Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 155

I'm volunteering from home today. It's been a few weeks since I last visited Amnesty International so it's a night of letter writing. 

The first letter was for the immediate and unconditional release of Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese scholar and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who is serving an 11-year sentence for  "inciting subversion of state power". Liu Xiaobo co-authored "Charter 08," a proposal for political and legal reform in China. The police took Liu Xiaobo from his home in Beijing on December 8, 2008, two days before the planned launch of Charter 08. Numerous signatories of the charter have been questioned and harassed by Chinese authorities since its launch but only Liu Xiaobo has been charged or tried.

The next was asking the US government to support an international investigation into war crimes and other abuses during the war in Sri Lanka. During 2009, thousands of civilians died in the final months of the war in Sri Lanka. Both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers committed war crimes and other gross human rights abuses. But no one has been held accountable.

My last letter was to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar urging the Myanmar authorities to take immediate action to ensure that prisoners involved in protests in Insein, Hkamti
and Kale prisons are not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment and that the Government of Myanmar ensures that prison conditions throughout the country meet international standards. Political prisoners in Myanmar who have initiated peaceful protests in three prisons, including hunger strikes, are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Amnesty International has received credible reports that seven prisoners who were on hunger strike were placed in solitary confinement in cells designed for military dogs between 24 and 26 May. Political prisoners in Myanmar have used hunger strikes to protest poor prison conditions in the past. Prison authorities have tortured those who protest, or subjected them to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including reducing their diet, shackling them, and confining them in dark cells or military dog cells for protracted periods.

The letter writing takes just a small amount of your time but has a huge impact! Hope you're able to have an impact on human rights issues today!

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