Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XIX Number 3, March 2011


UPCOMING EVENTS

Thursday, March 24, 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 April 12, 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, April 17, 6:30 PM.  Rights Readers 
Human Rights Book Discussion group. This 
month we read "Red April" by Santiago 
Roncagliolo.


COORDINATOR'S CORNER

Hi everyone

It was a beautiful day today, chilly but sunny 
with lots of fluffy clouds…let's see if rain comes 
tomorrow…

Lucas, Stevi, and Joyce attended the AGM in San 
Francisco this past weekend.  We missed them at 
the book group and are looking forward to 
hearing about the convention.

Some of you have expressed an interest in 
attending a workshop at All Saints Episcopal 
Church in Pasadena this coming Sunday and 
Monday, March 27 and 28.  Speakers are Father 
Greg Boyle, Reza Aslan, and James Carroll.  To 
register (there is a 20.00 fee), go to this website:  
www.allsaints-pas.org or call Norma Sigmund at 
626-583-2734. 

With all the ruckus lately going on in Wisconsin 
and other states regarding collective bargaining 
rights of public employees, you may be interested 
to know that AI supports workers rights to 
organize and form unions.  Article 23 part 4 of 
the UDHR states:  "everyone has the right to form 
and to join trade unions for the protection of his 
interests."  For more, see www.udhr.org.
If you'd like to come out and support worker's 
rights, there is a rally this Saturday March 26 in 
downtown LA that starts at 10 am at the 
Convention Center and ends at Pershing Square 
at 12:30pm.  Go to http://utla.net/326rally for 
more information.  Rob and I will be joining the
group from LAUSD Nursing Services, who will 
be meeting in front of Staples Center at 10am.  
Come join us! Hope to see some of you there!

Con carino,
Kathy


RIGHTS READERS
Human Rights Book Discussion Group

Keep up with Rights Readers at 
http://rightsreaders.blogspot.com

Next Rights Readers meeting: 
Sunday, April 17, 6:30 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Boulevard
 In Pasadena

About the Author

 Santiago Roncagliolo is the youngest winner of 
the Alfaguara Prize, awarded to him in 2006 for 
Red April. He was born in Lima, Peru, and 
currently lives in Barcelona. Edith Grossman is 
the award-winning translator of such 
masterworks as Cervantes's Don Quixote and 
Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera.

SYNOPSES & REVIEWS

Publisher Comments:
A chilling, internationally acclaimed political 
thriller, Red April is a grand achievement in 
contemporary Latin American fiction, written by 
the youngest winner ever of the Alfaguara Prize–
one of the most prestigious in the Spanish-
speaking world–and translated from the Spanish 
by one of our most celebrated literary translators, 
Edith Grossman. It evokes Holy Week during a 
cruel, bloody, and terrifying time in Peru's history, 
shocking for its corrosive mix of assassination, 
bribery, intrigue, torture, and enforced 
disappearance - a war between grim, ideologically 
driven terrorism and morally bankrupt 
government counterinsurgency. 
Mother-haunted, wife-abandoned, literature-
loving, quietly eccentric Felix Chacaltana Saldivar 
is a hapless, by-the-book, unambitious prosecutor 
living in Lima. Until now he has lived a life in 
which nothing exceptionally good or bad has ever 
happened to him. But, inexplicably, he has been 
put in charge of a bizarre and horrible murder 
investigation. As it unfolds by propulsive twists 
and turns - full of paradoxes and surprises - 
Saldivar is compelled to confront what happens 
to a man and a society when death becomes the 
only certainty in life. 

Stunning for its self-assured and nimble clarity of 
style - reminiscent of classic noir fiction - the 
inexorable momentum of its plot, and the moral 
complexity of its concerns, Red April is at once 
riveting and profound, informed as it is by deft 
artistry in the shaping of conflict between 
competing venalities. As the New York Times 
declares, "Lima is once again one of Latin 
America's brightest literary scenes."

Review:
"Roncagliolo's stunning debut, about the brutality 
of Peruvian society under the Fujimori regime, 
merits comparison to the work of J.M. Coetzee. In 
2000, associate district prosecutor Felix 
Chacaltana Saldvar, who's returned to the 
province of Ayacucho from Lima, clashes with his 
superiors after the discovery of a charred and 
mutilated corpse. Rigidly adhering to bureaucratic 
procedure, Saldvar demands that an official 
police report on the crime be filed, despite the 
active resistance of the police and the local 
military commander. The prosecutor's refusal to 
abort his inquiry threatens the official line that the 
Shining Path terrorists are a thing of the past. 
Eventually, he's reassigned to help monitor 
elections, only to encounter more corruption. 
Within the frame of a puzzling whodunit, 
Roncagliolo crafts an unsparing view of life 
controlled by a repressive and paranoid 
government. A mother fixation, social 
awkwardness and a desire to impress others lend 
complexity to the protagonist." Publishers Weekly 
(Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business 
Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:
Reminiscent of Roberto Bolano's "The Savage 
Detectives" comes this chilling, internationally 
acclaimed political thriller by one of Latin 
America's most important young writers, 
witnessing what happens to both the individual 
and society when death becomes the only 
certainty in life. 
Remarkable for the self-assured clarity of its 
style, the inexorable momentum of its exposition, 
and the complexity of its concerns, Red April 
works brilliantly on the deepest historical, social, 
and psychological levels. It is an electrifying 
novel.


STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
By Cheri Dellelo

Equality Now's 100 Steps to Equality:
For the 100th anniversary of International 
Women's Day, March 8, 2011, Equality Now 
launched the 100 Steps to Equality campaign. They 
have compiled facts and concrete action steps, 
however small, that we can each take to reach 
towards equality and a better world for women 
and girls. Whether it is putting pressure on 
government officials, contacting your local news 
agency, making a donation, or simply learning 
more about an issue and sharing it with friends, 
please take a minute to look at this list and take 
action on at least a few of these issues. (Many 
actions only take a minute of your time.) The 
issues include bride kidnapping/abduction and 
forced marriage, certain governments' failures to 
set a minimum age for marriage, "honor killings," 
female genital mutilation, rape, and sex 
trafficking, among others. 

Take action here: 
http://www.equalitynow.org/100steps.html 

AI Mother's Day Events:
Every 90 seconds, another woman dies from 
complications related to pregnancy and 
childbirth. This Mother's Day, join the Demand 
Dignity campaign in fighting this human rights 
crisis! In the two weeks leading up to Mother's 
Day—April 23 to May 8—AI members around 
the country will be holding Mother's Day card 
writing events, in-district lobby visits, and more. 
Together, we can pressure decision-makers in the 
United States and around the world to protect 
the right to maternal health. You can help by 
joining one of these events or by hosting your 
own.

Get involved! Email AI 
at demanddignity@aiusa.org with your name, 
city, and state to get more information, to request 
materials, and to register your event!

Canada Takes a Stand on Forced Marriages:
Newcomers referring to Canada's citizenship 
study guide will find changes including a section 
that emphasizes that forced marriage is not 
tolerated in the country, Immigration and 
Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney 
announced Monday. Kenney said that the guide 
touches on Canadians' common values such as 
freedom, democracy, human rights, and equality 
of men and women.

The Child Marriage Prevention Act: 
A few weeks ago, the House took up the 
International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child 
Marriage Act of 2010. The bill would ensure that 
child marriage is recognized as a human rights 
violation and calls for the development of 
comprehensive strategies to prevent such 
marriages around the world. The legislation 
seemed likely to garner strong bipartisan support 
in Congress, and in the Senate, it did. However, 
the bill was voted down in the House by 
Republicans who argued the bill is too costly and 
could lead to increased abortions. In the 
meantime, the prevalence of child marriage 
remains alarmingly high worldwide. As CARE, a 
leading humanitarian organization fighting global 
poverty and supporting the child marriage 
prevention bill notes, "More than 60 million girls 
ages 17 and younger - many as young as 10 - are 
forced into marriage in developing countries. 
Many of these girls are married to men more than 
twice their age. Not only does this unacceptable 
practice thwart a girl's education, it endangers her 
health and often locks her into a life of poverty." 
If this decision disappoints you as it does me, 
please consider contacting your local 
representative.

 
DEATH PENALTY NEWS
By Stevi Carroll

The ongoing situation in Japan is dire.  My heart 
is filled with sorrow as I send off my tiny 
donation to Doctors Without Borders.

Governor Quinn Signs Bill:

First, the good news.  On March 9, 2011, Governor 
Pat Quinn signed the bill passed by the Illinois 
State legislature to abolish their death penalty.  
He said that after meeting with people on both 
sides of the issue, including families of murder 
victims and people who had been on death row 
and exonerated, he concluded "our system of 
imposing the death penalty is inherently flawed. 
The evidence presented to me by former 
prosecutors and judges with decades of 
experience in the criminal justice system has 
convinced me that it is impossible to devise a 
system that is consistent, that is free of 
discrimination on the basis of race, geography or 
economic circumstance, and that always gets it 
right." 

Governor Quinn not only abolished the death 
penalty in Illinois but also commuted the 
sentences of the 15 men presently on death row.  
Governor Quinn said, "I felt once the decision 
was made to sign the law abolishing the death 
penalty, it should be abolished for all. I do believe 
the evil-doers should be punished severely in 
prison without parole ... but without the death 
penalty."

Illinois is the sixteenth state to abolish the death 
penalty and the fourth in four years.  At the press 
conference during which Governor Quinn made 
the announcement, he looked to me to be a person 
who struggled with his decision. To see a portion 
of his press conference, go to 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOQf15y2cFw.

Thank you notes to Governor Quinn can be sent to:
Governor Pat Quinn
Office of the Governor  
James R. Thompson Center  
100 W. Randolph, 16-100  
Chicago, IL 60601 

or for an online action, go to:
http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/c.jhKPIXPCIo
E/b.6606239/k.D8C6/Thank_Illinois_Leaders_for
_Death_Penalty_Abolition/siteapps/advocacy/A
ctionItem.aspx?ICID=A1103O01

In California:

As California faces the challenges of the state's 
deficit, a number of newspapers published 
editorials asking Governor Jerry Brown to abolish 
the death penalty. (Pasadena Star-News 
http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/editorial/ci_17484129) 
Even as California has found the 
$900,000.00 to improve the death chamber at San 
Quentin, the state also is planning to build a new 
death row that may cost California tax payers as 
much as $1 billion. (Bloomberg 
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-
04/california-s-cadillac-death-row-complex-
target-in-budget-talks.html).  

Perhaps as Californians we'd rather have our 
shared tax money spent differently, like finding 
those people who commit heinous crimes.  
According to California Crime Victims for 
Alternatives to the Death Penalty, 46% of all 
homicides from 1999 to 2008 were not solved.  
Money now used for the death penalty from trial 
to incarceration to new facilities could be put on 
the street in law enforcement.

Letters to Governor Brown can go to:
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento CA 95814

Los Angeles County Coalition for Death Penalty Alternatives:

We have been busy working with the Los Angeles 
County Coalition for Death Penalty Alternatives.  
On March 3, a group of us went to see Pasadena 
City Councilman Chris Holden.  The Coalition's 
approach is to meet with city council members to 
explain the cost of the death penalty and how that 
money would benefit the city.  We also discuss 
the impact of the death penalty procedure on 
victims' families. Mr. Holden spent close to an 
hour with us.  He was interested and not only 
offered to help us get a meeting with Mayor 
Bogaard but also made a call to his office and 
began the process for the coalition to meet with 
the legislative committee.  One point Mr. Holden 
made is that to abolish the death penalty in 
California, the voters would have to decide 
through a ballot proposition.  One of the reasons 
the Coalition is working through city councils is 
to demonstrate support for the abolition of the 
death penalty prior to initiating a proposition.   
For LA County, the hard part will be to secure the 
first city to endorse the resolution. Thus far two 
California City Councils, Berkeley and Albany, 
have signed abolition resolutions. 

Sunday, March 13, Lucas and I attended the 
LACCDPA bimonthly meeting.  We celebrated 
Governor Quinn's action in Illinois; wished the 
interns, Pauline and Clodagh, well as they leave 
the ACLU and head back to the Emerald Isle; and 
discussed the progress the working committees 
are having.  In addition to our meeting with Chris 
Holden in Pasadena, the lobbying group also met 
with Patrick O'Donnell, a city councilman in Long 
Beach.  The Tabling committee has secured a 
space at the Little Tokyo farmers' market on 
Thursdays between 10 AM and 2 PM.  Anyone 
who would be interested in helping out with that 
can contact James Clark at jclark@aclu-sc.org.  

Troy Davis:

Lucas recently emailed new information about 
Troy's case.  He continues to fight for his life.  At 
this point, "The Supreme Court could accept the 
district court's ruling outright and deny Davis' 
appeal, clearing the path for Georgia to set an 
execution date. It could punt the case to the 11th 
Circuit Court of Appeals. Or it could consider the 
appeal either this term, which already has a rather 
full docket, or put it on the docket for next term 
(following the summer recess)."  To read the 
entire statement, go to: 
http://blog.amnestyusa.org/deathpenalty/wher
e-is-the-troy-davis-case-now/.  

To take action in this case, go to
http://www.amnestyusa.org/death-
penalty/troy-davis-finality-over-
fairness/page.do?id=1011343

Our New Abolition Coordinator:

Please welcome Amnesty's new State Death 
Penalty Abolition Coordinator, Jessica Farley.  On 
March 5, Lucas and I went to Jessica's to meet 
with other opponents of the death penalty.  We 
watched and discussed the film Interview with an 
Executioner.  The Amnesty website says of this 
film: "In 'Interview with an Executioner' Amnesty 
International's Terry McCaffrey talks with 
Parchman Penitentiary Superintendent Don 
Cabana about the death penalty."  To find out 
more about this film, go to: 

http://www.amnestyusa.org/death-
penalty/death-penalty-facts/interview-with-an-
executioner/page.do?id=1101081.

Welcome, Jessica.  We look forward to working 
with you.

Execution Drugs:

The drugs used in executions continue to present 
problems for those federal and state government 
agencies committed with the responsibility of 
executing people.  The federal government has 
run out of a supply of sodium thiopental.  U. S. 
Attorney General Eric Holder says this "is a 
serious concern."  The state of Ohio executed 
Johnnie Baston March 10, 2011, using 
pentobarbital, a drug used to euthanize animals.  
Finding producers of drugs the US uses for 
executions is proving to be problematic.

Sentences Commuted to Life Without Parole:

March
Fifteen inmates in the Illinois State Prison system

Executions:

February 22 	
Timothy Adams 	Texas	Lethal Injection

March 10 	
Johnnie Baston 	Ohio	 Lethal Injection


PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE GAO ZHISHENG
By Joyce Wolf

April 20 will mark the one-year anniversary of 
human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng's latest 
enforced disappearance. You can visit Group 22's 
website to learn more about our adopted prisoner 
of conscience and take action for him. 
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~aigp22

Soon we will have an opportunity to learn more 
about Gao Zhisheng's life and his thoughts on 
human rights in China. Our book discussion 
selection for July is the book that Gao wrote in 
2006, A China More Just.

While attending Amnesty International USA's 
Annual General Meeting on March 19 in San 
Francisco, I had the privilege of talking with a 
Chinese filmmaker who had recently endured 55 
days of secret detention in China. Hua Ze said 
she was kidnapped and held in various hostels 
and guesthouses, probably because she had 
received an invitation to attend the Nobel 
ceremonies in Oslo. She was released in December 
shortly after the ceremonies were concluded. Hua 
Ze expressed the opinion that China now tends to 
deal with troublesome activists outside the 
official system. She kept a detailed diary of her 
experiences. Here are some excerpts:

"I am surprised by someone grabbing me from 
behind and carrying me backwards, face up. 
Meanwhile, a black hood descends as if from the 
sky. The first idea that flashed into my mind is 
that the black hood is so thick, and that it stinks 
of foot odor."

" 'Help!' I hear my cry and struggle desperately in 
the hope that I can hold out until people witness 
that I am kidnapped and to report it to the 
police. In this struggle, the black hood falls off . 
As seven to eight strongmen are stuffing me, head 
down and feet high, into a white minivan, I 
remember the last scene: I resist by hooking my 
feet tightly to the door frame. A kidnapper_s 
distorted face stares down at me and says 
devilishly: 'If you go on resisting, you will be 
dead!' A moment later, I lose consciousness."

"I have a dream! I dream in the near future my 
friends will never be kidnapped, disappeared, or 
jailed. I dream they will never live in exile as a 
sojourner far away from home and their country."

The complete English translation of Hua Ze's 
journal is available at 
http://hzaze.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/the-
ordeal-of-a-fragrant-soul.pdf.


MONTHLY LETTER COUNT
Pre-printed actions   10
UA's                   3
POC                    5
Total                 18 
To add your letters to the total contact: 
lwkamp@gmail.com.


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

Email: aigp22@its.caltech.edu

www.its.caltech.edu/~aigp22/

http://rightsreaders.blogspot.com