Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News Volume XXVI Number 10, October 2018 UPCOMING EVENTS Thursday, October 25, 7:30-9:00 PM. Monthly Meeting. We meet at the Caltech Y, Tyson House, 505 S. Wilson Ave., Pasadena. We plan to watch a video on a current human rights topic. Saturday, November 17, 11 AM - 2 PM. WRITE FOR RIGHTS at Dog Haus Biergarten, 93 E. Green St, Pasadena. This special letter writing event replaces our usual Group 22 Tuesday evening letter writing at Caltech for the month of November. Sunday, November 18, 6:30 PM. Rights Readers Human Rights Book Discussion Group. This month we read "The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition" by Linda Gordon. COORDINATOR'S CORNER Hello all I know you've heard this before, but my favorite season, Fall, is officially here! This week has been a perfect example - warm, windy, but not too hot. Great weather to take a walk outside and enjoy the sun. We are holding our annual AI letter-writing marathon November 17 rather than December (Dec 10 is Human Rights Day). It will be at the same place as last year, the Dog Haus restaurant in Pasadena, which has been very friendly and helpful to us. The specific info is on the AIUSA website; here's the link: https://write.amnestyusa.org/events/ This meeting replaces the November letter writing at Caltech. Speaking of letter writing, thank you, Paul, for joining the Athenaeum so we can eat! (and drink for those who are so inclined - not me, I have to get up too early in am to indulge!) Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad jointly won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict." Mr. Mukwege is an MD who treats victims, and Nadia a young Yazidi woman who was kidnapped by ISIS and became a sex slave until she was able to escape. The use of rape as a weapon of war has been an Amnesty issue for a long time. See this link for more info: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2018/press- release Here's a timely action-which has been all over the news lately: https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take- action/saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi/ Con Carino, Kathy Next Rights Readers Meeting Sunday, November 18 6:30 PM Vroman's Bookstore 695 E. Colorado Blvd Pasadena The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s by Linda Gordon KIRKUS REVIEW An award-winning historian of social movements examines the unlikely rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the North after World War I, underscoring the organization's ideas that "echo again today." Among those ideas were white supremacy, Christian evangelicalism, suspicion of elites, anti-intellectualism, fear of immigrants, and a conviction that American values were under dire threat. Gordon (Humanities and History/New York Univ. Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, 2009, etc.), the winner of two Bancroft Prizes, argues persuasively that the Klan was visible and respected, drawing its membership from the middle class. "In many areas," she writes, "Klan membership brought prestige" and "community status." Like other contemporary fraternal organizations, such as the Masons and Rotarians, the Klan fostered "male bonding through brotherhood and ritual." Elaborate and arcane rituals involved "Klan water," purchased from the organization's national headquarters, "where it was made sacred, like holy water." Membership required learning an intricate vocabulary of rank. The Imperial Wizard reigned over three Great Klaliffs, the Great Klabee, the Great Kligrapp, the Great Kludd, and the Great Night- Hawk, and "chapters were known as Klaverns, each headed by an Exalted Cyclops." New members were "naturalized" at a Klonversation, and the officers of a Klavern were known, tellingly, as Terrors. The Klan was funded through initiation fees, dues, and a pyramid scheme, whereby recruiters worked on commission; the Klan also sold costumes and memorabilia. A member could buy "a zircon- studded Fiery Cross" as a brooch for his wife. Gordon examines in particular Klan popularity in Portland, Oregon, once a bastion of racism, and the attraction of the organization to at least half a million women, many of whom were active in other reform groups, such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union. In the late 1920s, the Klan was beset by infighting, money troubles, and scandals that exposed leaders' hypocrisy and misbehavior. Its appeal diminished, and membership dwindled. But as the author amply shows, its fearful, angry spirit lives on. A revealing, well-researched-and, unfortunately, contemporarily relevant- investigation of the KKK's wide support in the 1920s. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book- reviews/linda-gordon/the-second-coming-of- the-kkk/ ABOUT THE AUTHOR Linda Gordon is an American feminist and historian. She lives in New York City and in Madison, Wisconsin. She won the Marfield Prize for Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits. Linda Gordon was born in Chicago but considers Portland, Oregon, her home town. Gordon is the daughter of William and Helen Appelman Gordon and the sister of Laurence Edward Gordon and Lee David Gordon. She is the wife of Allen Hunter and they have one daughter, Rosa Gordon Hunter, of Cambridge, MA. She graduated from Swarthmore College, and from Yale University with an MA and PhD in Russian History. Her dissertation was later published as Cossack Rebellions. She taught at the University of Massachusetts- Boston from 1968 to 1984, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1984 to 1999. The University of Wisconsin awarded her the university's most prestigious chair professorship, the Vilas Research Chair. Today, she is University Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History at New York University. Gordon was a founding associate editor of the Journal of Women's History and serves on the advisory board of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Starting in the 1970s, Gordon's research and writing examined the historical roots of contemporary social policy debates in the US, particularly as they concern gender and family issues. Her book on these topics, Woman's Body, Woman's Right (published in 1976 and reissued in 1990), remains the definitive history of birth control politics in the US. It was completely revised and re-published in 2002 as The Moral Property of Women. In 1988 she published a historical study of how the U.S. has dealt with family violence, including child abuse, spousal violence and sexual abuse, Heroes of Their Own Lives, which won the Joan Kelly prize of the American Historical Association. Pitied But Not Entitled, her history of welfare, won the Berkshire Prize for best book in women's history and the Gustavus Myers Human Rights Award. Gordon was active with the failed campaign of a group of scholars of welfare protesting the repeal of Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1996. She served on the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women during the Clinton administration. Changing direction in the 1990s, Gordon began to explore narrative, story-telling history, as a way of bringing large-scale historical developments to life. A westerner herself, she wanted to write stories that would help to counteract the East Coast bias in the way American history has been told. Her book The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction, the story of a vigilante action against Mexican-Americans, won the Bancroft Prize for best book in American history and the Beveridge Award for best book on the history of the Western Hemisphere. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Gordon Security With Human Rights By Robert Adams USA: CATASTROPHIC IMMIGRATION POLICIES RESULTED IN MORE FAMILY SEPARATIONS THAN PREVIOUSLY DISCLOSED 10/11/2018 The US government has deliberately adopted immigration policies and practices that caused catastrophic harm to thousands of people seeking safety in the United States, including the separation of over 6,000 family units in a four-month period, more than previously disclosed by authorities, Amnesty International said in a new report released today. USA: 'You Don't Have Any Rights Here': Illegal Pushbacks, Arbitrary Detention and Ill-treatment of Asylum-seekers in the United States reveals the brutal toll of the Trump administration's efforts to undermine and dismantle the US asylum system in gross violation of US and international law. The cruel policies and practices documented include: mass illegal pushbacks of asylum-seekers at the US- Mexico border; thousands of illegal family separations; and increasingly arbitrary and indefinite detentions of asylum-seekers, frequently without parole. "The Trump administration is waging a deliberate campaign of widespread human rights violations in order to punish and deter people seeking safety at the US-Mexico border," said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International. "The intensity, scale and scope of the abuses against people seeking asylum are truly sickening. Congress and US law enforcement agencies must conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations to hold the government accountable and ensure this never happens again." The report comes just as the administration has introduced proposed regulations that would effectively terminate the Flores agreement, which mandates that children cannot be held in family detention centers for more than 20 days. The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed regulations. "Right now, hundreds of children are languishing in tent cities on the border. Even more children are locked behind bars in family detention centers. This is nothing short of unconscionable. No child should grow up in detention, and no child or family should be punished for seeking safety," said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "People who are running for their lives have the right to a fair hearing and humane treatment. Despite this, the Trump administration is seeking to detain more families for longer periods of time. This is a betrayal of families seeking safety from violence and persecution. We must stop this proposed regulation before it goes into effect." Approximately 8,000 family units separated in 2017 and 2018 Last month, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) disclosed to Amnesty International that it forcibly separated over 6,000 family units (a term that US authorities have used inconsistently to refer to whole families or individual family members) from 19 April to 15 August 2018 alone - more than US authorities had previously admitted. CBP confirmed that this figure still excluded an undisclosed number of families whose separations were not properly recorded, such as grandparents or other non- immediate family members, whose relationships authorities categorize as "fraudulent" and do not count in their statistics. In total, the Trump administration has now admitted to separating approximately 8,000 family units since 2017. "These shocking new numbers suggest that US authorities have either misinformed the public about how many families they had forcibly separated, or they continued this unlawful practice unabated, despite their own claims and court orders to halt family separations," said Erika Guevara-Rosas. "Congress must act immediately to investigate and establish a comprehensive record of family separations by US government authorities, and pass legislation prohibiting the separation and indefinite detention of children and families." The extreme suffering that US authorities purposefully inflicted by separating families constituted ill-treatment and in some cases torture. Amnesty International interviewed 15 parents and guardians separated from their children by US border and immigration authorities, including 13 who presented themselves at official border crossings. Those family separations resulted in extreme anguish, and in some instances long-term trauma, for adults and children alike. In an immigration detention facility in Texas, a 39- year-old Brazilian mother named Valquiria told Amnesty International that CBP agents separated her from her seven-year-old son, without providing any reason, the day after they requested asylum at an official port-of-entry in March 2018. "They told me: 'You don't have any rights here, and you don't have any rights to stay with your son,'" Valquiria said. "I died at that moment. It would have been better if I had dropped dead... Not knowing where my son was, what he was doing. It was the worst feeling a mother could have. How can a mother not have the right to be with her son?" Illegal pushbacks and arbitrary detention In 2017 and 2018, CBP implemented a de facto policy of turning away thousands of people seeking asylum at official ports-of-entry along the entire US-Mexico border. "Every human being in the world has the right to seek asylum from persecution or serious harm, and request protection in another country," said Erika Guevara-Rosas. "US border authorities are flagrantly violating US asylum law and international refugee law by forcing people back to Mexico without registering and determining their asylum claim. People pushed back to Mexico may face direct abuses there or deportation and the risk of serious human rights violations in their countries of origin." Since 2017, US authorities have also imposed a policy of mandatory and indefinite detention of asylum- seekers, frequently without parole, for the duration of their asylum claims. This constitutes arbitrary detention, in violation of US and international law. Amnesty International interviewed asylum-seekers being detained indefinitely after requesting protection, including separated family members, older people, and persons with acute health conditions and medical needs. The organization also documented the cases of 15 transgender and gay asylum-seekers who were detained for periods ranging from several months to almost three years without parole, including two people who were denied parole despite having suffered sexual assaults while in detention. In several cases, their experiences of indefinite detention constituted ill-treatment. "It's plainly callous for US authorities to needlessly detain and traumatize people who have come to request protection from persecution or death," said Erika Guevara-Rosas. "Congress must act now to end the detention of children and families once and for all - and fund alternative options, such as the Family Case Management Program, which have been proven to be 99 percent effective in helping asylum-seeking families understand and comply with their immigration hearing requirements." DEATH PENALTY NEWS By Stevi Carroll Death Penalty on Decline? Since 2007, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, and Connecticut have repealed the death penalty. Recently, the state of Washington has joined this list. Governor Jay Inslee tweeted, "Today's decision by the state Supreme Court thankfully ends the death penalty in Washington. This is a hugely important moment in our pursuit for equal and fair application of justice." Now Washington state has joined the states above and Alaska (1957), Delaware (2016). Hawaii (1957), Iowa (1965), Maine (1887), Massachusetts (1984), Michigan (1846), Minnesota (1911), North Dakota (1973), Rhode Island (1984), Vermont (1964), Washington (2018), West Virginia (1965), Wisconsin (1853), and the District of Columbia (1981). According to a story from the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), "The court reasoned that arbitrary and race based imposition of the death penalty cannot withstand the 'evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.' Indeed, "[w]hen the death penalty is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner, society's standards of decency are even more offended.'" At times the idea of 'evolving standards of decency' seems to be somewhat retro and hardly what many people in the USA may find important; therefore, this statement coming out of leaders in Washington is refreshing. Exonerations Valentino Dixon - State: NY - Date of Exoneration: 9/19/2018 Valentino Dixon was sentenced to 38 1/3 years to life in prison for a 1991 shooting that killed one and injured two others in Buffalo, New York. He was exonerated in 2018 when the real gunman pled guilty to the crime. John Nolley - State: TX - Date of Exoneration: 10/3/2018 In 1998, John Nolley was sentenced to life in prison for murder in Bedford, Texas. He was exonerated in 2018 by DNA testing that excluded him as the victim's attacker. Daniel Villegas - State: TX - Date of Exoneration: 10/5/2018 Daniel Villegas was 16 when he was charged in 1993 with two counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of two El Paso teenagers. He was given a new trial in 2014 and his confession was thrown out. Villegas was acquitted by a jury in 2018. Horace Roberts - State: CA - Date of Exoneration: 10/15/2018 In 1999, Horace Roberts was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for murdering his lover in Riverside, California. He was exonerated in 2018 by DNA testing that linked the victim's estranged husband and his nephew to the murder. Stays of Execution October 10 Juan Segundo TX Stay granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on October 5, 2018 to permit Segundo to re-litigate his claim of intellectual disability under Moore v. Texas. The Texas courts had previously denied his claim, applying the "Briseno factors" that were declared unconstitutional in Moore. 11 Edmund Zagorsky TN Reprieve granted by Governor Bill Haslam on October 11, 2018 to last until October 21. The U.S. Supreme Court on October 12 vacated the stay the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had granted on October 10. 24 Kwame Rockwell TX Stay granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on October 19, 2018 to permit Rockwell to obtain mental health evaluations and present evidence of his possible incompetency to be executed. November 6 Lance Hundley OH Legally premature warrant. Stay granted by the Ohio Supreme Court on September 12, 2018, pending completion of direct appeal proceedings to which all defendants are entitled as a matter of Ohio law. 14 John Stumpf OH Rescheduled for April 16, 2020 by Gov. John Kasich on September 1, 2017. Executions September 26 Troy Clark TX Lethal Injection - 1-drug (Pentobarbital) Years from sentence to execution - 18 27 Daniel Acker TX Lethal Injection - 1-drug (Pentobarbital) Years from sentence to execution - 17 PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE Narges Mohammadi By Joyce Wolf Group 22's adopted prisoner of conscience in Iran, Narges Mohammadi, recently was allowed a 3-day furlough from prison to visit her seriously ill father. The Center for Human Rights in Iran reports: As soon as she left Evin Prison in Tehran on September 26, Mohammadi drove 210 miles west of the capital to the city of Zanjan, where her 85-year- old father has suffered three major brain seizures in the past year, Behzadi told the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA. Mohammadi's mother, Ozra Bazargan, had written a letter to Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi on September 11 requesting permission for her daughter to go on temporary leave so she could visit her "worried, sick, old father for just an hour." In 2017, Mohammadi refused an offer to go on furlough on the condition that she not to talk to media outlets or see anyone outside her immediate family. Arrested in May 2015 after discussing Iran's human rights issues with European Union's foreign policy chief, the 46-year-old human rights advocate is serving a 16-year prison sentence for her public advocacy of women's and human rights under the charges of "membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center," "assembly and collusion against national security," and one year for "propaganda against the state." She will be eligible for release after serving 10 years. https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2018/09/for- the-first-time-in-three-years-political-prisoner- narges-mohammadi-has-gone-on-furlough/ GROUP 22 OCTOBER LETTER COUNT UAs 26 POC 1 Total 27 Amnesty International Group 22 The Caltech Y Mail Code C1-128 Pasadena, CA 91125 www.its.caltech.edu/~aigp22/ 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.