Current Human Rights Campaigns

 

Block the Bombs

Saudi Arabia’s government has led a devastating campaign of unlawful air strikes and bombardment of civilian targets in the nearby country of Yemen. Thousands of civilians have died. Many more have been injured and displaced. Yemen is now in a humanitarian crisis.
Despite this, President Obama has authorized the sale of over 18,000 bombs and 1,500 warheads to Saudi Arabia. These bombs have not yet been delivered.
Amnesty is urging President Obama and Congress to cancel the arms sale and stop the delivery of these bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Not in My Name—Pledge to Abolish the Death Penalty

Amnesty Amherst is gathering signatures for the Amnesty USA Not in My Name pledge to end the death penalty. While more than 65 percent of all countries have abolished the death penalty, the United States remains one of the leading countries in executions. Officials continue to allow this deeply flawed, extremely arbitrary and severely biased (both economically and racially) system to run rampant without checks, balances, or concern for moral decency. Amnesty believes that guilty or innocent, every person is a human being with human rights. Executions are always wrong, and its time our country realize this. 

Free Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier was conviced of killing an FBI agent, despite lack of any concrete evidence that proved him guily. Peltier is now 71 years old and has spent more than 40 years in prison. Leonard Peltier has maintained his innocence and it is thought that political factors many have unjustly influenced his trail. Amnesty Amherst is asking people to sign letters addressed to President Barack Obama asking him to grant Leonard Peltier clemency. 

Free Prisoner of Conscience Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo

Amnesty Amherst is petitioning alongside Amnesty International to release prisoner of conscience, Liu Xiaobo, who was sentenced to eleven years’ imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power” on December 25, 2009. Amnesty International considers the conviction of Liu Xiaobo to be “an attempt to prevent him from carrying out his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities, such as the signing of ‘Chapter 08,’ a proposal for political and legal reform in China.” Amnesty International is petitioning for Liu Xiaobo’s immediate and unconditional release. The petition additionally urges the Chinese government to stop the use of “broad and vaguely defined charges” to arbitrarily detain and prosecute those who are excursing their human rights. Amnesty believes that China’s mistreatment of peaceful human rights activists runs counter to promises made by Chinese officials in the National Human Rights Action Plan 2009-2010. 

Iran—Free Arzhang Davoodi

Arzhang Davoodi was arrested in October 2003 for assisting in the production of “Forbidden Iran,” a TV documentary in which he spoke about the plight of political prisoners in Iran. Arzhang Davoodi is one of Iran’s longest serving prisoners of conscience, sentenced to 15 years and 70 lashes. Davoodi was kept in solitary confinement for several months. In 2011, additional charges unjustly added 14 years to Davoodi’s sentence. In August 2013, his sentence was extended another 4 years, for a total sentence of 20 years and eight months. Since then, Davoodi has been sentenced to death for “being an enemy of God.” Arzhang Davoodi has been severely mistreated and tortured while in detention, and suffers from a multitude of serious injuries. Amnesty is calling for Davoodi’s immediate and unconditional release, and that he be promptly given all necessary medical treatment. The petition also calls for Arzhang Davoodi’s protection from harsh and ill treatment upon release.   

Iran Must Respect the Right to Freedom of Expression

On April 13th, 2007, Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, a 50-year-old Shi’a cleric, was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in Iran for his peaceful religious opinions. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience. Boroujerdi has been reportedly mistreated in detention, as he suffers from a number of serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure, a cardio-vascular disorder, and a kidney ailment. He is not receiving the healthcare he requires, and as a result his overall health is at risk. Amnesty International believes that Boroujerdi is a prisoner of conscience, “imprisoned solely for the peaceful expression of his political and religious opinions”. Amnesty Amherst is petitioning for Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s immediate and unconditional release, and that he be treated humanely while still in prison. 

Prevent Unlawful Killings With Drones & Other Weapons

Amnesty Amherst is campaigning to ensure that our country's use of lethal force comply with international law. The Amnesty USA petition to President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Secretary of Defense Hagel, and CIA Director Brennan is to ensure that our government refrain from the unlawful use of lethal forces. The petition calls for the disclosure of legal and factual details about so-called "targeted killings, 'signature strikes, and 'Terrorist Attack Disruption Strikes'. Furthermore, the petition demands that the U.S. end claims that it is authorized by international law to use lethal force anywhere in the world under the theory that it is involved in a 'global war' against al Qa'ida and other armed groups and individuals. The petition lastly calls for U.S. recognition and application of international human rights law to all counterterrorism operations, and that our country bring its policies and practices in line with international human rights obligations. 

Hold Torturers Accountable with Independent Commission

Amnesty Amherst is promoting the Amnesty USA petition to President Obama that demands he investigate and prosecute those responsible for torture. According to the recently released bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee Report, the previous administration's Office of Legal Counsel "distorted the meaning and intent of anti-torture laws" and "rationalized the abuse of detainees in U.S. The Hold Torturers Accountable with Independent Commission petition calls for the establishment of a "non-partisan, independent commission of distinguished Americans to examine, and provide a comprehensive report on, policies and actions related to the detention, treatment, and transfer of detainees after 9/11 and the consequences of those actions, and to make recommendations for future policy in this area." Amnesty USA believes that such a commission would need to be independent, backed by the full force of law, and adequately funded. Moreover, this petition asks that Attorney General Eric Holder launch a criminal investigation into torturer abuses, and hold those responsible for violations accountable. Lastly, the Amnesty USA petition asks that the Administration "produce and publish all remaining relevant policy memos that argued for, documented, and established the basis for coercive interrogation, detainee treatment and policy in the last administration." Amnesty USA and Amnesty Amherst believe it is important that the truth be exposed about our country's inhumane and illegal torture practices so that those found guilty are held responsible, and such abuses never happen again. 

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