Good News Friday

As of last night, the Mavericks are one game away from winning the NBA title and defeating that pesky James/Wade duo in Miami. If THAT isn’t enough good news, here’s some more:

Hollywood Unites for Iranian Filmmakers

Iranian artists have it tough. They are certainly at extremely high risk for wrongful imprisonment or becoming prisoners of conscience. So now Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and other famous filmmakers have banded together to defend Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof. Read the article above for more info.

Sure there’s always a risk when celebrities get behind some cause that they’ll make it into something self-serving or silly. But considering the TV show Dallas had enough of an impact on Romania in the 80s to help spur on revolution, there’s probably a place for famous artists to raise awareness. Besides, as messed up as this may be, Opie can still do no wrong in my eyes.

Refugee Case Highlights Global Plight of Ahmadi Muslims

The Ahmadi Muslims remind me a lot of 19th-century Mormons. They believe in a separate prophet from regular Muslims, and for that reason they are persecuted in traditional Muslim communities.

Because Thailand does not recognize refugees, they treat anyone who flees there as an illegal immigrant. When a group of almost 100 Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims fled to Thailand, they were raided and detained for months in cramped and unsanitary conditions.

But by being detained, they were also unable to resettle to another country besides Thailand. So with sad irony, Thailand planned to detain them long-term rather than offering a short-term solution while they sought resettlement elsewhere. Thanks to a generous bail donation, the refugees, including a large group of children and an infant, were freed on Monday.

New Phone Line in UK to Crack Down on Human Trafficking

An anti-slavery group called STOP THE TRAFFICK has helped UK law enforcement to launch a new phone line for victims of human trafficking. The free number is 0800 783 2589. It can be used by victims or anyone suspecting that trafficking might be happening in their community.

The US already has a phone line dedicated to human trafficking, thanks to the work of Polaris Project. The # is 1-888-3737-888. You can also submit info on their website.

Have a great weekend!

(Photo by Lars Sundström)

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