Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

The Week In Review

Nestora Salgado-Garcia continues her hunger strike in a Mexican prison—In what is being called an unjust and inhuman imprisonment by Congressmen Adam Smith and Senator Patty Murray, Nestora Salgoda remains held in a Mexican detainment center. A citizen from Renton , Wa., Salgoda was working in Mexico in August 2013 when arrested for her association with the indigenous . Working with a small indigenous community in the village of Olinalá, she was helping promote indigenous justice systems. These local institutions, although legal under Mexican law, suddenly faced criticism when they found a local official representing the Mexican government committing crimes. Salgoda was immediately taken by Mexican authorities and denied both legal rights and basic necessities. As of May 5 she is refusing to eat for the sixth day as a personal protest to her conditions.

This arrest comes after years of criticisms from both international actors as well as Mexicans over government corruption. Recently, Mexican candidates for local elections have been killed, with many NGOs pointing to their anti-cartel stances as proof of political assassinations. On top of outrage from top Washington politicians, several UN councils have expressed concern over Salgado’s situation, calling for urgent action by the Mexican Government. Her supporters are worried about her basic health, as she has repeatedly been denied access to medical care and Salgado reported that she has been tortured via injections. Currently her local supporters, Washington state politicians, and international human rights actors are calling for action by the United States government to force her release.

Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death—After 14 hours of deliberation, a jury found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on Friday, May 15. The trial comes close to a year after the bombings during the Boston Marathon, which killed three and injured over 260. He was convicted on 30 federal charges including use bombing of a place of public use, use of a weapon of mass destruction, and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. 17 of the 30 counts were grounds for the death sentence. Tsarnaev had repeatedly admitted to his lawyers and the jury that he was guilty of the crime, and his defense hoped to show that he was a minor accomplice with his brother planning most of the bombing.

The jury repeatedly admitted they were conflicted with the moral weight of killing a young man, yet saw the sentence as necessary given the aggravating circumstances. They asked the judge for multiple clarifications, and deliberated for a much longer time than was expected given the public outcry. Yet for them, they had to keep in mind the cries from those whose loved ones were killed by the bombings. Now convicted, he will be put to death by lethal injection.

Rohingya Migrants Stranded in the Andaman Sea—Huddled on boats in the thousands, ethnic Rohingya are still sea locked in south Asia. After fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh, they have been repeatedly refused by South Asian governments. They hoped to find a new home free of persecution, but now they are forced to throw their dead overboard as food and supplies start to run short. Human Rights Watch, Senator John Kerry, and many other prominent actors on human rights are calling for Thailand, Australia, or any government to offer the migrants temporary shelter.

The Muslim migrants themselves spoke of the persecution they faced, many even being forced into human trafficking in societies where they were marginalized. For South Asian governments, they speak to concerns over taking in a migration of this size. Nations like Indonesia and Cambodia are expressing difficulties with social tensions if the Rohingya are allowed to land. Others like Thailand fear problems with introducing another Islamic group into their country, as Thailand itself continues to deal with Islamic insurgency in its northern region. Although food and basic aid is now being airdropped to the migrants, the main fear of human rights activists is the status of the boats, which appear to be in danger of sinking at any moment.

US cited for human rights violations by UN—In their second review on human rights in the United States, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council continues to condemn actions taken by the US government. Continuing from their previous citations from late 2014, the Council called to the use of the death penalty, torture, and the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility as signals of human rights abuses. This investigation is a routine one, as every member country must face a peer review in a four year cycle. Yet most criticism has come from council members who state that the US is not doing enough to resolve its violations.

The main focus of the citations was police brutality. After events in Ferguson and Baltimore, international concern has arose over the use of force against citizens. Nations like China and Turkey called out to these abuses as evidence that the situation has clearly deteriorated. Other members such as Chad expressed concern over racial violence, as their delegate stated that the US’s image has forever been tarnished. The US Department of Justice has responded to the events by launching numerous investigations, yet has not yet responded to UN criticism.

Blues legend BB King dies at age 89—Last Thursday guitarist and musician BB King passed away. His life and passion inspired a generation of artists. From Eric Clapton of Cream to Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, his unique guitar style was seen as a beacon for aspiring young musicians. He was known for giving a guitar to Pope John Paul II and even performing for
George W. Bush.

Born in the rural Mississippi Delta, he worked as a cotton picker until he was taught how to play the guitar by a preacher. He used the blues as a tool to connect with the problems of the world, harnessing his own impoverished birth to find a bond with all people. BB King was known for his perseverance, and toured more than the vast majority of musicians, yet he saw it as upholding tradition. For his fans as well as his family, this tradition will not be forgotten. King’s memorial service will be held this Saturday, and his attorney has stated that he will be buried in the Mississippi town of his birth.

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