Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XI Number 11, November-December 2003


Thursday, November 20, 7:30 PM. Monthly Meeting 414 S. Holliston, Caltech Y
Lounge. Help us plan future actions on the Patriot Act, Just Earth campaign,
death penalty and more.

Doo-Dah is here!  It's that time of year when Group 22 members head for the
streets to promote the idea that activism is fun!  We have a new skit this
year and welcome volunteers new and old to participate in this year's
Doo-Dah parade on Sunday, November 23. Contact Lucas at
  for more information.

Tuesday, December 9, 7:30 PM. Letter-writing Meeting at the Athenaeum.
Corner of California & Hill. This informal gathering is a great for
newcomers to get acquainted with Amnesty!

Sunday, December 14, 6:30 PM. Please note that the book group meets in a special
time and location in December. Home of Lucas Kamp 187 S. Catalina Avenue #2..
This month we discuss Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn. (More info below.)

Tuesday, January 13, 7:30 PM. Letter-writing Meeting at the Athenaeum.
Corner of California & Hill. This informal gathering is a great for
newcomers to get acquainted with Amnesty!

Sunday, January 18, 6:30 PM. Rights Readers Human Rights Book Discussion
Group. Vroman's Book Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.  This month
we discuss Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights, by William
Schulz. (More info below.)


Hi all!

It's November already and soon the holidays will be upon us. I hope no-one
was affected by the recent terrible fires and smoke.

What have we been doing?  The first weekend in November, several Group 22
members attended the Amnesty USA Western Regional Conference in Redondo
Beach.  Bill Schultz, the president of Amnesty International, was there
signing his latest book, "Tainted Legacy:  9/11 and the Ruin of Human
Rights".. (We are reading this book in our January book group meeting!)
Unfortunately, due to a household emergency, I missed him and the opening
speakers on Saturday, but was able to attend most of the rest of the
conference. Some of the workshops Group 22 members attended were:  Refugees:
Asylum and Detention Law Post 9/11, Democratic Republic of Congo Crisis
Alert, The Denial of Food as a Political Weapon in N. Korea, Human Rights in
Guatemala and Columbia, the Patriot Act, AI's new campaign on the
International Arms Trade and Military, Security and Police Transfers and
teaching about AIDS from a global health perspective.  At the closing
session, we heard Carrie Dan, a Western Shoshone elder who spoke re a land
dispute her tribe in Nevada has with the federal government and Esther Cano
Chavez, an activist from Juarez, Mexico, who spoke on the 370 women who have
been "disappeared" or murdered there since 1993.  AI has made the Juarez
murders the focus of "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence" which
takes place from Nov 25 to Dec 19. Our group plans to send postcards to
Mexican authorities and may plan other actions during this week.

A fun thing at the conference was taking photos for the control arms
campaign(AI, Oxfam and iansa(International Action Network on Small Arms) is
doing. You can view photos on the website( and
send in your own drawing or photo! Hint:  mine is under "mary
kathryn"-haven't been able to find anyone else's from our group yet-keep

Don't forget the book group this Sunday night at Vroman's. We're reading The
River's Tale by Gargan. I just started it. It's part travelogue, history,
and political commentary and very well written. I feel like I'm in China.
See upcoming event section.

The Doo-Dah parade is coming up Sunday Nov 23rd. If you need info, or want
to sign up to participate(it's not too late!), contact Lucas at  Our skit has a different theme this
year-"Letters to the Rescue"- and some unique props!

Take care,



Justice for Evangelina Arce and Women of Juarez

Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Evangelina Arce, who
was reportedly intimidated and was assaulted in the street in Ciudad Juarez,
Chihuahua State, Mexico.

Evangelina Arce is the mother of Silvia Arce, who has been missing since
1998.  She is also a member of the Comite' Independiente de Derechos Humanos
de Chihuahua, Independent Committee of Human Rights in Chihuahua.

On April 30, 2003, Evangelina Arce was reportedly assaulted by three men in
downtown Ciudad Juarez.  The men stole her purse and kicked her repeatedly,
raising concerns that theft may not have been the primary motive for the
attack.  During the previous week, Evangelina Arce received several
anonymous telephone calls and reported noticing an unidentified car parked
outside her house.

Prior to the incidents of intimidation, Evangelina Arce gave a statement to
the Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos, National Human Rights Commission,
highlighting the failure of authorities to carry out an effective
investigation into the abduction of her daughter Silvia, who was 25 years
old when she went missing in Ciudad Juarez on 11 March 1998.

TAKE ACTION NOW!  Voice your concern for the safety of Evangelina Arce and
call on the authorities to implement a prompt, full and impartial
investigation into the reported acts of intimidation against her and an
investigation into all of the cases of women who have been murdered or gone
missing in Chihuahua State.

Governor of Chihuahua State
Lic. Patricio Martinez
Aldama 901, Colonia Centro
Chihuahua State

Dear Governor,

I am writing to express my grave concern for the safety of Evangelina Arce,
the mother of Silvia Arce, who went missing in March 1998 in Ciudad Juarez.
Ms. Arce is a member of the Comite Independiente de Derechos Humanos de

Ms. Arce has reported acts of intimidation and assault against her following
statement to the Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos about the failure of
authorities to effectively investigate the disappearance of her daughter. I
urge you to guarantee her safety and to ensure that a prompt, full, and
impartial investigation is undertaken into the reported acts of intimidation
against her. The results of such an investigation must be made public and
those responsible brought to justice.

I am seriously concerned about the cases of women who have been murdered and
gone missing in Chihuahua State since 1993. I urge you to ensure prompt,
full, effective and impartial investigations, with the full collaboration of
federal and state institutions, of all of the cases of women who have been
murdered or gone missing in Chihuahua State. This pattern of murders and
disappearances demands a fully integrated response from federal and state
institutions to demonstrate that such crimes will not be tolerated.

Violence against women must be tackled at its roots. I call on authorities
to take effective measures to prevent, investigate, and punish all instances
of violence against women in Chihuahua State.




Urgent Action                                        15
Postcards (Women of Juarez, Mexico)                   7
US Asylum                                             1
Total:                                               23

Want to add your letters to the total? Get in touch with


Ongoing Concerns Re Guantanamo Detainees

The UK and Australian authorities have continued discussions with the US
government on the cases of their nationals who have been made subject to the
Military Order on the Detention, Treatment and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens
in the War Against Terrorism signed by President Bush in November 2001. The
UK Prime Minister has indicated that a decision on the UK nationals may be
imminent. Amnesty International is calling on him and his Australian
counterpart to reject trials by military commission and not to compromise
international fair trial standards in any agreement reached on the cases.

It emerged on 3 July 2003 that President Bush had identified six foreign
detainees in US custody as falling under the provisions of the Military
Order. As such the six can be held indefinitely without charge or trial, or
brought to trial before military commissions against whose decisions there
would be no right of appeal to any court. Amnesty International believes
that the Military Order, which applies only to non-US nationals, should be
revoked, and that any trial before the commissions - which are executive
bodies, and not independent courts - would contravene international
standards. The organization is also concerned that any guilty pleas brought
before the commissions could be the result of the coercive nature of the
conditions in which the detainees have been held without access to any legal
process. UK nationals Feroz Abbasi and Moazzam Begg, and Australian national
David Hicks, held in Camp Delta in the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, were among the six named under the Order. Amnesty International does
not know the identities of the other three detainees, though information
received suggests that they may be from Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen. None has
had access to a lawyer. While the US authorities have given assurances that
the death penalty will not be sought against the UK and Australian
nationals, no such guarantees are known to have been given in the other
three cases.

Asked about the UK detainees on 23 October 2003 (there are nine UK nationals
and three UK residents in Guantanamo), Prime Minister Tony Blair said ''I
think we are going to bring this to closure one way or another within the
next two weeks...either you get a trial of these people which we can be
satisfied meets the obligations and stipulations that we've got, or
alternatively they will come back here'' [to the UK]. In a recent private
meeting with Australian Prime Minister John

Howard, President Bush reportedly promised to expedite the cases of two
Australian nationals in Guantanamo, including David Hicks. Moazzam Begg and
Feroz Abbasi are said to be in cells away from the rest of the prisoners,
with no access to any other detainee. In the main cell blocks in Camp Delta,
detainees are held in individual cells, but can communicate through the mesh
walls of the cells. Amnesty International does not know when Moazzam Begg
and Feroz Abbasi were so placed, or if the other four are also now in
increased isolation. In any event, such a move heightens concerns for their
mental health.

There is growing concern for the psychological well-being of all detainees
in Guantanamo as detentions there approach their two-year mark. In recent
months, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the only
non-governmental organization to have had access to the detainees, has taken
the unusual step of making public its concerns on this issue (its findings
are generally confidential). In July, ICRC spokespersons described how the
absence of ''any clear legal framework'' had had ''a very adverse impact on
[the detainees'] physical and mental well-being''. In August, the ICRC
posted on its website that it had ''observed a worrying deterioration in the
psychological health of a large number of [the detainees]''. On 9 October,
an ICRC spokesperson told the New York Times that ''the open-endedness of
the situation and its impact on the mental health of the population has
become a major problem.'' To date, there have been over 30 suicide attempts
among the detainees.

BACKGROUND.  There are more than 650 people from around 40 countries
detained in Guantanamo Bay, where detentions of ''enemy combatants'' in the
USA's ''war on terror'' began in early January 2002. None of the detainees
has had access to any sort of legal process. Efforts to obtain justice in
the US courts have been unsuccessful, with the courts holding that they do
not have jurisdiction over the detainees, because they are foreign nationals
held outside US sovereign territory. On 9 October 2003, former US diplomats,
former federal judges, ex-prisoners of war, retired military officers, and
the International Bar Association were among those who filed amicus curiae
(friend of the court) briefs in the US Supreme Court urging it to examine
the issue in the interest of justice, international standards, the rule of
law, and the reputation of the USA. The Court has not yet responded.

FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as
possible, in your own words:

To Prime Minister Blair and Prime Minister Howard:

- calling on them not to accept trial by military commission under the
fundamentally flawed Military Order, and to obtain return of all of their
nationals and residents from Guantanamo Bay if the US authorities refuse to
give them trials that fully meet international standards;

- suggesting that any plea arrangements should be viewed with scepticism,
given the coercive conditions under which these detainees have been held
over a prolonged period of time, and the fact that they have had no access
to legal counsel;

- urging them to call on the US authorities to end the legal limbo of all
those held in Guantanamo Bay.

To President Bush:

- expressing concern for the psychological well-being of the detainees held
in Guantanamo Bay in view of the indefinite nature of their detention,
noting that many have been so held for almost two years;

- noting the recent statements of concern by the International Committee of
the Red Cross about the mental health impact of this legal limbo, and noting
the numerous suicide attempts;

- calling for an end to the legal limbo of all Guantanamo detainees, urging
that they be charged with recognizably criminal offences, brought to trial,
without recourse to the death penalty, in proceedings which meet
international standards for fair trial, including the right to appeal, or
else released;

- opposing trial by military commission, and calling for the 2001 Military
Order to be rescinded;

- regretting that by its conduct in relation to the Guantanamo detainees,
the USA is undermining its claims to be committed to the rule of law.


Tony Blair
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London, SW1A 2AA
United Kingdom

John Howard
Prime Minister
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500


Human Rights Book Discussion Group
Special Location This Month!
187 S. Catalina Avenue #2
Sunday, December 14, 6:30 PM

Ella Minnow Pea

by Mark Dunn

Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop
off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author
of the immortal pangram,* "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow
citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island's Council, which
has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a
memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the
statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious
and moving story of one girl's fight for freedom of expression, as well as a
linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.

Human Rights Book Discussion Group
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena
Sunday, January 18, 6:30 PM


Tainted Legacy:
9/11 and the Ruin
of Human Rights

by William Schulz

Have human rights as we once understood them become obsolete since 9-11?
Aren't new methods needed to combat the apocalyptic violence of al-Qaeda?
Shouldn't we sacrifice some rights to make us all safer? And if we can kill
a combatant in battle, why shouldn't we torture them if it will save lives?
William Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, examines
these and other fundamental questions through the prism of our new
consciousness about terrorism in this provocative new book. It questions
America's own ambivalent record - its tainted legacy - and addresses recent
human rights violations: the imprisonment without charge of non-citizens and
the violation of the Geneva Convention at Guantanamo Bay. Schulz writes,
"One of Osama bin Laden's goals is to destroy the solidarity of the
international community and undermine the norms and standards that have
sustained that community since the end of World War II. The great irony of
the post-9/11 world is that, when it comes to human rights, the United
States has been doing his work for him."



Concerns Re Violence against Women and Girls
Despite a recent peace agreement aimed at ending the five-year war in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), massacres, mutilation and rape continue
in the eastern part of the country. The need for international action is as
crucial as ever.

The situation in the Ituri district of eastern DRC, where ethnic tensions
between the Hema and Lendu communities have been aggravated by leaders of
armed political groups is of particular concern. With the withdrawal of
Ugandan and Rwandan troops from Ituri and the Kivu provinces respectively,
various groups have vied for control over the territories and have resorted
to ethnic appeals to marshal followers. In the ensuing violence, thousands
of civilians from both communities, targeted mainly because of their ethnic
identity, have been killed, raped and tortured.

During this ongoing conflict, women have been victims of sexual violence,
including rape. Within a 10-week period in 2003, more than 100 cases of rape
and sexual abuse were reported, including sexual torture of women committed
in front of their husbands or other family members. Gang rapes, sometimes
performed in public, have been used to terrorize the women and girls and to
humiliate civilian populations suspected of collaborating with enemy forces,
forcing these populations into submission.

L., a 35-year-old Hema woman who fled east from Bunia, the major town in
Ituri, on May 10, was stopped and taken prisoner by Lendu and Ngiti militia
in the village of Bavi the next day. The militia systematically singled out
people whom they suspected of being Hema and sought confirmation of their
suspicions from a local witch doctor (feticheur). After the witch doctor
denounced L. as a Hema, they took all of her clothes except for a single
garment and imprisoned her overnight in a meter-deep waterlogged pit in the
ground with two other Hema women. These two women were later taken out of
the hole and hacked to death by Ngiti militia using hand-axes. L. managed to
escape and reach Uganda.

At the end of June, in the Saio district of Bunia, a 45-year-old Bira woman
and her 13-year-old daughter were woken from sleep by a group of young Union
of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militiamen, who demolished a door to force their
way into the house. Once inside, they looted and destroyed property and
accused the mother and daughter of hiding Lendu combatants in their home.
They then attempted to abduct the daughter. When the mother tried to
intervene, both she and her daughter were brutally raped side-by-side by two
of the militiamen, not far from their home. Both mother and child suffered
injuries as a result of the attack.

Many girl children have been recruited, often forcibly, into the various
armed groups. While forced to serve on the frontlines, these girl soldiers
are routinely raped and used as sexual slaves, and some child combatants
have been forced -- at gunpoint -- to commit rapes and killings themselves.
Natalia (not her real name) told Amnesty International in early 2003 that,
at the age of 12, she joined the RCD-Goma armed group after an attack on her
village in eastern DRC:

"I watched as soldiers killed many of my relatives in the village and raped
my two sisters and my mother. I was in hiding, but I saw all this. I was
scared and thought that if I joined the army I would be protected. I wanted
to defend myself. Once in the army, I was frequently beaten and raped by the
other soldiers. One day a commander wanted me to become his wife, so I tried
to escape. They caught me, whipped me and raped me every night for many
days. When I was just 14 I had a baby: I don't even know who his father is.
I ran away again and this time I managed to escape. But today I have nowhere
to go and no food to give to the baby!"

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS among combatants has added considerably to the
trauma faced by the victims. Many victims also fear the social stigma
attached to rape, and potentially being ostracized by their community and
abandoned by their family. Medical and psychological treatment appropriate
to the needs of the victims is uniformly absent.

Deployment of an emergency multinational force (IEMF) led by the French in
May of 2003 has calmed the situation in the immediate area of Bunia, but not
throughout the entire Ituri district. The UN recently expanded the mandate
of the MONUC peacekeeping force authorizing it to operate under Chapter VII
of the UN Charter, and increasing its numbers in order to adequately protect
civilian lives. Amnesty International calls for MONUC troops to take
decisive steps under this mandate to intervene in preventing sexual and
physical abuse to women.

Virtually none of those responsible for such sexual and physical abuse of
women and children have been brought to justice. The International Criminal
Court has recently vowed to investigate these charges but as their mandate
is limited to the most recent crimes, other local, national, and
international venues should be considered for monitoring and prosecuting
atrocities carried out prior to July 2002.

Sample Letter:

The Honorable Colin L. Powell
United States Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Secretary Powell:

I am concerned by the number of civilians who continue to be killed,
mutilated and tortured in the ensuing violence in the eastern provinces of
the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a member of the UN Security Council
that authorized the United Nations Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC)
force, I urge you to ensure that MONUC fully implements its newly reinforced
mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and intervenes to effectively
protect civilian lives in the region.

Under its mandate, MONUC is responsible for duly protecting civilians with
particular attention to vulnerable groups including women, children and
demobilized child soldiers. Throughout the conflict, rape and other forms of
sexual violence have been used as weapons of war by all the parties. In many
cases, the deliberate wounding or killing of victims follows these acts of
sexual violence. There are reports that many girls have been forcibly driven
to serve on the frontlines and have been routinely raped and used as sexual
slaves by adult commanders.

UN peacekeeping forces have been present in the DRC since February 2000
under UN Resolution 1291 (2000), but have largely failed to adequately
protect civilians from suffering and deprivation of life. In July 2003,
under UN Resolution 1493, MONUC was given an expanded mandate under Chapter
VII of the UN Charter, authorizing UN troops to take all necessary means,
including use of force, to secure the safety of civilians in Ituri and the
Kivu provinces of eastern DRC.

While I welcome these developments, MONUC's ability to intervene effectively
to prevent further abuses remains a significant concern. Insufficient
deployment of troops in conflict areas and lack of adequate training
severely hamper the implementation of its mandate. Peacekeeping forces
should also be deployed throughout all districts of Eastern Congo where
there is a risk of armed clashes in order to prevent further escalation of
the crisis and human rights violations.

Mr. Secretary, I ask you to take every measure possible to end the human
rights abuses occurring in the DRC and to urge the UN Security Council to
take every necessary step to support MONUC in providing sufficient combat
personnel, equipment and training to fulfill its mission successfully. Thank
you for your attention to this human rights concern.


Editor's Last Word:
Read us on line:
Martha Ter Maat, 626-281-4039 /

Amnesty International works impartially to free prisoners of
conscience-individuals jailed solely for their beliefs, ethnic origin,
language, or sexual orientation, provided they have not used or
advocated violence-to ensure fair trials for all political prisoners,
and to abolish torture and executions worldwide. It is funded by
members and supporters around the world.

Caltech/Pasadena Group 22.