Monday, October 31, 2016

Want to be a human rights defender?

Amnesty International UK

     In 17 days Amnesty will launch its first global massive open online course (MOOC), 'Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees'.
     Register today and not only will you gain the skills and knowledge to defend the rights of refugees but you’ll also be connecting to a global community campaigning for the rights of refugees worldwide.

Key information:
  • The course is free and open to everyone.
  • You can choose whether you would like to claim your certificate at the end of the course.
  • You will learn from an organisation on the frontline, with a long history of human rights campaigning.
  • You will be challenged to think critically and interact with participants.
  • Together, you’ll learn how to empower yourselves to create change.
  • The course is self-paced, enabling you to complete the three modules in your own time. 
Register now for the Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees online course
Find out more about our work defending the rights of refugees
Click here for ENTIRE email.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Iran: Writer arrested in violent raid on her house following prison sentence for story about stoning - PRESS RELEASE

Amnesty International
October 24, 2016

     The Iranian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release writer and human rights activist Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, following her arrest today, Amnesty International urged.
Despite the fact that no official summons has been issued, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee’s home was raided this morning by officials, who violently broke through her front door before taking her to Evin Prison in Tehran. It appears that she has been taken to the women’s ward to begin serving her six-year sentence. She has been convicted of charges including “insulting Islamic sanctities,” for writing an unpublished story about the horrific practice of stoning in Iran. Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee’s husband, Arash Sadeghi, a human rights activist and prisoner of conscience, has since started a hunger strike in protest at her imprisonment.
     “Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee is the latest young writer and activist to be caught up in Iran’s relentless crackdown on artistic expression. Her imprisonment for peacefully voicing her opposition to stoning is a terrible injustice and an outrageous assault on freedom of expression. It is also a shocking and deeply disturbing display of support for the cruel and inhuman punishment of stoning,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
     “The Iranian authorities must break this cycle of injustice and immediately and unconditionally release Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee. We also urge them to ensure that her conviction is quashed.”


Torture Uncovered: Raise Your Voice - REPORT and ACTION

National Religious Campaign Against Torture
      Torture survivors and human rights experts remind us that the use of these and other devices of torture are not unique to Lewisburg. Having received thousands of calls and letters from people in prison and their families who describe isolation, brutality, extreme temperatures, filth, and racism, Bonnie Kerness of the American Friends Service Committee’s Prison Watch Project writes, “When what happened at Abu Ghraib shocked the world, more than 2 and a half million prisoners, their families, advocates, lawyers and activists understood that this was business as usual.”

It is critical that we make it clear to our national leaders that “business as usual” and devices of torture are unacceptable.

Thank you for raising your voice for human rights, without exception.

In community,

Rev. Laura Markle Downton
Director, U.S. Prisons Policy & Program

Wisconsin, USA: Action Alert for Oct. 26, 2016

Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

Action Alert 1: Women and Men Together for the Water Fundraiser
Action Alert 2: Free Film! - Hidden Colors 4 - The Religion of White Supremacy
Action Alert 3: Sign the Peace Pledge!
Action Alert 4:  Faith & Solar Initiative

Click here for ENTIRE message.

Iran: Three Turkish citizens executed in Iran after Erdogan visit to Tehran - NEWS

Iran Human Rights
     Iran Human Rights (IHR) has discovered that three Turkish citizens were executed in Iran last year on April 18, 2015. The executions took place 11 days after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tehran on an official visit with both Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
     According to information received by Iran Human Rights from confirmed sources, the three Turkish citizens were hanged on April 18, 2015 at Mashhad's Vakilabad Prison for alleged drug related offenses. According to close sources, the three men were convicted of drug charges in three separate cases. They have been identified as: Mehmet (Mohammad) Yilmaz, Faruk Güner (46 years old), and Matin (surname unknown at this time).

Click here for ENTIRE NEWS article.

Amnesty International Newsletter - October 2016

Amnesty International Australia

"I am so grateful to Amnesty and all of the people who participated in the campaign for my release".
Phyoe Phyoe Aung, 2016.
Click here for ENTIRE newsletter.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Amnesty International URGENT ACTIONS - October 28, 2016 to November 4, 2016

Click here for entire list of URGENT ACTION for the week of October 28 to November 4. (This post is updated daily.)

Countries include: Bahrain, China, Viet Nam, Russian Federation, Iran, United Arab Emirates. 

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.

Excerpts from "Keeping you Connected" - October 29, 2016

Angie Hougas
29 Oct. 2016
         Iran #FreeAtists Camapign
        AGM 2017 March 7-10
         Customize Your Actions (Link)
         AIUSA Goes Mobile
        Last 100 Days

Amnesty USA has again sent monitors to Standing Rock ND
Press Release 28 Oct 2016
Article by U.S. Uncut 28 October 2016,
Amnesty International just send human rights observers to North Dakota to protect water protesters

The first Americas’ report focuses on the Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador (“Northern Triangle” countries) and was launched by AI's SG, Salil Shetty, mid October 2016.
AIUSA's initial core campaign ask is Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Guatemala and reinstating TPS for El Salvador and Honduras for people already in the country (also part of the Last 100 Days work).
Also see 10/13/16 Home Sweet Home? Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador’s role in a deepening refugee crisis Report

Iran - #FreeArtists Campaign
, AGM 2017, Customize Your Actions, AIUSA Goes Mobile,  Last 100 Days

Cobalt, Colombia, Face Recognition software, Gabon, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Nauru, Refugees, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen


Title:  Argentina:
Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
Website link:

Title:  Australia: Island of Despair: Australia’s “processing” of refugees on Nauru
Website link:
AI index number:        ASA 12/4934/2016
Title:  Finland: Submission to the United Nations Committee against Torture
Website link:
Title:  Iraq: "Punished for Daesh's Crimes": Displaced Iraqis abused by militias and government forces
Website link:

Title:  For your eyes only? Ranking 11 technology companies on encryption and human rights     
Website link:

Click here for MORE DETAILS

Friday, October 28, 2016

Cameroon: Fomusoh Ivo Feh facing 20 years in jail for a text - #W4R2016

Amnesty International
      Fomusoh Ivo Feh was just about to start university when an SMS message changed everything. One day, he forwarded a sarcastic text to a friend. The message joked that even Boko Haram (an armed group), wouldn’t hire you unless you passed five high school subjects. That text got Ivo arrested. Now he faces up to 20 years in prison. He is a prisoner of conscience.

Act Today. Write A Letter. Change A Life.
  •  Email your support for Fomusoh Ivo Feh to President of the Republic of Cameroon, His Excellency Paul Biya: or

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - October 28, 2016

Greetings Everyone!
     Something a little out of the ordinary... download FREE human rights music from Kiosk, App Action, learn about the "i" in LGBTI, and watch Palestinian rappers challenge sexism in the Middle East.  Lots of human rights news and actions! Don't forget our 2016 Write for Rights Campaign. Our Group #139 will mail your letters. Please send them to 350 South Hamilton Street, Unit 501, Madison, WI  53703 or send them electronically to
     Peace to All!
     -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor
P.S. Don't miss this video.

Write for Rights 2016: This week's featured case is Máxima Acuña, a woman from Peru who has been attacked by police for speaking out.  Please read her case file and consider writing on her behalf.

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

Saudi Arabia: Stop bombing civilians in Yemen - News, Online Petition, & Video

U.S.A.: "I spent 28 years on death row" - NEWS

Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on Alabama's death row for a crime he didn't commit. Watch him talk about what he lost and why it is crucial to repeal the death penalty. #OneIsTooMany #DeathPenaltyFail
Also see: 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Human Rights Watch: Week in Rights - October 27, 2016

This week in Review
  • National Geographic’s ‘Afghan Girl’ Faces Deportation from Pakistan, link
  •  Venezuela: Government Assails Critics as Crisis Deepens, link
  • Turkey: Emergency Decrees Facilitate Torture, link
  • African Union: Activists Challenge Attacks on ICC, video 3:32 min, link 
  •  End Child Marriage, link

Silent Protest - APP ACTION

My phone is on silent, so I’m giving my voice to Johan Teterissa.
Johan Teterissa is a former Indonesian elementary school teacher sentenced to 15 years for leading a peaceful demonstration in Ambon. After being tortured by the police and subjected to an unfair trial he is currently serving his prison term 2,500 kilometers away from his family in Maluku.
Will you give them your voice? Download Amnesty International’s Silent Protest app that lends your voice to Johan Teterissa when your phone is on silent
Click here for APP INFORMATION. 

U.S.: Justice Department Says Poor Can't Be Held When They Can't Afford Bail - NEWS

NBC News
August 19, 2016
    Holding defendants in jail because they can't afford to make bail is unconstitutional, the Justice Department said in a court filing late Thursday — the first time the government has taken such a position before a federal appeals court.
    It's the latest step by the Obama administration in encouraging state courts to move away from imposing fixed cash bail amounts and jailing those who can't pay.
Click here for ENTIRE story. 

Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Update - October 27, 2016

WNPJ Weekly Spotlight: LGBT Books to Prisoners
What is your central mission?
The central mission of LGBT Books to Prisoners is to send books and other educational materials to queer people in prisons across the US. We aim to be as direct as possible so we work with individuals within the prison system, we don’t work with prisons directly, and we try to send them whatever they ask us to send. We make a particular point to have LGBTQ literature on our shelves since the population that we’re serving requests that more than anything else but we also send general fiction and educational books--all sorts of things.
Click here for MORE INFORMATION.

This Week's WNPJ Member Spotlights!
Our intern Julia has been cataloging WNPJ member groups through interviews and photographs. We see this as a way to highlight the important work that member groups are doing around the state, for groups to get to know one another, and hopefully it will lead to more collaboration between groups. If you haven't been contacted yet, please contact Julia at to set up an interview. Be on the lookout for more interviews coming soon!

WNPJ Weekly Spotlight: 350 Madison Climate Action Team
What is 350's central mission?
Our official mission statement is, "The 350 Madison Climate Action Team is dedicated to achieving a reduction in atmospheric CO2 below 350 parts per million (ppm). We are working in concert with a powerful global movement that seeks to make a just transition to a world fueled by 100% renewable energy."
Click here for MORE INFORMATION.

WNPJ Weekly Spotlight: GSAFE
What is your central mission?
Our core work is to create just schools for LGBTQ youth, moving away from the safe paradigm, but really making schools that are just, that recognize the disparities, the way that its systemically built to not support these youth and address that proactively. We do that in a number of different ways including youth leadership work, which is what we’ve been doing for 20 years. Starting out with high school leaders and really giving them the tools, the skills and the analysis to create change in their schools. We also do educator training, recognizing that most educators have not had the opportunity to address LGBTQ directly.
Click here for MORE INFORMATION. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Human rights victory in the struggle to #MakeMuskratRight - NEWS & PETITION

Amnesty International Canada

In an extraordinary victory for Indigenous rights and environmental protection, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has agreed to measures to reduce immediate risks to Inuit health and culture from the Muskrat Falls dam.
Following almost two weeks of protests, including a hunger strike and occupations of the dam site, the government met yesterday with Inuit and Innu leaders. The result was an agreement to:
  • Establish an independent expert advisory committee, with Indigenous representation, to recommend measures to reduce risks to human health and the environment.
  • Share detailed rationale supporting the claimed need for immediate partial flooding of the reservoir so that this can be reviewed by the affected Indigenous peoples.
  • Ensure that if any flooding does take place this year it is only temporary, so that further mitigation measures can be taken next year after advisory committee has reviewed the options.

Understanding the ‘i’ in LGBTI

Amnesty International
October 25, 2016

     Do you know what the term intersex means? If the answer is no, you’re not the only one. Many people couldn’t tell you; nor could they say what issues intersex people face.
As well as stigma and discrimination, many children who are born intersex face unnecessary medical surgeries in their early years, which irrevocably shape their lives before they are even able to express their opinion.
     This Intersex Awareness Day we’ve been catching up with leading intersex activist Kitty Anderson, who has dedicated her time to fighting for the rights of intersex people for the past two and a half years.
Click here for MORE INFORMATION.

Intersex Day - October 26, 2016
Click here for MORE INFO about Intersex Day.

Iran: Zeinab Bahraini Released - WALL of SHAME

Journalism is Not a Crime
     Zeinab Bahraini spent more than a month behind bars in 2010 for supposedly committing “propaganda against the regime.” Prior to her arrest, she worked as a blogger and political activist for the 2009 reformist candidate Moussavi. Following her release, she was banned from blogging.
     At the time of her arrest, she was writing her Master’s dissertation for her physics degree from Shiraz University. Zeinab was charged with propaganda against the regime and her case was sent to Branch 10 of the Revolutionary Court. She was previously a youth campaign manager for Mir Hossein Moussavi, a pro-reform candidate in Fars province, during the disputed 2009 presidential election.
Click here for ENTIRE article.

Iran: Discrimination against Baha’i in Iran Increasing - NEWS

The MediaLine
October 25, 2016

      A new report by the Special Rapporteur to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly describes a systematic campaign against members of the Baha’i faith in Iran. The report cites accounts of “arbitrary arrests, detentions and prosecutions,” as well as restrictions on economic activities and education.
     According to the investigation, at least 72 Baha’i are in jail, for “peaceful exercise of their faith,” a charge the government of Iran denies. In addition, many Baha’i students are prevented from completing their exams, and businesses who hire Baha’i workers are often targeted by the government.
     “The situation for Baha’i is quite dire because they face discrimination in both law and practice in a variety of forms,” Nassim Papayianni, an expert on Iran at Amnesty International, told The Media Line. “They are denied access to higher education, and even if they enroll and finish a semester or a year, they won’t be allowed to finish their degree.”
Click here for the ENTIRE article.

Palestinian Rappers Challenge Sexism In Middle East - VIDEO 1:56 min

Published on Apr 19, 2015
Palestinian rap group DAM has added a female member, and released a feminist anthem. They're working with the UN to fight sexism in the Middle East. And they want fans to upload photos of themselves breaking gender stereotypes.

Rights Group Calls for Probe into Suspected Airstrike as the Battle for Mosul Continues - NEWS

October 24, 2016

(BARTELLA, Iraq) — Iraqi forces shelled Islamic State (ISIS) positions outside Mosul on Monday as fighting to retake the extremist-held city entered its second week. A rights group, meanwhile, urged a probe into a suspected airstrike last week that mistakenly hit a mosque, killing over a dozen civilians.
The purported airstrike in northern Iraq struck the women’s section of a Shiite mosque on Friday in the town of Daquq amid a large ISIS assault on the nearby city of Kirkuk. That assault was meant to distract the Iraqi forces and their allies from the massive operation around Mosul.
Human Rights Watch said Daquq’s residents believe the attack was an airstrike because of the extent of the destruction and because planes could be heard flying overhead. The New York-based watchdog said at least 13 people were reported killed.
Click here for ENTIRE article.

Amnesty International Midwest Conference - Update

Dear MW Activists, 
The Chicago office would like to thank all of you who brought your passion, energy, stories and activism knowledge to the 2016 Mid-West Regional Conference in Detroit. I have heard for some this was the best Regional Conference they have ever been to! That is a reflection of the hard work many of you put into creating this inspiring conference. Special thank you to our Planning Committee, Speakers, Volunteers, Board Members and Member Leaders! I hope you will all take the knowledge and relationships created at the conference and strengthen them throughout the year in your activism!
While our conference may be over, there are still many opportunities for you all to engage in activism around the region. Below are just a few ways to stay engaged this fall:
(1)  State Caucus Feedback: If you led or participated in a state causes for a state, we would love to hear your thoughts on how you would like the work to move forward in your state and communities. Please send any updates or notes from the state caucus to Carolina Rivadeneira (MN, IA, WI, KY, OH, NE - or Ernest Coverson (IL, MI, IN, MO, KS ND, SD - highlighting any staff support or resources that would be helpful. 
(2) Write For Rights: The foundation of Amnesty International has always been writing letters to call for human rights to be respected around the world. I know many of you signed up for Write For Rights at the Action Alley during the conference, but if you didn’t get a chance you can sign up here. Read up on all 12 cases this year and check out the resources available to activist! 
Additionally, this month’s Membership call will take place this Wednesday, October 26th at 8:00 pm EST and will focus on the Write for Rights campaign and provide details on cases. We invite each of you to listen in and participate on the call. Dial in on October 26th at 8:00 pm EST by calling the number below:
Phone: 212-231-7870
Meeting ID: 572705
(3) Join Us in Albuquerque! Save the Date for our 2017 Annual General Meeting in Albuquerque, NM on March 10-12th, 2017. Check back here for more updates as the program and events are posted! 
Hope to hear from you all in the coming months about how we can support your activism and leadership. 
Happy Tuesday!
Carolina Rivadeneira
Associate Field Organizer
Amnesty International USA
1 North LaSalle St., Suite 875
Chicago, IL 60602
Office: 312-435-6395
Cell: 917-583-0956

Monday, October 24, 2016

Excerpts from "Keeping You Connected" - EMAIL/NEWSLETTER October 24, 2016

 Angie Hougas

0  AGM 2017

0  AGM 2017
The 2017 AGM will be held in the beautiful city of Albuquerque, NM on March 10 - 12 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton.Weblink:

Wednesday, October 26 at 8:00 p.m. EST/7:00 CST/ 6:00 MST
/5:00PST. The call will provides details on cases and useful information to help you become an active participant. Dial in on October 26th by calling the phone number: 212-231-7870, Meeting ID: 572705 



100 Days, Guantanamo, Iran-Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, Margaret, Nigeria, Plan-It Day, Poland, Police,  Reform, Refugees, Surveillance, Trump, Yemen


-Title:  South Sudan: Looking for justice: recommendations for the establishment of the hybrid court for South Sudan
Website link:     
-Title:  Home Sweet Home? Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador's Role in a Deepening Refugee Crisis
Website link:      
-Title:  United Kingdom: Cuts that hurt: The impact of legal aid cuts in England on access to justice
Website link:

Click here for MORE info from Angie's Email.

Click here for attachments.