Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘execution’

Stop Execution of Torture Victim

Dear Gabriel,

W1305EAIAR1_2Please help Amnesty stop the imminent execution of my brother, Abdullah Al Qahtani.

This week my brother’s life could be taken for a “confession” he was tortured into making. Abdullah was beaten, burned and asphyxiated by Iraqi security forces into “confessing” to being a member of terrorist organization al-Qaeda.

Now our fear is that the Iraqi authorities will execute Abdullah without even allowing him to have a fair trial first. It could happen at any time now.

Please do what you can to stop this execution.

About a month ago, Amnesty called on you to stop my brother’s execution. Together, we have been successful in buying some time. For that, I would like to express my family’s heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you, Amnesty supporters, for your precious help and support. It has brought much needed attention to Abdullah’s plight.

However, Abdullah’s time is once again running out. If the Iraqi court agrees with the prosecutor that Abdullah should not get a new trial, then a deadly chain of events would be put in motion. In less than 24 hours — without fair trial or even a phone call to us, his family — Abdullah’s execution could be carried out.

Abdullah needs an opportunity to present his case fully and fairly. He deserves the chance to exercise his human rights.

This risk of execution has placed our family under great stress. Abdullah is in poor health after enduring both torture and the effects of a hunger strike. Our parents are suffering. I don’t know if our mother has the strength to survive if Abdullah were to be executed.

We plead with Amnesty and its supporters to do everything possible to stop Abdullah from being treated inhumanely and for his rights to be restored.

Please take this action now. Help me save my brother’s life.

My deepest thanks,

Brother of Abdullah Al Qahtani, Saudi man at risk of execution in Iraq

Threat of Execution

Dear Gabriel,

W1304EAIAR1Abdullah al-Qahtani is still alive, but the threat of execution is still dangerously real.

Abdullah is the Saudi Arabian man whose attorneys say he was tortured by Iraqi security forces into confessing to being a member of a terrorist organization. He was sentenced by Iraqi courts to death by hanging.

Last week, pressure from activists like you likely helped spare Abdullah’s life, but make no mistake — his execution is imminent. His attorney urges continued vigilance:

“We thank Amnesty International members for their support; it is helping. We call for everybody’s continued help to save Abdullah’s life, to pressure the Iraqi government to give Abdullah the chance to a fair and just trial.”

Keep up the pressure — click here to join our call for justice for Abdullah. Your actions can help spare this man’s life.

With great appreciation,

Samir Goswami
Director, Individuals and Communities at Risk Program
Amnesty International USA

BTW – Amnesty’s just-released 2012 Word Death Penalty Report depicts a stark rise in executions in Iraq — at least 129 people were executed, almost double the 2011 figure of at least 68. Abdullah’s case is a clear illustration of the lack of respect for human rights among Iraqi authorities.

Listen To Joan Baez

Dear Gabriel,

All this month, artists and human rights activists like me have proudly raised our voices to defend human rights with Amnesty International. Now, it’s your turn.

Sunday is your last chance to double your gift. Please join me by donating to Amnesty International right now.

Your gift matters – collective action releases people from prison, torture and execution:

“I don’t regret a single moment. I celebrate the work that I do and the people I work with…We are in it together.”

That’s Jenni Williams, the inspiring co-founder of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise. She’s been arrested 43 times and been beaten severely for defending human rights in her country. Jenni credits Amnesty International members with saving her life multiple times.

Jenni is right – we’re in this together to shine a bright light on the horrific acts of violence committed by Syrian security forces against their own people, in the hopes we can help end the atrocities.

We’re in this to fervently declare love a right, not a wrong, and work to overturn the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA).

We’re wholeheartedly taking part in this because we refuse to yield to oppression and to hate, and we will not let slip our hard-fought gains.

With the world facing unprecedented assaults on human rights, Amnesty’s mission is more relevant and urgent than ever.

Your gift will help Amnesty rise to these challenges. Donate now.

Very truly yours,
Joan Baez
Musician, Human Rights Activist

California Paying For Death

Dear Gabriel,

For the first time ever, California voters have a chance to replace the deeply immoral death penalty by voting YES on Proposition 34.

The poll numbers are tight and they indicate that Californians are ready to end the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. But before they make the right decision to vote YES on 34, we need to give them the facts about how — beyond the loss of life — the death penalty imposes a very real financial burden on our state.

To do our part, we are partnering with our friends at the YES on 34 Campaign to help them reach the seven million voters necessary to win in November.

We need all hands on deck to end the death penalty in California. Can you chip in $3 today to help the YES on 34 Campaign get its state-of-the-art phone bank campaign off the ground?

The YES on 34 Campaign’s volunteers have started calling through the voter lists to reach as many voters as possible. But if we raise enough funds, they will be able to launch a state-of-the-art phone banking program with technology that allows hundreds more volunteers to phone bank from their own phones anywhere in the state.

With about seven weeks left until Election Day, your contributions are crucial. If we are going to end the death penalty in California, we are going to do it through grassroots communication.

A recent editorial endorsement from the Sacramento Bee, which for the first time in its 155 years of service took a position to end the death penalty, summed up the need for educating our state’s voter on the facts around YES on 34:

In November, California voters will have a chance, through Proposition 34, to end the death penalty and replace it with a system of life imprisonment without possibility of parole. We urge you to vote for it. While capital punishment remains popular in California, polls suggest that a majority of those surveyed would accept ending the death penalty if it were replaced with a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Numerous longtime supporters of capital punishment have concluded our system can’t be fixed and are supporting Proposition 34 because of it.1

The money you contribute today to fund YES on 34’s state-of-the-art phone bank campaign will directly boost our chances to end the death penalty. One-on-one contact is the single most effective way to turn a “no” vote into a “yes” vote.

Chip in $3 today to end the death penalty in California.

Thank you for taking action.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Stop Execution of Rape Victim

Gabriel –

Terry Williams is facing the death penalty in three weeks for killing the man who repeatedly raped him.

But when Terry was convicted, the jury didn’t know the whole story. At the time of his trial, jurors say they had no history or background of the sexual assault and abuse that Terry Williams had suffered for years.

Terry was brutally raped for five years, beginning when he was thirteen, by an older man he trusted — Amos Norwood. When the jury learned his information after the trial, five jurors came forward to say that they no longer supported his death sentence. Even Norwood’s widow has forgiven him, and does not want Terry to be executed.

Sign the petition on Change.org asking Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania to stop Terry’s execution scheduled on October 3 — click here to add your name.

“When I heard about Terry Williams’ life and his legal case, I knew I had to do what I could to stop the scheduled execution of a man who should not be on death row and would not be on death row had the jury heard all the relevant evidence,” said Sue Osthoff, Director of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, a Philadelphia-based organization that assists victims of abuse and trauma who have been charged with crimes related to their abuse.

Like many of the victims of abuse Sue assists, Terry was repeatedly victimized. For Terry, that abuse by older males in his life started when he was only six years old. Despite continuing to suffer sexual abuse for the next twelve years, Terry received no counseling or support to help him deal with the repeated violence he endured. In fact, some of the people who were supposed to help were the ones who actually preyed on him.

None of this information was presented to the jurors during Terry’s sentencing; had it been, Terry would not be on death row.

The public outcry for Terry’s clemency is growing. A broad coalition of people has joined the jurors and victim’s widow in asking that Terry’s sentence be commuted from death to life. Those calling for Terry’s life to be spared include a growing list of child advocates, victims’ rights advocates, former prosecutors and judges, law professors, mental health professionals, and faith leaders across Pennsylvania.

Sue Osthoff is very familiar with stories like Terry’s. She started this petition because she believes that if the jury had all of the evidence, they would not have sentenced Terry to death.

Join Sue in calling on Governor Corbett to spare Terry Williams’ life for killing the man who raped him.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Emilia and the Change.org team

A Terrifying Limbo

Dear Gabriel,

Moses Bak’s* childhood friend faces imminent execution, but with your help, he can save her.

She and two dozen North Korean refugees in China are in a terrifying limbo — the Chinese government wants to deport them back to North Korea, where the new “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-Un is cracking down by shooting defectors on sight and vowing to kill “three generations” of their families.

Moses escaped the nightmare of surveillance, intimidation, human rights abuses and famine in North Korea — he’s a refugee now living in Seoul, South Korea. But a young woman he’s known since they were kids in North Korea is in the group currently being detained in China.

“We have cried our eyes out,” Moses and his friends say, certain the young woman will be executed if she’s returned to North Korea. Moses’s only hope is that international pressure can save her — he started a petition on Change.org calling on world leaders including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU’s Catherine Ashton to do everything they can to stop China from deporting his friend and others back to North Korea.

Click here to sign Moses’s petition telling world leaders to stop China from sending two dozen refugees back to North Korea, where they face imprisonment and execution.

North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-Un, is ruthlessly cracking down to assert his new authority since his father, Kim Jong-Il, died. In December, Kim Jong-Un told border guards to shoot defectors on sight rather than sending them to reeducation camps and decreed defectors’ families would also be killed.

But one deadline for the deportation of these refugees has already passed, signaling that China knows it will have blood on its hands if it follows through. China may be bending to international pressure, but needs to hear more from other global leaders to release the refugees to South Korea.

Already, more than 30,000 people have signed Moses’s petition. In November, 35,000 people signed a petition on Change.org asking Secretary Clinton to call for the release of political prisoners in Burma — and she did. She also spoke out for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia after receiving a Change.org petition. If every person who cares about human rights signs Moses’s petition, world leaders like Secretary Clinton will listen again.

Click here to sign North Korean refugee Moses Bak’s petition calling on Secretary Clinton and other world leaders to stop China from sending two dozen defectors back to North Korea, where they will face imprisonment and execution.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Sarah and the Change.org team

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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