<![CDATA[Leading Light Foundation - LLF]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:50:36 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[The Messengers & Witnesses of Justice - Conquering Today's Human Rights Atrocities]]>Sat, 01 Oct 2016 19:31:34 GMThttp://leadinglightfoundation.com/llf/the-messengers-witnesses-of-justice-conquering-todays-human-rights-atrocitiesPicture
'Never give up on humanity and on the progress that is possible when we treat one another with dignity and respect.'

On July 2, 2016, a great light of the world died. He was hailed as a "messenger of mankind" and was a witness of justice. Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust Survivor whose life and words I studied in college and law school. He didn't just speak out against anti-Semitism, but all forms of hatred, intolerance, racism, bigotry and discrimination. He became one of my heroes because his beliefs were the same as mine: that as humans we were one. He lived his life asking us to see ourselves in each other and to have empathy and compassion for our fellow man.

Around the same time I discovered Elie Wiesel, another light came into my life, an Indian female writer who affected me deeply. Arundhati Roy had been famous for writing a book called The God of Small Things, but it was her books Power Politics in 2001 and War Talk in 2003 that moved me more. Her voice on the crises in India was a voice to be reckoned with. Her honest discourse and alarming revelations of the human rights and government atrocities, happening in the country I was born in, were eye opening, mind-altering and life changing.     

India is a country I am proud to call the land of my birth and home of my parents and ancestors. In recent decades, however, more unnecessary brutality and violence have occurred in my homeland than I thought could be possible. Right now, in Bangladesh police are arresting journalists and "opposition" supporters and deliberately shooting them in the knees and legs to maim them.  Victims describe police shooting them in custody and then falsely claiming that they were shot in self-defense or during violent protests.   

These writers and speakers, along with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, are my personal heroes. These messengers of mankind and witnesses of justice have refused to remain silent in the face of injustice and inequality. They passionately advocate for the rights and lives of all, especially for those who are suffering. In their vein, I follow.

Elie Wiesel was someone "who changed the world more as a citizen of the world than those who hold office or traditional positions of power. His life, and the power of his example, urged us to be better.  In the face of evil, hate and cruelty, to summon our capacity for good, to love and to live with empathy and compassion." U.S. Pres. Obama, Statement from the White House.  

"We must never be bystanders to injustice or indifferent to suffering.  Just imagine the peace and justice that would be possible in our world if we all lived a little more like Elie Wiesel." ~ U.S. Pres. Obama, July 2, 2016.

After his experience in the Holocaust, Elie told Pres. Obama "we had the right to give up on humanity, but we rejected that possibility. We said, no, we must continue believing in a future." Elie Wiesel, as Pres. Obama said, "never gave up on humanity and on the progress that is possible when we treat one another with dignity and respect."  

As human beings, we are capable of great love and kindness, but buried within us is also the ability and capacity for hate and selfishness. We must never give into the hate within us or to the voices of hate we hear around us. Our capacity for good, outweighs our capacity for evil. The strength lies within us to choose.

Many live in fear of those who hate them for the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their perceived privileges, different customs, religions, societal norms and contrary ideologies. Many witness atrocities but stay silent. Silence allows evil to flourish.        

The worst human atrocities have occurred when one man or one woman, one segment of society or nation, rise up against another, to enforce their own views and lifestyles on other sovereign beings. All life, all beings are equal and it is only our selfish ego that fail to recognize the intrinsic beauty and equality in all.

The "madness" that swept through Holocaust Germany, as Pres. Obama said in his 2012 remarks at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, is seen over and over again in all parts of the world today from the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. "They shock our conscience, but they are the awful extreme of a spectrum of ignorance and intolerance that we see every day; the bigotry that says another person is less than my equal, less than human.  These are the seeds of hate that we cannot let take root in our heart."

Right now, we are facing a crisis unlike anything our world has seen in decades: the refugee crisis. So many are willing to turn their backs on the plights of these men and women, but that is what people who saw what was happening to the Jewish people in Nazi Germany did.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries on June 18, 2016 to respond to the migrant and refugee crisis with a humane and human rights-based approach, instead of border closures, barriers and bigotry. He spoke of refugees he met who had lived through a nightmare and whose nightmare was not over, but some of whom, on the Greek Island of Lesbos, had found relief from war and persecution. The Greek islanders had opened their homes, hearts and wallets to support people in need. 
 
Mr. Ban said the refugee families shared their hopes with him: school for their children, jobs to provide for their families and the opportunity to give back to their communities; they yearned to go home but knew such was a distant dream. The UN was doing all it could to mobilize support, he said, but across the region, refugee conditions were worsening, with many becoming destitute, girls forced into early marriage, half of all refugee children out of school, many forced to beg on the streets, or become victims of exploitation, including sexual abuse.       

Every month, Mr. Ban said, 450 people lose their lives in the Mediterranean. He urged the international community to do more to resolve conflicts and address the factors causing so much suffering and upheaval, and called on the countries of Europe to respond with a humane and human rights-based approach. “Detention is not the answer,” he said. “Let us work together to resettle more people, provide legal pathways and better integrate refugees. I recognize the difficulties. But the world has the wealth, the capacity and the duty to meet this challenge.”

"Developing countries host 90 per cent of the world’s refugees," Mr. Ban stated. "It is time for the world to share fully in this responsibility. That is our political and moral obligation. That is our humanitarian imperative. It is what we must do as a human family. One of the most beautiful words in the Greek lexicon is philoxenia - friendship towards strangers.”

The world would be better off if we, men, women, communities, nations and our leaders listened to the wisdom and examples set by Elie Wiesel, Arundhati Roy and Ban Ki-moon.

 I am a Christian and I was taught when I was little, "Do Unto Others as You Would Have Done Unto You." How can we call ourselves Christian and not reach out our hand to help those who suffer? Who will reach out to help us when we are suffering? Is it only different when we are the ones suffering? The Refugee and Migrant crises are not going away, nor hate, bigotry, racism, religious intolerance and persecution unless we speak up and act for change. The world and we as a people do indeed have the capacity and the duty to meet this challenge. It is indeed our moral obligation, our humanitarian imperative and what we must do as a human family.

I have made it part of my life's work, through my pro bono and volunteer works as lawyer, a writer and entertainer, to not just remember the atrocities, to not just watch as tortures, murders and hateful acts happen before my eyes, but to speak and bare honest witness and act for change. We must not just remember the atrocities, we must not just watch as they happen before our eyes: we must speak and bare honest witness and act for change.

- Nishi Rajan | Leading Light Foundation  

"For the dead and the living, we must bear witness." - Elie Wiesel, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

“Remembrance without resolve is a hollow gesture. Awareness without action changes nothing.” - U.S. Pres. Obama, April 2012.

The Book of Joel:  "Has the like of this happened in your days or in the days of your fathers?  Tell your children about it, and let your children tell theirs, and their children the next generation."  That’s why we’re here.  Not simply to remember, but to speak."

"We must tell our children about a crime unique in human history.  The one and only Holocaust, six million innocent people, men, women, children, babies, sent to their deaths just for being different, just for being Jewish.  About the millions of Poles and Catholics and Roma and gay people and so many others who also must never be forgotten.  Let us tell our children not only how they died, but also how they lived, as fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters who loved and hoped and dreamed, just like us. We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen -- because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts, and because so many others stood silent." U.S. Pres. Obama, April 2012, Statement at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

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<![CDATA[Iran: Tyrannical Justice]]>Sun, 05 Jun 2016 23:57:47 GMThttp://leadinglightfoundation.com/llf/iran-tyrannical-justice
When law, religion and society become oppressive to the point people lose their freedoms, their voice, their ability to express themselves, that is tyranny. Where punishment is meted without ability to question its fairness, sound logic and reasoning, that is tyranny.
PictureAtta Kenare / AFP / Getty Images
 
Religious persecution, prisoners of conscience, a harsh judiciary cracking down on social media permissiveness and arresting online models who do not wear mandatory head scarves. Now, Iran's Judiciary and authorities have punished even students. Thirty college students were recently arrested, interrogated, and within 24 hours, were given 99 lashes for attending a graduation party that included men and women. Iranian Students Lashed 99 Times Over Coed Party.  

Prosecutor Esmail Sadeghi Niaraki stated, “We hope this will be a lesson for those who break Islamic norms in private places." Note the key words the Prosecutor used: "in private places." Not even in their own private dwellings are Iran's people free from restriction and invasion by the so-called "law." 

These young students were punished severely with 99 scarring lashes for merely celebrating their graduation and not wearing "scarves and long coats, and“dancing and jubilating."  99 lashes. Barbaric? Extreme? Unjust? In Iran, "Judges in Iran have broad freedoms to interpret Islamic law, and according to the Constitution, the government and other institutions have no right to interfere with their decisions." In other words, Iran's Constitution would allow the Judiciary to get away with unjust and extreme forms of punishment.

Ironically, the justice system can be bribed: in Iran, the wealthy can pay a fine rather than be whipped. If you cannot pay the fine, however, you will receive the lashings. Is this justice? The question of justice in Iran is laughable. The judiciary of Iran recently announced the arrest of "Instagram models." A blogger was arrested and prominent actors and actresses, all of whom have large followings on social media, were warned to adhere to Islamic dress codes and “Islamic behavior.”

A former model, Elham Arab, 26, the New York Times reported, "had been something of an Instagram star, posting pictures of herself in bridal gowns with eye-catching, dyed-blond hair. But in an interview on Sunday, May 15, 2016, months after her Instagram account had been shut down, she wore a pious black scarf and matching gloves as she was questioned by two prosecutors during a live television program." In this interview,  as Times reporter Thomas Erdbrink  writes, "in sharp contrast to the happy and glamorous images of herself posted online, Ms. Arab spoke of her 'bitter experiences' in Iran’s technically illegal modeling industry and warned young women to think twice before posting pictures of themselves online. 'You can be certain that no man would want to marry a model whose fame has come by losing her honor,' she said."

When law, religion and society become oppressive to the point people lose their freedoms, their voice, their ability to express themselves, that is tyranny. Where punishment is meted without ability to question its fairness, sound logic and reasoning, that is tyranny.

The "head scarf issue", Thomas Erdbrink reports, is the main issue "between powerful hard-liners and Iran’s increasingly urbanized and worldly society. Iran’s laws require that all women, even visiting foreigners, cover their hair out of a traditional respect for culture and morality. Many hard-liners view the obligatory veil as a last-ditch defense against what they say is an onslaught of Western cultural decadence."

During Ms. Arab's questioning by 2 prosecutors in the live TV program, "Tehran’s public prosecutor, Abbas Jafar-Dolatabadi, concluded on the television program the 'offender' was 'the enemy' - Iran's household label for the West and its unwanted influences." The television program "was part of a broader crackdown on self-expression and freedoms both online and in the real world that was rekindled after the victory of reformists and moderates in Iran’s parliamentary elections in February."

"The crackdown, led by the hard-line-dominated judiciary and security forces," Mr. Erdbrink wrote, " runs counter to the policies of [former] President Hassan Rouhani, [whose] platform [had been of] greater personal freedoms and called  for a loosening of Iran’s social strictures. While Iran is undergoing broad changes under the influence of satellite television, the Internet and cheap foreign travel, few laws have been updated since the Islamic Revolution of 1979."

Iranian state news media reported on May 24, 2016, that the Iranian council, Assembly of Experts, which has authority to select a new supreme leader, elected the 89-year-old hard-liner Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, as its new chairman. Under hard-line rule, the freedoms and justice entitled to by all, would be severely curtailed if not outright eliminated.

Take for example the religious persecution of the Bahai religious minority who have been deemed pagans and impure by the country’s dominant clerics. Faezeh Hashemi, 54, the daughter of the former president, Ayatollah Rafsanjani, recently sat down for tea with Fariba Kamalabadi, 52, a Bahai leader. Ms. Kamalabadi was on temporary leave from a 20-year prison sentence imposed on her and six other Bahai leaders for allegedly "spying for Israel." The United States State Department has condemned their imprisonment and called for their release along with other “prisoners of conscience.”

An official with Iran’s conservative judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, called the meeting “obscene and despicable,” and told reporters on Wednesday that he was planning to take Ayatollah Rafsanjani's daughter Ms. Hashemi to court.

Ms. Hashemi is one of Iran’s most prominent activists and once an outspoken lawmaker who  started Iran’s first newspaper for women in 2000. Outraged Clerics said meeting with Ms. Kamalabadi, a psychologist, was “criminal.” The head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, said that Ms. Hashemi faced prosecution on national security grounds. But Ms. Hashemi told Euronews that she was “not sorry at all.” Discrimination in name of religion and the oppression of the Bahais are wrong, she said. “We are oppressive in Iran not only toward these but toward many,” she said to the agency. “We should correct our behavior.”

We are living in the year 2016.  Humanity as a whole has achieved freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom to be who we are safe from persecution, terror, control and restriction. Iran's hard-line Judiciary is emblematic of the deepest problems with humanity - the desire to control others, for dominance. Power and authority become corrupt and tyrannical in the hands of those who seek to exert their beliefs on others who disagree with them and do not consent. Such tyranny should never be allowed to spread and the world, as a whole, must come out against it.  

- Founder, Nishi Rajan

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<![CDATA[Accountability for Crimes Against Humanity - The Trial & Conviction of Hissène Habré]]>Mon, 30 May 2016 14:23:29 GMThttp://leadinglightfoundation.com/llf/accountability-for-crimes-against-humanity-the-trial-conviction-of-hissene-habrePicture
Today, the Court in Senegal found Chad's ex-dictator Hissene Habre guilty of torture, rape and human atrocities during his 1982-1990 rule. He was sentenced to life in prison.  Sadly, this justice will never bring back the lives lost or undo the horrors committed. Until the countries of the world acknowledge accountability and responsibility for the actions of its state against its people and other nations, unconscionable and inhuman atrocities will continue to occur. ‪The plight of humanity is a shared fight. Arguing rules should apply to others, but not to yourself, is the highest form of hypocrisy; and when it engenders rape, torture and murder, such hypocrisy is unforgivable.

As Human Rights Watch reported in The Case of Hissène Habré before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal, Habré was indicted on charges of crimes against humanity and torture as a member of a “joint criminal enterprise” and of war crimes on the basis of his “command responsibility.” Today, Habré was found guilty of murder, summary executions, enforced disappearances and torture.

Habré was the deposed president of Chad, he ruled as dictator from 1982 until he was deposed in 1990 by Idriss Déby, the current president. Habré was living in exile in Senegal ever since. In a  714-page study, Human Rights Watch documented evidence of "Habré’s government’s responsibility for widespread political killings, systematic torture, and thousands of arbitrary arrests, killing and arresting en masse when the administration perceived that the groups’ leaders posed a threat to Habré’s rule. "

The Chadian Truth Commission accused Habré's government of systematic torture and said  40,000 people died during his rule. Most abuses were carried out by his political police, the Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS), whose directors reported directly to Habré. The Directorate of Documentation and Security (D.D.S.) was in charge of suppressing the regime’s political opponents, real and assumed. Innumerable Chadians died from torture, outright execution, disease and malnutrition in the seven secret detention centers set up in the capital or other prisons in the provinces.

The D.D.S. also played an important role in the violent campaigns the army conducted against populations in southern Chad between 1982 and 1987 and then against the Hadjarai and Zaghawa ethnic groups, former allies of the regime who had become its enemies. The same operating method was used repeatedly: Community leaders were targeted first, then the entire community.  Mbaissouroum Manda René, a farmer from Maibo, in southern Chad, was 19 years old when soldiers surrounded his village on the morning of March 7, 1985. They selected him and 16 other young men, and brought them to a big néré tree. The villagers were ordered to lie face-down. “And after that, all we could feel were the bullets striking us. Pok, pok, pok,” Mr. Mbaissouroum told the court. He was one of only four survivors.

In July of 2013, the chief prosecutor also requested the indictment of five officials from Habré’s administration suspected of being responsible for international crimes. These included: Saleh Younous and Guihini Korei, two former directors of the DDS. Korei is Habré’s nephew; Abakar Torbo, former director of the DDS prison service; Mahamat Djibrine, also known as “El Djonto,” one of the “most feared torturers in Chad,” according to the National Truth Commission; and Zakaria Berdei, former special security adviser to the presidency and one of those suspected of responsibility in the repression in the south in 1984. 

None of them were brought before the court, however. Younous and Djibrine were convicted in Chad on charges stemming from the complaints filed by victims in the Chadian courts and Chad refused to extradite them to Senegal. Berdei is also believed to be in Chad, though he is not in custody. The locations of Torbo and Korei are unknown.  As a result, only Habré was committed to trial.

Those who testified were many and included survivors who testified that rape of women detainees was frequent in the DDS’s Locaux prison in N’Djaména, survivors who had been raped when they were younger than 15 years old; ten witnesses testified they had personally seen Habré in prison or were sent to prison personally by Habré. Robert Hissein Gambier, who survived five years in prison, earning the nickname “The man who runs faster than death,” said that he counted 2,053 detainees who died in prison. Mahamat Nour Dadji, the child of a close adviser to Habré, testified that the DDS director arrived at their home in Habré’s car saying, “The president needs you.” Dadji was detained with his father, who was never seen again. Bichara Djibrine Ahmat testified that in 1983 he was taken with 149 other Chadian prisoners of war to be executed. Only he survived to take the truth commission 10 years later to find the mass grave.

In a February 15, 2016 New York Times Opinion article by Thierry Cruvellier, author of “The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer” and “Court of Remorse: Inside the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda", Mr. Cruvellier wrote: "This trial is a major event in the field of international criminal justice. It’s uncommon for one country to judge the former president of another country. It’s unprecedented for this to take place before a court expressly appointed by the African Union to pass judgment on one of its own 'in the name of Africa.' Never in a trial for mass crimes have the victims’ voices been so dominant."

As Mr. Cruvellier points out in his conclusion, "an increasing number of African Union members nurture a hostile attitude toward the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.), based in The Hague, whose first 29 defendants have all been Africans. The leader of that resistance is President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, whom the I.C.C. charged for crimes committed during an outbreak of ethnic violence following Kenya’s 2007 election, when he was still in the opposition — charges he subsequently managed to have dropped. On Jan. 31, Mr. Kenyatta convinced his peers in the African Union to adopt a proposal to consider withdrawing from the I.C.C. The vote took place under the authority of the African Union’s new president, who had been elected the day before: Idriss Déby."

Thus, while Hissène Habré was successfully tried and convicted, and the voice of his victims heard, many other atrocities continue to occur unanswered and unheard. Who is responsible for ethnic violence, murder, torture and rape if the perpetrators themselves are the ones currently in power and refuse accountability? When do the rules of law that applied to Hissene Habre apply to President Kenyatta of Kenya? Where does the line of humanity and responsibility to our fellow man get drawn when countries can back out of agreements for the good of humankind by denouncing authority to the I.C.C.? These are the questions still to be battled. Indeed, while there is victory over Hissène Habré, the victims, those poor souls who were brutally tortured, and all who died in inhumane ways, their plight still exists every day in the souls of our brothers and sisters worldwide who are suffering in the same exact way.


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<![CDATA[The Tatars of Crimea]]>Thu, 12 May 2016 16:29:28 GMThttp://leadinglightfoundation.com/llf/the-tatars-of-crimeaPicture
What they did to this Tatar father is inhuman. Is humanity at its core flawed when human beings can murder and hate one anothe so easily? Those who speak up against injustice are silenced, and in horrific ways. Humanity itself, progress and understanding cease to exist.  

To the left and  in the gallery at the bottom of this post are photos on a wall in the East Village of New York City that I came across this past weekend. These photos are a memorial and testament of what was done to Resat Amet and the horrors and human rights atrocities occurring in Crimea. As recorded, "on March 3, 2014, Reşat initiated a solitary and peaceful protest against the occupation of Crimea by the Russian troops. During his protest in front of the Crimean Council of Ministers building in Simferopol's Lenin Square, he was abducted by three unidentified men in military uniform from the "Crimean self-defense" who took him away." They found his body thirteen days later. He had been brutally tortured, his eyes gauged out. He had a wife and two small children and he was just 39 years old.   


The silent, peaceful protest was about the Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.  Although the United States, Europe and news organizations spoke up in defense of Crimea, Russia annexed Crimea in what many view as an outright invasion that violated all international laws. (See http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/28/russia-crimea-white-house The Guardian, February 28, 2014)

Last week, the Russia-imposed "Justice Ministry" banned the Mejlis, a Tatar legislation. Thousands of Tatars died in Serbian prisons years ago in a brutal deportation. The Tatars were the only ones who spoke up in defense when Russia annexed Crimea.  Read the recent  NY Times Report: Tatar Legislation Banned in Crimea.  As the NY Times states,
the Mejlis was founded in 1991 to represent a Turkic Muslim minority with deep roots in Crimea, whose members began to return to their homeland after a brutal deportation in 1944. Tens of thousands are believed to have died in Siberian prisons and Central Asia, making the survivors deeply distrustful of Moscow. About 10 percent of the peninsula’s 2.3 million people are Crimean Tatar, according to the most recent census. When Russia was moving toward annexing the peninsula, Tatar activists provided the only opposition. After annexation, Crimean Tatars were systematically harassed, and many activists were arrested or disappeared."

The European Parliament recently condemned the decision of the Supreme Court of Crimea on 26 April 2016 to ban the Mejlis, "the legitimate and recognised representative body of ethnic Crimean Tatars" and demanded the immediate reversal of this decision" which is the "systemic and targeted persecution of Crimean Tatars" and "is an attempt to expel them from Crimea, which is their historical motherland." 

The European Parliament "urged the Russian Federation, which under international humanitarian law bears ultimate responsibility as the occupying state in Crimea, to uphold the legal order in Crimea, protect citizens from arbitrary judicial or administrative measures, and conduct independent international investigations of any violations of international law or human rights committed by the occupying forces and the so-called local authorities." They reiterated Parliament's "severe condemnation of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation on 20 February 2014, which it says was a breach of international law, and also its full commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders".

Is there really anything any government or international body can do however? The Russian Foreign Ministry stated: Theme of Crimea’s territorial affiliation is closed forever.  "Any attempts, including those in the European parliament, to put forward maps with hand-drawn borders are sheer waste of time, money and effort," the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson says.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has called for an end to repressions against Crimean Tatars in occupied Crimea, ministry’s spokesperson Mariana Betsa wrote on Twitter. “Again there were searches in occupied Crimea. Persecution, intimidation of Crimean Tatars. We urge the occupant to stop repressions,” she wrote. Betsa also added that “international organizations should have the access to occupied Crimea for the permanent monitoring of the situation with human rights”. The article states that erlier, on Thursday morning, Head of the Central Election Commission of Kurultay of the Crimean Tatar people Zair Smedlyayev reported about searches of at least five houses of Crimean Muslims in Bakhchysaray. Also, there were reports about a search of a local café. According to employees of the café, two buses with armed law enforcers arrived there.

It appears there is nothing NATO or anyone can do against Russia, Josh Cohen writes in his report published on Reuters stating Ukraine cannot even be part of NATO because of its conflict with Russia, published May 4, 2016 http://reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0XW0V3

If human rights atrocities like this can happen to young fathers,  to men, women and children, in any part of the world, what does that say about us? It is easy to hide behind social media, to lose yourself in stories of Beyonce, Lemonade, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, to hide from the truths of the world. When horrors happen to you, however, it is to your fellow men and women that you will cry out for help. Horrors and injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. If it can happen there, it can happen here. What can we do? Speak up. Refuse to be silent. Let the world know this is happening and ask international bodies to intercede. The only way we can save humanity is by actually trying to save it.


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<![CDATA[The Plight of Humanity is a Shared Battle. We Are All One and The Same]]>Fri, 06 May 2016 04:12:36 GMThttp://leadinglightfoundation.com/llf/the-plight-of-humanity-is-a-shared-battle-we-are-all-one-and-the-sameThe plight of humanity is a shared battle. We are all one and the same.
In 2010 and 2013, I lost many of my websites due to computer damage, crashes & viruses. I lost Leading Light Foundation's website, my music web home and many other websites I had created and run since 1998.  In  2011, my careers in music and theatre began taking off and became my focus. I decided I had to put Leading Light Foundation on the back burner, but every day I would continue to read and keep aware of all that was going on in the world. The plight of humanity and human suffering  was everywhere. After a 5+ year hiatus, in 2016, I re-designed Leading Light Foundation, contacted my former Board of Directors, my former writers and investigators, IT aids and decided silence was more damaging.

Fighting and advocating for justice around the world is something we have to do. If you and I were threatened, we would cry out for people to raise their voices, fight for us and save us. Around the world, people just like you and I are crying out and we can help. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. The plight of humanity is a shared battle - we are all one and the same.

I am happy to announce that Leading Light Foundation's News & Policy Journal is now updated and active  (http://leadinglightfoundation.com/journal).  Click to read the latest human rights news in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and more. In addition to original reporting, we are supporting the work of all other NGOs, news agencies and more who are fighting to end horrific injustices and crimes against humanity.  Join LLF's Facebook Group and chime in on discussions at http://www.facebook.com/groups/leadinglightfoundation, follow LLF on Twitter at http://twitter.com/leadinglightorg.

If you want to get involved and research or write for LLF, send your resume and letter of interest to leadinglightorg@gmail.com. At this time, all positions are pro bono and completely voluntary.  The reward is knowing that your work will be published to bring awareness to help save lives and end the suffering of many.

Founder, Nishi Rajan
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<![CDATA[Leading Light Foundation]]>Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:01:55 GMThttp://leadinglightfoundation.com/llf/leading-light-foundationLeading Light Foundation is a non-profit legal organization created to affect international social justice.  It is
comprised of attorneys, writers, historians, scholars, paralegals, volunteers, technology consultants and investigators. Writers research and report on human rights violations and issues the media and world at large have ignored or forgotten. The issues are wide-ranging, from violence against women and children to slavery, genocide, war crimes, discriminatory politics, discriminatory business practices and inadequate representation of the interests of minority populations. Writers are knowledgeable and present information on the history of nations, ruling parties, social systems, treaties, conventions and international trade agreements and present relevant news and discussions at roundtables, lectures and conferences.

LLF is an independent organization with no affiliation with any religion or political organization. The primary goal is report objectively on human rights issues, violations of international laws and policies and advocate for legal, social and policy change.

If you are interested in joining LLF as a researcher, writer and contributor, please send a resume and cover letter to LeadingLightOrg@Gmail.com. There is great potential for growth and achievement within LLF and a great opportunity to get in on the ground level,  contribute and make a difference for those with interests in international law, human rights, journalism and foreign policy.

Founder, Nishi Rajan

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