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1 year ago

This is a victory for human rights, gogoanime

5 years ago

As the article cautions, this should only be a first step, but any positive developments are to be wholeheartedly welcomed.  Thank you for sharing.

5 years ago

Thanks so much for letting us all know about this, Davida. Among all the bad news, it's great to hear something uplifting for a change.

Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience Nasrin Sotoudeh released from prison in Iran!
5 years ago

Release of Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and Other Political Activists Must be First Step to Freedom for All Iranian Prisoners of Conscience

Contact: Suzanne Trimel,, 212-633-4150, @AIUSAmedia

(NEW YORK) - Amnesty International welcomes the release of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and at least 11 political activists.

Amnesty International adopted Sotoudeh as a prisoner of conscience and has campaigned for her release for years.

"While the releases are a positive development, they must be a first step that paves the way for the release of all prisoners of conscience held solely because they peacefully exercised their rights," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa deputy director at Amnesty International.

Sotoudeh was sentenced in September 2010 to six years in prison on charges of "spreading propaganda against the system" and "acting against national security," including membership in the Centre for Human Rights Defenders.

"Amnesty activists around the world, including thousands in the U.S., campaigned tirelessly on behalf of Sotoudeh for several years, in the hope that this happy day would finally come," said Elise Auerbach, Iran country specialist for Amnesty in the United States. "All of us at Amnesty are overjoyed that she is now back home, reunited with her husband and two children. This is a victory for human rights that we would likely not be celebrating but for the dedication and commitment of activists from Amnesty and our partner organizations."

Sotoudeh thanked all Amnesty International members who have taken action for her release. "I have been aware of all your efforts on my behalf and I want thank-you and all your colleagues for your work," she said.

"To be more than a mere symbolic measure, the Iranian authorities should now overturn her prison sentence, revoke the travel ban and the ban against her practising law. They must also end their routine harassment and imprisonment of anyone working to defend human rights," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty.

Sotoudeh was prevented from having regular visits with her husband, Reza Khandan, and two young children. The authorities also placed an illegal travel ban on her 13-year-old daughter in 2012. Sotoudeh staged a 49-day hunger strike in prison, which she ended when the authorities lifted the travel ban against her daughter.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

This post was modified from its original form on 25 Sep, 16:03
India rejection of Vedanta mine a landmark victory for Indigenous rights
9 years ago


India rejection of Vedanta mine a landmark victory for Indigenous rights


24 August 2010


Amnesty International has described the Indian government's decision to reject the bauxite mine project in Orissa’s Niyamgiri Hills as a landmark victory for the human rights of Indigenous communities.
India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests today rejected the mine project proposed by a subsidiary of UK-based Vedanta Resources and the state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation, after finding that the project already extensively violates forest and environmental laws and would perpetrate abuses against the Dongria Kondh adivasi and other communities on the Hills.

"The Dongria Kondh and other local communities have been struggling for years for this decision, which is a very welcome one,” said Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Deputy Director, Madhu Malhotra.
“The companies and the Orissa government should now guarantee that they will not attempt to simply move the project to another site without ensuring adequate safeguards - they must ensure they will respect the human rights of Indigenous and local communities wherever the companies operate.”
Amnesty International also welcomed the government’s decision to suspend the clearance process for the six-fold expansion of the Lanjigarh refinery at the foothills of Niyamgiri, operated by Vedanta subsidiary Vedanta Aluminium, after a government’s expert committee found it to be illegal.
“The authorities should order a clean-up of the Lanjigarh refinery, which has caused air and water pollution, seriously affecting the rights of neighbouring communities who are finding life there unbearable”, said Madhu Malhotra.
Amnesty International called on government authorities to establish a clear and transparent process that seeks the free, prior and informed consent of any Indigenous communities who may be affected by such projects, and respect their decision, in accordance with national and international law.
The Ministry-commissioned expert report that underpinned today’s decisions, documented the companies’ legal violations and human rights abuses. Its findings and the rejection of the project are consistent with Amnesty International's extensive report published in February 2010, Don’t Mine us out of Existence: Bauxite Mine and Refinery Devastate Lives in India.
For eight years, the Dongria Kondh and other communities in Niyamgiri have been protesting against bauxite mining plans by Vedanta Resources subsidiary, Sterlite Industries India, and the Orissa Mining Corporation.
The communities were concerned that the project, which would have been situated on their traditional sacred lands and habitats, would result in violations of their rights as Indigenous peoples to water, food, health, work and other rights to protection of their culture and identity.
“After years of struggle and visits by committees our voice has finally reached Delhi,” a Dongria Kondh leader today told Amnesty International.

Read More .


India: Don't mine us out of existence: Bauxite mine and refinery devastate lives in India (Report, 9 February 2010)

9 years ago

This is wonderful news !! Go Amnesty International

Philippines move to protect women's rights during armed conflict
9 years ago

31 March 2010

Amnesty International has welcomed a decision by the Philippine government to implement a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution, which aims to ensure the protection of women's rights during armed conflict and post-conflict situations.

The Philippine government launched the National Action Plan (NAP) on Women Peace and Security in Quezon City, on Friday, 26 March. 

"This is a step in the right direction. Forming this National Action Plan not only provides a framework for the protection of women in armed conflict and post conflict situations, but could also empower women as peace advocates and human rights defenders," said Donna Guest, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Asia and the Pacific.

UN Security Council resolution 1325 was adopted in October 2000. Its main aim was to urge member states to increase women's involvement in the prevention and resolution of conflict.

Among other things, the resolution calls on all parties to armed conflict to cater to the special needs of women and girls during resettlement and post-conflict reconstruction.

It also calls for specialized training to be provided to military, police and civilians for the protection of  human rights needs of women and girls in conflict situations.

"Given the Philippines' history of intermittent armed conflicts with various insurgent groups, it is high time for the government to look at the special needs of women and girls, particularly in the context of displacement and resettlement, when women face a high risk of being targeted," said Donna Guest.

"Women give birth in overcrowded camps for displaced persons; mothers are left to fend for their children on their own in camps or villages while their husbands try to make a living elsewhere; young girls are sent to neighbouring towns as domestic workers to help their family survive – these and other conflict-related women's human rights issues must be addressed.

"The new plan is a promising first step. However the real test will be how it is implemented on the ground, which we will be monitoring."

The Philippines is the first Asian country to produce a National Action Plan (NAP) implementing the resolution.

According to media reports, the Philippine NAP has four goals:

  • Protection and Prevention: To ensure the protection and prevention of violations of women's human rights in armed conflict and post-conflict situations;
  • Empowerment and Participation: To empower women and ensure their active and meaningful participation in areas of peace building, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction;
  • Promotion and Mainstreaming: To promote and mainstream gender perspectives in all aspects of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peace building;
  • Capacity Development and Monitoring and Reporting: To institutionalize a monitoring and reporting system to monitor, evaluate and report in order to enhance accountability for the successful implementation of the NAP and achievement of its goals.
  • 9 years ago

     Ambrose - Perhaps you could try posting something useful on the subject instead of adding 'shame' to the good news thread. 

     Many groups' activities have been slow lately both because it is spring and people are spending less time on the computer and because care2 has been having some (technical) problems we have lost some of our more active members who have chosen to carry on their work on other platforms.

    this group is dying
    9 years ago


    Mongolia announces moratorium on executions
    9 years ago

    14 January 2010

    Amnesty International has welcomed the announcement made by the government of Mongolia on Thursday declaring an official moratorium on executions in the country.

    The organization said it believes President Tsakhia Elbegdorj has taken a bold move for the protection of human rights in Mongolia and welcomed this important development as a key step toward full abolition of the death penalty.

    "The government of Mongolia has shown that it has a strong commitment to human rights by introducing a moratorium on the death penalty. Amnesty International urges other countries in the region to follow Mongolia’s example," said Roseann Rife, Amnesty International Asia- Pacific deputy director.

    Asia continues to execute more individuals than the rest of the world combined. Amnesty International estimates at least 1,838 individuals were executed in 11 countries in Asia in 2008.

    In China, Mongolia, Vietnam, and North Korea, executions and death penalty proceedings are shrouded in secrecy and a lack of transparency.

    "Mongolia must quickly amend its law on state secrecy to end the lack of transparency in the application of the death penalty. Transparency is an essential element of an open and free society but also an important step towards abolition," said Roseann Rife.

    The President of Mongolia commuted the death sentences of at least three people in 2009. Executions are carried out in secret in Mongolia and no official statistics on death sentences or executions are made available. Prison conditions for death row inmates are reported to be poor. Families are not notified in advance of the execution and the bodies of those executed are not returned to the family.

    More than two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. In 2008, 106 countries voted in favour of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling for a moratorium on executions.

    "We look forward to Mongolia’s support for the UNGA resolution in 2010 and urge other nations in the region to follow suit," said Roseann Rife.

    In 2010 Mongolia’s human rights situation will also be reviewed under the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review.

    The UN General Assembly will consider a third resolution calling for a moratorium on executions in 2010. Mongolia voted against the UNGA resolutions adopted in 2007 and 2008, as has China, India, Indonesia, North Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Japan. In 2008, 106 countries voted in favour of the resolution, 46 voted against and 34 abstained.

    Amnesty International said it believes the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and opposes the death penalty in all cases.

    The organization said that the death penalty is discriminatory, used disproportionately against the poor, minorities and members of racial, ethnic and religious communities and it the ultimate act of state violence. There is no evidence that it is any more effective in reducing crime than other harsh punishments.

    Mexican Indigenous man detained after unfair trial is freed
    9 years ago

    6 January 2010

    Amnesty International has welcomed the release of a Mexican Indigenous man detained for almost 10 years following an unfair trial for murder.

    Ricardo Ucán Ceca, from Yucatán, was released on 31 December. He had been imprisoned since June 2000.

    He understood and spoke little Spanish and could not read or write. During his trial, he was not given an interpreter and his state appointed lawyer did not provide him with adequate defence.

    Ricardo Ucán claimed he shot his neighbour in self defence, but a state court found him guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced him to 22 years.

     "The Mexican government’s decision to resolve the case constitutes an implicit recognition of the injustice and discrimination suffered by Ricardo Ucán," said Kerrie Howard, deputy director of Amnesty International's America's programme.

    Mexico's Constitution guarantees the right for Indigenous peoples to an interpreter, but Ricardo Ucán's status as an Indigenous person was not recognised.

    In 2008, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights accepted his case and in November 2009, the Commission held a hearing in which Mexican human rights organizations presented evidence of discrimination and denial of the right to fair trial suffered by Ricardo Ucán.

    The Mexican federal and state authorities contested this evidence but agreed to reach a friendly settlement to resolve the case which has resulted in Ricardo Ucán’s early release from prison.

    Since his conviction, Amnesty International and local human rights organizations have campaigned for Ricardo Ucán to be given a fair trial and for this injustice to be rectified.

    His case was included in Amnesty International's 2007 report Laws without justice as an emblematic case of discrimination against Indigenous people in Mexico's criminal justice system.

    "Ricardo Ucán's conviction and sentence were the result of discrimination, which in Mexico often results in indigenous criminal suspects being subject to unfair trials and disproportionate sentences," said Kerrie Howard.

    Amnesty International has called on the Mexican authorities to ensure that prosecutors, defence lawyers and judges uphold the right of Indigenous peoples to a fair trial and protection of the law.

    The organization said that in particular, the authorities should ensure that proceedings are carried out or translated into a language Indigenous defendants understand and that they have access to an effective defence.

    Top 10 wins of 2008
    11 years ago

    We’re all so busy these days just trying to keep up with life.

    But, you’ve made the time for Amnesty and human rights this year - and that really means a lot. I hope you’ll stop what you’re doing and sit for two minutes to reflect on your accomplishments.
    Here are just a few wins you can take credit for:

    1. 1.5 million letters: online and hand written letters delivered to governments worldwide and Congress here at home.

    2. 116 people protected from persecution and danger: from China to Turkey to Myanmar (Burma) to the United States, your letters worked! And helped free innocent human rights activists and political prisoners.
    3. Death penalty executions averted: 18 stays or commutations worldwide (8 in the U.S., 2 in Texas). And tens of thousands of letters and numerous vigils for Troy Davis mean he’s still alive today, fighting for justice in the state of Georgia.

    4. 500+ groups or individuals met face to face with lawmakers: Amnesty International supporters met with their Members of Congress on Darfur, Guantánamo and violence against women.

    5. Guantánamo Bay replica cell tours the U.S.: Amnesty brought a two-ton, bright orange replica of a Guantánamo Bay cell to 11 cities, including both national political conventions. More than 12,000 people toured the cell, and 10-15 million either read about it in their local or national newspaper or saw the cell on TV.

    6. President-elect promises to close Guantánamo: since it opened, Amnesty has been on the frontlines pushing for its closure. This past year’s heightened campaigning helped support President-elect Obama’s decision to close Guantánamo.

    7. Local groups make a big impact: Group #133 mobilized its annual "Get on the Bus" event. More than 1,200 activists traveled to Manhattan for a day of demonstrations at the U.N. missions of Sudan, Sri Lanka, Libya, Myanmar and India.

    8. Pretty Bird Woman House: secures a shelter house in March 2008. We wrote letters to the town of McLaughlin, SD urging their assistance in opening the shelter. This follows the original hard-hitting research Amnesty conducted last year on violence against Native American and Alaska Native women.

    9. Universal Declaration of Human Rights: for its 60th anniversary, Amnesty releases several videos online, including an exclusive music video track available on iTunes. Total viewership worldwide reached over 500,000.

    10. Progress made on legislation: your in-person visits, together with all your letters, petitions and online actions meant that our Government Relations team had the backup and grassroots support needed to secure some important legislative victories:
    • Growing number of Republicans and Democrats co-sponsored the International Violence Against Women Act
    • Millions of dollars set aside for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Darfur.
    • Habeas corpus gains affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court survived proposed rollbacks in Congress.
    • Senate passed a resolution calling on the United Nations to stop the flow of weapons into Darfur by expanding the current arms embargo to all of Sudan.
    • Progress made to include funding to stop violence against Native American and Alaska Native women in the 2009 appropriations bill
    • Funding package to Mexico included important human rights safeguards
    I could go on. But you see my point. We’ve made hard-earned progress this year – and we can do even more in the year ahead. And that’s all because of the countless people, just like you, taking time to write a letter, or send an action to a friend, or respond to an appeal with a generous donation.

    You’ve made the difference. So thank you.

    I look forward to 2009 with hope and renewed optimism as to what we can achieve together.


    Larry Cox
    Executive Director
    Amnesty International USA
    Malaysian court frees blogger
    11 years ago
    › Home

    7 November 2008

    A Malaysian high court has ordered the release of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, on the grounds that his arrest, under the Internal Security Act (ISA), was unconstitutional.

    An online social commentator and the editor of news blog Malaysia Today, Raja Petra was arrested on 12 September for threatening national security and potentially "causing tension among the country's multi-racial and multi-religious society".

    Articles published online by Raja Petra were deemed insulting to Muslims and to the Prophet Muhammad and were thought defamatory of Malaysia's leaders. The articles in question were 'Malays, the Enemy of Islam', 'Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell', 'I promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim' and 'Not all Arabs are descendents of the Prophet'.

    Speaking to reporters about his release, Raja Petra said, "I'm really glad it's over. I'm really tired. The judge's decision proves there is no justification for my detention. We have to fight all-out and get the ISA abolished."

    Judge Syed Ahmad Helmy, of the high court in the state of Selangor, ruled that the Malaysian Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar had acted beyond his powers in having Raja Petra arrested.

    The Malaysian government continues to use or threatens to use the ISA against people whom they accuse of being threats to national security, including government critics and those allegedly involved in "terrorist-linked" activities.

    The ISA allows the police to arrest individuals they believe have acted, or are "about to" or "likely to" act in a way that would threaten Malaysian security, "essential services" or "economic life" (Article 73 (1)b).

    After an initial 60-day detention for "investigation", the ISA allows for detention without trial for up to two years renewable indefinitely, without the detainee being charged with a crime or tried in a court of law. More than 60 other people are still detained under the ISA without charge or trial.

    "Amnesty International welcomes Raja Petra's release ", said Donna Guest, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Deputy Director. "We call on the government to stop using this law to control dissent."
    Read MoreMalaysia: Arrest of blogger highlights continued repression (Public statement, 12 September 2008)
    Small victory for justice in Guatemala
    11 years ago

    Good news: President Alvaro Colóm announced on February 25 that he will open Guatemala's military archives to the public. These archives will help bring Ríos Montt to justice.

    Watch Amnesty International's documentary "Justice without Borders" and get the full story on Ríos Montt and other international human rights criminals.
    Take action! 


    AIUA's documentary film "Justice Without Borders" features a very powerful story segment on the long struggle to bring Efraín Ríos Montt to justice. ©ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

    GOOD NEWS! President Alvaro Colóm announced on February 25 that he will open Guatemala's military archives to the public. These files are believed to contain crucial information on human rights abuses committed during Guatemala's internal armed conflict (1960-1996).

    The release of the files is the realization of a key objective in Amnesty's campaign to bring to justice ex-president General Efraín Ríos Montt and other former officials accused of genocide, torture and other crimes against humanity. We believe that the files contain information that will eventually help to convict them.

    Amnesty International welcomes the opening of the military archives as a very positive step, although the real test will be whether this development results in prosecutions. AI researchers are currently organizing a mission to Guatemalan for early March, during which they will be gathering information to determine next steps in our campaign.

    THANK YOU to all who have sent messages to the Guatemalan government urging the release of the files. Thousands of you have taken action, and today we can see what is possible when we join forces with the brave human rights defenders in Guatemala who every day risk their lives just to demand justice.


    Vienna Colucci
    Director, Program for International Justice and Accountability
    Amnesty International USA

    Watch AIUA's documentary film "Justice Without Borders"

    A day of action in support of justice for genocide in Guatemala
    More info

    Belarusian youth activist freed
    12 years ago

    Belarusian youth activist freed

    Please visit actual page to view video ...

    25 January 2008

           The Belarusian youth activist, Zmitser Dashkevich, has been released early from Sklou prison in Belarus. Zmitser was the subject of a global Amnesty International action last year calling for his release.

    In an interview shortly after his release, Zmitser said that he thought his early release was due to international pressure.

    The first Zmitser's friends knew about his release was when he phoned them from Sklou post office on Wednesday. He then made his way home alone by train. His parents had suspected that an early release might be possible when prison authorities rejected their last food parcel for him.

    A leader of the Young Front, Zmitser Dashkevich was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for "organizing or participating in activities of an unregistered organization" in November 2006. He was due to be released on March 15.

           Amnesty International considered him to be a prisoner of conscience. He became the subject of a global action during which Amnesty International members, youth groups and supporters sent over 10,000 origami cranes to the authorities.

    A giant crane was created by Amnesty International youth members at the ICM in Mexico and sent to the Ministry of the Interior in Belarus, but the package was refused at the border. The crane was then sent to the local human rights NGO, Vyasna, who successfully delivered the crane to the Ministry.
    Hungary to introduce protocol for rape victims and survivors
    12 years ago

    I do hope they intend to enforce it, but we will see.  Progress is still good news. Davida

    Hungary to introduce protocol for rape victims and survivors


    Young activist in Budapest taking part in action to stop violence against women © Amnesty International

    26 December 2007

    Representatives of the Government of Hungary met with non-governmental organizations, including Amnesty International, on 5 December 2007 to discuss the introduction of a protocol for survivors of sexual violence in the home.

    Two thirds of sexual crimes are committed by people known to the victim in Hungary, though due to a lack of support services, government inactivity, and deficiencies in the criminal justice system, many women are denied justice and do not receive adequate support following the abuse. Sexual violence within the home is a widespread problem in Hungary.

    Widespread prejudice exists against women who have been raped within the home. From the police authority to the judiciary, it is often assumed that women are responsible for the abuse. A female judge in Hungary said of the difficulties of achieving justice “I have worked as a judge for 10 years, but I myself would not report rape. It is the victim who has to defend and prove everything”.

    Following the recent launch of Amnesty International’s report 'Cries unheard: The failure to protect women from rape and sexual violence in the home' and campaigning by Amnesty International activists, the Government of Hungary has agreed to work with non-governmental organizations and representatives of the police force, judiciary and health professionals to develop a protocol for dealing with victims and survivors of sexual violence in the home. The protocol will govern how the victim is treated by all services she comes into contact with from when she reports the crime.

    While the process is in its early stages, Amnesty International welcomes the fact that this issue now features on the political agenda in Hungary and the commitment of all involved to provide proper protection for victims of rape in the home.
    Read MoreCries unheard: The failure to protect women from rape and sexual violence in the home (Report, 10 May 2007)
    Indigenous woman set free
    12 years ago
    Indigenous Woman Set Free Society & Culture (tags: abuse, activists, crime, culture, freedoms, humans, law, rights, society, women, world, Amnesty International, Good News )
    Prisoner of conscience and mother-of-five has been released from jail in Mexico after spending more than 18 months in custody.After her release, she thanked Amnesty International, which has campaigned extensively on her behalf.

    RE: [Amnesty International] Amnesty International Success Stories
    12 years ago
    Amnesty Internation Iraqi pepole need your help Holocaust rape Iraqi women in detention government Islamic Da'wah Party...The sale of Iraqi children and the trafficking gangs government contracts charge-serious violations 20072007-08-26: By: Sabah Al-Baghdadi: * Researcher in the affairs of international terrorism of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Iraqi women constitute almost 55 per to 65% of the population of Iraq, as a result of conditions destructive wars experienced by Iraq over the past twenty years, Iraqi women forced duties father and mother, in addition to her work because of the absence of a husband, father or brother in the fields of war and the battlefronts, causing a big vacuum in the family home filled with all women creative dedication of love and love and social care to be exceptional to the responsibility that had suddenly assumed in the absence of this treacherous time. After that there was a clear distinction since the early twentieth century and entry to the political arena and different fields of work. In the early 1970s the Iraqi constitution equality of women and men before the judiciary, and this was the first step in retaining their legitimate full-deficient, and also enjoyed their duties as mothers, unlike those in the Arab region and the neighboring countries. It was granted five years of maternity leave by making it easier for child care very advanced age of the early stages of the study, and in 1980 received the right to vote and stand in parliamentary elections, occupying approximately 20% of the total seats in the Iraqi National Congress, in an article for columnist Murtadha Alshashtor stating ((in mid-1999 Iraqi government issued a decree which banned women arrested were charged with any crime in police stations and the investigation pending the issuance of a conviction, except for cases of flagrante delicate during arrest)). One thing that is ironic in this context, the women in the United States of America in Congress specifically does not exceed the rate of its representation by more than 14%. But the setback bigger and deeper Iraqi women to enter Iraq the second Gulf war in 1991 which helped with the deterioration of their life and have been unprecedented in modern Iraqi history, "from the imposition of an economic blockade brutally unfair to the Iraqi people who have been affected by a very large and it is targeted directly and very organization by the United States of America and the tail of the Security Council, especially in the area of health care, which has left many of the births of children maimed and disabled by radiation of depleted uranium that had been thrown out of Iraq in the second Gulf war, as well as the lack of sponsors health of the pregnant woman , malnutrition and infectious diseases of the mother and child alike result of the economic conditions programmed against the Iraqi people. After the fall of Baghdad by the occupation forces and the installation of a gang Hakma implement its own agenda occupier, and other States received by cell upbringing and education for the purpose of this day promised, and we all remember when the President received a list of the coalition of evil gang common position of the monthly session of the Governing Council decision by the dead - and-buried by calling 137 in 1 Riigikogu 2004 Genghis, reputation, which targeted Iraqi women and the very core of their legitimacy and social gained and who was wanted by which to return to the eras of underdevelopment and the women are slain and Harem and comfort, having left behind the occupation era black and bleak on the lives of women, which found itself unprotected by the organs (state Iraqi! ! !) after the fall of Baghdad, and left us easy prey to militias and death squads and groups who claim Islam and supporting community and tribal custom backward and outdated provisions imposing forced them at gunpoint and threatened with death, and all that stands against granting women their rights usurped and rid it of slavery, persecution and trafficking before slaves turbans clerics bad, and the dimensions of the outstanding vital role in society and the effective evolution of civilization and civil .. Reports indicate that the Organization of Women's Rights in Iraq, a non-governmental organization concerned with defending the rights of Iraqi women and monthly reports issued periodically in this regard, that sways 90-100 Iraqi woman widowed daily as a result of violence and bombings and sectarian killings rampant now in Iraq operations the military carried out by the American occupation forces, as the report points out that there is (300) A widow in Baghdad alone by eight million to a widow in various parts of Iraq, and this means that the percentage of widows constitute 35% of the population of Iraq, 65% of the number of Iraqi Women and 80% of married women. The active in the field of defending women's rights Dr. Huda Al-Anbuge, says ((that the main problem faced by widows are worsening the problem of poverty and destitution financial, and the background to this difficult reality of living most families forced to sell their homes to furniture measure things difficult living and to remove their children from school to work to support the family)) criticized Dr. Anbuge brutal practices against Iraqi women saying ((deliberately detachments occupation forces and even the various Iraqi security services to arrest women in an attempt to pressure the father, husband or brother, as well as relatives of the accused arrested especially wife to pressure him and force him to surrender or cooperate with the investigation, describing this behavior interested wrong and shameful behavior and falls outside the civil and civilized human, so much so that even forcing Iraqi women to come to achieve naked without any clothes hide her body, and here they are vulnerable to ridicule and humiliation by officers investigators and the prison guards and translators alike)), in turn appeale
    Good News! Environmental Defender Freed
    12 years ago

    It is with great joy that we announce the release of Dr Mohamed Jalal Ahmed Hashim, a prominent opponent of the construction of the Kajbar Dam in Sudan, who was arrested on June 16th. He was released from detention on August 25th.

    He expressed his sincere thanks to Amnesty International, explaining that so many faxes arrived that the security services holding him suspected that he was a very important person with many contacts worldwide. Since several of the faxes mentioned his diabetes, prison medical staff started to check his diabetes every day.

    Upon his release he said to Amnesty International: ''In Sudan to have someone detained unlawfully is so common that people just worry about being tortured, not about being detained''. He was released after he agreed to sign a statement saying he would not engage in public political activities; he said he agreed because his fellow detainees had signed the same statement.


    Four Sudanese journalists detained for a week for trying to cover dam protests. © AFP

    Several other people opposed to the dam's construction were arrested at the same time as Dr. Mohamed Jalal Ahmed Hashim, among them Mujahed Mohamed Abdallah, Abdallah Abdelgaum, Alam Eldin Abdelghani, Osman Shamat, Imad Mirghani Sid Ahmed, and Osman Ibrahim. All have since been released.

    Many thanks to all CAN members who sent appeals on behalf of these environmental defenders. You can help other individuals at risk by visiting our website.

    In solidarity,
    Amy O'Meara
    Amnesty Corporate Action Network (CAN)
    Contact us at
    Learn more about corporate accountability for human rights.

    Rwanda abolishes death penalty
    12 years ago

    Rwanda has become the latest country to abolish the death penalty, accelerating the worldwide trend towards ending capital punishment.

    It is the first country in Africa's Great Lakes region to call a halt to executions and the 100th country worldwide to abolish the death penalty in law. Another 30 countries are abolitionist in practice. Fourteen countries in Africa, including Rwanda, are now abolitionist for all crimes and a further 18 are abolitionist in practice.

    It is hoped that Rwanda's move will spark a pattern towards abolishing the death penalty in Central Africa. There are encouraging signs from Burundi, where a revised version of the Penal Code, currently pending promulgation, has excluded the death penalty as punishment for all crimes.

    The last death sentences were imposed in Rwanda in 2003. The last executions took place in 1998, when 22 people found guilty of genocide-related crimes were executed. Rwanda currently holds approximately 600 prisoners on death row, whose sentences are being commuted following this legislation.

    The continued existence of the death penalty constituted one of the main obstacles preventing the transfer of detainees held by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), or indicted genocide suspects living abroad, to Rwanda's national jurisdiction.

    Other obstacles have been the capability of the Rwandan justice system to provide fair trials as well as additional concerns regarding its independence, impartiality and transparency. The abolition of the death penalty is a step forward.

    Amnesty International now calls on the Rwandan government to co-sponsor the resolution on a global moratorium on executions that will be introduced at the United Nations General Assembly this October, and to encourage other countries in the region to support the resolution.

    Good News for AI
    12 years ago
    Amnesty International has earned $539.18 using!  Thought we could all use a little good news.
    Thank you & Action
    12 years ago
    Thank you so much for working to create a better world with Amnesty International. Today, I want to share with you how your efforts are saving lives and inspiring change across the globe.

    My father Mesfin Woldemariam, founder of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, was detained and imprisoned in connection with public demonstrations protesting alleged election fraud. He and 37 other co-defendants were recently convicted and sentenced to life in prison, for doing nothing more than expressing their political beliefs. But dedicated activists like you helped press the Ethiopian authorities to free Mesfin and other prisoners of conscience, which the government did today in Addis Ababa!

    My father and his co-defendants suffered in prison because of overcrowding, lack of access to health care, and overall poor conditions. Today, his health remains fragile, but his spirit is strong. Thanks in part to your help, he is now free!.

    You can help even more by sending an email to your Representative to ask them to co-sponsor and pass the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act (HR 2003).

    Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your continued support of Amnesty International's important work to champion human rights in Ethiopia and around the world. You are needed now more than ever, and as you can see, your actions really do change lives.


    Meqdes Mesfin

    12 years ago
    Thank you so much for working to create a better world with Amnesty International. Today, I want to share with you how your efforts are saving lives and inspiring change across the globe.

    "It was because of [Amnesty] that 10 years became 10 months... Thank you for the work you've done!" - Jennifer Latheef

    When Jennifer Latheef, a photojournalist from the Maldives islands near Sri Lanka, was arrested and imprisoned for peaceful protest of political repression and prison deaths, she was given a 10-year jail term for "terrorist" activities. But an intensive letter-writing campaign by Amnesty's Urgent Action Network helped force her captors to improve her treatment and ultimately won her freedom after just 10 months!

    "When the situation seemed absolutely desperate and we really felt lonely, we began to receive cards ... We really needed to know we were not alone." - Oksana Chelysheva

    When Oksana Chelysheva was subjected to death threats and systematic government harassment for her work as a journalist reporting on the torture, abduction, and secret detention of civilians by Russian forces in Chechnya, Amnesty called upon its members to rally around her. And you responded with a tremendous outpouring of cards and letters expressing your support.

    Click here to watch Amnesty's interview with these two remarkable human rights defenders at our Annual General Meeting this past spring.

    There are so many more reasons for hope. Amnesty's Urgent Action Network has also secured these recent victories:
    • A court suspended the sentence of acclaimed Russian environmental activist Andrei Zatoka in response to Amnesty's emergency campaign demanding his immediate release. Zatoka's wife was overjoyed upon hearing of his release, exclaiming "We won! Andrei is freed!" Click here to read more.
    • Annadurdy Khadzhiev, a political leader in Turkmenistan's exiled opposition party, was released by Bulgarian officials in February and will not face extradition. Click here to read more.
    Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your continued support of our work. With mounting human rights abuses around the world, we need you now more than ever. As Jennifer Latheef so eloquently observed after her release, "It's empathy that rules the world."


    Larry Cox
    Executive Director
    Amnesty International USA
    12 years ago
    host you may delete messages. Select All Posts

    Lorraine E.
    Lorraine has received 56 new, 164 total stars from Care2 membersLorraine has been awarded 529 butterflies for taking action at Care2


    Is Stoning acceptable



    Great news: 2 Iranian women have been released

    – at least for now

    you for being one of the more than 2,400 Canadians who responded
    immediately to Amnesty International’s urgent plea last week to write
    on behalf of these two courageous human rights campaigners in Iran.

    Mahboubeh AbbasgholozadehPrisoners
    of conscience Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh and Shadi Sadr were released on
    Tuesday 19 March from Evin Prison, Tehran, on bail of over US$215,000.
    They were among 33 women detained on 4 March during a protest in
    Tehran. Mahboubeh and Shadi had been held in solitary confinement
    between 6 and 15 March.

    welcomes the news that Mahboubeh and Shadi have been released on bail,
    and will continue to call for all charges to be dropped against anyone
    charged in connection with the peaceful demonstration on 12 June 2006,
    or in connection with the peaceful protest on 4 March 2007.

    Shadi SadrThank you for being one of the dedicated Amnesty supporters who took time to write on behalf of these courageous women!

    like Mahboubeh and Shadi inspire us and deserve our admiration. To know
    they had been detained in substandard conditions, with fear of
    ill-treatment, for saying what every member of Amnesty International
    firmly believes comes as a shock.

    Would you like to participate more regularly in actions like this? 

    so, I’d like to invite you to join Amnesty International’s most topical
    and effective letter-writing group, our Urgent Action Network.

    It's easy to join and your participation is completely flexible to your time.Our
    letter-writers are backbone of Amnesty International’s effectiveness.
    It's the incredible response we get to urgent actions like this one
    that gets Amnesty International heard by governments all around the
    send green star]

    of this letter-writing network typically receive 1 message each month.
    In many cases, it is not a message that can be sent by email, but
    involves sending

    Environmental Defender Freed
    13 years ago
    "We won! Andrei is free!" – Yevgenia Zatoka (Andrei's wife) Turkmenistan: Amnesty International is happy to report that Andrei Zatoka was released from jail on January 31. Andrei had been detained on December 17 by local police at the airport in his home city of Dashoguz. There were allegations that he was targeted to punish him for his peaceful work as an environmental activist. He and his supporters are grateful for the appeals sent by AI's Urgent Action network on his behalf. 2007-01-31 ---- Brian Glasscock Assistant to the Deputy Director - WEST Amnesty International, USA
    13 years ago
    LGBT NGO's granted consultative status at the UN
    USA: In January 2006 three LGBT groups were denied the right to a fair hearing on their application for consultative status to the UN's Economic and Social Council. The US aligned itself with severely oppressive regimes including Iran, China, Sudan and Zimbabwe prompting an Amnesty International campaign pressuring Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to change the US position and grant LGBT rights groups a voice at the United Nations. The US reversed its stance and on December 11, 2006 the applications were approved allowing the groups to be able to directly raise human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations. Read the ECOSOC press release »
    Initiative Partnership Activists
    13 years ago


    Mikalay Astreyka (upper right), Tsimafey Dranchuk (upper left), Enira Branizkaya (lower left), Alyaksandr Shalayka (lower right) © Private

    Belarus: Mikalay Astreyka was conditionally released from prison in November before the end of his sentence. He and 3 other political activists, featured in AIUSA's Summer postcard and Freedom Writer's actions, were arrested in February as they prepared to monitor elections in Belarus. Enira Branizkaya and Alyaksandr Shalayka were freed from prison in August, following completion of their sentences. Amnesty is calling for Astreyka's release to be made unconditional and for Tsimafey Dranchuk to be released as well. Many thanks to all who took action on their behalf.

    13 years ago
    Eritrea – Helen Berhane
    Helen Berhane
    © Private

    Helen Berhane was released in October 2006 after having been detained incommunicado without charge or trial for two and a half years. The authorities reportedly tortured her many times to make her recant her faith. Helen was hospitalized as a result of beatings and is said to be confined to a wheelchair. She refused to abandon her faith despite the threats and ill-treatment.

    Haiti – Father Gerard Jean-Juste
    Father Gerard Jean-Juste
    © Private

    Father Gerard Jean-Juste was released from detention on health grounds in January 2006 to allow him to seek medical treatment in the USA for leukemia. Shortly before his release from prison, Father Jean-Juste wrote: "…I am very grateful to Amnesty International and to all of you for helping fight for the human rights of all political prisoners, here in Haiti and across the world. Let's keep the momentum on for justice, peace, love, and sharing to prevail all over the world as God wants it."

    Morocco – Aminatou Haidar
    Aminatou Haidar
    Aminatou Haidar © Martin Wikström

    Human rights defender Aminatou Haidar was released from prison in January 2006. Her colleagues Mohamed El Moutaouakil, Houssein Lidri, Brahim Noumria, Larbi Messaoud, Ali Salem Tamek, and H’mad Hammad were freed two months later.

    Syria – Mamun al-Humsi and Riad Seif
    Mamun al-Humsi
    © Private

    Mamun al-Humsi and Riad Seif were released from prison in January 2006 while Amnesty International representatives were visiting Syria on a mission. Muhammad Ra'dun was released in November 2005.

    Turkmenistan – Gurbandurdy Durdykuliev
    Gurbandurdy Durdykuliev
    © Private

    Gurbandurdy Durdykuliev was freed in April 2006 from forcible confinement to a psychiatric hospital. Following his release, Durdykuliev told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, "I want, through your radio, to say thank you very much to international organizations and to the U.S. Congress, and also to the many people who sent telegrams, postcards, and letters to me."

    USA – Murat Kurnaz
    Murat Kurnaz
    © Private

    Murat Kurnaz was released on August 24, 2006, after being held at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility for four years and eight months without charge or trial. His lawyer wrote to Amnesty upon Kurnaz's reunion with his family in Germany: "He is now again in the circle of his family. Their joy at embracing their lost son again is indescribable."

    13 years ago
    I don't know how but I missed this when you first posted it. Glad you saw it to post.
    Solomon Islands: Something to celebrate
    13 years ago

    When women's organisations in the Solomon Islands (population 523,000) celebrated International Women's Day on 8 March this year, they actually had a range of positive changes to celebrate. In the year and a half since the end of the internal conflict in the Pacific island group, which led to widespread human rights abuses including rape and torture, the authorities have initiated a number of measures to improve the situation in the country.

    Major changes have been made to the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP), such as the creation of the country's first Sexual Assault Unit. The unit’s first strategic plan incorporates recommendations made in an Amnesty International report on violence against women in the Solomon Islands published last year (Solomon Islands: Women confronting violence).

    A female Detective Sergeant with many years' experience investigating sexual assault and violence in the family was appointed to set up the unit. The number of female police officers in general continues to increase, up from fifty in 1992 to at least 92 (out of about 1,050) today. The RSIP has also developed a gender policy and have advertised a post for an equal employment office within the police service.

    The past 18 months have not only seen changes in policy and make-up of the police, however. The RSIP has been active in addressing gender-based crime and gender equality. Officers accused of sexual assault have been prosecuted, such as the Police Constable charged on 12 March this year. He has been accused of raping a young girl who was under police care and protection as a victim of sexual abuse within her own family.

    The country's first purpose-built shelter for women and children who are victims of family violence was opened on 6 March and expects its first resident clients from 1 May. The centre offers short-term accommodation for up to 20 girls and women (or mothers with small children) as well as counselling space. It is known as the Christian Care Centre, in memory of its late founder, Sister Lilian of the (Anglican) Church of Melanesia who, with her fellow Sisters, cared for many women survivors of abuse.

    The Centre was built with New Zealand and Guadalcanal Provincial Government support. However, it is located outside the capital and still lacks a dedicated vehicle that would allow counsellors to visit survivors of abuse and allow residents to attend medical or legal appointments. There is also no radio to call police in case of unwanted visitors, or to arrange such appointments. At present, staff must walk two hours to Honiara due to the lack of communications and transport.

    That the shelter has been established is an excellent initiative. But such gaps in security are a matter of concern, as a shelter needs to be more than simply a place of residence for women in danger. It must be a place of safety, for which secure funding, specialist staff, as well as safe movement for residents are required.

    Progress has also been made on mechanisms to address a broad range of human rights. Following a visit by Human Rights Commissioners from Fiji and New Zealand and by the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, Prime Minister Alan Kemakeza announced the establishment of a national Human Rights Commission. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has decided to place a National Human Rights Legal Officer in Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands. This is the first such appointment to be made in the region.

    In January, the Islands' High Court substantially increased its capacity to hold criminal trials. Two new court rooms have been opened and two additional judges, as well as support staff, have been appointed. These developments allow the court to address conflict-related human rights violations more effectively. In addition, the Chief Justice has appointed a Court Information Officer and launched a law and order awareness campaign ("Law Blo Iumi"). This will allow survivors and villagers affected by abuses to learn about their rights and the processes for bringing those responsible to justice, something which they have long been demanding.

    However, much of this progress depends on donor funding and lacks sustainable government resources as well as long-term donor support. Amnesty International therefore calls upon the Solomon Islands Government to commit substantially more assistance and long term planning to make the changes truly effective and sustainable and to translate government promises into reality.

    The biggest concern now is that identified root causes of the conflict need to be addressed. Inequalities in rural development, economic and educational opportunities have been particularly acute, hampering schooling and skills training for village girls and women and their active participation in the economy, the justice system and in decision-making processes. Women who know their rights are more likely to benefit from the kind of improvements described.

    Media information on human rights and other issues has improved, but rural areas remain disadvantaged in their access to media, training and information that is available in urban centres. To truly change the situation in the Solomon Islands and to shore up and develop the positive changes that have been made, a much wider audience, particularly women’s groups, need to be involved and the authorities have a responsibility to involve them.

    Viet Nam
    13 years ago

    Thich Quang Do

    "Just to know that the 'outside' world had not forgotten me and was continuing to work for my release was an immense source of encouragement during those dark days. I know that Amnesty International played a leading role in these efforts...I owe you my freedom."

    Thich Quang Do, Buddhist monk from Viet Nam

    13 years ago
    Rehab Abdel Bagi Mohamed Ali

    "I was beaten and verbally abused in detention. After a few days, the guards asked me: 'do you know that your name is all over the internet?'. After that, I was treated better by the guards before being released. The appeals sent by Amnesty members definitely had an affect on my case."

    Rehab Abdel Bagi Mohamed Ali, an X-ray technician from Sudan

    13 years ago
    My name is Ignatius Mahendra and I was sentenced for 3 years imprisonment for insulting the President and Vice President. I think Greetings Card Campaign has direct affect on prisoner of conscience because we in prison are very isolated, so when the letters comes we can see that we are not forgotten and many people from all over the world are supporting us, and this makes us feel much better.

    Ignatius MahendraIgnatius Mahendra was sentenced for 3 years imprisonment for insulting the President and Vice President in Indonesia.

    13 years ago
    Ryan Matthews

    "Never give up hope, no matter how bad it gets." - Ryan Matthews

    In 1999 Ryan was sentenced to death for a murder he had not committed. He was just 17 at the time of the crime. Amnesty members wrote appeals on his behalf and sent him greetings cards to boost his morale. After five years on death row in Louisiana, Ryan was granted a retrial. Four months later, he left court as a free man after his lawyers presented DNA evidence showing that another man had committed the murder

    13 years ago

    Supreme Court Outlaws Juvenile Executions

    Today, the Court repudiated the misguided idea that the United States can pledge to leave no child behind while simultaneously exiling children to the death chamber. Now, the US can proudly remove its name from the embarrassing list of human rights violators that includes China, Iran, and Pakistan -- nations that still execute juvenile offenders. It can take pride in knowing that it is now in the company of the honorable nations that abandoned this antiquated practice years ago."
            – Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA

    USA: With its March 1st decision in Roper v. Simmons, the U.S. Supreme Court removed the U.S. from the list of nations that execute juvenile offenders and ensured that evolving standards of decency are recognized, allowing the United States to join the rest of the international community.

    13 years ago
    Congress blocks the outsourcing of torture
    USA: In June, Congress banned the government from using any money in a newly passed State Department and Defense Department spending bills to render someone to a country where they will likely be tortured or to subject any person in US custody to torture. The amendments to HR 2863, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, and HR 2862, Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, were proposed by Congressman Markey (MA) and passed the House with overwhelming majority support. The inclusion of these provisions would not have been possible without thousands of Amnesty International activists and others advocating for the US government to end any acts of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and hold those accountable in the military and civilian chains of command who have had involvement in the formulation or carrying out of such policies. Read more. »
    13 years ago
    Vermont Passes Law to Protect Women in Prison from Custodial Sexual Misconduct
    USA: Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) applauded lawmakers in Vermont for passing legislation that protects women in prison from custodial sexual misconduct (CSM) -- the sexual abuse of inmates at the hands of corrections staff. Vermont was the last of the 50 states to pass a law directly addressing such abuse, though many of those states' laws are severely inadequate. Read more. »
    13 years ago
    We will win in a prosperous world."
    Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam
    Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam
    "Thanks for the support you gave me and all the needy people. I have been inspired by the support you and all human rights defenders gave. It is your support and solidarity that kept my high spirit and determination to keep on the struggle for the freedom and rights of my people ... Your Solidarity and support explicitly strengthened my belonging to the community of good spirited people. Thanks again and I will remain honest, faithful and determined as an impartial human rights defender as long as I exist in this life. Keep up and cheer up, we will win a prosperous world." - Dr. Mudawi in an email to Amnesty International the day following his release.

    All charges against human rights activist Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, director of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO), were dropped on August 7, 2004, and he was released. Dr. Mudawi was arrested in December 2003 after he visited Darfur in the course of his work for SUDO and charged with crimes against the state that carried the death penalty.
    13 years ago
    5 Human Rights Defenders Released without Charge by Sudanese Security Forces
    The head of the Sudan Development Organization (SUDO), Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, thanked Amnesty International for its action on behalf of the five men, saying, "The Governor received the first faxes sent by Amnesty International - very soon thereafter the five were released. They asked me when they were released, 'Why were we released so quickly?' The pressure exerted by you has really worked, thanks for your solidarity."

    • Alrayah Ibrahim Eldaw (m), staff member of SUDO
    • Sayed Abu Bakr (m), SUDO volunteer
    • Alfaris Ibrahim (m), SUDO staff member
    • Dawalbeit Kabbur (m), SUDO staff member, and
    • Osman Ali Ismael (m), SUDO staff member

    At 5:30 pm on February 13, the five human rights defenders named above were released without charge by security forces.

    The five had been arrested on the morning of February 13 at Ed Dain University in South Darfur as they conducted a training session on human rights monitoring.

    13 years ago
     sex rings has been proven. But there are suspicions, which are fuelled by Nacif and his web of contacts.

    Cacho, who has been under police protection since last year, when she began to receive death threats, was referred to in earlier leaked conversations, between Nacif and Mario Marín, governor of the state of Puebla, near the capital.

    In the tapped conversations, Marín, a member of the PRI, can be heard telling Nacif that "I just gave a bump on the head to that old witch."

    The two men also discussed how they had the activist arrested and thrown into a cell with "nutcases and dykes (lesbians)," so that she would be raped -- something that did not occur, because in the prison, "the prisoners themselves and the guards protected me," the writer said in an earlier conversation with IPS.

    The tapes, which were sent to the press anonymously and broadcast in February, were apparently recorded in December 2005, after Cacho was thrown into jail for 30 hours, after a grueling 20-hour drive from her home in Cancún to Puebla.

    The activist was arrested in connection with the libel suit brought against her by Nacif.

    But when the news of her arrest broke, the rights watchdog Amnesty International, the World Organisation Against Torture, the Inter-American Press Association and other international groups raised an outcry, and Cacho was released on bail.

    After the scandal triggered by the leaked phone conversations in February, in which the governor of Puebla and Nacif -- who owns factories in that state -- are heard discussing actions to teach Cacho a lesson, the Supreme Court initiated an investigation to determine whether or not Marín had engaged in criminal activity. (FIN/2006)
    Amnesty International Success Stories
    13 years ago
    | Hot!

    This thread is for posting AIs' successes, past & present. It is important and inspirational to show AIs' efficacy.

    I'll start it off with this one in Mexico.

    Child advocate known for exposing elite pedophiles released from jail due to AIs' and other human rights orgs efforts.

    8:07 AM - MEXICO: Ties Between Elites and Child Sex Rings by Diego Cevallos
    Category: News and Politics

    MEXICO: Ties Between Elites and Child Sex Rings "Beyond Imagination"

    Diego Cevallos

    MEXICO CITY, Sep 13 (IP

    The complicity in Mexico between child sex rings and the political and business elites "goes beyond what we can even imagine," says activist Lydia Cacho, who faces death threats and was even thrown briefly into prison for revealing those ties in a book.

    "What we have just seen is only the tip of the iceberg," Cacho told IPS, after the local media aired Tuesday recordings of telephone conversations between two prominent politicians and a hotel owner now in prison, and a wealthy local businessman.

    The number of Mexican politicians and businessmen involved in child pornography and sex rings "would shock us if we knew the real extent of the phenomenon," said Cacho.

    In one of the illegally taped conversations broadcast Tuesday, which apparently date back to 2004, the governor of the state of Veracruz, Fidel Herrera of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and Emilio Gamboa, head of the party's bloc in the lower house of Congress, can be heard talking on friendly terms with textile mogul Kamel Nacif.

    Nacif, a Mexican of Lebanese origin, who in the obscenity-laced conversation can be heard asking Gamboa to block a gambling bill to be debated by Congress, is suing Cacho for libel.

    In her 2004 book "Los demonios del Edén" (The Demons of Eden), Cacho -- who is a journalist and writer as well as the director of a women's shelter in Cancún -- links Nacif with Jean Succar, a Lebanese-born hotel owner who is in prison facing charges of arranging paedophile parties in that Mexican resort town.

    In another of the anonymously recorded conservations leaked to the press and broadcast Tuesday, Nacif can be heard talking with Succar.

    Succar, under arrest in Mexico since July, after he was extradited from the United States, can be heard asking Nacif for a seven million dollar loan to purchase a hotel in Cancún, to which Nacif responds in the affirmative.

    Later, the two exchange information on "the girl from Miami," who they refer to as "putita" (little whore), and who they say they have paid 2,000 dollars. Succar asks Nacif when it would be best to bring the girl to Cancún, and the latter responds that "next week, you son of a b***h, but you bring her to fornicate."

    In Cacho's book, Succar is identified as the head of a ring of adults who subjected underage girls to sexual abuse in Cancún, in which Nacif allegedly took part.

    Succar was arrested in February 2004 in the United States on child abuse charges and was extradited to Mexico in July, where he also faces charges for money laundering and organised crime.

    "Los demonios del Edén" contains the personal accounts of minors who talk about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of a ring in which prominent figures were allegedly involved. The youngsters describe how the hotel owner sexually abused them himself, set up a prostitution ring to allow others to abuse them, and photographed them in order to sell the pornographic images on the Internet.

    A 2004 study by researcher Elena Azaola, which estimated that some 17,000 children under the age of 18 are victims of the sex trade in Mexico, is also based on interviews with minors who managed to escape, as well as visits to establishments where underage girls and boys are forced to work as prostitutes.

    The two PRI politicians, Herrera and Gamboa, denied having any illegal ties with Nacif, and said they did not even know Succar. From their point of view, the airing of the tapped phone conversations was a low political blow aimed at their party.

    The PRI, which ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, came in third in the Jul. 2 presidential and legislative elections.

    Gamboa is one of the lawmakers who have approached Felipe Calderón of the conservative governing National Action Party (PAN) over the last few days, since he was confirmed as president-elect by the electoral court.

    Javier González, a leader of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) legislators, said the leaked conversations between Nacif and the PRI politicians showed that the political system "is rotten."

    The PRD argues that its candidate, Andrés López Obrador, lost the elections to Calderón because of fraud.

    Cacho agrees that corruption is rife. "Many businessmen like Nacif have amassed huge fortunes in exchange for dark favours to politicians."

    So far, no direct link between politicians or prominent businessmen and child porn or sex rings has been proven. But there are suspicions, which a