Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘Nobel Peace Prize’

China’s Most Famous

Gabriel –

You may not know his name, but my friend Liu Xiaobo is a global icon for freedom. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights.

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Today, this hero remains in jail, as China’s most famous political prisoner.

Xiaobo is serving an 11-year term for his activism demanding that the Chinese government make his country more democratic and make its courts more independent. His wife, who has never been convicted of any crime, is under house arrest. This is not just.

I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for my work fighting the racist Apartheid system in South Africa. I am humbled to share the Nobel legacy with someone so brave as Xiaobo.

Today, with more than 130 other Nobel Prize winners, I am calling on the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to release Liu Xiaobo from prison and his wife, Xia, from house arrest.

Click here to join us and call for their freedom by signing the petition I started on Change.org.

This is an historic moment in China. Every 10 years, the Chinese government hands over power to a new generation of leadership. As of a few weeks ago, Xi Jinping has succeeded his predecessor, Hu Jintao, in leading China — and hopes are that he will open China to reform more than any of his predecessors.

The Chinese government doesn’t usually listen to voices from outside the country. (Or voices from within the country, for that matter!) But the world has a singular opportunity to push for change when China’s leadership changes over every 10 years. This is our chance!

Humans are wonderful, and we can do amazing things when we act together. I have seen this time and time again with my own eyes.

Click here to sign my petition now, and call on China’s new Premier Xi Jinping to release Nobel Peace Prizer winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia.

Brothers and sisters, we are going to move mountains together!

God bless you,

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Cape Town, South Africa

In Jail With Her Innocent Clients

Dear Gabriel,

ye2012_nasrin_rcNasrin Sotoudeh has had enough.

One of Iran’s most prominent human rights attorneys, Nasrin is serving a six-year prison sentence for defending political activists and juveniles facing the death penalty.

While Nasrin is in jail, authorities have gone out of their way to harass her husband and children.

LIGHT THE WAY to freedom for prisoners of conscience around the world. Click here to support Amnesty International’s work to defend human rights.

Iranian authorities are doing their utmost to silence the families of political prisoners.

When Nasrin’s husband Reza Khandan wrote a letter protesting her harsh treatment in prison, he was accused of “disturbing public opinion,” detained in Evin Prison overnight and questioned while blindfolded.

When authorities discovered that Nasrin had been using a tissue to write her defense for an upcoming court hearing, they cut off face-to-face visits with her 13-year-old daughter and five-year-old son.

Nasrin went on a seven-week hunger strike in protest.

But there is hope. The “judicial restrictions” placed on Nasrin’s daughter were removed today after increased public pressure from Amnesty International activists and others, ending Nasrin’s hunger strike.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has denounced Nasrin’s unjust imprisonment, calling her a “sincere colleague and a very courageous Iranian attorney.”

In October, after receiving the Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders, Nasrin issued the following statement from prison:

Iranian society has never ignored its fundamental rights, but has paid heavily in doing so. They have never stopped their efforts because of arrest, incarceration, [or] judicial prosecution. I am proud to defend each and every one of [my] cases. I am glad and satisfied to endure incarceration alongside my innocent clients.

Nasrin’s children need their mother back, and the Iranian people need their brave human rights hero set free.

Your gift today can make a difference to victims of repression like Nasrin. Donate now.

Gabriel, your generosity makes Amnesty work.

Thank you for your continued dedication and support.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Nossel
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA

Nobel Prize for Malala

Gabriel –

One month ago, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Malala’s crime? She wanted to go to school, and ran a campaign in Pakistan to help girls gain access to education.

Malala has been an activist for years — when she was 11, she worked as an anonymous blogger for the BBC to expose information about her Taliban-ruled area of Pakistan. Now, even as she recovers from being shot in the head, Malala says, “All I want is an education. And I’m afraid of no one.”

In response to Malala’s extraordinary courage, people all over the world are calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Bonnie Lloyd, a professor of sociology in Rochester, New York, started a petition on Change.org asking Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. Click here to sign Bonnie’s petition.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been used for decades to bring global attention to important issues, from landmines to apartheid to the US civil rights movement. Bonnie believes the time is right to focus on girls being denied the right to go to school, and honoring Malala’s bravery is a great way to do that.

“The hopes and dreams of girls throughout the world are no longer hidden – yet there is much to do, as Malala’s wounds attest,” Bonnie says about her petition. “By nominating Malala Yousafzai, these global leaders will send a clear message: We stand with Malala and with girls everywhere in their fight for the right to equal opportunity through education.”

As two of the highest ranking women in the history of US government, a nomination for Malala from Secretaries Clinton and Rice would be a strong signal to the global community that Malala’s fight is important to people in the US.

Secretary Clinton has responded to petitions on Change.org before — last year, she publicly declared support for Saudi women’s right to drive for the first time and credited a Change.org petition. Bonnie believes that if enough people sign her petition, Secretaries Clinton and Rice will take a stand to support Malala and girls all over the world who just want to go to school.

Click here to sign Bonnie’s petition calling on Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice to nominate Malala Yousafzai for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Rachel and the Change.org team

21 Years Later

Dear Gabriel,

21 years later, the Nobel Peace Prize is finally where it belongs — in the hands of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Burmese human rights defender made history this weekend when she officially accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. When Suu Kyi was originally awarded the Prize in 1991, she was under house arrest and couldn’t accept it in person. She wasn’t freed until November 2010 — after years of international pressure and thousands upon thousands of letters from Amnesty activists like you demanding her release.

We shone a light for Aung San Suu Kyi. Now we need to shine a light of freedom for every last prisoner of conscience in Myanmar. Hundreds of political prisoners remain behind bars there, simply for calling for freedom and democracy.

Myanmar must unlock the doors and free all prisoners of conscience now!

Watching Aung San Suu Kyi travel freely around the world with passport and now Nobel Peace Prize in hand fills us with joy and hope. But we cannot rest until all prisoners of conscience have been freed. And this is what Aung San Suu Kyi herself urged us to do in her Nobel acceptance speech on Saturday:

“… I was once a prisoner of conscience. As you look at me and listen to me, please remember the often-repeated truth that ‘one prisoner of conscience is one too many.'” — Aung San Suu Kyi

Today in Dublin, Ireland, Amnesty International will celebrate the remarkable life’s work of Aung San Suu Kyi by awarding her the prestigious “Ambassador of Conscience Award.” There is no better day to honor Suu Kyi and echo the powerful message that she and Amnesty International have long supported — that human rights matter.

When you take action now, Myanmar’s government will hear our message loud and clear — where there is freedom for one, there must be freedom for all!

In solidarity,

Michael O’Reilly
Senior Director, Individuals at Risk Campaign
Amnesty International USA

Sex, War & Heroes in Liberia

From Nation of Change and Gritt TV
by Laura Flanders
31 December 2011

“Nobel Peace Prize. Author of ‘Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War’, Gbowee talks here about where the US and foreign NGOS go wrong in post-war countries and what there is to learn from the success of the LIberian women’s peace movement.”

Peace making is a local affair, says activist Laymeh Gbowee, co-founder of the Women’s Peace Network in Liberia in this interview with Laura Flanders recorded just weeks before Gbowee won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Author of Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, Gbowee talks here about where the US and foreign NGOS go wrong in post-war countries and what there is to learn from the success of the LIberian women’s peace movement. After their success, helping to end to a decades-long civil war in 2003, the women of Liberia became heroes. But no one saw them that way at the start, says Gbowee. When they marched in the rain, camped in the blazing sun, and blockaded the doors of peace-negotiations they were confronting the warlords largely alone.

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was first elected, she was hailed as her continent’s first democratically elected female leader, but outsiders were skeptical about her campaign — and her chances — it was grassroots women who supported her at the start, and women who backed her re-election this year. Sirleaf, who demanded a women-only UN peace keeping force in Liberia and attention specifically to women’s empowerment as a peace-making strategy, was another winner with Gbowee of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. The Women’s Peace Network has now been celebrated in Abby Disney’s documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. (featured on GRITtv in 2009.) This is part of a longer interview. The full conversation will be featured later this year, in the upcoming Laura Flanders Show.

Watch video and interview at Nation of Change.

Nobel Prize Winner In Jail

From Amnesty International

If the Chinese government had it their way, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo would never receive his rightful recognition.

Earlier this month, three women were named recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for promoting women’s rights and women’s participation in peace-building. Yet, the winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Chinese human rights defender Liu Xiaobo, still languishes behind prison bars for seeking to promote peaceful political and social reforms in China.

In the days surrounding International Human Rights Day (December 10), you can shine a light for Liu Xiaobo and for others whose rights have been denied.

We’re asking you to take one simple action: Write a letter.

This can be a letter of passion and outrage to a government guilty of repressing free expression and denying other human rights.

Or it can be a letter of solidarity and hope sent directly to someone who needs reassurance that they are not alone.

Liu Xiaobo is just one case featured in this year’s annual Write for Rights – Global Write-a-thon – Amnesty’s largest global human rights event. Sign up now and let your letters be counted!

Since Amnesty’s founding 50 years ago, people throughout the world have joined together in classrooms, coffee houses and community centers to take action. They were united by a simple, yet powerful, tool for change – the letter.

Need proof that written words are powerful? Look no further than Liu Xiaobo – whose words of hope and freedom are seen as such a threat by authorities in China that they have imprisoned him because of them.

Now he and others need you to carry their torch by picking up a pen. You don’t need to be a Nobel Prize winner to Write for Rights! Stand with human rights supporters around the world by joining the Global Write-a-thon.

With hope,

Michael O’Reilly
Senior Campaign Director
Individuals at Risk
Amnesty International USA

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