We 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.
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.
Officials at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are doing everything they can to jumpstart executions after over a decade without them — and with the largest death row in the country, they could fast track dozens of cases for execution.
In order to resume executions, California needs to pass a new lethal injection procedure. That’s where you come in: by state law, new procedures must go through a Public Comment Period.
That means anyone in the world, in any language, can send in a comment. The CDCR is required to READ and RESPOND to every substantive comment.
Your action can delay California’s CDCR from using the death penalty and give time to end the death penalty there once and for all.
Today, Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox walked free, more than 40 years after he was first put into solitary confinement.
He was the United States’ longest serving prisoner held in isolation. Nearly every day for more than half of his life, Albert Woodfox woke up in a cell the size of a parking space, surrounded by concrete and steel.
Tomorrow morning, for the first time in more than four decades, he will be able to walk outside and look up into the sky.
Amnesty International USA
August 13, 2015
Amnesty International USA Statement on Connecticut Supreme Court
Death Penalty Decision
Today, the Connecticut Supreme Court struck down exemptions to the state’s 2012 death penalty ban, which had excluded the 11 inmates currently on death row. In response, James Clark, Amnesty International USA’s senior campaigner on the death penalty, released the following statement:
“Today’s ruling that any use of the death penalty in Connecticut is unconstitutional brings the state closer in line with the majority of the country, which is abandoning the death penalty in law and in practice.
“It’s encouraging that the court determined that the death penalty fails to meet ‘contemporary standards of decency’ and serves no ‘legitimate penological purpose.’ Connecticut can now stand fully among the 19 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have abolished the death penalty.”