Take Action: Pledge to take action to stand for international law and to oppose annexations of Russia toward Ukraine, Morocco's toward Western Sahara, and Israel towards Golan(Sryia) and East Jerusalem (Palestine). The US and Western European countries must stop their support for Morocco and Israel.
Take Action: Please contact the governments of China and India to dissuade President Putin from exploding nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Take Action: Contact your elected representative and insist on a policy of asylum for conscientious objectors from Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia.
NVI Ukraine Director, Andre Kamenshikov, continues to support nonviolent approaches to ending the war. See the latest December 2022 detailed report on Russian public opinion and recommendations on anti-war messaging (English translation). The report is researched and produced by a volunteer team through out Russia.
We are also proud to share this visionary report written by NVI Ukraine Director Andre Kamenshikov. This work is a result of effective collaboration between NVI and the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR).
NVI Director, Michael Beer, spoke about the power of Nonviolent Direct Action and discussed the war in Ukraine. He introduces the mechanisms of nonviolent action and suggests nonviolent approaches for ending the war in Ukraine.
OTHER RECENT WORK AND ACTION ITEMS
Supporting the anti-war movement in Russia. NVI-Ukraine is currently working to strengthen the anti-war movement in Russia. We are organizing a meeting in November to develop and coordinate anti-war messaging in Russia.
Coordinating GPPAC. NVI-Ukraine serves as the coordinator of the Eastern European Network for the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). GPPAC is the longstanding network of peace groups in the region. GPPAC has long worked to ameliorate internal ethnic, religious and community conflicts in Ukraine and the region.
NVI-Ukraine and GPPAC call for an immediate cessation of all military actions which threaten the lives and livelihoods of citizens of all countries involved. In particular, we urge:
We call on Belarus, Russia and Ukraine (and all countries in the world) to honor the conscientious objection of their own citizens and of those in the opposing military forces. We call on Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to cooperate with 3rd countries and swiftly transfer them abroad if the resisters so request. If countries would like to be more generous to these courageous war resisters, then they should offer asylum to their immediate families as well. If the soldiers do not fight, then wars cannot be fought.
Nonviolent Resistance in Ukraine. Nonviolence International is assisting nonviolent civil resistance in areas occupied by Russian forces. While the focus of international media has been primarily on the military resistance of Ukraine to Russian aggression, ordinary unarmed citizens in areas occupied by Russia have been courageously demonstrating their resolve to remain with Ukraine by nonviolent means. In August and September, Nonviolence International co-organized meetings of Ukrainian civil activists who spent months in areas occupied by Russia and were organizing different actions of civil resistance. One outcome of the meeting was to support the establishment of underground clandestine schooling in occupied Ukraine. Here is a report written by Felip Daza Sierra of NOVACT, that documents Ukrainian nonviolent resistance in the first half of 2022. NVI Director, Michael Beer' book, Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century, is cited often in the text and Andre Kamenshikov, NVI Ukraine Director is thanked in the acknowledgements.
Documenting/Monitoring Russian Public Opinion. NVI-Ukraine is helping ordinary Russian citizens with anti-war messaging from NVI's internal public opinion and messaging reports. Although Russia is a dictatorship - public opinion does matter a lot. In fact, the Russian government is not able to currently sell to its own population the concept of an all-out war against Ukraine, thus it uses euphemisms such as a "special military operation" etc. Due to this - the government cannot announce a full mobilization, it does not have the legal instruments to send people to the battle zone against their will and so on.
Police Officers Arresting Protesters in St.Petersburg (Source: Aljazeera)
As the war drags on, Russia's key military objectives remain unfulfilled. Our hope is that if anti-war attitudes and resistance will continue to grow, while the motivation of those who support the government remains insufficient, this will put the country's leadership in a situation where it will have no other option as to seek peace and discontinue its imperialist policies.
Facilitating Understanding. NVI-Ukraine continues to work closely with a variety of international efforts to facilitate visits, meetings, delegations, humanitarian efforts, and project explorations. We would like to draw attention the work of Nonviolent Peaceforce, Patrir, and PAX. We also speak out to the media on nonviolent alternatives in Ukraine, Russia, and the region. See below for media interviews.
Demonstrators for Peace (Source - Dmitry Serebryakov/AP Photo)
Preventing Nuclear War! Nonviolence International-Ukraine is deeply concerned about the possibility of Russia exploding nuclear weapons or destroying the nuclear power plants in Ukraine. NVI drafted a letter in April, NVI called on people around the world to appeal to Chairman Xi and Prime Minister Modi to call Putin to dissuade him from exploding nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Take Action: Please contact the governments of China and India to dissuade President Putin from exploding nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
No to All forcible annexations. NVI is a leader in calling for adherence to international law prohibiting the invasion, occupation and annexation of territory. Please sign and share our pledge.
Nonviolence International is proud that Andre Kamenshikov, NVI Ukraine director, was part of this impressive gathering.
How does civil resistance work and what can it achieve? This panel shares how civilians are using strategic civil resistance to diminish the power and impact of the Russian military.
In Ukraine, civilians replace road signs to confuse Russian military vehicles, they block roads with cement blocks and iron pins, and they have set up a complex humanitarian aid system with neighboring countries. Within Russia, protests and resignations by universities, media outlets, and professionals denounce the military invasion. Join us to learn more about the strategy of civil resistance in Ukraine and the region.
Panelists include leading experts in civil resistance, some joining us from the frontlines in Kyiv.
February 25, 2022: English-Speaking Expert Available to Speak to Media from Ukraine.
Michael Beer speaks with Metta Spencer about reaching out to Russians to end the war. https://tosavetheworld.ca/episode-459-reach-out-to-russians/
Andre Kamenshikov, NVI Ukraine Director, speaks on March 2, 2022 Democracy Now!: Nonviolence Int'l in Kyiv: Resistance Mounts to Russian Invasion as 2,000 Civilian Deaths Reported
Andre Kamenshikov speaks with NVI intern Paige Wright on March 7, 2022: Interview with Andre Kamenshikov: Violence in Ukraine and a Call for Peace
Andre Kamenshikov speaks on WORT radio on March 9, 2022: Kamenshikov on Russia's 8 Year War in Ukraine
Below is a collection NVI's press releases and statements from other organizations we support.
The Humanitarian Disarmament website launched a new Ukraine War and Disarmament Resources page to increase public understanding of the humanitarian disarmament issues raised by the war in Ukraine and to serve as an information center for advocates, journalists, and others.
Former NVI Intern now teaching English in Prague shares her perspective as war refugees are welcomed.
Our friends at the Metta Center for Nonviolence have created this impressive list of relevant resources.
Don't miss this collection from the Transnational Institute.
Daniel Hunter says Ukraine's Secret Weapon may prove to be Nonviolent Direct Action.
Stephen Zunes calls on us to Support International Law Everywhere
John Feffer asks that we Support Diplomacy and the OSCE
Joanne Sheehan notes that war is a crime against humanity on the Metta Center's podcast.
There is enormous civilian resistance to this war around the world. In Russia, hundreds of thousands of people have protested with signs and chanting in the streets and more than 7000 have been arrested. In Ukraine we see enormous civil resistance with tactics including various kinds of blockades, mutual aid, changing streets signs, boycotting Russian products, direct appeals to soldiers, singing. Please visit our database of 350 tactics that can inspire people around the world to do something at this time.
The brutal occupation of Palestine is likely to get even more repressive in the coming weeks and months. The new coalition government in Israel includes unrepentant haters and racists. They have wasted no time showing their true colors. The impacts will be immediate, widespread, and as usual those harmed the most will be Palestinians.
People who have been paying attention know that the occupation has been supported by successive governments of all parties. And still we recognize we are entering a new and dangerous moment. We will work to make sure that this is also a time with the potential for real and lasting positive change.
During this time, we will see suffering increase and we must urge people to open their eyes to the reality of the situation. We must find ways to make the power of active nonviolence relevant to this struggle. NVI co-founder Jonathan Kuttab wrote,
"Successive Israeli governments have pursued these goals steadfastly, while pretending that their aim was security and that their aspirations were for peace with Palestinians, not domination over them. The new Israeli government abandons all such pretense, rips off the mask, and dares the world to do something about it.
Acknowledging that reality is the first necessary step towards addressing it. When Israel determined it wanted to be a Jewish state, and further that it wanted to keep all the land of historic Palestine, the results were inevitable. The only two options Israel allows for are ethnic cleansing or apartheid. Calls for democracy and equality (where democracy includes giving Palestinians [50% of the population] the vote and a stake in running the country) are totally rejected.
The good news is that with this new government, the mask is off, and many people can see the reality. This includes a majority of the Jewish people in the United states and their supporters, who have always been liberal, democratic, and in favor of progressive values. Facing the reality of Israel may be painful for many of them, but it is an important first step towards seeking a new solution based on equality and human dignity, and which would also bring healing and peace."
Tallie Ben-Daniel, the managing director of Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), said the new Israeli government has openly embraced apartheid.
“The horrifying actions of this new government, only five days in, prove exactly what Palestinians have been saying all along: Israel is an apartheid state, where Palestinians are treated as inferior. The dangerous escalations by the new Israeli government make clear that now is the time for action.”
US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib wrote,
“Not even one week into 2023, the new far-right apartheid government is moving to ethnically cleanse entire communities—which would displace more than 1,000 Palestinian residents, including 500 children. All with American backing, bulldozers, and bullets. #SaveMasaferYatta”
In the face of increased repression, our friends and allies are continuing and expanding their bold, creative, constructive nonviolent resistance.
Please spread the word about the reality of the situation and urge others to visit this page, learn more, and take action.
(At the bottom of this page, you will find background information from NVI and others.)
For those wanting to learn more about the Palestinian struggle for freedom, please see these NVI resources below. Below the NVI resources are primers welcoming people who are not yet immersed in the conversation.
The Popular University of the Palestinian Youth Movement Presents - OUR HISTORY OF POPULAR RESISTANCE: PALESTINE READING LIST
Do you have suggestions for other high quality introductory material we should consider including?
If so, please contact us.
And, of course, please help spread the word. Ask people to visit this page, learn, and take action.
(Art Credit - Kayla Ginsburg - from CJNV)
We celebrate a moment that we have been working towards for years - actually decades. Nonviolence International's longtime director, Michael Beer, has released his first book and it's an important one. Michael has updated Gene Sharp's seminal text training the world in the value of nonviolent tactics. We are pleased that our friends at ICNC, who published this book, have now translated it into both Spanish, Turkish, and Farsi. Get your copy and sign up to help below.
Watch this short video of Michael Beer explaining the essence of his book in under five minutes. Michael explains why he chose to write this book now and what he hopes his book will inspire in the future.
NVI hosted an interactive webinar with Michael Beer, Jamila Raqib of the Albert Einstein Institution founded by Gene Sharp, and Véronique Dudouet of the Berghof Foundation.
In partnership with our friends at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Michael presented his new book. When you have time, please watch the full inspirational conversation, but don't miss our request for your help below. As Michael said at the end of the webinar, "being active is the essence of nonviolence." We look forward to working with you to promote our shared values.
Many years ago, when I studied Peace and Conflict as an undergrad and later in grad school, we loved Gene's book and even then we felt it was outdated. Finally, decades later when the world has changed so dramatically, someone is updating that foundational work. Whoever was doing this would have my active support. I'm proud it is my friend and colleague at NVI, Michael, and ask for your help getting this important book widely distributed. More on this vital next step below.
Creative nonviolence is always evolving and growing, but since Gene wrote the internet has fundamentally changed the nature of our world and thus our work. So we are launching this new book along with an interactive database of nonviolent tactics. This database celebrates our collective wisdom and our capacity to come together - in the face of massive challenges - and find powerful nonviolent ways to protest and to help build the new emerging world.
To say that we find ourselves at a difficult time is a massive understatement. Our society is dangerously addicted to violence. NVI believes that change has come in the past and will come in the future from social movements seizing our power and paving a way to a brighter future.
NVI is under-resourced for the challenges before us including doing justice to this mission-critical book launch. So, I must do what activists do, and that is ask for your help.
I have several key goals in mind related to this book launch. One is a strong desire to get this book into the hands of those who need it most. To me, that includes those studying nonviolence, peace, and conflict resolution as well as those acting to create a better world. We do not seek to replace Gene's book in classrooms, but instead, hope to supplement that still vital text with Michael's expanded take and online database. Can you help us achieve that goal? Are you a teacher who might know how to go about getting books into the classroom from high school through graduate studies?
We still do not have an active Communications Action Team (nor a Development Action Team). If you believe, as I do, that the world needs to learn about the power of NV tactics, please consider helping us make this book launch impactful. If you can volunteer your time and talents, please contact me. If you can make a gift to support this work, please do so here.
Nonviolence International has created a study guide as a tool for educators to help you use Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century in your classroom. This Study Guide can be used at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate level and includes lesson plans with summaries of key concepts, discussion questions and classroom activities.
This book belongs on the virtual bookshelf of anyone who is studying or practicing nonviolent action.
For scholars: This book updates Gene Sharp’s 1973 seminal work Methods of Nonviolent Action, reworking Sharp’s classifications to include 148 additional tactics.
For trainers and teachers: Brief yet comprehensive, this overview of nonviolence explains the mechanisms by which nonviolent actions succeed.
For activists: This resource, in conjunction with Nonviolence International’s inspirational Nonviolent Tactics Database and our partnership with Rutgers University's International Institute for Peace our Nonviolence Training Archive, enlarges the activist toolbox. This monograph will serve as a foundational text not only “in the field” of action, but also in classrooms studying nonviolent action, civil resistance, peacebuilding, and creative conflict resolution around the world.
For everyone: If you wish to join the team to promote this inspirational text, fill out this form so we know how you can help move this effort forward. You can also help us promote the book over social media. This toolkit provides tips and directions on how you can be most helpful on social media platforms! Followed by images used to promote this text, here's an example of the type of post most helpful to this effort:
Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco and editor, author, and co-author of publications on Nonviolence, Middle-Eastern Policy, and War
“The use of strategic nonviolent resistance has grown dramatically worldwide in the nearly fifty years since Gene Sharp documented his now-famous 198 methods of nonviolent action. Since that time, scores of additional methods have been utilized and the theoretical understanding of civil resistance has grown tremendously. Michael Beer has brought us up to date with this impressive monograph with a revised, expanded, and recategorized list which is a must-read for both scholars and activists.”
Senior researcher and program director at the Berghof Foundation and author of many publications on nonviolent action and civil resistance
"Michael Beer’s new Monograph “Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century” fully meets its ambitious goal of revisiting the field of nonviolent action in light of recent tactical and strategic innovations. Influenced by Gene Sharp’s seminal categorization of civil resistance methods – which remains an authoritative reference among activists and scholars alike – Beer adapts it to the contemporary realities of nonviolent activism. The rich array of approaches and cultural practices covered in this study is fascinating, with illustrations ranging from ‘maximalist’ campaigns to sectorial struggles for rights, justice, accountability and sustainability across the globe. It helpfully outlines distinctions between disruptive and constructive resistance, and between acts of expression, omission and commission. In particular, the monograph explores in detail positive inducements such as appeals, refraining acts, and creative intervention, which bring to light the constructive dimension of civil resistance. Moreover, it usefully spells out the ‘frontiers’ between nonviolent action and overlapping practices that belong to the domains of institutional, violent, third-party or support intervention. This monograph will be both highly valuable for activists who are interested in learning about the rich plurality of nonviolent methods to pursue social change, and for researchers to think creatively about new ways to systematize tactics and methods in relation to broader strategies and campaigns."
Maria J. Stephan
American Political Scientist and former Director of the program on nonviolent action at the United States Institute of Peace
"In his ambitious new monograph, Michael Beer explores the expanding universe of nonviolent tactics and helps us make sense of them. Building on Gene Sharp’s 198 methods of nonviolent action and integrating the frameworks of many other scholars and practitioners, Beer offers a revised and updated table and classification system for analyzing nonviolent tactics. His account, brimming with global applications of lesser-known tactics (exs. kiss-ins, virtual reality games, and reverse strikes) shines a light on creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability of activists, organizers, and movement leaders around the world. I expect that this new classification of tactics will be of great use to activists, academics, and practitioners seeking to strategize, understand, and support nonviolent campaigns and movements around the world - particularly in our new digital age."
Co-author of "Synergizing Nonviolent Action and Peacebuilding" and the author of 10 other books on peacebuilding and social movements
“Stuck with just a few tactics in your go-to list for making social change? This book offers clear, compelling, creative options for making nonviolent action more effective and more engaging.”
Former Director of Amnesty International USA
“Awesome book for every human rights defender doing actions outside the court system.”
Renowned scholar and professor of Resistance Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
"This is a unique summary of nonviolent tactics that attempts to create a synthesis that brings several different existing definitions and categorizations. It is an ambitious compilation of different approaches to how to describe "nonviolent tactics," which avoids many of the existing inconsistencies and problems with suggested categorizations. And, in a great contribution to the practical needs of activists and the field of nonviolent action studies, Beer arrives at the most expansive mapping of the rich repertoire of tactics that I have ever seen. It is a must-read for scholars, activists and organizers of campaigns."
Senior Professorial Lecturer in the School of International Service at American University and Peace Educator of the Year
“This book is an invaluable tool for constructively transforming the current challenges roiling the US and the globe. Please join me in using this in your classrooms."
Mubarak Elamin, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Steve Williamson celebrate Michael’s new book!
(Content warning: images and descriptions of torture and abuse)
For background information click here.
Donate to support our ongoing efforts to promote nonviolence in Western Sahara here.
Read more below to see our report and updates from the field team during their deployment from March-June 2022.
June 3, 2022, Democracy Now broadcasts headline video of Sultana Khaya's arrival in Canary Islands.
June 1, 2022, Tim Pluta, Ruth McDonough, Sultana Khaya successfully arrive in Canary Islands Airport to a huge crowd and media conference.
May 28, 2022, NVI and delegation protest against Moroccan deportation and abuses in front of the White House.
May 27, 2022, Amnesty International Report. Morocco/Western Sahara: Investigate targeted assault on Sahrawi women activists.
May 27, 2022 US delegation arrives in DC and protests their Moroccan mistreatment and US policy towards Western Sahara at the White House an Noon.
May 24, 2022 Siege of Khaya home re-intensifies with more agents surrounding the house. These past few weeks we have seen women visitors beaten by Moroccan forces with chains, their hands broken so they can't hold Saharawi flags' and youth visitors arrested and abused. Sultana's niece got beaten in front of Sultana's house trying to enter. Her husband escorted her away from this unsuccessful visit.
May 23, 2022, US Delegation of women, were forcibly put on the plane to Casablanca by unidentified Moroccan men. No legal rationale or basis was provided. One woman felt that her bra and shirt we deliberately lifted up.
May 23, 2022, US delegation of women are deported by Moroccan forces at Laayoune Airport. They are trying to visit their friends in Western Sahara, in particular the Khaya Sisters.
May 21, 2022, Tim and Ruth, release a dove at the front of the Khaya house, calling on the Moroccan forces to stop their siege, lay down their guns as Tim did many years ago and build a society based on consent and justice not on domination.
May 13, 2022, Ruth McDonough ends her fast and calls on people around the world to continue fasting for Western Sahara.
May 11, 2022, Ruth McDonough fasts for an eighth day.
May 10, 2022, Morocco sends an unsolicited ambulance to visit the Khaya home. The ambulance was filled with men pretending to be medical workers who had previously attacked and raped the Khaya Sisters. Sultana turned them away. See press release here.
May 9, 2022, Ruth McDonough enters day #6 of a hunger strike. Sultan Khaya holds another protest today calling for human rights and self-determination. Solidarity fasts held around the world including Edward Horgan in Ireland.
May 5, 2022, Visitor Ruth McDonough begins hunger strike to demand an end to the rapes, siege and for a international independent investigation of the abuses of the Khaya sisters.
Please join Ruth and fast for a day in solidarity with her and the need to end the siege!
April 21, 2022 Morocco attacks Sultana Khaya's nephew, Mohammed Fadel Khayamore,yet nonviolent rooftop protests continue. Mohammed is released after two days in an adult jail.
April 20th. Live Report! Breaking a Siege in Occupied Western Sahara:
Shortened Version- 23 minutes
Moderator: Adrienne Kinne, past President and Vice President of the Board of Veterans for Peace USA and Field Volunteer, Presenters: Salka Barca, Co-Founder of Karama Sahara (Nonviolent US-based Advocacy Organization for Western Sahara); Ruth McDonough, Arabic teacher and Field Volunteer; Merwyn De Mello, international peacebuilder and Field Volunteer; Sultana Khaya, Renowned Western Sahara Human Rights Defender; Bill Fletcher Jr., Former President of TransAfrica Forum and Co-Chair of Campaign to End the Moroccan Occupation of Western Sahara.
April 19, 2022 Sultana Khaya installs flagpoles on the roof since the Moroccan government forces broke the hands of her friends who were holding the flag poles in previous days.
April 17, 2022, Brutalization of more activists in the neighborhood by Moroccan forces, yet daily protests on the roof continue.
April 16, 2022, 6 Women who joined the Khaya Sisters yesterday, were brutalized today at their homes. Moroccan forces tried to break their hands to punish them for holding Saharawi flags. Some are needing urgent medical attention.
April 15, 2022, Security has locked down the neighborhood for some reason unknown to all of us. Not a soul on the street, and the police chief is reported to be driving up and down the streets. Khaya Sisters and friends continue daily protests on the roof of their house. https://www.facebook.com/NonviolenceInternational
In the evening, Khaya family visited, despite barriers to the Khaya home, by prominent women's right and human rights activists, Boulsan Tufa and her sister.
April 12, 2022, Sultana Khaya assaulted by Moroccan settler outside her home. Moroccan settler threatened to kill everyone in the house which currently hosts two US tourists from the Human Rights Action Center.
April 6, 2022 Lilah Mohammed Habibi was released after being in police custody for 2 days where he was beaten. He has returned to his home. Protests continue daily on the roof. Moroccan forces surround the house but have not attacked.
March 31, 2022 On Thursday, March 17, Moroccan security forces abducted 14-year old Lilah Mohammed Habibi and his friend as they walked home after visiting nonviolent activist Sultana Khaya in Boujdour, Western Sahara. They forced the boys into their car and took them to the police station. Lilah was interrogated, yelled at, and violently struck on his arms and hands. He was ordered never to go to the Khaya house again. Later that day, both boys were released.Lilah was then taken back into custody on Wednesday March 30th after being asked to pass a nearby bag to a group of older boys. Moroccan police refuse to release the 14-year old who is being held in an adult detention center.
A call for an international investigation of the Khaya Sister’s abuse in Western Sahara continues from the UCP Volunteers.
March 24, 2022 After a week of visiting with Saharawi activist, Sultana Khaya, two of the international guests have safely returned home with no incident going through borders. They are available for interviews about the horrific human rights violations in Western Sahara. The other two guests remain, continuing to deepen connection, friendship, and solidarity with the Saharawi people.
March 22, 2022 UCP Volunteer delegation calls again for an International Investigation of Khaya Sisters’s abuse in Western Sahara after women and elders are attacked and prevented access to Khaya Home.
March 21, 2022 Sahrawi women are being attacked outside the Khaya family home while international visitors observe human rights abuse. Visitors leaving the house were shoved, stopped, harassed, phones were taken, they are back in the house, others went on the street to protest.
Strong coverage on Democracy Now!
March 19th, 2022 Wife & Husband Reunite During Halt of Moroccan Siege in Western Sahara
WASHINGTON, D.C./Boujdour, Western Sahara – Human rights defender, Mina Abaali, reunited with her long-separated husband at the home of Sultana Khaya which was recently released from a 482-day siege by the arrival of 4 international visitors in Boujdour, Western Sahara. Abaali had been forcibly separated from her exiled husband, Hasanna Dueihi, by the Moroccan Forces for three years due to their nonviolent protests for self-determination. When he heard that the siege had been lifted, he rushed to be with her. He told Khaya’s guests, “I am so grateful for you four volunteers that gave me this gift of finally seeing my wife. You are the other face of America.” Young boys who overheard his comment started chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”
March 18, 2022 - The siege has been broken for three consecutive days now. Sultana Khaya and several other activists were able to meet together and support each other today. Our UCP Volunteers continue to ask that their demands are met:
We call for and end to the rapes.
We call for the freedom of movement for the Khaya Family and all visitors.
We call for an independent international investigation of these human rights abuses.
March 17, 2022 - The Moroccans have halted the siege of the Khaya Sisters for 2 days; good friends and family can reunite after nearly 500 days of separation in Western Sahara. We hope the Moroccan approach will continue to change and that sexual abuse, repression, and dominance will be replaced by humility, friendship and respect.
Saharawi Women and the International Visitors joined the Khaya sisters in their daily vigil on their rooftop. Ruth McDonough said, “Our presence as Americans helped to break the siege but these women are the ones who are leading and all that I hope for them is for their voices to be heard and followed because it’s what they say that everyone needs to hear.”
A UCP Volunteer with Sultana Khaya
March 15, 2022 - At the invitation of the Khaya family in Boujdour, Western Sahara, US-based volunteers have arrived at their home to protect them from human rights abuses and break the almost 500-day siege of the house imposed by Moroccan occupation forces.
Supported by the Human Rights Action Center (HRAC) and NVI and a network of other human rights groups, the international unarmed civilian protection (UCP) volunteers, Ruth McDonough, Adrienne Kinne, and others, are currently guests in the Khaya family home. HRAC promotes adherence to the International Declaration of Human Rights.
Since November 2020, the Khaya Sisters have been forcibly confined to their home and the family has faced many forms of abuse, including home invasions, sexual violence and injections of unknown substances. The Khaya sisters have been raped by Moroccan security forces in front of their 84-year-old mother. Furthermore, their water has been poisoned, furniture and property destroyed, and electricity cut-off.
Referring to her experience, Sultana Khaya shared, “I am not the first Saharawi woman to be raped by the occupiers. I am simply the first woman to speak publicly about it. I have to expose the reality of the occupation. And I need to pave the way for the next generation of Saharawi women.”
UCP Volunteer in Western Sahara
On this week’s Spotlight, Rachel Knowles and co-host & fellow intern at Nonviolence International, Ahad Bashir reflected on the semester of spotlights. This season’s hosts discussed the influence of civil resistance on their interviewees, the creative process behind designing and interviewing selected candidates, & what they, as young nonviolent activists, take away from their time in the spotlight.
A few years ago we were told that computer algorithms would serve us. Now we have learned that we serve them. So, we are compelled to ask you to “please like and subscribe” to our new YouTube channel so that others will be introduced to the work you already support.