Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school, her advocacy has grown into an international movement, according to former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, she has become "the most prominent citizen" of the country. Yousafzai was born to a Pashtun family in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, her family came to run a chain of schools in the region. Considering Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Benazir Bhutto as her role models, she was inspired by her father's thoughts and humanitarian work. In early 2009, when she was 11–12, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat; the following summer, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York Times documentary about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region.
She rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, she was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize by activist Desmond Tutu. On 9 October 2012, while on a bus in the Swat District, after taking an exam and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism. Yousafzai was hit in the head with a bullet and remained unconscious and in critical condition at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, but her condition improved enough for her to be transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK; the attempt on her life sparked an international outpouring of support for Yousafzai. Deutsche Welle reported in January 2013 that Yousafzai may have become "the most famous teenager in the world". Weeks after the attempted murder, a group of fifty leading Muslim clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her; the Taliban was internationally denounced by governments, human rights organizations and feminist groups.
Taliban officials responded to condemnation by further denouncing Yousafzai, indicating plans for a possible second assassination attempt, justified as a religious obligation. Their statements resulted in further international condemnation. Following her recovery, Yousafzai became a prominent activist for the right to education. Based in Birmingham, she founded the Malala Fund, a non-profit organisation, in 2013 co-authored I Am Malala, an international best seller. In 2012, she was the recipient of Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize and the 2013 Sakharov Prize. In 2014, she was the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Kailash Satyarthi of India. Aged 17 at the time, this made her the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. In 2015, Yousafzai was a subject of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary; the 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured her as one of the most influential people globally. In 2017, she was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of Commons of Canada.
Yousafzai attended Edgbaston High School from 2013 to 2017, is studying for a bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Yousafzai was born on 12 July 1997 in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, into a lower-middle-class family, she is the daughter of Tor Pekai Yousafzai. Her family is Sunni Muslim of Pashtun ethnicity; the family did not have enough money for a hospital birth and as a result, Yousafzai was born at home with the help of neighbours. She was given her first name Malala after Malalai of Maiwand, a famous Pashtun poet and warrior woman from southern Afghanistan, her last name, Yousafzai, is that of a large Pashtun tribal confederation, predominant in Pakistan's Swat Valley, where she grew up. At her house in Mingora, she lived with her two younger brothers and Atal, her parents and Toor Pekai, two pet chickens. Fluent in Pashto and English, Yousafzai was educated by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, a poet, school owner, an educational activist himself, running a chain of private schools known as the Khushal Public School.
In an interview, Yousafzai once stated that she aspired to become a doctor, though her father encouraged her to become a politician instead. Ziauddin referred to his daughter as something special, allowing her to stay up at night and talk about politics after her two brothers had been sent to bed. Inspired by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Yousafzai started speaking about education rights as early as September 2008, when her father took her to Peshawar to speak at the local press club. "How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?", Yousafzai asked her audience in a speech covered by newspapers and television channels throughout the region. In 2009, Yousafzai began as a trainee and a peer educator in the Institute for War and Peace Reporting's Open Minds Pakistan youth programme, which worked in schools in the region to help young people engage in constructive discussion on social issues through the tools of journalism, public debate and dialogue. In late 2008, Aamer Ahmed Khan of the BBC Urdu website and his colleagues came up with a novel way of covering the Taliban's growing influence in Swat.
They decided to ask a schoolgirl to blog anonymously about her life there. Their correspondent in Peshawar, Abdul Hai Kakar, had been in touch with a local school teacher, Ziauddin Yousafzai, b
Leyla Zana, is a Kurdish politician, imprisoned for 10 years for her political activism, deemed by the Turkish courts to be against the unity of the country. When she was a member of pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, she was banned from joining any political party for five years with the Constitutional Court's decision to ban this party, she has been elected as an independent member of parliament for Diyarbakır by the support of Peace and Democracy Party. She was awarded the 1995 Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament, but was unable to collect it until her release in 2004, she was awarded the Rafto Prize in 1994 after being recognized by the Rafto Foundation for being incarcerated for her peaceful struggle for the human rights of the Kurdish people in Turkey and the neighbouring countries. She was born in Silvan, Diyarbakır Province, in the southeast of Turkey; when she was 14 years old, she was married to Mehdi Zana, the mayor of Diyarbakır until the military coup d'état and a political prisoner after it.
In 1991 she became the first Kurdish woman to win a seat in the Turkish parliament. She created a scandal when she spoke Kurdish on the floor of the parliament after being sworn in though it was known to be illegal; the Kurdish language when spoken in private, had been illegal for years in Turkey. Only in that year, 1991, was the Kurdish language legalized, though speaking Kurdish remained illegal in public spaces, as Zana was sworn in, her remarks ended, I swear by my honor and my dignity before the great Turkish people to protect the integrity and independence of the State, the indivisible unity of people and homeland, the unquestionable and unconditional sovereignty of the people. I swear loyalty to the Constitution. I take this oath for the brotherhood between the Kurdish people. Only the final sentence of the oath was spoken in Kurdish: "I take this oath for the brotherhood between the Turkish people and the Kurdish people."Although Zana's parliamentary immunity protected her, after she joined the Democracy Party, that party was banned and her immunity was stripped.
In December 1994, along with four other Democracy Party MPs, she was arrested and charged with treason and membership in the armed Kurdistan Workers Party and wearing the colors red, yellow. The treason charges were not put before the court, Zana denied PKK affiliation. At her sentencing, she asserted, This is a conspiracy. What I am defending is clear. I don’t accept any of these accusations. And, if they were true I’d assume responsibility for them if it cost me my life. I have defended democracy, human rights, brotherhood between peoples, and I'll keep doing so for as long. She was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. In 1994 she was awarded the Rafto Prize, in 1995, was awarded the Sakharov Prize by the European parliament, she won the Bruno Kreisky Award. In 1998 her sentence was extended because of a letter she had written, published in a Kurdish newspaper, which expressed banned pro-separatist views. While in prison she published a book titled Writings from Prison.
With Turkey applying to become a member of the European Union, the EU called for her release on human rights grounds, making its position clear by awarding Zana with the Sakharov Prize in 1995. In 2001 the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Turkey after a review of her trial. In 2002, a film named The Back of the World, directed by Spanish-Peruvian filmmaker Javier Corcuera, examined her case. In April 2004, in a trial which the defendants boycotted, their convictions and sentences were reaffirmed. In June 2004, after a prosecutor requested quashing the prior verdict on a technicality, the High Court of Appeals ordered Zana and the others released. In January 2005, the European Court of Human Rights awarded Zana and each of the other defendants 9000 € from the Turkish government, ruling Turkey had violated her rights of free expression. Soon after Zana and others announced the new political formation Democratic Society Movement. On 17 August 2005, Democratic Society Party was founded as the merger of Democratic People's Party and DTH.
As of 2007, Zana is active in human rights issues in Turkey and working in the new party she co founded in 2005. One controversial idea is her proposal to reorganize Turkey into a set of federal states, one of them being Kurdistan. In April 2008, Zana was sentenced to two years in prison by Turkish authorities for "spreading terrorist propaganda" by saying in a speech, "Kurds have three leaders, namely Massoud Barzani, Celal Talebanî and Abdullah Ocalan." Massoud Barzani is the president of the Kurdistan federal region in Iraq, Celal Talabani is the ethnic Kurdish president of Iraq, Abdullah Ocalan is the imprisoned Kurdish leader of PKK in Turkey. In December 2008, Zana was sentenced to another 10 years in prison by the Turkish court; the court ruled that she had violated the Turkish penal code and the Turkish anti-terror law in nine different speeches. The European Union Turkey Civic Commission called on the European Union and the international community to take political action and condemn Turkey for having convicted Leyla Zana to ten new years in prison.
Leyla Zana released the following statement to the EUTCC: “The case against me is a violation against freedom of thought, represents a threat to every Kurd in Turkey. T
Nadia Murad Basee Taha is an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist who lives in Germany. In 2014 she was held by the Islamic State for three months. In 2018, she and Denis Mukwege were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict", she is the first Yazidi to be awarded a Nobel prize. Murad is the founder of Nadia's Initiative, an organization dedicated to "helping women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities". Murad was born in the village of Kocho in Iraq, her family, of the Yazidi ethno-religious minority, were farmers. At the age of 19, Murad was a student living in the village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq when Islamic State fighters rounded up the Yazidi community in the village killing 600 people – including six of Nadia's brothers and stepbrothers – and taking the younger women into slavery; that year, Murad was one of more than 6,700 Yazidi women taken prisoner by Islamic State in Iraq.
She was captured on 15 September 2014. She was held as a slave in the city of Mosul, beaten, burned with cigarettes, raped when trying to escape. Nadia was able to escape. Murad was taken in by a neighbouring family, who were able to smuggle her out of the Islamic State controlled area, allowing her to make her way to a refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq, she was out of ISIS territory on early September 2014 or in November 2014. In February 2015, she gave her first testimony to reporters of the Belgian daily newspaper La Libre Belgique while she was staying in the Rwanga camp, living in a container. In 2015, she was one of 1,000 women and children to benefit from a refugee programme of the Government of Baden-Württemberg, which became her new home. On 16 December 2015, Murad briefed the United Nations Security Council on the issue of human trafficking and conflict; this was the first time the Council was briefed on human trafficking. As part of her role as an ambassador, Murad will participate in global and local advocacy initiatives to bring awareness of human trafficking and refugees.
Murad reached out to refugee and survivor communities, listening to testimonies of victims of trafficking and genocide. As of September 2016, Attorney Amal Clooney spoke before the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to discuss the decision that she had made in June 2016 to represent Murad as a client in legal action against ISIL commanders. Clooney characterized the genocide and trafficking by ISIL as a "bureaucracy of evil on an industrial scale", describing it as a slave market existing both online, on Facebook and in the Mideast, still active today. Murad has received serious threats to her safety as a result of her work. In September 2016, Murad announced Nadia's Initiative at an event hosted by Tina Brown in New York City; the initiative was intended to provide assistance to victims of genocide. That same month she was named the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human trafficking of the United Nations. On 3 May 2017, Murad met Archbishop Gallagher in the Vatican City.
During the meeting she "asked for helping Yazidis who are still in ISIS captivity, acknowledged the Vatican support for minorities, discussed the scope for an autonomous region for minorities in Iraq, highlighted the current situation and challenges facing religious minorities in Iraq and Syria the victims and internally displaced people as well as immigrants". Murad's memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, My Fight Against the Islamic State, was published by Crown Publishing Group on 7 November 2017. In 2018, director Alexandria Bombach produced a documentary film called On Her Shoulders that featured Murad's life story and activism. In August 2018, Murad became engaged to fellow Yazidi human rights activist Abid Shamdeen. 2016: First Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations 2016: Council of Europe Václav Havel Award for Human Rights 2016: Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2018: Nobel Peace Prize Nadia Murad: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, My Fight Against the Islamic State, ISBN 978-0-349-00974-2 Nadia Murad: Ich bin eure Stimme: Das Mädchen, das dem Islamischen Staat entkam und gegen Gewalt und Versklavung kämpft, ISBN 978-3-426-21429-9 On Her Shoulders Yazda Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL Ezidkhan Nadia's Initiative Nadia Murad on Twitter Yazda.org Appearances on C-SPAN
Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo is an association of Argentine mothers whose children "disappeared" during the state terrorism of the military dictatorship, between 1976 and 1983. They organized while trying to learn what had happened to their children, began to march in 1977 at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace, in public defiance of the government's state terrorism intended to silence all opposition. Wearing white head scarves to symbolize the diapers of their lost children, the mothers marched in solidarity to protest the atrocities committed by the military regime, they held the government accountable for the human rights violations they committed during their time in power. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo were the first major group to organize against these human rights violations. Together, the women created a dynamic and unexpected force, which existed in opposition to traditional constraints on women in Latin America; the mothers came together, pushed for information on their children.
In carrying out these efforts, they highlighted the human rights violations occurring, raised awareness on local and global scales. Their legacy and subsequent progress were successful due to their sustained group organization, use of symbols and slogans, silent weekly protests. Today, the Mothers are engaged in the struggle for human and civil rights in Latin America and elsewhere; the military government considered these women to be politically subversive. On April 30, 1977, Azucena Villaflor de De Vincenti and a dozen other mothers went to the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina's capital city; the women shared the experience of each having had at least one child, taken by the military government. The mothers declared that between 1970 and 1980, more than 30,000 individuals became one of the "Desaparecidos" or "the disappeared." These people were erased from public record with no government traces of arrests or charges against them. The women decided to protest, marched just across the street from the presidential office building, la Casa Rosada.
The mothers chose this site for its high visibility, hoping to gain information on and recover their children. While they held weekly marches, the mothers began an international campaign to defy the propaganda distributed by the military regime; this campaign brought the attention of the world to Argentina. The Mothers' association was made up of women who had met each other while trying to find or learn the fates of missing children. Many of the "disappeared" were believed to have been abducted by agents of the Argentine government during the years known as the Dirty War; the "disappeared" were found to have been tortured and killed before their bodies were disposed of in rural areas or unmarked graves. The original founders of the group were Azucena Villaflor de De Vincenti, Berta Braverman, Haydée García Buelas. In the years of the military regime, citizens feared attracting the government's attention. Opposition was not tolerated. By a year after the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo was founded, hundreds of women were participating, gathering in the Plaza for weekly demonstrations.
They found strength in each other by marching in public, attracted some press. They made signs with publicized their children's names; the government tried to trivialize their work by calling them "las locas". As the number of disappeared grew, the movement grew, the Mothers gained international attention during the years of the Dirty War, they began to try and build pressure by outside governments against the Argentine dictatorship by sharing the many stories of the "disappeared". On 10 December 1977, International Human Rights Day, the Mothers published a newspaper advertisement with the names of their missing children; that same night, Azucena Villaflor was kidnapped from her home in Avellaneda by a group of armed men. She is reported to have been taken to the infamous ESMA torture centre, from there on a "death flights" to the ocean off the coast. During these flights, the abducted were drugged and flung into the sea. In 1978, when Argentina's hosted the World Cup, the Mothers' demonstrations at the Plaza were covered by the international press in town for the sporting event.
The military has admitted that over 9,000 of those abducted are still unaccounted for, but the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo say that the number of missing is closer to 30,000. Most are presumed dead. Many of these prisoners were high school students, young professionals, union workers who were suspected of having opposed the government; these prisoners were below the age of 35, as were the members of the regime who tortured and murdered them. There were a disproportionate number of Jewish "disappeared" as the military was anti-Semitic, as documented in Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number; this documented the testimony of Jacobo Timerman and his experience being arres
Alexander Dubček was a Slovak politician who served as the First secretary of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from January 1968 to April 1969. He attempted to reform the communist government during the Prague Spring but was forced to resign following the Warsaw Pact invasion in August 1968. During his leadership, under the slogan of "Socialism with a human face", Czechoslovakia lifted censorship on the media and liberalized Czechoslovak society, fuelling the so-called New Wave in Czechoslovak filmography. However, he was put under pressure by Stalinist voices inside the party as well as the Soviet leadership, who disliked the direction the country was taking and feared that Czechoslovakia could loosen ties with the Soviet Union and become more westernized; as a result, the country was invaded by the other Warsaw Pact countries on 20–21 August 1968 ending the process known as the Prague Spring. Dubček was succeeded by Gustav Husák, who initiated normalization.
Dubček was expelled from the Communist Party in 1970. After the overthrow of the communist regime in 1989, he was Chairman of the federal Czechoslovak parliament. In 1989, the European Parliament awarded Dubček the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Alexander Dubček was born in Czechoslovakia on 27 November 1921; when he was three, the family moved to the Soviet Union, in part to help build socialism and in part because jobs were scarce in Czechoslovakia. In 1933, the family moved to Gorky, now Nizhny Novgorod, in 1938 returned to Czechoslovakia. During the Second World War, Alexander Dubček joined the underground resistance against the wartime pro-German Slovak state headed by Jozef Tiso. In August 1944, Dubček fought in the Jan Žižka partisan brigade during the Slovak National Uprising and was wounded twice, while his brother, Július, was killed. During the war, Alexander Dubček joined the Communist Party of Slovakia, created after the formation of the Slovak state and in 1948 was transformed into the Slovak branch of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.
After the war, he rose through the ranks in Communist Czechoslovakia. From 1951 to 1955 he was a member of the parliament of Czechoslovakia. In 1953, he was sent to the Moscow Political College, where he graduated in 1958. In 1955 he joined the Central Committee of the Slovak branch and in 1962 became a member of the presidium. In 1958 he joined the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which he served as a secretary from 1960 to 1962 and as a member of the presidium after 1962. From 1960 to 1968 he once more was a member of the federal parliament. In 1963, a power struggle in the leadership of the Slovak branch unseated Karol Bacílek and Pavol David, hard-line allies of Antonín Novotný, First Secretary of the KSČ and President of Czechoslovakia. In their place, a new generation of Slovak Communists took control of party and state organs in Slovakia, led by Alexander Dubček, who became First Secretary of the Slovak branch of the party. Under Dubček's leadership, Slovakia began to evolve toward political liberalization.
Because Novotný and his Stalinist predecessors had denigrated Slovak "bourgeois nationalists", most notably Gustáv Husák and Vladimír Clementis, in the 1950s, the Slovak branch worked to promote Slovak identity. This took the form of celebrations and commemorations, such as the 150th birthdays of 19th century leaders of the Slovak National Revival Ľudovít Štúr and Jozef Miloslav Hurban, the centenary of the Matica slovenská in 1963, the twentieth anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising. At the same time, the political and intellectual climate in Slovakia became freer than that in the Czech Lands; this was exemplified by the rising readership of Kultúrny život, the weekly newspaper of the Union of Slovak Writers, which published frank discussions of liberalization and democratization, written by the most progressive or controversial writers – both Slovak and Czech. Kultúrny život became the first Slovak publication to gain a wide following among Czechs; the Czechoslovak planned economy in the 1960s was in serious decline and the imposition of central control from Prague disappointed local Communists, while the destalinization program caused further disquiet.
In October 1967, a number of reformers, most notably Ota Šik and Alexander Dubček, took action: they challenged First Secretary Antonín Novotný at a Central Committee meeting. Novotný faced a mutiny in the Central Committee, so he secretly invited Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, to make a whirlwind visit to Prague in December 1967 in order to shore up his own position; when Brezhnev arrived in Prague and met with the Central Committee members, he was stunned to learn of the extent of the opposition to Novotný, leading Brezhnev to opt for non-interference, paving the way for the Central Committee to force Novotný's resignation. Dubček, with his background and training in Russia, was seen by the USSR as a safe pair of hands. “Our Sasha” became the new First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia on 5 January 1968. The period following Novotný's downfall became known as the Prague Spring. During this time, Dubček and other reformers sought to liberalize the Communist government—creating "socialism with a human face".
Though this loosened the party's influence on the country, Dubček remained a devoted Communist and intended to preserve the party's rule. However, during th
The European Parliament is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union, directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the Council of the European Union, which should not be confused with the European Council and the Council of Europe, it exercises the legislative function of the EU; the Parliament is composed of 751 members, that will become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world. It has been directly elected by the European citizens every five years and by universal suffrage since 1979. However, voter turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date, has been under 50% since 1999. Voter turnout in 2014 stood at 42.54% of all European voters. Although the European Parliament has legislative power, as does the Council, it does not formally possess legislative initiative, as most national parliaments of European Union member states do.
The Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU, shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council. It has equal control over the EU budget; the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is accountable to Parliament. In particular, Parliament elects the President of the Commission, approves the appointment of the Commission as a whole, it can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure. The President of the European Parliament is Antonio Tajani, elected in January 2017, he presides over a multi-party chamber, the two largest groups being the Group of the European People's Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The last union-wide elections were the 2014 elections; the European Parliament has three places of work -- Luxembourg City and Strasbourg. Luxembourg City is home to the administrative offices. Meetings of the whole Parliament take place in Brussels. Committee meetings are held in Brussels; the Parliament, like the other institutions, was not designed in its current form when it first met on 10 September 1952.
One of the oldest common institutions, it began as the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. It was a consultative assembly of 78 appointed parliamentarians drawn from the national parliaments of member states, having no legislative powers; the change since its foundation was highlighted by Professor David Farrell of the University of Manchester: "For much of its life, the European Parliament could have been justly labelled a'multi-lingual talking shop'."Its development since its foundation shows how the European Union's structures have evolved without a clear "master plan". Some, such as Tom Reid of the Washington Post, said of the union: "nobody would have deliberately designed a government as complex and as redundant as the EU"; the Parliament's two seats, which have switched several times, are a result of various agreements or lack of agreements. Although most MEPs would prefer to be based just in Brussels, at John Major's 1992 Edinburgh summit, France engineered a treaty amendment to maintain Parliament's plenary seat permanently at Strasbourg.
The body was not mentioned in the original Schuman Declaration. It was assumed or hoped that difficulties with the British would be resolved to allow the Council of Europe's Assembly to perform the task. A separate Assembly was introduced during negotiations on the Treaty as an institution which would counterbalance and monitor the executive while providing democratic legitimacy; the wording of the ECSC Treaty demonstrated the leaders' desire for more than a normal consultative assembly by using the term "representatives of the people" and allowed for direct election. Its early importance was highlighted when the Assembly was given the task of drawing up the draft treaty to establish a European Political Community. By this document, the Ad Hoc Assembly was established on 13 September 1952 with extra members, but after the failure of the proposed European Defence Community the project was dropped. Despite this, the European Economic Community and Euratom were established in 1958 by the Treaties of Rome.
The Common Assembly was shared by all three communities and it renamed itself the European Parliamentary Assembly. The first meeting was held on 19 March 1958 having been set up in Luxembourg City, it elected Schuman as its president and on 13 May it rearranged itself to sit according to political ideology rather than nationality; this is seen as the birth of the modern European Parliament, with Parliament's 50 years celebrations being held in March 2008 rather than 2002. The three communities merged their remaining organs as the European Communities in 1967, the body's name was changed to the current "European Parliament" in 1962. In 1970 the Parliament was granted power over areas of the Communities' budget, which were expanded to the whole budget in 1975. Under the Rome Treaties, the Parliament should have become elected. However, the Council was required to agree a uni
Ladies in White
Ladies in White is an opposition movement in Cuba founded in 2003 by wives and other female relatives of jailed dissidents. The women protest the imprisonments by attending Mass each Sunday wearing white dresses and silently walking through the streets dressed in white clothing; the color white is chosen to symbolize peace. The movement received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament in 2005. During the Black Spring in 2003, the Cuban government arrested and summarily tried and sentenced 75 human rights activists, independent journalists, independent librarians to terms of up to 28 years in prison. For its part, the Cuban government accused the 75 individuals of "acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state", including belonging to "illegal organizations", accepting money from the United States Interests Section in Havana and of "hijacking", "terrorist activities", collaborating with foreign media. In the view of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Black Spring violated the most basic norms of international law, including Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees everyone the right to "seek and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice."Under the leadership of Laura Pollán, the Ladies in White group was formed two weeks after the arrests.
Relatives of the prisoners began gathering on Sundays at St. Rita's Church in Havana to pray for their relatives. After each Mass, they began a ritual procession from the church to a nearby park; the white clothing they wear is reminiscent of the Argentine Madres de Plaza de Mayo, who used a similar strategy to demand information about their missing children from the 1970s military junta. Each marcher wears a button with a photo of her jailed relative and the number of years to which he has been sentenced; the Cuban government has criticized the Ladies in White for being a subversive association of American-backed terrorists. On Palm Sunday in 2005, the pro-government Federation of Cuban Women sent 150 women to counter-protest the group. At times, sizable mobs have attacked the Ladies in White, yelling insults at them, assisting the police to throw them into police buses. However, since Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino intervened on their behalf in 2010, they have been allowed to protest outside of his church.
In 2005, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was awarded jointly to Reporters without Borders, Nigerian human rights lawyer Huawa Ibrahim, the Ladies in White. Five of the leaders of the movement were selected to receive the prize: Laura Pollán, whose husband Hector Maseda is serving a 20-year sentence; some of the women were prevented from visiting their husbands to tell them of the award, but Laura Pollán told the Wall Street Journal that those who were told "are happy and proud". The Cuban government barred the group's leaders from attending the Sakharov Prize award ceremony in Strasbourg, drawing an appeal on the group's behalf from the European Parliament. Berta Soler received the award on the organization's behalf on her first-ever trip abroad in 2013, she was allowed to leave due to Cuba easing its travel regulations. The Cuban government alleges that the Ladies in White were created and financially sustained by the U. S. government as a means of destabilizing Cuba. Although it is unclear if the United States had a role in creating the organization, classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show that the U.
S. Interests Section requested funding for the Ladies in White and that working with the group figures prominently in the section’s activities. At a protest in Havana on November 30, 2010, group member Ivonne Malleza Galano was arrested along with her husband Ignacio Martínez Montejo, she and her husband were holding a banner reading "Stop hunger and poverty in Cuba" in Havana's Fraternity Park. Two police officers confiscated the banner, handcuffed her and Martínez, put them into a police vehicle as a surrounding crowd demanded their release; when onlooker and fellow protester Isabel Haydee Alvarez Mosqueda objected to their arrest, she was detained as well. Malleza and Alvarez were both transferred to Havana's Manto Negro women’s jail; the three prisoners were held without charge, though their relatives were told the three were being investigated for "public disorder". The three arrests were denounced by numerous human rights groups, including the Havana-based Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation, which described the three prisoners as "three people who staged a small peaceful protest on the streets without any kind of force or violence".
Amnesty International named the three prisoners of conscience and called for their immediate and unconditional release. The Irish-based organization Front Line called for their release on 15 December 2011. On 13 January 2012, US Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, Albio Sires, David Rivera issued a bipartisan statement urging the prisoners' release, calling their detention "appalling and unjust". US Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez issued a statement calling for their release and condemning the "unrelenting tyranny" of "the Castro brothers". Malleza, Martínez, Alvarez were released on 20 January after 52 days in prison.