Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XIV Number 3, March 2006

Thursday, March 23, 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.

Saturday, March 25, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m..  Amnesty Mini-Conference.  
Calstate Fullerton. Continental breakfast at 9am and the admission is 
FREE! No Registration Required. Below is the program for the day 
(subject to change) and directions to the conference. If you need 
flyers or a map please contact the regional office at 310/815-0450. 
Program for the Day (Subject to Change):

Opening Plenary - Speakers Include:
  * Dan Noel - Death Penalty: case of Kenneth Clair
  * Screening of the Film "Nobility" - Turk Pipkin's New Movie out of 
Austin Texas. "It is inspiring, thoughtful and intelligent look at the 
world's most pressing problems through the eyes of Nine Nobel Laureates 
including Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize, 1984), and Jody 
Williams from the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines (Nobel Peace 
Prize, 1997)."
10:30pm-11:50pm Workshops, Set 1:
  * Death Penalty
  * Lobbing 101/Denounce Torture Teach In
  * Introduction to Amnesty International
12:00pm-12:40pm Caucuses (Discussion Sessions)
  * Death Penalty - TBD
  * Local/Student Amnesty Groups - TBD
12:40pm-2:00pm Lunch (Not Provided)
2:00pm-3:20pm Workshops, Set 2:
  * Death Penalty: The Case of Kenneth Clair
  * Outfront LGBT Campaign
  * Making Special Events Special
3:30pm-4:50pm Workshops, Set 3
  * Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR)
  * International Laws and Covenants
  * Border Issues
5:00pm-5:30pm Closing Plenary - Speaker:
  * Enrique Morones - Founder of "Border Angels" - a migrant rights 
Directions: Cal State Fullerton is located west of the Orange (57) 
Freeway in Fullerton. The university is bordered by Nutwood Avenue to 
the south, State College Boulevard to the west, Yorba Linda Boulevard 
to the north, and the 57 Freeway to the east. Coming from either the 
south or the north on the 57 Freeway, exit at Nutwood Avenue. Go west 
on Nutwood. Turn right at the main campus entrance at Commonwealth 
Avenue. Follow E. Campus Drive to Parking Lot F.
Follow the signs to University Hall. The registration desk will be 
outside University Hall Room 252 at the south end of the building on 
the 2nd floor. There are stairs outside and an elevator inside the 
building leading to the registration area.

Friday-Sunday, April 7-9.  Faces of Wrongful Conviction Conference. 
UCLA Law School.  For more info

Tuesday, April 11, 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 way for newcomers 
to get acquainted with Amnesty!

Sunday, April 23, 6:30 PM. Rights Readers Human Rights Book Discussion 
Group. Vroman's Book Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.  This 
month we read W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz (More below.)

Friday-Sunday, April 28-30.  Amnesty International USA Annual General 
Meeting, Portland, OR.  For more information visit


Hi everyone! Long time no see!  I missed a few letter writing meetings, 
the environmental education fair at the Arboretum - all due to a sinus 
infection! I have finally finished my antibiotics, but am still 
exhausted - took off 2 days from work last week - now back and running 
around like a crazy person!

Last weekend, several Group 22 members and friends braved the elements 
and volunteered at our table at the annual Environmental Fair for 
teachers, families and kids at the Arboretum.  Although it rained on 
and off, the table was inside, so they stayed warm and dry (well, dry 
anyway - ). The event was a success, as 60 people signed a petition on 
the Bhopal disaster, and 110 children "signed" with their handprints 
Martha's kids petition to support the villagers of Bhopal, India in 
their demand for clean drinking water. (the wells are still 
contaminated with chemicals from the Union Carbide factory explosion in 
1984). Go to Martha's blog- - and 
check out the link to the marchers who are walking from Bhopal to Delhi 
to publicize the issues that still have not been resolved. On March 14, 
the marchers were met by AI India in Agra! This link also has actions 
you can take to support the marchers. Thanks to Paula, Stevi, Yuny, 
Stan, Azadeh, Medhi and Marie for staffing the table and Martha for 
creating the kid's petitions.  And thanks to Joyce for coordinating 
everything, inclement weather warnings and all!

The AGM will be in Portland, Oregon from April 28-30.  "Make some 
noise-human rights at high volume" is the title. Go to to register. Its not too late!

Our own 5th annual local mini-conference will be held Saturday March 
25, at Cal State University Fullerton from 9-5:30. It is free and no 
registration is needed. See Upcoming Events for more info. There will 
be workshops on death penalty, denounce torture teach in, economic, 
cultural and social rights plus a film looking at the world's problems 
through the eyes of nine Nobel laureates including Archbishop Tutu.

Hope to see you at future events!

Write to Congress to Support Peacekeeping

Sample Letter follows:
The Honorable Adam Schiff
United States House of Representatives
326 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Schiff:
I am grateful for past congressional action to end the devastating 
crisis in Darfur, Sudan.  I encourage you to ensure the success of the 
current African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) and to expand and 
support international peacekeeping missions in Darfur.
Amnesty International has reported numerous human rights violations in 
Darfur specifically targeted against women and girls.  These violations 
include abductions, rape and forced displacement.  Women who survive 
sexual violence can also suffer from mental and physical illness, 
social stigmatization, and serious economic hardship.
AMIS has struggled to offer security for women, their families, and 
their communities in Darfur.  Despite the limitations under which they 
operate, AMIS has provided the only significant line of defense against 
Darfur civilians and armed violence.  To prevent further violence and 
human rights violations, AMIS must be funded and supported until the 
arrival of the proposed UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur. It is urgent 
that you act to fully approve the President's supplemental request to 
support humanitarian and peacekeeping programs in the Sudan.
Sincerely,  YOUR NAME and ADDRESS

Human Rights Book Discussion Group
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena
Sunday, April 23, 6:30 PM
Keep up with Rights Readers at

by W.G. Sebald
Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by "one of the 
most gripping writers imaginable" (The New York Review of Books), is 
the story of a man's search for the answer to his life's central 
riddle. A small child when he comes to England on a Kindertransport in 
the summer of 1939, one Jacques Austerlitz is told nothing of his real 
family by the Welsh Methodist minister and his wife who raise him. When 
he is a much older man, fleeting memories return to him, and obeying an 
instinct he only dimly understands, he follows their trail back to the 
world he left behind a half century before. There, faced with the void 
at the heart of twentieth-century Europe, he struggles to rescue his 
heritage from oblivion.

Death Penalty 	17
Urgent Actions	30
Total:	47
To add your letters to the total contact

New Report on Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners

Amnesty International released a new report (see: on abuse of women in custody 
in the US, focusing on the practice of shackling or otherwise 
restraining pregnant inmates including during labor and delivery.  Due 
to a new state law, California prisoners won't be subject to this abuse 
any longer, but we can still push for the federal government to adopt a 
restraint-free policy.  Here's a sample letter:

Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons Harley Lappin
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534

Dear Director Lappin:

I am concerned to learn that the U.S. has no law governing the use of 
restraints on pregnant inmates.  Federal regulations state only that 
the inmate is to be restrained in other than face-down four-point 
restraints.   On March 1, AIUSA released a report updating its 2001 
survey of all 50 states, D.C. and the Federal Bureau of Prisons on 
laws, policies and practices concerning sexual misconduct and shackling 
of pregnant women.  Amnesty International has stated in two prior 
reports (1999 and 2001) that use of shackles and other restraints on 
pregnant prisoners is a cruel, inhuman and degrading form of treatment 
in violation of both the UN Convention against Torture and the 
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which the 
USA has ratified.

The UN Standard for the Treatment of all Prisoners, Rule 33 states that 
shackles should not be used on inmates unless they are a danger to 
themselves, others or property or have a history of absconding.  Women 
prisoners have a very low rate of violence, and very rarely attempt to 
escape. It is hard to imagine a pregnant woman or a woman in labor and 
delivery trying to escape.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons policy is wholly inadequate in that it 
permits the use of restraints on pregnant prisoners in the third 
trimester, during transportation and during labor.  Amnesty 
International believes these practices are dangerous to the inmate, and 
deny her rights to privacy and dignity.

I strongly urge you to ensure that the Federal Bureau of Prisons 
supports a Federal bill to ban shackling of pregnant inmates, and 
adopts policies on the use of restraints and trains all corrections 
personnel in accordance with the following:

- Restraints should be used only when they are required as a precaution 
against escape or to prevent an inmate from injuring herself or other 
people or damaging property. In every case, due regard must be given to 
an inmate's individual history.

- Policies should prohibit the use of restraints on pregnant women from 
the third trimester on when they are being transported and when they 
are in hospital awaiting birth, during labor and delivery and after 
they have just given birth.

Please make every effort to make this change to bring safety and 
dignity to pregnant inmates in Federal prisons including supporting any 
legislation which may be introduced prohibiting the use of restraints 
on pregnant prisoners.

Sincerely, Your NAME and ADDRESS

Crime and Police Abuse in the Favelas

Violence and crime are widespread throughout Brazil, particularly in 
urban centres. In Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, violence is 
overwhelmingly concentrated in the socially-excluded communities 
(favelas) - the poorest parts of these cities. Effectively abandoned by 
the State, innocent women, men and children are trapped between the 
presence of powerful criminal gangs and corrupt and confrontational 
police.  Brazil's police forces use repressive methods that have proved 
ineffective. In fact, they are contributing to the violence and crime 
they are meant to prevent.  Apart from violating the human rights of 
many individuals living in favelas, violent incursions and excessive 
use of force have contributed to a process of marginalization and 
discrimination - criminalizing whole communities, and alienating large 
parts of the population. Successive Brazilian governments have failed 
to address the uncontrolled use of lethal force by the police. 
Aggressive police operations, poor police training and resources, and 
systematic impunity for police crimes have cemented a cycle of violence 
which is devastating poor communities and Brazilian society.
Take action! Write to the State Public Security Secretary of Rio de 
Janeiro and São Paulo urging them to adopt measures to prevent and 
reduce police killings and implement human rights-based policing to 
ensure the effective protection of all Brazilians.

Sr. Marcelo Zaturansky Nogueira Itagiba
Exmo. Secretário de Segurança do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Secretaria de Segurança Pública
Praça Cristiano Otoni, s/nº - 4º andar - Centro
20221-250 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Salutation: Exmo. Sr. Secretário

Dr. Saulo de Castro Abreu Filho
Secretário de Segurança Pública do Estado de São Paulo
Rua Líbero Badaró, 39, 12º Andar
São Paulo
CEP 01009-000
SP - Brasil
Salutation: Exmo. Sr. Secretário

Your Excellency,
I am writing to express my concern at high levels of violence and human 
rights violations committed by members of your security forces, as well 
as the corruption of the police in the favelas of your city [Rio de 
Janeiro/ São Paulo].

Current security policies have failed the poorer communities where most 
of the crime and violence is now concentrated.
I welcome the present government's commitment to human rights-based 
policing when it signed up to the federal government's Single Public 
Security System, Sistema Único de Segurança Pública (SUSP), but the 
proposed SUSP reforms have not been effectively implemented so far.

The violent and repressive methods used by the security forces in Rio 
de Janeiro/São Paulo continue to violate the human rights of large 
parts of the population of your city.

I am urging you to adopt:
--Public security reforms to create human rights-based policing 
agencies that are representative, responsive and accountable to all the 
--A concerted plan to reduce the number of killings by the police, 
including preventative and punitive measures

Thank you for your attention in this important matter.
Sincerely, Your NAME and ADDRESS

Protect Human Rights Field Worker

Here's a sample letter for a human rights defender detained in Israel:

Tzipi Livni
  Minister of Justice and Minister of Foreign Affairs
  Ministry of Justice
  29 Salah al-Din Street
  Jerusalem 91010

Dear Minister:
I wish to bring to your attention the case of Hassan Mustafa Hassan 
Zaka, a 30-year-old human rights field worker from Nablus who has been 
held in administrative detention, without charge or trial, since 
January 17, 2006.

Hassan Mustafa Hassan Zaka is a field worker at the Israeli human 
rights organization PCATI (Public Committee Against Torture in Israel), 
where he has investigated complaints of human rights abuses against 
Palestinians. He also worked with the Palestinian organization Ansar 
al-Sajeen, which provides legal aid to Palestinian detainees and 
prisoners. In addition, he served as a research assistant for an MIT 
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) doctoral candidate in a project 
aimed at examining the families and communities of suicide bombers.

Israeli Defense Force personnel arrested Hassan Zaka on January 11, 
2006 at a military checkpoint between Nablus and Tulkaram in the West 
Bank. He informed his lawyer that he was beaten when he was arrested. 
On January 17, 2006, the Israeli Army Regional Commander issued a 
six-month order of administrative detention against him on grounds of 
"endangering the security of the region," which is the customary reason 
given in administrative detention cases. His detention order was 
subsequently shortened to 4 months.

I am concerned that Hassan Zaka's arrest and detention might be 
intended to have a chilling effect on the work of human rights 
defenders in Israel and the Occupied Territories. I urge you to grant 
his immediate and unconditional release unless he is charged with a 
recognizable criminal offense and promptly brought to justice in a fair 

Sincerely, Your NAME and ADDRESS

copy to:
  Ambassador Daniel Ayalon
  Embassy of Israel
  3514 International Drive N.W.
  Washington, D.C. 20008

Clean Drinking Water for Bhopal Survivors!

Join in solidarity with the children at the L.A. Environmental 
Education Fair and send letters to the Indian Embassy regarding clean 
water for Bhopal!

The Indian Embassy
2107 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am extremely concerned about the lack of sufficient and regular 
supply of clean drinking water to the communities surrounding the Union 
Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, and wish to support the 
Bhopal survivors' MARCH to New Delhi in demand of clean drinking water.

Despite an order from the Indian Supreme Court instructing the Madhya 
Pradesh government to supply fresh drinking water through tankers to 
people whose potable water supplies were contaminated by pollutants 
from the plant, the state government has not fully implemented the 
Supreme Court's order.
I am concerned that without a regular supply of piped drinking water, 
the people of Bhopal will have no option but to continue drinking 
contaminated water. As this amounts to a violation of the rights to 
water and to health of the people of Bhopal, we urge you to:
1) Ensure the Government of Madhya Pradesh gives full and immediate 
effect to the Supreme Court's order,
2) Ensure all affected communities around the Bhopal pesticide plant 
are provided with regular and sufficient piped drinking water.
Thank you for your assistance in this urgent matter.

Sincerely, Your NAME and ADDRESS

ChILDREN's Edition Action
Help Protect Ugandan 'Night Commuters'

Here's another Children's Edition Urgent Action focusing on potential 
child soldiers:

Each night, thousands of children in northern Uganda walk from their 
home villages to sleep in cities or in large camps for internally 
displaced persons.  The children fear being kidnapped by a guerrilla 
group called the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).  Soldiers in the LRA 
mistreat the children and force them to work and fight.  The children 
are treated like slaves.

Most of the "night-commuter" children, as they are known, travel 
without the protection of adult family members; the human rights of 
these Ugandan children are violated on a daily basis.

Amnesty International believes that the Ugandan Government should 
protect children from abduction and mistreatment by the Lord's 
Resistance Army.  Uganda ratified the Convention on the Rights of the 
Child in November 1990 and in 2002 promised to protect the rights of 
children involved in armed conflict.  Uganda also promised not to 
recruit children under 18 years of age into the Ugandan Army, but in 
fact has many child soldiers in its national armed services.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Please write a short, courteous letter before March 
31, 2006, to the Ugandan Ambassador to the United States.  Let her know 
that you are worried about the thousands of children who are at risk of 
kidnap and enslavement in Uganda every night.  Explain that the Ugandan 
Government has an obligation to protect Ugandan children.  Thank the 
Ambassador for reading your letter and ask her to let you know in 
detail what she plans to do to protect Ugandan children from the Lord's 
Resistance Army, and from forcible recruitment as child soldiers into 
the Ugandan Army.

Address your letter to:

Ambassador Edith Grace Ssempala
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
5911 -16th St. NW
Washington DC 20011

Release Prisoner of Conscience!

A sample letter for a prisoner of conscience in Iran:
Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr

Dear Head of the Judiciary Hashemi Shahroudi:

I am writing to you to express my deep concern about the detention of 
Mansour Ossanlu, the Head of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and 
Suburbs Bus Company. He may be detained solely for his peaceful trade 
union activities. He is reportedly suffering from a serious eye 
condition which I am concerned could worsen unless he receives 
appropriate medical treatment. I am also concerned about the detention 
of hundreds of other Tehran bus workers who were arrested between 
January 27th-30th to prevent a threatened strike.

Mansour Ossanlu was among twelve officials from the Union of Workers of 
the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company who were arrested by police at their 
homes on December 22nd 2005. They were apparently arrested in 
connection with their peaceful trade union activities. Other union 
members were arrested on December 25th after they held a bus strike to 
demand the release of their trade union colleagues. By December 28th 
all those arrested had been released except for Mansour Ossanlu, who is 
being held in Section 209 of Evin Prison. Mansour Ossanlu has not been 
granted access to a lawyer and is reportedly facing charges of contact 
with Iranian opposition groups abroad and instigating armed revolt.

The Executive Committee of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and 
Suburbs Bus Company planned a strike for January 28th in support of 
union demands, including the release of Mansour Ossanlu. Mass arrests 
of hundreds of union members took place on January 27th-30th. Security 
forces also raided union leader Yaghub Salimi's house after he was 
interviewed by a Berlin-based radio station. He was not home at the 
time, but his wife and children were beaten and detained. On the day of 
the strike, January 28th, workers were beaten with batons, punched and 
kicked and security forces used tear gas.

I respectfully urge you to insure that Mansour Ossanlu and other union 
activists are not subjected to torture or ill-treatment while in 
detention, and that they are granted access to a lawyer and to any 
necessary medical care. It also appears that Mansour Ossanlu and the 
other activists have been detained solely for their peaceful trade 
union activities. The right to form and join trade unions is guaranteed 
by Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political 
Rights, of which Iran is a state party. I therefore urge that, if they 
are not to be charged with a recognizable criminal offense, that they 
be immediately and unconditionally released.
Thank you very much for your attention.

Sincerely,  Your NAME and ADDRESS