Saturday, October 31, 2015

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Member List of "Other" Links and Petitions - November 6, 2015

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 links submitted by our members:

AIUSA: Updates from Week of October 30, 2015 - NEWS

Thanks you to Farideh, one of our AI Madison Group #139 members, for sending us this communication from Angie Hougas, AIUSA Board Member.

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 18:15:38 -0500

Dear All:

See below for some updates from this week.
Thanks, Enjoy Halloween
Angie Hoguas
AIUSA Board of Directors

AIUSA Priorities for the Fourth Quarter of 2015, October - December (Point: Margaret)

·         Priority Campaigns (work across all three months)

o   Police Accountability: five state campaigns (Point: Jamira)
o   Write for Rights (Point: Zeke)
o   Year End Fundraising

·         Secondary Priorities (elevated work with peak times)

o   My Body, My Rights: Ireland, Burkina Faso, and Human Rights Education  (Point: Tarah)
o   Focus Cases: Albert Woodfox and Raif Badawi (Point: Jasmine)
o   Accountability for CIA torture campaign (Point: Naureen)

·         Ongoing

o   Abolish the death penalty (Point: James)

Individuals at Risk Program: 

·         Good news on cases from our global movement:

o   Abyan (Urgent Action Case): The Australian government has declared that Abyan (not her real name) will be allowed back to Australia for medical treatment and mental health support. The 23-year-old Somali refugee requested the Australian authorities to allow her into Australia to have an abortion after falling pregnant as a result of an alleged rape in July in Nauru, an island nation in the Central Pacific. Abortion services are not available in Nauru and abortion is criminalized.

o   Azza Soliman & 16 others (Urgent Action Case): Azza Soliman and 16 other eyewitnesses to the fatal shooting of a 32-year-old woman, Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh, were acquitted on by Qasr al-Nil Appeal Court of charges of protesting illegally and disturbing public order under Egypt’s draconian Protest Law. While the Misdemeanour Court of Qasr al-Nil had acquitted the defendants of all charges on May 23, Egypt’s Public Prosecution appealed against the decision three days later. Azza Soliman thanked Amnesty International for its support and solidarity which she said strengthened her “in front of injustice and despair.”

o   Danilo Maldonado Machado (Urgent Action Case): Cuban graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado Machado (‘El Sexto’) was released after spending almost 10 months in prison without trial following accusations of “aggravated contempt”. Amnesty International considered him a prisoner of conscience.

o   Shaker Aamer (Write for Rights): Shaker Aamer was transferred to the UK after over a decade of indefinite detention without charge or trial at US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. His case was included in AIUSA’s 2013 Write for Rights.
  • Priorities for Next Week:
o   Write for Rights promotion
o   Albert Woodfox (Focus Case & Write for Rights):  We will continue to put pressure on the Governor and Attorney General of Louisiana to free Albert
o   Raif Badawi (Focus Case & Write for Rights): Continued pressure on Saudi Embassy and on US government
o   Mass Incarceration case project development

Security with Human Rights:


o   Today, Shaker Aamer was at last transferred out of Guantanamo after years of campaigning from Amnesty and others, bringing the number of remaining detainees to 112, nearly half of who have been cleared for transfer. In 2013, Shaker’s case was highlighted in Write For Rights.
o   AIUSA released this statement saying Shaker’s transfer upends Guantanamo myths. And long-time Amnesty member Gay Gardner posted this blog, describing how these developments motivate her activism.
o   We are planning a webinar to follow Shaker’s transfer, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 18. This webinar will celebrate this Amnesty victory, and discuss next steps on how to end indefinite detention and ensure accountability for torture.
o   Another detainee was transferred out of Guantanamo this week. Ahmed Abdualaziz returned to his home country Mauritania, after activism from Amnesty and others. Here is AIUSA’s statement on this transfer.
o   The new “American Torture Story” toolkit is now available online!
o   Next week, the House of Representatives will vote to override the President’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act. The president’s veto was based in part on onerous new restrictions that would undermine the President’s ability close Guantanamo. AIUSA is working with coalition partners to put pressure on Members of Congress to sustain the President’s veto and ensure that the transfer restrictions are not finalized into law.

Digital and in the News for the past week:
  • 10/29/15 Sentenced to be Crucified, New York Times, by Nicholas D. Kristof. Quotes Ensaf Heidar during a meeting we arranged, and features photo of an AIUSA rally

Friday, October 30, 2015

Amnesty International Daily URGENT ACTIONS - October 30 to November 6, 2015

Click here for entire list of URGENT ACTION for the week of October 30 to November 6. (This post is updated daily.)

     Countries include:  Morocco, Myanmar, Turkey, India, Mexico, Egypt, Singapore, Israel/OPT, Angola, Myanmar, USA, Vietnam, and Greece.

 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.

Guantanamo: After 13 years, Shaker Aamer Is Leaving Guantanamo - NEWS

Amnesty International USA
October 30, 2015

By Gay Gardner, Amnesty International USA member
     "I’m an activist with Amnesty International, and today is a reminder of why I have been doing this for more than 30 years. Shaker Aamer is finally returning to his family in the U.K., after being held without charge at Guantanamo for more than 13 years. Amnesty’s campaign, along with the work of countless activists around the world, has helped get the U.S. government to release him. It is the unwavering defense of the dignity of individuals such as Shaker Aamer that inspires me and keeps me active in Amnesty.
     Amnesty was born when British lawyer Peter Benenson published his 1961 article The Forgotten Prisoners in The Observer newspaper protesting the arrest of two Portuguese students for raising their wine glasses in a toast to freedom. Benenson’s outrage lit a spark that ignited a global human rights movement. Amnesty demonstrated to ordinary citizens that they could make a difference in righting injustices affecting other individuals even in remote parts of the world."

Click here for ENTIRE article.

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - October 30, 2015

Greetings Everyone!
     This morning we have SEVEN Online petitions, EIGHT Urgent Actions, SIX Members Links & Petitions, ELEVEN Human Rights News items, TWO videos, TEN blog topics, FOUR contributors, and FIVE Events. Are you ready to get to work!
     Although Raif Badawi has just received the Sakharov Prize, there is also a rumor that his floggings in Saudi Arabia will continue today. We will be watching and thinking of him and his family today. For more information about Raif, click here
     If you are in California, don't miss this event by one of our members, Dr. Kioumehr. She will be presenting, "Ending Gun Violence by Creating a Peace Culture on Nov 3, 2015."
     We have also added a 2015 Write for Rights tab to our website which describes each of this year's cases and what you can do to help them. We will be featuring two cases a week in our Weekly Update. Write for Rights is an annual Amnesty International initiative held between December 4 and December 14 and coincides with International Human Rights Day on December 10th.
     It's been a busy week. Thank you to our contributors and thank you to our members who take the time out of their busy lives to change the world.
     -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor


Iran: US Congressman Calls for Immediate Release of Jason Rezaian #FreeJason - VIDEO (1:46 min) & NEWS

October 27, 2015
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

The US Congressional Representative from Minnesota, Keith Ellison, called today in a video message for the “unconditional release of Jason Rezaian.”
“I call on the Iranian government to recognize that the truth should never be a crime, and Rezaian must be released immediately,” said Congressman Ellison, in an exclusive video by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Ellison, democrat and representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2007, was the first Muslim to be elected to the US Congress and is presently one of only two Muslim members of the Congress.
Click here for ENTIRE ARTICLE. 

(Video is in English)

Somaliland: Chained like prisoners - NEWS

Human Rights Watch
October 25, 2015

 The 81-page report, “‘Chained Like Prisoners’: Abuses Against People with Psychosocial Disabilities in Somaliland,” finds that men with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities face abusive restraints, beatings, involuntary treatment, and overcrowding in private and public health centers. Most are held against their will and have no possibility of challenging their detention. In private centers in particular, those with psychosocial disabilities face punitive and prolonged chaining, confinement, seclusion, and severe restrictions on their movement. The findings highlight the importance of mental health services in post-conflict regions. According to the World Health Organization, Somaliland has high rates of psychosocial disability.
Click here to read ENTIRE ARTICLE. 

Iran:Narges Mohammadi, a prisoner of conscience & Human Rights defender, has been returned to Tehran’s Evin prison from hospital - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International
     Human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, a prisoner of conscience, has been returned from hospital to Tehran’s Evin prison, though she is critically ill and her doctor has advised against discontinuing her specialized treatment.       Narges Mohammadi was taken from Tehran’s Evin prison to a hospital on 11 October after suffering a seizure. She suffers from pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in her lungs) and a neurological disorder that can result in seizures and temporary partial paralysis. Her treatment was disrupted on 28 October when she was returned to Evin prison against her doctor’s advice. Her husband, Taghi Rahamani, has told Amnesty International that the authorities handcuffed her to the hospital bed for her first few days in hospital. They also had officers inside the room and at the door the entire time she was there. 
Click here for more information and addresses. 

Iran: Milad Azimi, juvenile offender, may be at risk of execution - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International
October 28, 2015
     Milad Azimi may be at risk of execution in connection with the murder of a man when he was 17 years old. His trial was grossly unfair and relied on “confessions” extracted through torture.
     Milad Azimi was sentenced to death by Branch 3 of the Provincial Criminal Court of Kermanshah Province in May 2015 under the Islamic principle of qesas (retribution-in-kind) for his alleged involvement in a fatal stabbing during a fight among several young men in December 2013. He has denied to have inflicted the fatal stab wound. In its verdict, the court acknowledged that Milad Azimi had been under 18 at the time of the crime but said there was “no doubt about his mental growth and maturity and that he understood the nature of his crime and the dangers of using a knife”. The court acknowledged that he had had no prior intention to kill but said that he was aware of the fatal nature of his conduct. His death sentence was upheld in August 2015 by Branch 17 of the Supreme Court. Milad Azimi subsequently requested a retrial based on the new juvenile sentencing guidelines in Iran’s 2013 Islamic Penal Code. The Supreme Court is now believed to have rejected the request. Once the Head of the Judiciary approves the sentence, the deceased’s family can ask for it to be carried out at any time. 

Click here for more information and addresses.  
Also see:

Burkina Faso: Women denied the right to decide if and when they have children- ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International UK

     For girls in Burkina Faso, chances are childhood won't last long. Forced early marriage is common, as is early pregnancy. Barriers to accessing sexual health information and services mean that girls and women often have no control over if or when they will get pregnant. And in some cases, they need their husband's permission to use contraception. Next month Burkina Faso will have its first democratic election in 27 years. Call on the new government to improve access to sexual health information and services.

 Click here for more information and click here for ONLINE PETITION.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Canada: Civilian oversight needed in Val d’Or investigation of Sûreté du Québec #NoMoreStolenSisters - NEWS & ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International Canada

Indigenous women from Val d’Or, Quebec, a small town located about 500km northwest of Montreal, alleged that officers from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ, Quebec’s provincial police) have committed serious crimes against them, including physical and sexual assault.
According to a report aired last week on the Radio Canada program Enquête, SQ officers are alleged to have “routinely picked up women who appeared to be intoxicated, drove them out of town and left them to walk home in the cold.” Some of the women interviewed by Radio Canada also allege that they were “physically assaulted or made to perform sex acts.”
These allegations are extremely serious. But although law enforcement and government officials have known about the allegations since May, it wasn’t until the Radio Canada report aired that the eight officers under investigation for sexual misconduct were put on leave or transferred to administrative duty.
Click here for more information. 
Click here for ONLINE PETITION.

GOOD NEWS Egypt: Women's rights activist Azza Soliman and 16 others Aquitted! - NEWS

Amnesty International Australia
Facebook post, October 28, 2015
     Good news from Egypt! Women's rights activist Azza Soliman and 16 others who had faced spurious charges have now been acquitted. Thanks to everyone who took action -- together we're creating change every day.
Photo: Rene Clement

Saudi Arabia: Sakharov Prize for Raif Badawi ,a Jailed Saudi Blogger - NEWS #FreeRaif

October 29, 2015
The Atlantic
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced last year to a decade in prison and 50 lashes a week for 20 weeks—a punishment that has been carried out once so far—for the crime of insulting Islam on his website. On Thursday, the European Parliament awarded Badawi the Sakharov Prize, its human-rights award.
“The conference of Presidents decided that the Sakharov Prize will go to Saudi blogger Raif Badawi,” Martin Schulz, the parliament’s president, said. “This man, who is an extremely good man and an exemplary good man, has had imposed on him one of the most gruesome penalties that exist in this country which can only be described as brutal torture.”

Click here for ENTIRE article. 


Myanmar: Journalists Silenced, Free the Unity Five - NEWS

Amnesty International 

     Journalists critical of the authorities in Myanmar pay dearly for their stories. Five journalists at the Unity newspaper paid with their freedom. On World Press Freedom Day we remind the government of their promises to foster a free press and demand freedom for the ‘Unity Five’.
     “What I want is more media freedom." These are the words of Tint San, Chief Executive Officer at the Unity newspaper in Myanmar during his trial. His crime? Doing his job.
     In January 2014, weekly newspaper Unity published an article about an alleged secret chemical weapons factory in Magwe Region, central Myanmar. Reporting that the factory was built in 2009 on land that was confiscated from farmers.
     The government was quick to deny the story and responded by seizing copies of the newspaper. But worse was to come. Within days, Tint San and four journalists Lu Maw Naing, Yarzar Oo, Paing Thet Kyaw and Sithu Soe, were arrested. They were accused of disclosing state secrets, trespassing and taking photos of a restricted area. They are all now serving seven years in Pakkoku prison in central Myanmar. The Unity newspaper has since closed, casting a lingering shadow over media workers in Myanmar, who fear arrest and imprisonment simply for undertaking their work.
Click here for more information. 
Also see:

Australia: Demand a Royal Commission into Operation Sovereign Borders - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International Australia

     "Far from saving lives and stopping people smuggling, we have strong evidence that Operation Sovereign Borders officials have endangered and abused people seeking asylum and illegally paid for people smuggling.
      In May, border officials intercepted a boat with 65 people seeking asylum, including a pregnant woman and 3 small children. Video footage and witness testimonies indicate that officials paid the crew US$32,000 to return to Indonesia with their passengers where they risk further abuse and are unable to rebuild their lives."
Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Do more. Create your own Write for Rights event

Amnesty International USA

2014's Write for Rights was the biggest ever, with over 3 million actions taken worldwide. More importantly, we saw that groundswell of global human rights activism help create real change in the lives of individuals.

"Amnesty International members and activists are my heroes. I want to assure them that this great effort they have shown to me will not be in vain. I promise to be a human rights activist - to fight for others." Moses Akatugba, 2014 Write for Rights case

With your help, we can do even better this year.

Please strengthen the Write for Rights campaign! Create your event today.

Thank you again for standing up for human rights.

In solidarity,

Jasmine Heiss

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

27 October: Sri Lankans remember the disappeared - VIDEO 1 min

Urgent Statement: Flogging of Raif Badawi will resume

October 27, 2015
from RAIF page by Evelyne Abitbol
      "I was informed by an informed source, that the Saudi authorities have given the green light to the resumption of Raif Badawi’s flogging. The informed source also said that the flogging will resume soon but will be administered inside the prison.
     It is worth mentioning that the same source had warned me of Raif’s pending flogging at the beginning of January 2015 and his warning was confirmed, as Raif was flogged on 9th January.
     While I do not understand this decision especially as Raif’s case is still being reviewed by the supreme court according to a senior source in the Saudi Ministry of Justice and according to the statement of UK Foreign Office minister, Tobias Ellwood, who told the House of Commons in July that my husband’s case was still being examined by Saudi judges."
Click here for ENTIRE STATEMENT.

United Kingdom: Stop Selling Arms for War Crimes - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International UK
     Yesterday a Saudi-led airstrike resulted in the destruction of an entire NGO-run hospital in Yemen. This bombing of civilian targets is the latest in a six-month air campaign against Yemen, largely ignored by the rest of the world. Thousands have been killed already and many homes, schools and hospitals destroyed. Demand the UK government stop selling arms that risk being used to commit human rights violations.

      The bloody conflict in Yemen has been raging for six months – but largely ignored by the rest of the world. Devastating air strikes, led by Saudi Arabia, have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians and destroyed homes, schools and hospitals. Meanwhile, the UK government has been providing weapons to those committing these horrific war crimes.

Demand the UK stops selling arms that risk being used in human rights abuses to Saudi Arabia and the other countries bombing Yemen – we must not be complicit in killing civilians.
Click here for more information.
Click here for ONLINE PETITION. 

Myanmar: Release all prisoners of conscience - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International Australia
      The government of Myanmar would have the world believe that this tiny Asian nation has moved on from its draconian military past. In reality people are locked-up and shut-up for expressing their opinions in Myanmar. However with the nation's elections approaching in two weeks, the world is keeping a watchful eye, and President Thein Sein is hungry for foreign approval. This is our last chance before the elections to demand the release of prisoners of conscience. Take action today to create change.

Click here for more information. 

Ending Gun Violence by Creating a Peace Culture - Dr. Kioumehr Nov 3, 2015

     We encourage all to attend "Ending Gun Violence by Creating a Peace Culture." Not only is Dr. Kioumehr the Founder and Executive Director of the International Health and Epidemiology Research Center, but she is also an Amnesty International Madison Group #139 member. She has worked tirelessly for the Anti-Violence Campaign that identifies violence as a preventable social epidemic disease in the United States. You can hear and see her at California State University Northridge, Sierra Hall #321 on
November 3, 2015. This program is sponsored by the Gender and Women's Studies Department and Women's Research and Resource Center.
Click here for more information.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Iran: Kamal Foroughi, an elderly prisoner in need of medical care - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International
      Kamal Foroughi, a 76-year-old British-Iranian man, is serving an eight-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison, where he has been held since May 2011. In 2013, he was convicted of charges, including espionage after an unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Kamal Foroughi suffers from different medical conditions and Amnesty International understands that, prior to his arrest, his doctors had said that he needed specialized medical tests and check-ups, including screening for cancer. He has been transferred to a hospital outside prison several times since December 2014, but has not received the care he needs because no specialists have been available.
Click here for more information and addresses. 

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Member List of "Other" Links and Petitions - October 30, 2015

     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 links submitted by our members:

Amnesty International USA: Your Voice Matters! Help Guide Amnesty - SURVEY

Dear Amnesty International Members/Supporters,

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is undergoing a strategic planning process to map out its course over the next four years.

This is an exciting opportunity for AIUSA to determine its future direction as an organization, particularly given all the human rights concerns that we see around the world and close to home.

We want to receive your honest and thoughtful reflections based on your experience to date and your vision for the future.

This survey should take you just 10 minutes to complete. 

Add your voice to Amnesty's direction. Click here to take the Survey now.

Thank you in advance for your participation!


Steven Hawkins
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Ann Burroughs
Chair, Board of Directors
Amnesty International USA

Amnesty International Daily URGENT ACTIONS - October 23 to October 30, 2015

Click here for entire list of URGENT ACTION for the week of October 23 to October30. (This post is updated daily.)

     Countries include: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, USA, Argentina, Indonesia, Iran, Tunisia, and Egypt.

 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.

Write for Rights: Write a Letter. Change a Life. December 4 - 18, 2015

We have created a new tab on our website that has links, photos, and actions for all 12 cases for this year's Write for Rights. Please join us as we write letters, sign ONLINE PETITIONS, and take actions on behalf of these Amnesty International cases. Click here for our tab and also see our sidebar under Take Action Now. This year's cases include:

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Canada: An opportunity for stronger action and renewed leadership to protect human rights at home and abroad - OPEN LETTER

Amnesty International Canada
October 23, 2015

Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister Designate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Mr. Trudeau,
On behalf of the more than 300,000 Canadians who are supporters of Amnesty International we are writing this Open Letter to congratulate you on your election victory this week and to share our initial recommendations for what we hope will be a significantly strengthened approach by your government to respecting and upholding human rights, domestically and globally.
We are heartened by many of the specific commitments you have made and general positions you have offered, both before and during the recent campaign, with respect to numerous pressing human rights challenges.  We look forward to engaging with you and your government as you move to implement the legal and policy reforms that are sorely needed to end violations, address longstanding injustices in the country and position Canada for human rights leadership on the world stage.

Click here for ENTIRE LETTER.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Mexico: Spike in torture reports reveals deepening human rights crisis - NEWS

Amnesty International
October 23, 2015
     Mexico’s torture epidemic has reached new catastrophic levels with reports of asphyxiation, rape and other sexual abuse, electric shocks and beatings at the federal level more than doubling in the last year, said Amnesty International in a new report today as President Peña Nieto prepares to present a new Torture Bill to Congress.
     “A year ago, it would have been hard to imagine how Mexico’s torture crisis could have gotten any worse and then it just did while the government continues to turn a blind eye to a crisis of their own creation,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Click here for ENTIRE ARTICLE and more information.  
Also see:

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - October 23, 2015

Greetings Everyone!

     Tears of joy in Ireland! During the week we posted several video's, news items, and petitions on behalf of the Marriage Equality Bill and women's health care in Ireland. Today we learn that the Marriage Equality bill has passed all stages in the Oireachtas and will now go the President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law. There is still so much more work to be done. While celebrating, please consider signing a petition on behalf of the women and families of Ireland.

“This is another joyous moment for LGBTI people here in Ireland and for their families and friends. On 22 May, Ireland voted by a huge majority to extend full civil marriage equality to same-sex couples, becoming the first country in the world to do so by a popular ballot. Today we have seen that vote translated into law”, said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
     -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor

Click here for ENTIRE Weekly Update including this week's Amnesty International and Human Rights Information and Actions

Amnesty International Welcomes the passage of the Marriage Equality Bill - A moment to savour and to celebrate

Amnesty International
October 22, 2015

     The Marriage Equality Bill today passed all stages in the Oireachtas and will now go the President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law. It is expected that the first civil marriages of same sex couples will take place before the end of the year. However, civil marriages of same sex couples legally contracted in other jurisdictions will be legally recognised here in Ireland once the commencement order for the new act is signed, expected to be in the coming few weeks.
     “This is another joyous moment for LGBTI people here in Ireland and for their families and friends. On 22 May, Ireland voted by a huge majority to extend full civil marriage equality to same-sex couples, becoming the first country in the world to do so by a popular ballot. Today we have seen that vote translated into law”, said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.

Click here for ENTIRE ARTICLE. 

Syria: Demand a Safe Home for those Struggling to Survive in Syria - NEWS and ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International Australia
      This is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. But we are hopeful that with your help, the international community can stop the suffering. Together we were successful in demanding the Australian Government embrace 12,000 Syrians escaping conflict. Now we must again stand united to stop the bloodshed and ensure vital humanitarian aid reaches the millions struggling to survive each day. Today we have an opportunity to create much needed change.

Click here for more INFORMATION and ACTIONS.
Click here for ONLINE PETITION.


Argentina: Stop trafficking of women - ONLINE PETITION

It may be hard to believe but 77,300 people are estimated to be trapped in modern slavery in Argentina! 2
     On August, 3rd, Mariana Gras, President of the National Council of Women, publicly committed 1  to releasing the National Action Plan by early August. Unfortunately, the Plan has not been released. We urge the National Council on Women to follow through with their public commitment and immediately release the National Action Plan to help support victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and other forms of violence.
Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Myanmar: Arrested simply for expressing their opinions, Myanmar must free prisoners of conscience - EMAIL ACTION

Amnesty International New Zealand

      In Myanmar people are arrested simply for peacefully expressing their opinions. Scores of prisoners of conscience languish behind bars, while hundreds of others are facing charges – and prison – simply for the peaceful exercise of their rights. When you sign this petition your views are being heard by decision-makers in Australia, the European Union, Japan, USA, and the UK - all key influencer countries on Myanmar.

Click here for more information and EMAIL ACTION.

Brazil: The Horrors of Brazil’s Prisons – Jorge’s Story - NEWS

Human Rights Watch
October 19, 2015

     "The windowless prison cell held 37 men, including “Jorge.” It was hot, and there was just enough space for the men to sleep close together on the floor. There were no mattresses. Although the room had electric lights, a narrow slit in the door was the only place sunlight and fresh air trickled through. All the men shared one bathroom. This was one of three cells in the “punishment and transfer” wing, designed for prisoners who had either broken the prison’s rules or for those transferred from other prisons for a hearing in the state capital."

Click here for ENTIRE STORY.

GOOD NEWS Cuba: Releases El Sexto - NEWS

Amnesty International Australia
     Great news! Cuban artist ‘El Sexto’ was released, without warning, from prison on Tuesday. He had been detained for nearly a year after painting ‘Raul’ and ‘Fidel’ on pigs for an art show. Big thanks to you all for taking action earlier this month!

Australia: Safety and health of Somali refugee at risk: Abyan - URGENT ACTION

October 21, 2015
     "A 23-year-old Somali refugee, allegedly raped in July on the island nation of Nauru, in the Central Pacific, is now 15 weeks pregnant. She is in urgent need of an abortion and mental health care. After bringing her to Australia to terminate her pregnancy, which was not carried out, the government of Australia unlawfully returned her to Nauru, where her safety and health are at risk."
Click here for more information.  
Also see:  

Ireland: Remove the Chains - VIDEO (1:35 min) and ONLINE PETITION

Published on Oct 19, 2015
A ghost haunts Ireland, blindly bringing suffering - even death - to the women whose lives it touches.

Ireland doesn't have to be bound to the past. It needs to repeal the Eighth Amendment of its constitution, and the other laws that chain women to the past and deny them their rights.

Sign our ONLINE PETITION to the Taoiseach at

Northern Ireland: Demand marriage equality - EMAIL ACTION by November 2, 2015

Amnesty International UK
      When it comes to gay rights, Northern Ireland has been left behind. It’s the only part of the UK where same-sex couples are denied the right to get married. Now, we have the chance to change that. On 2 November the Northern Ireland Assembly holds a vote that could move us closer to equality across the UK.
      Let Northern Ireland’s political leaders know you stand for equality – and demand they vote yes on 2 November. 
Click here for more information and EMAIL ACTION. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Amnesty International: Argentina must investigate horrific wave of attacks against trans activists - NEWS

October 14, 2015

     "The killing of three trans women in Argentina in the past month must trigger authorities into taking more robust action to protect one of the most marginalized communities in the country, said Amnesty International.
     Last night, Amancay Diana Sacayán, a renowed activist for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people (LGBTI) was found dead in her flat in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. Her body had signs of violence. A month ago, Marcela Chocobar and Coty Olmos, two trans women and leaders of LGBTI organizations, were also violently killed in the provinces of Santa Fe and Santa Cruz.
     “A dark cloud has set over Argentina’s trans community. Unless this latest wave of murders is effectively investigated and those responsible taken to justice, a message will be sent that attacking trans women is actually ok,” said Mariela Belski, Executive Director at Amnesty International Argentina.
     “Argentina must not allow this wave of violence to continue. Setting up a database to document gender crimes and developing strong mechanisms to investigate and punish gender violence would be good and long awaited first steps.”
Click here for entire

Amnesty International USA: Write for Rights! URGENT ACTION LETTERS December 4 - 18, 2015

"You saved my life. Now let's help others.
My name is Moses Akatugba. For 10 years I was on death row in Nigeria. I was arrested, tortured and imprisoned when I was just 16 years old. I was sentenced to death.

Police officers beat me with machetes and batons. The pain I went through was unimaginable. 

This May, my execution was halted and I walked free. Your Write for Rights letters saved my life. Thank you.

Please, help others who are being subjected to human rights abuses, as I was. Sign up for the 2015 Write for Rights campaign.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ireland: Ask Ireland to decriminalise abortion - ONLINE PETITION & VIDEO

Amnesty International UK
     "In Ireland a woman cannot terminate her pregnancy. If she has been raped or the foetus has no chance of survival, she must still carry it to term.
The price of having an abortion in Ireland? 14 years in prison. For accessing healthcare that a woman desperately needs.
     Ireland’s ban on abortion is punishing women, and chaining them to a different time.
It doesn’t have to be this way."

Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION.  

Published on Oct 19, 2015
When Helen and Graham found out the foetus Helen was carrying would not survive, they were devastated. Terminating the pregnancy was the only option.

In Ireland, Graham's homeland, Helen would be sent to jail for having that operation.

Iran: New laws could allow for Bahareh's release - ONLINE PETITION UPDATE

Amin Ahmadian and United for Iran

Oct 19, 2015 — Dear Friend,

I want to personally thank you for supporting Bahareh Hedayat by demanding that she be freed from prison in Iran. Though Bahareh’s health has begun to deteriorate in prison, I’d like to think that knowing she is supported by tens of thousands of people around the world brings her some solace.

Increasing pressure on the Iranian government could lead to Bahareh’s release. Iranian authorities know that law required them to release Bahareh this summer. They have ignored the law by keeping her in prison and adding two years to her sentence. Continued pressure on the Iranian government creates an opportunity to make sure Bahareh is released from prison as soon as possible.
Click here for ONLINE PETITION. 

Protect Refugees Fleeing Violence and Persecution - SIGN PLEDGE

Human Rights Watch

     "Human Rights Watch is on the front lines protecting the rights of refugees. Our researchers are on the ground ensuring the truth is exposed and these people’s voices are heard. Our advocates are working in capitals to pressure leaders around the world to remove barriers to safe passage for families seeking protection.

     Help us mobilize action for refugees in crisis. Pledge your support and tell the world that you stand for the rights of people desperate to find a safe place to call home.

 Click here for more information and PLEDGE.

Solving the world's refugee crisis The EU takes one step forward, with a long way left to go - NEWS

Amnesty International

     "EU leaders have taken one positive step forward by agreeing to share responsibility for 120,000 asylum-seekers. But this alone won't solve the humanitarian emergency unfolding on Europe's doorstep.
     Ignoring loud alarm bells rung by Amnesty and others, politicians are failing to tackle the world's worst refugee crisis since World War II.
     Right now, thousands of children, men and women are being forced to risk death or walk wearily from one heavily fortified EU border to another searching for sanctuary.
The writing has been on the wall for years: brutal regimes, raging conflicts and deep poverty across the Middle East and Africa are forcing millions of people to migrate, leaving everything they know and love behind.
     Most refugees stay close to their home countries, but some will try to reach safety in Europe – despite its billion-Euro efforts to keep people out, and often at an extortionate human and financial cost.
Click here for entire article.

Bahrain: Free Mahdi, in need of urgent medical help - EMAIL ACTION

Amnesty International UK
     "Mahdi is a school teacher in Bahrain. In 2011, he called on his teaching union to strike. The authorities charged him with inciting hatred and attempting to bring down the regime – and put him in jail. This is Mahdi’s fourth year in prison, and he is being denied medical treatment he urgently needs. Mahdi’s health is deteriorating. Ask Bahrain to give him access to the care he desperately needs, and release him from prison." 
Click here for more information and ACTION. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Iran:Execution of two juvenile offenders in just a few days makes a mockery of Iran’s juvenile justice system - PRESS RELEASE

Amnesty International
October 14, 2015

"Fatemeh Salbehi, a 23-year-old woman, was hanged yesterday for a crime she allegedly committed when she was 17, only a week after another juvenile offender, Samad Zahabi, was hanged for a crime he also allegedly committed at 17.
“The use of the death penalty is cruel, and inhumane and degrading in any circumstances, but it is utterly sickening when meted out as a punishment for a crime committed by a person who was under 18 years of age, and after legal proceedings that make a mockery of juvenile justice,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“With this execution the Iranian judiciary has yet again put on display its brazen contempt for the human rights of children, including their right to life. There are simply no words to condemn Iran’s continued use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders.”"

Click here for ENTIRE Amnesty International PRESS RELEASE.