Thursday, April 30, 2015

Iran: "TV Producer Jailed" and Political Prisoner Tried for Contacting UN Human Rights Expert

from International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

 Political Prisoner To Be Tried for Contacting UN Human Rights Expert
     "An Iranian civil activist, Seyed Mohammad Ebrahimi, will be put on trial on new charges of contacting the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. Ebrahimi is accused of contacting the UN’s Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, from prison, to report to the Special Rapporteur on the condition of political prisoners who are ill. Iranian prison officials routinely deny even critically needed medical care to political prisoners."
Click here for entire article. 

TV Producer Jailed upon Return to Iran Now Faces Trial

     "Mostafa Azizi, a former Iranian television writer and producer, who has been in prison since February 1, 2015, will be put on trial on June 1, at Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Salavati. Azizi, a resident of Canada since 2008, returned to Iran in December 2014. A source close to Azizi’s case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the charges he faces are “insulting the Supreme Leader,” “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic,” and “assembly and collusion against national security,” although no evidence supporting these charges has been presented."

Click here for entire article.


Police Demolish Imprisoned Baha’i Leader’s Ancestral Home

April 29, 2015
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

     "Iranian police demolished the home of an imprisoned Baha’i community leader in Semnan on April 22, 2015. The home belonged to Jamaloddin Khanjani, one of seven Baha’i leaders who have been in prison since 2008.
      "The severe and systematic persecution of the Baha’i community in Iran has been noted in the reports of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran."

Click here for entire article.
Amnesty Link

Labor Leaders Detained in Iran as International Workers’ Day Approaches

International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
April 29, 2015

   "On the eve of International Workers’ Day on May 1, Iranian authorities have arrested at least five labor leaders. The arrests have taken place in the context of intensifying labor protests, strikes, and arrests of individuals organizing or participating in labor protests."
    "Tehran Security Police arrested two members of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Ebrahim Maddadi and Davood Razavi, in their homes on April 29, and two other labor activists, Mahmoud Salehi and Osman Ismaili, were arrested in the city of Saqez in the Kurdistan Province on April 28. On April 25, plainclothes security agents in Sanandaj, Kurdistan, arrested the labor activist Reza Amjadi."
     "Independent labor unions are banned in Iran, strikers are often fired and risk being detained, and labor leaders face long prison sentences on trumped up national security charges.
Despite this, a growing wave of strikes and worker protests have roiled many sectors in Iran over the past year, as a combination of international sanctions and economic mismanagement has taken a heavy toll on the economy, with workers bearing the brunt of the economic pain."

Click here for entire article.

Caribbean: Violence Against Women Report

from Amnesty International Caribbean/Caribe/Caraïbes Facebook post
     "The UN and OAS Special Rapporteurs on the rights of women visited four Caribbean countries to document the situation of violence against girls and women: Jamaica, Barbados, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago. The specialists reported "that many interlocutors described violence against women and girls as normalized, widespread and of pandemic proportions, and underreported."
      They concluded that "a holistic approach to responding to and preventing violence against women and girls requires addressing individual, institutional and structural violence which disproportionately affects women and girls. Violence against women is a human rights violation, which precludes the realization of all other human rights and is a barrier to the effective exercise of citizenship rights." Read more:"

Photo:  Commissioner Tracy Robinson, rapporteur on the rights of women of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

VOCES on PBS: "El Poeta" - VIDEO

Published on Mar 5, 2015 (4:50 min)
Premieres: Friday, May 1, 2015 on PBS
Co-director/Co-producer: Kelly Duane De la Vega & Katie Galloway

El Poeta tells the story of renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia who ignited an international movement for peace after the brutal murder of his 24-year old son, collateral damage in a drug war that has left more than 70,000 dead since 2006. A deeply personal, poetic and even hopeful journey on both sides of the border, traces Sicilia’s path from poet and father to movement leader and an international symbol of grief and redemption. For more information, please visit:

Check your local PBS listings. It's on Friday, May 1, in the Madison, WI area.

Saudi Arabia: Join the global outcry to free Raif - May 7 #FREERAIF

from Amnesty International USA
     "We're gearing up for a major mobilization on May 7, and we need your help.
      Raif Badawi was imprisoned and publicly flogged by the Saudi government - lashed 50 times - for starting a blog that encouraged social and political debate. Right now, he's in a cell serving the remainder of his 10-year sentence and awaiting 950 more lashes.
      We are gravely concerned that the Saudi government is waiting for the international spotlight to fade and is considering trying Raif for apostasy, which carries the death sentence.
      That's why we're planning this event on May 7. We must show the Saudi government that the world is still watching and won't stand for anything but Raif's unconditional release."
Note: I don't know what is being planned for May 7th but here is a link to the ONLINE PETITION. 

Peace and Planet Rallies around the World

Submitted by one of our members, Farideh, supporting Peace and Planet.
     "This past weekend, activists from Japan to France, Germany to the Republic of the Marshall Islands to Guam gathered in NYC, in solidarity with people around the globe to demand a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world. (See photos from the weekend here!)"
  •  On Sunday, we were 7,500 people strong at the Union Square Rally, encouraged and moved to strengthen our work by such leaders as Reiner Braun, Leslie Cagan, Reverend Dr. Daughtry, and Daniel Ellsberg. There was standing room only for the beautiful and inspiring Interfaith Convocation at the UN Church Center, and Karipbek Kuyukov and Rimma Velikanova led the NYC Global Wave, joined in a creative and moving demonstration, waving goodbye to nukes in NYC and around the world. (Tweet your photos to @PeaceAndPlanet @GlobalWave2015; we use #NoNukes #NPTRevCon #70Years #ConnectingTheStruggles!)
  • Our march to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across from the United Nations, was spirited, with strong represenation from the Mobilization's over 350 endorsing organizations and led by Hibakusha, who courageously, and a number in wheelchairs, held in for the two mile walk.
  • The Drummers for Peace of Japan welcomed the marchers to the Festival, where Mayor Matsui Kazumi (Hiroshima), Takakusaki Hiroshi (Gensuikyo), and Jackie Cabasso, Joseph Gerson, and Kevin Martin (Peace & Planet) delivered nearly eight million petition signatures to Taous Feroukhi (Chair of the NPT Review Conference) and Angela Kane (UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs). Ambassador Feroukhi referenced this strong expression of the will of the people during her opening remarks on Monday at the NPT Review Conference, showing us that as we raise our efforts and voices, they will carry into the halls of power.  
  • Thanks to the talents of nearly a dozen performers, we had a wonderful lineup of music and entertainment throughout the afternoon, bringing celebration and art to the work that we do together.
Througout the Conference, our speakers, workshops, and conversations centered around the great challenges to peace and the planet, and concrete ways to strengthen and connect our movements and struggles for a better, more just and peaceful world. Click here to watch all three of the Plenaries, as well as Workshops by Daniel Ellsberg and Global Hibakusha.

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter!

Paraguay: Life of a Pregnant 10-year old at Risk - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International

     On 21 April a 10-year-old girl arrived with her mother at the Trinidad Maternity and Children’s Hospital (Hospital Materno Infantil de Trinidad) in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, complaining of stomach ache. On examination, a 21-week pregnancy was established. The girl’s pregnancy is the result of having been raped by her stepfather.
     The World Health Organization (WHO) and health professionals around the world agree that pregnancy poses specific risks to young girls whose bodies are not fully developed and that the risk to their lives is greater. Therefore all options regarding the pregnancy, including safe abortion services, must be made available. 
     On 28 April the girl’s mother submitted an administrative plea (carta administrativa) to the hospital requesting an abortion for the girl. Nothing indicates that the hospital is considering an abortion to save her life. On the contrary, according to latest reports, the girl will be sent to a center for young mothers (centro de niñas madres).
Click here for more information and addresses.

Other articles

UK: Don't Let Them Drown - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International UK
     "People are dying trying to escape war, persecution and poverty by making perilous journeys across the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. One week this month saw more than a thousand women, men and children drown.
      How many more must die before leaders take effective action? Tell the UK government to prioritise saving lives." 
Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION.

USA: Don't Bury This American Torture Story-Read the Report - ONLINE PETITION

from Amnesty International USA
"This American Torture Story has been buried for far too long.

The CIA never intended for the public to learn it had "disappeared" more than 100 men between 2002 and 2008. And if it weren't for a new Senate report on torture, we wouldn't know some of the gruesome details: That the CIA used forced rectal feeding and 'hydration' to exert control over men; or that it literally left one man chained to a wall, forced to stand for 17 days straight."
Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Madison, WI: Rally for Education Equity, May 1, 2015

from Amnesty International - UW Madison

Check out this awesome organization that Alison, one of the domestic policy committee co-chairs, brought to our attention.
The organization is called All Minds Matter, and their main focus is education.  
"Education is a human right. Our goal is to make the public aware of educational achievement disparities in the US, and specifically Madison, WI." 
This Friday, May 1st they are having a rally for education near the Kohl center at 545 W Dayton St Madison WI 53703.  The rally will be at 4:30pm and will feature some guest speakers.  Check out the event page for more details, and the flyer is attached as well.

Also, make sure to check out/like their Facebook page!
Finally, if anyone has any questions, feel free to reach out to Alison ( or one of the people in charge, Andrew (
Hope everyone can make it!

Dure-Ajam Ahmad
Logistics Chair
Amnesty International - UW Madison

Baltimore, MD, USA: Amnesty International USA Sends Human Rights Observers to Baltimore - PRESS RELEASE

April 29, 2015
Amnesty International USA

BALTIMORE, MD - Amnesty International USA is sending a human rights observer delegation to Baltimore today to observe police and protester activity in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. The delegation will be monitoring compliance with human rights standards for the policing of protests.
"We are calling on the police in Baltimore to exercise restraint, and to ensure that peaceful protesters can assemble and the media can do its job without undue interference,” said Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W. Hawkins. “Confronting protestors in a manner more appropriate for a battlefield may put law enforcement in the mindset that confrontation and conflict is inevitable rather than possible.
“Our delegation of independent human rights observers will be seeking to ensure that police protect the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and that only the minimal amount of force necessary is employed if violence occurs. Excessive force, such as tear gas, should not be used to curtail the rights of a non-violent majority in order to quell the acts of a few.”
Click here for entire PRESS RELEASE.

Some Links Related to Drones

from Amnesty International
from sources submitted by two of our members

The Upshot - 1.5 Million Missing Black Men

New York Times, April 20, 2015
This item was submitted by one of our members, Azam.

   "In New York, almost 120,000 black men between the ages of 25 and 54 are missing from everyday life. In Chicago, 45,000 are, and more than 30,000 are missing in Philadelphia. Across the South — from North Charleston, S.C., through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and up into Ferguson, Mo. — hundreds of thousands more are missing.
   They are missing, largely because of early deaths or because they are behind bars. Remarkably, black women who are 25 to 54 and not in jail outnumber black men in that category by 1.5 million, according to an Upshot analysis. For every 100 black women in this age group living outside of jail, there are only 83 black men. Among whites, the equivalent number is 99, nearly parity."

Click here for entire article.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bali Nine: Indonesia executes eight prisoners but reprieves Mary Jane Veloso – latest updates

The Guardian
April 28, 2015

"It is still early in Australia, just after 4.30am, and there will no doubt be much more reaction from politicians once dawn breaks.
But some have clearly stayed up tonight to hear news of the deaths of Chan, Sukumaran and their six co-prisoners and we are seeing tweets condemning the decision to go ahead with the executions in the face of widespread opposition and pleas for clemency."
(Brother, mother and sister of Myuran Sukumaran, Chintu, Rajiv and Brintha, after saying their last goodbyes on Nusa Kambangan. Photograph: Roni Bintang/AAPIMAGE)
Click here for entire article. 
Amnesty International
April 28, 2015

President Obama & Congress: Why was grandmother Mamana Bibi killed with a drone? ONLINE PETITION

from Amnesty International USA
    "Mamana Bibi, a 68-year old grandmother, was killed in October 2012 as she picked vegetables in her family's fields. The US government has not acknowledged her death nor spoken to her grandchildren, some of whom watched the Hellfire missiles hit their grandmother while standing nearby. Urge President Obama to explain why and on what legal basis Mamana Bibi was killed, and urge Congress to initiate an independent and impartial investigation of her death and all other alleged unlawful killings resulting from US drone strikes."

Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION.

Flowers of Hope - VIDEO

Published on Apr 27, 2015
Two young Australians -- Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran -- along with a group of others face imminent execution in Indonesia on Wednesday 29 April.

More than 200 people gathered at Sydney's Blues Point Reserve on Monday 27 April to voice their opposition to the death penalty and call for mercy for those on death row in Indonesia.

In less than 24 hours, the Australian public purchased 15,000 flowers to adorn giant letters spelling out #KeepHopeAlive. The installation, covered in multi-coloured flowers and candles, showed that even in dark times, our voices and actions can be incredibly powerful.

Video shot and edited by Abril Felman and Brendan Ridley.

Madison, WI: Growing a Peaceful Future Youth Film Festival

Join Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice for an event featuring videos made by youth from across the state of WI.  These are short films that have been created to show what students would do for their community with $1 trillion rather than it all being spent on the annual military budget.  Come and vote for the Peoples' Choice Award!
May 2nd from 1-4 pm
 UW Space at Villager Mall 
2312 S. Park St, Madison WI 53713

Click here for the flyer.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Madison, WI: Nepal candle light vigil this Wednesday at 7 pm at the Capitol (at the corner of State Street)

Dear CSA Community,

Many of us have friends and colleagues who have been affected by the weekend disaster in Nepal. Thankfully many of our UW students, faculty and friends, have reported their whereabouts and are safe. However, the growing number of victims shows that great tragedy has struck too many.

The local Madison organization NAFA (Nepali American Friendship Association) has shared with us their response (see letter attached), and invited us to attend the upcoming candle light vigil this Wednesday at 7 pm at the Capitol (at the corner of State Street).

Mark Sidel, Director
Lalita du Perron, Associate Director
Rachel Weiss, Assistant Director

AI - UW Students: Collecting signatures supporting the International Violence Against Women Act - April 29 from 4:45 to 5:45pm

from Amnesty International - UW Students
Hey everyone!
The Gender Equality Committee will be tabling at She's The First's screening of Girl Rising ( on Wednesday, April 29th, at the Central Madison Public Library (3rd floor, 201 W. Mifflin St.), from 4:45-5:45pm. We will be collecting signatures and continuing Amnesty's photo campaign in support of the International Violence Against Women Act, I-VAWA (

Myanmar: Activist Thein Aung Myint extended sentence - URGENT ACTION

 Activist Thein Aung Myint has been jailed for a further six months for participating in a peaceful protest in Myanmar. He is now due to serve a total of one year in prison. He is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Click here for more information and addresses.

Iran: Further information: Journalist charged with espionage: Jason Rezaian - URGENT ACTION #FreeJason

 “For nine months, Jason has been in prison in Tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and fears of the Iranian people,” Obama said. (April 25, 2015)

April 23, 2015
Amnesty International
"Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian is at risk of a long prison sentence on apparently spurious charges of espionage and national security-related offences, which appear to stem from his journalistic activities.

Jason Rezaian, an Iran-based correspondent for the Washington Post, has been detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison since 22 July 2014, when he was arrested. He has been charged with several serious national security-related offences, including “collaborating with hostile governments” and “spreading propaganda against the system”, according to a statement by his lawyer, seen by the Washington Post. His lawyer said Jason Rezaian is accused of collecting information about “internal and foreign policy” and providing it to “individuals with hostile intent” but that no evidence had been provided to substantiate these accusations. Jason Rezaian will be tried before Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, but the date has not been set. The charges of espionage and “collaborating with hostile governments” each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment."
Click here for entire report and ACTION information (choose language).
More articles

"Your Activism Saved My Life: Former Prisoners of Conscience Share Their Stories of Hope" - VIDEO

On Mar. 20-22, 2015, Amnesty International USA held its Annual General Meeting in New York.  As part of the conference, a workshop was held on Mar. 21 entitled "Your Activism Saved My Life: Former Prisoners of Conscience Share Their Stories of Hope."  Two of the speakers were the Sri Lankan journalist and former prisoner of conscience J.S. Tissainayagam and his wife Ronnate Asirwatham.  The 94-minute workshop was recorded.  A video of the session is now available on Youtube -

For more information on Amnesty's concerns in Sri Lanka, please see

Jim McDonald
Sri Lanka Country Specialist
Amnesty International USA

Friday, April 24, 2015

Iran: Human Rights Activists News Agency

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) is the press association established in 2009 by Iranian human rights advocates in order to report and disseminate daily news of human rights violations in Iran. The English section of HRANA includes translated news of events initially prepared in Farsi and distributed by human rights reporters throughout Iran. Human Rights Activists in Iran is a non-profit, independent organization established in March of 2005 by a group of Iranian human rights advocates. HRANA operates under the charter of this organization in the Statistics and Publications Unit.
Click here for their website and updated news 

Iran: Iranian Expats Risk Arrest upon Return to their Homeland - VIDEO

from International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
April 22, 2015
 Iranian Expats on the Right to Return (2:44 min)
Rouhani’s Promise of Right of Return Proves Hollow for Many
April 23, 2015—The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran released a video today highlighting the plight of the thousands of Iranians who wish to return to their homeland, yet fear likely imprisonment upon arrival for the peaceful expression of their beliefs, art, or lifestyle.
Dozens of Iranian expatriates who have traveled to Iran following assurances by President Hassan Rouhani regarding their safe passage, have been arrested, interrogated, prevented from leaving by having their passports confiscated, and, in many instances, imprisoned upon their return.
 Follow the Campaign on Facebook and Twitter
For the latest human rights developments in Iran visit the Campaign’s website
For interviews, contact:
Hadi Ghaemi at +1-917-669-5996,

Nebraska vote signals growing conservative support for ending death penalty

from Angie
"Abolition of the Death Penalty has been a priority of Amnesty International for decades." This article describes growing support from conservatives to abolish the death penalty in Nebraska.

Washington Times, April 23, 2015

"Last week, the unicameral state legislature in deeply red Nebraska voted 30-13 in favor of legislation repealing the death penalty, which came after a unanimous vote by the Nebraska Judiciary Committee advancing the legislation."

Click here for entire article from Angie Hougas, one of our AI Madison Group #139 members.

Czech Republic: How do you spell discrimination - VIDEO

Published on Apr 23, 2015 (1:36 min)
The video accompanies the new Amnesty International campaign against discrimination and segregation of Romani children in education in Czech Republic launched on 23 April 2015. It is called "Must Try Harder: Czech Prime Minister School Report" and features different children of different nationalities being asked to spell the word discrimination. Find out more and take action calling on the Czech Prime Minister to end ethnic discrimination of Romani children in schools at:

Romani children in the Czech Republic are not getting the same education as other children. They're bullied just for being different, kept separate from other pupils and even placed in schools for pupils with learning disabilities. It means they can't fulfil their potential and build a better future - for themselves, their families and communities, and Czech society.

The European Commission has criticised the Czech government for failing to tackle this discrimination, and the Czech authorities cannot ignore this any longer. They must commit to ending school discrimination and getting rid of segregation now. This injustice must end now.

AI Madison Group #139 Member Links and Petitions (Updated Daily) - ONLINE PETITIONS, LINKS and NEWS

We have such a wonderful membership! Not only do we hold human rights dear to our hearts but there are also  other issues such as the environment, poverty, children's health, etc that can be related to human rights but may not be addressed by Amnesty International. Here are some of those ONLINE PETITION links submitted by our members.

Amnesty International Daily Urgent Actions for the Week of April 24 to May 1, 2015

Click here for entire list of URGENT ACTION for the week of April 24 to May 1. (This post is updated daily and also contains a correction from last week.)

      Countries for this week's Urgent Actions include: Mexico, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bahrain, Paraguay, China, Romania, Pakistan, and Russian Federation.

Note: Most Urgent Actions require a written letter. See our guidelines for writing letters.  Countries are added to this list during the week. The link contains all Urgent Actions for the week.

Indonesia: Stop the executions in Indonesia - ONLINE PETITION and UPDATE

 from Amnesty International - Australia Facebook page

     The situation for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is now critical. Andrew, Myuran and eight others on death row in Indonesia could face the firing squad as early as Monday or Tuesday. Let Indonesia know we haven’t forgotten about Andrew and Myuran. Act now>

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - April 24, 2015

Greetings Everyone!
     Sometimes a news event, such as the tragic drownings this week, will dominate for a day or a week. Amnesty International has been following this story for years. From The Netherlands, to the United Kingdom, to Australia, Amnesty International groups have been demonstrating our concern for the drowning deaths of migrants on their way to Europe. This week we have posted several articles and petitions related to this subject. We encourage you to read these articles and follow #SOSEurope and Don't Let Them Drown. Click here to read about yesterday's EU Summit regarding this crisis. 
from Amnesty International
"Their focus needs to be on agreeing a search and rescue mission that puts human lives first! Check out our supporters who have organised last-minute protests in lots of different places to keep the pressure up:" Also check out, "Saving lives in the Mediterranean must be European governments’ priority from Amnesty International, April 20, 2015.
     -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor
Click here for entire Weekly Update.

Aljazeera: Mediterranean migrant deaths spur EU leaders to act - April 24, 2015

At emergency summit convened after 800 perished at sea, nations commit to triple resources for border patrol operation.

"European Union leaders have committed extra ships, planes and helicopters to save lives in the Mediterranean at an emergency summit convened in Brussels after hundreds of migrants drowned in the space of a few days. Meeting on Thursday, leaders from the 28-nation bloc also said they were discussing laying the ground for military action against traffickers.
  • $9.7m a month pledged for EU's border operation
  • Germany and France pledged two ships and Britain committed three to move into the Mediterranean
 Click here for entire article.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Human Rights Watch - Newsletter April 23, 2015

Angola: Rafael Marques de Morais wrote a book and for that, he might go to jail! - PHONE and TWITTER ACTIONS

He has been arrested, beaten and harassed by the government multiple times because of his news stories. In 2011, Rafael wrote a book alleging generals in the Angolan military were complicit in human rights abuses committed by private security contractors at diamond fields in Angola. The generals and private companies are suing Rafael for criminal defamation, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $1.2 million dollars in damages. 

We also have deep concerns Rafael will not receive a fair trial as there have already been severe irregularities in the legal process. In addition, the law under which Rafael is being tried violates the rights to freedom of expression and speech under international law and the Angolan constitution and is used by the government to silence critics. 

Help us call the Angolan embassy at 202-785-1156 and share the following information:
“Hi, my name is_______and I am a member of Amnesty International. I am concerned about the trial of Rafael Marques [pronounced Mar-keys] and think the charges should be dropped. The law under which he is being tried violates his right to free speech and I’m also concerned he will not receive a fair trial.”

You can also help us get the message out on Twitter by joining our Thunderclap at
Amnesty International is urging the Angolan government to drop all charges as we believe they are politically motivated. petition for Nasrin Sotoudeh, a leading Iranian human rights lawyer - PETITION and UPDATE

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a leading Iranian human rights lawyer, winner of 2008 and 2012 United Nation and Sakharov Human Rights awards, has become the symbol of non-violent civil society movement in Iran.

Click here for more information about Nasrin Sotoudeh and this petition.

Thank you for fighting for Afghan women's rights!

Dear Supporter,

I’d like to say a huge thanks for being a part of our groundbreaking campaign for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. Together, we made sure the safety and advancement of women was high on the list of priorities of the new Afghan government.
Recently, Amnesty International delegates represented you on a trip to Afghanistan where we met with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and later presented your signature - with 102,497 others - to First Lady Rula Ghani.
After stating that she would be displaying the signatures in her office “where everyone can see them,” First Lady Ghani reaffirmed her commitment to ending violence against women and asked that we give you this message:
"We are doing everything to support Afghan women and women human rights defenders and we are fighting for the same cause as you, though it may be in different fronts and through different means."

Click here for the entire letter.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Indonesia: Executions Feared for End of April - URGENT ACTION

 On 9 April Indonesian Attorney General HM Prasetyo made a statement implying that his office may carry out the executions of 10 prisoners after the Asia-Africa Conference, which is being held between 19 and 24 April in the Indonesian city of Bandung. 

Although the final list of those facing executions has yet to be announced, the death row prisoners facing imminent executions are believed to include Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (both Australian, males), Raheem Agbaje Salami (Nigerian, male), Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso (Filipino, female), Zainal Abidin (Indonesian, male), Martin Anderson, alias Belo (Ghanaian, male), Rodrigo Gularte (Brazilian, male), Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise (Nigerian, male), Okwudili Oyatanze (Nigerian, male) and one other individual. All 10 were sentenced to death for drug trafficking, an offense that does not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty may be imposed under international law. Indonesian President Joko Widodo rejected their clemency applications in December 2014 and January 2015.

Click here for more information and addresses.
Also read this article, "Indonesia says ‘only a matter of time’ before executions," April 21, 2015, Turkish Weekly

My Choice - VIDEO

Published on Mar 28, 2015, 2:34 min

What can you expect? Imagine shot after shot of women including Nimrat Kaur, Adhuna Akhtar, Anupama Chopra, Scherezade Shroff and more who have made a difference in their respective careers telling you every single thing they see as their right as women. Why 99 women? "I liked the idea of telling people I originally had 100 women planned but God said the last one was too busy right now," says Adajania.

The aim of the Vogue Empower initiative, launched with the seventh anniversary issue, is to encourage people to think, talk and act in ways big or small on issues pertaining to women's empowerment. The message is simple: It starts with you.

New York Times Opinion Columns: "Migrants Face Fortress Europe’s Deadly Moat" and "Helping the Migrants Is Everyone’s Duty"

April 22, 2015
Kenan Malik, a contributing opinion writer, is the author, most recently, of “The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics.”

Migrants Face Fortress Europe’s Deadly Moat

" LONDON — UP to 1,200 people are believed to have died this past week when, in several incidents, their flimsy boats foundered in the Mediterranean. These migrants from Syria, Mali, Eritrea, Somalia and beyond had set out from North Africa hoping to reach Europe’s southern shores. Fleeing war and poverty, most had paid large sums to traffickers."

Click here for entire column.
April 22, 2015
Matteo Renzi is the prime minister of Italy.

Helping the Migrants Is Everyone’s Duty

" ROME — The Mediterranean Sea, cradle of our civilization, is becoming a deathbed for thousands of nameless, desperate men, women and children. These people had lives full of pain, despair and hope, which led them to become victims of human trafficking. The voices of mothers who lost their children at sea will haunt our consciences. We must stop this carnage."

Click here for entire article.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Amnesty International UK: There is an emergency in the Mediterranean and all of Europe needs to respond to it - PRESS RELEASE

April 20, 2015

" European governments must prioritise setting up an immediate search and rescue plan to prevent the escalating death toll of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea, Amnesty International said ahead of a European Union (EU) foreign and interior ministers meeting in Luxembourg today.
Hundreds of people are feared drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya this weekend. Up to 1,600 people are now believed to have drowned this year alone, more than 1,100 of them in the past week. There have been reports of a further two boats which have made distress calls today with more lives feared lost."
Click here for entire PRESS RELEASE.

Amnesty International UK: Don't Let Them Drown - ONLINE PETITION and ARTICLE

 Tell David Cameron to make saving lives the priority at EU crisis talks on Thursday.
People are dying trying to escape war, persecution and poverty by making perilous journeys across the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. 
More than 1,000 have drowned in the last week alone. 
How many more must die before leaders act?
Click here for ONLINE PETITION.

Here is another article from AI-UK.
April 22, 2015 

 Amnesty International puts 200 body bags on Brighton beach in EU migrant disaster protest 

"Brighton beach was covered in 200 body bags as Amnesty International volunteers raised awareness of the plight of thousands of migrants ahead of emergency EU talks tomorrow.
Local Amnesty members and volunteers zipped themselves into some of the body bags at around 10am, alongside a banner saying #DontLetThemDrown.
Click here for entire article.  

Actions taken by Amnesty International - Netherlands (Facebook post)
    "On Thursday, Amnesty International Netherlands activists put 400 tombstones in the Hague, Netherlands, after about 400 people died in the latest shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea #SOSEurope "