FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2009
OREGON ACTIVISTS JOIN MIA FARROW IN HUNGER STRIKE FOR SUDANESE FAMILIES
PORTLAND, OR — Oregon activists will join actress and activist Mia Farrow in the Darfur Fast for Life – a hunger strike in solidarity with the people of Darfur, Sudan. Oregonians begin their fast in solidarity with those starving in Darfur and for lasting peace in Sudan as an expression of outrage for the world’s inaction to the genocide.
For up to 35 days, Oregon activists will starve themselves with either a water-only or Refugee Ration fast (totaling the 1,017 calories daily), which includes the basic wheats, salts, and peas displaced Darfuris receive in refugee camps.
Farrow, Oregon activists and other participants are calling for the immediate restoration of all aid services and unimpeded access for aid workers to the refugee population, which provide a lifeline to 4.7 million people in the area. In addition, Farrow is calling for a credible process to bring lasting peace and justice to Sudan and a world in which the human rights of all humans are respected.
Said Farrow, “I hope human rights advocates and citizens of conscience around the world will join me in some form of fasting, even if for one day. And when I can no longer continue, I pray another will take my place, and another, until finally there is justice and peace for Darfur’s people.”
Since 2003, over 400,000 families and children have died and over 2.5 million displaced as a result of the genocide. Over the last month, the genocide in Darfur has grown exponentially dire. Sudan’s President Omaral al-Bashir expelled 16 aid agencies from the region after he was indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes. Food, water, medicine, and shelter supplies, which were already alarmingly scarce, are beginning to run out in the camps for the internally displaced.
Still, the world continues to watch as more innocents die as a result of inaction.
Said Portland, OR resident Najam Haq, “I am tired of feeling helpless, dis-enfranchised, un-empowered. I am tired of having to smother my conscience in waiting for my leaders whose conscience seems to have taken a prolonged leave of absence. I feel that I personally need to do something. So I am beginning the process of change with actions upon that part of myself that I have control over. My own personal will. With this will in hand I shall fast in support of the people of Darfur, for as long as my body will permit. I hope to broadcast an unequivocal message, that what is happening in Darfur is not acceptable. Absolutely not acceptable.”
Darfur Fast for Life will host a webpage dedicated to Oregon fasters, providing video and blog posts throughout the Darfur Fast for Life at www.fastdarfur.org.