Friday, July 10, 2015

Amnesty International: July Update from AIUSA Security with Human Rights - UPDATE

July 2015
Good afternoon,
     I wanted to share an update on some of our recent activities, as well as some big news we received last week. 
June was a busy month as we continued our push for accountability for torture.  On June 23, we joined with ACLU and Human Rights Watch to send a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging that she appoint a special prosecutor to review the Senate torture report and ensure that there is a full criminal investigation into the conduct it documents. We also delivered petitions signed by more than 110,000 people, urging the same. (See our letter and video message here). On June 26th, activists nationwide marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture by demonstrating in front of Department of Justice offices. Actions took place across the country (see pictures here) – from Boston to San Francisco, Minneapolis to Raleigh – as we called on the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of CIA torture and bring those who authorized and committed torture to justice.  
     Even though those major mobilizations are over, there is still work to be done. You can continue to support the movement to ensure accountability for this #AmericanTortureStory by urging the Attorney General to reopen investigations through this online action.
     We also received some big news to start off July: in a shocking development, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal informed Amnesty International that the UK government had spied on the organization by intercepting and accessing its email communications. We do not know the scale of the surveillance or the reason for it, or even the extent and ways in which Amnesty International communications were accessed.  Here’s a link to our press release for more information and an article about the questions raised. This new development highlights how mass surveillance undermines our work to protect human rights. Join us in calling on President Obama to “log off” and ban mass surveillance through this online action.
Thank your for your activism and continued support.
Naureen Shah
Director, Security and Human Rights Program
Amnesty International USA