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Posts tagged ‘tortured’

Held In Hell

W1312EAIAR3It took Miriam Isaura López Vargas several weeks to piece together what happened to her.

On Feb. 2, 2011, the 30-year-old mother of four had just dropped three of her children off at school when two masked men forced her into a van, blindfolded her and tied her hands. The men drove her to military barracks 50 miles away.

Soldiers raped and otherwise tortured her repeatedly, trying to force her to “confess” to drug trafficking and incriminate other detainees, unknown to Miriam. She was held in this hell, without charges, for 8 months before being released.

Urge Mexico’s Attorney General to conduct a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the torture of Miriam López.

Miriam is not alone. Torture cases have skyrocketed in Mexico.

According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission Reports, torture and ill-treatment rose an astounding 500 percent in Mexico from 2005 to 2012.

Miriam has identified those responsible, yet no charges have been filed. Even if charges were filed, convictions for such crimes are rare.

December 15 is a key day for Miriam’s case: it marks two years since she filed an official complaint and yet there is very little progress.

Who do you turn to when government soldiers rape with impunity? The massive global human rights force of Amnesty International.

Miriam is one of 10 urgent human rights cases highlighted in Amnesty International’s 2013 Write for Rights campaign, the world’s largest and most effective letter-writing event.

Together, we’ve helped free enough prisoners of conscience to fill Madison Square Garden – twice.

Today, I’m asking you to help Miriam live free from fear. Make your voice heard – demand justice for Miriam.

In solidarity,

Jasmine Heiss
Campaigner, Individuals and Communities at Risk
Amnesty International USA

Help Family In Bahrain

Dear Gabriel,

No one wanted it to come to this, but it has.

My father, prominent Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is on a 9-week hunger strike protesting the life sentence he received for peaceful protest.

In prison, security forces broke his jaw in four places and subjected him to severe physical, psychological and sexual torture. Since his arrest last year, my mother was fired from her job, my sister was arrested five times, and my brothers-in-law were arrested and tortured.

Authorities decide when to let anyone from my family see him. The human rights of my family and of thousands of peaceful Bahrainis like us have been deeply violated by the government.

My father doesn’t want to end his life. He wants to end injustice and violence against the Bahraini people.

Help me break through now, to save his life. Demand the immediate and unconditional release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.

Many governments have shamefully ignored the daily and widespread human rights violations in my country. As controversy swirls around Bahrain’s plans to host the Grand Prix auto race this month, Bahraini authorities desperately try to assure the world that all is back to “business as usual.” But the people of Bahrain continue to call for change, and my father may pay for that goal with his life. Pressure from people like you may force action.

As one activist to another, I ask for your help securing the release of my father and of all of the unjustly imprisoned activists in Bahrain. Delay could mean death.

Please take action for my father today. I am forever grateful for your support.

In solidarity,

Maryam al-Khawaja
Head of Foreign Relations, Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Daughter of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja

Arrest the Torturers

From Avaaz.org

Arrest the Torturers

Dear Friends,

This is hard to report, but Avaaz’s own members are being tortured by Syria’s monstrous regime. Manhal* reports that he was held in a secret prison where they pulled out his fingernails and toenails and electrocuted his body parts. “I have seen death, and I’ve been tortured nearly to death,” he’s told us. But if we act now, we can make Manhal’s sacrifice the last straw that turns the whole world against the Assad regime.

The Arab League’s observers have failed to stop the brutal crackdown, but pressure on Assad is mounting. Avaaz has just released a terrifying report revealing the scale of Syria’s detention facilities, including what they did to Manhal. If we build a massive global outcry now, we can force key governments to confront the horrors in this report and accelerate the end of Assad.

Sign the petition right now, and when we reach 500,000 signatures we’ll deliver it along with Avaaz’s report to the Arab League and the United Nations Security Council, demanding they refer Assad to the International Criminal Court to be tried for crimes against humanity:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/arrest_syrias_torturers_/?vl

The UN has already stated that there have been crimes against humanity in Syria. Now the regime is being dealt its next critical blow — a harrowing report compiled by Avaaz’s brave Syrian activists making the final link that those crimes against humanity were committed by high-level members of the Assad regime. No other report has detailed high-level links to regime torture to this extent — it could be our best chance to get the world to act.

We all had hoped that the Arab League’s monitoring mission could stop the violence, but they have been compromised and discredited. Despite witnessing Assad’s snipers first-hand, the monitors have just extended their observation period without a call for urgent action. This is allowing countries like Russia, China and India to stall the United Nations from taking action, while the regime’s pathetic defense for its despicable acts has been that it is fighting a terrorist insurgency, not a peaceful democracy movement. But reports like the one Avaaz is releasing put the lie to this corrupt and atrocious regime. Now we just need the world to witness the horrors it contains.

The time could be up for Assad if we raise a deafening wave of public pressure to tip the scales. Let’s unite the world to demand that the UN Security Council refer the brutal Syrian regime to the International Criminal Court to be tried for crimes against humanity. Sign now and tell everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/arrest_syrias_torturers_/?vl

Across the Arab world, people power has toppled dictator after dictator, and our amazing Avaaz community has been at the heart of these struggles for democracy, breaking the media blackouts imposed by corrupt leaders, empowering citizen journalists, providing vital emergency relief to communities under siege, and helping protect hundreds of activists and their families from regime thugs. Let’s not let Manhal’s suffering for freedom be in vain. Let’s demand the UN take action now.

With hope and determination,

Luis, Ian, Maria Paz, Ricken, Emma, Stephanie, Wissam, Heather and the whole Avaaz team

* – “Manhal’s” name has been changed to protect his identity.

Teachers In Bahrain

The nightmare faced by two teachers in Bahrain. It’s why we Write for Rights.

Dear Gabriel,

The terrifying threats. “We can do anything to you. Anything.” Mocked, tortured, threatened. Forced to sign a confession, without even being allowed to read it. Civilians subject to an unjust military trial.

This is the story of two former leaders of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association, Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, who were arrested and ill-treated during this spring’s protests in Bahrain. Jalila and Mahdi are among the 15 cases featured in Amnesty’s Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon this year.

Write a letter for Jalila and Mahdi, and other urgent human rights cases — join thousands of others worldwide to Write for Rights this December.

Your letters are urgently needed. Next week marks a key milestone in Jalila and Mahdi’s case. One day after International Human Rights Day on December 10th, Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb face an appeal hearing.

Why are these two teachers considered so “dangerous”? Because their trade union called for a teachers strike during Bahraini protests this spring — protests seeking reform of a government that has used torture and excessive force against its own citizens.

Jalila and Mahdi have seen the horrific behavior of Bahrain’s government firsthand. Mahdi spent 64 days in solitary confinement, where he says he was tortured. And when Jalila demanded a lawyer after her arrest, she says the authorities rebuffed her with the chilling words: “Who said you would have a lawyer in here? It’s us, only us. And we have the permission to do anything to you to [get] the testimony we want.”

After unfair trials before a military court, Jalila was sentenced to three years in prison, and Mahdi was sentenced to ten years. It’s clear that Bahrain’s authorities have no regard for human rights.

Don’t let Jalila and Mahdi face their appeal hearing alone. Be there by writing a letter. It’s not too late — join us to Write for Rights.

Thank You,

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

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