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Crucial injustices not just in past

For a period of 25 years, civilians of East Timor lived in fear as Indonesia occupied the now-independent country located just north of Australia.

Elizabeth Drexler, an associate professor from Michigan State University, will visit Ohio University to lecture on the human rights violations that took place in the period of time that East Timor was occupied, from 1975-1999.

Drexler, director of the peace and justice program at Michigan State, has researched and written extensively on the subject.

Her current project is studying how historical narratives have shaped the injustices that occurred in East Timor, according to her Michigan State biography. Human rights violations included starvation, execution and torture.

Drexler’s lecture is being held by the OHIO Anthropology Club, STAND Against Genocide, the War and Peace studies Program, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Students for Law, Justice & Culture. It will be held in Baker Center, at the Multi-Cultural Center.

Krista Mobley, co-president of STAND, said the talk goes hand-in-hand with what STAND hopes to accomplish, which is providing education about injustice throughout the world.

“It is important to be educated about injustices in the past and the future,” said Mobley, a senior studying war and peace. “I think things like this can inspire people (to help), and I hope that (Drexler) will do that. I think that she could.”

Mark Clemente, vice-president of the Anthropology Club, said the lecture is an opportunity for students to realize that human rights violations and events such as genocide are still very real problems, not something that just happened in the past.

This is also the first time that the Anthropology Club has collaborated with STAND, and Clemente said it will not be the last.

“Considering STAND and what they work for, this is their main interest so working with them was just a logical choice,” Clemente said.

The talk is the second in a series called Anthropology of International Justice.

The first event last week was a panel titled Imagining International Justice. Next week’s event will be a talk by Sarah Wagner, an assistant professor of Anthropology at George Washington University.


If You Go

What: Elizabeth Drexler Lecture: Human Rights in East TImor and Indonesia

When: 5 p.m., Tuesday

Where: Multicultural Center, Baker University Center

Admission: Free

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