Troy Davis knew that the battle to stop his execution was about something bigger — and so did his family. His sister Martina joined Amnesty more than a decade ago because she knew that other families, besides hers, were suffering at the hands of unjust systems.
Martina used all of her strength to battle two things: cancer and human rights abuses. In death penalty cases, families of both murder victims and death row inmates endure unknowable pain. Martina’s body finally gave out on Dec. 1, ten years after her doctors thought she would live, and a few months after her brother was executed. I was so privileged to have worked by her side for a dozen years and to have been with her in her final days.
Amnesty members should feel proud that we helped Martina raise her voice for her brother. We are heartbroken by this loss, but we know what we must do. We must continue the fight for other families, because we are all connected as one human family.
We have no time to lose. There are families facing serious human rights abuses right now.
Fatima Hussein Badi of Yemen may only have days to live. Arrested for the murder of her husband, she was questioned by police for hours without a lawyer. When she refused to confess, police brought in her brother Abdullah.
Fatima was threatened with rape in the presence of her brother, who then confessed to save his sister from being raped. They were both sentenced to death, and Abdullah was executed in 2005.
The pain of separation can be nearly unbearable. Shin Sook-ja, a radio announcer in North Korea, and her two daughters were sent to the secret Yodok political prison camp over 24 years ago. Yodok is notorious — inmates are beaten and malnourished. Many prisoners die in detention.
Sook-ja and her daughters were punished because her husband, Oh Kil-nam, requested political asylum. Kil-nam has not heard from his family in 20 years.
These families wait for reunion, justice, freedom, a ray of hope.
We must stop this suffering before more families are shattered. Giving to Amnesty now will help to ensure that all families have an existence worthy of human dignity. Please, make a gift to Amnesty now, and give as generously as you can.
We must and we will continue this fight.