International Calls For Vietnam To Free Land Rights Activists As Fifth, Teacher Le Trong Hung, Is Jailed

Vietnam jails fifth land rights activist and teacher Le Trong Hung for social media posts
Viet Nam: UN Experts Appalled By Conviction Of Four Human Rights Defenders
Vietnam: Free Land Rights Activists
Trinh Ba Phuong, Nguyen Thi Tam Face Long Imprisonment
Photos of Nguyen Thi Tam (right) and Trinh Ba Phuong (left), wearing a shirt that says “Human Rights” and carrying a sign that reads, “[You] cannot rob human rights from us, the people!”
Update: On December 15, 2021, a Hanoi court sentenced Trinh Ba Phuong to 10 years in prison and five years of probation after his release. The court sentenced Nguyen Thi Tam to six years in prison and three years of probation after her release.
(New York) – The Vietnamese authorities should immediately drop politically motivated charges and release two land rights activists in Hanoi, Human Rights Watch said today.
Police arrested Nguyen Thi Tam and Trinh Ba Phuong in June 2020 for having “prepared, published and disseminated video clips and writing with distorted contents that sow confusion among the people in order to oppose the State,” in violation of Article 117 of the Penal Code. A court in Hanoi is scheduled to hear their cases on December 15, 2021. If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in prison.
“The Vietnamese government is using criminal law to intimidate and shut down people peacefully protesting against land confiscation,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should release these two activists and all others arrested and imprisoned under Article 117, and abolish this abusive law.”
Article 117 of the Penal Code broadly prohibits “making, storing, disseminating or propagandizing information, materials and products that aim to oppose the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”
In 2021 alone, at least 16 people – including the prominent independent bloggers Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy, and Pham Chi Thanh – have been convicted and sentenced to prison for violating Article 117. Another 11 people, including the rights activist Nguyen Thuy Hanh, have been arrested and are being held in pre-trial detention under that article.
Nguyen Thi Tam, 49, has protested against land confiscation in Hanoi’s Duong Noi commune since the mid 2000s. In June 2008 she participated in a public protest outside the People’s Committee of the then-Ha Tay provincial headquarters. In November 2008 a court put Nguyen Thi Tam and other villagers on trial for “resisting people on public duty,” convicted her, and sentenced her to a suspended 12-month prison sentence.
Trinh Ba Phuong, 36, comes from a family of land rights activists. Over the past decade, he has joined his mother, Can Thi Theu, his father, Trinh Ba Khiem, and younger brother, Trinh Ba Tu, in numerous protests and campaigns in support of human rights, land rights, and environmental protection. The authorities arrested his father in April 2014 during a government land confiscation in Duong Noi for “resisting against those who are on public duties,” under Article 257 of the Penal Code, and imprisoned him for 14 months. His mother previously served two prison terms – 15 months beginning in 2014 and 20 months in 2016.
On the same day that Trinh Ba Phuong was arrested in Hanoi, the police in Hoa Binh province also arrested his mother and brother on the same charge. Prior to their arrests, the three family members were instrumental in amplifying the voices of farmers at Hanoi’s Dong Tam commune, where a police raid in January 2020 resulted in the deaths of an 84-year-old farmer, Le Dinh Kinh, and three policemen. Trinh Ba Phuong was one of the authors of the “Dong Tam Report,” which shed light on the violent land clash. In October 2020 the police arrested another author of the Dong Tam Report, the prominent dissident Pham Doan Trang. A court in Hanoi is scheduled to hear her case on November 4.
In May, Trinh Ba Phuong’s mother and brother, Can Thi Theu and Trinh Ba Tu, were each sentenced to eight years in prison. Upon being asked their names at the trial, both said “my name is Victim of the Communist [regime].” Both have appealed their verdicts. Recently, a family member told Radio Free Asia that police allegedly beat Trinh Ba Tu during his arrest in June 2020, sending him to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Both Trinh Ba Phuong and Trinh Ba Tu appear to have anticipated their arrests. On the day they were arrested, pre-recorded videos were posted on Facebook in which they expressed concern that they might be tortured and killed by police. They asked supporters and family members to publicly display their bodies if they were killed to expose the crimes against them.
In February 2020 the police newspaper labeled Nguyen Thi Tam, Trinh Ba Phuong, Trinh Ba Tu, and Can Thi Theu “opposing reactionary” persons who “collected and disseminated” news about the deadly Dong Tam commune clash.
“Land confiscation has become one of Vietnam’s most heated rights issues, and the government’s repressive response has made the situation worse,” Robertson said. “The government should recognize people’s rights to protest and seek a fair and transparent process to negotiate adequate compensation for losing land.”

Alaskan Log Cabin Building Dick Proenneke Film: Alone In The Wilderness (2003)

How to build a log cabin in a season which will last a lifetime or more, using only hand tools and minimal provisions.

There were 4 one hour videos produced on Dick Proennekes life up at Twin Lakes. Dick Proenneke in “Alone in the Wilderness” is the story of Dick Proenneke living in the Alaska wilderness. Dick filmed his adventures so he could show his relatives in the lower 48 states what life was like in Alaska, building his cabin, hunting for food and exploring the area. Bob Swerer has taken the best footage from Dick’s films and he has created 4 videos about Dick, “Alone in the Wilderness”, “Alone in the Wilderness part 2”, “Alaska, Silence and Solitude” and “The Frozen North”. You can purchase all of them in DVD format from the website.

dick proennekes cabin at twin lakes in lake clark national Richard Proenneke Cabin – Cabin Plans Inspiration

Proenneke’s Cabin

Richard L. Proenneke’s cabin at Upper Twin Lake stands out for the remarkable craftsmanship that reflects his unshakable wilderness ethic. He built the cabin using only hand tools, many of which he fashioned himself.
Richard Proenneke built his cabin during the summers of 1967 and 1968 using mostly local materials and simple hand held tools. For many of these, he brought in steel parts and made the handles with local wood. When tools broke, he chose to repair them, rather than to buy new replacements. While his cabin is neither the first nor the largest ever built in the Alaskan Bush, it does stand out for his remarkable craftsmanship in building it, and the fact that he filmed the entire construction process.

The cabin is a roughly 12-foot by 16-foot structure built of peeled, round spruce logs, carefully saddle notched at the corners. It has a gable roof made of spruce poles, covered by sod and moss.There are three windows. One on the west side, 23 inches by 14 inches, is a single thin plastic panel. The other western window, also thin plastic, is the largest in the cabin, measuring 26-inches by 30-inches. Along the east wall is a 26-inch by 15-inch window. The handmade Dutch door includes beautifully worked wooden hinges and a wooden lock. A beach stone fireplace rises from the south wall.
Proenneke had originally covered his cabin and woodshed-outhouse with moss that he obtained within 25 yards of his site. However, moss requires a great deal of moisture to sustain itself on a roof and the relatively dry Twin Lakes environment was not conducive to that. Over thirty years Proenneke added more moss, dirt, and grass seed to his roof resulting in a thin amalgamated mat of all three components.
In keeping with his wilderness values, Proenneke lived in this cabin for 30 years without electricity, running water, a telephone, or other modern conveniences.

The log cache, or raised storage shed, is located eleven feet south of the cabin. It is 6-feet by 4-feet, built of peeled locally harvested spruce logs that are saddle notched. The cache sits on 9-foot poles. Proenneke accessed the cache with a ladder he hand crafted using local materials.
Traditional Athabascan caches in the region sit on much shorter poles, but they are typically located in busy villages where the activity of people and dogs help to keep wildlife away. Knowing that he would be alone in the wilderness, Proenneke chose to build his cache on taller poles to help decrease the odds of a bear breaking in. The tin wrapped around the poles is designed to prevent smaller rodents from climbing all the way to the top.

Woodshed / Outhouse
Proenneke located his combined woodshed/outhouse approximately 45 feet east of the cabin. It is made of peeled locally harvested spruce poles, saddle notched at the south end and nailed to corner posts at the north end. The structure is modeled along the lines of an Adirondack shelter, with a slanting shed roof. Proenneke stored many of his tools, along with the wood pile he never let dwindle too low, in this shed.
The eastern third of the shed contains a 33-inch wide outhouse complete with a half-moon carved through the door.

The cabin and outbuildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. The site is recognized nationally for its stature as an excellent and well-known example of an Alaskan bush log cabin. It is also recognized for Richard Proenneke’s voice in the preservation of wilderness in Alaska. Proenneke’s interests, talents, and circumstances made him influential in shaping and educating the public about the wisdom of conservation of our natural world.

West Bank Land Grabs: Israeli Settlers Are Establishing Farms To Push Palestinians Off Their Land

Israeli settlers are establishing farms to push Palestinians off their land

Israeli settler violence in the West Bank isn’t an isolated incident. Rather, nearly every week settlers from nearby agricultural outposts terrorize the Palestinians of Masafer Yatta as they take over their land.

On the morning of Nov. 10, Israeli settlers erected sheep pens on Palestinian agricultural land next to the Masafer Yatta hamlet of Khallet a-Daba’ in the West Bank. By the evening, the Israeli army dismantled the illegal outpost, and in response, the settlers rioted against the Khallet a-Daba’ community. They threw stones. They shattered car windshields. They uprooted olive trees. They set a hut ablaze. They fired guns.

This violence isn’t an isolated incident. Rather, nearly every week settlers from nearby agricultural outposts are terrorizing the Palestinians as they take over their land.

Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem highlighted the attacks originating from settler farms in a new report released last week. In it, B’Tselem stated 50 outposts have been built in the West Bank over the last decade — with about 40 of them used for sheep, goat and cattle herding.

Seemingly unsatisfied with these land-grabs, settler ranchers are also actively assaulting Palestinians whose land they’ve stolen as Palestinian journalist and activist, Basil al-Adraa, described.

“They organize very big attacks against us especially on Saturday and on the Jewish holidays. They use these holidays to collect tens and dozens of settlers. They come armed with slingshots, sticks and hammers. At least from May until today, seven of these organized attacks were committed against my community,” al-Adraa said during a joint Breaking the Silence and Na’amod webinar on settler violence.

According to B’Tselem, from the beginning of 2020 to the end of September 2021 451 settler attacks have occurred against Palestinians and their property, with more than half directed at Palestinian farmers.

This figure did not include the Jordan Valley in the northern West Bank, an area experiencing settler violence daily and something farmer Fawzi Daraghmeh is all too familiar with.

“Settlers attack my goats, hitting them in the stomach, in the head and in the legs,” Daraghmeh said. “They’re always trying to provoke my family and me and if any of us say anything, the settlers will just call the army and tell them we attacked them.”

Since 2019, Daraghmeh has lost about 250 acres of farmland to the Um Zuqa settler farm. The amount of grazing land stolen is harder to quantify, he said, but estimated losing hundreds of acres to settlers.

We’re talking about a system, which has a lot of knowledge and experience. It’s not like someone woke up in the morning and decided they wanted to be a cowboy.

Dror Etkes

Calculations done by Israeli land policy organization, Kerem Navot, as part of B’Tselem’s report, found settler farms in the Jordan Valley, Masafer Yatta and other parts of the West Bank have taken over nearly 7,000 acres in the last five years. However, this number does not include the entirety of the West Bank, which Kerem Navot founder, Dror Etkes, said the organization is currently measuring.

From Etkes’ conclusions, the phenomenon of settler farms is intentionally entwined with state policy.

“The most important thing [for Israel] right now is to get Palestinians out of the larger areas in Area C. And in order to do that, you need to contract settlers to get these Palestinians out, and that’s exactly what these farms are doing,” Etkes said.

As emphasized in B’Tselem’s report, most agricultural outposts are built with state support in the form of infrastructure, water and farming subsidies.

“Someone tells the military to guard the settlements. Someone designated the land to begin with and decided where the outpost is going to be. So, we’re talking about a system, which has a lot of knowledge and experience. It’s not like someone woke up in the morning and decided they wanted to be a cowboy,” Etkes said.

Settlers as a tool of the state

And while settlers are scoring subsidies, Palestinian farmers are losing money.

Ali Awad, a Palestinian activist from the hamlet of Tuba in Masafer Yatta, comes from a family of shepherds whose primary source of income has been eradicated by encroaching settler farms.

Instead of having their sheep graze on the hillside, Ali’s family now purchases bales of hay to feed their animals. “We lost our whole traditional lifestyle,” Ali said. Even the manufactured livestock feed isn’t immune to settler attacks. In June, settlers burned a year’s supply of hay bales Ali’s family bought.

“Settler violence is only part of Israeli colonist goals. These people are used as tools — justified by racist laws — for committing ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians.”

Ali Awad

Settler expansion has crippled Masafer Yatta’s economy. Two-thirds of the families in Tuba have left in the last decade. From Ali’s vantage point, the purpose of these agricultural outposts is to “evict Palestinians.”

“Settler violence is only part of Israeli colonist goals,” Ali said. “These people are used as tools — justified by racist laws — for committing ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians.”

With the high price of animal feed and without room to graze, Ali’s family is becoming hopeless.

“Every day we think about leaving,” Jaber Awad, Ali’s uncle, said. “Walking 100 meters [330 feet] out of the home means a settler is standing in front of you and your flock.”

Like the Awad family, Daraghmeh in the Jordan Valley feels trapped. “Because of these outposts, I feel like I am in jail with my sheep and goats. We can’t move. We can’t go anywhere.”

a landrights campaign for Britain

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