Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XV Number 1, January 2007


Thursday, January 25, 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.

Tuesday, February 13, 7:30 PM. Letter-writing Meeting at the Athenaeum. 
Corner of California & Hill. We meet downstairs in the cafeteria. This 
informal gathering is a great way for newcomers to get acquainted with 

Sunday, February 18, 6:30 PM. Rights Readers Human Rights Book 
Discussion Group. Vroman's Book Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., 
Pasadena. This month we read Kiran Desai's prize-winning novel, The 
Inheritance of Loss (More below.)


Happy New Year! I can't believe it's already mid-January. We went to 
Corvallis, Oregon to visit Rob's family for Christmas, and now I'm 
beginning to think we should have stayed there-it's almost as cold here 
as it was up there! (Why can't Christmas be in July? when it is 70 
degrees, green and beautiful up there...) Hope you all are keeping warm...

We started the New Year on a sad note as we had to put our 18 year old 
cat, Spike, to sleep. He had hyperthyroidism for several years, for 
which we were giving him medicine daily, and had developed renal 
failure. When we came back from Corvallis, he wasn't eating and fluid 
had started to build up again in his chest and abdomen. It was very 
hard, as he was like a member of the family.

This is a preface to saying that today we brought home 2 female kittens 
from a rescue group in La Canada, one is a grey striped tabby named 
Sassy, the other a solid black kitty with gorgeous green eyes named 
Cinder. Right now, they are in their respective corners, getting 
adjusted to their new home! (Sassy is in the large bathroom, and Cinders 
is hiding in the closet!)

Group 22 had some successful events in December 06. The letter writing 
marathan for International Human Rights Day at Café Culture in Altadena 
on Dec 9 attracted several café patrons to write postcards for our 
Holiday Card Action. Thanks to all who participated and those group 
members who "manned" the table in shifts! Then Martha brought the letter 
writing materials to the Colors ("Christians Offering Love to Overcome 
Racism in Society") Christmas party at All Saints Church, where 
partygoers wrote cards in-between dancing to the live band and enjoying 
the potluck supper. We also had a film night at Caltech, that group 22 
member Wen Chen, a member of the Caltech Falun Gong club, arranged. The 
film was titled "Sandstorm" and was about a Chinese policeman and his 
wife who are trapped in a sandstorm and he comes to realize he was wrong 
to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. Unfortunately, Robert and I 
missed the film as we got confused between the main Beckman Auditorium 
and the smaller Beckman Institute Auditorium where the film was showing!

One film night we did attend was in Old Town Pasadena when several group 
22 members met at the Laemmle One Colorado theater to see "The Last King 
of Scotland"-a film about Idi Amin of Uganda and a Scottish MD who is 
his personal physician. Then we enjoyed a delicious (and noisy!)group 
meal at Bucca di Beppo-a fun Italian place where the food is served 
family style. In Italian, the restaurant's name loosely translates into 
"Joe's Cave"! There have been some more good human rights themed movies 
released lately, and hopefully we can have more outings! Thanks to Marie 
Helene Rousseau for arranging this one.

This will be my last column for awhile as I am going to start a Masters 
program in School Nurse Education at Cambridge College satellite center 
in Ontario, CA. I will be attending part-time on selected weekends 
starting in February to May, and then will finish the classes during the 
summer break and do the research project Fall 07. Several of my school 
nurse colleagues have completed this program and they have highly 
recommended it. LAUSD will pay me a little more for the Masters ($50.00 
a month!!), but it is something I want to do for myself professionally. 
So, different group members will take turns writing the column. I have 
enjoyed writing the column and I hope I haven't been too boring or 
chatty! I still plan on attending group 22 events as my time and energy 
level permit!

Take care,

Fear of Forced Evictions

Over one hundred families of the over 360 at risk have been evicted from 
their homes in several neighborhoods in Malabo, the capital. To date, 
none of the families have been given adequate notice of the eviction, 
and the authorities have not consulted the affected communities. The 
communities have not been offered adequate alternative accommodation or 
compensation, and they have not been given the opportunity to contest 
the evictions in court.
Between 13 and 17 November the approximately 115 families resident in 
the Ministerio de Obras Públicas neighborhood vacated their homes, which 
were then demolished, apparently to build a car park for a Casino 
located on the opposite side of the road. The demolition of their homes 
was reportedly completed by 22 November 2006. Some of the families have 
not yet found a place to live, nor have they received any form of 

On 3 December 2006, at least five houses were demolished along the Atepa 
road between the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial and Malabo 
city centre, apparently to widen the road. Residents received an 
official order to vacate their homes in 15 days, although they only 
received the order two days before the demolitions. A few days earlier, 
an unknown number of families were also evicted from their homes in La 
Paz neighborhood, in the former barracks of the national police. None of 
these families are known to have been consulted or to have been compensated.

An expropriation decree (No. 109) which concerns La Vigatana, where 250 
families are at risk, and surrounding area was approved on 15 November 
and published in late November. According to the decree, proprietors of 
land were given 45 days to present their property titles and land 
concession certificates. Nevertheless, on 5 December at about 10am, 
several officials from the Infrastructure and Urban Development Ministry 
(Ministerio de Infraestructura Urbanismo), including the Minister, 
Vice-minister, Secretary of State and developers, reportedly went to La 
Vigatana neighbourhood and demanded to know from the president of the 
community council why people had not vacated their homes. They then gave 
the residents until 2 January 2007 to leave. The families have not 
received any compensation or responses to appeals and petitions sent to 
several Ministries.

It appears that the authorities have allocated some land in the area of 
Basupu-Fiston (Fishtown) for all families evicted from their homes in 
Malabo to move. However the land, some 5 km from Malabo, lacks utility 
services such as water, electricity and sewage and other amenities.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals:

- expressing concern about the continuing threat to forcibly evict over 
300 families from their homes;

- expressing concern that the authorities forcibly evicted more families 
in late November and on 3 December from their homes along the Atepa road 
and area of La Paz neighborhood and urging the authorities to provide 
them, as well as those forcibly evicted from the Ministerio de Obras 
Públicas neighborhood with adequate alternative accommodation;

- reiterating Amnesty International's call on the authorities to stop 
all forced evictions and to put in place safeguards to prevent forced 
evictions in the future.

General Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Presidente de la República
Gabinete del Presidente de la República, Malabo,
Equatorial Guinea
Salutation: Excelencia/Your Excellency

Sr Don Ricardo Mangue Obama Nfube
Primer Ministro
Gabinete del Primer Ministro
Palacio del Pueblo, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Salutation: Sr Primer Ministro/Dear Prime Minister

Minister of Infrastructure and Urban Develpment:
Sr Don Fidel Nsué Michá
Ministro de Infraestructura y Desarrollo Urbano
Ministerio de Infraestructura y Desarrollo Urbanao,
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Salutation: Sr Ministro/Dear Minister

Ambassador Purification Angue Ondo
Embassy of Equatorial Guinea
2020 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Sample Letter for Children of Rebiya Kadeer

Ismail Tiliwaldi Zhuxi
Chairman of the Xinjiang Uigher Autonomous Regional People's Government
Xinjiang Weiwuer Zizhiqu Renmin Zhengfu
2 Zhongshanlu, Wulumuqishi 830041
Xinjiang Weiwuer Zizhiqu

Dear Chairman:
I am appalled to learn that family members of former prisoner of 
conscience Rebiya Kadeer are still being targeted by the Chinese 
authorities. Police have reportedly beaten her son Ablikim Abdiriyim 
severely. In late November, he was seen being carried out of Tianshan 
District Detention Center on a stretcher in apparent need of medical 
attention. Amnesty International believes his health is in danger and 
that he is at risk of further torture or ill-treatment. Ablikim was 
reportedly hospitalized for more than a month as a result of a beating 
which took place in front of his family in June 2006. He was later moved 
to the Tianshan District Detention Center. There are reports that he has 
been very ill but has been denied medical care. Guards have reportedly 
refused to let him have warm clothes sent by his family, causing him to 
suffer greatly from the very cold weather.

Two other sons of Rebiya Kadeer, Alim and Kahar Abdiriyim, were 
sentenced on 27 November 2006 to heavy fines, and Alim also received a 
prison sentence of seven years on charges of tax evasion. Their 
sentencing came one day after Rebiya Kadeer was elected president of the 
World Uighur Congress. Since her release from prison in 2005 and her 
arrival in the United States, Ms. Kadeer has campaigned actively for 
greater human rights protections for China's ethnic Uighur population. 
Ms. Kadeer claims that she was warned by authorities while she was still 
in custody that her businesses and children would be "finished" if she 
engaged with members of the Uighur ethnic community or spoke publicly 
about "sensitive issues" after her release.

I urge your government to guarantee the safety of all members of Rebiya 
Kadeer's family in detention and to ensure that they are not subjected 
to ill-treatment. I further call on you to bring to an end all human 
rights violations directed at them, including arbitrary detention, 
police harassment and other restrictions on their freedom of movement 
and expression.

Sincerely, Your NAME and ADDRESS

copy to:
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
Embassy of People's Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Ugandan LGBT Activists Fear for Safety

On 8 September, the Ugandan newspaper Red Pepper published a list of 13 
women they claim are lesbians. Homosexuality is a criminal offence in 
Uganda, and Amnesty International believes that making such allegations 
against these women may put them in danger. The article called for 
people to name other women suspected of being lesbians in order to "rid 
our motherland of the deadly vice".

This is the third instance in recent weeks of Red Pepper openly and 
specifically harassing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) 
people. On 8 August, the newspaper published a similar list of name of 
men it claimed were gay. On 7 September, Red Pepper ran an article 
naming and picturing another man, supposedly wanted by police for 
engaging in "homosexuality activities [sic]". Following the publication 
of the list of men on 8 August, Amnesty International received several 
reports of harassment of LGBT people who had been named. Some reported 
being harassed by colleagues, while others were ostracized by relatives.

Amnesty International strongly condemned the publication of the article 
through a public statement issued on 29 August and remains concerned 
that the continued targeting of LGBT people by the Red Pepper newspaper 
puts those named at high risk of discrimination and violence by 
individuals or by the authorities.

BACKGROUND. The naming of those accused of being lesbian or gay adds to 
a pattern of abuse against the rights of LGBT people in Uganda. Amnesty 
International is concerned that the criminalization of homosexuality, as 
provided for in the Ugandan the Penal Code, is providing the legal 
grounds on which these abuses are allowed to happen. Amnesty 
International has documented some of these instances.

In early June 2006, the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), a 
coalition of Christian organizations, stated publicly that it "strongly 
and unequivocally deplores all activities linked to the encouragement or 
promotion of the practice of homosexuality and lesbianism condemned in 
the Bible," claiming that homosexuality constitutes "a perversion of 
human sexuality". The UJCC urged "clergy, parents, and people of good 
will to design programs aimed at teaching people the dangers associated 
with homosexuality and Lesbianism [sic]."

On 20 July 2005, LGBT activist Victor Juliet Mukasa's house was raided 
in her absence. A friend who was staying at her house was arrested and 
subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment while in police 
custody. No warrants were produced prior to the search and her friend 
was released without being charged the next morning.

On 5 July 2005, the Ugandan parliament voted for a constitutional 
amendment stating that "marriage is lawful only if entered into between 
a man and a woman". The amendment further declared that it was "unlawful 
for same-sex couples to marry".

In October 2004, a radio station was compelled to pay a fine for hosting 
a live talk show with sexual rights activists discussing discrimination 
against LGBT people in Uganda and their need for HIV/AIDS services. The 
Broadcasting Council imposed a fine of approximately US$1,000, claiming 
that the program was "contrary to public morality" and breached existing 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

- expressing concern at the publication on 8 September by the Red Pepper 
newspaper of a list of women accused of being lesbians;

- expressing concern that the ongoing targeting of LGBT people by Red 
Pepper has put them in danger;

- urging the authorities to investigate fully all reports of attacks on 
lesbians or gay men, or people alleged to be lesbian or gay;

- calling on the authorities to ensure that incitement to 
discrimination, hostility or violence against lesbians and gay men is 
forbidden in accordance with the international standards, such as the 
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Uganda is 
a state party.

President Yoweri Museveni
Parliament Building
PO Box 7168
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Justice:
Makubuya Kiddu
Parliament Building
PO Box 7183
Salutation: Dear Minister

Ambassador Perezi Kamunanwire
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
5911 - 16th St. NW
Washington DC 20011

Human Rights Book Discussion Group

Keep up with Rights Readers at
Sunday, February 18, 6:30 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena
The Inheritance of Loss
by Kiran Desai

In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the 
Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, 
when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The 
judge's cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are claimed 
by his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York 
restaurant to another. When an Indian-Nepali insurgency in the mountains 
interrupts Sai's exploration of the many incarnations and facets of a 
romance with her Nepali tutor, and causes their lives to descend into 
chaos, they are forced to consider their colliding interests.

In a generous vision, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, Desai presents the 
human quandaries facing a panoply of characters. This majestic novel of 
a busy, grasping time -- every moment holding out the possibility of hope 
or betrayal -- illuminates the consequences of colonialism and global 
conflicts of religion, race, and nationalism.

USA Death Penalty 9
Urgent Actions 24
Winter Holiday Action 225
Total: 258
To add your letters to the total contact

Sample Letter for Qatari Man held in S. Carolina

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I am deeply concerned that Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri continues to be 
held indefinitely in military custody in South Carolina without charge 
or trial. Mr. al-Marri, a Qatari national and U.S. immigrant, has been 
held in U.S. military custody without charge or trial since June 2003 
under an executive order designating him an "enemy combatant" Initially 
arrested in December 2001 and charged with fraud and making false 
statements, he remains in conditions of extreme isolation in a military 
prison. He had reportedly entered the U.S. legally with his wife and 
five children on September 10, 2001, to pursue post-graduate studies.

Mr. al-Marri has filed an appeal in federal court challenging the 
lawfulness of his detention. In November 2006 your administration filed 
a motion seeking to have his appeal dismissed on the grounds that the 
federal courts no longer had jurisdiction in the case. The government 
based its motion on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which contains 
troubling provisions that violate the foundations of American justice, 
including one that strips the right of federal courts to hear habeas 
corpus appeals or other claims brought by "enemy combatants" regardless 
of location.
Mr. al-Marri reportedly can have no contact with anyone from the outside 
world other than his attorneys and occasional visits from 
representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross. A 
complaint filed in federal court in August 2005 described how Mr. 
al-Marri's physical and mental state had deteriorated due to his 
conditions of confinement.

I urge you to see to it that Ali al-Marri is charged with a recognizable 
criminal offense and brought to trial without further delay, in 
accordance with international law and standards, or else released. I 
call on you to alleviate his conditions of incarceration so that he is 
not held in isolation and is allowed visits from and communication with 
his family. Court oversight of the detention and treatment of people in 
custody is a fundamental protection against arbitrary detention or cruel 
treatment. All detained persons are entitled to basic legal safeguards, 
including the right to habeas corpus. I urge you to seek amendments to 
the Military Commissions Act that restore these safeguards in conformity 
with international law.

Sincerely, Your NAME and ADDRESS

Copy to:
The Honorable Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

Environmentalists Fear for Safety in Peru

Father Marco Arana and Dr Mirtha Vasquez Chuquilin have received 
repeated death threats and have been followed and filmed both at work 
and at home. The threats and harassment appear to be directly linked to 
their work for the Comprehensive Training for Sustainable Development 
Group (Grupo de Formación e Integración para el Desarrollo Sostenible, 
GRUFIDES), a human rights and environmental organization. Their lives, 
and those of others associated with GRUFIDES, may be in danger.

GRUFIDES members have been the target of threats and intimidation in 
recent months. All of these incidents have been reported to the 
authorities but no action has been taken to investigate them, or to 
offer protection to those at risk.
On 31 August, Dr Mirtha Vasquez Chuquilin, Executive Director of 
GRUFIDES, received an anonymous telephone call in which she was told "Te 
vamos a violar y luego te vamos a matar" (We will rape you and then we 
will kill you). Father Marco Arana, a member of GRUFIDES, received 
anonymous death threats by telephone on both 3 and 4 August. On 27 
September, Father Arana's niece received a telephone call in which she 
was told: "Dile a tu tio que no se meta, le vamos a disparar un balazo 
en la cabeza" (Tell your uncle not to get involved, we will put a bullet 
through his head). Father Marco Arana and Dr. Mirtha Vasquez Chuquilin, 
as well as other members of GRUFIDES, have apparently also been followed 
by unidentified individuals on motorbikes, and have also been filmed and 
photographed in the street. On 23 September, the home of a member of 
GRUFIDES was broken into, and documents and computer files relating to 
the work of the organization were searched. Nothing was taken in the raid.
GRUFIDES is a non-governmental organisation that focuses on sustainable 
development and environmental issues based in the city of Cajamarca, in 
Cajamarca Province. It is actively supporting communities opposing the 
Yanacocha gold mining project led by a US corporation, in Cajamarca 
Province. GRUFIDES has also been monitoring and evaluating the 
Environmental Impact Studies presented by the mining company to the 
Ministry of Energy and Mines.
Following an accident in which a lorry carrying mercury spilled some of 
its load near the Yanacocha mine, rural communities fear the potential 
environmental impact of the expansion of the Yanacocha mining project. 
Allegedly, local residents were not informed of the spill, and symptoms 
of mercury poisoning were apparently experienced by some members of the 

GRUFIDES works closely with campesino (peasant) communities, providing 
them with training and legal advice. It has recently become involved in 
supporting the cases of two campesino activists who were allegedly 
assassinated, one in August and one in November 2006, apparently as a 
result of their opposition to the expansion of the Yanacocha mining 
project. The threats against GRUFIDES staff and members appear to have 
started shortly after the first alleged assassination.

BACKGROUND. In August 2006, scores of demonstrators were injured and one 
was shot dead during violent clashes with police and security personnel 
of Yanacocha's gold mining project in Cajamarca Province. The 
demonstrators had blocked a road to protest against the expansion of the 
Yanacocha mining project.

On 2 November, Edmundo Becerra Corina, an environmentalist and an 
opponent of Yanacocha's gold mining project, was shot dead in 
Yanacanchilla, Cajamarca province. He had reportedly received several 
death threats because of his opposition to the expansion of the mining 
company's activities in the region. The attack took place days before he 
was due to meet with representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

GRUFIDES is investigating the assassination of Edmundo Becerra Corina, 
and has provided support for the families of those protestors that were 
injured and killed in the demonstrations in August. Amnesty 
International is not aware of results of investigations into any of 
these incidents.

Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

- expressing concern for the safety of all staff of GRUFIDES, after 
anonymous death threats were received by Father Marco Arana and Dr 
Mirtha Vasquez Chuquilin, and other members of the organization were 
repeatedly followed and filmed;

- urging the authorities to take steps to guarantee the safety of 
GRUFIDES staff, in accordance with their own wishes;

- urging the authorities to carry out an independent and impartial 
investigation of the intimidation of GRUFIDES staff and members, making 
the results public and bringing those responsible to justice;

- urging the authorities to send a clear public message that they will 
not tolerate intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders

- expressing concern for the death of two environmental activists as 
well as the violent clashes between demonstrators, security personnel 
from the mining company and the police;

- requesting that Amnesty International be informed of the results of 
any investigation into these incidents.

Dra. Adelaida Flora Bolívar Arteaga
Fiscalía de la Nación
Av. Abancay, cuadra 5 s/n, Lima 1, PERU
Salutation: Sra. Fiscal de la Nación

Sr. Juan Gualberto Valdivía Romero
Ministro de Energía y Minas
Ministerio de Energía y Minas
Av. Las Artes Sur 260, San Borja
Lima 41, PERÚ
Salutation: Sr. Ministro

Ambassador Eduardo Ferrero Costa
Embassy of Peru
1700 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington DC 20036