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  • Call your Senators: Oppose Pro-Torture Nominee Steven Bradbury

    CALL TODAY

    Today the Senate is set to vote on Steven Bradbury, President Trump's nominee to be general counsel of the Department of Transportation. Mr. Bradbury is most prominently known for authoring several of the infamous "torture memos" during the Bush years, which approved waterboarding and other forms of cruel treatment.

     

    Needless to say, Mr. Bradbury has no place in our government. But without your help, he is likely to be approved.

    Please call your Senators today.

    Enter your address and zip code and the names and phone numbers of your Senators will appear on the next page. Call them and urge them to vote NO on Steven Bradbury.

     

  • Tell Congress to Protect Asylum and DACA

    Between Attorney General Sessions’s speech on Octboer 12 and the statement of “principles” released the previous weekend, it’s clear that this administration is focused on decimating and violating this country’s moral and legal obligations to those seeking asylum. Its latest goal is to pit legalizing the DACA program against protections for asylum seekers. Neither should be left behind.

     

    Use this script to contact your members of Congress to tell them to stand up to the Trump Administration:

  • Tell the Senate to Block Trump’s Nominees Until White Nationalists are Out

    Recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia are a stark reminder that while the purveyors of hate in America remain a fringe minority, their growing sense of support from the White House can have potentially deadly consequences.

     

    In the immediate aftermath of what can only be described as an act of domestic terrorism, members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle condemned the vile white supremacist ideology that animated the rally, emphasizing that such hatred has no place in America. But President Trump did not follow suit.

     

    Given an opportunity to lay blame where it should rightfully rest—with Nazis and white supremacists—America’s president has doubled down on the idea that “many sides” are to blame for Charlottesville’s violence. 

     

    Trump’s message to white supremacists and antisemites is clear: those who promote hatred can act with impunity.

     

    This message is underscored by the continued presence of white nationalists in the White House, including Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka.

     

    Gorka has well-documented ties to white nationalist and extremist ideology, but also has the president's ear, which gives him influence over the administration's policies. 

     

    Now is a time for action. Tell your senators to demand that the administration remove the voices of white nationalism from its ranks by refusing to move forward on any administration appointments until President Trump fires Sebastian Gorka.

    Tell the Trump Administration to Protect Iraqis Who Served the United States

     

    Many brave Iraqis supported the United States involvement in Iraq, working as interpreters, translators, and in other support roles with the U.S. military, diplomatic missions, media, and other nongovernmental organizations. They are vital to the success of our missions overseas, and to the safety of our military personnel. Because of their service, many Iraqis face persecution and direct threats to their lives and their families from insurgent groups, militias, and terrorist organizations.

     

    On June 26th the Supreme Court issued a partial implementation of the Trump Administration’s executive order barring immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and capping the total number of refugees to be admitted to the United States. Under the Supreme Court ruling, only individuals with a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity” can enter the United States.

     

    Despite having lived, worked, and fought alongside the U.S. military, diplomatic missions, media, and more, the Trump Administration has not included U.S.-affiliated Iraqis as part of their definition of a bona fide relationship with the United States.

     

    This erroneous exclusion effectively bars our allies from their only option for resettling safely in the United States and puts their lives in jeopardy.

     

    Take action now to tell President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to keep faith with our allies by affirming what we know to be true: that U.S.- affiliated Iraqis satisfy the bona fide relationship requirement of the Supreme Court.

  • Tell the Trump Administration to Protect Iraqis Who Served the United States

     

    Many brave Iraqis supported the United States involvement in Iraq, working as interpreters, translators, and in other support roles with the U.S. military, diplomatic missions, media, and other nongovernmental organizations. They are vital to the success of our missions overseas, and to the safety of our military personnel. Because of their service, many Iraqis face persecution and direct threats to their lives and their families from insurgent groups, militias, and terrorist organizations.

     

    On June 26th the Supreme Court issued a partial implementation of the Trump Administration’s executive order barring immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and capping the total number of refugees to be admitted to the United States. Under the Supreme Court ruling, only individuals with a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity” can enter the United States.

     

    Despite having lived, worked, and fought alongside the U.S. military, diplomatic missions, media, and more, the Trump Administration has not included U.S.-affiliated Iraqis as part of their definition of a bona fide relationship with the United States.

     

    This erroneous exclusion effectively bars our allies from their only option for resettling safely in the United States and puts their lives in jeopardy.

     

    Take action now to tell President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to keep faith with our allies by affirming what we know to be true: that U.S.- affiliated Iraqis satisfy the bona fide relationship requirement of the Supreme Court.

  • Tell the Trump Administration to Protect Iraqis Who Served the United States

     

    Many brave Iraqis supported the United States involvement in Iraq, working as interpreters, translators, and in other support roles with the U.S. military, diplomatic missions, media, and other nongovernmental organizations. They are vital to the success of our missions overseas, and to the safety of our military personnel. Because of their service, many Iraqis face persecution and direct threats to their lives and their families from insurgent groups, militias, and terrorist organizations.

     

    On June 26th the Supreme Court issued a partial implementation of the Trump Administration’s executive order barring immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and capping the total number of refugees to be admitted to the United States. Under the Supreme Court ruling, only individuals with a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity” can enter the United States.

     

    Despite having lived, worked, and fought alongside the U.S. military, diplomatic missions, media, and more, the Trump Administration has not included U.S.-affiliated Iraqis as part of their definition of a bona fide relationship with the United States.

     

    This erroneous exclusion effectively bars our allies from their only option for resettling safely in the United States and puts their lives in jeopardy.

     

    Take action now to tell President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to keep faith with our allies by affirming what we know to be true: that U.S.- affiliated Iraqis satisfy the bona fide relationship requirement of the Supreme Court.

  • Oppose Trump's Muslim Refugee Ban

    President Trump's executive order halting the refugee resettlement program and banning travel for nationals from several Muslim-majority countries is now in effect.

    The Supreme Court required exceptions to the ban, saying the administration cannot bar admission of refugees or travelers who have a "bona fide relationship" with a person or entity in the United States.

    But the Trump Administration defines this as close family only--failing to acknowledge the bona fide relationship refugees have with U.S. resettlement agencies. It also caps refugee resettlement to 50,000 this fiscal year--a number that will soon be met--preventing the protection of any additional vulnerable refugees until September 2018.

    Tell President Trump that blocking refugees is a shameful failure of American leadership.

    This so-called “pause” in refugee admissions will throw a wrench in the entire resettlement system by causing security clearances to lapse, forcing vulnerable refugees to wait many months to several years longer to reach safety. Refugees are already thoroughly vetted and security enhancements can be added without halting the entire process. Families will remain divided and unable to reunite. And by singling out six Muslim-majority countries for visa bans, he’s sending the same message that Muslims are not welcome in the United States.

    What’s more, national security leaders agree that rejecting refugees endangers our national security by fueling ISIS propaganda and increasing the strain on our allies in the Middle East that already host vast numbers of refugees.

    Tell President Trump that you aren’t falling for his lies.

  • TELL SECRETARY TILLERSON THAT TORTURE, DETENTION AND KILLING DOESN’T BELONG ON A “PENDING” LIST.

    Since early April, the world has become increasingly aware of a human rights crisis unfolding in Chechnya, Russia. More than 120 gay and bisexual men have been targeted for arrest, detention and torture by police - and there is no clear end in sight. Several people have died as a result of torture or at the hands of family members who themselves cannot tolerate LGBT people.

    From Belfast to Buenos Aires activists have marched in the streets demanding an end to this tragedy. Heads of state such as French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel have spoken out forcefully. And here in the United States, members of Congress have engaged in a bipartisan effort to raise the profile of this issue and to demand government action.

    But when asked whether he has raised the brutal detention and murders of gay men in Chechnya with his Russian counterparts, Tillerson said it is still on his “pending list” of issues to discuss. Furthermore, he admitted that he did not know whether President Trump was aware of what was happening in Chechnya—an utter failure of leadership at a time when some of the most vulnerable are looking to the United States and its for support and assistance.

    Stand with us and demand that Secretary Tillerson take immediate action to protect victims facing violence and persecution in Chechnya.

  • Tell Congress to Protect Our Wartime Allies

    Last week the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan stopped scheduling interviews for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. The program, which provides visas to Afghans who worked as translators or interpreters, or were employed by, or on behalf of, the U.S. government in Afghanistan, is a vital pipeline to safety for individuals who are threatened because of their work in support of the U.S. mission.

    Under the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, visas are allotted to allow wartime allies in Afghanistan to resettle in the United States. Originally designed to last five years and provide 7,500 of these visas, the program was extended three times, the most recent of which was in December. Unfortunately, only 1,500 additional visas were allotted in the December extension, yet more than ten thousand applications to the program are pending.

    On March 15 Senators Shaheen (D-NH) John McCain (R-AZ), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) acted to that end. Together they introduced an amendment extending the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, providing an additional 2,500 visas for the Afghan SIV program. The following day Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Seth Moulton (D-MA) released a version of the amendment in the House of Representatives. We are concerned that failure to pass these amendments not only calls into question our nation’s willingness to stand by its allies, it ultimately weakens both our national security and moral standing in the world.

    TAKE ACTION NOW to urge your elected representatives to support these vital amendments.

  • Tell Congress to Stand up for Refugees

    President Donald J. Trump signs Executive Order

    Refugees and asylum seekers are some of the most vulnerable people in the world, and welcoming in them is a core American ideal. But the Trump Administration has put a target on their back. Tell Congress not to tolerate any discriminatory policies that threaten to harm refugees’ access to protection.

  • Tell Congress to Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban

    President Donald J. Trump signs Executive Order

    After the courts blocked President Trump’s January 27th executive order, he issued a new order on March 6th dressed up in a less discriminatory veneer. But it still has the same bigoted intent of stigmatizing refugees—especially those from Muslim-majority countries.

    The so-called “pause” in refugee admissions will throw a wrench in the entire resettlement system by causing security clearances to lapse, forcing vulnerable refugees to wait many months to several years longer to reach safety. Refugees are already thoroughly vetted and security enhancements can be added without halting the entire process. Families will remain divided and unable to reunite. And by singling out six Muslim-majority countries for visa bans, he’s sending the same message that Muslims are not welcome in the United States.

    Congress needs to know that you oppose this executive order and any policy that puts refugees at risk. National security leaders agree that rejecting refugees endangers our national security by fueling ISIS propaganda and increasing the strain on our allies in the Middle East that already host vast numbers of refugees.

    Most importantly, the order violates the American ideals inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” undermining our global standing and long tradition of being a beacon of freedom to the world.

    Contact your members of Congress below.

  • Urge Congress to Oppose the Executive Order Harming our Iraqi allies

    President Trump issued an executive order making significant changes to U.S. immigration and refugee policy. It indefinitely blocks the United States from admitting refugees from Syria, puts an extended halt on the entire U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and drastically reduces the number of refugees the U.S. will admit to 50,000. It also puts a 90-day ban on visitors and immigration from seven countries—Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—effectively targeting those of Muslim faith, and furthering divisions between our country, its allies, and the millions of women, children, and families in desperate need of refuge.

    This executive order not only affects the most vulnerable refugee populations around the world, but it also bars Iraqi allies who served alongside the U.S. military. The White House’s order endangers thousands of Iraqi allies waiting for priority resettlement or visas to come to the United States. Many of them remain in hiding, fearful of reprisal from our enemies due to their service to our country. For the Iraqi allies fortunate enough to have resettled in the United States, the new order leaves their families stranded in danger.

    We are concerned that this new policy not only calls into question our nation’s willingness to stand by its allies, it ultimately weakens both our national security and moral standing in the world.

    TAKE ACTION NOW to urge your elected representatives to oppose this executive order.

  • Tell Congress that Trump’s Executive Orders are Dangerous

    Trump is poised to sign executive orders that would seriously threaten our national security as well as damage human rights. One order allows the CIA to re-open “black sites,” paving the way for a return to torture. Others would halt refugee resettlement, put in place policies effectively amounting to a Muslim ban, and block access to asylum at the border. Call your members of Congress to tell them that you oppose these dangerous measures.

  • Call on President-elect Trump to Combat Violence and Discrimination around the World

    Human rights defenders around the world look to the United States to be a partner in their struggle and the LGBT community is no exception. LGBT people routinely face horrific violence and persecution simply based on who they are and who they love.

    In recent years, the LGBT community has found a strong ally in the State Department, which has used its influence to advance its values of respect and fair treatment around the world. The U.S. government has the power to provide protection for vulnerable groups and create a space for dialogue that otherwise would be silenced. Urge President-elect Trump to continue this important work.

  • Tell your Senator: Keep torture off the table in confirmation hearings

    As the Senate takes up confirmation hearings for the new administration this week, senators need to hold all appointees to a high standard. We must never return to torture.

     

  • Honor the Service and Sacrifice of Members of our Armed Forces and their Families, Regardless of Faith

    Gold Star families endure the unspeakable pain of losing a loved one that gave his or her life to defend the liberty and security of our nation. They deserve our highest respect and honor.

    To our Gold Star families, we grieve with you, and we honor your sacrifice. We call on U.S. political candidates and leaders to respect our service members and their families—regardless of their faith, race, or ethnicity—especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

  • Uphold the Rights and Freedoms of Muslim Americans

    America’s strength is that we are united not by a single culture, history, or religion, but by ideals about liberty and how to order a fair and just society. Those American values are undermined when we discriminate against our Muslim friends, neighbors, and military members.

    The United States should continue to uphold our ideals, ensuring that Muslim Americans are treated equally to any other citizens.

    Encourage the incoming administration to continue to uphold the rights and freedoms of Muslim Americans.

  • Tell Congress to extend and expand the Afghan SIV program

    Many of us can point to a moment when one of our foreign allies saved our lives. They acted because they believed in America, in our mission, and in our promise to keep them safe. But Congress is breaking that promise.

    Since 2006 Congress has enacted legislation under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that authorizes Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for the translators, engineers, security guards, cultural advisors, and other allies who were vital to our mission in Afghanistan. This year Congress failed to authorize these SIVs in the NDAA. More than 9,800 Afghans currently await visa processing; visas have only been authorized for 3,800. We have abandoned the rest.

    Sending the message that the United States doesn’t honor its commitments endangers our military in Afghanistan and around the world. Tell Congress we must keep our word and extend and expand the Afghan SIV program.

     

  • Tell Obama to Speak up to Poland at the NATO Summit

    Poland is a NATO member that was once considered one of the strongest democracies in Central Europe, but now it’s backsliding on human rights and civil liberties. The legislature has hamstrung the Constitutional Tribunal and passed a slew of problematic laws, including the anti-terror law that classifies all foreigners as terror suspects. Human rights protections are starting to crumble across Europe, and Poland is the tip of the iceberg. Tell President Obama to speak up at the NATO Summit on behalf of human rights.

     

  • Tell the Senate to Keep the Door Open for Afghan Interpreters

    This week the full U.S. Senate will consider the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that sets the annual budget and polices for the Department of Defense. The bill has passed out of committee, and sadly the bill contains no provision to extend the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for the interpreters, translators, and other allies who served alongside us in Afghanistan, putting many lives at risk.

    As veterans, our voices can make a difference for those brave Afghans who served with us. Sign this petition and spread the work to help ensure that no one is left behind.

  • Tell the Senate Armed Services Committee to Keep the Door Open for Afghan Interpreters

    Next week the Senate Armed Services Committee will consider the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that sets the annual budget and polices for the Department of Defense. It usually includes a provision to extend the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for the “terps” and translators who served alongside us in Afghanistan. This year, the SIV program could be at risk, with limits to eligibility criteria and a reduction in the number of visas granted.

    As veterans, our voices can make a difference for those brave Afghans who served with us. Sign this petition and spread the work to help ensure that no one is left behind.

  • Action Alert: Samey Needs Your Help

    Samey Honaryar bravely served the U.S. military in Afghanistan as an interpreter, and endangered his life in the process. The Taliban came after him, but he escaped to the United States and asked for asylum. He deserves protection.

    But the immigration judge ordered him to be deported back to Afghanistan based on remarkably bad judgment and ignorance about the danger interpreters like Samey face. Samey has appealed and will have another hearing. But the fight is just beginning.

    Tell the DOJ to investigate Samey’s case by signing the complaint letter below.

  • Tell Congress to Fully Fund Refugee Resettlement Programs

    Congress is on the verge of underfunding the refugee resettlement program. Before lawmakers finish the term, urge them to fully fund the refugee resettlement program. The administration pledged increased aid and resettlement at the president’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, but it still falls short of the scale of the crisis. Congress needs to do its share to make sure the United States leads by example. We cannot ask other countries to welcome refugees as we close our doors. Let Congress know America welcomes refugees. It must fully fund the resettlement program.

     

  • Reject H.R. 4731 and stand with refugees

    The United States has historically been a leader in refugee resettlement, but some members of Congress are trying to railroad that legacy. H.R. 4731, introduced by Representatives Raul Labrador (R-ID) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), would make onerous, mean-spirited, and counterproductive changes to the refugee resettlement process that would make it harder for many vulnerable victims of mass atrocities to gain protection. Tell your representative to stand against this poisonous bill to protect refugees and U.S. leadership in the global refugee crisis.

  • Contact your Members of Congress and Urge them to Support the President's Plan

    Today the Obama Administration released its plan for shuttering the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. With his final term coming to a close, this plan represents President Obama’s last chance to uphold his promise to close Gitmo before he leaves office. 

    The continued operation of Gitmo is costly, threatens our national security, and harms America’s global reputation as a beacon for human rights.

    The administration has shown it is willing to take action to shutter Guantanamo, now it is up to Congress to turn this plan into reality. 

  • Tell your Senator to vote NO on the American SAFE Act

    The Senate is considering a motion to proceed on a bill, misleadingly labeled the American SAFE Act, which would effectively halt the resettlement of vulnerable refugees from Iraq and Syria in the United States. These refugees are already the most stringently vetted group entering the United States. They desperately need U.S. protection.

    The legislation would require personal sign-off from the Secretary of Homeland Security, the FBI Director, and the Director of National Intelligence to certify each individual refugee and require the onerous process of submitting monthly reports to twelve congressional committees on the status of each refugee reviewed. This level of useless bureaucracy would essentially shut down the system for years and severely handicap future resettlement efforts. 

    And according to top national security leaders, it would also exacerbate the refugee crisis by burdening our already strained allies in the Middle East. Twenty of these leaders, including Henry Kissinger, General David Patraeus (Ret.), and Leon Panetta reminded Congress in a letter that rejecting refugees "would be contrary to our nation’s traditions of openness and inclusivity, and would undermine our core objective of combating terrorism."

    Tell your Senator to defend the American ideal of providing safe haven to people fleeing violence and persecution by rejecting the American SAFE Act.

  • Urge Obama to Deliver his Plan to Close Gitmo and transfer remaining detainees

    The detainee population at Guantanamo is below 100 for the first time since it opened. But we need a plan to take that number down to zero. Obama should deliver his plan to make it happen to Congress, speed up transfers for cleared detainees, and conduct all remaining Periodic Review Board hearings.

  • Urge Obama to Deliver his Plan to Close Gitmo

    Obama has promised to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay again and again. As he enters his last year in office, he should actually take action to do so. He should start by outlining concrete steps in his State of the Union address, delivering the much-delayed plan to Congress, speeding up transfers for cleared detainees, and conducting all remaining Periodic Review Board hearings.

  • Tell Your Senators to Vote Against the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act

    When the civil war in Syria broke out Hadeel knew she had to get out of the country. She had already been jailed three times for speaking out against the Assad regime and for helping to provide medical aid to injured protestors. She knew if she stayed her life would be in grave danger.

    Some members of Congress are supporting proposals that would prevent women like Hadeel from securing safety. Tell them the U.S. commitment to protecting refugees is not optional.

  • It's President Obama's last chance to close Guantanamo

    Sign the Letter:

  • Urge President Obama to lead a global effort to protect Syrian refugees.


  • Urge President Obama to press Kenyan leaders to address their human rights challenges

    While the official focus of President Obama’s visit is on economic development and entrepreneurship, the protection of human rights should be a central feature.

    Urge President Obama to press Kenyan leaders to address their human rights challenges in order to promote a more secure and stable nation.

  • Mccain-Feinstein Anti-Torture Amendment

    10 years ago, Congress came together in an overwhelming 90-9 vote to pass the Detainee Treatment Act. Yet, in direct contention with the Act, lawyers in the executive branch secretly authorized more abusive interrogation methods in the CIA program.

    This was done against the advice of national security leaders and professional interrogators who know as I do that torture is ineffective, counterproductive, and makes our country less safe.

    Join us and take action to reinforce the law against torture and cruel treatment, and ensure that America never tortures again. 

  • URGE PRESIDENT OBAMA TO END THE POLICY OF DETAINING MOTHERS AND CHILDREN

     

  • Urge President Obama to underscore his support for equality in the Caribbean

    President Obama’s upcoming trip to Jamaica, where he will meet with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), is a unique opportunity for him to raise concerns regarding the rights of LGBT people with Caribbean officials. Urge President Obama to underscore his support for equality in the Caribbean by speaking up on behalf of the rights of LGBT people.

  • Urge Trump to commit to closing GTMO

    Though we’ve seen measured progress over the past several years, we urge the president to bring the number of detainees cleared for transfer down to zero.

    In our blueprint “How to Close Guantanamo” we outline the steps it takes to close Guantanamo. As President Trump enters the second year of his presidency, join us by urging him to close Guantanamo once and for all.

    “How to Close Guantanamo”

  • Urge President Trump to take the necessary steps to close Guantanamo

    The State of the Union is the most opportune time for President Obama to reaffirm what America stands for: that we are still the shining city on the hill, and that we respect human rights. We must stand for the rule of law and move our nation in the right direction by closing Guantanamo.

  • Urge President Obama to appoint a Special Envoy for the human rights of LGBT people

    The appointment of a Special Envoy for the human rights of LGBT people within the Department of State is essential in the battle against state-sanctioned homophobia, criminalization, hate crimes including acts of violence, and systematized discrimination.

  • Urge Secretary of State John Kerry to speak out against the Bahraini government’s violations and ask for the release of Maryam Al Khawaja

    The recent arrest of Maryam Al Khawaja is the latest attempt by the Bahraini government to silence political opposition and critical human rights voices. Bahrain’s actions violate basic human rights and undermine the country’s relationship with the United States.

  • Truth on Torture Petition

    The truth on torture is here. The Senate intelligence committee’s report tells us that the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program was even more brutal than Americans were led to believe, and that torture was not just ineffective but counterproductive. Now it’s time for Congress to follow through on those findings with legislation to ensure we never torture again.

    After 9/11, the government went to great lengths to create the appearance of torture’s legality. The 2005 McCain Amendment to the Detainee Treatment Act put a stop to that in the military, but not the CIA. Obama’s 2009 executive order closed the door on CIA torture, but a future president could open it again. We need legislation from Congress to make sure torture is off the table for good.

    Sign this petition to ask Congress to enact new legislation on torture. There should be no room for torture ever again.

  • Set the Record Straight on Torture

     

  • Urge Congress to Address the Border Crisis by Properly Funding Immigration Courts

    Protecting refugees who flee persecution is a core American value. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of individuals crossing the border and requesting asylum or other protection. Some are held for months in jail-like conditions and those who are released wait years for a hearing in the backlogged immigration courts.

    The current crisis at the border makes it more clear than ever that there is a pressing need to properly fund the immigration courts, asylum offices, and other mechanisms so that asylum seekers are not unnecessarily detained, receive proper screening interviews, and do not have to wait for years for a hearing.

    Human Rights First recently released a Blueprint on How to Protect Refugees and Prevent Abuse at the Border, recommending tools both for the administration and for Congress on how to address this crisis. Click here to read the report and use the petition below to join us in calling on Congress to address the border crisis!

    Report: How to Protect Refugees and Prevent Abuse at the Border

    Help us urge Congress to address the border crisis by properly funding immigration courts.

  • Urge Secretary Hagel to Address the Underlying Causes of Violence and Extremism in Nigeria

    The U.S. government is sending military, intelligence, and law enforcement advisors to Nigeria to assist in the effort to rescue the girls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram. This is the right response to this crime against humanity. But the United States should also address the root causes of the crisis. Economic desperation and human rights abuses committed by Nigerian security forces have fueled the rise of Boko Haram.

    Please join our call for a U.S. response that addresses the underlying causes of violence and extremism in Nigeria.

  • Call Sen. Feinstein and Urge Her to Release the Torture Report

    With your help, the pressure to declassify the Senate intelligence committee’s torture report is at an all time high. The committee will vote as soon as next week to declassify the torture report.

    Help us keep the momentum going by calling Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the committee, to let her know that you support the declassification of the torture report.

    Here are some talking points to guide you.

    • We know that the SSCI has completed a five-year inquiry into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, resulting in a 6,000-plus-page report that was approved by the committee in late 2012. We urge you to take all necessary steps to make the report public, with as few redactions as possible.
    • Americans deserve the truth on torture. We are entitled to a thorough accounting of the facts, detailing how and why so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" came to be used--and what the consequences of their use were.
    • Declassifying the torture report will allow us to create informed decisions on national security issues, understand the consequences of the CIA’s torture program, and prevent our nation from returning to these ineffective and un-American practices.
  • Call Your Senators and Urge Them to Release the Torture Report

    With your help, the pressure to declassify the Senate intelligence committee’s torture report is at an all time high. The committee will vote as soon as next week to declassify the torture report.

    Help us keep the momentum going by calling Senate intelligence committee members to let them know that you support declassification of the torture report.

  • Urge the Senate Intelligence Committee to Declassify the Torture Report

    Americans deserve the truth on torture.

    The Senate Committee on Intelligence has produced and approved a 6,000-plus page report based on a review of over 6 million pages of official records. Now, they will soon vote on whether to seek declassification and release of key portions of the report. Senators familiar with the report say it will show that torture in the CIA program was more widespread than we thought, and ineffective at securing the information needed to stop terrorist attacks.  But until these findings are made public, proponents of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques"--a euphemism for torture--will continue to advocate for a return to these techniques, arguing that they are lawful and effective.

    Help us press the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to vote to make public its report on the post-9/11 torture program.

  • Release the Report on Torture - Americans Deserve the Truth

    After a multi-year review of CIA interrogation and detention policies in the years after 9/11, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has produced a 6,000-plus page report that documents torture committed by the CIA and the resulting consequences. The committee will vote soon on whether to declassify it.  

    In the wake of 9/11, the United States turned its back on American ideals when it chose to cross over to the "dark side" and permit the use of torture. Some believe Americans should never know the truth about this shameful chapter in our nation’s recent history and that the Senate’s reportshould remain classified. They are wrong. There is no good reason to keep Americans in the dark. 

    If we are to learn from — and continue to reject — the post-9/11 policies that damaged America's moral standing, put our troops at risk and undermined our national security, the SSCI report must be made public. 

    Sign this petition to tell the Senate intelligence committee members to release the torture report.

  • Release the Report on Torture - Americans Deserve the Truth

    After a multi-year review of CIA interrogation and detention policies in the years after 9/11, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has produced a 6,000-plus page report that documents torture committed by the CIA and the resulting consequences. The committee will vote soon on whether to declassify it.  

    In the wake of 9/11, the United States turned its back on American ideals when it chose to cross over to the "dark side" and permit the use of torture. Some believe Americans should never know the truth about this shameful chapter in our nation’s recent history and that the Senate’s reportshould remain classified. They are wrong. There is no good reason to keep Americans in the dark. 

    If we are to learn from — and continue to reject — the post-9/11 policies that damaged America's moral standing, put our troops at risk and undermined our national security, the SSCI report must be made public. 

    Sign this petition to tell the Senate intelligence committee members to release the torture report.

  • Urge the U.S. Delegation to Stand for Equality at the Sochi Winter Olympics

    Of the nine people on the U.S. delegation to Sochi, three are openly gay or lesbian. President Obama took a stand for human rights by naming such a diverse group, an unmistakable response to the horrifying anti-LGBT “propaganda” bill that President Vladimir Putin signed in June.

    Now it is the responsibility of the entire U.S. delegation—gay and straight—to represent America at its best by standing with LGBT Russians and calling for equality.

    Urge the U.S. delegation to take a stand for equality at the Sochi Olympic Games.

    Many of you will watch the Sochi Olympics games from your home. Stand for equality by donating to Human Rights First and getting a free “Sochi. Equality.” knit hat.

  • Urge Secretary John Kerry to Press Syria’s Neighbors to Lift Barriers to Refugee Protection

    More than two million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries for refuge. The United Nations estimates another two million will flee over the next year. The Syria refugee crisis is becoming a catastrophe.

    Human Rights First went to Jordan and Turkey this month on a fact-finding mission to document firsthand issues facing Syria’s refugees. What we found: Neighboring states are imposing bans, restrictions, closures, and quotas that are leaving many people trapped in Syria. Thousands are stuck on the Syrian side of the border.

    The stakes are high. How the United States addresses this refugee crisis will be a critical test for U.S. leadership in the region. Urge Secretary John Kerry to press Syria’s neighbors to lift barriers to refugee protection.

    Read our Syria refugees report.

  • Urge the Senate to Close Guantanamo Now

    Detainee abuse, imprisonment without charge, unjust military commissions: Gitmo is a frontal assault on American ideals. We’ve been fighting to close it since the beginning. We’ve never stopped, even when the issue was out of the headlines, and we won’t stop until we succeed.

    Now, there’s new momentum to close Gitmo and we need your help to seize this crucial moment.

    The Senate will soon vote on the annual defense bill, and it includes provisions to prosecute or transfer the remaining 164 detainees. Combined with President Obama’s renewed engagement on this issue, this could finally be the beginning of the end of Gitmo.

    Urge your Senators to vote for this bill, and against any amendments that would weaken the Gitmo provisions.

  • Urge President Obama to Target Assad's Enablers of Mass Atrocities

    In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, President Obama advocated a broad effort to end the Syrian conflict by renewing peace negotiations. Such a plan must target those who are propping up the Assad regime with weapons, money, fuel, military aid and diplomatic cover.

    We must focus not only on those who are perpetrating atrocities in Syria, but also on those who enable them.

    Bashar al-Assad does not stand alone. Russia’s state-run arms dealer, Rosoboronexport, has sold the Assad regime about $5 billion worth of weapons since 2008. Other entities—individual, commercial, and state—have supplied him with weapons, ammunition, fuel, shipping, and financial services. Moreover, banks in Russia and many other countries are reported to be sheltering the Assad family fortune.

    Please urge President Obama to lead coordinated international action against these enablers. He should begin at home, by ordering the Pentagon to stop ordering helicopters from Rosoboronexport.

    For more on the issue, read:

  • Urge President Obama to Stand with LGBT Russians at the G20 Summit

    Russia has ramped up its crackdown on dissent, including against LGBT persons. This includes a 100-year ban on gay pride marches in Moscow, denial of registration to Sochi Pride House, hefty fines to rights groups accused of acting as a “foreign agent,” and more recently, a federal law banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors." Against this backdrop, harassment and violent attacks on gays or those perceived as gay have become commonplace.

    The G20 Summit on September 5 and 6 in St. Petersburg provides the perfect platform to make clear that America stands with Russia’s LGBT citizens. St. Petersburg passed one of the original local bans on gay “propaganda,” and the city is also home to prominent gay rights groups.

    Urge President Obama to meet with LGBT Russians and press Putin on his anti-homosexuality law during the G20 Summit.

  • Urge Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to Cancel Contract with Rosoboronexport

    The Pentagon is giving Syria’s top arms supplier over $1.1 billion. Why? To buy thirty Mi-17 helicopters and spare parts for Afghan forces who can neither fly nor maintain them.

    This arms sale not only wastes American taxpayers’ money, it goes against American values of freedom and democracy by benefiting the same Russian state arms dealer that has enabled Assad to slaughter Syrian civilians.

    If the United States wants to halt atrocities in Syria, it must isolate, pressure, and disrupt the enablers of mass atrocity. We can start by cancelling U.S. contract with Rosoboronexport. A bipartisan group of nine U.S. Senators have already demanded this action, but so far, the Pentagon isn’t listening.

    Urge Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to help end the human rights catastrophe in Syria by canceling the contract with Rosoboronexport.

  • Urge the Senate to Eliminate the Asylum Filing Deadline

    Women fleeing persecution have been disproportionately affected by the asylum filing deadline.

    This deadline, which mandates that applicants file for asylum within one year of arrival, routinely bars countless refugees fleeing real religious, political or other persecution from receiving asylum in the United States. Many of them are women.

    Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard to make sure that the immigration bill includes better protection for refugees. Now that the immigration bill is on the Senate floor for debate, urge your Senators to protect women fleeing from persecution by eliminating the asylum filing deadline.

  • Urge Obama to Close Guantanamo Now!

    President Obama’s renewed commitment to close Guantanamo is welcome. In a recent speech, he said that the facility is expensive, inefficient, and serves as a recruiting tool for terrorists. We agree. Now, it’s time for action.

    Tonight, Congress has a chance to bring us one step closer to closing Guantanamo. The House is set to vote this evening on Rep. Adam Smith’s amendment in thedefense authorization bill that would close Guantanamo. Urge your Congress Members to support this bill and shut the facility down once and for all.

  • Tell Your Senators: Eliminate the Asylum Filing Deadline

    The one-year filing deadline for asylum has caused thousands of bona fide refugees to be denied asylum since 1998. Elimination of the deadline is a common sense fix to improve the asylum process and would protect asylum seekers, while maintaining the integrity and security of the program.

    The Senate immigration reform bill includes provisions that would eliminate the one-year asylum-filing deadline. But these provisions could be on the chopping block and removed from bill as early as THIS THURSDAY, MAY 16th as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers amendments to the bill. This is our opportunity to make sure that immigration reform includes fixes to barriers preventing asylum seekers from securing safe haven in the United States.

    Urge your Senators to advocate for continued inclusion of refugee and asylum provisions and to oppose amendments that would strike or delay this needed reform.

  • Tell Your Senators: Eliminate the Asylum Filing Deadline

    The one-year filing deadline for asylum has caused thousands of bona fide refugees to be denied asylum since 1998. Elimination of the deadline is a common sense fix to improve the asylum process and would protect asylum seekers, while maintaining the integrity and security of the program.

    The Senate immigration reform bill includes provisions that would eliminate the one-year asylum-filing deadline. But these provisions could be on the chopping block and removed from bill as early as THIS THURSDAY, MAY 16th as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers amendments to the bill. This is our opportunity to make sure that immigration reform includes fixes to barriers preventing asylum seekers from securing safe haven in the United States.

    Urge your Senators to advocate for continued inclusion of refugee and asylum provisions and to oppose amendments that would strike or delay this needed reform.

  • President Obama: Close Guantanamo Now!

    The chorus to close Guantanamo is growing and we need your voice.

    According to the Department of Defense, 100 out of the166 Guantanamo detainees are currently on hunger strike, because, as General Kelly of Southern Command has said, many are “devastated” that the prison has not been closed.  The intelligence and security agencies have cleared for transfer 86 of the 166 detainees, but they remain stuck at the prison, some for more than a decade.

    President Obama responded to the growing alarm over the hunger strikes by pledging to explore all administrative and Congressional options to close the facility.  Now it’s time for action. 

    And we need your help to make the case.   Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has pledged her help in transferring detainees out.  And Representative Buck McKeon (R - CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has said that current law allows the administration to transfer detainees.  Write the President and urge him to close Guantanamo now.

    Urge the President to close Guantanamo now.

  • Urge President Obama to work with Congress to declassify the Senate torture report.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee has produced the most comprehensive report on the post-9/11 CIA torture program, based on a review of more than 6 million pages of official records. Those who have read the report say that it shows the CIA torture program was much more widespread and cruel than we thought, and much less effective at gathering actionable intelligence than torture proponents claim.

    However, the Obama Administration is sitting on this report and has delayed its release. Recently, Vice President Biden supported the report's release. Ask President Obama to work with Congress to declassify the torture report.

  • Tell Congress to transform U.S. immigration detention practices

    As the U.S. sequester spending cuts kick in, Congress needs to take a closer look at how bloated immigration detention costs can be reduced, including through use of humane and cost-effective alternatives to replace unnecessary detention.
     
    Immigration detention costs taxpayers $2 billion every year. Alternatives cost 30 cents to $14 per day per person, compared to $164 per day per person for detention.
     
    Tell Congress to transform U.S. immigration detention practices – and save taxpayer dollars – by investing in low-cost alternatives to detention and alternative forms of detention.
     

  • Tell Congress to transform U.S. immigration detention practices

    As the U.S. sequester spending cuts kick in, Congress needs to take a closer look at how bloated immigration detention costs can be reduced, including through use of humane and cost-effective alternatives to replace unnecessary detention.
     
    Immigration detention costs taxpayers $2 billion every year. Alternatives cost 30 cents to $14 per day per person, compared to $164 per day per person for detention.
     
    Tell Congress to transform U.S. immigration detention practices – and save taxpayer dollars – by investing in low-cost alternatives to detention and alternative forms of detention.
     

  • Tell President Obama: Stop the Supply Chain to Syrian Atrocities

    The crisis in Syria is a human rights catastrophe. Over 70,000 Syrians have been killed — mostly civilians, over 4000 children — since the democracy movement started on March 15, 2011. The number is mounting with no end in sight.

    President Barack Obama has issued numerous sanctions against Syria. But as the crisis spirals as they have very little effect.

    Mass atrocities are complex, organized crimes. The Assad regime requires the assistance of "enablers" — governments, commercial entities, and individuals that provide resources, goods, services, or other support that sustain the commission of atrocities.  Together, these enablers form a supply chain that fuels Assad's crimes against humanity.  The United States is well poised to disrupt this chain. 

    Tell President Obama: Stop the Supply Chain to Syrian Atrocities


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  • Tell Obama: Urge Bahrain to Release Jailed Dissidents

    Two years ago, President Barack Obama told the Bahraini government “the only way forward is for the government and opposition to engage in a dialogue, and you can’t have a real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in jail.”

    The regime restarted its dialogue with some opposition groups last week. This is an encouraging step, but real progress will only happen if the regime releases its prominent dissidents from jail and allows them to join the dialogue.

    Urge President Obama to demand that the Bahraini Kingdom release dissidents jailed on politically motivated charges.

  • Tell President Obama to Define his Legacy on Human Rights in his Second Inaugural Address

    As President Obama begins his second term, he has the opportunity to define his legacy on human rights. We’ll be listening to hear whether he addresses key human rights challenges in next week’s inaugural address – and in his second term.

    Join us in asking the President to put human rights first.

  • Urge President Obama to Move Forward on These 6 Human Rights Issues

    Now that the election season is over, President Barack Obama is looking to his next term and Americans are looking for Democrats and Republicans to work together. Protecting human rights is an area ripe for real cooperation.

    Urge the President to move forward by addressing these six human rights issues.

  • Tell Secretary Kerry: Help Chen Guangcheng's Nephew in China

    Although blind "barefoot" lawyer Chen Guangcheng is now safe in New York, he continues to fear for his family in China--especially his nephew Chen Kegui and his child.

    Kegui was arrested and convicted of "intentional injury" for defending his family when local officials stormed into his house and attacked his mother and father. Reports indicate that Kegui has been tortured—including by severe beating and food and sleep deprivation. Now, Chinese authorities have threatened to harm Kegui’s pre-school-aged child.

    Urge Secretary John Kerry to put human rights first in U.S. relations with China by following up on Kegui’s case and demanding that Chinese officials stop further intimidation or harm to Chen’s family.

  • 5 Human Rights Questions for the Foreign Policy Debate

    The candidates agree: the United States must champion human rights. But what would they do as president to ensure it does? They will have an opportunity to answer this question during the final presidential debate, in which foreign policy is the agenda.

    Urge President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney to articulate an agenda that places human rights where they belong: at the center of American foreign policy.

    Tell the candidates to answer these five human rights questions.

  • Tell Secretary Clinton to Urge Russia to End the Systematic Persecution of Civil Society

    Russia is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot received guilty verdicts today for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred." The young women were each sentenced to two years in jail. Their crime: staging a nonviolent anti-Putin protest at Moscow's main cathedral. In addition, not shaken by a recent gay rights protest at the London Olympics, the Kremlin maintains its ban on LGBT organizations from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

    The Russian government is using antiextremism and incitement laws, which were enacted to combat hate crimes, to systematically silence dissenting voices including independent media, activists, religious believers, and LGBT and other minority groups. Russians who do not agree with President Putin and are unafraid to speak their mind are in trouble.

    Secretary Hillary Clinton will travel to Russia in September for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference. Tell the Secretary to stand with those fighting hatred and intolerance, not those perpetrating it.

  • Tell Secretary Hillary Clinton to Stand with Chen Guangcheng and His Family

    Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng risked everything when he escaped house arrest and fled to the American embassy in Beijing. Chen is safe now, living and studying in New York, but he fears for his family in China—especially his nephew, Kegui.

    Kegui defended himself and his family with a knife from a group of thugs who broke into their house and attacked them. He injured one of the attackers and now he is in jail, unjustly charged with attempted homicide, and possibly tortured. Chinese officials won’t let him talk to his family or his lawyers.

    Tell Secretary Clinton to press the Chinese government to provide Kegui access to his lawyers and family.

    I Stand with Chen Guangcheng

  • Secretary Clinton: Secure the Egyptian President’s Support for Advancing Women’s Rights

    Tell Secretary Clinton to side with the Egyptian people by pressing President Morsi to demonstrate his support for women’s rights.

  • Sec. Napolitano: Sign Exemptions for Refugees Mislabeled as “Terrorists”

    Thousands of refugees seeking asylum—or who were granted U.S. protection years ago and are now applying for permanent residence or family reunification—have been wrongly labeled as "terrorists." Their lives are on hold as they wait for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to grant them legal status in the country.

    In 2005, DHS acknowledged that its application of these overbroad provisions harms refugees who need protection, and it has since implemented a few exemptions for specific categories of refugees mislabeled as "terrorists." But more than 4,500 applications are still stuck in red tape.

    Help us alleviate the needless suffering of these genuine refugees and their families. Tell Secretary Napolitano to sign the exemptions on her desk.

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  • Chinese Activists and Lawyers Need Our Support

    Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng risked everything when he escaped house arrest and fled to the American embassy in Beijing. His safe arrival in the United States is not the end of the story. China's persecution of its dissidents is only intensifying. Like Mr. Chen, many public interest lawyers in China are using the system to challenge the system—and are paying a terrible price as a result.

    Secretary Hillary Clinton said that "human rights is at the heart of our diplomacy." Yet too often, the United States has treated human rights as a diversion from economic and other issues with China. As the environment for Chinese dissidents deteriorates, the United States government can't allow human rights to once again be pushed to the back burner.

    Tell Secretary Clinton to make the persecution of lawyers and other activists as a top priority of U.S.-China diplomacy.

     

  • Tell Sec. Clinton: Help Protect LGBTI Refugees from Violence

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) refugees are the most vulnerable and isolated among refugees. They seek protection from violence and discrimination in a new country only to face the same persecution from which they fled.

    In December 2011, President Obama committed to make the rights of LGBT people a priority in U.S. foreign policy. Since then, the U.S. State Department has made great strides in that direction, but there is still much more to be done—especially for LGBTI refugees.

    Help us make a difference. Tell Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help make sure that LGBTI refugees gain access to safety and protection from violence in their countries of asylum.

     

    Help Protect LGBTI Refugees from Violence

  • Tell the Senate: Release the Real Book on Torture!
    Release the Real Book on Torture!

    Some continue to argue that torture led us to Osama bin Laden and that the CIA should be allowed to torture again. But let's get our facts straight. Top level officials including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta have debunked the claim that torture led to bin Laden.

    The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has completed a 3-year long review and 6,000-page report of the CIA's post-September 11 detention and interrogation practices. Let's end the torture debate. It's time for the United States to stand by national security policies based on facts and not fiction.

    Tell the SSCI to set the record straight and release the real book on torture.

  • Tell Sec. Panetta: Stop the Arms Flow to Syria!
    Stop the Flow of Arms to Syria!
     

    Rosoboronexport. This state-run Russian arms dealer has shipped $1billion worth of weapons to the Assad regime, which has slaughtered more than 9,000 Syrians since March 2011. And the death toll is mounting.

    While the United States has to its credit imposed sanctions on the Assad regime, it continues to do business with Rosoboronexport—subsidizing the mass atrocities unfolding in Syria. This is happening even though the U.S. government could purchase the same equipment through other companies.

    Tell U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to stop the arms flow to Syria by cancelling the U.S. arms contract with Rosoboronexport!


  • Tell Congress: Invest in Effective Alternatives to Detention
    Tell Congress: Invest in Alternative to Detention Programs
     

    Immigration detention has increased rapidly in the past ten years, and it's been costly. In fact, many people in immigration detention—like asylum seekers who fled persecution from their home countries are seeking haven in the United States and those without criminal records—are deemed low-risk by the government and do not need to be detained at all. They are ideal candidates for effective and less expensive ATDs.

    ICE spends $122 a day per detainee. That amounts to $2 billion every year. Current ATD programs, on the other hand, cost an average of $8.88 per detainee per day. That's more than a $100 in daily savings for each detainee.

    Tell Congress to be smart with taxpayers' money and prevent unnecessary detention by shifting money away from detention and investing in ATDs.


  • Tell Congress: Expand the Legal Orientation Program for Asylum Seekers

    Too often, asylum seekers who come to the United States are stuck in jails or jail-like facilities without knowing their rights or understanding U.S. immigration procedures. To address this problem, the Department of Justice established the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), which has received bi-partisan praise for providing information to immigrants in detention. The program also coordinates pro bono legal counsel.

    But despite its success, the program is available in only 25 of the 250 detention centers in the United States—reaching about 15% of immigration detainees. That's why President Obama is proposing to expand this program in fiscal year (FY) 2013.

    Please help persecuted refugees by urging your representatives to support expansion of this vital program.

    *Human Rights First does not accept government funding and therefore is not an "LOP provider."

     

  • Tell Secretary Clinton: Condemn the Abuses by the Bahrain Monarchy!
    Secretary Hillary Clinton: Condemn the abuses by the Bahrain monarchy!
     

    When the Arab Spring hit Bahrain last year on February 14, 2011, the repressive monarchy met pro-democracy protestors with a brutal crackdown. One year later, democracy protestors are still being attacked and prosecuted for calling for an elected government.

    The United States has been inconsistent in supporting the fight for democracy in the Middle East, falling short in condemning human rights abuses in Bahrain. The Obama Administration is also moving to supply Bahrain with military equipment. As of today, the Bahraini people are still under attack. The United States must take a stand with them.

    Tell Secretary Clinton to call for democratic reforms in Bahrain and an end to the crackdown against democracy protesters!


  • Stop the Crackdown Against NGOs in Egypt

    The Egyptian military is perfecting the Mubarak handbook. Its recent move: prosecuting 43 NGO staff—19 Americans, 16 Egyptians, and 8 others—who have been working to promote democracy in Egypt.

    This outrageous attack on civil society is a major threat against efforts to create a democracy in Egypt.

    Pro-democracy NGO workers including Basem Fathy—a leading organizer of the Tahrir Square protests and a Human Rights First honoree—are caught up in a politically motivated investigation as the military accuses them of inciting riots paid for by foreign funds.

    To turn the page in Egypt, the United States must do all it can to support democracy and the transition to civilian rule. As Senator Leahy said, "the days of blank checks are over!" Tell Secretary Clinton to press the military to drop the charges against NGO workers!

     

  • King Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain: End the Sham Trials Now!
    Bahrain: Drop Charges against medics and democracy protestors
     

    Twenty Bahraini medics tortured into making false confessions faced court on Monday to find out that the charges against them still haven't been dropped.

    The Bahrain government continues to pursue this baseless prosecution and others against people who are being targeted for exercising their freedom of expression. It's time to stop.

    If the Bahrain monarchy is truly serious about human rights reforms, it must stop the baseless prosecutions and drop charges against medics and peaceful protestors!

    Tell King Hamad of Bahrain: end the sham trials and drop baseless charges against the medics and other Bahrainis!


  • Tell President Obama: Be on the Right Side of History in Egypt and Bahrain
    Tell President Obama: Support Democracy and Human Rights in Egypt and Bahrain!
     

    President Obama asserted in this year's State of the Union address that the United States is a global leader. He said that the United States "will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings" and that it "will support policies that lead to strong and stable democracies...because tyranny is no match for liberty."

    We agree. But as the people of Egypt build a new government and as human rights defenders and NGO's in Bahrain call for democratic reforms, tyranny continues.

    To lead in the Middle East, President Obama must give unequivocal support for human rights and democracy in Egypt and Bahrain. He must openly criticize attacks against NGO's and human rights defenders in the region.

    Tell President Obama to call for an effective transition to civilian rule in Egypt and an end to violence against peaceful protesters in Bahrain!


  • Tell President Obama: Support Democracy and Civilian Rule in Egypt!
    President Obama - Support Civilian Rule in Egypt!
     

    In January 2011, the people of Egypt took to the streets and brought down the thirty-year reign of Hosni Mubarak. Next week will mark the anniversary of the protests in Tahrir Square but, while Mubarak is gone, his military and much of his regime still rule the country.

    On Tuesday, when President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, he should make clear to Americans and our allies throughout the Middle East and the world that the United States supports civilian, democratic rule in Egypt. And that the country stands with all those who struggle for human rights and democracy.

    Ask President Obama to state his support for a democratic Egypt in next week's State of the Union address. Tell him to support civilian rule in Egypt!


  • Oppose Torture and Support our Federal Courts
     

    The Senate will vote soon on two provisions, one that would allow for torture, and a second that will reinstate the ability for federal criminal courts to try many suspected terrorists.  The first provision would make us less safe and undermine the values that have made our nation strong while the second will strengthen our national security and reinforce support for American ideals.

    Federal courts and local law enforcement—as well as the country's ideals—are our great assets in the struggle against terrorism. Help us defend core freedoms and what works in the country's counterterrorism effort.

    Help us improve this bill by sending a letter to your Senator now. Ask your Senators to oppose torture and support our federal courts

  • Tell Senators Harry Reid and Carl Levin to keep America secure by rejecting dangerous provisions in the defense bill.
    Stop the Militarization of our police and courts
     

    The controversial defense authorization bill is being negotiated behind closed doors.  A decision could come any second — act now!

    Tell Senators Harry Reid and Carl Levin to put America's safety first. Urge them to strip away dangerous provisions on the defense bill that perpetuate some of the country's worst mistakes in the struggle against terrorism

    Our important ally, Senator Harry Reid, continues to stand strong against these provisions as he negotiates with the Senate Armed Services Committee. Your voice needs to be a part of this negotiation.


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  • I Stand with Bahraini Activists
    Free Jaleela - Tortured Bahraini Teacher Detained Again
     

    Two weeks ago, Jaleela Al-Salman, a Bahraini teacher and vice president of the Bahrain Teachers Association, told me that the Bahraini security forces had tortured her when she was in detention earlier this year. Just after we spoke, masked men in civilian clothes broke into her home and abducted her again. There is a very real danger she will be tortured again.

    Bahrain's pro-democracy protests have been the largest, proportionately, of any country in the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have risen up to demand their human rights.  The Bahrain monarchy has responded with a violent crackdown.

    Human Rights First will deliver this petition to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States, Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, and urge her to support release for Jaleela and other Bahraini activists fighting for democracy and human rights. Sign now!


    I Stand with Bahraini Activists!

  • Don't Let Congress Get in the Way of Trials for Terror Suspects
    Tell Senators: Fix the NDAA
     

    The Senate will vote this evening or tomorrow on a provision that would bar federal criminal courts from trying many suspected terrorists.  The provision would make us less safe and undermine the values that have made our nation strong.

    Federal courts and local law enforcement—as well as the country's ideals—are our great assets in the struggle against terrorism. Help us defend core freedoms and what works in the country's counterterrorism effort.

    Help us defeat this dangerous provision by sending a letter to your Senator now. Ask your Senators to oppose barring our federal courts from prosecuting terrorists.

  • Tell Congress: Stop Rewarding Dictators with Weapons!
    Stop arms sales to Bahrain
     

    Home of the Navy's U.S. Fifth Fleet, Bahrain is an important U.S. ally, and the United States has been very muted about the regime's brutality. Now the Pentagon intends to sell $53 million worth of armored Humvees and TOW missiles to Bahrain.  Congress must make its voice heard that we oppose this sale.  The United States should not reward a regime that violently suppresses its people.

    Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) have stepped up and are leading the fight in Congress to stop the arms sale to Bahrain.  They introduced a joint Resolution of Disapproval in Congress that will block this sale immediately. But your Senators and your Representatives need to hear from you!

    Tell Congress to stop arming the Bahraini dictatorship with weapons by supporting this resolution today!


  • Tell Senators Levin and McCain: We have the tools that we need to fight terrorism!
    indefinite military detention
     

    Great news! U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed to block the controversial defense authorization bill because it calls for indefinite military detention in the United States.

    Congress should focus on strengthening established and effective counterterrorism tools, rather than forcing the military to take on law enforcement functions and keeping Guantanamo open as a permanent fixture of second-class justice.

    Now, the defense authorization bill is going back to Senators Levin and McCain, chair and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee respectively, for reconsideration.

    Urge Senators Levin and McCain to strip the defense authorization bill of language that calls for indefinite military detention!


  • Urge Congress to stop the arms sale to Bahrain until democracy and human rights are established!
    Stop the Department of Defense from selling arms to Bahrains dictator

    One lesson the United States should have learned from the Arab Spring is to stop supporting dictators. Apparently, the Pentagon didn’t get this memo.

    The U.S. Department of Defense is now preparing to sell $53 million worth of armored Humvees and missiles to the dictatorship in Bahrain—at the same time that the Bahraini government is violently cracking down on pro-democracy advocates.

    The United States must match it words with action and it should not reward repressive Bahraini government with weapons.

    Urge Congress to stop the arms sale to Bahrain until democracy and human rights are established!


  • Senator John Kerry: Stop Arms Sale to Bahrain Dictatorship!
    Stop the Department of Defense from selling arms to Bahrains dictator

    One lesson the United States should have learned from the Arab Spring is to stop supporting dictators. Apparently, the Pentagon didn't get this memo.

    The U.S. Department of Defense is now preparing to sell $53 million worth of armored Humvees and missiles to the dictatorship in Bahrain—at the same time that the Bahraini government is violently cracking down on pro-democracy advocates.

    U.S. Senator John Kerry has long opposed arming tyrants. And as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has the right to investigate why the United States is rewarding a tyrannical country with records of violently abusing its citizens.

    Tell Senator Kerry to stop the arms sale to Bahrain until democracy and human rights are established!


  • Sen. John Kerry: Stop Arms Sale to Bahrain Dictatorship
    Stop the Department of Defense from selling arms to Bahrains dictator

    One lesson the United States should have learned from the Arab Spring is to stop supporting dictators. Apparently, the Pentagon didn't get this memo.

    The U.S. Department of Defense is now preparing to sell $53 million worth of armored Humvees and missiles to the dictatorship in Bahrain—at the same time that the Bahraini government is violently cracking down on pro-democracy advocates.

    Senator John Kerry has long opposed arming tyrants. And as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has the right to investigate why the United States is rewarding a tyrannical country with records of violently abusing its citizens.

    Tell Senator Kerry to stop the arms sale to Bahrain until democracy and human rights are established!


  • Tell King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa - Kansas City, U.S.A. wants its medal back!
    Brutal Dictators Do Not Deserve Medals

    The crackdown in Bahrain against democracy advocates continues. Hundreds of people have been detained, at least four have died in custody and there have been widespread reports of torture.

    Bahrain's monarchy is headed by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and, according to his biography on the Bahrain's U.S. embassy website, he "was awarded the Freedom Medal of Kansas City, Missouri from the Mayor and people of Kansas City." Kansas City does not want to be associated with a repressive regime. We sent a letter to the Kansas City Mayor Sylvester James asking him to demand the Freedom Medal back from the Bahraini King. Add your name!

    Ask Kansas City Mayor Sylvester James to make clear that Kansas City does not stand with the Bahraini King’s appalling human rights record by taking back his Freedom Medal!


  • Ask Ugandan Police to Investigate and Report on Targeted Burglaries

    The police in Kampala refused to go to the crime scene after the office of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG), a lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex human rights organization, was burglarized. The organization’s lawyers fought this injustice, finally getting the police to open an investigation, visit the crime scene, and take fingerprints.

    We still don’t know if the robbery and another attempted break in were meant to silence the work of these organizations in their fight for the rights of LGBTI Ugandans. These incidents are examples of the struggle faced by gay Ugandans.

    Urge Ugandan police chief to oversee and report on the investigation into the burglary at the office of Freedom and Roam in Uganda.

  • President Obama: Push for a Real National Dialogue in Bahrain!
    Bahrain Protesters

    Despite an ongoing national dialogue between the Bahraini government and some parts of civil society, the government continues to intimidate, torture, and detain human rights defenders, and shoot at civilians.

    While the United States has taken many positive steps in addressing human rights violations committed by the Bahraini government, more needs to be done as the crackdown on pro-democracy activists and their supporters continues.

    Ask President Obama to take a tougher stance with the Bahraini government and demand benchmarks for a real national dialogue that can lead toward reconciliation.

    Read Report: Bahrain: A Tortuous Process

  • Guard The Line: Stand Up for Bahraini Athletes Supporting Democracy!
    Bahrain Athletes

    The government of Bahrain has launched a brutal attack on its athletes. It has suspended over 150 athletes, coaches and referees for supporting the democracy movement and arrested several others. The Bahraini government is hoping that its crackdown will pass unnoticed.  We must not allow them to succeed. 

    The U.S. women’s national soccer team will compete on the world stage again in the Women’s World Cup. They’ll hae every soccer fan’s attention.

    Ask the members of the U.S. women’s soccer team to stand in solidarity with their fellow soccer players and denounce Bahrain’s abusive treatment of its athletes.

  • Stand up for Victims of Persecution
    refugee child

    Urge Congress to Support the Refugee Protection Act of 2011

    Refugees seeking asylum now face prolonged detention in prison-like conditions without due process safeguards, such as a custody hearing by an immigration court, and denials of their requests for asylum based on an arbitrary filing deadline and overly broad exclusion provisions.

    Last week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the Refugee Protection Act of 2011 in Congress. The bill would correct some of the most egregious policies toward refugees and re-establish the United States' commitment to protecting the persecuted. For detailed information, check out our fact sheet.

    Tell Congress to help those fleeing persecution and seeking safe haven in the United States by supporting this bill!


  • Senators: Don’t Give Up Power to Debate War
    Stop the Militarization of our Police and Courts

    The House of Representatives passed a defense bill that contains measures to strip Congress' critical role in warmaking decisions, expand war against terrorism to countries such as Yemen, Somalia and the Western Sahara, and force the military into a new mission as judge, jury and jailor of all future foreign terrorism suspects.

    Before authorizing costly new wars, Congress should have a full debate on the current threats facing the United States and the best response to those threats.  Neither the House nor Senate has held even one hearing on these new provisions.

    Now the Senate Armed Services Committee will have an opportunity to include or exclude these measures in the Senate version of the defense bill this week.

    Send a clear message to Congress that it should not place politics ahead of national security.

    Sign the petition and tell the Senate Armed Services Committee to secure America through national security policies that are based on facts, uphold American values and protect the rule of law.


  • Stop idling--don’t give Bahrain the Grand Prix
    Bahrain Athletes

    The crackdown in Bahrain shows no sign of relenting. More than 800 people have been detained and four have already died in police custody.

    Formula 1 auto racing is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, with over half a billion viewers last year. This year's spring season was set to open with the Bahrain Grand Prix, but the crackdown caused F1 to postpone its 2011 race. F1 needs to send the right message to the Bahraini regime—that the world does not stand with repressive governments.

    Authorities will decide tomorrow, June 3, whether to grant Bahrain a delayed 2011 race. Continuing attacks on peaceful protesters show Bahrain is incapable of hosting a major international sporting event and should not be rewarded for abusing human rights. Granting the Grand Prix to a repressive regime will disappoint F1 fans everywhere. It should not turn a blind eye to torture, disappearances, and deaths of peaceful protesters.

    Sign the petition and send a message to CEO Bernie Ecclestone. Tell him to set Formula 1 on the right track by canceling the Bahrain Grand Prix.

  • Tell Congress that we have the tools we need to fight terrorism!
    Tell Congress to safeguard its role in warmaking decisions
    Urge your representatives to safeguard their role in warmaking decisions.

    Today, the House of Representatives will start voting on the new defense authorization bill, which contains language that would take away Congressional oversight in warmaking decisions and disrupt effective counterterrorism measures.

    The government already has broad authority and strong tools to disrupt, detain, and prosecute international terrorists under current law.

    Congress should focus on strengthening established and effective counterterrorism tools, rather than giving the president unbounded authority in warmaking decisions and enshrining Guantanamo as a permanent fixture of second-class justice.

    Tell your member of Congress to oppose these counterproductive measures by voting for amendments that would strip them from defense authorization bill.


  • Oppose the "Kill the Gays" Bill in Uganda!
    Help Us Stop Anti Gay Bill in Uganda

    Protesters have filled the streets of Kampala and other major Ugandan cities in recent weeks, crying out against rising fuel and food prices and raising other social concerns. The police used unnecessary violence to put down the demonstrations.

    As anxiety spreads, President Museveni is getting ready to be sworn in for a fifth term on May 12.

    What do you think the Ugandan Parliament is doing?

    The Parliamentarians are tending to another "priority": increase persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LBGTI) Ugandans and their families. A parliament committee is holding hearings on the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill that has attracted international condemnation for its harsh and broad penalties.

    The bill could be voted on this week. Ugandan activists fear it could pass. President Museveni's urgent actions are needed to stop this.

    We are urging Ugandan President Museveni to take action now. Join us by signing our letter below!

  • Stand with U.S. Interrogators: Torture Hindered the Hunt for Bin Laden
    Would we have caught osama bin laden sooner without torture

    U.S. interrogators agree that torture actually hindered, rather than helped, U.S. efforts to find Bin Laden. They know from experience that it is very difficult to elicit information from a detainee who has been abused.

    In fact, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and his successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi, did not provide information while they were being tortured. It was months later that they gave the nickname of a well-trusted aide.

    Senator John McCain has said that he knows of "no information [that] was obtained, that would have been useful, by 'advanced interrogation.'"

    In the War on Terror, torture has not been an effective way to gather intelligence. In fact, the most wanted men to date have been captured thanks to intelligence developed by interrogators who do not use torture.

    Stand with U.S. interrogators and debunk the myth that torture led the U.S. to Bin Laden.


    I STAND WITH U.S. INTERROGATORS:

    Expert Interrogators: Torture Did Not Lead the U.S. to Bin Laden, It Almost Certainly Prolonged the Hunt
  • Fight the Militarization of Law Enforcement and Federal Courts
    Militarization of Police
    Urge your representatives to oppose this misguided bill.

    Congress is considering a bill in the House that would: give the President unfettered authority to go to war in Iran, Indonesia, and elsewhere to fight terrorists; require local law enforcement and the FBI to turn over to military custody any terror suspects, including American citizens, captured in the United States without trial; and make the failed experiment at Guantanamo permanent by barring federal court prosecution of prisoners held there and barring repatriation of innocent men stuck there unless ordered by a court to transfer them.

    Write your representatives today and urge them to oppose this misguided bill by voting for amendments to strip key provisions of the bill from the NDAA.

  • The Ball is in Our Court: Help Free Bahraini Athletes Standing Up for Democracy!

    The crackdown in Bahrain shows no sign of relenting. More than 600 people have been detained and four have already died in police custody.

    And now, the Bahraini government is also targeting pro-democracy supporters including medical and legal professionals and athletes.

    More recently, over 150 athletes, coaches and referees have been suspended as part of the crackdown on pro-democracy protests and several athletes have been arrested, including four members of the national soccer team—Alaa Hubail and Mohammed Hubail, Abbas Ayaad and Mohamad Sayed Adnan. Stand up for Bahraini athletes and peaceful protesters!

    Tell Bahrain’s Crown Prince to release detained athletes and peaceful protesters!

  • Egyptian Military Sentences Blogger to Three Years in Prison: Take Action!
    Maikel Nabil Sanad
    Help Egyptian activists at risk

    Egyptian activist Maikel Nabil Sanad, a critic of the military in Egypt, was just sentenced by a military commission to three years in prison.

    Sanad was charged with "insulting the military institution and publishing false news about it" and "disturbing the public security."

    Since the revolution, there have been serious concerns about the way the military has dealt with dissent. We've seen reports of arbitrary detention, sexual assault and torture.

    Sanad had openly criticized the role of the military both before and during the revolution, outlining cases of torture and other abuses. Now he's in military prison.

    Add your name to the petition below. Human Rights First will deliver this petition to the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shoukry, urging support for Sanad and other Egyptian activists fighting for freedom.


    I stand with Egyptian activists

  • Protect Our Nation: Say No To The New McCarthyism
    To Bigotry No Sanction

    Rep. Peter King is holding misguided hearings that scapegoat American Muslims in the name of national security. 

    What Rep. King is doing will make us less safe, by focusing on people, not threats; by alienating communities that the FBI and local police say are one part of any smart counter terrorism strategy; and by playing into the propaganda of Al Qaeda that America is indeed at war with Islam.

    This needs to stop. Fight fear. Stand united.

    Ask our Members of Congress to ensure that our national security experts are heard, and that we uphold American values.

  • Congress Moves to Block Guantanamo Closure (Part 15)
    Close Guantanamo - Trust Our Courts

    Congress is adding another chapter to its tireless efforts to block Guantanamo's closure.

    Already in December, it forbade the use of any Defense Department funds to bring detainees to the United States—but now it's considering extending those restrictions to ANY AND ALL government funds. Such restrictions would needlessly impede the administration from employing one of the most effective tools available to bring terrorism suspects to justice—regular federal courts.

    Federal courts have been MUCH more effective at trying terrorist suspects than the military commissions. Federal courts have convicted over 400 terrorists since 9/11. Military commissions: 6. Military experts agree it is in our interest to close Guantanamo.

    If passed, these measures would create additional obstacles to closing Guantanamo and bringing terrorism suspects to justice.

    Write your members of Congress NOW to urge them to oppose these efforts. Guantanamo must be closed!

  • “Mubarakism without Mubarak” No Solution for Egypt
    Egyptian police clash with protesters

    Mubarak has announced he will step down. It remains unclear if Egyptian citizens will see the democratic change they are craving.

    Meanwhile in the U.S., a witness at a Congressional hearing actually suggested that "Mubarakism without Mubarak" was what we need.

    The United States is not the arbiter of power in Egypt. It cannot appoint and dismiss presidents at its will, nor write and rewrite Egyptian laws. These powers belong to the Egyptian people.

    However, the Mubarak regime has relied on U.S. assistance to deny the Egyptian people basic rights and freedoms—including the right to choose their political leaders.

    Help us urge the U.S. government to support the Egyptian people, not the same despotism that has brought us to this point of crisis:

  • “Made in the USA” Tear Gas Thrown at Protesters in Egypt
    Tear Gas used on protestors made in usa

    The United States has given billions of dollars in military aid to Egypt over the decades. The State Department approved the sale of tear gas to its police, despite its known history of brutality.

    As everyday life begins to resume in Egypt, there are lingering questions about what happened, how it happened, and what's next.

    The House Foreign Affairs Committee is tackling some of these questions. We have our own questions we would like answers to.

    Help us get our questions asked by sending a letter to the chairs and members of the committee.

    Given the U.S. relationship with Egypt, President Obama and U.S. policymakers can make a difference in what happens in Egypt—let's make sure they keep the interest of Egyptian citizens in mind.

  • “Made in the USA” Tear Gas Thrown at Protesters in Egypt
    Tear Gas used on protestors made in usa

    The United States has given billions of dollars in military aid to Egypt over the decades. The State Department approved the sale of tear gas to its police, despite its known history of brutality.

    As everyday life begins to resume in Egypt, there are lingering questions about what happened, how it happened, and what's next.

    The House Foreign Affairs Committee is tackling some of these questions. We have our own questions we would like answers to.

    Help us get our questions asked by sending a letter to the chairs and members of the committee.

    Given the U.S. relationship with Egypt, President Obama and U.S. policymakers can make a difference in what happens in Egypt—let's make sure they keep the interest of Egyptian citizens in mind.

  • LGBT Activist Murdered in Uganda: Take Action!
    Activist murdered in Uganda

    Ugandan LGBTI activist David Kato was savagely beaten in his home with a hammer and died on the way to the hospital. Human Rights First's allies in the LGBTI community in Uganda have no doubt that his murder is a hate crime.

    The police, however, hastily concluded that this was a "robbery."

    David Kato was revered by colleagues, who dubbed him the "father" of Uganda's gay rights movement. But his civil-rights struggle earned him many enemies. Kato was the most prominent of the 100 gay Ugandans featured recently in a local paper with the headline "Hang Them" over their photos.

    At Kato's own funeral, the presiding pastor made homophobic remarks.

    Help us ensure Kato's murder is fully investigated—and put a stop to the campaign of hate that has led to such horrific consequences.

    We are urging Ugandan President Museveni to take action now. Join us by signing our letter below!


  • Ask Congress Why They’re Obstructing Justice for 9/11

    Watch our “Fight Fear” video!

    A federal court in Manhattan convicted and sentenced Ahmed Ghailani, a former Guantanamo detainee, to life in prison.

    And yet, Congress has blocked all transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the United States—including for trial.

    Federal courts have convicted more suspected terrorists than military commissions (over 400 vs. 5). Federal trials have done it more quickly. With stiffer sentences.

    Tell your member of Congress that our courts are capable of handling Guantanamo cases. And ask that they reverse this legislation or let it expire.

  • Don’t Let Congress Block Federal Trials of Guantanamo Detainees

    Write Your Senator: Don't Block Guantanamo Closure

    The House voted on a provision that would block all transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the United States—including for trial.

    And yet, federal courts have been MUCH more effective at trying terrorist suspects than the military commissions. Federal courts have convicted over 400 terrorists since 9/11. Military commissions: 5.

    The Senate will be voting on this legislation any day. If passed, it would mean that even the OPTION of trying GTMO detainees in federal courts is off the table.

    Write and call your senators today and urge them to vote against this misguided provision.

  • Fighting Homophobia and LGBT Persecution

    U.N. member states recently voted to remove sexual orientation from the list of recognized grounds on which people should be protected from extrajudicial execution.

    Homosexuality is criminalized in dozens of countries across the world. People are at risk of violence and persecution in many more.

    We have a chance to confront related challenges at a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), where dozens of world leaders will meet to discuss security and human rights.

    Help us urge Secretary Clinton to fight human rights violations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people at this international summit.

    Gay Pride Bashing
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  • Fight Repression and Rigged Elections in Egypt

    Egypt held parliamentary elections on November 28, 2010. The elections were a test of the democracy and political reform promised by the Egyptian government. They failed.

    Presidential elections are coming in 2011--a pivotal moment for Egypt after 30 years of President Mubarak's rule.

    This last election, the Egyptian government refused to allow international election monitors into the country, cracked down on opposition voices, and muzzled the independent press. It can only get worse.

    The U.S. government is a key partner of Egypt's, and President Obama spoke clearly of democracy and human rights promotion policies in the Middle East at his speech in Cairo.

    Ask President Obama to urge President Mubarak to accept international election monitors—something he said at the UN that every member state should do.

  • Fight Repression and Rigged Elections in Egypt

    Egypt will hold parliamentary elections on November 28, 2010 and a presidential election in 2011. So far, the chances that these will be fair, transparent elections don’t look good. This is a pivotal moment for Egypt because President Mubarak’s thirty year rule may be on the point of coming to an end.

    The Egyptian government is refusing to allow international election monitors into the country, cracking down on opposition voices, and muzzling the independent press. This can only get worse—last time around, government forces beat voters.

    This is a big test for the U.S. government’s democracy and human rights promotion policies in the Middle East.

    Ask President Obama to urge President Mubarak to accept international election monitors—something he said at the UN that every member state should do.

  • (No Title)

    Preventing Atrocities—and those who enable them

    Over 300,000 killed in Darfur; 2.5 million displaced. 8,000 men and boys killed in a matter of days in Srebrenica in 1995. 20% of the population of Rwanda erased in 1994.

    What if we could have prevented these mass killings, or at least stopped them earlier?

    Two senators have introduced a resolution that would enhance U.S. capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocities. It breaks new ground by tackling third-party actors that enable these crimes—an issue Human Rights First has been raising for months in meetings with policy makers.

    On August 5, Senators Feingold (D-WI) and Collins (R-ME) introduced S. Con. Res. 71, a bipartisan resolution that would be a step forward in preventing mass atrocities. 

    Ask your Senators today to co-sponsor this critical resolution!

  • Urge Obama to Take a Stand Against Chinese Censorship
    Stop Internet Censorship in China

    The Chinese government regularly intimidates, threatens, and detains those who act against the "interest of the state." China has officially imprisoned 3,000 citizens for 'information-related' crimes.

    During a visit to China last fall, President Obama criticized Internet censorship. He told students in Shanghai that, "The more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable."

    Secretary Clinton has called Internet freedom the "Fifth Freedom"—adding to President Franklin Roosevelt's famous four freedoms—and has called for China to stop censoring.

    Urge the President to stand up for Chinese citizens' right to free speech at the U.S.-China Summit.

  • Ask Your Senators to Stand up for Refugees

    Thirty years ago, Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, a landmark bill that affirmed the United States' commitment to providing refuge to victims of religious, political, ethnic and other forms of persecution.

    In recent years, however, a barrage of new laws, policies, and legal interpretations have eroded the institution of asylum in the United States, undermining the commitments the United States enshrined when passing the Refugee Act and, consequently, leading the United States to deny asylum or other protection to victims of persecution.

    Refugees seeking asylum now face prolonged detention in prison-like conditions without due process safeguards, such as a custody hearing by an immigration court, and denials of their requests for asylum based on an arbitrary filing deadline and overly broad exclusion provisions, including those that define victims of terrorism as "terrorist."

    Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Roland Burris (D-IL) have sponsored the Refugee Protection Act of 2010 (S.3113), a bill that corrects many of the most egregious policies towards refugees and re-establishes the United States' commitment to protecting the persecuted.  The bill needs cosponsors.

    Contact your senators today.  Tell them to stand up for refugees, and ask them to support this much-needed bill that would help those fleeing persecution and seeking safe haven in the United States.

  • Ask Your Senators to Stand up for Refugees

    Thirty years ago, Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, a landmark bill that affirmed the United States' commitment to providing refuge to victims of religious, political, ethnic and other forms of persecution.

    In recent years, however, a barrage of new laws, policies, and legal interpretations have eroded the institution of asylum in the United States, undermining the commitments the United States enshrined when passing the Refugee Act and, consequently, leading the United States to deny asylum or other protection to victims of persecution.

    Refugees seeking asylum now face prolonged detention in prison-like conditions without due process safeguards, such as a custody review by an immigration court, and denials of their requests for asylum based on an arbitrary filing deadline and overly broad exclusion provisions, including those that define victims of terrorism as "terrorist."

    Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced the Refugee Protection Act of 2010 (S.3113), a bill that corrects many of the most egregious policies towards refugees and re-establishes the United States' commitment to protecting the persecuted.  The bill needs cosponsors.

    Contact your senators today. Tell them to stand up for refugees, and ask them to support this much-needed bill that would help those fleeing persecution and seeking safe haven in the United States.

  • Tell President Obama you support trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts

    Help us fight fear with strength

    The recent bombing attempt in Times Square has renewed calls for military commissions and other radical new changes to the law. But the truth is that our criminal justice system can handle trying suspected terrorists. Now the administration needs to hear from citizens that believe in our court system.

    President Obama announced he would close Guantanamo by January 2010. He mentioned in his speech on national security last May that our courts are “tough enough to convict terrorists.” A wave of criticism--and fearmongering--has jeopardized his efforts to stay the course. Military commissions have recommenced, Guantanamo remains open, and we still don’t have an announcement on what the administration intends to do with 9/11 defendants.

    Critics and fearmongers have been using whatever events they can to politicize the issue, but the fact is there is no need for an alternate system. Military commissions are plagued with problems and have only managed to convict three defendants. Our courts have convicted 195 members of al Qaeda or its supporters. Learn more about the facts in our resource center or on our blog.

    Let the President know that you support the decision to have faith in the American justice system. That decision upholds our Constitution and is the most effective way to bring suspects to justice.

  • Urge the Colombian Prosecutor General to Respect Due Process for Human Rights Activists

    Colombian human rights activists are routinely targeted by prosecutors using trumped-up charges to stigmatize and silence them.

    Carmelo Agamez is one of those victims. After spending his career defending the victims of paramilitary violence and calling out corrupt politicians, he was accused of being a paramilitary. Even the courts have agreed that his rights have been violated. Read more about his case.

    Now is his chance for freedom: the Prosecutor General is deciding on his appeal any day now.

    Sign our petition to the Prosecutor General asking him to treat human rights activists fairly. We'll send a copy to Agamez himself to show how much support he has.

    (Click here to read an English translation of the letter below.)

  • Stand Up for Colombian Human Rights Activists: Urge the State Department to Enforce Conditions in U.S. Aid to Colombia

    Colombian human rights activists are routinely targeted by prosecutors using trumped-up charges to stigmatize and silence them. Read more about defenders in Colombia.

    Human Rights First documented these abuses in a report last year--and we've seen progress: dozens of activists have been released and Congress passed an appropriations law that put a condition on U.S. aid requiring the Colombian government not to persecute human rights defenders.

    Colombia is not holding up on its end of the bargain.

    Sign our petition to the State Department asking that it enforce U.S. conditions to aid–-and protect human rights activists unjustly detained or harassed.

  • Tell President Obama to Close Guantanamo and Prosecute Terrorism Suspects in Civilian Courts

    Months ago, Attorney General Holder announced his intention to try the 9/11 suspects in federal courts. Just yesterday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee urged him to stand strong in this effort to bring terrorist suspects to justice.

    The ball is now in the President's court.

    Urge the President to stand firm against the politics of fear – and not treat terrorists like warriors by trying them in military commissions!

    Federal courts have been MUCH more effective at trying terrorist suspects than the flawed military commissions.

    Write the White House today to let the President know that you support using our federal courts.

  • Petition the Chairman and Ranking Member, telling them you support his decision to try terrorist suspects in federal courts.

    Attorney General Holder will face the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow in what may be a tense hearing.

    Close Guantanamo. Trust our courts.

    Sign the petition for the Chairman and Ranking Member of the committee, telling them you support Holder's decision to try terrorist suspects in federal courts. Because it's the surest way to get justice.

    Dear [First Name],

    A couple weeks ago we asked you to send Attorney General Eric Holder a message before he went before the Senate Judiciary committee – saying that you support his decision to try 9/11 suspects in federal courts. That hearing was rescheduled and it's TODAY!

    The hearing will likely get heated as certain members of Congress will undoubtedly try to block Holder's efforts.

    What can you do?  Sign the petition for Senators Leahy and Sessions - the Chairman and Ranking Member of the committee - asking they support Holder's  decision to use our federal courts  courts!

    As Holder goes before this committee, we are also hearing that the administration may buckle to political fearmongering, that deals are being negotiated behind the scenes, and that plans to try detainees in federal courts may be abandoned. We can't let this happen.

    The fearmongering led by people like Liz Cheney and her father, the former Vice President, has jeopardized efforts to close Guantanamo, but we know that civilian courts have a better record.

    Civilian courts have seen hundreds of convictions since 9/1l vs. 3 in military commissions.

    Remind the Senate Judiciary Committee that the facts are for civilian courts – and urge that they support Holder's decision to get justice in federal courts!

    We continue to spread those facts to key members of Congress and their staff, and to work with our retired military leaders who stood behind the President when he signed the order to close Guantanamo – insisting that respect for the rule of law must be central to any policy regarding detainees.

    We need your voices to join our efforts. Help us show skeptics in the White House that there is public support for federal trials.

    Let's not stand aside as our decisionmakers buckle under the politics of fear.

    And  please, spread the word!

    Sincerely,
    Sharon Kelly
    Communications Director

  • Tell Senators Leahy and Sessions not to Derail Justice for 9/11 Defendants!

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced this fall that suspected 9/11 terrorists would face justice in civilian courts. A wave of criticism – and fearmongering – has jeopardized his efforts since then.

    Holder will face the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing that may get heated. Senators sitting on the committee need to know that the public supports his plans to use our courts to bring the 9/11 defendants to justice.

    Ask the Chairman and Ranking Member to support his plans to use our courts.

    In testimony before a House Subcommittee last month, Holder urged Americans to look to facts, not fear. Let’s make sure the committee members know that you agree with him.

  • Ask Your Senator not to Derail Justice for 9/11 Defendants!

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced this fall that suspected 9/11 terrorists would face justice in civilian courts. A wave of criticism – and fearmongering – has jeopardized his efforts since then.

    Holder will face the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing that may get heated. Senators sitting on the committee need to know that the public supports his plans to use our courts to bring the 9/11 defendants to justice..

    Urge your senator to support Holder’s plan to bring terrorists to justice without delay.

    In testimony before a House Subcommittee last month, Holder urged Americans to look to facts, not fear. Let’s make sure the committee members know that you agree with him.

  • Your Senator, Holder, Guantanamo: this morning

    Attorney General Holder will face the Senate Judiciary Committee today  in what may be a tense hearing.

    Close Guantanamo. Trust our courts.

    YOUR senator is on the committee – email  to say you support Holder’s decision to try terrorist suspects in federal courts. Because it’s the surest way to get justice.

    Dear [First Name],

    A couple weeks ago we asked you to send Attorney General Eric Holder a message before he went before the Senate Judiciary committee – saying that you support his decision to try 9/11 suspects in federal courts. That hearing was rescheduled and it's TODAY!

    The hearing will likely get heated as certain members of Congress will undoubtedly try to block Holder's efforts.

    You can do something. Your senator is on the committee – EMAIL TODAY to ask the committee not to derail efforts to bring terrorist suspects to justice in civilian courts, and support Holder's decision to use our courts!

    As Holder goes before this committee, we are also hearing that the administration may buckle to political fearmongering, that deals are being negotiated behind the scenes, and that plans to try detainees in federal courts may be abandoned. We can't let this happen.

    The fearmongering led by people like Liz Cheney and her father, the former Vice President, has jeopardized efforts to close Guantanamo, but we know that civilian courts have a better record.

    Civilian courts have seen hundreds of convictions since 9/1l vs. 3 in military commissions.

    Remind the Senate Judiciary Committee that the facts are for civilian courts – and urge that they support Holder's decision to get justice in federal courts!

    We continue to spread those facts to key members of Congress and their staff, and to work with our retired military leaders who stood behind the President when he signed the order to close Guantanamo – insisting that respect for the rule of law must be central to any policy regarding detainees.

    We need your voices to join our efforts. Help us show skeptics in the White House that there is public support for federal trials.

    Let's not stand aside as our decisionmakers buckle under the politics of fear.

    And  please, spread the word!

    Sincerely,
    Sharon Kelly
    Communications Director

  • Support Russian Activists Calling for their Constitutional Rights

     

    Human rights defenders and opposition political activists have formed a coalition in Russia to defend basic political rights that have been under attack for years. The Strategy 31 protests are organized on the 31st day of every month that has 31 days, with the next one scheduled to take place on March 31st. They take their name from Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which upholds freedom of peaceful assembly.

    By trying to convene peaceful political assemblies in cities throughout Russia while routinely facing obstruction from the authorities, the protesters hope to demonstrate the extent to which basic political freedoms, in this case the right to peaceful assembly, are denied in practice. Previous attempts to convene such rallies have been broken up by police with hundreds of participants, including leading political and human rights figures, taken into detention.

    TAKE ACTION NOW to urge Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to grant peaceful protesters the rights guaranteed to them by Article 31 of the Russian Constitution and by binding international human rights treaties.

    Alert Date: 3/22/2010


  • Tell Holder to Stand Firm. Try the 9/11 Defendants in Federal Courts NOW!

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced this fall that suspected 9/11 terrorists would face justice in federal courts. A wave of criticism – and fearmongering – has jeopardized his efforts since then.

    Urge Mr. Holder today to stand strong and support federal court trials – the surest way to get justice for 9/11. Let's stand by them.

    Read about his recent testimony in a House Subcommittee – and how he urged Americans to rely on facts, not fear. Thank him for his efforts – and show that you stand behind him!

  • Ask Your Senators to Stand up for Refugees

    Thirty years ago, Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, a landmark bill that affirmed the United States' commitment to providing refuge to victims of religious, political, ethnic and other forms of persecution.

    In recent years, however, a barrage of new laws, policies, and legal interpretations have eroded the institution of asylum in the United States, undermining the commitments the United States enshrined when passing the Refugee Act and, consequently, leading the United States to deny asylum or other protection to victims of persecution.

    Refugees seeking asylum now face prolonged detention in prison-like conditions without due process safeguards, such as a custody review by an immigration court, and denials of their requests for asylum based on an arbitrary filing deadline and overly broad exclusion provisions, including those that define victims of terrorism as "terrorist."

    Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced the Refugee Protection Act of 2010 (S.3113), a bill that corrects many of the most egregious policies towards refugees and re-establishes the United States' commitment to protecting the persecuted.  The bill needs cosponsors.

    Contact your senators today. Tell them to stand up for refugees, and ask them to support this much-needed bill that would help those fleeing persecution and seeking safe haven in the United States.

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    Alert Date: 3/05/2010


  • Keep President Obama on Track for Human Rights

    Human Rights SummitPresident Obama met with over 25 frontline activists from all over the world to discuss how to promote human rights and advance basic freedoms in fragile or repressive environments.

    Now it's time to move from words to action!

    Write the President to thank him for this new level of engagement with human rights activists - and to push him to implement the reforms necessary to help them. The activists met together at the Human Rights Summit to develop a Plan of Action that points out a path. It is in the President's hands.

    Now, let's urge him to act!

  • Vote Imminent: Don’t let Congress Tie the President's Hands in Closing Guantanamo

    The House could vote any minute to block President Obama from closing Guantanamo and bringing suspected terrorists to justice. It bars funding for trials of the suspects in U.S. federal courts.

    And yet, federal courts have been MUCH more effective at trying terrorist suspects than the military commissions. The numbers are for it (195 convictions vs. 3 in military commissions) but so are the experts.

    Write your representatives today, urging them to vote against this misguided provision – and to vote in favor of using our courts!

  • Tell the Washington Post not to waste ink on a pro-torture columnist… Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen skews the facts and is no national security expert!

    The Washington Post is giving Bush speechwriter and avid defender of torture Marc Thiessen his own column on its editorial page. His recently published pro-torture manifesto tips the fearmongering scales.

    Write the Washington Post today to let them know that they are wasting their ink promoting dangerous and inaccurate views. We’d be better off listening to experts – the interrogators and military leaders who tell us – from experience – that torture doesn’t work. 

    Here are some suggested points to share with the Washington Post:
    •    Marc Thiessen is a skilled wordsmith.  This was his job as a speechwriter in the Bush White House. Unfortunately, his misguided “facts” on torture, and his enthusiasm for "enhanced interrogation techniques," makes the decision to give him a column in your paper irresponsible.
    •    Marc Thiessen has repeatedly supported torture and “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, denying that they cause “extreme pain.” The nation is past this argument – the President ended these techniques and the Department of Justice is investigating their use. Why are we still talking about it?
    •    Marc Thiessen does not have special knowledge regarding effective interrogation methods. Meanwhile, the actual experts – skilled interrogators and national security specialists – agree that it doesn’t work and is harmful to our nation’s interests.
    •    Marc Thiessen recently went on television to argue that "enhanced interrogation techniques" are not torture. And he actually used the Bible to support torture.

  • Stop Paramilitary Death Threats to Colombian Women's Rights Leaders

     

    On January 27, 2010, a leading Colombian women's rights group received startling death threats from a right-wing paramilitary death squad. Sisma Mujer works particularly to defend the rights of those who have been forcefully displaced from their homes.

    In the email, the paramilitary group, known as the Black Eagles, threatens to kill dozens of female activists who work on behalf of communities that have been forcibly displaced as a result of Colombia's armed conflict. Most worryingly, the death threats borrowed rhetoric from Colombia's government falsely accusing human rights activists of being terrorists.

    These death threats are unfortunately only the latest form of intimidation stretching back many years. They also demonstrate that contrary to the Colombian government's assertions, paramilitary groups continue to operate in the country.

    TAKE ACTION NOW to urge the Colombian authorities to investigate these recent threats and to prosecute those responsible while providing adequate protection for the members of Sisma Mujer.

    Alert Date: 2/12/2010


  • Continue the Fight Against Antigay Discrimination in Uganda

    Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati has introduced legislation in Uganda that not only outlaws homosexuality but makes “any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex” punishable by prison or even death. It condemns HIV awareness programs as “promotion of homosexuality” and provides for up to three-year sentences for anyone who does not report all homosexual persons they know to the authorities.

    This bill would have disastrous effects for gay men and women in Uganda, would aggravate an already alarming trend of criminalization of homosexuality across Africa, and could spur Ugandan homosexuals to flee this persecution and seek safe refuge outside of the country.

    Ask your Congressional representative today to support fundamental rights for for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in Uganda by co-sponsoring resolutions pending in Congress both the House and Senate that condemn the bill’s assault on human rights.

    ***If you live outside of the United States, please enter "20002" as your zip code. Your message will be sent to key U.S. Congressmen and policymakers.

  • Colombian Activist Again Imperiled by Baseless Charges

    Help avoid seven years of unjust detention for Colombian activist Gabriel Gonzalez who continues to endure unjust and baseless prosecution for purported association with FARC guerilla forces.

    Gonzalez was the recipient of Human Rights First’s annual human rights award in October 2009, and at that time met with numerous policymakers in Washington who supported him.

    A recent Los Angeles Times editorial highlighted Gonzalez's case.

    TAKE ACTION NOW to urge members of the U.S. government to stand up for him once again and make sure that real justice – affirming his innocence and letting his work on behalf of political prisoners in Colombia – be done.

    ***If you live outside of the United States, please enter "20002" as your zip code. Your message will be sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)***

    Alert Date: 1/22/2010

  • Protect Freedom of Association for Gay Rights Activists in Turkey

     

    In February 2010, a prominent LGBT rights organization in Turkey may be forced to shut down. The Turkish authorities have been publicly opposed to the organization's work on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals.

    The Black Pink Triangle Association of Izmir (Siyah Pembe Üçgen Izmir) is accused of acting illegally and against public morality by refusing to amend its official charter, which affirms the right of LGBT individuals to enjoy a life of peace and equality. Attempts to close gay rights organizations are not new in Turkey. Public officials have unsuccessfully challenged the activities of three groups in courts since 2005.

    TAKE ACTION NOW to urge the presiding Judge to impartially adjudicate the motion to close the Black Pink Triangle Association of Izmir.

    Alert Date: 1/15/2010


  • Stand up for human rights in Uganda

    Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati has introduced legislation in Uganda that not only outlaws homosexuality but makes "any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex" punishable by prison or even death. It condemns HIV awareness programs as "promotion of homosexuality" and provides for up to 3-year sentences for anyone who does not report all homosexual persons they know to the authorities.

    This bill would have disastrous effects for gay men and women in Uganda, would aggravate an already alarming trend of criminalization of homosexuality across Africa, and could spur Ugandan homosexuals to flee this persecution and seek safe refuge outside of the country.

    Two Letters are circulating Congress – to President Obama and to President Museveni. Urge your Member of Congress to sign on.

  • Show that you support bringing the 9/11 perpetrators to justice in federal courts!

    Help us make the case for putting faith in our federal courts. Let’s restore America’s reputation by closing Guantánamo once and for all!

  • Demand End to Harassment of Colombian Human Rights Lawyer

     

    Jorge Molano, a prominent Colombian human rights lawyer, was harassed and intimidated by unidentified men on three occasions in the last week of November. Each time a group of men arrived at Molano's apartment inquiring about his whereabouts but immediately disappeared once Molano was alerted to their presence. Molano's partner has also been subject to suspicious surveillance, a common tactic used in Colombia to intimate and silence human rights activists.

    Jorge Molano is a crucial human rights lawyer handling some of Colombia's most sensitive justice cases which involve high ranking Colombian military officials and several massacres which are reaching trial. It was recently revealed that the Colombian national intelligence agency (DAS) illegally wiretapped his communications in its quest to spy on human rights defenders, Supreme Court judges, and opposition officials.

    We are concerned that the harassment and surveillance may be intended to deter Molano's groundbreaking work in seeking justice for various human rights violations through the courts, in particular the upcoming trial on December 14 - 16 for the San Jose de Apartado massacre. Molano represents the relatives of victims of this massacre.

    TAKE ACTION NOW to urge Colombian officials to increase Jorge Molano's security measures to prevent any attacks against him and to investigate the recent harassment.

    Alert Date: 12/3/2009


  • HRD: Targetted Action Sample Action

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  • Demand Investigation into Killing of Indigenous Guatemalan Lawyer Fausto Otzín

    On October 18, 2009, Fausto Otzín, a Guatemalan indigenous human rights lawyer, was found badly injured in a ditch. He suffered multiple machete and stab wounds and passed away shortly after being found. He was only 32 years old and leaves behind a wife and children.

     

    Otzín was a well-known and respected figure in the Guatemalan human rights community. He formerly served as the Executive Director of the Association of Mayan Attorneys and was heavily involved in promoting the rights of indigenous communities and victims of Guatemala’s 36-year armed conflict.

     

    The violent attack against Otzín displays troubling signs of an extra-judicial killing. Otzín’s body was found with severe signs of suffering close to a military base in the area. Disturbingly, Otzín’s death follows the murder of several other Mayan community leaders and was preceded by death threats sent to his telephone.

     

    TAKE ACTION NOW to urge Guatemalan authorities to identify and prosecute the individuals responsible for the killing of Fausto Otzín.

    Alert Date: 11/19/2009


  • Please Mr. President, Tell China: No More Arms to Sudan!

    As President Obama prepares to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Chinese government officials, there’s a lot on his agenda for discussion.

    But we cannot let him forget this critical but often sidestepped human rights concern: China’s sale of arms to the Sudanese government – despite a U.N. arms embargo and the human rights abuses that civilians continue to suffer in Darfur.

     

    Send a message to the President asking that he raise this issue with the Chinese President and his government. The Chinese arms and ammunition that are fueling violence in Darfur must be halted! 

  • Close Guantánamo
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  • Tell Your Senators: Our Courts Can Handle Guantanamo Cases!

    Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed an amendment that would bar 9/11 defendants from being tried in U.S. federal courts.

     

    And yet, federal courts have been MUCH more effective at trying terrorist suspects than the military commissions. In fact, 195 international terrorists have been convicted by U.S. federal courts since 9/11. Military commissions have led to only 3 convictions.

     

    Write your senators today urging they vote against this misguided provision – and that we use our courts!