Human Rights Letters
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Guy Ottewell and Tilly Lavenás, founder members
of the Amnesty International groups of Greenville, South Carolina,
and Lyme Regis, England.
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| The first three letters below are recent. Others below are some
long-term cases on which we keep working. More letters on them are
posted 2013 Apr16
Mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz
ul. Sukiennice 9
I am deeply concerned about the Roma
families who recently received eviction notices and were told they
must leave their homes within two weeks. They were given no alternative
housing. More than 60 people, including 35 children, now face homelessness.
May I respectfully remind you that
international human rights law, by which Poland is bound, stipulates
that evictions can be carried out only as a last resort.
I strongly urge you to stop these
evictions immediately and ensure no one is left homeless. It is
essential that you provide adequate accommodation for those who
cannot provide for themselves.
Information is from Amnesty International's Urgent Action 83/13:
posted 2013 Mar 27
Bahodir Ahmedovich Matlubov
Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del
ul. Junus Rajabiy 1
Dear Minister of Internal Affairs,
We are urgently concerned about Azamatzhon Ermakov.
It is reported that he was probably abducted from Russia and brought back to Uzbekistan, where he is in grave danger of torture.
We appeal to you to make sure that
his human rights are respected. If accused of a genuine crime, he
must be tried fairly, in accordance with international standards.
If innocent he should be released. On no account must he be tortured.
The courtesy of a quick reply on this important matter will be gratefully appreciated.
He fled to Russia in 2009 from Uzbekistan, where he was charged
with religious extremism and attempting to overthrow the constituion
and risks the torture for which Uzbekistan is notorious.
Uzbekistan demanded his extradition, which Russia approved. The
European Court of Human Rights ordered a stay of extradition until
it had examined his claims. But in January 2013 a letter to Amnesty
International from the Investigative Committee for Nizhnii Novgorod
in Russia, where he had been arrested, claimed that he had been
released in November 2012 and had taken a flight from Moscow to
Tashkent, the Uzbek capital. Since he speaks no Russian and had
no money to buy a ticket, had no warm winter clothes, and had every
reason not to be back in Uzbekistan, it is probable that he had
been abducted. He may be now in his 4th month of torture.
Please copy your message to the Uzbek ambassador in your country:
Sergey I. Kislyak
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC 20007
202 298 5700
Fax: 1 202 298 5735
Twitter: @MID_RF for tweets in Russian, @MFA_Russia for tweets in
HE Otabek Akbarov
Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan
41 Holland Park
London, W11 3RP
Information is from a March update to Amnesty International's Urgent Action UA 330/1 of 9 November 2012.
posted 2013 Jan 22
Presidente de la República del Perú
Palacio de Gobierno
Plaza de Armas
I am concerned about the planned expansion
of the Camisea Gas project. It has proved disastrous for Indians
in the surrounding area.
Uncontacted tribes in Peru are vulnerable
to diseases brought in by outsiders. They are in danger of being
exterminated. They have the right to live undisturbed on their own
I urge you to protect the lands belonging
to these people:
All extraction of natural resources
by outsiders should be prohibited.
All loggers should be removed.
Other outsiders should be prevented
Your government should recognize the
tribes as the rightful owners of their land. That is your obligation
under international law.
The infprmation comes from Survival International:
Thammavong, Prime Minister
Prime Minister's Office
Lane Xang Avenue
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Dear Prime Minister,
I am concerned about Thao Moua and Pa Fue
Khang, ethnic Hmong men now serving sentences of 12 and 15 years
in Samkhe Prison.
They were arrested in June 2003 for working
as guides to two foreign journalists. They were shackled, and beaten
with sticks and bicycle chains. They had a clearly unfair trial,
with no legal representation, and a sentence written beforehand.
I urge you to:
Review the cases of Thao Moua and Pa Fue Khang.
Ensure that they are subjected to no further ill-treatment.
Release them, if there is no credible evidence of any crime
committed by them.
I look forward to the honor of an early
reply from you about this important matter.
The running genocide
of the Hmong, and another address to which you could send your letter
Chairman Ba Te Er
People's Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
People's Republic of China
It is now known that Hada is in a prison
He was brought there from Chifeng Prison
on 10 December 2010 which was supposed to be the end of his
15 years of imprisonment. Another year has passed
It is shocking that Hada not only was imprisoned
so long for upholding the human rights of Mongolians, but was re-imprisoned
at the end of his sentence.
Please act justly and release Hada.
For the latest twist
in the far-too-long story of the scholar Hada, see the end of this
Dear Minister of Justice,
I write to you
about Hakamada Iwao. His case, as you know, is internationally notorious.
He was convicted on the basis of a
forced confession. The chief judge at the original trial believes
that he is innocent.
Hakamada Iwao has been on death row
longer than anyone else in the world: 44 years, and 28 of them in
solitary confinement. Under Japan's present rules, he could be hanged
at any time, without warning. He has become insane.
He should not be executed. He should
be granted a new trial.
I put it to you that Japan should
reform its cruel death-row system. Japan should introduce a moratorium
on the death penalty, joining the 140 countries that have put an
ended to this primitive practice.
Yours respectfully and sincerely,
Forced to confess, 44 years in solitary
or almost-solitary, always under the shadow of the noose