Amnesty International USA held its Annual General Meeting in Brooklyn, New York a few weeks ago. During the award luncheon on March 21, it was announced that Gerry Rivadeneira has been selected for the 2015 Ladis Kristof Memorial Fellowship. New York Times journalist, Nicholas Kristof and his daughter Caroline were on hand to make the announcement. In addition, Gerry gave a brief acceptance speech.
Gerry Carolina Rivadeneira was born in Ibarra, Ecuador, and migrated to Miami, Florida at the age of 7. She is a Posse Scholar and a junior at Mount Holyoke College, where she is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Law, Public Policy and Human Rights. She learned about Amnesty International in high school and joined the leadership team in 2012 as the Student Activist Coordinator for Western Massachusetts. In the past she has worked with “Strong Women, Strong Girls” to create cycles of mutual empowerment for women and girls, and with “The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts” to help advances social change philanthropy to create economic and social equality for women.
Urgent Action UA 70/15
24 March 2015
Detained Activist at Risk of Torture
Kuwaiti human rights activist Nawaf al-Hendal was arrested and beaten as he monitored apeaceful demonstration in Erada Square in Kuwait City on 23 March. He is a prisoner of conscience. At least 17 other Kuwaiti men were arrested at the same time, including a lawyer.
Nawaf al-Hendal is a well-known human rights activist who founded the Kuwait Watch Organization for Human Rights in early December 2014. He was arrested on 23 March as he was monitoring a peaceful demonstration organized by Kuwaiti opposition groups calling for reforms including “upholding freedom of expression and assembly as guaranteed by the constitution”, “the release of prisoners of conscience” and “the abolition of unfair and retaliatory withdrawal of citizenship for political reasons”. Nawaf al-Hendal was beaten during arrest and had his phone confiscated. Continue reading
Tomorrow, after Friday prayers on January 9, Saudi Arabia plans to publicly flog Prisoner of Conscience Raif Badawi. His crime? Freely expressing his ideas online.
Raif started the Saudi Arabian Liberals, a blog where readers could openly discuss religion, politics and other topics in Saudi Arabia. In retaliation for this peaceful act, Raif is serving 10 years and was sentenced to 1,000 lashes.
According to information obtained by Amnesty International, Raif will be subjected to approximately 50 lashes tomorrow, while the rest of the full sentence of 1,000 lashes will be meted out over a period of 20 weeks.
Raif Badawi was initially charged with “apostasy,” a crime that carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. He has been detained since June 17, 2012. His lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is also serving a 15-year sentence for his work in defense of human rights. Raif’s wife and children escaped to Canada. We need to do all we can to reunite him with his family.
Twenty weeks of agony. Ten years of imprisonment. This is the painful price of criticizing religious authorities in Saudi Arabia.
Sign this online petition to demand Saudi Arabia immediately release Raif Badawi and halt this abhorrent flogging.
January 2, 2015
An Egyptian court’s call for a retrial of three jailed Al Jazeera journalists acknowledges major flaws in the original convictions but leaves the men in unjust incarceration, Amnesty International said today.
“By calling for a retrial the Egyptian courts are prolonging the injustice that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed have faced,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.
“These men should never have been jailed in the first place and should not have to spend one more day in prison. Instead of prolonging their unjust detention pending a retrial, they must be freed immediately.”
Write for Rights is Amnesty International’s annual global letter writing marathon. Every December, Amnesty supporters write millions of messages for people whose basic human rights are under attack.
Date: Friday, December 12, 2014
Time: 7:30-9pm (set up starts at 7:00pm)
Location: Buchan Building at First Unitarian Church (church map)
1011 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR