Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXI Number 11, November-December 2013


 UPCOMING EVENTS
  Thursday, December 5, 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.
  Saturday, December 14, 10 AM to 4 PM.  
Letter writing marathon at Pasadena's Zephyr 
Cafe, 2419 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 91107. 
Phone 626-793-7330.  See you there!
  Sunday, December 15, 6:30 PM.  Rights 
Readers Human Rights Book Discussion 
group. This month we read "Beautiful Souls" 
by Eyal Press.

COORDINATOR'S CORNER
Hi All

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgivukkah 
(the first day of Hanukkah was on Thanksgiving 
day!) and are getting ready for Christmas!  Only 
a few weeks away…Personally, I make a point 
to stay away from shopping malls from 
Thanksgiving until after Christmas and do my 
shopping online!

This year only two of our members attended the 
Western Regional Conference in LA. Here's 
Stevi's photo of Kalaya'an Mendoza at the 
opening session. http://tinyurl.com/pfepff7
 
All of Stevi's photos and reports are on Group 
22's Facebook page, http://tinyurl.com/n8ylgsj


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, Dec. 15, 6:30 PM
Beautiful Souls
by Eval Press

Note:  Meeting will be held at private home, not 
Vroman's Bookstore. 187 S. Catalina Ave.,
Unit 2, Pasadena. 626-795-1785

KIRKUS REVIEW
Press (Absolute Convictions: My Father, a City, and 
the Conflict That Divided America, 2006) returns 
with a disquisition on conscience, "about the 
mystery of what impels people to…stop, say no, 
resist."
The author builds his account on the foundation 
of social psychology and examines the stories of 
several people from a variety of times, cultures 
and situations. He begins--where else?--with 
the Nazis in Poland, 1942, when the German 
Order Police committed a mass execution of 
Jews, but about a dozen soldiers refused to 
participate. Press then moves to Paul Gruninger, 
a Swiss policeman who in 1938 admitted into 
the country a number of Jewish refugees--
ignoring official policy. Next the author looks at 
a Serb soldier who saved a number of Croats 
targeted for ethnic cleansing in 1991. Another 
case was an Israeli soldier who defied policy in 
an operation against the Palestinians. Press' final 
example is Leyla Wydler, a financial advisor 
employed by the Stanford Group Company in 
2000 who reported to the SEC her company's 
gross deceptions. Throughout, Press notes the 
consequences of his principals' actions: 
ostracism, firing, psychological, social and 
financial losses. Interviewing those still living, 
he learns some surprising things. Not all are 
intellectuals, or even had rational reasons for 
behaving as they did (to some, it just didn't feel 
right); not all had religious or even moral 
reasons for their behavior. Some attribute their 
decision to family history or to simply looking 
in the mirror; none had regrets. Press believes 
that saying no is always possible, never easy 
and that the outcome is surely never certain. To 
buttress his analysis, he includes allusions to 
philosophers, psychologists and even relevant 
films--e.g., Silkwood.
An intelligent though sometimes dense 
examination of moral courage and its 
consequences.               
Author Biography       

Eyal Press is a writer based in New York. His 
work has appeared in the New York Review of 
Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, 
The Nation, and the Raritan Review. He is the 
author of Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking 
Ranks and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark 
Times (2012), and Absolute Convictions (2006), a 
narrative account of the abortion conflict. He is a 
past recipient of the James Aronson Award for 
Social Justice Journalism.



FREEDOM FOR CHINA
Rally in Long Beach
By Wen Chen


Oct. 20, 2013 was a beautiful day in Marina 
Green Park at Long Beach. At the other side of 
the Pacific Ocean, millions of people like me are 
still suffering in labor camps and jails for their 
belief. I am fortunate enough to live on the side 
of ocean with freedom, and able to join 4,000 
Falun Gong practitioners from all over the 
world to do something to support our fellows in 
China.

Many people came early and did mediation 
before the public rally started. At 11am, more 
than 100 victims from China gathered near the 
stage. Each of them only got a couple of minutes 
to tell their years of experience of torture in 
labor camps, jails or mental hospitals.

The youngest victim was a teenager girl, she 
was jailed together with her parents when she 
was five years old. A woman described how she 
lost her baby after she was violently beaten 
during pregnancy. Many people were beaten 
up, shocked by electric batons, force fed or 
poisoned by unknown drugs via injection or 
feeding. A victim was shocked by 6 electric 
batons at the same time. A lot of them witnessed 
the death of their children, parents or friends 
from the persecution. All of them lost their jobs.

Almost every victim described going through 
complicated physical checkups during 
detention, including blood tests, X-ray, function 
of their heart and lung, but they were never told 
the results. The police kept inquiring about their 
social connections. Those Falun Gong 
practitioners from rural area, with few relatives 
or friends, were numbered and taken to 
unknown places in truck loads. All of these 
reminded me the huge number of organ 
transplants in China, and the shocking 
statements from hospitals that "We will find 
matching organs for you within 24 hours." 
(http://stoporganharvesting.org). 

The most touching scene appeared at noon, 
when Congressman Dana Rohrabacher 
appeared in the crowd. He told a story about his 
father, who was in Shanghai during WWII as an 
American soldier. He was proud that Americans 
can do something to save the lives of Chinese 
again. As a member of the foreign relations 
committee he recalled that one of the most 
embarrassing hearings occurred when a great 
American computer company admitted 
designing and installing for the communist 
dictatorship a system to control Chinese people 
and even control criticism. At that hearing, a 
woman testified that her son, a journalist, was 
tracked down and arrested for criticizing the 
government over the internet via that system. 
Being a devout Christian, he sees the merits of 
Falun Gong. "... we know it is up to us, all of us, 
to perfect ourselves and I see that with the Falun 
Gong talking about those aspects (Truth, 
Compassion, Tolerance) of the human soul that 
will make us more tolerant and more forgiving 
and energetic towards helping others," he said.
 
Rep. Rohrabacher(center) joined the victims and sang 
"Free China" (from the award-winning documentary 
Free China - Courage to Believe. 
http://freechina.ntdtv.org/). 


DEATH PENALTY NEWS
By Stevi Carroll


I'm writing this column on the day after 
Thanksgiving.  While I have many things for 
which to be thankful, the important one here is 
that 18 US states and the District of Columbia do 
not use the death penalty.  Additionally, six of 
these states have abolished the death penalty 
since 2007 and 'popularity' for the death penalty 
has fallen from 80% in 1994 to about 63% in 
2012.

RIP - Delbert Tibbs

November 23, 2013, Delbert Tibbs died.

In 1974 while walking across the country on a 
spiritual quest, Delbert Tibbs was arrested for 
the rape of Cynthia Nadeau and the murder of 
Terry Milroy, her traveling companion, in 
Florida.  Both Ms Nadeau and Mr. Milroy were 
white and Mr. Tibbs was African-American.  
Although Mr. Tibbs was taller and had a lighter 
complexion than the person Ms Nadeau 
described, when she was shown Polaroid 
snapshots of Mr. Tibbs, she said he was the man 
who killed Mr. Milroy and raped her.  Mr. Tibbs 
was tried before an all-white jury, found guilty 
and sentenced to death.

Joan Baez and Pete Seeger raised money for the 
Delbert Tibbs Defense Committee so that Mr. 
Tibbs was able to hire legal representation.  He 
was released in 1977 and in 1982, the Florida 
State Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

Mr. Tibbs became an advocate for death penalty 
abolition and worked as an Assistant Director of 
Membership and Training for Witness to 
Innocence, the country's only organization 
dedicated to empowering exonerated death row 
survivors.

To see an interview with Mr. Tibbs, go to 
http://www.oneforten.com/delbert-tibbs.

To see the lyrics of Pete Seeger's song "Delbert 
Tibbs" and the fundraising done for his case in 
Songwriter Magazine, go to 
www.peteseeger.net/songwriter_magazine.htm

Reginald Griffin

For Reginald Griffin, October 25, 2013, will be 
the day to remember.  After spending almost 30 
years on Missouri's death row, the prosecution 
dismissed the charges with which he'd been 
condemned, and although he'd been released on 
bond pending retrial since December 2012, in 
October 2013 Mr. Griffin became the 143rd 
person in the US to be exonerated and freed 
from death row since the death penalty was 
reinstated in 1973.  His conviction for killing a 
fellow inmate in 1983 relied on testimony from 
two jailhouse snitches who received benefits 
from their testimonies and who later renounced 
them.  Mr. Griffin is the 4th person in Missouri 
to be exonerated along with Clarence Dexter 
(exonerated 1999), Eric Clemmons (2000), and 
Joseph Amrine (2003).  


California and the Death Penalty

As we remember last November 6th, 
Proposition 34 was defeated by a mere 250,000 
votes.  I've wondered if people voted 'no' on 
Prop 34 because they opposed the death penalty 
and did not realize that voting 'yes' was not in 
FAVOR of the death penalty but rather a vote 
for life without the possibility of parole (LWOP).  
Recently, Paula Mitchell, a career federal judicial 
law clerk for Senior Circuit Judge Arthur L. 
Alarcón on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 
published 'California's Death Penalty: A Year in 
Review.'

Here are a few highlights:

*	California has not carried out any more 
executions; there have been no 
executions now for nearly a decade.
*	California taxpayers continue to pay a 
surcharge of $184 million per year to 
house and provide medical care for over 
740 inmates on California's death row, 
and to provide decades-long, publicly-
funded counsel for those inmates. Those 
expenditures are not incurred under an 
LWOP system.
*	Over 135 men on death row are between 
60 and 89 years old, many of whom have 
significant medical care needs.
*	Six more California death row inmates 
died from either natural causes or 
suicide, bringing the total non-execution 
deaths to 90. By contrast, a total of 13 
inmates have been executed by the state 
since 1978.
*	For the 90 inmates who died while on 
death row, taxpayers provided the 
"lifetime housing/healthcare benefits" 
death penalty proponents warned voters 
they would be forced to pay if the state 
were to switch to LWOP as the state's 
toughest penalty. And those housing and 
healthcare costs come at a premium 
because we now know that death row 
costs more than other maximum security 
facilities.
*	Death penalty appeals continue to make 
up roughly one third of the California 
Supreme Court's caseload.
*	The backlog at the California Supreme 
Court is now so severe that it is taking 
almost 20 years for the court to decide 
direct appeals in death penalty cases. 
After that, death row inmates begin their 
state and federal habeas corpus 
proceedings, for which they are also 
provided publicly funded counsel, and 
which typically drag on for at least 
another ten years.
To read the entire article, go to 
http://verdict.justia.com/2013/11/18/californias-
death-penalty-year-review

The Strange Case of Ronald Phillips

In 1993, Ronald Phillips was sentenced to die for 
the rape and murder of his girlfriend's three-
year-old daughter.  With his legal options 
finished in mid-November this year, he was to 
be executed by lethal injection.  His mother has 
kidney disease and his sister has a heart 
condition.  Mr. Phillips has offered to donate his 
organs, and while this offer may be seen as a 
delay tactic, he says it is his 'attempt to make a 
final gesture for good.'

Ohio Governor John Kasich wants to look into 
the possibility of organ donation not only of Mr. 
Phillips but also other condemned prisoners.

Mr. Phillips is scheduled to be executed on July 
2, 2014.  At that time, we will see if organ 
donation becomes a part of executions in the 
USA.

Stay of Execution

November
14	Ronald Phillips	Ohio


Executions

October
23	Robert Jones		Arizona
			1-drug lethal injection*

November
12	Darius Kimbrough	Florida	
			3-drug lethal injection**

12	Jamie McCoskey		Texas
       			1-drug lethal injection*
              	
20	Joseph Franklin		Missouri
			1-drug lethal injection*

*pentobarbital
-	** with midazolam (a sedative) hydrochloride 
(a painkiller)




SECURITY WITH HUMAN 
RIGHTS 

by Robert Adams


The following email was received from Zeke 
Johnson, Director of Amnesty International 
USA's Security & Human Rights Program, on 
November 19, 2013:

Dear Friends,

With your help, we won a victory on 
Guantanamo tonight! See our release 
below!

The good Guantanamo transfer provisions 
in the NDAA for 2014 made it through the 
amendment process! We defeated a bad 
amendment by Senator Ayotte and a 
watered down amendment by Levin and 
McCain that appeared to allow indefinite 
detention in the mainland US.

However, now we begin the tough process 
of preserving the good provisions in the 
reconciliation process with the bad House 
provisions. Stay tuned for new actions!

Thank you all for your support!

All those lobby visits, op-eds, calls, emails, 
Tweets, rallies and educational events 
made a difference!

Zeke

For Immediate Release                                                                                                
November 19, 2013
Amnesty International Welcomes
Senate Result on NDAA Guantanamo
Amendments

In response to the Senate vote on the 
Guantanamo transfer provisions as part of the 
National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 
year 2014 (S. 1197), Zeke Johnson, Director of 
Amnesty International USA's Security and 
Human Rights Program and an observer of the 
military commissions at Guantanamo, issued the 
following statement:

"Finally, the Senate did the right thing on 
Guantanamo. The new detainee transfer provisions 
will help ensure that each detainee is either given a 
safe and fair trial in US federal court or is transferred 
to another country if cleared to leave.

Section 1031 of the Senate bill would facilitate the 
transfer to other countries of cleared detainees; 
Section 1032 would allow transfers to the mainland 
US for medical treatment; and Section 1033 would 
allow transfers to the mainland US for trial. These 
provisions must be preserved through the 
reconciliation process with the House provisions.

Furthermore, President Obama need not wait for 
final passage to move forward with transfers under 
current law. People like Shaker Aamer, cleared to 
leave with a safe place to go that wants him – the UK 
– should be transferred out immediately."


Regarding the House bill for the 2014 NDAA, 
H.R 1960, which then passed to the Senate, it 
should be noted that in the House Republican 
Conference summary it states, "H.R. 1960 
maintains the prohibition against the transfer of 
detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United 
States or to countries where it has been 
confirmed that previously released detainees 
have engaged in terrorist activity after their 
release." Thus, it will be a tough fight to 
maintain the above transfer provisions in the 
final legislation – as Zeke says, "Stay tuned!"





PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE
Gao Zhisheng

by Joyce Wolf


One year ago Amnesty International chose 
human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, Group 22's 
adopted prisoner of conscience, to be one of the 
cases featured in the annual AI Write-a-thon. 
Just one month later, in January 2012, Gao 
Zhisheng's brother received permission to visit 
him in prison. This was only the second family 
visit permitted by the Chinese authorities 
during Gao's imprisonment, so it seems that 
letter-writing might have had some effect! 

Gao Zhisheng is not a featured AI case this year, 
but let's make sure that China realizes he is not 
forgotten. Please send cards of support and 
encouragement to him in prison:
Gao Zhisheng
Shaya Prison
P.O. Box 15, Sub-box 16
Shaya County, Aksu Prefecture
Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, 842208
People's Republic of China

Check our website for more information about 
Gao Zhisheng and a current sample letter to 
Chinese authorities about his case.  
http://tinyurl.com/GaoPOC

AI Group 148 and the Visual Artists Guild sent 
an invitation to join them at an International 
Human Rights Day Rally on Saturday 
December 7 at 2 pm in Chinatown, followed by 
a protest at the Chinese Consulate to demand 
the release of all prisoners of conscience. 
http://visual-artists-guild.org

If you are not able to attend a rally or letter-
writing event, please consider participating as 
an individual. . You can find case descriptions 
and sample letters at 
http://tinyurl.com/WriteForRights

Happy International Human Rights Day!  




GROUP 22 MONTHLY LETTER COUNT
UAs                        20
Total                      20
To add your letters to the total contact  
lwkamp@gmail.com.



Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code C1-128
Pasadena, CA 91125
www.its.caltech.edu/~aigp22/
http://rightsreaders.blogspot.com


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.