Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 192

I'm on the road so taking the opportunity to go back to Amnesty International tonight. Here's a brief description of the ways I am getting involved:

  • 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. So I wrote to ask the U.S. government to support an international investigation into war crimes and other abuses committed by both sides during the war in Sri Lanka.
  • I wrote to help protect human rights defender Lydia Cacho. I read an article about her on CNN and am amazed by the work she does. She first received multiple threats and harassment after publishing a book in 2005, in which she exposed a child pornography ring which allegedly operated with the knowledge and protection of politicians and business people of the Quintana de Roo and Puebla states. She continued to receive threats in the following years, on some occasions in reprisal for her work as a journalist and as a human rights defender at a women’s shelter in CancĂșn. Following the latest threats, there are serious fears over her safety and security.
  • I wrote to put an end to LGBT discrimination in Turkey. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Turkey suffer discrimination in employment, housing and access to public services.The newly elected government in Turkey has pledged to introduce a new constitution containing greater human rights protections. An anti-discrimination law is also scheduled to come before the Turkish parliament. However without concerted pressure, there is a danger that these legal changes will again ignore LGBT people's demands for equality.

    I wanted to highlight a human rights key victory from Amnesty International. I wrote about this one several weeks ago - take a look and see what a difference a little bit of your time can make: Military pledges to stop forced 'virginity tests' in Egypt

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