Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXVI Number 10, October 2018

  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. 

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:

 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:

Here's a timely action-which has been all over 
the news lately:

Con Carino,

Next Rights Readers Meeting

Sunday, November 18
6:30 PM

Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd 

The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku 
Klux Klan of the 1920s
by Linda Gordon


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 

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 

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 

Security With Human 
By Robert Adams


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 

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 

 "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 

 "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 

 "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 

 "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 

 "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."

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 

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.


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 

Stays of Execution
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 

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.

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

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 

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.

UAs                        26
POC                         1
Total                      27

Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code C1-128
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.