Thursday, March 7, 2013

Human Rights Action update March 1-7

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
Friday is International Women's Day and indeed the state of human rights of women around the world needs much more than a day of florid speeches and parades.  We can start with a fifteen year old rape survivor who is facing flogging for "fornication" in the Maldives. Flogging sentences for fornication are all too common in the Maldives -- and the victims are almost invariably women. When visiting the country in 2011, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called flogging "one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women". She called on the Maldives to stop this barbaric practice. You can help by clicking the link and signing the protest petition.

In Yemen, 200 youngsters are locked in a cramped jail, 40 to a cell, waiting to hear whether their government will execute them. But in just 24 hours we have a rare moment to end this child killing when Yemeni ministers meet with Western governments for a major London summit.  You can join a petition that will be delivered at the meeting to help shame the Yemini government on this issue. Now is the day.

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk  has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for criticizing the King of Thailand. I append an Amnesty Urgent Action posting issued before the sentencing for the details and the addresses. Please write to the Thai government to comply with international standards of freedom of expression.

On March 18 - 28, 2013 world leaders will convene to negotiate the first ever treaty that will help prevent keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers, such as armed groups and government forces that put children into combat. Please let President Obama know that the eyes of the world are on him since he holds the key to this issue.

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