Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XV Number 8, August 2008

Thursday, August 28, 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, September 9, 7:30 PM. Letter writing 
meeting at Caltech Athenaeum, corner of Hill 
and California in Pasadena. This informal 
gathering is a great way for newcomers to get 
acquainted with Amnesty! 
Sunday, September 21, 6:30 PM. Rights 
Readers Human Rights Book Discussion Group. 
Vroman's Book Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado 
Blvd., Pasadena.  This month we read "Selling 
Olga" by Louisa Waugh.

Hi everyone,
This is a long newsletter this month so I'll try to 
make my column short!
We enjoyed watching portions of the Olympics, 
especially women's gymnastics, but evidently 
there are still unresolved human rights issues.  
This section is taken from the AIUSA webpage:
Just as the Olympics began, a new Amnesty 
International report
g=e&id=ENGASA170892008 found that the 
Chinese authorities have broken their promise to 
improve the country's human rights situation and 
betrayed the core values of the Olympics.
In addition, it has just emerged that the 
International Olympic Committee has caved in to 
China's demands on Internet censorship at 
Olympic media venues. Urge Chinese and US 
Internet companies to stop colluding with the 
Chinese authorities in censoring the Internet. You 
can take action by going to this link:
China promised that it would improve its human 
rights record if awarded the honor of hosting the 
2008 Olympic Games. Urge China to deliver a 
positive human rights legacy for the Beijing 
In September we read a book written by a prize 
winning journalist on the topic of human 
trafficking. For more information, see the AI fact 
sheet on trafficking in this newsletter.
The AIUSA Western Regional Conference will be 
in Pasadena November 7-9, 2008 at the Hilton 
hotel.  See this link for more info:  
Con cari–o,


Our June newsletter included an action for 900 
Eritrean asylum-seekers in Egypt. They were at 
risk of being forcibly returned to Eritrea. At that 
time Egypt initially announced that the UN High 
Commissioner for Refugees would be allowed to 
assess the asylum claims of the Eritreans, but 
then Egypt went ahead and carried out the mass 

Please participate in the current AIUSA urgent 
action for 740 of these Eritrean asylum-seekers 
who were forcibly returned to Eritrea. They are 
now held without charge and may be subject to 
torture and ill treatment.

September 18 will mark the 7th anniversary of the 
arrest of Group 22's adopted Eritrean prisoner of 
conscience, Estifanos Seyoum. He has been held 
incommunicado in secret prisons since 2001 and 
has never been charged or brought to trial. Many 
of the Eritrean government officials and 
journalists arrested in the 2001 crackdown are 
reported to have died in prison as a result of 
torture and denial of medical treatment. Next 
month we hope to join other AIUSA local groups 
in actions to observe this sad milestone.

13 August 2008
UA 225/08 Arbitrary detention/ Fear of torture 
and other ill treatment
ERITREA/ EGYPT Up to 1,200 forcibly returned 
asylum seekers

Between 12 and 19 June, up to 1,200 Eritrean 
asylum-seekers were forcibly returned from Egypt 
to Eritrea. While almost all of the returned women 
with children and those who were pregnant were 
released after some weeks in detention, the 
majority of the male and single female Eritreans 
that were returned are held without charge.
Those in detention have been transferred to 
military camps and prisons, including 740 
reportedly at the Halhal camp within Wia 
military camp, approximately 40 km south of 
Massawa. Wia military camp is in a desert 
location where temperatures reach up to 40 
degrees Celsius during the day. Amnesty 
International is seriously concerned with the well-
being and detention conditions of at least 740 
Eritreans still in arbitrary detention in Eritrea 
following their forcible return from Egypt in June 
Amnesty International is also concerned that 
those who remain in arbitrary detention are at 
grave risk of torture, and other ill-treatment. 
Torture is regularly used against detainees in 
Eritrea, including at military camps such as Wia. 
Methods of torture Amnesty International has 
previously documented in Eritrea include 
prolonged beatings with whips and kicking, tying 
detainees in stress positions such as the 
helicopter position and the figure eight position, 
and leaving them in the sun for periods of hours.

appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

To the Eritrean authorities:
- urging the authorities to disclose the names and 
whereabouts of all the Eritreans who have been 
forcibly returned from Egypt since 11 June;
- urging the authorities not to detain, torture or ill-
treat those who have been returned;
- reminding the authorities that enforced 
disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment 
are prohibited under international law.

To the Egyptian authorities:
- calling on the authorities to disclose the names 
of all the Eritreans they recently forcibly returned 
to Eritrea;
- calling on the Egyptian government to take all 
possible diplomatic measures to ensure the 
Eritreans they returned to Eritrea are released 
from arbitrary detention, and are not tortured or 
otherwise ill-treated;
- urging them to respect Egypt's international 
obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention 
and the UN Convention against Torture not to 
forcibly return asylum-seekers to Eritrea, where 
they would be at risk of torture and other serious 
human rights violations.

To the Eritrean authorities:
His Excellency President Issayas Afewerki
Office of the President
P O Box 257, Asmara, ERITREA
Fax: 011 2911 123 788
(via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Justice
Ms Fawzia Hashim
Ministry of Justice
P O Box 241, Asmara, ERITREA
Fax: 011 2911 126 422
Salutation: Dear Minister

To the Egyptian authorities:
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche al-Nil, Maspiro
Cairo, EGYPT
Fax: 011 20 22 574 8822 OR
011 20 22 390 8159 OR
011 20 22 574 9533
Salutation: Dear Minister

Ambassador Ghirmai Ghebremariam
Embassy of the State of Eritrea
1708 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington DC 20009
Fax: 1 202 319 1304

Ambassador Samuel Assefa Lemma
Embassy of Ethiopia
3506 International Dr NW
Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 587 0195

Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if 
sending appeals after 24 September 2008.


Human trade, slave markets, the buying and 
selling of people - these are words and phrases 
that to many people echo a brutal and distant 
time in our past. But to the countless women, 
men, and children trafficked every year these 
words coldly define the horror of their lives.
Trafficking is a worldwide phenomenon. Victims 
are trafficked into a range of hazardous labor 
including farm work, sweatshops, domestic 
servants, forced prostitution and subjected to 
sexual abuse and other forms of violence. Each 
year, an estimated 600,000-800,000 men, women, 
and children are trafficked across international 
borders according to the US Department of State.

As part of Amnesty International's Stop Violence 
Against Women campaign, we are examining one 
type of human trafficking, the trafficking of 
women and girls into forced prostitution - one of 
the most widespread and pervasive forms of 
violence against women.

The Amnesty International report, "Kosovo (Serbia 
and Montenegro) 'So does that mean I have rights?' 
Protecting the human rights of women and girls 
trafficked for forced prostitution in Kosovo", 
documents the widespread and systematic 
abuses of women and girls trafficked into and 
internally within Kosovo for sexual exploitation. 
Kosovo has become a major destination for 
women and girls trafficked into forced 
prostitution since the deployment of an 
international peacekeeping force and the 
establishment of a UN civilian administration.

"Eventually I arrived in a bar in Kosovo, [and was] 
locked inside and forced into prostitution. In the bar I 
was never paid, I could not go out by myself, the 
owner became more and more violent as the weeks 
went by; he was beating me and raping me and the 
other girls. We were his 'property', he said. By buying 
us, he had bought the right to beat us, rape us, starve 
us, force us to have sex with clients." - 21 year old 
Moldovan woman

What is trafficking?
"It's something to do with cars isn't it?" - trafficked 
girl, interviewed by an NGO in Kosovo.

Trafficking is modern day slave trading. It 
involves transporting people away from the 
communities they live in by the threat or use of 
violence, deception or coercion so they can be 
exploited as forced or enslaved workers. When 
children are trafficked, no violence, deception or 
coercion needs to be involved: simply 
transporting them into exploitative conditions 
constitutes trafficking.

Trafficking is a fundamental abuse of human 
rights. It results in the abuse of the rights to:
- physical and mental integrity;
- life;
- liberty; 
- security of the person; 
- dignity;
- freedom from slavery, slave-like practices, 
torture and other inhuman or degrading 
- family life; 
- freedom of movement;
- privacy; 
- the highest attainable standard of health; and 
- safe and secure housing.

Deception and lies
Although in some cases, women and girls are 
abducted or coerced by traffickers, many start 
their journeys from their home countries 

They see an ad in a local paper, an employment 
website on the internet, or a flyer on a community 
billboard: each offering attractive employment as 
nannies, waitresses, secretaries, models or 
dancers. All carry the promise of desperately 
needed money.

"I was desperate, and not because I was having 
problems with my parents as I heard from other girls, 
but because we were so poor... My grandmother had a 
very small allowance, and my mother has only the 
state allowance for my three brothers. I couldn't live 
any longer on my grandmother's pension, so I said 
that I'd better go somewhere else where I could work 
hard and earn some money to help my family and my 
brothers." - Woman trafficked into Kosovo

Sometimes it's a boyfriend who promises to help 
them find work in the 'glittering' west. A friend 
who offers to help escape a desperate situation. 
A promise of marriage betrayed. Or a desperate 
economic exchange by a parent. This is how 
countless thousands of women and girls are 
trapped in the chilling world of trafficking.

Violence and threats
For most of these women and girls, as soon as 
their journey begins, so does the systematic abuse 
of their rights, in a strategy that reduces them to 
dependency on their trafficker, and later their 
"owner". The realization grows that the work they 
have been offered is not what was promised; their 
documents are taken away from them; they may 
be beaten; they will - almost certainly if they start 
to protest - be raped.
Although some women are not aware until they 
reach their destination that they have been sold, 
other have seen money change hands, or have 
been raped by buyers when they "try the 
merchandise". Women are often sold several 
times before reaching their destination.

Escape is almost impossible. Without her travel 
documents, a woman is likely to be arrested for 
immigration or other offences. But probably more 
pertinently, trafficked women are usually trapped 
by threats, coercion, or literally being locked 
"We worked from 9am to 11pm. After that he said, 
'You do what you like', but we were locked. When we 
asked to go out he said no, that we had to be here. We 
slept in a room together, me and another girl. All the 
windows had bars." - Romanian girl trafficked into 

At a trial in Gnjilane/Gjilan in 2002, a trafficked 
woman testified tat she had been kept in a cellar, 
where she slept at night and serviced clients 
during the day. Food, drink and a bucket for use 
as a lavatory were brought down to her. She only 
left the cellar when she was driven by her 
trafficker to meet clients.

Trafficked women are repeatedly subjected to 
psychological abuse, including intimidation and 
threats, lies and deception, emotional 
manipulation and blackmail in order to keep them 

"If I refused [to have sex with clients] I was 
threatened. He was pointing the gun to my head, and 
he was saying.. 'If you don't do this in the next 
minute, you will be dead'. He has the gun, he was 
just saying do this or you will be dead."
Many trafficked girls and women report being 
told that their families and their children would 
be harmed or murdered if they tried to escape or 
tell anyone. Others report being told that their 
families have found out what they're doing and 
that they don't want anything more to do with 

What you can do
Trafficking is a crime under international law 
under the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and 
Punish Trafficking in Persons. For more 
information on trafficking, the Stop Violence 
Against Women campaign, or women's human 
rights, visit AIUSA's Stop Violence Against 
Women website at:
or contact Amnesty International at 5 Penn 
Plaza-16th floor, New York, NY 10001 or at 
(212) 633-4292.



Dear Ministar Pravde Miras Radovic, 

I welcome the signature by Montenegro on the 
Council of Europe Convention on Action against 
Trafficking in Human Beings.  Montenegro is a 
source, transit, and destination country for 
women and girls trafficked internally and 
internationally for the purpose of sexual 
exploitation. I urge you to ensure that 
Montenegro's legal framework is in accordance 
with the Convention and to fully implement the 
According to the Explanatory Report to 
accompany the Council of Europe Convention, 
"when trafficking in human beings is concerned, 
special protected shelters are especially suitable 
and have already been introduced in various 
countries."  I urge you to foster financial support 
for shelters for women and girls, in close 
cooperation with independent non-governmental 
women's groups, either by providing funding from 
your budget, by providing housing for a shelter, or 
by providing land on which a shelter may be built.  
I also urge you to ensure that adequate financial 
resources are made available for the development 
and support of independent non-governmental 
organizations opposing domestic violence and 
human trafficking. 
Furthermore, in implementing the Convention, 
legislation should prohibit the forcible return and 
detention of trafficked persons.  Also, I urge you 
to add "abduction" to the definition of trafficking 
as set out in article 3 (a) of the Palermo Protocol.  
Finally, I urge you to codify the measures of 
witness protection in the statute on criminal 
procedure, by implementing the UN Convention 
on Transnational Organized Crime (Article 24) in 
the Statute on Criminal Procedure (Article 8), so 
that the safety of the witness is guaranteed. 
Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely, (your name and address)

Human Rights Book Discussion Group

Keep up with Rights Readers at
Next Rights Readers meeting: 
Sunday, September 21, 6:30 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Boulevard
 in Pasadena

"Selling Olga"
By Louisa Waugh

Louise Waugh spent three years researching and 
writing this unflinching investigation into human 
trafficking across Europe. She traveled to places 
most infested with trafficking, talked to the 
women who had been trafficked and to those who 
support them at considerable personal risk to 
their own safety. Bosnia, Kosovo, northern 
Albania, Moldova and Sicily all had ugly stories 
to tell: women sold in bars, confined inside 
private apartments, raped to ensure obedience, 
beaten and degraded.
Through a particular victim, Olga, whom she 
meets in Moldova, we see the realities of such 
women's situations and it is Olga who can explain 
how tied such women become to their "owners".
"He warned me. He said that the two men who 
wanted to buy me would take me to Pec or to 
Ferizye. Pec is a terrible place, up in the 
mountains. The other girls told me that if you 
cause trouble there, you are just shot like an 
animal and your body dumped outside."
Olga had been beaten so badly that she was 
almost blind. Her need to sustain her young son 
drove her to accept bestial treatment from many 
men. Her hope is that she will gain a job in the 
Moldovan Institute for the Blind.
The great strength of this terrifying report is that 
the author has made contact not only with the 
female victims of traffickers themselves, but has 
also with the organizations which help them and 
fight for them, the police and officials from the 
forces (for example, UN and NATO officials 
dealing with the ugly complicity of their own 
peacekeepers). She has gone to great lengths to 
follow her stories through.
A particularly grim case she covers is that of the 
trafficker Luan Plakici, an Albanian operating in 
London from 1995 to 2003 before he was 
convicted of trafficking and sentenced to 23 years. 
Most shocking about Plakici's story was how easy 
it was for him to carry out these acts in Britain. He 
was able to bind the girls to him through fear and 
threats (for example, to kill a young sister in 
another country).
Human trafficking for the sex industry and for 
forced labour is the world's fastest-growing 
organized crime.
-Margaret Laird (from Society Today online, a 
British magazine)

Author Biography  
Louisa Waugh was born in Berlin and has lived in 
Liverpool, London, and Edinburgh. She is 
currently living in Gaza City, in Palestine. Whilst 
in London she worked with street homeless young 
people, before packing her bags and taking the 
Trans-Siberian train to Mongolia in 1996, where 
she set up home for several years, learnt fluent 
Mongolian and worked as a freelance journalist. 
Her book Hearing Birds Fly tells about her life 
amongst the Tsengel villagers in Mongolia and 
won the inaugural Ondaatje prize, the 10,000-pound 
award for the best book to evoke the spirit of a 
place, and is named after businessman and 
philanthropist Christopher Ondaatje. 


Ray Krone was sentenced to death for a crime he 
didn't commit and was the 100th man exonerated 
from death row in the U.S.
To watch his testimony, go to


19 August 2008
Further Information on UA 71/08 
(13 March 2008) - Fear of Execution  
Naser Qasemi (m), aged 23    
Mohammad Reza Haddadi (m), aged 18   
Reza Hejazi (m), aged 19 
Iman Hashemi (m), aged 18                     
[juvenile offenders]

Reza Hejazi was hanged in Esfahan prison on 19 
August. His lawyer was not informed that his 
execution was to be carried out, though under 
Iranian law a 48-hour notification period is 
On 18 August Reza Hejazi's family were notified 
that he had been transferred to a cell for those to 
be executed within 24 hours, and they informed 
his lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaie.
On 19 August 2008, the lawyer reached Esfahan 
prison at 4.30am, and attempted to find out 
when the execution was to be carried out. Prison 
guards informed him that executions normally 
took place between 7 and 8am. After attempting 
for several hours to secure a stay of execution, at 
around 10am Mohammad Mostafaie was told by 
the officer supervising executions that Reza 
Hejazi's execution had been halted. He set off 
back to his office in the capital, Tehran, a five-
hour journey away. While he was traveling, he 
was informed that Reza Hejazi had been hanged 
at 11am.

Reza Hejazi - then aged 15 - was among a group 
of people involved in a dispute with a man on 18 
September 2004, which resulted in the man being 
fatally stabbed. Reza Hejazi was arrested and 
tried for murder, and on 14 November 2005 he
was sentenced to qesas (retribution) by Branch 
106 of the Esfahan General Court. The sentence 
was approved by Branch 28 of the Supreme 
Court in Mashhad on 6 June 2006, although under 
Iranian law he should have been tried in a juvenile 
There is no further news on Naser Qasemi, 
Mohammad Reza Haddadi and Iman Hashemi, 
all of whom have been sentenced to death for 
crimes committed when they were under the age 
of 18, in violation of international law.

Since 1990 Iran has executed at least 36 juvenile 
offenders, eight of them in 2007 and five in 2008.
The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited 
under international law, as stated in Article 6 (5) 
of the ICCPR and the Convention on the Rights of 
the Child (CRC), of which Iran is a state party to 
and so has undertaken not to execute anyone for 
crimes committed when they were under 18.

For more information about executions of child 
offenders in Iran, please see: Iran: The last 
executioner of children (MDE 13/059/2007, June 2007),
And also a joint press release with over 20 other 
organizations, please see: Iran: Spare four youths 
from execution, immediately enforce international 
prohibition on death penalty for juvenile 
offenders, available at:

 Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as 
- calling for an immediate halt to the executions of 
Naser Qasemi, Mohammad Reza Haddadi and 
Iman Hashemi, all convicted of crimes allegedly 
committed when they were under the age of 18;
- reminding the authorities that Iran is a state 
party to the International Covenant on Civil and 
Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on 
the Rights of the Child (CRC), which prohibit the 
use of the death penalty against people convicted 
of crimes committed when they were under 18;
- expressing dismay at the execution of Reza 
Hejazi in Esfahan prison on 19 August, in 
violation of Iran's obligations under the ICCPR 
and the CRC;
- calling on the authorities to explain the reasons 
for his execution, and for their failure to inform 
his lawyer of his imminent execution, in breach of 
Iranian law;
- calling on the authorities to commute the death 
sentences passed on Naser Qasemi, Mohammad 
Reza Haddadi and Iman Hashemi.

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh /
Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e 
Tehran 1316814737, 
                   (In subject line: FAO Ayatollah 
Salutation: Your Excellency

Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust 
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Fax:          011 98 21 6 649 5880
                  (via website)

Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
(Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e 
Jomhuri, Tehran
Fax:          011 98 21 3390 4986 
                  (please keep trying)
                  (In subject line: FAO Mohammad 
Javad Larijani)    (In subject 
line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

Iran does not presently have an embassy in the 
United States. Instead, please send copies to:
Iranian Interests Section
Embassy of Pakistan
2209 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC 20007
Phone:       202 965 4990
Fax:           202 965 1073

Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if 
sending appeals after 30 September 2008.

 UAs  	 22
Total:	 22
To add your letters to the total contact

Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code 5-62
Pasadena, CA 91125

Amnesty International's mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending 
grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, 
and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.