Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 308

Today, Jiten,Kalpesh, and I were scheduled to help Q100 and the Bert Show. We were signed up to help read, count, and organize the Thanksgiving letters that were written for troops. Around 4pm we received a call that they would not need help this evening. Therefore, I stayed in and volunteered at Amnesty International.

I started out by writing a letter to help support Afghan women's rights. Ten years ago, the Afghan government and its international allies pledged to advance women’s rights following the military intervention to oust the Taliban. Millions of Afghan women and girls have seen progress in their lives since 2001: two-and-a-half million girls are enrolled in school, women can work outside their homes and the constitution grants women and men equal legal status.But many Afghan women now fear their rights will be sacrificed as the Afghan government and its international partners seek a political settlement with the Taliban.

Secondly, I wrote a letter to help prisoners of conscience in Myanmar. Myanmar released more than 6000 prisoners on 12 October 2011. But only about 200 of those released were political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience—that is, people held solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association.The government of Myanmar needs to release all prisoners of conscience immediately. There are possibly as many as 1800 political prisoners still languishing behind bars in Myanmar.

Lastly, I wrote a letter to help María Isabel Franco. Maria was a 15 year old student when she was raped and brutally killed in December 2001. She is one of thousands of women in Guatemala murdered since 2001. Her mother Rosa Franco has been fighting for justice ever since, but the Guatemalan authorities have so far failed her and her daughter. María Isabel Franco’s case was handled extremely poorly, and the delays in investigation are completely unjustifiable. I wrote the letter to demand that the investigation follows up on all possible leads, carries out all necessary tests, and brings those responsible for these abuses to justice, in the case María Isabel Franco, and for the thousands of other unsolved murders of women.

Happy giving!


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