2004-05-07

Mothers' Day Message

from iAbolish

Dear Reader,

This Sunday, as you celebrate Mother's Day, I urge you to
consider a startling fact -- the overwhelming majority of slaves
today are women and children -- mothers, sons and daughters.
From Brazil to Bombay, from San Diego to Sudan, millions of
mothers and their children are not free to celebrate Mother's
Day.

One of them might well be Naseem Siraj, whose story has recently
made the pages of the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. She
traveled to Oman in hopes of finding employment to support her
children back in India. From there, she says she was trafficked
to a suburb of Boston, where she was exploited into domestic
slavery and separated from her children. Thanks to the work of
dedicated abolitionists, she is now free.

The American Anti-Slavery Group speaks out on behalf of slaves.
Indeed, our leading spokespeople are themselves survivors of
slavery: Francis Bok, author of the gripping autobiography
"Escape from Slavery," and Abuk Bak, an escaped slave and mother
who recently confronted the Sudanese ambassador to the U.S.
demanding reparations and an apology for Khartoum's egregious
record of human rights abuses that continue today.

Indeed, this Mother's Day is being overshadowed by a stream of
news reports out of Sudan describing the government's ethnic
cleansing of African Muslim tribes in the Darfur region. As we
mark the tenth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, a genocide
looms in Western Sudan.

As part of the Sudanese government's ethnic cleansing campaign,
militiamen raid villages, destroying houses, murdering civilians
and abducting women and children in a fashion disturbingly
similar to the slave raids that have plagued Southern Sudan for
decades.

While UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan recently voiced concern
about the destructive raids in Darfur, the Sudanese government
was just re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights
Commission.

Yet while the slave masters sit at the United Nations, we will
not be silent. This Mother's Day we are launching an emergency
appeal to help us continue to speak truth to power -- to give
mothers like Abuk Bak a global platform to confront slave
masters. With your support, millions silenced in slavery around
the world at last have a voice.

We appeal to you to make a donation today in honor of your
mother. Just visit www.iabolish.com/donate to donate online or
call us toll-free at 1-800-884-0719. We thank you so much for
your support as we seek to stop ethnic cleansing and rescue
mothers and their children from slavery.

In Freedom,

Charles Jacobs