Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXI Number 7, July 2013


Thursday, July 25, 7:30 PM. Monthly 
Meeting. We meet at the Caltech Y, Tyson 
House, 505 S. Wilson Ave., Pasadena. (This is 
just south of the corner with San Pasqual. 
Signs will be posted.) We will be planning our 
activities for the coming months. Please join 
us! Refreshments provided.

Tuesday, August 13, 7:30 PM.  Letter 
writing meeting at Caltech Athenaeum, corner 
of Hill and California in Pasadena. During the 
summer we meet outdoors at the Athenaeum's 
"Rath al Fresco," on the lawn behind the main 
building. This informal gathering is a great way 
for newcomers to get acquainted with 

Sunday, August 18, 6:30 PM.  Rights 
Readers Human Rights Book Discussion 
group. This month we read "Watcher in the 
Pine" by Rebecca Pawel.


Hi All
I'm enjoying my summer break of a few weeks 
until school starts again in August - catching up 
on my reading, going to the pool, and just 
flaking off in general!  

Remember Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot 
in the head by the Pakistani Taliban October 
2012, for advocating for girls' education?  July 
12th was her 16th birthday and she addressed 
the UN.  Click on this link for excerpts from her 
Happy Birthday, Malala!!

Women and girls have been assaulted during 
protests in Tahrir Square, Egypt during the 
recent uprising against former President 
Mohammed Morsi.  Here is the link to an AI 
action to stop sexual violence against women:

Con Carino,

Human Rights Book Discussion Group

Keep up with Rights Readers at

Next Rights Readers meeting:
Sunday, August 18 
6:30 pm 

The Watcher in the Pine
by Rebecca Pawel
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado, Pasadena


Rebecca Pawel was born in 1977 and was raised 
in New York City. She spent a summer studying 
in Madrid in 1994 and fell in love with Spain. 
She also majored in Spanish language and litera-
ture at Columbia University.

Death of a Nationalist was nominated for Best 
first Novel for both the 2004 Anthony and 2004 
Macavity, and won the 2004 Edgar Best First 
Novel. It was also a finalist for the LA Times 
Best Mystery. 

She is currently a teacher at the High School for 
Enterpirse, Business and Technology in New 
York City. 


A cop's transfer to a new posting in Franco's 
Spain comes with a full slate of new problems. 

Pleased to leave his position in Salamanca for a 
promotion to his own command in the 
Cantabrian village of Potes, Lt. Carlos Tejada 
anticipates less strife with his fellow officers 
and a warmer reception for his pregnant wife 
Elena, usually shunned as too much of a leftist 
(Law of Return, 2003, etc.). When they arrive at 
the snow-encrusted outpost, however, no one is 
there to meet them, and when the farmer they 
get to give them a lift drops them at the nearest 
lodging in the dead of night, the innkeeper 
Anselmo is mysteriously absent and his wife 
extremely agitated at their appearance. The next 
morning, when Tejada slogs his way to the 
station, he is informed that his predecessor, Lt. 
Calero, had been murdered by Red guerrillas. 
Determined to whip his lackluster cadre of five 
officers into shape and settle Elena into more 
amenable accommodations, Tejada is stymied 
by the insubordination of Sgt. Marquez, 
bedeviled by Maquis guerrillas out to avenge the 
results of 1939, and faced with innkeeper 
Anselmo's murder, mountain bandits and a 
missing cache of dynamite, and Elena's 
premature labor. The resolution leaves Tejada -
sated by political disagreements with 
nationalists, loyalists, guerrillas, communists, 
and his wife - yearning for a discharge from the 

Equal parts history lesson and crime novel, 
displaying both offhand cruelty and welcome 

Gao Zhisheng

by Joyce Wolf

This month Group 22 will join other Amnesty 
groups around the world to send birthday cards 
to Gao Tianyu, who will be 10 years old on 
August 27. He is the son of imprisoned human 
rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, Group 22's adopted 
prisoner of conscience. He has not seen his 
father since 2009, when he and his mother and 
older sister escaped to the USA from China 
shortly before Gao Zhisheng's detention and 
enforced disappearance. 

Amnesty's Asia Pacific Regional Office 
organized this action. Here is the information 
that we received from the AIUSA China 
Country Specialist:

This action will run from 1 August until 31 
August 2013.

We would encourage birthday cards to be 
sent, and would particularly like these to 
come from other children. They can be as 
creative as you like!

[The family would appreciate] messages 
wishing Tianyu a happy birthday, and 
offering encouragement to him and his 
family. If you have taken action or plan to 
take action for Gao Zhisheng, please do 
share this information too.

Please write your messages in English, 
Chinese, or in your own language.

Please send cards to the Asia Pacific 
Regional Office in Hong Kong, and they 
will be mailed to Gao Zhisheng's family 
from there:
Gao Zhisheng solidarity action
c/o Amnesty International
Asia Pacific Regional Office
16/F, Siu On Centre,
188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai,
Hong Kong SAR

Group 22 will collect cards during our August 
meetings and mail them to AI in Hong Kong. If 
you don't make it to one of our meetings and 
would like to arrange for us to mail your cards, 
email us at 

We would also love it if you could email photos 
of you or your kids writing cards or holding 
"Happy Birthday to Gao Tianyu!" signs. This 
could be a great summer family project  thank 
you and have fun!

By Robert Adams

The following is reprinted from the AI USA 

"USA must not persecute whistleblower 
Edward Snowden"

The US authorities' relentless campaign to hunt 
down and block whistleblower Edward 
Snowden's attempts to seek asylum is 
deplorable and amounts to a gross violation of 
his human rights Amnesty International said 

"The US attempts to pressure governments to 
block Snowden's attempts to seek asylum are 
deplorable," said Michael Bochenek, Director of 
Law and Policy at Amnesty International. "It is 
his unassailable right, enshrined in international 
law, to claim asylum and this should not be 

The organization also believes that the National 
Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower could be 
at risk of ill-treatment if extradited to the USA.
"No country can return a person to another 
country where there is a serious risk of ill-
treatment," said Bochenek.

"We know that others who have been 
prosecuted for similar acts have been held in 
conditions that not only Amnesty International 
but UN officials considered cruel inhuman and 
degrading treatment in violation of international 

Senior US officials have already condemned 
Snowden without a trial, labelling him both 
guilty and a traitor, raising serious questions as 
to whether he'd receive a fair trial. Likewise the 
US authorities move to charge Snowden under 
the Espionage Act could leave him with no 
provision to launch a public interest whistle-
blowing defence under US law.

"It appears he is being charged by the US 
government primarily for revealing its - and 
other governments' - unlawful actions that 
violate human rights," said Bochenek.
"No one should be charged under any law for 
disclosing information of human rights 
violations. Such disclosures are protected under 
the rights to information and freedom of 

Besides filing charges against Snowden, the US 
authorities have revoked his passport - which 
interferes with his rights to freedom of 
movement and to seek asylum elsewhere.

"Snowden is a whistleblower. He has disclosed 
issues of enormous public interest in the US and 
around the world. And yet instead of 
addressing or even owning up to these actions, 
the US government is more intent on going after 
Edward Snowden."  
"Any forced transfer to the USA would put him 
at risk of human rights violations and must be 
challenged," said Michael Bochenek.

By Stevi Carroll

One-drug Protocol

California has dropped its three-drug protocol 
requirement to move toward a one-drug 
solution to remove the hold on executions that's 
been in effect since 2006.  Deborah Hoffman, 
spokeswoman for the California Department of 
Corrections and Rehabilitation said, "At the 
governor's direction, CDCR is continuing to 
develop proposed regulations for a single drug 
protocol in order to ensure that California's laws 
on capital punishment are upheld."  One 
problem states have with lethal injection is that 
pharmaceutical companies don't want their 
drugs used to kill people intentionally.  

Warren Hill

Warren Hill was scheduled to be executed July 
15.  The week proved to be one of execution 
dates followed by stay-of-execution 
announcements for Mr. Hill.  In 2002, the 
Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 
Atkins v. Virginia  "Executions of mentally 
retarded criminals are 'cruel and unusual 
punishments' prohibited by the Eighth 
Amendment."  With an IQ of 70, Mr. Hill has an 
IQ that qualifies him as mildly mentally 
retarded; however, the State of Georgia sets the 
bar for mental retardation at an IQ of 77 with the 
burden of proof resting on the defendant to 
prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that he or she 
is retarded.  No other state has this requirement.  
Should Mr. Hill not be executed his low IQ will 
probably not be the reason, but rather the one-
drug protocol lethal injection used by the 
Georgia executioners.

Pentobarbital, the drug used in the one-drug 
protocol, has become difficult to obtain.  In 2011, 
European manufacturers of the drug embargoed 
its importation to the USA because of their 
objections to its use in executions.  
Manufacturers in the US followed suit.  To 
circumvent this roadblock, Georgia passed the 
unofficially named "Lethal Injection Secrecy 
Act" that includes: "The identifying information 
of any person or entity who participates in or 
administers the execution of a death sentence 
and the identifying information of any person or 
entity that manufactures, supplies, compounds, 
or prescribes the drugs, medical supplies, or 
medical equipment utilized in the execution of a 
death sentence shall be confidential and shall 
not be subject to disclosure under Article 4 of 
Chapter 18 of Title 50 or under judicial process. 
Such information shall be classified as a 
confidential state secret."  

With this in the law, the state wanted to create 
its execution drug by going to compounding 
pharmacies that would have their pharmacists 
create the drug necessary for the execution in 
secret.  Mr. Hill has received an indefinite stay 
of execution because a Fulton County judge 
ruled that by keeping the source of the drug 
secret, he and his lawyers cannot "raise a 
meaningful challenge that his execution could 
cause needless suffering because he does not 
know the source of the drugs being used to kill 
him or the qualifications of the pharmacy that 
compounds them."  Mr. Hill also has a Writ of 
Habeas Corpus pending with the U.S. Supreme 

Georgia is Not Alone

Other states that also have secrecy provisions to 
keep the identity of compounding pharmacies 
unknown include Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, 
South Dakota and Tennessee.  As California 
moves toward a one-drug protocol, I wonder if 
our fair state will follow along the secrecy path.

The Texas 500

Even though last month I wrote about some 
conservatives, including a fellow from Texas, 
who were reconsidering the efficacy of the death 
penalty, the Texas executioner killed his 500th 
inmate since 1976.  Kimberly McCarthy died 
June 26.  One credit I will give Governor Rick 
Perry is that he did not mock Kimberly 
McCarthy as then Governor George W. Bush did 
Karla Faye Tucker 
Tucker-quot-Episode#).  The Texas executioner 
has killed two more people since Ms McCarthy's 

Trayvon Martin

The Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman case 
has raised many questions, and depending what 
a person thinks about race and justice in the 
USA, the answers vary.  President Obama 
discussed how he, too, has experienced some of 
the subtle, and not so subtle, reactions to him in 
public especially when he was young as an 
African-American man.  As our country 
becomes less white and more brown, black and 
mixed, I think we will need to talk first within 
ourselves and then with each other about how 
we see and understand people who are different 
from us.  Race, of course, will not be the sole 
factor since education, income, social status and 
many other facets of our lives influence our 
thinking and beliefs.

The chart at the link below gives us an 
interesting look at the composition of the death 
row population in the USA.  Particularly 
interesting to me is Utah's death row 


Stays of Execution

24	Marshall Gore			Florida

3	Marshall Gore (again)		Florida
10	Rigoberto Avila, Jr.		Texas
15/19	Warren Hill			Georgia


25	Brian Davis			Oklahoma
			3-drug lethal injection
26	Kimberly McCarthy		Texas
			1-drug lethal injection
16	John Quintanilla		Texas
			1-drug lethal injection
18	Vaughn Ross			Texas
			1-drug lethal injection


UAs    23                                                                        
POC    11
Total  34                                                                       
To add your letters to the total contact

Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code C1-128
Pasadena, CA 91125