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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|The first three letters below are recent. Others below are some
long-term cases on which we keep working. More letters on them are
posted 2013 July 23
Zhao Zhixin Juzhang
Wuxishi Gong'anju 58 Chongninglu, Wuxishi 214002
People's Republic of China
Fax: 011 86 510 81133034
I am urgently concerned about Ding Hongfen,
Shen Aibin, Xu Haifeng, Qu Fengsheng, Wu Ping, and Zheng Bingyuan.They
have been detained in various places at Wuxi since June 23, for
defending human rights.
Please ensure that they are not tortured,
and are released.
Yours respectfully and sincerely,
These six brave women (the first three) and men broke into a black
jail to release five relatives and friends, who had been illegally
imprisoned for petitioning for compensation after they had been
forcibly evicted from their houses. Ding Hongfen and about 30 others
were seized by a large crowd apparently sent from a police station,
half of them wearing uniforms. Some of the activists were later
released, but these six have undergone incommunicado detention (the
dangerously secret state in which anything can happen to them) and
have been moved from place to place; Ding Hongfen was strapped to
a tiger bench, a form of torture used in interrogation.
The fuller story, explanation of black jails and tiger
benches and other outrages of China's prison system, and other
addresses to which you could send your message, are in Amnesty International's
Urgent Action 180/13 of 22 July: http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/uaa18013.pdf
posted 2013 June 16
Président de la République
Présidence de la République
Republic of Chad
On February 3, 2008, opposition leader
Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh was arrested by members of the Chadian
security forces. Nobody has seen him since.
I urge the Chadian government to carry out the recommendations of
the National Commission of Inquiry into the events:
Initiate criminal proceedings
against those who have committed violations of human rights, especially
against those responsible for enforced disappearances.
Reveal as soon as possible the
location of missing persons, including Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh.
This appeal is made by Amnesty International Group 297 of France,
at Carcassonne. They would like other Amnesty groups to collaborate
on the case of Ibni Oumar, whose son they know. If you are interested,
please contact Néli Busch.
For more information, including more addresses
and a version of the letter in French, please click here.
posted 2013 Jan 22
Presidente de la República del Perú
Palacio de Gobierno
Plaza de Armas
I am concerned about the planned expansion
of the Camisea Gas project. It has proved disastrous for Indians
in the surrounding area.
Uncontacted tribes in Peru are vulnerable
to diseases brought in by outsiders. They are in danger of being
exterminated. They have the right to live undisturbed on their own
I urge you to protect the lands belonging
to these people:
All extraction of natural resources
by outsiders should be prohibited.
All loggers should be removed.
Other outsiders should be prevented
Your government should recognize the
tribes as the rightful owners of their land. That is your obligation
under international law.
The infprmation comes from Survival International:
Thammavong, Prime Minister
Prime Minister's Office
Lane Xang Avenue
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
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
People's Republic of China
It is now known that Hada is in a prison
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
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