Thursday, June 26, 2014

Egypt: Free Al Jazeera Staff Jailed for Journalism: Online Petition Deadline ASAP

Egypt: Free Al Jazeera Staff Jailed for Journalism Online Petition Deadline ASAP
On December 29, 2013, Egyptian government jailed 3 English staff of Al Jazeera: Mohammad Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohammed for “broadcasting false news and apparently promoting the banned Muslim Brotherhood group”. Baher Mohamed faces 10 years behind bars while Mohammad Fahmy and Peter Greste were dealt 7 years imprisonment. Click here to call on the Egyptian government to release them unconditionally.

A Father's Plea for his Son - Online Petition

A Father's Plea for his Son - Online Petition

One of our members has shared this petition with our group and we would like to share it with you. For complete petition click here.

"My Son Shahram Ahmadi has been sentenced to death. His case will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in the upcoming weeks. He is 26 years old and has spent the last 6 years of his life in prison. I couldn’t stop the execution of his younger brother Bahram and had a heart attack when I heard the news. The Iranian government refuses to hand over Bahram’s body. Now I need your help to stop Shahram’s execution." #ShahramAhmadi

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Forced Marriage to your Rapist is not Justice Online Petiton Deadline: ASAP

Forced Marriage to your Rapist is not Justice Online Petition Deadline: ASAP 
In March 2012, Moroccan teenager, Amina Filali killed herself after being forced to marry her rapist. Similar laws are still being practiced in neighbouring countries, Algeria and Tunisia. Click here to sign Amnesty petition “Protect Survivors of Sexual Violence."

Stop Execution of 33 Sunnis and Kurd in Iran: A Joint Statement by AI and other HR Groups - NEWS FLASH

Stop Execution of 33 Sunnis and Kurd in Iran: A Joint Statement by AI and other HR Groups (June 12, 2014)
On June 12, 2014, Amnesty International and Iranian human rights groups asked the Iranian authorities to stop execution of 33 Sunnis and Kurds. Click here to read the joint statement by AI and human rights groups


Sudan: Meriam Ibrahim has been released: NEWS FLASH

YOU did it! Your letters and your online petitions did it!  Meriam Ibrahim has been released!

Amnesty International report:

"Today’s release of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Christian Sudanese woman sentenced to death by hanging for ‘apostasy’ and to flogging for ‘adultery,’ is a step towards undoing the horrific injustice visited on her, said Amnesty International today.

Meriam was released from Omdurman Woman’s Prison today after an appeal court found her not guilty of both charges. She is now with her husband and her two children."

 Click here for entire report. 

Updated Amnesty International Report
UPDATE: Meriam and her family have been released from detainment at the airport: We will continue monitoring the situation and let you know how you can help!
Sadly, news has broken that Meriam Ibrahim -- only a day after being released from prison -- is being held at Khartoum airport, Sudan along with her husband and two children. They were detained as they were about to leave the country. We hope to have more information soon.
— with Babiker Ras Babi and Rafeal Varane.

Stop Violence Against Women and Girls Globally: Support International Violence Against Women Act Online Petition: Deadline ASAP

Stop Violence Against Women and Girls Globally: Support International Violence Against Women Act Online Petition Deadline: ASAP  
Violence against women and girls is one of the world’s most pervasive human rights abuses with 1 out of 3 women experiencing violence during her lifetime. The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) would coordinate and improve existing U.S. foreign assistance efforts to stop this global crisis. Tell your Members of Congress to commit to ending violence against women and girls by co-sponsoring I-VAWA. Tell them (1) No girls should be denied the right to education, (2) No woman should fear rape or other violence every time she steps outside her door, (3) No woman should be raped by law enforcement or denied justice for sexual violence, and finally (4) Your action can make a difference. Click here to sign Amnesty Petition. Click here for more information.

Friday, June 20, 2014

World Refugee Day 2014: "Messages of Hope" (video)

World Refugee Day: UN Security Council’s “spectacular failures” cause millions to flee

Amnesty International Report #worldrefugeeday

The UN Security Council is spectacularly failing to maintain international peace and security, Amnesty International said on World Refugee Day. The organization urged Security Council members to act more decisively to protect civilians and prevent millions more people being driven away from their homes. Full report, click here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

United Nations World Refugee Day - June 20th!

"With violence uprooting more people than ever, we are facing unprecedented challenges protecting and helping them. We see the destruction of families and communities on a scale that is truly horrifying, and much more needs to be done to stop and resolve conflicts."
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres 
     For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own Refugee Days and even Weeks. One of the most widespread is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on 20 June in several countries. The UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June. The General Assembly therefore decided that 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day.
      This year, over twenty celebrities from around the world have released a series of 30 second videos supporting refugees as part of a coordinated campaign for this year's World Refugee Day.

Two Human Activists Freed - NEWS FLASH!!!

In the last 30 days, two unjustly imprisoned men walked free - thanks to you.

Your support as an Amnesty activist helped secure the release of prisoners of conscience Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain and Dhondup Wangchen in Tibet.

Both men were treated with cruelty while in jail. Thank you for doing your part to win their freedom. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Iran: Four death row prisoners at imminent risk amid reports of secret executions: News Flash!

o Iran: Four death row prisoners at imminent risk amid reports of secret executions, June 14, 2014
Four Sunni prisoners on death row, Hamed Ahmadi, Jahangir Dehghani, Jamshid Dehghani and Kamal Molaee, have been transferred to solitary confinement and are scheduled to be executed on Sunday 15 June on the charge of “enmity against God” (moharebeh), only days after reports of the secret execution of Ali Chebieshat and Sayed Khaled Mousawi on the same charge, warned Amnesty International. Click here for complete report.

Nazanin Boniadi on Women's Rights at Amnesty's XX Factor Event Video

British-Iranian actress, Nazanin Boniadi, speaks out about why she fights for women's rights. Please watch this inspiring video from Amnesty International USA's XX Factor event held October 4, 2012 in Washington D.C .  Video link can also be found on our sidebar.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Amnesty International: Women as a Force for Peace

Women as a Force for Peace

      Women and girls are uniquely and disproportionately affected by armed conflict. Women bear the brunt of war and are the vast majority of casualties resulting from war. Women are 80% of all refugees and displaced persons. Rape and sexual violence targeting women and girls are routinely used not only to terrorize women, but as strategic tools of war and instruments of genocide.
Importantly, women and girls are not only victims of war; they are also powerful peace-builders whose efforts to prevent conflict and secure peace have been critical, yet largely unrecognized, under-resourced, and not integrated into formal peace processes.
     "Women, Peace and Security" encapsulates three areas of women’s experience of war: protection, participation, and prevention. For complete article click here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Weekly Madison AI Group #139 Update

Hello Everyone,

     We would like to welcome the follow new members to Amnesty International Group #139.
  • In May 2014, ten new individuals joined us: Adrienne, Ali, Amitabh, Chuck, Jessica, Kathy, Mansour, Mike, Shohreh, and Sonia.
  • In June 2014, three new individuals joined us: Abdul, Karen, and Yadi.
     We would also like to acknowledge our 84 Facebook "likes" and 27 Twitter followers. Thank you for helping us spread the important work of Amnesty International.     
     This week we encourage you to watch the video, "Human Toll of Gun Violence;" consider submitting AI proposals for the Midwest Conference; and utilize the Pride Tookit 2014 (June is Pride month). Posted on our Facebook page is a thank you to Amnesty International from Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR). Read his letter in its entirety here. The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins soon and we encourage you to send Brazil a yellow card for its crackdown on demonstrators. Click here for online Amnesty Action.
     Our Madison AI Group #139 appreciates your support of our group and the work you do on behalf of political prisoners around the world.

Monday, June 9, 2014

2014 Regional Conference Workshop Proposals being accepted: Due Date July 11th

2014 Regional Conference Workshop Proposals being accepted: Due Date July 11th

"Member leaders and staff are encouraged to propose ideas for the workshop sessions at any of the Regional Conferences by completing the attached form. All submissions must be received by Friday, July 11 and can be sent to Julie Southwell at:"

Click here to read the entire letter. Click here for the Regional Conference Proposal Form.

Conference Dates
Mid-West: October 24-26, Sheraton St Louis City Center
Northeast: October 25, Boston University
Mid-Atlantic: November 7-9, Washington Court Hotel
Western: November 7-9, Embassy Suites Albuquerque
Southern: November 8-9, Courtyard Marriot Atlanta Decatur
Planning for the regionals is already well under way and we want YOU to take part in the process.

Amnesty International Video: "The Human Toll of Gun Violence"

We invite you to watch this video (1:35:02) that was presented at the #Amnesty2014 Human Rights Conference and Annual General Meeting in Chicago, Illinois April 4-6, 2014.
Panelists discuss the human toll of gun violence in Chicago and other places during the Human Rights Conference 2014 by Amnesty International. This program was streamed and recorded by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tiananmen Square 25th Anniversary

Today we pause and remember the massacre in Tiananmen Square. At least 66 people have been detained by Chinese authorities in connection with this 25th Anniversary. Click here for the latest Amnesty report. On the other hand, tens of thousands are demonstrating in Hong Kong. Click here. Do you remember this amazing video?

Repression of students and academics in Iran - News Flash June 2, 2014

Amnesty International New Report on Iran: Silenced, Expelled, Imprisoned - Repression of Students and Academics in Iran Published June 02, 2014

"Universities are the voice of the people and that is why they try to silence them. A former student at Amir Kabir University in Tehran and political prisoner.”  The new Amnesty International 117-page report on Iran, published June 02, 2014 (Index MDE 13/015/2014), details the persistent and deepening repression of students and academics in Iran’s system of higher education based on gender, religious belief, and political persuasion. It provides comprehensive recommendations including but not limited to: Rights to Higher Education and Academic Freedom for everyone,  Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly, Stop Discrimination, Torture, and Execution. Click here for complete report. Please note our Local Group 139 has worked on some of these cases: Majid Tavakkoli, Bahareh Hedayat, Zia Nabavi and Omid Kokabee.