Daedalus escaping from the labyrinthReady-Made
Human Rights Letters

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—Guy Ottewell and Tilly Lavenás, founder members of the Amnesty International groups of Greenville, South Carolina, and Lyme Regis, England.

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These “remhurls” have been sent by email to a list of friends at irregular intervals (monthly, sometimes less, sometimes more) since 1996. Since 2008 we have used this better method of distribution. We are responsible for them; they are not an official production of Amnesty International, Survival International, or any other of our sources.

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The first letter is recent. Others below are some long-term cases on which we keep working. More letters on them are always needed.

posted 2014 Apr 7

HE President Dilma Rousseff
Presidente da República Federativa do Brasil
Gabinete do Presidente
Palácio do Planalto
Praça dos Três Poderes
70150-900 Brasília DF
Brazil

Your Excellency,
    It is reported that the lands of the remaining indigenous peoples of Brazil are still being destroyed for roads, dams, logging, ranching, and oil s extraction.
    If this is not stopped, even more tribes will be wiped out.
    They are dependent on the forests in which they live, and the previously uncontacted peoples, especially, can be killed by diseases from outside.
    I urge you to ensure the rights of these peoples. Their lands must be demarcated and protected so that no more is stolen from them.
    Yours respectfully and sincerely,

Survival International has a page on the contrast between Brazil's sunny image and its decimation of its native peoples:
www.survivalinternational.org/worldcup

Pa Fue Khang Thao MouaThongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister
Prime Minister's Office
Lane Xang Avenue
Vientiane
Lao People's Democratic Republic

Dear Prime Minister,
    I am concerned about Thao Moua and Pa Fue Khang, ethnic Hmong men now serving sentences of 12 and 15 years in Samkhe Prison.
    They were arrested in June 2003 for working as guides to two foreign journalists. They were shackled, and beaten with sticks and bicycle chains. They had a clearly unfair trial, with no legal representation, and a sentence written beforehand.
    I urge you to:
—Review the cases of Thao Moua and Pa Fue Khang.
—Ensure that they are subjected to no further ill-treatment.
—Release them, if there is no credible evidence of any crime committed by them.
    I look forward to the honor of an early reply from you about this important matter.

The running genocide of the Hmong, and another address to which you could send your letter

Chairman Ba Te Er
People's Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Hohhot City
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
People's Republic of China

Dear Chairman,
    It is now known that Hada is in a prison in Hohhot.
    He was brought there from Chifeng Prison on 10 December 2010— which was supposed to be the end of his 15 years of imprisonment. Another year has passed
    It is shocking that Hada not only was imprisoned so long for upholding the human rights of Mongolians, but was re-imprisoned at the end of his sentence.
    Please act justly and release Hada.

For the latest twist in the far-too-long story of the scholar Hada, see the end of this page.

Sadakazu Tanigaki,
1-1-1 Kasumigaseki,Chiyoda-ka
Tokyo 100-8977,
Japan

Dear Minister of Justice,
     I write to you about Hakamada Iwao. His case, as you know, is internationally notorious.
     He was convicted on the basis of a forced confession. The chief judge at the original trial believes that he is innocent.
     Hakamada Iwao has been on death row longer than anyone else in the world: 44 years, and 28 of them in solitary confinement. Under Japan's present rules, he could be hanged at any time, without warning. He has become insane.
     He should not be executed. He should be granted a new trial.
     I put it to you that Japan should reform its cruel death-row system. Japan should introduce a moratorium on the death penalty, joining the 140 countries that have put an ended to this primitive practice.
     Yours respectfully and sincerely,

Forced to confess, 44 years in solitary or almost-solitary, always under the shadow of the noose