By Esmeralda Lopez, Amnesty International USA Country Specialist for Mexico My desire to end torture in Mexico runs deep. Years ago it became too dangerous for me to visit my family in Mexico because they are only hours from Ciudad Juarez, a hot spot of violence. Some officers point to incidents of violence and the high crime rate as justification for use of torture. But I know torture is not the solution. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
This piece originally appeared in The Guardian under the title “Police Brutality Must Be Punished if We Want Real Justice for Michael Brown.”
From California to New York, from the streets in Ferguson to those in the south side of Chicago, police brutality continues unabated all across the United States because of brazen impunity – because in this country’s long history of abuse and violence by those obligated to respect and uphold the human rights of our communities, there is still little accountability.
By Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director
In the early hours of September 16, 2012, a group of women from different villages in Afghanistan’s eastern Laghman province set out to collect firewood.
As they stopped to drink water by a small spring, a number of U.S. military planes appeared in the sky and started dropping bombs. Seven of the women were killed and another seven injured, four of them seriously. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Claudia Vandermade, Amnesty International USA Southeast Asia Co-Group Chair and Action Network Coordinator
Amnesty International is launching a “Where Is Sombath?” photo campaign on Flickr.
Activists from around the world are asking the government of Laos to investigate the
disappearance of development worker Sombath Somphone, and we’ll do it through our voices, print, photos and more. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International from Mosul, Iraq
Long lines of cars full of terrified families jammed the road as I left Mosul on June 25. The mass exodus is testament to the affect on civilians since fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) took control of the city.
As we headed east towards Erbil, militants from ISIS were indiscriminately shelling Hamdanyah, home to some of Iraq’s religious and ethnic minorities.
All sides are committing war crimes in the raging battle for control of Iraqi territory and resources.
As the latest crisis in Iraq unfolds, here are three basic points for U.S. policymakers to keep in mind:
By Darrell Cannon, Torture Survivor and Activist
My name is Darrell Cannon. I’m here to share the story of more than 100 people who were tortured by Chicago police under the command of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.
I am a survivor. And I need your help.
On Nov. 2, 1983, a contingent of police officers burst into my family’s apartment and arrested me for murder.
On the way to Chicago’s Area 2 headquarters, they warned me that they had “a scientific way of interrogating n******.”
They later drove me to a secluded location, where they forced a shotgun in my mouth and pulled the trigger over and over again, making me believe it was loaded each time. They pulled my pants down and shocked me with a cattle prod on my genitals.
Darrell Cannon was tortured by three Chicago Police Department detectives at a remote site on Chicago’s South Side. Over course of a day, they pressed a cattle prod to his testicles and put it into his mouth. The officers attempted to lift him off the ground by handcuffs secured behind his back, contorting his upper body. They repeatedly made him believe that they had loaded a shotgun and rammed in into his mouth, breaking his tooth.
“These are all things they enjoyed doing,” Darrell Cannon told Amnesty International, his voice cracking.
He spent 24 years in prison on the basis of a coerced confession that was tortured out of him – ten of those years suffering further degradation in solitary confinement at Tamms Supermax prison.
A History of Protest
For decades, May Day celebrations in Turkey have been an important litmus test of the government’s tolerance for freedom of expression and assembly. At the center of this history have been demonstrations in Taksim Square, arguably the “hub” of modern Istanbul and, where, in 1977, dozens of protesters were killed in what has been termed the “Taksim Square Massacre.”
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.