be around. Keeping my own hens and knowing their past has made me determined to improve the way hens are kept commercially. I found out that Tesco is one of the few supermarkets that still sell eggs from caged hens. After trying to end this through my own letter writing I have come to find that the written opinions of one person creates little impact on a company like Tesco. However I believe that with the help of like-minded people on social media, we can make Tesco listen and create an impact. Food production affects everyone. Very few of us, however, know the truth behind the processes that leads to the food sold in our stores. A prime example of this is the egg productions industry. Lots of eggs sold to us in stores come from hens kept in "enriched cages". The conditions in these "enriched cages" are cramped and very restrictive. The hens never see the light of day or get to experience a natural lifestyle. In addition, the hens never get to experience the real outside world. Which I believe is an essential element for a hen to live a happy and healthy life. This methods of egg farming are cruel, unnatural and inhumane. Tesco is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the country. If it stopped selling cage eggs it would drastically reduce the number of hens who spend their lives in cages. It would also send a message to other supermarkets that this is an option that is realistic and achievable. Companies such as Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencers and Waitrose stopped selling eggs from caged hens years ago and new companies are listening to the public and realising that something has to change -- recently Mcdonald’s UK responded to a petition and agreed to stop using eggs from cage kept hens. Please sign this petition and take the first steps towards freedom for hens.
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Modern pentathlon without riding!
After the fiasco of the performance of the rider Annika Schleu at the equestrian competition of the modern pentathlon, it became finally obvious that equestrianism should no longer be a part of this competition. Pentathletes are athletes who have to master several disciplines. This requires a great variety and a lot of different training from the athletes. Equestrian sport is a discipline in which the interaction with the partner horse must be in the foreground. However, this is completely out of focus in modern pentathlon. Instead, the horse is degraded to a piece of sports equipment that is drawn by lot and assigned. Here, no consideration is given to the animals. Unknown riders, driven by the ambition to win a medal, swing themselves into the saddle and try by hook or by crook to get the animal to perform. This often happens in complete disregard of the riding teachings, the basis of which is to ride the horse in a healthy manner and for its advancement. The rider has no relation to the horse, it is only the means of transport that has to carry him over the obstacles. It is not really possible to work with the horse as a partner and to respond to the animal in this way. It cannot and must not be that horses are abused in this way in order to win a medal. The discipline of riding must be taken out of the modern pentathlon and replaced by another, more appropriate sport. This is not only in the interest of the horses, but also in the interest of the athletes, who will then no longer be faced with a requirement that they often cannot really meet.
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Stop taxing periods. Period. #EndTamponTax
The Treasury vowed to axe the outdated and overtly sexist tax on tampons, sanitary pads and mooncups in January 2016. WE WON! By March we made history when Parliament accepted a tampon-tax-ending amendment proposed by the amazing Paula Sherriff MP. Following Brexit complications, this amendment will be implemented by 2022 at the very latest. That sucks. But we're on it! We've launched a new project called 'Period Watch' to keep an eye on the Government and SMASH the period taboo in the meantime! Our new petition can also be signed here to help reduce this deadline date. Period! We need to make sure we no longer tax period products on luxurious, “non-essential” grounds, but not helicopters, the maintenance of our private jets, or crocodile steaks. Even President Obama has coined the tax 'shocking' and 'unfair'. If you value the functioning of those who menstruate at least as much as you enjoy your flying crocodile Fridays then sign our petition and join our campaign. Help to put an end to the marginalisation of issues traditionally associated with women by demanding a zero tax rate for sanitary products. Periods are no luxury. You can ‘opt-in’ to extravagance. You cannot choose to menstruate. Despite this, a whole heap of disadvantages have been created for those who do. Not using sanitary products can lead to health risks, jeopardise maintaining a normal, professional or personal life, and result in public ridicule. Equally, by using sanitary products, our Government capitalises on misogynist discourse and period shame that has caused us to fear our own menstrual cycles. It’s a double-edged sword that cuts women on both sides. Tax allocations should expose the needs of society as a whole, and the needs of those who menstruate as well as those who don’t. Because we care about these people, this campaign was made in support of tax allocations representing them and reflecting something that is vital. Philip Hammond, sanitary products should join your list of essential, tax exempt products, which include “helicopters” (and “aircraft repair and maintenance”), “alcoholic jellies” and “exotic meats including crocodile and kangaroo”. While we can live without flying our own private helicopters, we cannot live without the public participation of those who menstruate, which is dependent upon the accessibility of sanitary products. We hope you support and join our campaign!
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