In Turkey, 29 men and women are about to go on trial for Twitter messages they sent during the Gezi Protests last June. This is another ugly step in the Turkish government’s increasingly intense war on dissent. It is important to let the government – as well as those on trial – know that the whole world is watching.
Turkey’s YouTube blackout may not be as chilling as the leaked tape that prompted the ban of the video-sharing website. In the March 2014 recording, top officials in Turkey seemingly discuss staging an attack against a sacred Turkish tomb in Syria for the purpose of justifying military engagement by Ankara.
Cultural monuments have been targeted by power-holders for millennia. Assyria’s Sargon II proudly documented his plunder of the Musasir temple in Uraratu 2,700 years ago. The Nazis, as illustrated in the recent Hollywood movie The Monuments Men¸ stole precious pieces of art for either a future ‘Führermuseum’ or a complete destruction, depending on the outcome of WWII.
By Alice Dahle, Amnesty USA’s Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group
Before and during World War II, as the Japanese Imperial Army occupied countries throughout the Asia Pacific region, they deceived, abducted or otherwise forced an estimated 200,000 women and girls, some as young as 12 years old, into a system of sexual slavery.
By Andrea Hall, Mid Atlantic Regional Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator
Our victory is now complete. When Maryland’s death penalty was abolished last year, we knew that our work wasn’t finished, because homicide victims matter. With legislation passed last weekend, the state became a model for directing the cost savings from repeal to taking care of murder victims’ family members.
Despite a number of disputes over vote counts and numerous allegations of impropriety, the municipal elections in Turkey held this past Sunday clearly gave the Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP a resounding victory.
Just as clearly, however, government actions in the lead up to elections, along with statements since, have given Turkish human rights advocates ample cause for concern.
By Susan Sarandon, Actress and Humanitarian
Playing Sister Helen Prejean in the film “Dead Man Walking” was my awakening to the deep injustice of the death penalty.
The more I learned about the death penalty, the more I knew I had to raise my voice against it.
Just a couple weeks ago, Glenn Ford, an African American man convicted by an all-white jury, was released from a Louisiana prison after serving 30 years on death row for a murder he did not commit.
The state stole 30 years from Glenn’s life and almost killed him because of its mistake.
18 states have abolished this barbaric practice, and Amnesty International’s State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinators are working with the movement in their respective states to put an end to the death penalty across the country. New Hampshire may be next. Please join me now to help make that happen.
Sign Amnesty’s petition calling for an end to the death penalty in New Hampshire.
Even by the standard of low expectations set for a trip described as fencing-mending, President Obama’s public silence on Saudi Arabian human rights spoke loudly today.
There was no open mention of the Saudi crackdown on peaceful political activists, a crackdown that brands anyone who speaks out a criminal and sends them to jail. There was no clear support for religious minority groups who are standing strong for their right to practice religion.
There was public silence on the rights of women, even as Saudi women themselves are taking to the roads on Saturday to defy the world’s only ban on women driving.
By Said Haddadi, Amnesty International Iraq Researcher
Osama Jamal Abdallah Mahdi, a 32-year-old father of two, has now spent more than two years on death row in Iraq for a crime he says he didn’t commit.
His uncle is now his only hope. From his home in Wichita, Kansas more than 6,000 miles away, Musadik Mahdi is spearheading a campaign for his nephew’s release.
The Iraqi-born engineer has contacted Congressmen, diplomats, the media and NGOs, including Amnesty International, in an attempt to get Osama’s conviction overturned. And time is running out – Musadik fears that Osama could be dragged to the gallows any day now.
Pat yourselves on the back, stamp your feet, give a (potentially) inappropriate shout of glee wherever you happen to be at this moment, or at the very least, indulge in a slow clap.
35,544 Amnesty USA activists stood with the women and girls in Mozambique who marched in the streets of Maputo to demand the revocation of a proposed revision to the criminal code allowing a rapist to avoid punishment if he married the survivor.
The Mozambique government listened and it has been removed from consideration!