Stop Arkansas’ execution assembly line

Next week, Arkansas will start up what many are calling an “assembly line of death”. Don. Bruce. Stacey. Ledell. Jack. Marcel. Jason. Kenneth. These are the eight men that Arkansas plans to execute over the course of ten days.

Eight executions in ten days is more than any state has undergone since the Supreme Court reinstated the capital punishment in 1976. So why the rush? Arkansas has exactly eight doses left of a crucial drug used to perform lethal injections, and it’s set to expire at the end of April. So, Governor Asa Hutchinson has scheduled eight executions packed into a ten-day period – as if the justice system was a conveyor belt. This rush to execute is wrong and reckless.

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Speak up for refugees

SYRIA-CONFLICT-REFUGEES-WEATHER-SNOWWe are in the worst refugee crisis since WWII, with over 21.3 million refugees across the globe. But dozens of hateful anti-refugee bills have been introduced in Congress—and the president has signed an anti-refugee executive order, carrying the force of law. The order bans Syrian refugees; bans visa holders from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days; and suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) for 120 months. At a time when U.S. leadership is vital to protecting lives, the U.S. is abdicating its responsibilities. The executive order signed discrimination into law and amounts to a Muslim ban. Refugees are being scapegoated in the name of national security.

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2016 Write for Rights and Holiday Potluck

AIUSA Group 48 will once again host its annual Write for Rights and holiday potluck in December. Write for Rights is Amnesty International’s annual global letter writing marathon that generate millions of messages for people whose basic human rights are under attack.

Date: Friday, December 9, 2016

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

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Tell police to respect the right to protest at Standing Rock

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Amnesty International sent delegations to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation as human rights observers to monitor the response of police to those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Observers witnessed police using excessive force against peaceful human rights defenders, confronting men, women and children.

Under international human rights standards, police should seek to de-escalate tensions and facilitate – not hinder – the right to peaceful protest. Police have instead treated the situation as a battlefield, with military grade armored vehicles, machine guns, surveillance and riot gear.

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Protect human rights in Turkey

In the wake of the failed coup in Turkey, the Turkish government has unleashed a dangerous crackdown.

From purging the country’s academic leaders to shutting down news outlets, hard-won human rights victories are under serious attack.

At least 260 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured amid the failed coup attempt, according to government accounts.

Many news websites have been blocked, arrest warrants have been issued for journalists (some of whom are now in detention) and tens of thousands of people have been suspended or removed from their jobs – including police, judges, prosecutors and others.

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