Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘arrested’

Greenpeace Pirates?

Greenpeace Pirates

A Russian court has just formally charged 28 Greenpeace activists from around the world, along with a freelance photographer and videographer, with piracy.

If convicted, each could face up to fifteen years in a Russian prison. All for the crime of peacefully protesting oil drilling in the Arctic. It’s the most serious threat to Greenpeace’s environmental work since French secret service agents bombed and sunk the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior — killing a crew member — back in 1985.

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But we didn’t back down then and can’t back down now — no matter how far those in power go to silence the people who speak out against Arctic oil drilling and environmental destruction. With your support, we can stop drilling in the Arctic just like we stopped French nuclear weapons testing three decades ago.

The scene from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise two weeks ago was almost unbelievable.

Using a helicopter and ropes, fifteen armed Russian special forces agents boarded the ship and started rounding up everyone onboard, assembling them on the helideck and taking control of the ship. The crew was eventually moved to the main area of the ship and put under guard while the ship was towed to the Russian city of Murmansk.

It was in Murmansk where, just yesterday, the last of the Greenpeace activists and the two freelancers were charged with piracy. They’re not pirates. Peaceful protest isn’t piracy. It’s the voice that our environment desperately needs right now.

Don’t let that voice and the voices of those charged with piracy in Russia be silenced. Please help support our work to save the Arctic and protect the environment by making a gift today.

Greenpeace doesn’t take a dime from corporations or governments so we can do what’s necessary to protect the environment. Especially when corporations and governments are the ones threatening our environment in the first place.

We rely entirely on financial support from people like you to do the work that we do. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Thanks for all you do.

Sincerely,

Phil Radford
Greenpeace USA Executive Director

P.S. A Russian court has just formally charged 28 Greenpeace activists, along with a freelance photographer and videographer, with piracy for protesting Arctic drilling.

Tweet To Jail In Bahrain

Dear Gabriel,

Is tweeting a crime in Bahrain?

Ask @NabeelRajab. After tweeting a sentence shorter than the one you’re reading right now to Bahrain’s Prime Minister demanding political change, Nabeel Rajab was arrested.

Is protesting a crime in Bahrain?

For taking that same message to the streets through organized protests, Nabeel was once again charged and this time, sentenced to 3 years in prison. In fact, since May of this year, Nabeel – a prominent leader of the human rights movement in Bahrain – has been kept in a small, dark cell.

Tell Bahraini authorities to free Nabeel Rajab now! Send a message by Tuesday and we’ll amplify your voice during our upcoming demonstration in Washington, D.C.

Unfortunately, we know that Bahraini authorities aren’t just after Nabeel Rajab. They want to tear down everything he stands for. They want to intimidate others so that no one will stand with him. They want Nabeel Rajab to sit in that small, dark cell and feel alone.

But that won’t happen. Nabeel Rajab will never sit alone in darkness because Amnesty International will always be there to shine a light. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.

Nabeel’s peaceful actions for freedom in Bahrain — from tweets to marching in the streets — exemplify why he is a signature case for Amnesty International’s annual Write for Rights event. That is because whether you show solidarity by writing and mailing letters, updating your Facebook status, organizing rallies or taking any solidarity action in between, you can make a difference in the lives of this year’s 10 Write for Rights cases.

Mark your calendars, because from December 5 – 16, we will build upon Amnesty’s 51-year tradition and incredible history of writing letters to save lives. Thousands will gather in classrooms, coffee shops, community centers and more; united by the power of the letter and for the cause of writing for human rights.

But we start building momentum today. Your action for Nabeel Rajab right now will fuel our special demonstration in D.C. on Tuesday to draw attention to Bahrain’s disgraceful treatment of Nabeel Rajab and its crackdown on human rights. For every 100 actions taken, we will hold a special place so that we can represent our full force — that means you! — when we hit the streets.

You’ll just have to stay tuned to see how your actions will add power to our work to free Nabeel. Take action to free Nabeel Rajab now so that we can add your voice to Tuesday’s special demonstration.

The spark for this year’s Write for Rights begins with you, but the flame that burns for Nabeel Rajab and others who defend human rights will last forever.

In Solidarity,

Beth Ann Toupin
Country Specialist, Bahrain
Amnesty International USA

11-year-old Arrested

Dear Gabriel,

One minute, 11-year-old Ali Hassan was playing outside with his friends, like any other kid his age anywhere in the world.

The next minute, Ali was under arrest.

This actually happened: An 11-year-old child is on trial for “illegal gathering” and “disturbing security” in Bahrain.

On July 5, he’ll be sentenced for his “crimes” — and could be imprisoned.

We only have a week left to make an impact on Ali’s case, so we have to be loud. Call on the Bahraini authorities to drop the charges against 11-year-old Ali Hassan. Then be sure to share this action with your friends.

On the day of his arrest, Ali was held for hours and interrogated. Tired, hungry, and scared, Ali finally “confessed.” He was detained for 23 days without access to a lawyer.

Ali’s case is part of a wider crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly in Bahrain. Since mass protests began in the country in February 2011, Bahrain’s security forces have responded brutally with disproportionate violence. And there’s been little accountability for the ongoing human rights violations committed by the Bahraini government, including acts of torture, unjust imprisonment, and even killings.

Things have to change.

The Bahraini government’s crackdown on nonviolent critics is ugly enough. Now with Ali’s arrest and trial, the government’s behavior has become even more shocking.

Ali and his friends found themselves on the wrong side of the law when their playtime coincided with protests in the area. Bahraini police officers stopped them, allegedly threatening to shoot the children if they didn’t do as they were told, and accusing them of purposely blocking the street with trash bins.

The other children got away. Ali was not so lucky. And now he could face jail for being a child in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Playtime should never lead to prison time. Demand that Bahrain respect the right to free speech and assembly, protect the rights of children, and drop the ludicrous charges against 11-year-old Ali Hassan immediately.

For justice,

Sanjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East & North Africa
Amnesty International USA

Stop Executions

Dear Gabriel,

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.

Shine a light. Please donate to Amnesty today.

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.

In peace,
Laura Moye
DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR
Amnesty International, USA

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