The Reggie Clemons Interview: ‘I Know I’m Innocent’

Today, in the third part of “Death Penalty On Trial”, its multimedia examination of the Reggie Clemons case, The Guardian features an interview with Reggie himself.  In it, he maintains his innocence, discusses his version of what happened the night the Kerry sisters died, and describes the alleged beating he took at the hands of police.

“If you believe that somebody’s willing to beat you to death, while they’re beating you they can just about get you to admit anything.”

Watch for yourself:


"Finding Goodness Where You Least Expect It" – Interview with WOZA Founder Jenni Williams

Jenni Williams © Scott Langley & Amnesty International

Jenni Williams © Scott Langley & Amnesty International

Anyone who met Jenni Williams and her colleague Magodonga Mahlangu at AIUSA’s Annual General Meeting this Spring knows what amazing, uncrushable spirits these women have, despite having been jailed, beaten, and threatened repeatedly by Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe. But if you weren’t fortunate enough to meet them, or you’d like to get a deeper look into what makes the women of WOZA keep going, check out this great interview with WOZA founder Jenni Williams that was published in the Guardian this past Sunday. She is truly an amazing woman.

Although Jenni and Magodonga expected to have had their trial by now, the trial date has been postponed until July 7th, so they remain in limbo, but they also remain unstoppable!

Interview with a hero

One of Amnesty International’s most important responsibilities is to support the human rights activists doing the difficult work on the ground in the countries around the world.  Increasingly, particularly in the Middle East, it’s become the opinion of Amnesty International country specialists that our ability to change the world depends on our ability to create space for these grass-root activists to exist.

Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad

Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad

One such activist is Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad, a 57 year old Egyptian lawyer and one of the founders of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, named after another Egyptian human rights lawyer.  He has been an engine driving legal attacks against torture, arbitrary detention, mass and arbitrary arrests and other human rights abuses.

In an interview with Amnesty International posted this week, Ahmed Seil El-Islam Hamad says working on human rights in Egypt and the Middle East is easier now than two decades ago because the Arab public has come to recognize that these rights are part of their own culture.

“In the 1980s, the political elite and society at large used to see the Egyptian rights movement as representatives of Western values within Egyptian society, so they treated it with caution, preferring to stay away from it,” he tells Amnesty. “The government manipulated this skeptical attitude in an attempt to isolate the rights movement from its natural environment. Things have changed since 2000, and that barrier has now ceased to exist.”

His work is a story that we have to tell and American policymakers should listen to.  It is the voice of the people who know speak of human rights and democracy in a language that speaks to Egypt’s tradition, history and culture.  It’s a reminder that we don’t have to import these ideas — they’ve been there all along.

To read the full interview with him, please click here.