What a weekend! We just wrapped up our 2014 Human Rights Conference in Chicago.
It was one of the largest annual conferences in Amnesty USA’s history, we had an amazing time and we wanted to share 5 highlights with you:
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.
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!
I’ve just come from opening week at the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), when thousands of women’s rights activists and member state delegations descend on New York to review the current state of affairs for women and girls globally and recommend actions states can take to advance gender equality and promote female empowerment.
Many of the events this week are calling attention to sexual and reproductive rights as a primary barrier to development progress and the enjoyment of rights and dignity for all. The priority theme for the CSW this year is a review of progress for women and girls under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
By Natalie Butz, Communications Specialist at Amnesty International USA
On Wednesday, President Obama announced that he strongly supports declassification and public release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture since 9/11.
This is a huge step forward in our effort to release the report! Release of this report will help us ensure that the CIA never uses torture again.
This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post under the title, “The Death Penalty Is The Tip of an Iceberg of Injustice.”
For much of my working, adult life, I have been witness to the consequences of our country’s addiction to the death penalty, and to the damage it does even as we loosen its grip.
This week, we at Amnesty International USA and anti-death penalty activists around the country hope to witness a moment we will one day say was another important step towards our collective recovery.
Wednesday, March 12, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on a bill that, when signed into law, would end the death penalty in the state. Thirty-two states throughout this country have yet to rid themselves of a punishment that is not just cruel, unfair and expensive, but is tainted with human error.
The first day of spring is the beginning of a special time for Iranians and for other Persian and Kurdish speakers throughout the world as they celebrate Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. This is the time when families gather to share in ancient Iranian traditions.
But many Iranians will not be able to celebrate this important holiday with their loved ones as they are locked up in crowded and disease-ridden Iranian prisons. They are not locked up because they have committed any crime. They are locked up because of their religious faith, because of their activism to create a better world, or because they have expressed opinions the authorities don’t want others to hear.
By Natalia Taylor Bowdoin, Amnesty USA’s Central African Republic Country Specialist
It’s a miracle she survived.
Amnesty’s crisis team met an 11-year-old Muslim girl in the Central African Republic this month. She was the lone survivor of a horrific assault on the village of Bouguere – in a country where sectarian violence has spiraled out of control.
Amnesty came to this region to investigate reports of mass killings and forced evictions of Muslims. Throughout our travels, we found case after case of mayhem and death.
On March 19th, 2014, Ray Jasper is scheduled to be executed in Texas. Amnesty International USA is sharing his words below from a letter posted on Gawker where Ray Jasper acknowledges that this letter “could be my final statement on earth.”
Amnesty International USA has issued an urgent action calling on Texas to not execute Ray Jasper on March 19th.
When I first responded to you, I didn’t think that it would cause people to reach out to me and voice their opinions. I’ve never been on the internet in my life and I’m not fully aware of the social circles on the internet, so it was a surprise to receive reactions so quickly.
This article originally appeared in the Lawndale News under the title “Standing Up For Women’s Rights at Home and Abroad.”
A human rights abuse epidemic is happening right now in every corner of the globe. It has manifested in Mexico where twenty-six women were sexually assaulted by police in San Salvador, Atenco.
It has manifested in Guatemala when 15-year-old María Isabel Franco was raped and brutally killed, and in Afghanistan, where a women’s rights advocate was murdered in the street.
And it has manifested in Chicago, where nearly 1 in 5 Chicago youth experience violence in a dating relationship.