The Senate's latest push to bring back kangaroo courts for good through the reinstatement of Military Commissions is a stark reminder that the fundamental principles of freedom and justice our country were founded on are still under as great a threat as ever.
Think we've turned the page on the policies of the Bush era? Think again. Provisions included in legislation that's currently before the Senate passed in the House last week as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 would make kangaroo courts a permanent fixture of the U.S. justice system, even for minors.
The military commissions were designed by politicians who caved to fear instead of standing up for American ideals of justice. These courts fail to meet standards for fairness upheld worldwide as well as by our very own federal government and armed forces.
We must hold those responsible for terrorism to account. But real justice requires real courts.
Act now. Stand with us as we stand against failed Bush policies that threaten to be passed into law.
Right now, Amnesty is conducting an all-out effort to send Congress the message that Bush-era torture policy belongs in the past. We're getting the word out to activists in key districts, phone-banking Congressional offices, meeting with legislative allies on the hill and organizing rallies.
We're also running targeted ads in one of the most-read publications on Capitol Hill and in the D.C. Metro stations that legislators and their staff pass through every day.
Help us continue to rally people nationwide who understand that our greatest strength is our commitment to freedom and justice.
Reversing the damage done under the Bush administration has proven to be no easy task and it's clear that there will be more challenges ahead.
But we must reverse these policies if we are to restore human rights in the United States and remove the stain left on our reputation in the global community.
Thank you for standing with us today
Policy Director, (Counter) Terrorism and Human Rights
Amnesty International USA
CIGNA Insurance Refuses Dawn Smith Treatment For Tumour
Health & Wellness
- 3 minutes ago - pol.moveon.org
Stop Housing Demolitions and Forced Evictions in NDjamena
Since February 2008, tens of thousands of people have been made homeless after being forcibly evicted from their homes in Chads capital, NDjamena. Satellite images acquired by Amnesty International showed that about 3,700 structures had been destroyed in the city in a 12-month period, causing irreparable damage to the livelihoods of so many residents of NDjamena. Amnesty International has confirmed that many of these evictions were illegal and in violation of international human rights standards and Chadian law. Call on the Chadian government to immediately cease all forced evictions and ensure that the rights of victims of forced evictions are respected.
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Role of women in the protests is extremely important. Please
help those who still rely on us for support; Sign the petition.
They beat them with AXE, electric batons, Lashes, Knives and shot them.
They tortured them, raped sometimes as live eyewitnesses reported from night to dawn in gangs. Mothers raped while sons and daughters were made to listen next door to her pleads...
Nightmare comes live. Please help by singing and distributing;
Please share your feelings through this petition.
With that in mind, Amnesty International has compiled powerful letters written by 10 influential thinkers from an exiled poet to a former military interrogator to an esteemed actor and activist that boldly make the case against torture.
These letters could not come at a more critical time. News reports last weekend stated that Attorney General Eric Holder is considering naming a special prosecutor to look into Bush-era torture. Ever since Obama's first days in office, Amnesty activists and their allies have called on the administration to investigate abuses committed during Bush's tenure and prosecute former officials where warranted.
While we're still obtaining details on the shape of the investigation, it's clear that we're making headway in our fight for accountability.
These ten letters describe what torture does to its victims, how it undermines our spirit, and what it does to a country that lets those who authorized it go unpunished. With your help, we want to make sure that these letters make their way directly to President Obama's desk.
Read the Ten Against Torture letters and send the one you find most moving to President Obama.
Each letter is a passionate plea to President Obama to restore the United States' reputation, respect the rule of law, and act on values and ideals fundamental to the America we believe in.
Please take a moment to read the powerful words of Sister Dianna Ortiz, who has personally suffered the unimaginable pain of torture:
Mr. President, from anonymous graves, voices still cry out. From clandestine prisons, in the midst of indescribable pain, we, my sisters and brothers, beg you to hear. Will you listen to what we alone know of this crime against humanity what we know from the inside out? Please hear us! Torture does not end with the release from some clandestine prison. It is not something we 'get over.' Simply, "looking forward" is not an option for us.
Read the rest of Sister Ortiz's letter here and send it to President Obama today.
No organization understands better than Amnesty International the power of writing a simple, honest letter.
For nearly 50 years, Amnesty supporters have signed letters to help free political prisoners from jail and bring brutal human rights abuses to an end. Now, by joining in our Ten Against Torture campaign, you can make sure those responsible for the illegal U.S. torture program are brought to justice.
Make sure that President Obama knows that torture has no place in the America we believe in.
Amnesty International USA
Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court delayed a decision on whether to grant Troy Davis an appeal until after it returns from recess in September. The court's decision (or non-decision) should be taken as a good sign. It gives us hope that at least some Supreme Court Justices may finally be waking up to the strong claims of innocence in this case and want to take more time to weigh the facts.
We are convinced that if the justices agree to hold a hearing and allow all evidence to be weighed, then they will come to see what we have known all along the pieces just don't add up. When Davis was sentenced to death for the 1989 shooting of a police officer in Savannah, there was an absence of any physical evidence against him. Furthermore, the majority of witnesses who testified against him then, have now recanted or changed their stories altogether.
Troy's case continues to inspire the support of millions of activists and countless leaders speaking on behalf of human rights, including former President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond TuTu.
Our activism has already put the U.S. Supreme Court and Georgia officials on the fence. Now we've got to do all we can these next couple of months to guarantee justice for Troy Davis!
Join the thousands in Savannah, Georgia who are calling for the new District Attorney to reopen Troy's case. Then, forward the link onto everyone you know!
Troy's life continues to be saved because of people like you who take the time to make the difference.
Laura Moye, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign Director
P.S. Stay informed of the latest Troy news by checking back here: http://amnestyusa.org/troy
Join our call-in week and help us urge the President to ensure the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into torture and other human rights violations in the "war on terror."
The report dubbed the "Holy Grail" is believed to implicate Bush-era officials in the authorization of torture and concludes that abusive tactics did not prevent planned terrorist plots.1
Leaked versions of the report show that even the CIA itself called into question the morality, legality and effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques.
And now the agency is aggressively lobbying the Obama administration to keep the rest of the report secret.2
Those on the side of human rights need to counter the CIA's efforts to conceal the truth about failed Bush-era torture tactics with forceful steps of our own.
The CIA has pushed back the release of the report by one week to complete its review. We need to make sure that between now and Friday the administration doesn't succumb to pressure from the CIA to keep this report secret.
That's why we're asking you today to join our call-in week. Activists nationwide will place calls to the White House throughout the week to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26th. We are calling on President Obama to demonstrate his commitment to accountability by ensuring the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into torture and other human rights violations in the "war on terror."
Decision makers know that constituents only make calls on issues that really matter to them. So when they hear from hundreds or thousands of concerned individuals on an issue, it makes it a priority on their agendas.
We've made significant headway over the past several months in our fight for accountability and we're sure that the release of this report will be a key step in holding to account those responsible for Bush-era torture.
Thanks for standing with us.
Njambi, Geneve, Zeke and the rest of the Counter Terror with Justice team
Newly-elected District Attorney Chisolm can act now to save Troy's life.
Savannah's new District Attorney, Larry Chisolm, elected in 2008 on similar principles as President Obama, could be that opportunity. During Chisolm's bid for District Attorney, he laudably pledged to "increase the sense of fairness and transparency in the prosecution function." If there ever was a case that required both fairness and transparency, then this is it. Urge District Attorney Chisolm to make good on his pledge by re-opening Troy's case.
At the heart of this case is a brutal murder of a police officer that could go unpunished if an innocent man is put to death. The District Attorney has the power to re-open the investigation into this crime for which Troy was convicted. Only once we have all the facts on the table, can the courts truly begin to assess the fate of Troy Davis.
- why seven of nine prosecution witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony?
- why no physical evidence links Troy to the murder?
- why one of the two final witnesses has been implicated in many sworn statements as the real killer of officer Mark MacPhail?
You only have to look to May 19th, the Global Day of Action for Troy Davis, to grasp just how much more there is to this case than meets the eye. Supporters across the U.S. joined voices with advocates from 14 different countries around the globe to demand real action for Troy.
Your actions continue to mean so much. In fact, Troy Davis and his sister, Martina Correia, were so touched by the outpouring of your support that they joined a call with Amnesty activists and staff to give their 'thank yous' in person. Listen to Troy Davis' message to Amnesty activists (MP3).
We don't know how much longer this fight for Troy's life is going to last. But as long as there are people who can intervene to save Troy's life, then we will keep pushing for justice.
Remind District Attorney Chisolm there is still time to make good on his pledge.
Director, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign
Amnesty International USA
"Dear U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the U.N. Security Council,
I urge the U.N. Security Council, representing the international community, to insist upon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's immediate release, along with the other political prisoners that Burma's military junta has detained. The charge of violating her house arrest by inviting a foreigner into her home, which refers to American John William Yettaw's attempt to secretly attain entrance, is unsupported.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee in 1991 lauded Suu Kyi's struggle as "one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades." Her courage should be vindicated, and her country's misery ended. It is time for the international community to take action and jointly call on the military junta to:
- Immediately and unconditionally free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi;
- Free all additional unjustly detained political prisoners, and;
- Allow Suu Kyi to take her place as rightfully elected leader of the country."
Please urge the President of Indonesia to bring about the immediate and unconditional release of Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage. For peacefully raising a flag, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage may spend the next decade or more in prison in Indonesia. In December 2004, about 200 people participated in a nonviolent ceremony outside Abepura in Papua, Indonesia. Part of the annual ceremony was raising the "Morning Star" flag, a traditional Papuan symbol of independence. Police fired on the crowd and Karma was beaten on the way to the police station. Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were sentenced to 15 and 10 years respectively. Amnesty International considers Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage to be prisoners of conscience who have been detained for the peaceful and legitimate exercise of their right to freedom of expression.
A sample letter has been provided, but please be encouraged to add your own thoughts.
Send a letter to President Obama and Congress telling them that any investigation must be backed by the full force of law and adequate funding.
This latest report by the Senate Armed Services Committee exposes the "few bad apples" argument as a complete farce.1 While the Bush Administration was publically saying the horrors of Abu Ghraib were just aberrations, this report clearly shows that in fact, torture was sanctioned and even encouraged in military detention centers.
Thanks to your countless actions over the past few weeks, the momentum for investigations is snowballing. Last Friday President Obama said this was a time for "reflection, not retribution"; less than a week later, national newspapers are reporting the President is now open to an investigation.2
But what kind of investigation? There's a growing risk that we may get an investigation that lacks independence, legal authority, and the adequate funding necessary to tell the full truth about the illegal, U.S. torture program.
Tell President Obama and Congress that any investigation must be independent, backed by the full force of law, and have enough funding to uncover the full truth behind the U.S. torture program.
Even with the release of this classified report, we still only know a portion of the truth. And it's only by exposing the full truth of what was done in our names, that we can once and for all move forward and restore our nation's credibility.
Let's make sure whatever investigation moves forward, it's backed by the authority and support it needs to be effective.
Please send your letter now to President Obama and Congress urging for an independent investigation backed by the full force of law and adequate funding.
In just one week, we've gone from seeing an investigation as a long shot, to talking about what kind of investigation we need. Your actions, phone calls, and visits before Congress are making an impact. We're getting closer to seeing our government actually do the right thing.
Thanks for standing with us.
Director, Counter Terror with Justice Campaign
You and I know there is no legal form of torture. But Obama wants us to believe that "this is a time for reflection, not retribution."
We've done plenty of reflecting, and the information in the memos only confirms what we've known all along. Torture is illegal under both domestic and international law and no set of legal memos can change that.
Within hours of their release, the memos fueled new speculation that there is just too much out there now for Congress to ignore calls for accountability.
Send a letter now to Congress calling for a full and independent investigation.
Before today, major editorial boards from the Boston Globe, Salt Lake City Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer threw their hat into the ring, calling for accountability.
While we may have convinced editorial boards, it's Congress that has the power to setup independent investigations. This is the last day of our lobby week. While Amnesty members finish up their meetings, let's hit Congress from both on and offline.
Send an email to your elected officials and tell them that you want to know the truth about torture. Once members of Congress realize they can't turn down the buzz about torture in their own districts, they'll have to confront the issue in Washington.
The Obama administration has truly taken some important steps to correct past mistakes. Just a week ago, the CIA announced that it is no longer operating any of the secret overseas prisons used to detain terror suspects. While correcting some of these bigger problems certainly puts us on the right path, it doesn't tell us how we veered so far off in the wrong direction.
By this time, anyone who isn't the slightest bit curious about how we became a nation that tortures needs a wake-up call. And we're just the group to give it to them!
Thanks for standing with us,
Director, Counter Terror with Justice Campaign
Support Senator Leahy's brave move. Call and email your Senator today.
Hours ago, Senator Patrick Leahy scheduled a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee entitled Getting to the Truth Through a Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry next Wednesday at 10am.1
We can't help but notice that his announcement came the week following our national call-in week, when thousands of you placed calls to the Senate supporting an independent investigation.
Your calls are providing the public support our champions in Congress need to setup an independent investigation.
Here are two things you can do right now to support Senator Leahy:
- If you didn't get a chance to call your Senator last week, take 2 minutes to call now. Our new click-to-call tool makes calling your Senators easy and we'll give you a simple script and talking points.
- Follow-up your call by signing our letter to Congress demanding a full, independent investigation.
The hearing can either be the beginning or the end of our efforts to find out how we became a nation that tortures. What happens after the hearing depends in large part on us. We need to show the Senate that the public has the stomach for an independent investigation.
Every step our champions like Senator Leahy make toward setting up an independent investigation will bring intense criticism from the other side.
Let's make sure our voices drown out those who prefer to bury the truth.
Director, Counter Terror with Justice Campaign
60 years ago - after the horrors of World War II - the world came together at the United Nations to unanimously pass the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This powerful declaration says that every human being deserves dignity, freedom and respect. It's the first blueprint for global rights, establishing fundamental freedoms for every human being.
The UDHR set in motion a global movement that literally opened prison doors, shut down torture and execution chambers, and caused the downfall of the worst tyrannies.
60 years later, despite much progress, millions are still denied basic human rights. Many governments still show more interest in abusing power than respecting those they lead. For far too many, injustice, inequality and impunity are still the hallmarks of our world today. [i]
But hope exists. Grassroots actions like those that catapulted Barack Obama to office, are the same that put abusive nations on notice.
Help us fulfill the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
- Watch "The Price of Silence": our exciting new music video featuring some of the worlds greatest musicians, including some who've fled oppressive regimes. The track, donated by Aterciopelados and Nacional Records, combines the voices of Natalie Merchant, Hugh Masekela, Stephen Marley, Angelique Kidjo, Emmanual Jal and others.
- Buy the music exclusively on iTunes: all proceeds will go to support our important life saving work.
- Tell the world you support the UDHR: add your name to the ProtectTheHuman.org petition.
- Tell at least one friend to watch the music video and help spread the message.
Since 1961, millions of Amnesty International supporters just like you have taken countless small actions. And now many millions more enjoy greater freedom and a safer, more just world.
Help us fulfill the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Send this email to at least one friend or family member and ask them to watch "The Price of Silence". And let's together build the global movement that will bring dignity and freedom to every human being on earth.
P.S. Special thanks to Link TV, Nacional Records, music producer Adres Levin and video director Josh Atesh Litle for their help creating "The Price of Silence".
This September, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) gathers in New York City. Its only been a year since UN and African Union peacekeepers were approved to deploy in Darfur. But for 5-and-a-half years Darfuris have experienced nightmarish scenes of rape, murder, and forced displacement. President Bush will stand before the UNGA as a global leader on Darfur what, if anything, will he choose to say about the crisis in Darfur? ush has this one last opportunity to stand before the UNGA to reaffirm the United States commitment to Darfur and encourage other world leaders to follow. Ask President Bush to put Darfur at the heart of his speech to the UNGA. This September, President Bush will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the last time. If he chooses to reaffirm U.S. commitments to protect the people of Darfur, then other world leaders gathered at the UNGA would be likely to follow.
Urge President Bush to say that the U.S. stays committed to ending the violence in Darfur.
In his last speech to the United Nations as president, will President Bush remember his commitment to the people of Darfur? Call on President Bush to reaffirm U.S. commitments to protect the people of Darfur during his final speech to the UN.
Time may be running out on Bushs presidency, but its not too late to take action for the people of Darfur.
The UN has the power to ensure that necessary resources are provided in Darfur. More equipment, peacekeepers, and funding can mean the difference between safety and danger, life and death. World leaders have witnessed terror grip an entire regions population 2.6 million Darfuris have lost their homes and livelihoods due to the violence.
Director, Darfur Campaign
Amnesty International USA
This post was modified from its original form on 26 Aug, 13:32
Tell President Bush to speak out against Chinas human rights violations before the Games begin.
Ye Guozhu, a human rights defender in Beijing, was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for taking action against forced evictions related to the Olympics. Amnesty International fears he has been tortured while in detention. He was due to be released on Saturday, July 26 but will now remain imprisoned until October, after the end of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Chinese authorities have stepped up their repression of human rights defenders in order to clean up Beijing. With the Olympics only 10 days away, take action and urge China to create a positive human rights legacy.
In 2001 China made a promise to improve its human rights record if given the honor of hosting the Olympic Games. Instead, China has become increasingly repressive with crackdowns on dissent and the rounding up and arrest of human rights defenders. Citing "security", China has imprisoned individuals for doing nothing more than drawing international attention to ongoing human rights violations.
President Bush will attend the opening ceremonies of the Games on August 8. Before he leaves for Beijing, tell President Bush to make a public statement condemning the human rights violations perpetrated in preparation for the Olympics
Urge your Representative to pressure the Indonesian government to release two men imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, charged with "rebellion" for their alleged role in leading and organizing the flag-raising event, are currently serving their 15 and 10-year prison sentences respectively. A court ruled that Karma and Pakage were guilty of treason for having "betrayed" Indonesia by flying the outlawed Papua flag.
Amnesty International considers the two men, who were wrongly detained, to be prisoners of conscience. Pressure the President of Indonesia to release prisoners of conscience.
Sadly, Filep Karma was reportedly beaten by prison guards last April. This comes in the context of ongoing human rights violations by Indonesian authorities. Urge your Representative to act quickly to pressure the Indonesian government to release prisoners of conscience, Karma and Pakage.
To prevent any further abuse of their rights, immediate action must be taken on behalf of prisoners of conscience, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage.
Celebrate your rights, by helping to protect theirs.
Bring hope to human rights defenders around the world by writing letters on their behalf.
Recently, a womens rights group, Women of Zimbabwe Arise! (WOZA) organized a peaceful demonstration to protest the worsening social, economic and human rights conditions in their country. Members of this group frequently report harassment, intimidation and other extreme treatment from police officers. Right now, Jenni Williams and Magadonga Mahlangu, leaders of WOZA, are in prison. Other members of WOZA face charges against their peaceful activities. Send a letter of support to the members of WOZA as a part of our Summer Solidarity Action.
The struggle for human rights continues even during what is for most, a relaxing season summer. For our summer solidarity action, you can provide moral support to human rights defenders in Zimbabwe, China, Belarus, Mexico, and Libya. Your action can help bring much-needed support and justice to these courageous men and women.
When people ask you what youre doing for summer vacation this year, tell them youre bringing hope to where its needed most.
Take action for police accountability in Chicago.
Tell Mayor Daley that homophobic abuses will not be tolerated.
Three women were assaulted by a police officer on their way home from a Gay Pride event in Chicago last summer. They say the officer physically assaulted them, used homophobic language and knocked them into the pathway of traffic. Another man says he was physically and verbally abused by a Chicago police officer because of his sexual orientation.
This pattern must stop. These two cases of homophobic human rights abuses are consistent with the pattern of abuse and impunity documented by AIUSA three years ago in its report, Stonewalled. In the report AI documented a widespread pattern of police abuse and misconduct against LGBT people without accountability.
Your voice can make a difference. As one of the finalist cities to host the 2016 summer Olympics, Chicago is sensitive to its international image. The pattern of police impunity and human rights violations against LGBTs is a big tarnish on that image, especially in a city generally considered to be progressive on LGBT issues.
June 19, in Chicago, IL
The people of Myanmar are still waiting to receive humanitarian aid.
Call on Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders to put pressure on Myanmar authorities to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis.
Another week has passed. More opportunities are lost in providing immediate assistance to the people of Myanmar. While innocent people try to piece their lives back together after the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis, Myanmar authorities continue to obstruct aid. The lives and health of thousands are at risk.
Myanmar may believe that it does not need to be responsive to its own people; however it does have to answer to the fellow member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Under the ASEAN Charter, member states, including Myanmar, are committed to:
- Respecting fundamental freedoms
- Promoting and protecting human rights and social justice
- Upholding the United Nations Charter and international law
Myanmar's actions to obstruct aid from reaching people desperately in need are in violation of the spirit of ASEAN's work. It is time for the ASEAN member states to step up and show leadership in assisting the people of Myanmar. Call on ASEAN to urge the government of Myanmar to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis.
Irene Khan, Amnesty International's Secretary General, recently wrote an open letter to ASEAN(PDF). In it, she warns that "without immediate action by ASEAN leaders, the humanitarian disaster created by Cyclone Nargis and the deliberate obstruction to aid by the Myanmar authorities will result in further massive human rights violations, putting at risk the lives and health of hundreds of thousands of people."
A natural disaster destroyed the lives of many innocent people. A humanitarian disaster shouldn't be the reason they continue to suffer. Call on ASEAN to urge Myanmar authorities to ensure that cyclone victims receive aid.
Amnesty International USA
Last summer, the U.N. Security Council committed to send a robust peacekeeping force to Darfur. The peacekeeping force is doing a valiant job of protecting Darfuris. But they are stretched too thin, unable to be as effective as they can and must be.
On June 1, the U.S. will assume presidency of the U.N. Security Council and will have the opportunity to set the agenda for the Security Council.
President Bush must use this opportunity to pressure for full deployment of the promised UNAMID peacekeeping force.
- 50 seconds ago - takeaction.amnestyusa.org
This week, President Bush will host the Mexican and Canadian heads of state in New Orleans to discuss issues of security and prosperity. Two key issues must be on the agenda: (1) the absence of security safeguards in Mexico, and (2) the lack of affordable housing in New Orleans.
Amnesty International sent a letter pushing the North American leaders to address these issues at their meeting1. Now we need your help to support our request with your grassroots actions:
More than two and a half years into the human rights disaster of Hurricane Katrina, thousands remain displaced. The lack of affordable housing remains an obstacle for many Gulf coast residents still struggling to return home. Recent demolitions of housing developments have made the situation even worse.
The Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act addresses this housing crisis head on. While the House passed the measure with overwhelming bipartisan support, the Senate continues to stall its progress. Tell the Senate to finish the job urge your Senator to support affordable housing in the Gulf Coast.
The Mexican public security and criminal justice systems have a long history of human rights violations including arbitrary detentions and torture. Congress will soon vote on more than half a billion dollars in aid for Mexican military and police to combat organized crime and drug trafficking. However, these security forces are often the same perpetrators who abuse the criminal justice system and neglect human rights.
The United States and Mexico should work together to address shared drug and security problems, but it cannot be at the expense of human rights. Tell your legislators to add human rights safeguards to the U.S.-Mexico security agreement.
Help put security safeguards in Mexico and the affordable housing crisis in New Orleans on the agenda during this week's crucial meeting.
Global day for Darfur is April 13th, some actions:
- 11 hours ago - tibetnetwork.org
Be the voice for those facing imminent and often life-threatening human rights violations.
Join together to help individuals like the 15 Tibetan monks who are at risk of torture and severe mistreatment.
Get connected. Join the Urgent Action Network.
When peaceful protestors are beaten and jailed...
When human rights defenders are threatened and assaulted for daring to speak the truth...
When fast action can mean the difference between life and death...
Amnesty International's Urgent Action Network is ready to respond. Please add your voice and join the Urgent Action Network.
Recent news about the crackdown on rights and freedoms in Tibet is a clear case for urgent action. Hundreds of monks took to the streets in peaceful protest against the government's "patriotic re-education" campaign which forced them to renounce the Dalai Lama. As demonstrations spread throughout various communities, Chinese authorities responded with force. Citizens reportedly were dragged from their homes and beaten.
In the midst of this unrest, at least 15 Tibetan monks have been detained and are at significant risk of being tortured and severely mistreated. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. They need your help. They need your urgent action. Please ask authorities to release the 15 monks, as well as others detained for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
Unfortunately, cases such as these are not rare. Every year, the members of Amnesty Internationals Urgent Action Network mobilize to help hundreds of people, like these 15 Tibetan monks, who are facing imminent and often life-threatening human rights violations. This vast worldwide network of concerned human rights activists are ready to take immediate action in defense of those who have been arbitrarily detained, threatened for their beliefs, and/or tortured by authorities. You can be part of this vital global network.
Get connected to the Urgent Action Network, stay connected to human rights. Make yours one of the thousands of messages that send a powerful signal to government officials that their actions are being watched. Your letters can make a difference and are the reason so many of our cases result in success!
Amnesty International USA
Photos depicting Iraqi detainees being abused at Abu Ghraib prison caused shock and outrage across the world. Following publication of these horrific images, serious allegations of involvement in the abuse by private military companies contracted by the U.S. government emerged.
A demonstrator, dressed as an Abu Ghraib prisoner poses in front of the White House. © KAREN BLEIER/AFP/ Getty Images
Over three years ago, the Justice Department (DOJ) required that all cases of detainee abuse by private military and security contractors be handled by one US Attorney's Office.
As of today, that US Attorney's office has not prosecuted a single private military or security contractor and the DOJ has provided almost no explanation for their apparent inaction in the face of reported torture and abuse of detainees, rape of co-workers, and killing of Iraqi civilians by contractors.
Urge your representatives in Congress to pressure the DOJ to prosecute human rights violations committed by private military and security contractors and to explain how cases connected to the horrific abuses at Abu Ghraib and other locations could be so quietly yet thoroughly dismissed.
Amnesty International USA
March 10th, 2008 marked the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising against the Chinese occupation in Lhasa. Not surprisingly, many Tibetans have decided to demonstrate on this occasion, against the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, torture, lack of freedom of expression and religion, discrimination, exploitation, and killing that continue in Tibet to this day. And also not surprisingly, Chinese authorities have responded by beating, shooting, arresting, and torturing the protesters. You can support the protesters and advocate for their safety: 1) Lodge a complaint with the Chinese authorities in Lhasa for their treatment of Tibetans: http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/tibet_protests?rk=%2d7SKEBEqOz9CE http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/amdoprotest/ 2) Contact the Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and ask him to publicly call upon the Chinese Government to immediately provide information on the welfare and whereabouts of the detained Buddhist monks: https://www.atc.org.au/members/ecampaign/send_email/8 3) Call on your representatives to condemn the attacks: US: http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/supporttibet UK: http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hciolists/alcm.cfm Canada: http://tinyurl.com/zqd9g 4) Pledge to boycott the Olympics: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1189/t/5102/signUp.jsp?key=3127 5) Complain to the IOC: http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/tibet_IOC 6) Please call the Chinese authorities in Lhasa to show them the whole world is monitoring their actions closely: Please call after 9am in Chinese time. To see the current time in China, click here: http://www.worldtimeserver.com/current_time_in_CN.aspx Secretary of the Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR): +86 891 632 5889 TAR People's Government: +86 891 633 2067 People's Armed Police (Riot Troop Division): +86 891 633 0443 TAR People's Congress: +86 891 683 2423 If the person on the phone doesn't speak English, please read out loud the below lines in Chinese. English: The Chinese government must not arrest the Tibetans Chinese: "jang-fu bu-shue daibu zang-tsu" (Pinyin: zhengfu buxu daibu zangzu) English: We are watching you Chinese: "wamen guanju nimen" (Pinyin: women guanzhu nimen) 7) Take action here on Care2! Care2 Petitions for Tibet: http://tinyurl.com/35kqdc http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/tibets-independence http://tinyurl.com/2oybtc http://tinyurl.com/2jvdzs http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/313171490
Today's stunning decision by the Georgia Supreme Court to let the death sentence stand in the Troy Anthony Davis case means that the state of Georgia might execute a man who well may be innocent.
With this decision, the Supreme Court is demonstrating a blatant disregard for justice and turning its back on the fundamental flaws that taint Mr. Davis's case at every level.
Over 60,000 supporters signed petitions on Troy's behalf, and letters of support continue to pour into his mailbox. "I want to thank all Amnesty supporters," he said, "I want to thank everyone all over the world who have been praying for me, supporting me, writing letters and signing petitions on my behalf." Troy needs your continued support today, now more than ever.
Troy Davis was convicted of the murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail in 1991. No murder weapon was found and no physical evidence linked Davis to the crime. Since his conviction, seven out of nine original witnesses have either recanted or changed their testimony. Officer MacPhail's life was cut tragically short, and his family and the people of Georgia also deserve true justice. However, this will not be accomplished by executing a man with such strong claims of innocence.
In light of today's Supreme Court decision, we ask that you call on the Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles to commute Mr. Davis' death sentence. Executing Troy Anthony Davis would be an irrevocable error that would haunt the conscience of the state of Georgia forever.
Director, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign
Amnesty International USA
Amnesty in UK run a campaign against torture called "unsubscribe-me". They made a short film entitled "Waiting for the Guards" which brings home how inhumane the treatment of prisoners, particularly the War on Terror suspects, can be. It is a powerful film. Our Government in the UK suggested to increase the pre-charge detention period from 28 to 42 days which means you could be locked up for six weeks without having been told the reason for your detention.
If you'd like to check out the campaign, read up on the human rights issues involved and watch the film, then go to www.unsubscribe-me.org
I hope you are successful with your campaign in the US - Good Luck.
Don't Give Bush the Last Word on Torture!
President Bush vetoed legislation forbidding waterboarding and other "alternative interrogation techniques."
This past Saturday, with a single stroke of his veto pen, President Bush blocked a tough law forbidding the CIA from using waterboarding and other despicable interrogation "techniques." We can't let him have the last word.
In the face of this brutal affront to human rights, we must show that President Bush does not represent the vast majority of American citizens. This starts with each and every one of us acting in our own communities.
It took thousands of calls, letters and emails from Amnesty activists like you to persuade Congress to pass tough anti-torture legislation. And now, it's going to take just as much energy and determination to counter Bushs unconscionable veto.
Let's make it clear that torture is wrong everywhere, all the time, no matter the circumstances, and no matter which agency does it. And so is putting people on "trial" based on torture-tainted evidence. Bush acted. Now you have to act. Call your local radio station. Write a letter to the editor. Forward this email to as many people as possible.
President Bush tried today to defeat our efforts to put America on record. But, with spirited protests all across America, were going to make it clear that our nation abhors what our President condones.
Please act against torture now.
Amnesty International USA
P.S. Stay alert for an announcement tomorrow of a dramatic new Amnesty initiative.
Action was taken, thank you.
Call your Senator and ask him or her to support the rights of women through the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA).
Genital cutting, honor killings, human trafficking - should another month go by where we hear about womens rights being violated? You make the call. Call your Senator and ask him or her to join the growing list of co-sponsors standing up to support the rights of women through the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA).
This Saturday, March 8th is International Womens Day, but you can take a stand for women all month because March is also Womens History month. Make March a month that makes history!
Now is the time make the call. During one week Friday, March 7th through Friday, March 14th we are asking you pick up the phone and make a difference in the lives of women around the world.
Put pressure on your Senator to support a historic piece of legislation designed to give survivors of violence more assistance, hold perpetrators accountable, and combat the negative public attitudes that encourage or condone violence against women and girls. It is critical that this important piece of human rights legislation receive broad bipartisan support, so at this time we are asking for you to only contact your Republican Senators and encourage them to become official I-VAWA co-sponsors.
Your efforts are already making a difference. We are thrilled to add Pennsylvanias Senator Arlen Specter as the latest co-signer to I-VAWA. With your help, we can continue to build this list of supporters and help make I-VAWAs goals a reality. />/>/>
Dont worry if youve never contact your Senator before; you can follow these basic talking points to help get your message across. Your Senator needs to hear from you!
If you care about improving the rights of women, then you need to make a call on I-VAWA.
Amnesty International USA
Chinese journalist Shi Tao sent an email to a pro-democracy website and 7 months later was imprisoned for "illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities".
Urge your Representative to intervene on behalf of Shi Tao!
Gao Qin Sheng, mother of jailed journalist, Shi Tao, wipes tears from her eyes during a Congressional hearing regarding her son's case.
How do you break a person's spirit?
Deny him the right to freely express himself.
Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist, used his Yahoo! email account to send a message to a U.S.-based pro-democracy website. Seven months later, he was arrested and charged with the vaguely-worded crime of "illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities". Urge your Representative to intervene on his behalf and help repair a broken system of neglect of human rights.
Harass his family.
Daily questioning and intimidation tactics were all too much for Shi Tao's wife. Security officials persistently pressured her to divorce Shi Tao. Eventually, she did.
Take away his freedom.
For simply sending an email, Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Demand freedom for Shi Tao and others punished for peacefully expressing their views.
China currently holds the record for the largest known number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world. Every email, instant message, and online communication passes through a government-controlled router where it is carefully scrutinized. Government officials can filter, block and even discard personal information.
They may be able to easily delete words, but they cannot delete human rights. Urge your Representative to call for justice in China.
Amnesty International USA
Individuals at Risk
Actions were Taken, thank you.
Maybe some stockholders prefer not to know that their investments support a government responsible for massive human rights abuses. But in today's globalized world, stockholders must make it their business to know the human rights impact of their investments. Increase the pressure on investment firms to support human rights by taking a stand for Darfur.
Thousands of you have already joined with Amnesty International to call on firms investing in Sudan's oil sector to make socially responsible investments. By using their influence, these firms have the power to help put an end to the Sudanese government’s stalling tactics against the full deployment of peacekeepers in Darfur. Thanks in part to your actions, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, T. Rowe Price and Citigroup have begun taking positive steps to address our concerns. However, we need your help to get the same commitment from two other firms – Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.
This April, large institutional shareholders that own stock in Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo will be asked to vote on a resolution that encourages these firms to recognize their human rights responsibilities when investing in Sudan’s oil industry. Make sure Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo shareholders do their part to protect human rights.
With your help, we can rally support for these resolutions and ultimately ensure the speedy deployment of peacekeepers to Darfur. Demand socially responsible investment in Sudan!
It is time to send a clear message to the Government of Sudan that human rights are worth investing in. Take action and support a socially responsible solution.
As the Bush administration moves forward with torture-tainted kangaroo courts at Guantánamo Bay, a major Senate vote on torture is at hand. Tell your Senator to vote against torture.
Torture can never lead to justice. That's the powerful message we need to send to the Bush administration and the U.S. Senate right now.
Even as the Senate prepares for a crucial vote restricting the CIA and other U.S. agents from using waterboarding and other unlawful techniques, the Pentagon is moving forward with torture-tainted show trials for six detainees at Guantánamo Bay suspected of conspiring in the September 11 attacks.
The Senate vote could come as soon as Thursday. Tell the Senate that torture is intolerable and that it undermines justice at every turn.
The heinous attacks on September 11, 2001 were crimes against humanity. Anyone involved must be brought to justice. But, the truth is, the U.S. government has -- at every turn --undermined the opportunity for justice for the victims of those attacks.
They did it by first disappearing the suspects into secret CIA prisons, torturing "high value" suspects for information and then passing off that information as "evidence." Unconscionably, they have shifted the spotlight from justice for the victims of the September 11 attacks to the illegal behavior of the United States.
As one former Navy admiral and judge advocate general put it, "Once you torture someone, it’s hard to untorture him." If enough Senators have the courage to act, we can take a huge step forward in ending U.S. torture.
Please take action today and if you have time, make a follow-up phone call to your Senator. You can find the number to call and talking points here. We'll keep you posted on how things turn out.
Thanks so much for all you do in promoting justice and protecting human rights.
P.S. Last week we sent an Amnesty legal observer to monitor the pre-trials at Guantánamo Bay; listen to her on-the-ground report.
Amnesty International considers the use of sodomy laws to imprison people for same-sex relations in private as a grave violation of human rights.
Tell the Cameroonian government to release and drop charges against 11 men accused of homosexual conduct.
©AIUSA member David Rendell
Eleven men were arrested and detained in Cameroon between 19th July and 1st September 2007 on suspicion of engaging in homosexual acts.
The 11 men were arrested in the cities of Douala and Yaoundé where they remain in custody. Three of the men were sentenced to six months hard labor in January 2008. Consensual homosexual conduct between adults is illegal in Cameroon, and Amnesty International is concerned about the ongoing persecution of Cameroonian men and women for their real or suspected homosexuality.
Amnesty International considers the 11 men to be prisoners of conscience, detained solely on account of their presumed sexual orientation, and is calling for their immediate and unconditional release. AI is also calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality in Cameroon.
Learn more about other cases of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights abuse Amnesty International is working on at our website www.amnestyusa.org/outfront.
Thank you for your support,
Director, LGBT Human Rights
Amnesty International USA
Additional Actions on this newsletter
Ensure medical access to the people of Gaza.
Investigate and prosecute military contractors who torture, kill.
to those of you who choose to act and better the world - Davida
The last version of this thread was getting too long for our dial-up members to access, so I am starting another.
Here is the prior one, in case anyone needs it
Please Add Your Local Area Action Center To This Thread
For the US