Thursday, July 31, 2014

Urgent Actions June 30-July 25 and July 28 & 30

Thank you to Wayne, one of our Amnesty International Madison Group #139 members, for sending Urgent Actions for the month of July. Here is a partial list. For the complete list of "46" Actions, click here.
  1.  30 JuneFurther information on UA: 136/14 (21 May 2014) and updates (13 June 2014)
    Issue Date: 30 June 2014
    Country: Sudan
    Three Sudanese activists remain in detention without charge in Khartoum’s Kober prison. Their family members say they show signs of having been tortured and otherwise ill-treated.
    Name: Mohamed Salah Mohamed Abdelrahman (m), Moamar Musa Mohamed (m), Taj Alsir Jaafar (m)
    Issues: Risk of torture/ill-treatment, Arbitrary detention, Unjust imprisonment
  2.  UA: 177/14
    Issue Date: 10 July 2014
    Country: Mexico
    Two threatening telephone calls were made to staff members of a human rights organization in Oaxaca State, south-western Mexico. It is believed the threats are a direct result of their work supporting local Indigenous communities who oppose the construction of a wind farm project on their land.
    Name: CODIGO-DH staff, Carmen Ruiz (f) and APPJ members
    Issues: Death threats, Human rights defenders, Indigenous rights
  3.  UA: 190/14
    Issue Date: 28 July 2014
    Country: China
    A group of around 29 people, including a one-year-old baby, are at risk of being forcibly returned to North Korea after being detained in China. If returned to North Korea, they would be at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment, forced labor and death.
    Name: A group of 35 people (m/f)
    Issues: Risk of ill-treatment/torture, Legal concern, Fear for safety

Monday, July 28, 2014

U.S. Restricts Police Aid to Africa Over Effects of Anti-LGBT Law - News Flash

Making Love a Crime: Criminalization of Same-Sex Conduct in Sub-Saharan Africa
By Colby Goodman, Senior Research Associate at the Security Assistance Monitor and a member of Amnesty USA’s Military, Security and Police Working Group
     Late last month, the Obama Administration took the unusual step of suspending U.S. security assistance to Uganda in connection with its new “Anti-Homosexuality Act,” raising the possibility of similar U.S. restrictions for other African states on the eve of the U.S.-Africa Summit.
According to a June 24th Amnesty International fact sheet, homosexuality is illegal in 38 African countries and punishable by death in four of these states (Mauritania, northern Nigeria, southern Somalia and Sudan). For full article, click here.

Iran: Free Majid Tavakkoli, Student Activist Deadline: None but prefer ASAP

Iran: Free Majid Tavakkoli, Student Activist Deadline: None but prefer ASAP
Majid Tavakkoli, student activist whose most recent arrest was in December 2009 when making a speech calling for greater freedom, is a POC who is serving a nine-year prison sentence and suffers from a number of health problems. Click here to sign on-line petition that has been created by Group 48 from Oregon.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update

Hi Everyone,

     We invite you to check out the following updates from our website, our Facebook page, and Mansour Osanlou (see below). This last week has been very turbulent worldwide. Our current Online Actions seek peace and respect for human rights. We hope you will join us in this effort.

2. Facebook posts
  • Remembering Tessa Van Der Sande of Amnesty International Nederland who was one of 298 people who lost their lives aboard Flight #MH17 Malaysia Airlines. She was with her parents and brother on the way to Indonesia. Tessa was 26 years-old and a promising human rights expert. Her death is a tragic loss for the Amnesty movement. Our sympathies to her boyfriend, family, friends and our Amnesty Nederland colleagues.
  • Meriam Ibrahim, who was originally sentenced to death in Sudan for 'Apostasy' has now landed in Rome. She was accompanied by her family, including her baby born in prison, after almost a month spent under the protection of the U.S. embassy in Khartoum.

3. From: Mansour OsanlouMost Important Iran Workers News (July 16th, 2014)
  • Workers of Alborz Steel Factory in Takestan city went on strike. These workers have been threatened to be sacked so many times. In addition, employers’ promises to increase wages haven’t been fulfilled at all. 
  • 200 temporary workers were dismissed at Sanandaj municipality in spite of the fact that all of them have a few years of work experience.
  • Workers of Ghazvin Abgineh Factory demonstrated against 3 months withholding wages. These workers have protested so many times but always they have been responded by dismissal threat.
  • On July 16, 2014, East Alborz Coal Mine workers stopped working and demonstrated in factory area against privatization policies for the third time in the current month.
  • On July 16, 2014, a 15 years old worker died in Mashhad.
4. Poetry by RUMI

Thank you for your support and your efforts,
Debbie, webmistress

Amnesty International Citizen Evidence Lab Website - News Flash

Is that internet video from this war or one that took place 5 years ago? Amnesty's new website will help you to verify fact from fabricated fiction. Amnesty International launched a new website that is a step-by-step guide to assess citizen video. Here's a direct link. For more information from the Neiman Journalism Lab, click here. Here's a link to today's NPR story.

  This is a very interesting video discussing video as evidence.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

#CiviliansUnderFire - Photo Action ASAP

After sending your photos to , send US your photos and we will add them to our website. Our email address is:

Given the horrible violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that are happening, it is important that all countries suspend all arms shipments to Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups. The UN should impose an arms embargo on each of the parties now. There's one more thing you can do: Join our call to Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups to ensure the safety of all civilians. 
          1.  Write the word STOP on the palm of your hand.
               You can also write a translation of this word into your own language. 
          2. Go to
          3. Post your photo there using the hashtag #CiviliansUnderFire.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gaza Crisis: Stop US Arms Supplies to Israel: Deadline: ASAP

Gaza Crisis: Stop US Arms Supplies to Israel: Deadline: ASAP       Online Action
Late last week, tanks rolled into parts of Gaza as Israel stepped up Operation 'Protective Edge'. Since the current military offensive began, at least 375 Palestinians have been killed, 83 of them children. Thousands of homes have been destroyed and families have been displaced. More than half the population of Gaza is without water, compounding the misery of civilians already suffering due to the ongoing blockade. With the ground invasion, the number of civilian casualties and the destruction of Gaza's already crippled infrastructure has increased. The U.S. is by far the largest exporter of military, security and policing equipment to Israel. The U.S. gives over $3 billion in annual "Foreign Military Financing" to Israel alone. As long as there is a substantial risk these arms will be used to commit the violations we're seeing now, all arms supplies to Israel must stop. Click here to call on US Government to stop giving arms supplies to Israel.

On Friday (7/19/2014), the US Senate voted 100-0 to support Israel’s invasion of Gaza. So far, over 500 Palestinians have been killed. Click here to tell President Obama and your elected officials stop funding this massacre. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gaza Crisis: Stop the Arms, Stop the Killing Deadline: ASAP Online Action!

Gaza Crisis: Stop the Arms, Stop the Killing Deadline:ASAP        Online Action!
Indiscriminate targeting of civilian areas is against international laws. Sine July 8 air strike, death toll is rising as rockets rain down on the citizens of Gaza. Children, women, men - nobody is safe from the indiscriminate bombing by Israel targeting “Hamas Operatives” - most of the dead are civilian. Click here to call on the UK, US and other governments to stop supply of arms to Israel. The same is true for those supplying arms to Palestinian armed groups. We must not facilitate war crimes.

Friday, July 18, 2014

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update

Hi Everyone,
     Turn on the television. Listen to the radio. Surf the internet. Our world is filled with turmoil and injustice. Amnesty International Actions can help to make your voice heard. This week's update is filled with actions you can do right now. Please take the time and complete that petition, send that postcard, and/or take that photo. If you need help or if you want to do more, let us know. You can make a difference in this world.

Amnesty International Actions

Other Actions:
     If you have Actions that you would like to share with our group, please send them.
Thank you!
-Debbie, webmistress

Protect Sri Lanka Asylum-Seekers Deadline: ASAP - Online Action!

Protect Sri Lanka Asylum-Seekers Deadline: ASAP
On June 28, a boat traveling from India carrying 153 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers contacted journalists in Australia to say they were nearing a remote Australian territory. The boat was intercepted by the Australian navy and the Australian government has admitted that they are detaining the 153 people at sea. The asylum-seekers are believed to include mostly Tamils, who are at risk of torture upon return to Sri Lanka because of suspected links to the opposition Tamil Tigers.  
Click here to ask the Australian government to immediately halt any transfer of asylum-seekers to Sri Lanka who have not had a full, impartial procedure for determining their need for international protection.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Heart and Soles Rallies Against Gun Control in Wisconsin Sept 22-24, 2014

Heart and Soles Rallies Against Gun Control in Wisconsin Sept 22-24, 2014
Every year in Wisconsin, 467 men, women, and children are killed by guns. That's why we’re launching the Hearts and Soles campaign. We’ll be traveling 467 miles around the state demanding action from our leaders. At each stop, we will display 467 pairs of empty shoes as a stark reminder of those we've lost and as a compelling call to action. Click here to see how you can help.
(from WAVE, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort: Creating a State of Peace... Dedicated to preventing, gun violence, injuries, and death.) 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Update from Amnesty International United Kingdom - News Flash!

Dear Amnesty International Activist,
Meriam Ibrahim, sentenced to death for her beliefs, has been released from prison in Sudan. Over a million of you took action online and spread the word on social media. Thank you - you helped save her life!
Also because of you, Li Yan no longer faces execution in China andMikhail Kosenko is heading home to his family in Russia. And that's not all - read on for more ways your support has made a difference. 
Thank you,
Kate Allen signature
Kate Allen

More ways your support has made a difference.

1. Meriam walks free from death row (Click for more information).
2. China overturns Li Yan's death sentence (Click for more information).
3. Mikhail Kosenko comes home (Click for more information).
4. Rules to prevent deaths like Jimmy Mubenga's (Click for more information).
5. Community regains their land after 20 year fight (Click for more information).
6. Activists march with pride for those who can't (Click for photos).

***** To read the entire letter click here. *****

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Example of Photo Action for Prageeth - Do it Today!

Just follow these 4 steps. 
(1) Make a sign or use the sign on page 21 of the Action Toolkit.
(2) Take your photo (or have someone take it for you).
(3) Email the photo to  Include the photo in the body of the email and send title in the subject line. (My subject line said, "Debbie AI Madison Group #139.")
(4) Photo will automatically be posted to the Flickr page. 

Sri Lanka Action ToolKit and Photo Action - Summer 2014

Amnesty International Activists: 
     I've created a new, activist-driven photo action for the disappeared Sri Lankan journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. For more information on his case, please see (or click on the link below).. The idea is to have people take photos of themselves or their friends, relatives, etc., holding a sign saying "Where is Prageeth?" (or the equivalent in a language other than English). Then they would put the photo in the body of an email (and not as an attachment) and send the email message to The photo would then automatically show up on a Flickr page that I've set up for this action (see The subject line of the email will appear as the title for the photo, so people should give some thought as to what they want the photo's title to be and then insert that as the subject line for the email. We do already have a sign for photo actions for Prageeth. It's on page 21 of the Sri Lanka Activist Toolkit (the toolkit is at Or people could create their own signs. I'd like to get as many photos as possible on the Flickr page by next January 24 (the fifth anniversary of Prageeth's disappearance), at which point I'd publicize them to the Sri Lankan government as a way of pressuring them to account for his whereabouts and hold accountable those responsible for his disappearance. Thanks for any help you can give on this. 
     Take care. 
     Jim McDonald Sri Lanka Country Specialist Amnesty International USA

Stand Up for LGBTI Rights in Belarus: Take Action for Ihar Tsikhanyuk - Deadline (ASAP)

Stand Up for LGBTI Rights in Belarus: Take Action for Ihar Tsikhanyuk - Deadline (ASAP)
Belarus is one of the worst places in Europe to be gay. Belarus President has publicly mocked gay people, saying "the country was not yet ready to accept them." Ihar Tsikhanyuk, an open gay activist who was featured as one of our Amnesty Write For Rights cases in 2013, continues his activism saying “I can’t sit and wait until Belarus is ready. While they get ready I will die.” Click here to take action for LGBTI Rights in Belarus.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mark Your Calendars! October 27 at UW-Madison Union South

      We are thrilled that this year's Go Big Read, the Madison's community read book, is "I am Malala." Mark your calendar and plan to attend the talk by Shiza Shahid, the co-founder of  the Malala Fund, who will be speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Union South at Varsity Hall at 7:00pm. Malala Yousafzai received Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award on September 17, 2013. Click here for more information. Shahid was recently named one of TIME magazine’s “30 Under 30 World Changers” and to Forbes “30 Under 30″ list of social entrepreneurs.
     The book is beautifully written from the perspective of this young Pakistani education activist. She tells the story of her village in the SWAT district, her passion for education, her inspiring story of survival, and her commitment to the education of children everywhere. This book is available everywhere... libraries, bookstores, and online. It is also available as an audio book, electronic book, and old-fashioned hard copy. Enjoy! And, see you in October!
In her own words...