Friday, September 30, 2016

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - September 30, 2016

Greetings Everyone!
     We'd like to welcome Margaret Huang, an advocate for human rights and racial justice for more than two decades, who is now the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. Click here for more information about our new Executive Director.
     On a personal note, I will be traveling on business to Europe over the next ten days. I may or may not have internet access. Therefore, our Weekly Update may be delayed or postponed until I return. I will try to keep up with Urgent Actions but no promises :-)

Member News: Congratulations to Farideh Kioumehr, one of our members, for the successful Anti-Violence Event on Peace Day 2016 in Irvine, CA. We have included some of the photos from this event on our website. Thumbs Up!!!

Website News: I'm not sure why but all of the information on our sidebar is missing. This information includes: Calendar of Events, Videos & Podcasts, Human Rights Links, Urgent Actions, and Featured Posts. I'll try to reconstruct this important part of our website when I return. Not really sure why we have gremlins invading our website :-(
Facebook Update: When we first started our Facebook page we were trying to figure out how we could spread the word about human rights to more people. We only had 3 or 4 people who had "liked" our page. Today we have 643 with 3 new likes this week! Membership, you are amazing!!!

     -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor

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

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sudan: Has Sudan used chemical weapons on children? - NEWS

Amnesty International UK
September 28, 2016

Devastating impact
     Our investigation reveals that brutal military assaults have damaged or destroyed more than 170 villages in the remote Jebel Marra region of Darfur since the start of 2016.
At least 30 of these attacks are thought to have involved chemical weapons – the most recent occurring on 9 September 2016.
“Chemical weapons have been banned for decades in recognition of the fact that the level of suffering they cause can never be justified. The fact that Sudan’s government is now repeatedly using them against their own people simply cannot be ignored and demands action.”
- Tirana Hassan, Director of Crisis Research, Amnesty International
Click here for ENTIRE ARTICLE.

To the Editor: End the Death Penalty - OPINION PIECE

New York Times
September 27, 2016

     Semon Frank Thompson’s essay, “What I Learned From Executing Two Men” (Sunday Review, Sept. 18), revealed a further reason to put an end to the ultimate punishment. The death penalty is a broken system carried out by human beings that no amount of reform can repair.
Study after study demonstrates that it is imposed in a racially discriminatory manner and that it does not have any additional deterrent value than the punishment of life without the possibility of parole. The death penalty has been imposed erroneously in at least 150 cases.
     Mr. Thompson’s essay compels us to consider the collateral harm suffered by those who must carry out executions. Indeed, we are all harmed by state-ordered killings when no reliable study has demonstrated that there is any benefit to society.
     This November, California voters have an opportunity to put an end to a failed and irrational system by supporting Prop 62. California would then join 20 other states and the District of Columbia in moving us to be, in Mr. Thompson’s words, “a healthier society.”

Click here for ENTIRE article.

Iran: Shameful 16-year-sentence for Narges Mohammadi a devastating blow to human rights - NEWS

Amnesty International
September 28, 2016

     In response to the news that the 16-year prison sentence against prominent human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, who is critically ill, has been upheld on appeal, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther, said:
“This verdict is yet another cruel and devastating blow to human rights in Iran, which demonstrates the authorities’ utter contempt for justice. Narges Mohammadi is a prominent advocate of human rights and a prisoner of conscience. She should be lauded for her courage not locked in a prison cell for 16 years.
     “By insisting that this harsh and appalling sentence is imposed for her peaceful human rights work, the authorities have laid bare their intent to silence human rights defenders at all costs."
      “It is particularly shocking that this sentence comes as Iran’s authorities are preparing for renewed bilateral dialogue with the EU, given that Narges Mohammadi was convicted for her work campaigning against the death penalty and meeting with the former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs. This casts serious doubts over Iran’s commitment to engage meaningfully with the EU on human rights issues.
     “Narges Mohammadi’s conviction and sentence must be quashed and the authorities must order her immediate and unconditional release. We urge the EU to make these calls, too, and put the heightened repression of human rights defenders in Iran at the heart of their dialogue.”

Click here for ENTIRE article.

Mass Execution: 17 Prisoners Hanged at Vakilabad Prison - NEWS

Iran Human Rights
September 27, 2016

      17 prisoners sentenced to death on drug related charges were reportedly hanged at Mashhad's Vakilabad Prison (Razavi Khorasan province, northwestern Iran) on Sunday September 11, 2016.
"There are currently about 400 prisoners in Vakilabad Prison who are on death row for drug related offenses, and their execution sentences have been confirmed," a close source tells Iran Human Rights.
Click here for ENTIRE article. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Amnesty International: Announcing AIUSA's Executive Director - NEWS

Ann Burroughs
Board Chair, AIUSA

I’m delighted to share the news that Amnesty International USA’s Board of Directors has appointed Margaret Huang as the organization’s Executive Director, effective immediately.

As you know, Margaret has played a key leadership role at AIUSA for the last several years, and she has worked in partnership with the Board, members, and staff to strengthen the organization in order to protect people’s human rights – no matter who they are or where they are. Over the last couple of years, donations and membership in AIUSA have increased, as supporters nationwide have been galvanized by our campaigns and advocacy work on key human rights issues. Margaret’s leadership has been central in bringing this stability and growth.

Click here for ENTIRE email. 

Peace Day 2016 Success!!!


     Congratulations to all who organized and participated in the Peace Day 2016 Celebration in Irvine, CA on Saturday, September 24th.
 Click here and here for more photos from this exciting event. A special thank you to one of our members, Dr. Farideh Kioumehr who was instrumental in making this event a tradition since 1994.
     International Health&Epidemiology Research Center-IHERC- is the creator, and The Organizer of the "Peace Day" events. IHERC spearheads Peace Days annually and often several times a year with different groups, schools, and faith communities. Some schools in other countries, such as Russia, Iran, Brazil, and Sweden, are replicating this important activity.
     After learning about the hazards of real and toy guns, children turn in their toy guns and violent video games and receive a peace certificate. Afterwards, they use the confiscated items to create an art project.

The Gift of Exile | Niloofar Razi Howe | TEDxFoggyBottom - VIDEO (about 15 min)

Published on Jul 7, 2016
The hardships we seek to protect our children from are often the gifts that enable them to thrive as adults. As a young girl, Niloofar Razi Howe’s stable childhood world vanished when she was driven out of her country by the Iranian Revolution. On the TEDxFoggyBottom stage, she describes the challenges no 10 year old should have to live through and how those challenges inform her view that the world should be questioned, and that when risk and terror are faced head on, they can become truly empowering.

Niloofar Razi Howe has been Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President at RSA since November 2015. Ms. Howe leads the overall RSA corporate strategy, corporate development, and planning. She also serves as an Operating Partner at Paladin Capital Group. She has more than 25 years of experience working and investing in the technology industry, with a particular focus on the security industry over the past decade.
Previously she served as the Chief Strategy Officer of Endgame, Inc., Managing Director and led the investment teams at Paladin Capital Group, an entrepreneur and operator at Principal at Zone Ventures, a consultant with McKinsey & Co., and as a lawyer with O'Melveny & Myers.

Her non-profit work includes serving on the Board of Sibley Memorial Hospital, Vice Chair of Sibley Memorial Hospital Foundation, as well as on the board of IREX. Previously, she served on the Board and as Board Chair of Global Rights.

Colombia: AI Press Release on the signing of the peace agreement - NEWS

Amnesty International
September 26, 2016

     The success of an historic peace deal between the Colombian government and the country’s largest guerilla group, which was officially signed today in Cartagena, rests on the Colombian authorities’ ability to ensure truth, justice and reparation for the millions of victims of the more than 50 year-long conflict, said Amnesty International.
     The peace agreement will still need to be ratified via a plebiscite, to be held on 2 October.
     “Today will rightly be a day of celebration in Colombia. The authorities must now guarantee this historic achievement is not undermined by ensuring that all those responsible for the despicable crimes under international law inflicted on millions of people over half a century face justice,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.


Also see:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

USA: Tell Congress to Welcome Refugees - ONLINE PETITION

National Religious Campaign Against Torture
     This week began with sorrow as bombs were found in New York area neighborhoods, one of which injured many innocent people.  In our grief though, we do not want to forget others who have also suffered from violence.  The conflict in Syria has displaced millions of people.  Millions more are currently displaced by violence in other parts of the world.  We are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II.  These people need our help.
     Unfortunately, some of our politicians are attempting to slam our doors shut in the face of those seeking refuge.  Refugees have been compared to poisonous "skittles" and some in Congress have called for including a provision banning refugees in the continuing resolution currently being debated in Congress that will fund government for the next few months.
     The conflict in Syria has displaced millions of people. Millions more are currently displaced from other violence around the world. We are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Sadly, in the face of almost unprecedented human need, many in Congress want to slam our door shut on those seeking refuge.
     Please write to your Members of Congress today and ask them to open our country’s door to those fleeing violence and persecution.
Click here for PETITION and more INFO.

Burundi: Help Protect Missing Journalist, Jean Bigirimana - URGENT ACTION by October 31, 2016

Amnesty International
Burundian journalist, Jean Bigirimana, is still missing, two months after he was reported to have been arrested by security forces outside the capital, Bujumbura. Attempts by his family and employer Iwacu newspaper to find him have been unsuccessful.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Expressing concern that Jean Bigirimana may have been subjected to enforced disappearance;
  • Calling on the authorities to thoroughly, independently and impartially investigate the disappearance of Jean Bigirimana;
  • Urging them to effectively protect journalists against any threat, attack, intimidation or harassment;
  • Calling on the Burundian authorities to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.
H.E. Ernest Ndabashinze, Embassy of the Republic of Burundi
2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW Suite 408, Washington DC 20007
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

H.E Pierre Nkurunziza
Présidence de la République du Burundi
Boulevard de l’Indépendance
Salutation: Your Excellency

Egypt: Help Unfreeze the Assets of Human Rights Defenders - URGENT ACTION by Nov 1, 2016

Amnesty International
     An Egyptian court has upheld an asset freeze against five human rights defenders and three NGOs. They may now face trial on spurious charges that include accepting funding illegally, operating unlicensed groups and damaging the country’s “national security.”
      The decision by the Zeinhom Criminal Court names investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat; Arabic Network for Human Rights Information director Gamal Eid; Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies director Bahey el-Din Hassan; Hisham Mubarak Law Center director Mostafa al-Hassan; and Egyptian Center for the Right to Education director Abdel Hafez Tayel. The court also froze the assets of three groups, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Hisham Mubarak Law Center and the Egyptian Center for the Right to Education, but rejected orders freezing the assets of other NGO staff and the family members of some of the accused.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on Egypt’s authorities to ensure the asset freeze imposed on human rights defenders and organizations is immediately lifted;
  • Urging them to end the harassment of human rights defenders, including the use of travel bans, asset freezes and closure orders, as well as to close spurious and politically motivated investigations;
  • Calling on them to ensure that any new NGO law complies with Egypt’s constitution, as well as international law and standards on the right to freedom of association.
 Ambassador Yasser Reda, Embassy of Egypt3521 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: 202 244 4319  -OR-  202 244 5131  I  Phone: 202 895 5400  I  Email:

Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Minister of Social SolidarityGhada Waly
Ministry of Social Solidarity
19 Maraghi Street, Agouza
Giza, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 3337 5420 / +202 3337 5404
Salutation: Your Excellency
Click here for ENTIRE URGENT ACTION.  

Colombia: Our Terrorists in Colombia: Death Squads as “Freedom Fighters” - NEWS

Counter Punch
September 20, 2016
 "A recent article in The New York Times entitled, “The Secret History of Colombia’s Paramilitaries & The U.S. War on Drugs,” contains useful clues as to the U.S.’s true views towards the Colombian death squads and their massive war crimes and human rights abuses. [1] In short, it reveals a high-level of tolerance of, and condonation by, U.S. policy-makers for the suffering of the Colombian people at the hands of our long-time friends and allies, the right-wing paramilitaries."

Click here for ENTIRE article.

USA: Snowden and Manning - NEWS

World Can't Wait
     This group, "World Can't Wait," encourages us to watch the new Snowden film. Amnesty has been a supporter of Edward Snowden.
     Chelsea Manning Ends Hunger Strike as Army Promises Gender Reassignment Surgery. Also see links to Amnesty International which supports Chelsea Manning. 
Click here for ENTIRE email.

USA: Tell Congress To Show Leadership and Help Refugees - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International
     Today the United Nations hosted a summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, and tomorrow President Obama will bring key allies together to try and secure firm commitments from them on refugees. Sadly, it's nowhere near enough -- and that's why we need you.
     Right now Congress is considering budget cuts that would drastically reduce funding for refugees and turn our country's back on 110,000 refugees that the U.S. government has already pledged to welcome. We need you to make sure this doesn't happen. If the United States does not set the right example and honor its own commitments, there is a very real danger that no other country will, either.
Click here for ONLINE PETITION. 

Amnesty: Fundraising Ideas and Regional Conference Resources - INFORMATION & IDEAS

Amnesty International USA

      Local and Student Groups at AIUSA volunteer a lot of their time working on the most pressing human rights issues of our time. While the size of the group, geographic location, issues and activities vary widely, all groups need resources. Whether it is to get an event off of the ground, attend a regional conference or Annual General Meeting (AGM), host a training, or cover costs for any number of creative projects we hear about groups organizing, fundraising can help make it all happen.
      Whether you are a part of a brand new group or you have been working as an AIUSA group for years, we wanted to share with you some resources and ideas to fundraise for your group’s projects. As you plan out your year, these resources can help generate ideas to reach your group’s goals.
 Regional Conference Resources

If you are planning to attend a Regional Conference this year and are looking for resources to help get you there, click HERE and select which conference you would like to attend.
1.) For more information about subsidies, click Travel & Lodging in the left column for resources to help get your group to the conference!
2.) If you would like to sign up to volunteer, click on Ways to Support in the left column to find the Volunteer Application. Volunteers are expected to work at least three hours, and in return, will receive free registration.
3.) Don't forget to register today to take advantage of early bird rates! 
4.) If you have any questions or would like to see if any other resources are available, contact your Field Organizer. The Staff Directory is on the homepage of the Activist Resource Community (ARC).

Adam Ray Cross
Member Engagement Coordinator
Amnesty International USA
Rocio Avalos
Special Project Coordinator
Amnesty International USA
Click here for ENTIRE email.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Iran: Jailed IT expert, Nizar Zakka, denied access to medical care - URGENT ACTION by October 28, 2016

Amnesty International
      Lebanese national and permanent US resident Nizar Zakka, a 49-year-old businessman and information communications technology (ICT) expert who has been detained for nearly a year in Tehran’s Evin Prison, has several health conditions, including severe back pain, and has found blood in his stools. His family have said that he has lost a significant amount of weight and become very weak. Despite this, the authorities have refused to provide him with medical care, including his medication and examinations for the blood found in his stools.

Please write immediately in English, Persian, Arabic, French, Spanish or your own language:

  • Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately provide Nizar Zakka with any specialized medical treatment he needs, including outside prison;
  •  Urging them to release him immediately unless he is charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence (that does not punish him for his legitimate work with ICT organizations) and tried in an ordinary court in proceedings that meet international fair trial standards;  
  • Calling on them to allow him regular contact with his lawyer and visits from and phone calls with his family, and to allow him to communicate with Lebanese consular officials.
 Head of the Judiciary        
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani        
Salutation: Your Excellency

Hassan Rouhani        
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations
Dr. Nawaf Salam
866 United Nations Plaza, Room 531-533, New York, NY 10017
Fax: +1 212 838 2819
Email: contact@lebanonun.orgPlease send your appeals to the care of diplomatic representatives accredited to your country, listed below. If there is no Iranian embassy in your country, please mail the letter to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, 622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Click here for ENTIRE URGENT ACTION.     

Iran: Freed Dr Homa Hoodfar, Canadian-Iranian Professor - NEWS

Note: Thank you  to all of you who have written letters on Dr. Hoodfar's behalf.

Wall Street Journal
September 26, 2016

DUBAI—Iran on Monday released an Iranian-Canadian academic imprisoned since June, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, a rare reprieve for one of the numerous dual-nationals it has arrested since last year.
     Homa Hoodfar, an anthropology professor at Montreal’s Concordia University specializing in Muslim women and the Middle East, was released on humanitarian grounds including poor physical health, spokesman Bahram Ghasemi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
      The 65-year-old’s health had been in decline throughout her detention. Ms. Hoodfar suffers from a chronic autoimmune condition aggravated by stress, according to Amnesty International, which has advocated for her release.
Click here for the ENTIRE article. 

Amnesty Insider - NEWSLETTER September

Amnesty International
September 2016
Note: Unfortunately this newsletter does not have web address. We will link to excerpts from the Insider.


I’m more energized than ever about the campaign for the rights of refugees that we’ll wage over the next couple of years, having just hosted the heads of Amnesty International from other countries for high-level meetings with U.S. government officials, journalists, and nonprofit groups. The head of Amnesty in Kenya talked about the world’s largest refugee camp, which is about to close. The head of Amnesty in Hungary told us about a referendum set for next month for the public to vote on whether the country should accept refugees. The head of Amnesty in Mexico talked about the huge influx of refugees from Central America. And a senior leader of Amnesty in Australia talked about corruption and human rights abuses in a refugee camp there. We were honored to convene our counterparts from other countries. It was a reminder of how important our work is – and what a singularly unique role Amnesty plays, with your partnership.

Take a look at what we got up to.

Margaret Huang
Interim Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Iran: Jailed musician and filmmaker on hunger strike - URGENT ACTION before Nov 4, 2016

Amnesty International
     Iranian brothers Mehdi Rajabian and Hossein Rajabian began a hunger strike on 8 September in protest at the authorities’ refusal to allow them medical leave, as well as the decision to separate the brothers into different sections of Tehran’s Evin Prison. The health of both prisoners of conscience has deteriorated. 

  •  Please write immediately in Persian, English, Arabic, French, Spanish, or your own language: Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mehdi Rajabian and Hossein Rajabian, as they are being punished solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression; 
  • Urging them to ensure that they have access to adequate medical treatment in compliance with medical ethics, including any specialist care they require, and that Mehdi Rajabian is provided with his essential medication;  
  • Urging them to order a prompt, independent, impartial investigation into their allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bringing to justice anyone suspected of responsibility in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty.
Office of the Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei        
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary        
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani        
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Hassan RouhaniPlease send your appeals to the care of diplomatic representatives accredited to your country, listed below. If there is no Iranian embassy in your country, please mail the letter to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, 622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA.


Australia: Hike the Homelands - HUMAN RIGHTS ADVENTURE EVENT

Amnesty International Australia

Hi, I’m Julian, Indigenous Rights Campaigner at Amnesty International. I want to personally invite you to break the mold in 2017, deepen your connection with the beautiful Australian outback, and make a genuine difference. Join us, ‘Hike the Homelands’ for human rights.

Click here for ENTIRE EMAIL.
 Click here for MORE INFO about Amnesty International Australia’s Hike the Homelands 2017!

Excerpts from "Keeping You Connected" - EMAIL/NEWSLETTER September 25, 2016

Angie Hougas
Member, AIUSA BD of Directors
Director & Co-Founder, Rhythm N' Rights

        Includes link to personal thank you letter from PHYOE PHYOE AUNG, released earlier this year

GOOD NEWS (Keep writing your Urgent Action Letters!)
Two Cambodian
housing rights defenders were tried and convicted on 22 August for “insult of a public official”. While Bov Sophea has been released, Tep Vanny remains in detention, serving a six-month sentence for charges related to a 2011 protest, and under investigation for separate charges linked to a 2013 protest.
Thank You to all the people who used the petition Rhythm N' Rights made on this case, on concert tables in the last month!
Myanmar Phyoe Phyoe Aung released earlier this year, personal thank you letter

  • A panel event on Capitol Hill featured Amnesty section heads, other international experts, and 9/11 victim family members who discuss the past fifteen years and the continued global struggle for security and human rights.
An op-ed by Margaret Huang was published in the Hill, marking the fifteenth anniversary of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force and the human rights abuses it has been exploited to justify.
·         AIUSA signed this coalition letter in opposition of the bill: .  The House of Representatives passed the  bill sponsored by Rep. Walorski (R-IN) which would prevent any further transfers of individuals out of Guantanamo.  The vote count was encouraging: 244-174. This vote ensures that a presidential veto would be sustained, and was a better vote count than many expected.
·         Amnesty International USA members and activists mobilized to oppose the bill by utilizing this email action and this phone call action to their Representatives

AIUSA hosted a delegation of heads of other Amnesty International sections and coalition partners for a series of events in Washington, DC, and New York in order to build support for concrete government action to address the global refugee crisis. This is part of our broader, Global Campaign for the rights of refugees and migrants called “I Welcome”, that AIUSA prioritized in our four-year Strategic Plan.


Title:  Gambia:
Opposition in Gambia - The danger of dissent
Website link:

Title:  Democratic Republic of the Congo: Dismantling dissent: Repression of expression amidst electoral delays
Website link:
Title:  Brazil: A legacy of violence: Killings by police and repression of protest at the Rio 2016 Olympics   
Website link:
Title:  Amnesty International Limited: Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2015
Website link:

Title:  Amnesty International Limited: Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2015
Website link:   
Title:  Bahrain: Letter from 22 organizations urging the Government of the United Kingdom to call publicly and privately on the Government of Bahrain to release human rights defender Nabeel Rajab
Website link:

Click here for MORE INFORMATION.

Australia: Help offer safety to 30,000 people in need of urgent protection – ONLINE PETITION

 Amnesty International Australia

     Today the leaders of the world will be coming together to agree on practical solutions to the global refugee crisis. A record number of vulnerable people are fleeing their homes in search of safety, and every country must play a part in helping them rebuild their lives. They’re real people, and we have the power to give them hope.
     We’re facing the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War Two. There are millions of people around the globe in need of a safe home to rebuild their lives. Australia must play its part in sharing the global responsibility.  Join our call on the Australian Government to offer safety to more people by increasing the annual refugee intake to a minimum of 30,000 men, women and children.
Click here for ENTIRE email. 
Click here for ONLINE PETITION.  

Excepts from "Keeping You Connected" - EMAIL/NEWSLETTER Sept 19, 2016

Angie Hougas
Member, AIUSA BD of Directors
Director & Co-Founder, Rhythm N' Rights

4  AIUSA UPDATES - Guantanamo, Business & HR, Snowden Pardon, UN General Assembly in NY, UN Refugee Summit

STOP ACTION:  Bangladesh - Mir Quasem Ali,
a senior member of the political party Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed on 3 September. The Supreme Court rejected his review petition on 30 August and he did not seek clemency from the President. 
STOP ACTION:  Sudan - Two activists, Emad Al Sadig Ismael Hamdoun and his brother Erwa Al Sadig Ismael Hamdoun have been sentenced to six months and one year imprisonment respectively by a court in Khartoum, Sudan. Both were sentenced to time already served. Emad Al Sadig Ismael Hamdoun has been released while his brother will spend three more months in prison. The two have been in detention since their arrests on 14 December 2015 and 6 January respectively.

GOOD NEWS (Keep writing your Urgent Action Letters!)
Bangladesh - Shafik Rehman,
an 81-year-old Bangladeshi journalist who was arrested on 16 April, has been granted bail by the Supreme Court. He was released from prison on 6 September after spending more than four months detained without charge.
Egypt - Islam Khalil, a 27-year-old survivor of enforced disappearance and torture, was released on 31 August by the National Security Agency, 10 days after the prosecution ordered his release on bail.
Egypt - Prisoner of conscience Ahmed Abdullah was released on bail on 10 September after spending over four months in detention without trial.

  • AI Czech Republic has developed a new mobile application in connection with our work on Russia. Please feel free to have a look at and pass along for use as appropriate to your activism or campaign staff. It works best on a mobile phone with "cardboard" or 3D glasses, but you can see a simplified web version at To read more about the experience, please see the attached letter "AI Czech Republic."

  • Elizabeth’s letter to the editor on Guantanamo and torture was published in the New Yorker last week.
  • The Business and Human Rights Cogroup worked with communications staff to update Apple petition.  Campaigning continues on Apple and Samsung’s use of cobalt mined in the DRC under human rights violating conditions in their electronic products. Apple launched its iPhone 7 on September 7. 
  • AIUSA joins call for Snowden pardon 
  • UN General Assembly this week 
  • UN Refugee Summit
Click here for more information.

AI Madison Group #139 Member List of "Other" Links & Petitions - Sept 23 to Sept 30, 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:
  •  Urgent: Help Children Today, Children's Defense Fund, CALL or TWEET

    Call to Action: Urge Your Senators to Co-sponsor and Pass the Family First Prevention Services Act NOW! - See more at:
    Call to Action: Urge Your Senators to Co-sponsor and Pass the Family First Prevention Services Act NOW! - See more at:
    Call to Action: Urge Your Senators to Co-sponsor and Pass the Family First Prevention Services Act NOW! - See more at: