This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
: Urgent Action - Execution set for man defended by law clerk 7 Failure of Leadership Rendering U.N. Security Council Irrelevant 8 EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Human Rights Defender Imprisoned 9 CHINA: Urgent Action Chinese housing activists sentenced
Amnesty International USA Group 48
Dora Pete Stock.Xchng
Three years after his murder, Ernest
BURUNDI: Activist’s Killing Fails to Deliver Justice Despite Many Leads, Investigation Fell Short
20 years’ imprisonment for complicity to murder and three individuals to 10 years’ imprisonment for failure to inform public authorities/non-assistance to persons in danger. After procedural delays of one year and nine months, the trial was completed in just three days, between 5 and 11 April. The Public Prosecutor did not consider important leads and recommendations from reports by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which assisted in investigations, and a commission of inquiry established by the Burundian authorities. Several defendants were unlawfully held in pre-trial detention for almost three years. The court failed to renew their preventative detention every 30 days, as required under article 75 of the Burundian Criminal Procedure Code, and to notify suspects of the charges against them when they were arrested. »
11 Mubarak Verdict an Important Step, but Full Truth About Victims’ Deaths During Uprising Must be Uncovered to Deliver Justice AIUSA-Group 48 http://aipdx.org / 503-227-1878 Next Meeting: Friday June 8th First Unitarian Church 1011 SW 12th Ave 7:00pm informal gathering 7:30pm meeting starts
Manirumva, a Burundian anti-corruption activist, and his family still have not received justice for his murder. On 22 May, 2012, a Burundian court issued a verdict in the trial of those accused of his murder. However, twenty Burundian and international non-governmental organizations said in a joint statement that this verdict was a missed opportunity to deliver justice. The outcome was a grave disappointment to those who have campaigned for his killers to be held to account, as potentially important evidence in the case was not pursued. On 22 May, the Higher Instance Court of Bujumbura sentenced 14 individuals to lengthy prison terms for the murder of Manirumva. Early reports have stated that eight individuals were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Manirumva, three individuals to
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 2
Members of civil society organizations and journalists who have publicly denounced Manirumva’s killing and the failings of judicial inquiries into the case have themselves received threats. Human rights defenders and journalists in Burundi are regularly subjected to judicial summons in relation to their work. Individuals working on sensitive issues have also reported receiving anonymous text messages and phone calls threatening them. For more information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/ asset/AFR16/003/2011/en/34e14db4-1a1e-41d6-acf4449c0f60af06/afr160032011en.html Write a letter to the President of Burundi with a copy to the Ambassador for Burundi in Washington DC emphasizing the following points: ◌ Express disappointment at the verdict in the Ernest Manirumva case; ◌ Urge him to demonsstrate a committment to the support of human rights defenders;
◌ Demonstrate a committment to their protection by delivering justice for Ernest Manirumva’s family and the human rights group Anti-Corruption and Economic Malpractice Observatory (OCLUCOME). Pierre Nkurunziza Président de la République Présidence de la République Boulevard de l’Uprona Rohero I BP 1870 Bujumbura, Burundi Ambassador Angele Niyuhire Embassy of the Republic of Burundi 2233 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Suite 212 Washington, D.C. 20007 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy To Send To
SUDAN: Urgent Action- Woman sentenced to death by stoning, Imminent execution, Arbitrary arrest
Intisar Sharif Abdallah (f)
The criminal court of Ombada, Khartoum state, central Sudan sentenced Intisar Sharif Abdallah to death by stoning on 13 May on charges of adultery, under article 146 of Sudan’s criminal code of 1991. She had initially pleaded not guilty, but admitted to the charges at a later hearing after she was reportedly beaten by her brother. The conviction was based solely on this testimony. During her trial, Intisar Sharif Abdallah was denied access to a lawyer. She also had no access to an interpreter, despite the fact that she has a limited knowledge of Arabic, which is not her native language. Intisar Sharif Abdallah, who has three children, is being detained with her youngest son, who is four months old. Her two other children are in the custody of her family. It is unclear when the authorities intend on carrying out the sentence. Members of Intisar Sharif Abdallah’s family are in the process of filing an appeal at the Court of Appeals of Ombada. The death sentence was imposed in violation of international »
A 20-year old Sudanese woman was sentenced to death by
stoning on 13 May, on charges of adultery. She did not have access to a lawyer during her trial, and was convicted based on testimony she gave after being beaten by her brother. She is being detained with her baby. She in psychological distress and does not understand the nature of her sentence.
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 3
law standards, and an execution would violate both international and Sudanese law. Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language: ◌ Calling on the authorities to stop the execution of Intisar Sharif Abdallah; to overturn her stoning sentence for “adultery while married” and release her immediately and unconditionally; ◌ Urging the government to have the best interests of Intisar Sharif Abdallah’s child as their primary consideration during the judicial process and until she is released; ◌ Stressing that under international law the execution of people after a trial that does not meet international fair trial standards is a violation of the right to life, and the execution of nursing mothers is likewise prohibited under international law; ◌ Calling on the Sudan government to establish an official moratorium on executions in the country, with a view to abolish the death penalty, in line with the growing global trend and UN General Assembly resolutions, and urging the President to commute all existing death sentences. PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 6 JULY 2012 TO: President HE Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir Office of the President People’s Palace PO Box 281 Khartoum SUDAN Email: email@example.com Salutation: Your Excellency Minister of Justice Mohammed Bushara Dousa Ministry of Justice PO Box 302 Al Nil Avenue Khartoum SUDAN
Send To Action
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Salutation: Your Excellency Chief Justice Jalal al-Din Mohammed Osman Ministry of Justice Al-Jamha Street Khartoum Khartoum state 931 SUDAN Salutation: Your Excellency John Ukec Lueth Ukec Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan 2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington DC 20008 Tel: 202 338 8565 Fax: 1 202 667 2406 E-mail: email@example.com Please check with the AIUSA Urgent Action Office if sending appeals after the above date. Amnesty International believes that the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Sudan is a state party. The method of execution by stoning in particular is a violation of the prohibition of torture as contained in the UDHR, the ICCPR, and the Convention against Torture, to which Sudan is a signatory. It is clear that the punishment of stoning is designed to cause the victim grievous pain before leading to death. Such methods of execution specifically designed to increase the suffering of victims are of particular concern to Amnesty International, as an extreme and cruel form of torture, which is expressly prohibited by the ICCPR. The UN Human Rights Committee, which is the international body overseeing the implementation of the ICCPR, has called for the abolition in law of the penalty of death by stoning. It urged all states that still maintain the death penalty “to ensure »
Additional Information Copies To
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 4
that any application of particularly cruel or inhuman means of execution, such as stoning, be stopped immediately”. While international human rights law does not absolutely prohibited death penalty, it specifically prohibits death sentences resulting from unfair trials as well as the execution of nursing mothers. The Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty, adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council in 1984, state that the death penalty shall not be carried out on new mothers. Resolution 2005/59 of the UN Commission on Human Rights also urges states that retain the death penalty to exclude mothers with dependent infants from capital punishment. The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions has stated that “international law prohibits the capital punishment of … mothers of young children.” The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women, adopted by the African Union in 2003, and to which Sudan is also a signatory, prohibits the carrying out of
death sentences on nursing women. Article 36(3) of the 2005 Interim Constitution of Sudan states: “No death penalty shall be executed upon pregnant or lactating women, save after two years of lactation.” Amnesty International opposes the criminalization of sexual relations between consenting adults. The organization considers people who are held solely for consensual sexual relations, to be prisoners of conscience. Under international law, the death penalty is only allowed for the “most serious crimes”. Resolution 2005/59 urges all retentionist states to “ensure also that the notion of ‘most serious crimes’ does not go beyond intentional crimes with lethal or extremely grave consequences and that the death penalty is not imposed for … sexual relations between consenting adults”. The UN Special Rapporteur has stated that the restrictions set out in the UN Safeguards exclude actions primarily related to prevailing moral values, such as adultery.
UNITED STATES: Urgent Action- Execution set for man defended by law clerk, Death penalty, Unfair trial, Legal Concern
The trial judge appointed a lawyer for the indigent Michael Brawner, and appointed a “law clerk” to assist. This individual was a law school graduate who had failed his state bar exam. He managed to pass the exam in early 2002, and was admitted to the practice of law on 8 April 2002, the first day of the Brawner trial. The judge appointed him as co-counsel on the defense, and noted that he was “in court today for the first time as a lawyer”. According to Brawner’s current lawyers, it was the clerk who had handled the bulk of the pre-trial defense work. For example, he, not the lawyer, discussed with Michael Brawner the prosecution’s offer of a life-withoutichael Brawner is due to be executed in Mississippi on 12 parole sentence in return for a guilty plea, which Brawner June for a quadruple murder in 2001. His pre-trial representa- rejected, and advised Brawner on whether he should plead tion was mostly conducted by a “law clerk” who had failed his not guilty by reason of insanity (which was the plea eventually submitted). The only defense witness presented at the guilt state bar exam, and only became a practicing lawyer on the phase was the defendant, with no expert evidence to support first day of the trial. the insanity plea. After a three-day guilt phase, the jury delibOn 25 April 2001, 24-year-old Michael Brawner shot dead erated for half an hour before finding Brawner guilty of four Barbara Brawner, from whom he had been divorced the previ- counts of capital murder. ous month, her parents, Jane and Carl Craft, and his fouryear-old daughter, Candice Paige Brawner, at the Craft home The lead lawyer delegated the preparation of mitigating evidence to the clerk, but the latter’s time sheets indicate that in rural northern Mississippi. He was arrested the following he did no investigation to this end. Towards the end of the » day at his fiancee’s apartment.
Nancy Brown Stock.Xchng
Michael Brawner (m)
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 5
guilt phase of the trial, the lead lawyer asked the defendant (outside the jury’s presence): “Mr Brawner, do you wish me to try and get you ‘life’ or ‘life without parole’, if you are, in fact, found guilty of any of these counts by the jury? In other words, it’s what the lawyers call ‘put on a mitigation case’…” The lawyer said that a psychologist was available to present mitigating evidence. However, she had been retained only to evaluate whether Brawner was competent to stand trial and sane at the time of the crime. In an affidavit in 2011 she said that she had never met or spoken to the lead lawyer, only to the clerk, and that the lawyer’s suggestion that she had been ready and willing to present mitigation was “simply not true”. Michael Brawner responded that he did not want mitigation, saying, “I don’t feel that I deserve life to live”. This was surely not an informed decision if his lawyer was unaware of the range of mitigation evidence available and unable to advise him fully of his options. Evidence that could have been introduced at the sentencing included details of a childhood of severe abuse, parental alcohol and drug abuse, and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. Please write immediately, in English or your own language: ◌ Explain that you are not seeking to excuse these murders or to downplay the suffering caused; ◌ Express concern that Michael Brawner was in effect represented before his trial by a law clerk, not a lawyer; ◌ Note that his jury did not hear mitigating evidence of his severe childhood abuse and mental health problems; ◌ Opposing the execution of Michael Brawner and calling on the governor to grant him clemency. PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 12 JUNE 2012 TO: Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant PO Box 139, Jackson, MS 39205 USA Fax: 1 601 359 3741 Email: go to http://www.new.ms.gov/Pages/PortalHome.aspx and click on “Meet the Governor” Salutation: Dear Governor Please check with the AIUSA Urgent Action Office if sending appeals after the above date.
The sentencing phase of Michael Brawner’s trial began and ended on the afternoon of 11 April 2002 and after a little over an hour of deliberation the jury returned four death sentences. In 2011, Dr Marsha Little-Hendren signed an affidavit about her involvement in the case. She was the psychologist retained before the trial to evaluate Michael Brawner’s competence to stand trial and his sanity at the time of the crime (she found him competent and sane). In her affidavit, Dr LittleHendren asserted that she had been contacted by the defense only shortly before the trial, leaving her about a week to make an evaluation report. She said that she had been provided with “virtually no background on Michael’s mental health history, family life, physical injury or traumatic events that he had endured”. Her limited contact with Michael Brawner, she said, revealed to her that he might have depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and possible brain injury from a serious car accident in 2000. A psychosocial assessment of Michael Brawner conducted since the trial described his childhood as “full of chaos, turmoil, rejection and parental abuse and irresponsibility.” It said that Brawner “experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence between his parents, alcohol » AIUSA Group 48 Contact Information
Group Coordinator Joanne Lau firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer Tena Hoke email@example.com Newsletter Editor Dan Webb firstname.lastname@example.org Concert Tabling Will Ware email@example.com Legislative Coordinator Dan Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org Indonesia Max White email@example.com Central Africa / OR State Death Penalty Abolition Terrie Rodello firstname.lastname@example.org Central America Marylou Noble marylou_noble@ yahoo.com Darfur (Sudan) Marty Fromer email@example.com Prisoners’ Cases Jane Kristof firstname.lastname@example.org Cornelia Cerf Ron Noble email@example.com
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 6
and drug abuse by his parents and incarceration of his father”. It said that he had “demonstrated increasing problems as he grew up”, but that “these problems were not taken seriously and only got worse as he matured.” When Michael Brawner was eight he witnessed the rape of his seven-year-old sister by his father, something that went on for the next five years. According to Brawner’s current lawyers, “in order to silence him, Michaels father beat him harder and more frequently… The abuse became so regular and so severe that Michael constantly had to miss school in order to recover from the beatings.” Eventually, when Michael was 14, his father was charged with rape, pled guilty to sexual battery of his own daughter, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, eventually serving seven. Around this time in 1991, the 14-year-old Michael Brawner was hospitalized for two months and diagnosed with polysubstance dependency and PTSD. In an evaluation of Michael Brawner conducted in 2009, a psychologist/neuro-psychologist reported that Michael Brawner had told him that “mitigation was not even mentioned to him until the trial was underway”. His report referred to Brawner’s “horrific” childhood, and provided a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and PTSD, and noted that “issues related to his “background, childhood experiences and mental and emotional disturbance” had not been presented in mitigation. The 1984 US Supreme Court ruling Strickland v. Washington places a substantial obstacle to a successful claim of inadequate assistance of counsel. “Judicial scrutiny of counsel’s performance”, wrote the Court, “must be highly deferential” and the reviewing court “must indulge a strong presumption that counsel’s conduct” was reasonable. If the performance was unreasonable, the prisoner still has to show that, “but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different.” In 2004, applying such standards, the Mississippi Supreme Court rejected the claim that Michael Brawner had been denied his right to effective assistance of counsel, saying that he had “made an informed and voluntary decision not to present mitigating evidence”. The Court noted that Dr. Little-Hendren had been ready to present mitigation – apparently taking as accurate the lead lawyer’s assertion to this effect. She has since said that this
was “simply not true” and that she had not even been retained to develop a mitigation case. Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) of 1996, federal judicial review of state court decisions must be highly deferential. The federal courts have upheld the death sentences. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, unconditionally. There have been 1,295 executions in the USA since 1977, 18 of them in Mississippi. There have been 18 executions in the USA in 2012, three of them in Mississippi.
Legislative Update by Dan Johnson
June 26th is the International Day for Survivors of Torture. Amnesty International is planning on holding a nation wide lobbying action around this issue at the end of June and in early July. We’ll be asking for opposition to the Ayotte amendment, which would remove restrictions which state that interrogations must abide by the tactics outlined in the Army Field Manual. We will be asking for the release of the Senate Select Intelligence Report on Torture, which will expose the methods used in many cases in recent history. We will be addressing parts of the NDAA that violate human rights, including sections allowing indefinite detention without trial. I’ll be seeking out individuals willing to lead a delegation to Senate or House district offices to show constituent opposition to torture, and support for accountability and detention procedures in line with international law. Official recruitment will start later this month, and we hope that most meetings will occur during the July 4th recess. Our legislators are generally on board with our philosophy here, but it’s still very important that they see constituent support and interest on these issues. If you’re willing to lead or participate in a delegation, please get in touch. Dan Johnson Legislative Coordinator, OR Amnesty International firstname.lastname@example.org
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 7
Failure of Leadership Rendering U.N. Security Council Irrelevant, Says Amnesty International as its Annual Report Released
Human Rights Organization Urges U.S. Government to Ensure Human Rights Are Integral to its Foreign Policy, (Washington, D.C.)
Christian Ferrari Stock.Xchng
“Failed leadership has gone global in the last year, as politicians responded to protests with brutality and indifference,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general. “Governments must begin to demonstrate legitimate leadership by protecting the powerless and restraining the powerful. It is time to put people before corporations and rights before profits.” The U.N. meeting to adopt an Arms Trade Treaty in July will be critical a litmus test for governments to place rights over self-interest and profit. Without a strong treaty, the U.N. Security Council’s guardianship of global peace and security seems doomed to failure. As a major player on the global stage, the United States should be more vociferous about the importance of respect for human rights and civil society.
From political changes in Myanmar to troop withdrawals in Afghanistan, trade treaties with Colombia to a spike in anti“Unfortunately, the Russian and Chinese intransigence is put- immigrant trends in Europe, a surge in threats against LGBT ting the credibility of the Security Council at risk and under- persons in Africa to the continued repression of the Chinese mining the Council’s core function as a guardian of peace and people, the United States must remain committed to ensuring that human rights are not an afterthought, but integral to its security,” said Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA executive director. “The determination of some Council mem- foreign relations and economic negotiations. bers to shield Syria at any cost renders accountability for these crimes elusive, betrays the Syrian people and undermines the “The United States has traditionally been in the vanguard of the struggle for justice,” said Frank Jannuzi, head of Amnesty struggle for freedom and human rights everywhere.” International’s Washington, D.C. “Disturbingly, in the era of globalization, the United States has too often pushed aside While civilians braved the threat of detention and worse as human rights concerns to focus on economic and national they fought for their right to free speech, human rights and security priorities. This is short-sighted. The United States dignity, the international community remained stuck on the cannot long secure its own prosperity if it turns a blind eye to sidelines, observing a humanitarian tragedy explode. The suffering and repression of human rights around the globe.” vocal and enthusiastic support for the protest movements shown by many regional powers in the early months of 2011 Other global developments highlighted in Amnesty Internahas not translated into action, and the opportunities for lasttional Report 2012 include: ing change created by the protesters are increasingly being ◌ Highly repressive states, including China, threw the full squandered. weight of their security apparatus into the suffocation of In the past year, it appears that the international powerhouses protest. There was no improvement in North Korea’s horrific human rights situation. are more interested in opportunistic alliances and financial interests than human rights as they jostle for influence in the ◌ In sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa Middle East and North Africa. uprisings resonated strongly with people – but excessive force »
the Middle East and North Africa, in the past 12 months has been undermined by a collapse in international leadership. At the United Nations, the Security Council seems ineffective, out of step and increasingly unable to fulfill its mandate, Amnesty International said today, as it launched its 50th global human rights report.
Courage shown by protesters around the world, including
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 8
was used against protesters in countries from Angola to Senegal to Uganda. ◌ Social protest gathered strength in the Americas, frequently bringing people into confrontation with powerful economic and political interests. Activists were threatened and killed, including in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. ◌ In Russia, civic activism grew and the country saw its largest demonstrations since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but opposition voices were abused and systematically undermined. ◌ There was no sign of significant change in countries such as Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This year’s Eurovision Song Contest host, Azerbaijan, suppressed freedom of expression and sixteen prisoners of conscience are still behind bars for raising their voices in 2011. ◌ Violence followed South Sudan’s vote for independence but the U.N. Security Council – along with the African Union’s Peace and Security Council – again failed to condemn abuses including indiscriminate bombardments by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudanese government’s closure of affected states to humanitarian organizations. ◌ In the Middle East and North Africa, as the uprisings occupied world attention, other deep-seated problems festered. Iran’s government was increasingly isolated, tolerated no dissent, and used the death penalty with an enthusiasm only
Wenceslao Mansogo Alo
outstripped by China, while Saudi Arabia cracked down on protestors. ◌ Israel maintained its blockade of Gaza, prolonging the humanitarian crisis and continued to expand illegal settlements in the West Bank. Palestinian political organizations Fatah and Hamas targeted each other’s supporters; Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups mounted tit-for-tat attacks in Gaza. ◌ Myanmar’s government took a pivotal decision to free more than 300 political prisoners and allow Aung San Suu Kyi to contest elections. An escalation of conflict-related human rights violations in ethnic minority areas, as well as continuing harassment and detention of activists, however, suggested limits to the reform. ◌ Trends included abuses against Indigenous communities in the Americas as drives to exploit resources intensified; worsening discrimination in Africa over people’s sexual orientation or gender identity; increased xenophobic rhetoric from some European politicians; and increased vulnerability to terrorist acts in Africa by Islamist armed groups. ◌ Progress including the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty; the erosion of impunity for past abuses in the Americas; and landmark steps towards justice in Europe with the arrests of Bosnian Serb former general Ratko Mladiæ and Croatian Serb Goran Hadžiæ, to face trial for crimes committed in the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia.
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Human Rights Defender Imprisoned
gence was based on the unfounded accusations made by the family of the deceased and the report of a physical examination of the body by a medical team led by the Minister of Health. This report concluded that the patient had died of a heart attack caused by the maladministration of the anesthetics. Wenceslao Mansogo Alo was not responsible for administering the anesthesia. The prosecution presented no other evidence in court to support the charge. Read More Amnesty International believes that the arrest, detention and conviction of Wenceslao Mansogo Alo were politically motivated and linked to his human rights work and political activities. He is therefore a prisoner of conscience, and the organization will continue to call for his immediate and unconditional release. »
Wenceslao Mansogo Alo, a doctor, political activist and
Nancy Brown Stock.Xchng
human rights defender was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on 7 May in Bata city, Equatorial Guinea, after being convicted of professional negligence.
An initial accusation of mutilation of a body was dropped before the start of the trial. The charge of professional negli-
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 9
Please write to the Equatorial Guinea authorities listed below, in Spanish or English: ◌ Express concern at the arrest, detention and conviction of Wenceslao Mansogo Alo was politically motivated and linked to his human rights work; ◌ Say that the Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release. President General Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Presidente de la República Gabinete del Presidente de la República Malabo República de Guinea Ecuatorial
Fax: 011 240 333 09 3313/3334 Salutation: Excelencia Your Excellency Minister of Justice Sr Don Francisco Javier Ngomo Mbegomo Ministro de Justicia y Culto Ministerio de Justicia y Culto Malabo República de Guinea Ecuatorial Fax: 011 240 333 09 21 26 Ambassador Purificacion Angue Ondo Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea 2020 16th Street NW Washington DC, 20009 Fax: 1 202 518 5252 -OR- 1 202 296 4195 I Email: email@example.com
CHINA: Urgent Action- Chinese housing activists sentenced, Health concern, Freedom of expression
Ni Yulan (f) and Dong Jiqin (m)
Dora Pete Stock.Xchng
Yulan’s peaceful human rights and legal aid activities. The couple’s trial took place on 29 December 2011 at Beijing’s Xicheng District People’s Court and did not meet international fair trial standards. Ni Yulan suffers from respiratory, heart and digestive problems, and cannot walk, due to previous police torture. Prior to her detention in April 2011, her health had been improving as she was receiving regular medical treatment and she was able to walk with crutches. Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language: ◌ Calling on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin; ◌ Urge them to guarantee that the couple are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while in detention; ◌ Call on them to ensure the couple have access to their families and any medical care that they may require; ◌ Urge the authorities to stop the harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment and imprisonment of human rights lawyers and legal activists peacefully carrying out their work. »
Yulan was given a two year and eight-month sentence for “picking quarrels and making trouble” and “fraud”. Her husband, Dong Jiqin, was sentenced for two years for “picking quarrels and making trouble”. Amnesty International continues to call for their immediate release. Police detained Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin on 7 April 2011 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. They were formally arrested on the same charge (Criminal Law article 293) on 17 May 2011. The charge of “fraud” was later added in the case of Ni Yulan. Amnesty International believes that the couple was targeted by the authorities because of Ni
On 10 April, housing rights activist and former lawyer Ni
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 10
Note: Please write on behalf of these persons even though you may not have received the original UA when issued on 19 April 2011. Thanks! PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 JULY 2012 TO: Director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau Fu Zhenghua Juzhang Beijingshi Gong’anju 9 Dongdajie, Qianmen Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100740 PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA Fax: 011 86 10 6524 2927 Salutation: Dear Director Minister of Justice of the People’s Republic of China WU Aiying Buzhang Sifabu 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie Chaoyangqu, Beijingshi 100020 PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA Salutation: Dear Minister Premier WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli The State Council General Office 2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu, Beijingshi 100017, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA Fax: 011 86 10 6596 1109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Salutation: Your Excellency Ambassador Zhang Yesui Embassy of the People’s Republic of China 3505 International Place, NW Washington DC 20008, USA Tel: 202 495-2266 Fax: 1 202 495-2138 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please check with the AIUSA Urgent Action Office if sending appeals after the above date.
Additional Information Copies To Send To
to push for democracy and basic rights. The Chinese government’s response has been uncompromising. Human rights lawyers are subject to escalating silencing tactics - from suspension or revoking of licenses, to harassment, enforced disappearance or even torture. The persecution has kept the number of human rights lawyers down. Out of more than 204,000 lawyers in China, only a brave few hundred risk taking on cases that deal with human rights. Ni Yulan worked as a lawyer for 18 years. She took on many politically sensitive cases of petitioners and people protesting the demolition of their homes. This is the third time Beijing police have detained Ni Yulan for an extended period of time. In 2002, as Ni Yulan was filming the demolition of a Beijing home, authorities took her to a nearby police station and tortured her for several days, breaking her feet and her kneecaps. Her injuries were so severe that she remains in a wheel chair. When Ni Yulan attempted to petition the authorities over the beatings, she was arrested, convicted of “obstructing official business”, and sentenced to one year in prison. When convicted, she also lost her professional license to practice law. Dong Jiqin was barred from attending her trial. When Ni Yulan was released in 2003, she continued fighting for the rights of people whose homes faced demolitions ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2008, just before the Olympics, Ni Yulan was arrested and imprisoned for two years » Postage Rates
Within the United States $0.31 - Postcards $0.45 - Letters and Cards up to 1 oz. To Canada $0.80 - Postcards $0.80 - Airmail Letters and Cards up to 1 oz. To Mexico $0.84 - Postcards $0.84 - Airmail Letters and Cards up to 1 oz. To all other destination countries $1.05 - Postcards $1.05 - Airmail Letters and Cards up to 1 oz.
Lawyers are increasingly in the forefront of human rights activism in China as more and more people turn to the law
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 11
after trying to stop the demolition of her own home. While in Beijing’s Yuxingong Guesthouse. However, the authorities prison, she was tortured and suffered from other ill-treatment. continued to subject them to surveillance and other forms of She was also denied adequate medical care. harassment, including cutting off their water and electricity supply, as well as their Internet access. Upon her release from prison in April 2010, Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin were homeless. They lived in a hotel before police While living in the guesthouse Ni Yulan continued to stay in forced them onto the street and blocked them from renting touch with activists, lawyers, and journalists and to publiaccommodation or even staying with friends. In June 2010, cize human rights abuses on her microblog. In his 2010 film, after dozens of supporters held a demonstration in solidarity Emergency Shelter, documentary maker He Yang brought with Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin, police moved the couple into widespread attention to Ni Yulan’s persecution.
Amnesty International Says Mubarak Verdict an Important Step, but Full Truth About Victims’ Deaths During Uprising Must be Uncovered to Deliver Justice
June 2, 2012 (New York)
Andrea Brancaccio Stock.Xchng
Amnesty International called for an independent and impartial commission of inquiry to undercover the truth that the court failed to establish and urged institutional and legal reforms to counter Egypt’s entrenched impunity for human rights violations.
“For 30 years, Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt with a ruthless hand. His security forces were given free reign to kill, torture and imprison people,” said Suzanne Nossel, executive director, Amnesty International USA. “This conviction shows that no one is above the law, and sends a strong message that human mnesty International said today that Hosni Mubarak’s con- rights abuses will be punished. We regret that the truth about exactly what happened is left in the dark and that the famiviction and life sentence shows that no one is above the law, lies of those killed are still uncertain what happened to their but the organization urged that for justice to be served, the loved ones. This is not the full measure of justice.” full truth of what happened to victims killed and wounded during last year’s uprising -- and who ordered the killings -Nossel added: “At this moment, we should also be mindful of must be exposed. the fact that for 30 years successive U.S. administrations provided arms and support to the very Egyptian security forces Mubarak’s former minister of interior, Habib Adly, was also that routinely violated human rights.” sentenced to life on the same charges stemming from the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising. However, the The trial itself failed to establish exactly who was responsible acquittal of six senior security officials, including the former for ordering the shooting of protesters during the uprising head of the now-disbanded State Security Investigations that began in January 2011, the organization said. service (SSI), leaves many waiting for justice to be delivered, Amnesty International said. Upon hearing the verdict, many Some 840 protesters were killed and more than 6,000 injured in the court room started shouting “the people want to clean during the uprising that forced Mubarak to step down on up the judiciary,” unsatisfied that all the other defendants February 11, 2011. were acquitted. The prosecution said in its pleadings that it received too Corruption charges against two of Mubarak’s sons, Gamal little cooperation from the General Intelligence’s national and Alaa, and his business associate Hussein Salem, who was security unit and the Ministry of Interior for it to gather more tried in absentia, were dropped. evidence.»
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012 Pg 12
Throughout the various sessions of the trials, many family members were not allowed into the court room and on some occasions they were subjected to police beatings and intimidation. At other times, they clashed with pro-Mubarak supporters. Amnesty International said the lack of cooperation by the authorities with the prosecution was a missed opportunity to establish the full truth about what happened during the 18day uprising and afterwards. The verdict will send a strong signal that human rights violations will not be tolerated in the future and that no one is above the law. At the same time the judgment shows that serious human rights violations can and must be addressed without recourse to the death penalty, contrary to requests by the prosecution.
In the Egyptian legal criminal system, Mubarak and others have a right to appeal before Egypt’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, which will review the application of the law and the procedures but will not re-examine the factual evidence presented. Throughout Mubarak’s reign, human rights violations were committed with impunity, especially by officers of the now dissolved State Security Investigations agency. By convicting Mubarak for his part in the killing of protesters, the court sends a strong signal that those responsible for such violations will be held to account. In contrast, over the last year many police officers directly accused of killing protesters during the uprising were acquitted, triggering anger and frustration from relatives of the victims and complaints that the justice system after the January 25 Revolution is continuing to fail them.
AIUSA group 48 Newsletter June 2012
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.