Monday, October 30, 2017

IRAN: Stop Execution of Doctor & Academic - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, October 27, 2017.

The Iranian authorities must urgently quash the death sentence against Iranian-born Swedish resident and specialist in emergency medicine Ahmadreza Djalali, said Amnesty International today.

The medical doctor and university lecturer had studied and taught in Sweden, Italy and Belgium. Since his arrest in April 2016, several European officials have called for his release.

Zeynab Taheri, one of Ahmadreza Djalali’s lawyers, told Amnesty International that he was sentenced to death for the charge of “corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz), and has been given a 200,000 euro fine. The court verdict, which was shown to one of the lawyers, states that Ahmadreza Djalali worked with the Israeli government, who subsequently helped him obtain his residency permit in Sweden.

“Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial that once again exposes not only the Iranian authorities’ steadfast commitment to use of the death penalty but their utter contempt for the rule of law,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Please take action before Dec. 8, 2017.

USA: Stop Execution of Patrick Hannon - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, October 27, 2017.

Patrick Hannon is scheduled to be executed in Florida at 6pm on 8 November. He was convicted in July 1991 of two murders committed six months earlier. Twenty-six years old at the time of the crime, he is now 53, having spent half of his life on death row.
According to the evidence, on 10 January 1991, Patrick Hannon, Ron Richardson and Jim Acker went to the Tampa apartment where Brandon Snider and Robert Carter lived. Brandon Snider was attacked when he opened the door; he was stabbed and had his throat cut. Robert Carter was shot dead upstairs. Patrick Hannon was brought to trial in July 1991. Several days into the trial, Ron Richardson, charged with first-degree murder but due to appear as an alibi witness for Patrick Hannon, changed his story and reached an agreement with the state to plead guilty to being an accessory after the fact, and to testify for the prosecution. Patrick Hannon was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and the jury voted for death. His appeal lawyers continue to challenge his death sentence arguing it is “disproportionate and disparate in comparison to his co-defendants”. Ron Richardson was sentenced to five years, eventually serving 14 months. In 1992, Jim Acker, against whom the state originally pursued the death penalty, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. At a retrial in 2001, he was sentenced to life for first degree murder and 22 years for second degree murder. 

Friday, October 27, 2017


Amnesty International, Canada, October 26, 2017

114 days after they were arrested and jailed on completely baseless charges – simply for defending human rights in Turkey – all 10 of the Istanbul10, including Amnesty Turkey’s director, Idil Eser, are now released from prison and reunited with their friends and family! 

When Amnesty Turkey's Chair, Taner Kilic, and then Idil and nine other human rights defenders were detained and jailed this summer, our movement mobilized and stood up for our imprisoned colleagues and friends. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

IRAN: United for Iran - VIDEO

Amnesty International, Oct 26, 2017

This is a beautiful and hopeful video.  Please take some time and watch.  Please select WDS 2017.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

IRAN: Release Critically Ill Mohammad Nazari - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Oct 23, 2017.

Prisoner of conscience Mohammad Nazari, who has been unjustly languishing in prison for over two decades, is critically ill and needs urgent medical care outside prison. He has been on hunger strike since 30 July, demanding his release from prison. He must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Please take action before Dec. 4, 2017.

HONDURAS: Lenca People Defend Their Land - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International USA, Oct 24, 2017

Honduras is one of the most dangerous places to be Indigenous and an environmental defender. But for the Indigenous Lenca people in Honduras, the land is their life. So the Indigenous Lenca people have formed a movement, known as MILPAH, to stand up against huge industrial projects that are destroying their land. 

MILPAH is at the forefront of the struggle to defend their land from hydroelectric dams, mining, and other interests. They brave smear campaigns, death threats, and physical assault to protect their environment.

Unfortunately, MILPAH’s attackers are rarely brought to justice. In October 2015 Ana Miriam Romero, a MILPAH member, was twenty-four weeks pregnant when armed men stormed her house and beat her up. The following January, her house was torched.

USA: Mentally-Ill Man Scheduled for Execution - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Oct 23, 2017

Jack Greene, aged 62, is scheduled to be executed in Arkansas on 9 November. His lawyers assert his execution would be unconstitutional because he has a psychotic disorder preventing him from having a rational understanding of his punishment.

Jack Greene was convicted in 1992 of the 1991 murder of Sidney Burnett. Experts have diagnosed him with a psychotic disorder, including delusional beliefs of a conspiracy between his lawyers and the state. His lawyers say his mental disability has worsened since 2004...According to his lawyers, he has spent the past 14 years “in almost constant isolation, rarely leaving his cell, even for attorney visits”.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bangladesh: Demand Action for LGBTIQ Activist - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International, USA, Oct. 19, 2017

Xulhaz Mannan and a colleague were in his apartment when men posing as couriers burst in wielding machetes. Both men were hacked to death in front of Xulhaz’s 75-year-old mother.

Xulhaz was a founder of Bangladesh’s only magazine dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) issues, a daring venture in a country where same-sex relations are illegal. His attackers are believed to belong to Ansar al-Islam, the same extremist group responsible for a spate of similar assaults on bloggers promoting atheism, feminism, science and other secular issues.

Over a year since the April 2016 attack, and despite evidence including eye witness testimony and CCTV footage, no one has been charged for the murders. On top of this slow police response, the government has shifted blame onto the victims. Shortly after Xulhaz’s murder, a government minister stated that movements promoting “unnatural sex” are not allowed in Bangladeshi society.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

SOUTH SUDAN: 5 Detainees Still Held Arbitrarily - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Oct 19, 2017

Fifteen of the 21 detainees that Amnesty International had campaigned on in previous urgent actions were released from NSS prison without charge on 10 August. Some of the men had been in arbitrary detention for close to two years. 
Tartisio Oshini, Ayume Dada, Lado James, Ochaya Godfrey Saverio and William Endley remain arbitrarily detained at the NSS headquarters, while James Gatdet has been charged with: inciting violence – ‘Abetment’ (article 52), ‘Treason’ (article 64), ‘Publishing or Communicating False Statements Prejudicial to Southern Sudan’ (article 75), and ‘Undermining Authority of or Insulting President’ (article 76) under the South Sudan Penal Code of 2008. 

There are concerns for the physical and mental health of these detainees, most of whom continue to be accused of communicating with or supporting the opposition, but have not been charged with any offence. They have been denied the right to be brought promptly before a judge and the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. 

Palestinian Human Rights Defender Charged - VIDEO

Amnesty International, UK, Oct. 18, 2017

The decision to charge Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro using a controversial Electronic Crimes Law marks a dramatic escalation in the Palestinian authorities’ onslaught against freedom of expression, said Amnesty International today.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CHAD: Activist Imprisoned for Posting Facebook Video - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, Oct. 12, 2017.

He’s an online activist and father of seven. In September 2016, Tadjadine Mahamat Babouri, commonly known as Mahadine, posted videos on Facebook. In them, he accused the Chadian government and people close to it of corruption and misusing public money. 

Making and posting the videos was a bold thing to do in a country where speaking out like this carries serious consequences.

Within days, Mahadine was snatched from the street in broad daylight by a group of men believed to be intelligence officers. He says he was beaten, electrocuted and chained up for weeks, and moved from one prison to another. His wife and children were told nothing of his whereabouts and had to track him down themselves.

Mahadine now faces a life sentence, and faces charges including threatening national security. He is gravely ill, having caught tuberculosis in prison. He’s in need of urgent medical care and shouldn’t spend another moment in prison.

Friday, October 13, 2017

IRAN: 17 Year Old Faces Execution - PRESS RELEASE

Amnesty International, Oct. 13 2017

The Iranian authorities must urgently stop the execution of a 17-year-old boy who was convicted of murder and rape, and commute his death sentence to imprisonment, said Amnesty International.

Amirhossein Pourjafar is scheduled to be executed in a prison in Tehran on 19 October 2017. He was detained in April 2016 and sentenced to death six months later after being convicted of the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl, Setayesh Ghoreyshi, from Iran’s marginalized Afghan community.

“There is no question that this was a horrific crime and the perpetrator should be held accountable. Amnesty International supports the demands for justice voiced by Setayesh’s bereaved family and the wider Afghan community in Iran, but executing a 17-year-old boy is not justice,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

“The use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed while they were under 18 is absolutely prohibited by international human rights law. If Iran goes ahead with the execution next week it will be another appalling breach of its international obligations.

MALAYSIA: 80 Iranian Death Row Prisoners - SPECIAL REPORT

Iran Human Rights, Oct. 12, 2017

Currently more than 80 Iranians are facing horrific conditions in the solitary confinement of Malaysian prisons, while awaiting their death sentences for charges of “involvement in drug trafficking”. Most of the prisoners were not given fair legal due process. They were not provided a Persian translator during their interrogation, in addition to the trial and the procedure of their case was also flawed.

A debate on changing the Malaysian anti-drug law and death penalty abolition for drug related offences is ongoing in the Malaysian Parliament.  In 2010, death penalty was introduced for possession and trafficking of up to 50 grams of certain illegal drugs.

In 2009-2010, a number of Iranian citizens were arrested for unknowingly carrying industrial drugs to that country. They were duped into carrying the illegal substances by smugglers, who promised them financial reward or a free trip to Malaysia. Unfortunately, they were only aware of the true substances they were carrying after their arrest.

Research by Iran Human Rights (IHR) shows that the majority of these prisoners are held in Kajang prison in the north of Malaysia. According to Malaysia’s law, a prisoner who is sentenced to death must be held in solitary confinement. In confinement, prisoners are forced to live without proper facilities or hygienic living quarters for long periods of time. Thus, for the past six years, the majority of imprisoned Iranian citizens have faced disease and a lack of clean drinking water in Kajang prison, according to some sources.

IRAN: Human Rights Defenders Jailed for Anti-Death Penalty Activism - NEWS

Amnesty International, Oct. 13, 2017

Photo at left of Narges Mohammadi, activist imprisoned for her work against the death penalty.

On 10 October, people around the world marked the World Day against the Death Penalty. This year is particularly significant for us at Amnesty International because it marks 40 years since the organization first began campaigning for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty in 1977.

...As of September 2017, more than two-thirds of the countries around the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

However, as the world moves away from the death penalty, Iran continues to execute hundreds of people every year.  Amnesty International recorded nearly 1,000 executions in Iran in 2015 and at least 567 in 2016.

The Iranian authorities’ dogged commitment to this cruel and irreversible punishment is widely known but what is perhaps less well-known is the story of the growing domestic movement against the death penalty in Iran and the brave human rights defenders at the heart of this movement.

These men and women struggle against all odds to bring their country in line with international human rights law and standards on the death penalty and realise their vision for a humane society in which there is no place for the death penalty. 

In 2013, several prominent Iranian human rights defenders launched the Campaign for Step by Step Abolition of the Death Penalty, known by its Persian acronym, Legam. In response, the authorities have intensified their repression against their work.

USA: Mexican National Faces Execution - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, Oct. 12, 2017.

Ruben Cárdenas Ramírez, a 47-year-old Mexican national denied his consular rights, is due to be executed in Texas on 8 November in violation of international law. Convicted in 1998 of a murder in 1997, he maintains his innocence and is seeking new DNA testing.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

TURKEY: Human Rights Defenders Detained - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, Oct. 11, 2017

10 people who have dedicated their lives to defending the human rights of journalists and activists in Turkey are themselves in danger.

Among them are Amnesty International’s İdil Eser and Özlem Dalkıran of Avaaz. Known as the Istanbul 10, they were detained in July for “aiding a terrorist organization” – a preposterous allegation.

Their detention followed the arrest of Amnesty Turkey’s Chair Taner Kılıç, imprisoned since June on the absurd charge of being a member of an “armed terrorist organization”.

These detentions are the latest in a series of government efforts to silence its critics. Since the attempted coup of July 2016, over 150,000 people have been placed under criminal investigation.

The Istanbul 10 have dedicated their lives to bravely defending the rights of vulnerable people around the globe. Every day that they are detained, the people they speak up for are left more vulnerable to the government’s ongoing crackdown on freedoms.

Join our call on the Turkish authorities to stop persecuting and immediately release rights defenders.

USA: End Child Marriage in Florida - EMAIL ACTION

Human Rights Watch, Oct. 12, 2017.

Did you know children can legally marry in Florida? From 2001 to 2015, over 16,000 children under the age of 18 married in Florida, the second highest rate in the US for that period. Child marriage is linked to higher rates of dropping out of school, poverty, domestic violence and mental and physical health disorders. It is time something was done! A bill was just introduced in Florida’s state legislature which would end child marriage. Please email Florida lawmakers to tell them to support the bill and protect Florida’s girls.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

USA: Amnesty International Group #139 - EVENT

University of Wisconsin Law School

The Human Rights Program is pleased to invite you to:

The Annual Mildred Fish-Harnack Human Rights           and Democracy Lecture:

Farhana Khera
President and Executive Director
Muslim Advocates, California
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
University of Wisconsin Law School
Room 2260 at 4:00pm
Reception to follow

The Mildred Fish-Harnack Human Rights and Democracy Lecture is named after a Milwaukee native who was a UW–Madison student in the 1920's. While living in Germany, Fish-Harnack assisted in the escape of German Jews and political dissidents. She is the only American civilian executed under the personal instruction of Adolf Hitler, for her resistance to the Nazi regime. This lectureship is designed to promote greater understanding of human rights and democracy, and enrich international studies at UW-Madison. The lecture brings to campus a person who contributes to the cause of human rights through academic scholarship and/or active leadership.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Iran, Human Rights, Oct. 10, 2017.

Since January 2017, at least 435 people, including  5 juvenile offenders, have been executed according to Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHR) Death Penalty Research Section. At least 219 people have been executed for drug offences so far in 2017.

We celebrate this year's “World Day Against the Death Penalty”, October 10, as the bill for the amendment to Iran's Anti-drug law is about to come to a conclusion. 

The bill has been approved by the Iranian Parliament, however, it still needs to be approved by the Guardian Council in order to be legislated. According to this bill, it is predicted that more than 80 percent of nearly 4000 prisoners who are sentenced to death on drug related charges will be saved from execution...Earlier in 2017, members of the Iranian Parliament's Justice Cimmittee called on the Judiciary to halt the drug related executions until the fait of the new bill is clear. However, the drug related executions in Iran continue as before. So far in 2017 at least  219 have been executed for drug offences.

Malaysia: Stop Execution of Hoo Yew Wah - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International, Australia, Oct.10, 2017.

Hoo Yew Wah was arrested at just 20 years old in Malaysia. He was locked up for having drugs on him. Twelve years later, he’s on death row.
This cruelty isn’t right – let’s get clemency for Hoo Yew Wah now.
Hoo Yew Wah is now 32. While on death row, he’s written about his childhood in a  disadvantaged community; leaving school at 11 and later working as a street cook. He understands his past decisions were wrong.

“I have to accept responsibility for my past actions … My friends lived a luxurious lifestyle and I wanted the same,” he says.

“If given a chance, I want to prove that I have changed. I want to look for a proper job and spend my life taking care of my mother.”  Hoo Yew Wah’s final chance at life is clemency from the Sultan of Johor State, Malaysia. He applied in April 2014, but his petition has been pending ever since.

This is where you come in. One lone voice is not enough – we need to stand with Hoo Yew Wah and get the Sultan to pardon him.

We’ve helped people like Hoo Yew Wah before. In March this year the Sultan pardoned Shahrul Izani Suparman, who had sentenced to death for drug trafficking in 2009.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

USA: Stop Execution of Clinton Young - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Oct. 4, 2017

On 24 November 2001, Doyle Douglas was shot in the car in which he, Clinton Young, Mark Ray, David Page and Darnell McCoy had driven to Longview in east Texas to buy marijuana. The victim was put in the trunk of the car and taken to a creek where he was shot again. The next day, Samuel Petrey was shot dead near Midland, about 450 miles (725km) west of Longview. The trial evidence indicates that David Page and Clinton Young had earlier abducted and driven him there from Brookshire. They left the scene together in the victim’s vehicle; after they separated David Page went to the police. Officers spotted Clinton Young driving Samuel Petrey’s pickup truck and arrested him after a chase. A forensic firearms examiner assessed that the handgun found in the vehicle fired the two shell casings found in Doyle Douglas’s car and the two others found near Samuel Petrey’s body. Clinton Young was charged with the two murders, convicted on 27 March 2003 and sentenced to death on 14 April 2003. 

Clinton Young is the youngest of the individuals involved in this case and the only one who received a death sentence. Darnell McCoy was not charged. Mark Ray was charged with the capital murder of Doyle Douglas, pleaded guilty in June 2003 to second degree kidnapping, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and is now free. David Page pleaded guilty in December 2003 to aggravated kidnapping in return for a 30-year sentence. Each testified against Clinton Young. 

The jury’s finding that Clinton Young killed the second victim was a prerequisite for his capital conviction and death sentence. The only evidence that identified him as the person who shot Samuel Petrey was the testimony of David Page, the other person present at that shooting. He testified that Clinton Young shot Samuel Petrey from six to 10 feet (2 to 3.5 metres) away, but the victim had marks on his wounds showing he was shot at close range, from a distance of no more than two feet (0.6m). Since the trial, four people have provided sworn statements supporting Clinton Young’s claim that he did not shoot Samuel Petrey. According to Clinton Young’s lawyers, gunshot residue testing of a pair of gloves found at the Samuel Petrey murder scene also supports his claim of innocence. 

USA: Commute Death Sentence of Jeffrey Borden - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, October 4, 2017

The State of Alabama has asked the US Supreme Court to lift a stay of execution granted to Jeffrey Borden, and to be allowed to execute him before midnight on 5 October. While the stay relates to a challenge to the state’s lethal injection protocol, Jeffrey Borden is said by his lawyers to have a severe mental disability and to be “actively psychotic”. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Amnesty International Canada, Sept 29, 2017

Several reports about the effectiveness of our work from around the world.

IRAN: Human Rights Defenders Under Attack - PETITION, VIDEO, & REPORT

Amnesty International, USA, Sept 29, 2017.

The Iranian authorities are intensifying their crackdown against human rights defenders, who have already been working under suffocating levels of repression. Human rights defenders are routinely portrayed in official statements and court verdicts as “criminals” and “foreign agents” bent on harming national security. Since 2013, dozens of human rights defenders have been imprisoned on spurious national security-related charges based solely on their peaceful human rights activities. Many others have faced surveillance, interrogations and drawn-out prosecutions, coercing them into silence. Amnesty International urges the Iranian authorities to release all imprisoned human rights defenders immediately and unconditionally, and to create a safe and enabling environment in which defenders can defend and promote human rights without fear of reprisals.

THAILAND: Refugees Returned to Danger - NEWS

Amnesty International, USA, Sept. 30, 2017

For decades, Thailand has hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence and human rights violations in neighbouring countries and locations further afield. Notwithstanding Thailand’s significant contribution to addressing regional and global refugee crises, the Thai government has frequently violated the rights of refugees.

Thai law does not provide formal legal status to refugees and asylum-seekers. They are therefore trapped in a life of perpetual insecurity, knowing that they could be arrested, detained or deported at any time. Many struggle to find employment, access medical care or even feed themselves and their families. Those who are arrested often find themselves detained for months or years in over-crowded immigration detention centers, which refugee rights advocates call “worse than prison.”

On several occasions in the past three years, the Thai government has returned refugees and asylum-seekers to situations where they face torture, persecution and other serious human rights violations. These actions contravene Thailand’s obligations under international law and demonstrate a callous disregard for the rights of people who have already experienced tremendous danger and suffering.