I wrote some more emails through Amnesty International this evening using their pre-filled forms and typing my own letters for action. Here are the issues I focused on today:
Avtar Singh, a retired Indian Army major was arrested in California on domestic violence charges. The letter asked that he be extradited to India to face murder charges for his involvement in the murder of human rights lawyer Jalil Andrabi - a Kashmiri lawyer and activist, who exposed a number of human rights violations by India’s security forces in Kashmir in the early 1990s. He was last seen on March 8, 1996 when he was taken away by Srinagar based military personnel who were led at that time by Major Singh. Nineteen days later, his dead body was found in the river Jhelum.
A Libyan woman, Eman al-Obaidi, who was detained after alleging that she was raped by members of Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi’s forces, has been released. However, she is still concerned for her own safety and has been prevented from leaving Tripoli. The letter urged Libyan authorities to ensure Eman el-Obeidi’s right to freedom of movement and that they conduct an immediate, full and thorough independent investigation into her alleged rape and other torture and ill-treatment by members of the Libyan security forces and to bring those responsible to justice.
Two leaders of the social justice movement Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, are being sought by police. They are at risk of arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment. On 12 February, WOZA staged its ninth annual Valentine's Day peaceful protest in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city. Since then police officers have paid regular visits to the homes of Williams and Mahlangu, attempting to find them. Officers have also contacted a human rights lawyer, demanding he bring the two WOZA leaders to Bulawayo Central Police station. The officer reportedly stated that the two 'must prepare themselves for a long detention'. However, police have given no indication of the reasons why they are searching for the two WOZA leaders, causing fears that the two could be arbitrarily arrested and detained. Since February police appear to have launched a crackdown in which human rights activists across the country, including WOZA members, have been systematically targeted.
A 20-year-old man, Manik, is at risk of torture and extrajudicial execution in Bangladesh after being arrested on 8 March 2011. He was showing his relatives the place where his elder brother was killed on 12 February 2011, allegedly by plain clothes men in a special police force, Rapid Action Batallion (RAB). The letter urged that Manik not be subjected to torture by the RAB or other police personnel; that he is released immediately and unconditionally, unless he is charged with a recognizably
criminal offense; and that a thorough, independent and impartial investigation is carried out into the death of Shahid, and any RAB or police personnel known to have committed extrajudicial execution, or other human rights violations against him, are brought to justice.
Lastly, urging authorities to prevent any attempt to drive residents of Lomas del Poleo off their land, and to ensure the land dispute is resolved fairly and satisfactorily in the Agrarian Tribunal. People living in Lomas del Poleo have been harassed and attacked since 2003 by men working for the landowner, who has tried to force them off land they have lived on for decades. The security guards have been menacing people living in an area of the northern state of Chihuahua. Many have fled the area, but the seven families still living there are now at renewed risk of attack. The guards are using several intimidation tactics: walking around the houses and firing into the air; firing at the houses and around the school; and driving around the houses in the middle of the night.
Again, this takes very little time but has a huge impact. I hope you have a chance to visit their site and act for human rights!