Thursday, October 25, 2012

Human Rights action Oct. 19-25

To Wafiq and any Muslim readers

We start as usual with China. 

Six villagers from Zhengding County, Hebei Province in China have been detained after petitioning for the release of a local Falun Gong practitioner. Three have been sentenced to Re-education through Labour (RTL) and three have been criminally charged. They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. I append a link to the Urgent Action call.
You will need to open the link and then click on the download button to obtain the rtf file.  If anyone has difficulty with this, please email me and I will send you the call.
I also append a template letter.

Eric Lee has labor rights cases that require no more than a click and a few details. They include urgent action appeals from the Philippines and Korea and an update on a worsening situation in Zimbabwe, Please act.

Finally a local case involving the abuse of a religious freedom activist in Israel. Anat Hoffman was arrested, shackled, strip searched and made to sleep on a cell floor all for the crime of wearing a talit, singing Shma Yisrael and holding a Torah scroll at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  I append a link to a protest petition. Just click that you are not me and enter your own details to sign the petition.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Human Rights Action Update Oct.12-18


We start with a protest and support message for Mahalah Yousufzai who as you all know was shot by the Taliban for the crime of wanting an education.

I have just sent off a message in support of one of LabourStart's online campaigns to support workers' NGO's in China and Hongkong and I'd like to invite you to do so as well. You can show your support by clicking here to learn more and send off a message too:

On to China and Mao Hengfeng

Rights defender Mao Hengfeng detained
Mao Hengfeng, a housing rights and reproductive rights defender, was taken away by men in plain clothes believed to be Shanghai police officers in Beijing on 30 September. She was subsequently taken from Beijing to Shanghai, and is now detained in the Yangpu district police detention centre. She is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
According to legal documents shown to Mao Hengfeng’s family, the decision by local authorities to detain her was made on 24 September and relates to her participation in a commemorative activity for deceased petitioner (someone who is seeking redress for perceived injustices from the Government) Teng Jingdi earlier this year. However, Amnesty International believes her detention is aimed at preventing her from carrying out campaigning work during the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party scheduled to convene on 8 November.
On 30 September, Mao and several other human rights activists met in Beijing to celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival.  According to her family, as the group were waiting for a bus at Shiliqiao bus station in Beijing, they were targeted by two men in plain clothes who were believed to be Shanghai police officers.  The group split up as the two men approached the activists. Mao got on to a bus but was tailed by a police car.  Shortly after this she was apprehended and taken away. On 2 October at around 1am, Mao was taken from Beijing to Shanghai, her home city. Later that day, at 2pm, the Shanghai police notified Mao’s family that Mao was detained in the Yangpu district police detention centre in Shanghai under suspicion of “gathering to disturb order at a public place” under article 291 of the Chinese Criminal Code.
Amnesty International considers Mao Hengfeng to be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for her work as a human rights campaigner/ defender.
Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language:
n                    Expressing concern that Mao Hengfeng is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for her human rights campaigning, and calling on the authorities to release her immediately and unconditionally.
n                    Calling on the authorities to ensure Mao Hengfeng is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.
n                    Calling on the authorities to ensure that Mao Hengfeng has access to the necessary medical assistance and treatment she may require.


Chief of the Public Security Bureau, Yangpu Branch, Shanghai Municipal, 
Cai Tian Juzhang
No. 2049 Pingliang Road,
Yangpuqu, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China
Telephone: +86 21 65431000 (Chinese only)
Fax: +86 22 170130
Salutation: Dear Chief of Public Security Bureau
Chief of the Public Security Bureau, Shanghai Municipal,
Zhang Xuebing Juzhang        
No.128 Wuning South Road
Jing’an, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China
Telephone: +86 21 62310110 (Chinese only)
Fax: +86 24 062676
Salutation: Dear Chief of Public Security Bureau
And copies to:
Secretary of Political and Legal Committee of Shanghai Municipal
Ding Xuexiang Shuji
No.200 Renmin Avenue
Huangpuqu, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China
Telephone: +86 23 111111 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Secretary

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
rights defender Mao Hengfeng detained

Additional Information

Mao Hengfeng has been repeatedly detained for her work defending women’s reproductive rights and victims of forced evictions in China. In March 2010, Mao was assigned 18 months of “Re-education Through Labour” (RTL) for her activism. While in RTL, she was tortured. She was released on 22 February 2011 on medical parole due to her high blood pressure and serious injuries caused by the torture she suffered while in detention. According to her own account, she partially lost feeling on the left half of her body and could not move properly. Shortly before her release on 22 February, Mao Hengfeng had been sent to two different hospitals for medical checks. A doctor did a CT scan on her head and found signs of bleeding in her brain.
On 24 February 2011, two days after her release on medical parole, she was taken back into custody for having violated the terms of medical parole and was detained in the Shanghai Prison Hospital.  On 27 July 2011, Mao Hengfeng fell ill again, kept slipping in and out of consciousness and was unable to eat or drink water. On 28 July, the prison hospital was worried about her health condition, so decided to end her RTL.  Upon her release, she remained under police surveillance.
The commemorative activity that Mao Hengfeng was attending was for petitioner Teng Jingdi, a victim of forced evictions. In China a petitioner is used to describe someone who is seeking redress for perceived injustices from the Government.

Name: Mao Hengfeng, Teng Jingdi
Gender m/f: Mao Hengfeng (f), Teng Jingdi (f)

We call your attention to the case of Chen Kegui who is in custody now.  Please act.
Chen Kegui, nephew of human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, was detained on 30 April in Yinan county, Shandong province, China. He has been held in incommunicado detention for more than five months. He is being denied access to his lawyers and family – who are also being harassed and intimidated. He is at risk of torture, an unfair trial and a possible death sentence.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Human Rights Update Oct. 6-10

We are coming out a day early because of the International Day of the Girl.
International Day of the Girl
October 11, 2012 International Day of the Girl October 11, 2012 Join us in this International Day of the Girl Child celebration by raising your hand for educating, empowering and protecting girls. Stop by the official Facebook page to be counted, get details about the day and follow the celebrations across the globe.

Raise your hand now

We refer you to the Because I am A Girl media site to do what you choose and can.

Meet Fabiola from Cameroon:
Fabiola is a high school student from rural Cameroon. She is a member of Plan Cameroon’s Youth Empowerment through Technology, Arts and Media (YETAM) project. Along with other youth, Fabiola produces youth media to raise awareness and create positive change in gender issues and girls’ access to their rights. She has produced media pieces on early marriage, early pregnancies, school dropout, and education of the girl child for other youth, parents and local leaders as well. In addition to media production, Fabiola is also a talented singer and songwriter. She has a powerful and passionate voice which she lends to songs of encouragement and empowerment for girls of her community.  Read more about Fabiola and other girls around the world who are doing things.  Just go to the Web site.

The city of Belgrade is prohibiting the Pride March for the second consecutive year.  Please act.

Migrants have been abducted by gangs in Mexico.  Please act.
Details of the Mexican Embassy in Israel: 25 Hamared St. Trade Tower 5th floor
Tel Aviv Fax: 035163711

Death in childbirth is far too common in Sierra Leone.  Please let the president know that you are aware and that you expect something to be done about it.
Patients and relatives waiting outside hospital. Freetown, Sierra Leone, 21 September 2009. © Amnesty International
Good news, jailed union activists released in Morocco and Algeria thanks to protests from around the world.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Human Rights actions Sept. 30-)ct.4

We start with a misguided court decision in Germany that impacts the rights of women and girls.  Rape must not be glossed over on technicalities that are wrong.

Please act on the petition.

A labor leader has been abducted in Algeria.  Please act.
Algerian IUF representative and human rights activist Yacine Zaïd 
The last is a continuation of the Falun Gong arrests from last week.  The html link did not work so the entire text of the UA follows:

more falun gong at risk of torture in china
Four Falun Gong practitioners are being held in Jiamusi Detention Centre in China after being arbitrarily detained on 10 September. They are at risk of torture and ill-treatment.
Shortly after 7.00 pm on 10 September – at the same time that nine other Falun Gong practitioners were being detained in another home in Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang province, China – plain-clothed police officers broke into Ren Shuxian’s home and detained a group of Falun Gong practitioners meeting there. Ren Shuxian, Wang Yingxia, Zhang Limin and his wife Qiu Yujie, and Liu Hongli and her eight-year-old daughter were taken to the Jianshe Police Station. Qiu Yujie was taken out of the house on a stretcher.
At 1.00 am on 11 September, Liu Hongli’s daughter was released and collected by her father. While at the police station Liu Hongli developed symptoms of a serious heart condition and was sent to hospital. After a check-up she was returned to the police station. However, her condition worsened and she was sent back to the hospital. After being sent back and forth from the police station to the hospital twice more, Liu Hongli was finally sent home in the evening of 11 September.
On 11 September, the remaining four in custody were transferred to the Jiamusi Detention Centre. Two of them have reportedly begun hunger striking. Most of those detained previously spent time in prison or re-education through labour camps on account of their beliefs. Wang Yingxia previously spent three years in prison.
When family members enquired about the detainees on 10 September, the police refused to provide any information and told the family to inquire with the city’s Public Security Bureau. Neither detention nor arrest warrants were presented by the police. According to sources on the ground, officers from several public security offices were present during the detentions, including the local police and Public Security and National Security Bureau officials.
Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language:
n                    Calling on the Chinese authorities to release all those being held in custody (naming them), as they are detained solely on the basis of exercising their freedom of belief;
n                    Ensuring that all those detained are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while they are in custody.


Gonganju juzhang
Jiang Zhifang
Baoweilu 100 hao, Jiamusishi.
People’s Republic of China 154000
Tel: +86 454 8298114 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Chief of the Public Security Bureau

Zhengfawei shuji
Liu Chen
Chang’anlu, Xiduan 2666 hao
Jiamusishi,  Heilongjiangsheng
People’s Republic of China 154000
Tel: +86 454 8224598 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Party Secretary

And copies to:
Wang Xiangui
202 Zhongshanlu 202, Harbin
People’s Republic of China
Tel: +86 451 82622351, +86 451 82625015 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Governor

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation   
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

more falun gong at risk of torture in china

ADditional Information

Falun Gong is a spiritual movement, which gained a large number of supporters in China during the 1990s. After the movement staged a peaceful gathering in Tiananmen Square in July 1999, the government outlawed the group and launched a long-term campaign of persecution. Individuals are imprisoned for their spiritual beliefs and for exercising their rights to freedom of expression by distributing materials about the group. They are sentenced to long prison terms, held in psychiatric hospitals, re-education through labour facilities (a form of administrative detention imposed without charge, trial or judicial review), and held in specialized detention centres, where the mission is to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners by forcing them via coercion into renouncing their spiritual beliefs, often through the use of torture and ill-treatment.
Torture and other ill-treatment is common in all forms of detention, despite China’s ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1988. Amnesty International has documented numerous deaths in custody believed to have been caused by torture and other ill-treatment, and torture and ill-treatment leading to permanent disability, including of of Falun Gong practitioners.
Name: Ren Shuxian (f), Wang Yingxia (f), Zhang Limin (m), Qiu Yujie (f), Liu Hongli (f)
Gender m/f: Both

UA: 269/12 Index: ASA 17/035/2012 Issue Date: 18 September 2012