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Death Penalty actions

15 Oct

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If you can, please take a look at the links below to Amnesty
websites with online petitions about Death Penalty cases.
One is for a minor in South Sudan and the other is in
Malaysia for drug offenses.

Thank you.

South Sudan

Malaysia

Women’s Human Rights news

5 Nov

Tep-Vanny-photo-credit-Amnesty-UK-via-TwitterGOOD NEWS – TEP VANNY IS FREE!

Cambodian land rights defender Tep Vanny has received a royal pardon and is free from prison. Tep was detained for two years for peacefully protesting against the forced eviction of her community from Boeung Kak Lake, Phnom Penh. A luxury tourist development on the site has seen thousands of families lose their homes.

SAUDI ARABIA – FREE THE WOMEN WHO FOUGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO DRIVE

However, in Saudi Arabia, the crackdown on women’s human rights defenders continues. The month, Human Rights Watch report that human rights activist Israa al-Ghomgham is amongst a group of rights defenders facing the death penalty. This comes as part of the Saudi government’s terrorism tribunal – but these women are being held on charges solely relating to peaceful activism. None the less, women who led the fight for women’s right to drive remain imprisoned and branded as ‘traitors’. Thirteen activists remain detained without charge. Help to achieve their release by taking action here.

IRAN – HELP GET NAZANIN HOME

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a British mother serving a five – year prison sentence in Iran – but she hasn’t committed any crime She was recently released on a three day leave from prison to visit her family – but has now, crushingly, been returned to prison. Nazanin has done nothing wrong. Help secure her freedom by signing Amnesty’s on-line petition here.

Making a Murderer and Matsumoto Kenji: The truth can be stranger than fiction

9 Mar

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Does this set of circumstances sound familiar?

·         A man from a poor background, with an IQ below 70; a score so low that he has difficulty comprehending what is happening to him.
·         His implication in a serious crime, in which a dominant older relative was the prime suspect.
·         A confession extracted by police after hours of intense interrogation, a confession which was subsequently described as ‘coercive’ by the man’s lawyers.

Well, if you’ve been watching the Netflix documentary ‘Making a Murderer’ you may be thinking of the case of Brendan Dassey who, at the age of 16, confessed to assisting his uncle in a rape and murder after hours of intense police questioning. No lawyer was present during the interrogation, nor was his mother, despite the fact that he was a minor.

Brendan Dassey is not the only young man spending a very long time in prison after being convicted of a crime following a confession extracted in contentious circumstances.

In 1993 Matsumoto Kenji – along with his older brother – was arrested and charged with a double murder in Japan. Kenji has an IQ of between 60 and 70, allegedly caused by Minamata disease (mercury poisoning) which was common in the prefecture in which he was born, around the time he was born. As a result of the condition Kenji suffered from seriously hampered cognitive function.

Amnesty has serious concerns about Kenji’s treatment at the hands of the police. His interrogation has been described at coercive, as officers offered him food if he talked and told him to “be a man” during the interrogation.

Upon learning of a warrant being issued for his arrest, his brother killed himself and Kenji was left to face trial alone. During his trial it was accepted by the court that he was totally dependent upon his brother and was unable to stand up to him. Following his conviction he was sentenced to death, a sentence which has been repeatedly upheld in subsequent appeals.

Unfortunately, Kenji’s mental health has deteriorated significantly on death row, to the point that he has developed a delusional disorder. His lawyers have argued that he is currently unable to communicate or understand information pertinent to his case and they further believe that his isolation has contributed significantly to his deteriorating mental health condition.

Kenji’s case is currently under review for appeal and the Minister of Justice will be the key decision-maker. If you have a moment, please write to him and call for him not to execute Kenji. Visit the Death Penalty page of our website to find out where to write. Thank you.

Tools of torture traded on your doorstep

10 Sep

stick_web_final_0From the 15-18 September the biennial DSEI Arms Fair returns to London. At past DSEI Fairs, Amnesty has uncovered torture equipment being illegally traded.  At the last DSEI Fair in 2013 for example, Amnesty uncovered two companies advertising a variety of torture equipment, including electric shock batons and leg irons.  Previous fairs have all seen a variety of illegal weapons including cluster bombs, leg irons and electric shock weapons advertised for sale

A key loophole we wish to see closed in these EU torture trade laws relates to the ease by which companies can continue to promote market and advertise tools of torture at arms fairs within the EU.

The DSEI Arms Fair therefore gives us a great opportunity to pressure the UK Government to support our calls to close the loopholes in these EU tools of torture laws and to stop torture equipment being traded in the UK at DSEI and other UK defence and security exhibitions. 

Please sign the petition to ask the UK Government to stop the trade in illegal torture equipment: amnesty.org.uk/armsfair

Torture: Change the story

26 Jun

hpcts_keyvisual1_cleanToday is the Global Day of Action in Support of Victims of Torture. Please take a moment to watch this animation and also sign petitions to help victims of torture.

Thank you.

Keep The Act

20 May

imageDear Supporters,

The latest message from Amnesty International UK says:
“There are many different stories about the Human Rights Act. We’re being told that certain rights will be removed from criminals and terrorists. But taking rights away from anyone undermines your rights too; a fundamental principle of human rights is that they are universal, they apply to all humans. It cannot be down to the whim of the politicians of the day to say who rights apply to and who they do not. In order to show the unity and the power of the UK public, we need to send a powerful message to Justice Secretary Michael Gove and demand that he saves the Human Rights Act.”

Please can you go to http://keeptheact.uk/#signup-form to sign the online petition and then forward this link to your friends and contacts to ask them to do the same.

Many thanks for your support!

Do the human right thing

15 Apr

i-stand-for-human-rights-468x283_0The Human Rights Act is a powerful tool. It brings home fundamental, universal rights we all have as human beings, and allows us to challenge authorities if they violate them.

However, it is misunderstood by many and misreported by sections of the press. Find out why the Human Rights Act matters to all of us by reading this thought-provoking article: Eight reasons why the Human Rights Act makes the UK a better place

UK Election 2015 – Join The Fight For Rights

Our human rights are under attack at home and abroad. In the UK, plans to scrap the Human Rights Act are threatening our fundamental freedoms. And despite a global ban, three quarters of the world’s governments still use torture – yet continue to deny it.

Tell your parliamentary candidates that you stand for human rights.

It’s time to show the next government that human rights matter. Click here to take action.

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