Could Santa Angelina Jolie and her man get any better?
Ange and Brad Pitt's non-profit org, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, has just donated another $1 million - this time to fund the Human Rights Watch's work in Burma and Zimbabwe.
The gift will allow the Human Rights Watch to continue to document and expose the inhumane treatment in both countries and urge for a change.
The grant from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation will be used to fund research and advocacy in the countries.
Kenneth Roth, the executive director at HRW said, "Burma and Zimbabwe are two of the most repressive countries in the world and we need to increase international pressure on them to change."
Roth added, "Brad and Angelina's investment in our work at this critical moment will allow intensified efforts by our researchers to expose the repression that these governments try to keep hidden and by our advocates to generate the global pressure needed to improve people's lives."
If only everyone was as generous as Ange!
CLICK HERE to read all about the issues in Bruma and Zimbawe.
[Image via Fame Pictures.]
According to HRW:
"Human Rights Watch researchers have documented systematic abuses committed by Burma's authoritarian military government as it clings to power, including the brutal crackdown on democracy protests in September 2007and the sham referendum conducted in the wake of the devastating Cyclone Nargis in May 2008. Burma recruits thousands of child soldiers as young as 10 denies the International Committee of the Red Cross access to its prisons, and still uses landmines, a weapon banned by most of the rest of the world. The government persecutes ethnic minorities and it plunders Burma's vast resources, earning billions from sales of petroleum, timber, and gems, and enjoying cozy relations with governments and companies eager to exploit its natural wealth, while its population suffers in poverty and oppression.
Burma's military government has announced parliamentary elections for 2010 aimed at keeping the military in power. Governments such as China and Thailand have welcomed the elections as a sign of progress, despite rules that exclude many government opponents from running or even voting. Human Rights Watch has long called for a return to civilian rule and a genuine political dialogue that includes Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, her National League for Democracy (which won Burma's last elections in 1990 but were not allowed to form a government by Burma's military), and Burma's many ethnic groups.
Human Rights Watch said it will continue to expose government abuses and the lack of basic freedoms, including the right to participate in free and fair elections, while pressing the international community to take a tougher line with this repressive and duplicitous military government.
Zimbabwe's people have long suffered severe abuses under the brutal government of Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party. In March 2008 Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won a first round of presidential elections despite efforts by Mugabe and the ZANU-PF party to rig the vote through violence and intimidation. Since then, Human Rights Watch has documented the killing of 150 opposition party supporters and the abduction, beating, and torture of thousands by ruling party allies. Huge numbers of Zimbabweans have very little access to food due to the government's obstruction of food aid, and the economic and political crises have caused 1.5 million Zimbabweans to stream across the border into South Africa.
Zimbabwe is on the brink of complete collapse but a power-sharing deal agreed on September 15, 2008, with the MDC could bring some change if implemented and if the Mugabe government immediately ends its crimes. Human Rights Watch researchers will continue to investigate human rights abuses and press for prosecution of responsible officials, the.release of political prisoners, the dismantling of torture camps and unrestricted access for humanitarian agencies to all those in need.
Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization that conducts rigorous, in-depth investigations of human rights abuses and strategic, targeted advocacy to build intense pressure for action and to raise the cost of such abuse. Human Rights Watch is funded by private donations and does not accept any government funds, directly or indirectly. Pitt and Jolie join the many generous individuals and foundations who make Human Rights Watch's work possible."