Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XIII Number 10, October 2005


Thursday, October 27, 7:30 PM. Monthly Meeting Caltech Y is located off 
San Pasqual between Hill and Holliston, south side. You will see two 
curving walls forming a gate to a path-- our building is just beyond. 
Help us plan future actions on Sudan, the War on Terror, death penalty 
and more.

Sunday, October 30, 7:00 PM. Human Dignity Under Assault: The Use of 
Torture in the War on Terror. All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave, 
Pasadena. Speakers: Jennifer Harbury, STOP Torture Campaign, Maria 
LaHood, Center for Constitutional Rights, Rev. Edward Bacon, All Saints 
Church, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Kol Tikvah Synagogue, Dr. Nazir Khaja, 
Islamic Service Center. This forum seeks to educate the public about 
torture and to rally support behind the growing call for an independent 
investigation on the War on Terror. This event marks an important 
milestone in Amnesty's Denounce Torture campaign, as sponsorship of 
this event will be shared with a number of religious and inter-faith 
groups. Amnesty recognizes the importance of involving religious 
community in public debate and public action on the subject of torture 
and US policies and practices. Prior to the forum, Amnesty and All 
Saints will hold an Interfaith Service at 5:30 PM followed by a meal 
($8 suggested donation) at 6:00. Questions? Call/email 
310-815-0450/ To RSVP for the 6:00 meal: 

Tuesday, November 8, 7:30 PM. Letter-writing Meeting at the Athenaeum. 
Corner of California & Hill.  Look for our table downstairs in the 
cafeteria area.  This informal gathering is a great for newcomers to 
get acquainted with Amnesty!

November 11-13.  AIUSA Western Regional Conference in San Francisco 
(more info inside).

Thursday, November 17, 7:30 PM. (Moved to Earlier Date due to 
Thanksgiving!). Monthly Meeting. Caltech Y (see Oct 27 for location 

Sunday, November 20. 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (aprox). Doo-Dah Parade! We are 
recruiting volunteers now. Entry fees are $10 per person.  We provide 
all props and costuming.  If you are interested in participating, or 
have questions, please contact us at: phone:   (626) 795-1785  email:

Sunday, November 20, 6:30 PM. Rights Readers Human Rights Book 
Discussion Group. Vroman's Book Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., 
Pasadena.  This month we read Ken Wiwa's memoir of his father, Nigerian 
writer and environmentalist, Ken Saro Wiwa, In the Shadow of a Saint. 
(More below.)

Saturday, December 10.  International Human Rights Day.  Group 22 is 
planning a write-athon.  Stay tuned for details.

Saturday, December 12.  Vigils and Demonstrations prior to the 
execution of California Death Row inmate Stanley "Tookie" Williams.  
Details later.


Ten years ago on November 10, the Nigerian government executed writer 
and environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.  The campaign to save his life was 
unprecedented in its global reach and unique in the collaboration 
between human rights, labor and environmental groups it produced.  The 
reaction to his death was also unprecedented  in the shock and outrage 
felt by those activists who worked on the case.  This month, Amnesty 
releases a report on the human costs of the Nigerian oil industry ten 
years after Saro-Wiwa's death.  We'll have more on this in our next 
newsletter.  Meanwhile, Group 22's book group commemorates the occasion 
by taking up Ken Wiwa's powerful memoir of his father, In the Shadow of 
a Saint.  For more information on the worldwide effort to honor 
Saro-Wiwa's legacy visit, and

After hearing the protests of the United States government regarding 
the execution of Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian government actually turned 
around and pointed a finger at the US and said, more or less, "but you 
execute your criminals too!"  The company we keep when it comes to the 
death penalty!  We are fast approaching another kind of memorial 
benchmark, the 1000th execution since reinstatement of the death 
penalty in 1976.  California finds itself in the running to take this 
dubious honor with three, that's right, three, scheduled executions in 
the coming months.  We focus this month on Stanley "Tookie" Williams 
whose execution is set for December 13 and we will take up the cases of 
Clarence Ray Allen (January 17) and Michael Morales (February) in later 
newsletters.  After our successful event (thanks all who helped!) last 
month with All Saints Church in raising awareness about Tookie's case 
and meeting his collaborator Barbara Becnel we are very committed to 
Tookie's clemency drive and the campaign for a moratorium on California 

Two other notable reports were issued this month, The Rest of Their 
Lives: Life Without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States, 
and Stonewalled: Police abuse and misconduct against lesbian, gay, 
bisexual and transgender people in the US.  An action related to the 
Stonewalled report is featured in this newsletter.  Visit the AIUSA 
website to learn more:

We have a very busy couple of months ahead of us!  Please take note of 
our Up-coming Events column and sync it up with your activist calendar 
and get involved.  We know this is the busiest time of year for many, 
but what better way to give thanks and make peace and goodwill than by 
giving a little of your time to the cause of human rights!

Martha Ter Maat


November 11-13, 2005, Western Regional Conference: A Turning Point for 
Human Rights.  Holiday Inn Golden Gateway (1500 Van Ness Ave.) San 
Francisco, 415-441-4000. Featured speakers include:

Dolores Huerta: Founder and Vice President of the United Farm Workers.
Rebiya Kadeer: Former Prisoner of Conscience in China.
Jenny Martinez: Assistant Professor of Law at Stanford University, who 
argued Rumsfeld v. Padilla, a landmark case for civil liberties, in the 
Supreme Court.
Michael J. Brennan: Clinical Professor of Law at USC, advocate against 
the death penalty.
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
Markos Kounalakis: President and publisher of the Washington Monthly; 
journalist and author covering wars and revolutions.
Banafsheh Akhlaghi: President, National Legal Sanctuary for Community 
Van Jones: National Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for 
Human Rights
Lawrence C. Marshall: Professor of Law at Stanford, co-founder of the 
Center on Wrongful Convictions.
Eva Paterson: President, Equal Justice Society, a national organization 
dedicated to changing the law through progressive legal theory, public 
policy and practice.
Dave Eggers: Author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and 
Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated. He 
founded 826 Valencia, a writing lab for youth.
Lucas Guttentag: National Director, Immigrants Rights Project, ACLU
Steve Fainaru: Iraq correspondent, The Washington Post

Also: Workshops and Roundtable Discussions, Student and Local Group 
Caucuses, Poetry Slam, Policy-Making Sessions, ITVS Film Screenings and 

To register or for more info visit  
Download a registration form or contact the Western Regional Office at 
310-815-0450 or for a registration brochure.

California Execution set for December 13

California death row inmates Stanley "Tookie" Williams, Clarence Ray 
Allen and Michael Morales lost their Supreme Court appeals this month.  
Williams' execution date has been set for December 13, Allen's for 
January 17 and Morales' sometime in February.  We focus this month on 
requesting clemency for Tookie Williams on the passage of AB 1121 the 
California Moratorium on Executions Act which would benefit all three 


If you missed our recent screening of Redemption, the film made about 
Tookie's life starring Jamie Foxx, rent it to learn more about the 

Visit Tookie's website to sign the online clemency petition to Governor 
Schwarzenegger and download petitions to circulate:

Learn more about the death penalty and find talking points to use on 
your elected representatives as well as friends and family by visiting 
the Death Penalty Information Center's website:

Send letters and emails requesting clemency for Tookie to the Governor 
and the Parole Board:

	Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
	State Capitol Building
	Sacramento, CA 95814
	Phone: 916-445-2841
	Fax: 916-445-4633
	To send an Electronic Mail please visit:

        Board of Parole Hearings
        1515 K Street
  	Suite 600
  	Sacramento, CA 95814
  	(916) 445-4072

Some background from Death Penalty Focus follows which you can use for 
your letters:
Stanley Williams was convicted in 1981 of killing four people during 
two robberies in the Los Angeles area. One robbery took place at a 
convenience store where a white male, Albert Lewis Owens who was 
employed there was shot to death. The other robbery took place at a 
family-owned motel where Tsai-Shen Yang, Yen-Yi Yang and Ye-Chen Lin 
were shot and killed. Williams was sentenced to death for these four 
murders.  Prior to being convicted of these four murders, Williams had 
never been to prison and had never been convicted of a felony.
This case depends on the testimony of unreliable informant witnesses. 
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals described the key witnesses in this 
case as having "less-than-clean backgrounds and incentives to lie in 
order to obtain leniency from the state in either charging or 
sentencing." One key witness, a co-participant in the alleged crimes, 
was beaten so severely by police that his ribs were broken. Two other 
key witnesses, who produced the gun that allegedly linked Williams to 
the crime, were themselves under investigation for capital murder when 
they implicated Williams. These witnesses were never charged for murder 
or any of the crimes they were suspected of.

Race is a factor in this case.  The Williams trial was tainted by 
racism from beginning to end. First, the prosecutor moved the trial 
from a relatively diverse part of Los Angeles County to a predominantly 
white area, limiting the number of African-Americans called as 
potential jurors. The prosecutor then dismissed every potential juror 
identified as African-American. The California Supreme Court reversed 
two other death sentences obtained by this very same prosecutor for the 
very same reason: racial bias in jury selection. The prosecutor 
concluded by using a racially-charged language in his closing argument.

Williams had an ineffective, poorly qualified lawyer.  Williams' 
attorney never objected to the improper exclusion of three potential 
African-American jurors from the jury pool, despite the fact the he 
knew it was unconstitutional. His failure to do so constitutes 
ineffective assistance of counsel. In addition, Williams' attorney 
never presented any mitigation evidence during the sentencing phase of 
the trial.

Other serious mistakes were made. Judges are required to caution the 
jury about the unreliable testimony of informant witnesses, however, 
the judge in this case failed to give any cautionary instructions. The 
jury also erroneously considered more special circumstances then 
legally applied.

How can we execute Williams while the Justice Commission investigates 
these issues? The California Commission on the Fair Administration of 
Justice has been established to study exactly these kinds of mistakes. 
No one should be executed while the Justice Commission is conducting 
this in-depth study.  The Justice Commission must report its 
recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by Dec. 31, 2007.

Williams deserves clemency. Judge Procter Hug of the 9th Circuit Court 
of Appeals said in a 2002 ruling against Williams, "We are aware of 
Williams' . . . Nobel Peace Prize nomination for his laudable efforts 
opposing gang violence from his prison cell, notably his line of 
children's books (titled) 'Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence,' 
and his creation of the Internet Project for Street Peace.  Williams' 
good works and accomplishments since incarceration may make him a 
worthy candidate for the exercise of gubernatorial discretion." 
Williams has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel 
Prize for Literature because of the tremendous impact his work and his 
books about ending gang violence have had on youth around the world. 
Executing Williams will not only rob California of a valuable anti-gang 
activist, but will rob children around that world of a person that has 
had a positive impact on their lives. What kind of message will this 


Finally, Write to your Assemblyman/woman in support of AB 1121 
California Moratorium on Executions Act. The act, if passed, would 
suspend all executions in California until January 1, 2009 while the 
California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice conducts a 
thorough study of the state's criminal justice procedures.  Even if you 
have already written (thanks!) please write again emphasizing the 
urgency of passing this legislation in view of the three pending 
executions. Sample Letter:

Assemblymember _________________
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 94249

Dear Assemblymember __________,

I am writing in support of AB 1121, which calls for a two-year 
moratorium on executions in California. As your constituent, I 
respectfully request that you consider becoming a co-author of this 
very important piece of legislation.

Recent events, including technological advances, have revealed that 
innocent people are being sentenced to death at an alarming rate. In 
fact, since the early 1970s, 119 of this nation's death row inmates 
have been exonerated, in some cases escaping death by hours. Six were 
wrongfully convicted right here in California.

This kind of grave error is unacceptable; the wrongful execution of 
even one person is one too many. AB 1121 temporary suspends executions 
in California while the California Commission on the Fair 
Administration of Justice, a bipartisan commission created by the state 
Senate last year, investigates the causes of wrongful conviction and 
the application of criminal justice in this state. The Commission will 
release their findings no later than December 31, 2007.

AB 1121 does not call for abolition of the death penalty. Rather, it 
calls for a temporary suspension of executions while the Commission 
completes its research, and until the Legislature is able to fully 
consider the  Commission's findings. The Legislature can repeal the 
moratorium at any time. However, if the Legislature chooses not to act, 
the moratorium shall end on January 1, 2009.

A California Field Poll shows that 73% of Californians favor a 
temporary suspension of executions while the reliability and fairness 
of the death penalty are studied. More than 40% of these people are 
supporters of the death penalty. In addition, over 430 organizations -- 
representing diverse constituencies -- have passed resolutions calling 
on Governor Schwarzenegger to suspend executions.
Please join me in supporting AB 1121.

Sincerely, YOUR NAME and ADDRESS

To look up your state representatives visit:

Human Rights Book Discussion Group
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena
Sunday, November 20, 6:30 PM

In the Shadow of a Saint
by Ken Wiwa

In 1995, the little-known Ogoni region in Nigeria became a fable for 
our times. Ken Saro-Wiwa, a renowned writer and environmentalist, was 
campaigning to protect his Ogoni people against the encroachments of 
Shell Oil and a brutal dictatorship. He was imprisoned, tortured, 
brought to trial on trumped-up charges, and executed.  At the heart of 
the public campaign to save Ken Saro-Wiwa was Ken Wiwa - the author's 
son - who lobbied world leaders and moblilized public opinion, so that 
his father was recognized as a hero and a symbol of the struggle for 
environmental justice.  Ken Wiwa tells the story - from a human, 
anecdotal perspective - of what it means to grow up as a child in the 
shadow of such extraordinary men and women. In the end, it's about 
Ken's attempts to make peace with himself and his father - following his 
journey as he reaches toward a final rendezvous with the father who was 

Justice for Transgender Woman in Sacramento

This month AIUSA issued a new report, Stonewalled: Police abuse and 
misconduct against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the 
US. The report is available on line at  
Below is a sample letter on one of the featured cases.

Captain Mark Iwasa
Sacramento County Main Jail
651 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-2400

Sheriff Lou Blanas
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department
711 G Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Sheriff Blanas/ Captain Iwasa,

I write with grave concern regarding the alleged ill-treatment of Kelly 
McAllister, a transgender woman, by Sacramento County Sheriff's 
Department deputies, corrections officers and inmates in August 2002.

On August 16, 2002, Kelly McAllister was reportedly beaten, pepper 
sprayed, hog-tied, and dragged across the hot pavement faced down by 
arresting deputies from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. It 
was also reported that Kelly McAllister's repeated request to use a 
toilet were refused by officers, causing her to defecate in her 
clothing while hog-tied in the car. At the Sacramento County Main Jail, 
she was allegedly subjected to humiliating and threatening treatment, 
including transphobic verbal abuse, by Sheriff's deputies, jail 
personnel and other inmates.

On September 6, 2002, while Kelly McAllister was being detained in the 
Sacramento County Main Jail, the deputies and correction officers put 
her in a cell with a male inmate who reportedly proceeded to strike, 
choke, bit and rape her. While the SCSD did conduct an investigation 
leading to the inmate pleading guilty to "unlawful intercourse in 
jail," the SCSD did not investigate the alleged abuses by its own 
deputies and corrections officers, including their culpability for the 
rape of Kelly McAllister.

By failing to protect Kelly McAllister in custody and by putting her at 
particular risk by holding her in a cell with a male prisoner, the 
authorities are responsible for her alleged ill-treatment and, in case 
of the rape, torture. The lack of a thorough investigation of the 
culpability of the deputies and corrections officers at the SCSD and 
the Sacramento County Main Jail violates the principle of "due 
diligence" in international law that requires authorities to take 
appropriate steps to prevent abuses, to investigate them when they 
occur, and to bring perpetrators to justice in fair proceedings.

Furthermore, Kelly McAllister's ill-treatment by officers and other 
inmates is a violation of international human rights law and norms that 
guarantee every individual's right to be free from discrimination, and 
torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

-- I urge you to investigate thoroughly the culpability of deputies and 
corrections officers at the Sacramento County Main Jail for the rape of 
Kelly McAllister by another inmate.

-- I call on you to conduct an immediate and full investigation into 
the allegations of use of excessive force during Kelly McAllister's 

-- I ask that the results of your investigations be made public and 
that any law enforcement officer found guilty be disciplined, or where 
appropriate, be prosecuted.

-- I urge you to ban the use of hog-tying, as it has been found that it 
can lead to death by "positional asphyxia," and to establish strict 
guidelines and limitations in the use of pepper-spray or stop its use 

-- Finally, I call on the Sacramento Sheriff's Department and the 
Sacramento County Main Jail to implement effectively and immediately 
the new guidelines that have reportedly been developed pertaining to 
the detention of transgender individuals.

It is important that you send a clear message affirming that the human 
rights of ALL people will be respected and protected, regardless of a 
person's real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. You 
must send a clear message by taking appropriate actions that police 
abuse and misconduct will not be tolerated and that any officer found 
guilty of committing human rights violations will be brought to 

Sincerely, YOUR NAME and ADDRESS

Sudan	10
Control Arms Campaign	11
War on Terror	1
Vietnam POC	10
OutFront	2
Death Penalty 	10
Urgent Actions	36
Total:	90

To add your letters to the total contact

Secret Detentions in Egypt

Sample Letter:

Minister of the Interior General Habib Ibrahim El Adly
Ministry of the Interior
Al-Sheikh Rihan Street, Bab al-Louk
Cairo, Egypt

Dear Minister:

I write concerning the treatment of individuals in the "war on terror." 
  I strongly condemn the acts of violence and terrorism that have killed 
civilians and instilled fear around the world.  I also strongly oppose 
the violations that are taking place against individuals who have 
become the detainees caught up in a "war on terror" dragnet.  These 
individuals are being held without charge, indefinitely, and in some 
cases in secret facilities that even deny access to the International 
Committee of the Red Cross. Many are reported to have been tortured or 
subjected to other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.  
Such cases are featured in a recent report by Amnesty International, 
entitled USA/Jordan/Yemen: Torture and Secret Detention: Testimony of 
the 'disappeared' in the 'war on terror'.

According to Amnesty International, Osama Nasr Mostafa Hassan may be 
detained in Egypt and at risk of torture or ill-treatment.  Osama Nasr 
Mostafa Hassan was abducted on a street in Milan and allegedly driven 
to the U.S. air base in Aviano, Italy, where he was interrogated and 
drugged before being taken to the U.S. military base in Ramstein, 
Germany. From there he was flown to Egypt, where he was allegedly 
tortured, including with electric shocks. Although released in 2004, he 
was rearrested and remains held in an unknown place of detention.  It 
has been suggested that he may again be detained in Damanhour prison.

The widespread and systematic practice of torture in Egypt has 
persisted despite its prohibition under domestic and international law. 
For well over a decade, specialized UN expert bodies, including the 
Committee Against Torture and international and national human rights 
organizations, have been documenting cases of torture and 
ill-treatment, including deaths, in Egyptian custody.

Secret detentions, torture, and ill-treatment by Egyptian officials 
must stop.  I ask the Egyptian government to disclose the location 
where Osama Nasr Mostafa Hassan was previously held, clarify whether he 
remains in detention in Egypt, and if so, provide details of the 
charges against him.  If Osama Nasr Mostafa Hassan is detained in 
Egypt, I ask that you ensure that he is promptly prosecuted for 
internationally recognizable criminal offences and in accordance with 
international standards of fairness - otherwise he should be released.

Wherever it has occurred, perpetrators of torture or other cruel, 
inhuman, or degrading treatment should be punished according to 
international and domestic laws.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,  YOUR NAME and ADDRESS

Brother Nguyen Thien Phung Released!

Brother Nguyen Thien Phung, Group 22's recently adopted prisoner of 
conscience, has been released! We found this announcement at the 
Amnesty International webstie:

"Brother Nguyen Thien Phung (Huan) was released on 1 September after 
spending 18 years in prison in Viet Nam. He was among a group of 23 
Roman Catholic monks and priests arrested in May 1987 for holding 
training courses and distributing religious books without government 
permission during raids on Thu Duc monastery, near Ho Chi Minh City."

As many of you know, Group 22 only adopted Brother Nguyen's case in May 
of this year. That is the month when AI sent out a general urgent 
action about him. So our group really can't claim much credit for his 
release, although our letters and petition signatures certainly added 
to the cumulative pressure of world opinion that eventually resulted in 
his release. This is one more of Amnesty's success stories!

Congratulations to the AI groups in France, Spain, Australia, Canada, 
Sweden, and New Zealand who have worked on behalf of Brother Nguyen! 
Several of these groups spent many years on his case, and they must be 
very happy indeed to see their efforts finally rewarded.
In February 2005 the Vietnam government released from prison Father 
Nguyen Van Ly, who was an AI special focus case. A number of other 
Vietnam prisoners of conscience were also freed this year. We hope that 
the Vietnam government will continue to demonstrate a sincere 
commitment to human rights, and that never  again will anyone suffer 18 
years of harsh imprisonment for expression of his right to religious 
freedom as did Brother Nguyen Thien Phung.

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