I’ve been on all four of Amnesty International’s human rights observer missions to Standing Rock. What I’ve seen there and on video has deeply concerned me. Non-violent Indigenous People opposed to the Dakota Access pipeline have been met with over-militarized policing and excessive, disproportionate and unnecessary military force. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
I don’t know about you, but I hate writing. My hand cramps, I get ink everywhere and my penmanship is illegible. However, despite all that, every December 10th on International Human Rights Day, I sit down and write letters as part of Amnesty’s annual global Write for Rights campaign. Why? Because in my 10 years with Amnesty International, I know that letters can literally save lives.
For example, one of last year’s Write for Rights cases was Moses Akatugba. He was tortured in Nigeria as a teenager into confessing to stealing three cell phones, and then sentenced to death. Earlier this year, he was pardoned and walked free. He said, SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
There are some things we do know about U.S. torture practices.
What we don’t yet know is whether the U.S. Government will ever come clean about the torture of detainees since 9/11.
In the next 7 days, we have an opportunity to win a major, historic victory against torture.
Our sources tell us that shocking, unreported details about CIA torture after 9/11 are in danger of being marked “classified” forever – when we know that it is only by shedding light on the darkest periods of our history that we are able to move forward with integrity.
Lawmakers are deciding as early as next week whether to make these details public. We have 7 days to flood the switchboards.
Help ensure that the U.S. Government does not use torture – in our names and with our tax dollars – ever again. Call your Senator now.
Revelations about President Obama’s mass spying program have brought people across the political spectrum together calling for reform. The latest example is today’s Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance.
It’s an international coalition day of action endorsed by groups ranging from progressives to libertarians, Republicans to Democrats – as well as companies like Reddit and non-partisan organizations like Greenpeace, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Amnesty.
I’m at Guantánamo this week to observe – via an audio/video feed on 40-second delay to hide classified information, including evidence of torture – proceedings in the 9/11 case.
While it’s depressing to see what our tax dollars are buying here – including the Orwellian “Camp Justice” sign in front of the tents where we stay – there has been significant progress in the past few days toward closing the detention facility and ensuring justice and security in accordance with human rights standards:
Today, Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding released We Are America, a new song and music video supporting President Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo and urging Congress to help get the job done.
The video features cameos by Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe, Harry Belafonte and Savion Glover. The timing couldn’t be better as Senators will soon vote on legislation that would help close the detention facility. You can urge your two Senators to vote the right way here: www.amnestyusa.org/ndaa.
The short answer is we don’t know. Mamana Bibi, a 68-year-old grandmother, was killed by a U.S. drone strike on October 24th, 2012, as she picked vegetables in her family’s fields and while her grandchildren were nearby.
The folks over at The Guardian released this creative animated video today based on the testimony of Guantanamo detainees who have been cleared for transfer out of the detention facility but are still held.
Shaker Aamer is one of the people featured in the video. He has been detained for over 11 years without charge, despite being cleared to leave and despite UK Prime Minister David Cameron personally asking President Obama to return him to the UK. You can read Cameron’s letter to Amnesty International here.
Leonard Peltier was a leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), an activist group that was involved in promoting the rights of “traditionalist” Indians during a period of intense conflict in the 1970s. On June 26, 1975, during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, FBI agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler were shot dead.
Leonard Peltier was convicted of their murders in 1977 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Leonard Peltier does not deny that he was present during the incident. However, he has always denied killing the agents as was alleged by the prosecution at his trial. Here are 5 reasons he should be released: