Tag Archives: Stop Torture

The adverts shaming Britain’s arm trade

17 Sep

7150f7e4-ff63-4b52-8029-db2630119764-1360x2040Here is an interesting Guardian article highlighting some creative adverts that are helping Amnesty to raise concerns about the selling of illegal torture equipment at the London Arms Fair this week. Read the article here and sign Amnesty’s petition here if you haven’t already.

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.

Global Day of Action in Support of Victims of Torture

19 Jun

468x283mexicotorture2Friday 26th June is the annual Global Day of Action in Support of Victims of Torture.  Amnesty is currently running a major campaign focused on the use of torture. To support the Global Day of Action, please would you sign a petition demanding justice for victims of torture in Mexico?

Amnesty’s research shows that torture in Mexico has increased by 600% since 2003. Despite making the right noises, the Mexican authorities have failed to properly tackle the issue. Claims of torture are rarely properly investigated, and scant few perpetrators are ever brought to justice.

Prompt and impartial forensic medical examinations are a key step towards justice for victims. Such examinations rarely happen and when they do, they are often years after the claims of torture – by which point, many physical wounds have healed and the experts often fail to document the psychological signs of torture.

The fact that timely and impartial examinations rarely happen is a big contributor to the on-going culture of torturers getting away with it. Change this, and we will be on the road to justice. There’s increasing pressure on Mexico to sort this out and with a new Federal Attorney General in post we have a real chance of making a difference.

Please sign the petition here.

Thank you.

Stop Torture campaign – good news!

31 May

Moses AkatugbaMoses Akatugba, who was sentenced to death for stealing mobile phones, has been granted a total pardon by Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State in Nigeria. Moses was just 16 when he was arrested, and 24 when he was sentenced to death. He was convicted based on ‘a confession’ obtained through repeated torture.
More than 34,000 people signed the Amnesty petition to the Governor of Delta State in Nigeria, asking him to show mercy on Moses Akatugba – and it’s thanks to those actions that Moses will experience freedom again after ten years behind bars, the last few of which were on death row.

Moses sent Amnesty International this message:
‘I am overwhelmed. I thank Amnesty International and their activists for the great support that made me a conqueror in this situation. Amnesty International members and activist are my heroes.
‘I want to assure them, that this great effort they have show to me will not be in vain, by the special grace of God I will live up to their expectation.
‘I promise to be a human rights activist, to fight for others. I am thanking the Governor for his kind gesture and for keeping to his words.’

Together our voices really can free people, change laws and defend human rights around the world.

Report from our February meeting

23 Feb

197010_mansoura_women1200The meeting began with the Taunton Group’s AGM; we decided which of Amnesty’s campaigns we should focus on this year. These include Stop Torture and the Death Penalty, and a focus on country campaigns: a new Burmese prisoner of conscience now that Dr Tun Aung has been released, a new interest in China, and a continuation of our work for the Mansoura Three in Egypt (pictured). We signed letters to the Egyptian authorities on behalf of these three women who were caught up in protests in 2014 and face years behind bars.

This month’s group action took an ironic look at typical Valentine’s Day messages against the background of the ‘My Body, My Rights’ campaign. Being able to make our own decisions about our health, body and sexual life is a basic human right. Yet all over the world, people are persecuted for making these choices – or prevented from doing so at all.

We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm in the Silver Street Baptist Church, Taunton. Everyone is most welcome to join us.

The EU Torture Trade: Sale Must End Now

13 Nov

stick_web_final_0Struggling to keep a crowd in check with your ordinary truncheon? This spiked baton delivers maximum impact with virtually no effort! And thanks to loopholes in EU laws, you can trade in an array of gruesome torture equipment like this right here in Europe.

Sign the petition calling on the EU to fix the flaws that allow people to profit from torture.

 

Stop Torture Casefile: Uzbekistan: Dilorom Abdukadirova

21 Oct

Dilorom Abdukadirova

Dilorom Abdukadirova worked with her husband and mother-in-law on their small farm. In May 2005, she joined thousands at a protest in Andizhan to voice concerns about the economy. The protest was mostly peaceful, but security forces fired on the crowds, killing hundreds.

Dilorom fled across the Kyrgyzstani border, and arrived in Australia on a refugee visa in February 2006. She desperately missed her family, however, so after receiving assurances from the Uzbekistani authorities that nothing would happen if she went back, she returned in January 2010. At the airport, however, she was detained for four days.

In March 2010, Dilorom was detained again and charged with attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and leaving the country illegally. She was kept in a cell for two weeks without access to a lawyer or her family. At her trial in April 2011 relatives said she looked unusually thin, had a bruised face and was not wearing her headscarf, something she would not have done voluntarily.

Following an unfair trial, Dilorom was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison. She was then accused of breaking prison rules, and her sentence was extended by a further eight years following a closed trial inside the prison.

Take Action: How you can help

1) Write to the Uzbekistan authorities and urge them to:

• Drop all charges against Dilorom Abdukadirova and release her immediately and unconditionally
• Conduct a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into the allegations that Dilorom Abdukadirova was tortured in
custody and make sure anyone found responsible is brought to justice.
• Allow the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to visit
Uzbekistan.

Please write to: President Islam Karimov, Rezidentsia Prezidenta, ul. Uzbekistanskaia 43, Tashkent 700163, UZBEKISTAN

2) Let Dilorom know that you are thinking of her and support her struggle for justice

  • Address: Dilorom Abdukadirova, C/o IAR Programme, Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA
  • Preferred language: English
  • Suggested message: I stand with you as you seek justice and will campaign for your freedom.
  • Please do not send a religious card.  It is ok to mention Amnesty and to include a return address if you wish

Read all about our September 2014 meeting here…

28 Sep

Torture is out of control in Mexico – there’s been a 600% rise in cases of torture and ill-treatment over the last 10 years. Think of Claudia Medina Tamariz, dragged from her home by marines in the middle of the night, tortured with electric shocks, sexually assaulted and left tied to a chair in the scorching afternoon heat.

Over 2 years later, no investigation of Claudia’s complaint has been made. Since last year Amnesty International has been in frequent contact with the authorities in Mexico, and its recommendations verbally welcomed – but action has yet to be taken.

We signed letters on behalf of those imprisoned or persecuted in Libya, Morocco, Yemen, and Egypt, including human rights activist Yara Sallam.

With regret we said goodbye to Laura, who’s returning to the Midlands. As well as campaigning for those imprisoned or persecuted in the Middle East and North Africa, Laura has set up this WordPress blog for us.

We’re most grateful to local musician Damian Clarke who, in support of Amnesty International, gave a very entertaining lunchtime fundraiser concert to a sizeable audience in St John’s Church on September 12. 

At our October meeting Neil Guild, the prospective Labour Parliamentary candidate for Taunton, will be coming to talk to us about his stance on human rights issues. We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm in the Silver Street Baptist Church – all are most welcome.

Stop Torture Casefile: Philippines: Alfreda Disbarro

21 Sep

Alfreda Disbarro

On 3 October 2013, Alfreda Disbarro was at an internet café near her house in Parañaque, Manila, when police officers approached her and accused her of being a drug dealer. She denied the allegation and to prove she was not carrying drugs, emptied her pockets, which contained a mobile phone and a five-peso coin. Without warning the officers pointed a gun ather and punched her in the chest.

Alfreda, a 32-year-old mother of two, was taken to the police headquarters where she says police officers pinned her against a wall, repeatedly punched her in the face and stomach, hit her with a club, poked their fingers in her eyes, slapped her, forced a mop into her mouth, and banged her head against a wall. Then they beat her with a wooden stick and a metal bar.

Over the following days Alfreda was in such pain that she couldn’t eat, had difficulty breathing and kept vomiting. During this period she was photographed with three $100 bills and a sachet of drugs, and told to sign a blank sheet of paper.

After making a complaint to the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, Alfreda underwent a medical examination on 10 October 2013. The doctor found numerous bruises and marks on her body and concluded that they were caused by a hard, blunt object.

Take Action: How you can help

1) Write to the Phillipine police Internal Affairs Service and urge them to:

  • open an investigation into these allegations of torture made by Alfreda Disbarro and refer the case for public prosecution
  • take immediate administrative measures against any police officers who are found to have been involved or complicit in the torture of Alfreda Disbarro
  • give a safe space for whistle-blowers within the Philippine National Police who wish to report their personal knowledge of torture by their colleagues, including in the case of Alfreda Disbarro.

2) Let Alfreda know that you are thinking of her and support her demand for justice.

  • Address: Alfreda Disbarro, c/o IAR Programme, Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA
  • Preferred language: English or Filipino
  • Suggested message: I have heard about the difficult experience you have had at the hands of police officers. I will be campaigning for you and others who have experienced torture. You have been so brave to report your experience. Be strong and continue fighting for justice.
  • You may send a religious card if you wish; Alfreda is Christian. It is ok to mentionAmnesty and include a return address if you wish.
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: