Saturday, April 30, 2016

GOOD NEWS: Human Rights News

Amnesty International Canada

 Dear Human Rights Supporter,

     Spring 2016 has been an incredible time for human rights wins. We have so many wonderful stories to share we're calling this the Human Rights GOOD NEWS edition! Thanks to your efforts and support, we are reuniting families and ensuring protection and justice for individuals at risk. We hope you'll enjoy these inspiring stories about some of the courageous people you've stood with in the past year.
Click here for ENTIRE NEWS.

Colombia: Death threats to Afro-descendant leaders - URGENT ACTION before June 10

Amnesty International

 On 28 April Francia Marquez, a leader of the Afro-descendant community of La Toma in Suarez Municipality Cauca Department, received a death threat by text to her mobile phone, which also named two other leaders from La Toma. She and other La Toma community leaders have faced repeated threats following their efforts to demand protection  for the community's ancestral land rights and to prevent the exploitation of their territories by outside ining iterests, including multinatinal gold mining companies.

Click here for more information and link to URGENT ACTION. 

United States: Hope is Waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court - NEWS

Children's Defense Fund
Marian Wright Edelman's Child Watch Column
“Baldo came to the United States from Michoacán, Mexico, in 1988, when he was 17 years old. He lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife and their two U.S. citizen daughters, ages nine and 13. While in the United States, he trained as an electrician and, for nearly 20 years, worked for the same company installing electrical wiring and residential security systems. He lost his job in March 2014 when his employer discovered that Baldo was undocumented. Baldo’s employer told Baldo that he hated to lose him and that he would like to rehire him as soon as Baldo obtained work authorization. Baldo’s current work as an independent contractor has created financial difficulties for him and his family, as he can no longer rely on a weekly paycheck and cannot count on getting work every week. The lack of a reliable income makes it difficult for Baldo to plan for his family’s financial future.” -Brief filed by immigrants’ rights, civil rights and labor groups in U.S. v. Texas

Click here for entire article.

Amnesty International URGENT ACTIONS - April 29 to May 6, 2016

Click here for entire list of URGENT ACTION for the week of April 29 to May 6. (This post is updated daily.)  

Countries include: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Colombia, Egypt, Israel/OPT, Malawi, South Sudan, Argentina, Kuwait, Belarus, and Bangladesh.

 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.

Alabama Escalates Culture War by Passing Anti-LGBT Bathroom Ordinance - NEWS

April 29, 2016

     On Tuesday, the city council of Oxford, Alabama, voted unanimously to criminalize people who use bathrooms that don’t match the gender listed on their birth certificates, the Anniston Star reports.
The ordinance is an even more restrictive version of North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law, which applies to government buildings and forbids city and local governments from expanding anti-discrimination laws that could protect the LGBT community.
Click here for entire article.

AI Madison Group #139 Member List of "Other" Links & Petitions - April 29 to May 6, 2016

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:

Madison, WI: Declare June 2 Gun Violence Awareness Day: Paul Soglin - ONLINE PETITION

Everytown for Gun Safety
     On June 2, millions of Americans who believe we can do more to stop gun violence will come together to Wear Orange on National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
     Will you join us by issuing a proclamation declaring June 2nd as Gun Violence Awareness Day in our city?
     What started as a way for a group of teens to honor their friend killed by gun violence has turned into a national movement to recognize the 91 Americans that are killed every day from gun violence, and the hundreds more injured. President Obama, Julianne Moore, the New York Mets, MTV, Cosmopolitan, Motown Records, Sarah Silverman, Jason Bateman, Katie Couric, Questlove, Michael J. Fox, Tony Hawk, and more than 200 noteworthy individuals and organizations answered the call.
Last year was the first Gun Violence Awareness Day. This year, I’m asking for your help to make it the biggest. Please join mayors across the country in officially recognizing the day and call for a future free from gun violence.
Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - April 29, 2016

Greetings Everyone!

We have so many petitions, urgent actions, news items, videos, and events this week! Whew! To get you in the mood for the GOOD NEWS and the HEARTBREAKING NEWS, click on this video (satire). It's about 4 minutes long. Then, sharpen your pencils, dust off your computer, and join us as we take action for human rights. Together we can make a difference!

This week we received a question about our Urgent Actions. Amnesty International researches each case and sends us alerts almost daily. The Action includes background information, may include updated information, sometimes includes a deadline, and also includes contact information. We write letters on behalf of that person or persons. We average around ten a week. Guidelines for writing Urgent Actions can be found here. To learn how the Urgent Action Network began, please click here. Here is a link to this week's Urgent Actions. Thanks for writing on behalf of our Urgent Action cases.

Did you know that all of our posts and links come from YOU? Our membership includes people from all over the United States and the world. If you have a human rights petition, news item, video, or event that you would like to share with our group, please send an email to Azam at

We would be happy to review your suggestion. Please keep in mind that we cannot post anything that is political (or partisan) or is a fundraising appeal.

Amnesty International has still not fixed our group's email address so please use this one.

Have a great week and thank you for your human rights work!

     -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor

Click here for links to this week's Amnesty International and Human Rights Information and Actions

Amnesty International Australia: One year after the Bali executions | Our new 2020 goals | Mass surveillance - April 2016 NEWSLETTER

Amnesty International Australia
April, 2016
  •  Phyoe Phyoe Aung
  •   A Philippines court handed down a historic ruling in which a police officer was charged with torturing Jerryme Correa. 
  •  Syrian refugee, known as M.K. was finally released by Turkish authorities after being arbitrarily detained in a small airport room since last November. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Monster in the Closet - PETITION and VIDEO

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
     This website contains Issues, Take Action, News, Events, and Resources. The mission of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) is to reduce gun violence through legislative advocacy and education designed to encourage action, influence public opinion and lead to policy change. With a primary focus on New York State, NYAGV also advocates at the local and national levels for laws, policies and practices that protect New York State residents, particularly youth, from gun violence.

Monster in the Closet (2 min video)

 Published on Jan 9, 2015: A reminder from States United to keep children safe from loaded, unlocked guns. Get involved, sign our petition at
NOTE: We do not raise or advocate donations to any of the organizations in our postings.



China: Dolma Tso is at risk of forced medical operation - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International New Zealand

      Dolma Tso, is serving a three-year sentence for moving the body of her neighbour who set himself on fire in protest against the unrelenting oppression of Tibetans by Chinese authorities.
All she did was move her neighbour's body into a vehicle, but she has been charged with "intentional homicide".
     We must call on the Chinese ambassdor in New Zealand, His Excellency Mr. Wang Lutong to ensure this case is raised with the Prison Governor of Chengdu Women's Prison.

Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION. 


     It was lauded at Sundance. It took home People’s Choice Award at the Boulder International Film Festival. And now, you can see it free at an exclusive pre-release screening for WAVE supporters right here in Milwaukee. This is the sort of fair-minded and balanced look at the national gun debate that invites gun owners into a constructive conversation, making it a great fit for Wisconsin.

Produced and narrated by Katie Couric, this film is a vital, fact-based exploration of the gap between the overwhelming majority of the American public -- including gun owners and NRA members alike -- and the extremist minority of corporate gun lobbyists and do-nothing politicians.

When: 7pm on Tuesday, May 10
Where: Lubar Theater in the Milwaukee Art Museum
What: Pre-release screening of Under the Gun, followed by closing remarks by Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi

Tell Congress to Repeal the Anti-Choice Gag Rule on AmeriCorps - ONLINE PETITION

     AmeriCorps volunteers work to strengthen communities that need it the most, and the health centers they staff often serve low-income people and people of color. But if a woman goes to one of these centers seeking abortion care, AmeriCorps volunteers are prevented—by law—from helping her by providing full information about her reproductive health care options.
     This policy is completely unreasonable—but you have an opportunity to try to change it.

Click here for ONLINE PETITION.

Act today: AIA Ethics Council debating Human Rights on Friday! - ONLINE PETITION

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility
April 28, 2016

 On Friday, April 29, the National Ethics Council of the American Institute of Architects will formally consider ADPSR’s proposal to ban the design of execution chambers and spaces for human rights violations like prolonged solitary confinement. This would be a great time to share this open letter with your family, friends, and colleagues to help AIA remember how much support there is for them to take a strong stance for human rights.
Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION. 

Guantanamo and Drones - NEWS

Amnesty International: Amnesty Insider - April 2016 Newsletter

Amnesty International
     Unfortunately we don't have a link to this very informative newsletter. Here are some of the articles and links. 
  •  INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S NOTE (no link available)
  •  SUCCESS: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2016 (no link available)

Gambia: Free Fanta Darboe Jawara, US Citizen - Gambian Native - ONLINE PETITION

Gambian Lives Matter

     U.S. Citizen Fanta Darboe Jawara of Frederick, Maryland, is a wife and mother of two daughters ages 12 and 17. Fanta was arrested on Saturday, April 16th and imprisoned at the Mile 2 Central Prison in Gambia after protesting the release of Gambian native and Political Activist, Solo Sandeng. Solo Sandeng is now presumed dead after being tortured for leading a peaceful protest for political reform at Westfield on Thursday, April 14th.

     Fanta Darboe Jawara committed no crime but is being held as a prisoner along with other Gambian natives. Please sign this petition and help bring Fanta home!

For more information:

This petition will be delivered to:
  • American Embassy Banjul
    U.S. Ambassador C. Patricia Alsup
  • Representative
    John Delaney
  • Senator
    Barbara Mikulski
  • Senator
    Ben Cardin
  • 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001
    Amnesty International USA
Click here for more information and ONLINE PETITION.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Madison, WI USA: 1500th Vigil for Peace in Downtown Madison! - May 23, 2016

Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

On Monday, May 23rd, from 12 noon to 1 pm, the Vigil for Peace in Madison WI will gather on the corner of MLK Jr. Blvd. and Doty St. next to the downtown post office, Municipal Bldg. We will celebrate our 1,500th Vigil for Peace!

For 35 years, a hearty band of peacemakers has been vigiling, weekly, in downtown Madison for peace, justice and sustainability.

Those who have organized these vigils have been long-term leaders and mentors to WNPJ.  They are at the heart of WNPJ's ongoing lifespan and success.  Please join us in celebrating this amazing work.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has issued a Proclamation proclaiming, Monday, May 23 as: Monday Noon - Peace Vigil Day. Immediately following the vigil, a potluck lunch is planned to which all are welcomed to share in this festive and celebratory event. All welcome to join us, bring a friend or two, and a favorite peace sign.

Judy Miner   (phone: 506-705-
Mary Beth Schlagheck (phone: 608-846-

Thanks for giving peace a chance, and highlighting all the pieces that go into making a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

What has the ECHR Ever Done for Us? - VIDEO (satire) 3:59 min

The Guardian
April 25, 2016

An example of satire with an important point.

After Theresa May says Britain should leave the European convention on human rights, Patrick Stewart, Adrian Scarborough and Sarah Solemani expose the problems in the Conservative plan for a UK bill of rights. This satirical take on the classic Monty Python sketch asks ‘what has the European Convention on Human Rights ever done for us?’ Apart from the right to a fair trial, freedom from slavery, freedom from torture ...
WARNING: Contains strong language.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Iran: Whereabouts of Disappeared Man, Yousef Silavi, Unknown - URGENT ACTION by June 7, 2016

Amnesty International

     Amnesty International has recently learned that Yousef Silavi, a 57-year-old retired technician from Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority, has been missing since late 2009. He was last seen by a family friend in his home in the city of Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, around 6 November 2009. His wife, who was out of the country visiting their two daughters who had been studying at Damascus University in Syria, reported him as missing to the police when she returned on 8 November 2009. The police closed the missing person’s report within six months without adequate investigation. The authorities have continued to deny that they have officially arrested Yousef Silavi, though his family believes he is in their custody because of the restrictions and threats they have come under since he went missing - as well as off-the-record statements made by officials. A few days after he went missing, a friend who had notified the family of Yousef Silavi’s disappearance was detained for one night by Ministry of Intelligence officials and questioned about him. The offices apparently beat and threatened him, saying that if he talked about the incident his life would be in danger. Another close contact of the family was threatened and told by an official from the Revolutionary Guards that if she did not stop seeking information about Yousef Silavi, she would be detained alongside him. Yousef Silavi’s wife has been subjected to strict travel restrictions and was told by a Revolutionary Guard official that the only way she will be able to see her husband would be to bring their daughters back to Iran. The official alleged that their daughters had been in contact with Iranian opposition groups in Damascus.


Gambia: Amnesty International Press Releases and Actions