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Newsletter
Amnesty International USA Group 48

5.16
Marek Bernat Stock.Xchng

1 KUWAIT: Urgent Action


- Detained Bidun Human
Rights Defender At Risk

3 CHINA: Urgent Action Tibetan Education Advocate


Detained
5 CHAD: Urgent Action Activist Given Four-Month
Suspended Sentence
6 Take Action: Dont let California Jumpstart Executions
7 Death Penalty 2016:
Alarming surge in recorded
executions sees highest toll
in more than 25 years
7 World Press Freedom Day:
Journalists under attack just
for doing their job
AIUSA-Group 48
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KUWAIT: Urgent Action - Detained Bidun Human


Rights Defender At Risk

Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli (m)

Member of the stateless Bidun com-

munity and human rights defender


Abdulhakim al-Fadhli has been held
at Kuwaits Central Prison since April
18th. Arrested for alleged public order
offences, he has been on hunger strike
since his arrest. He may be at risk of
ill-treatment.
Kuwaiti security forces arrested Abdulhakim al-Fadhli in the evening of
April 18th while he was participating
in a peaceful private gathering at the
residence of former Kuwaiti parliamentarian, Musallam Al Barrak, a prisoner
of conscience. On April 19th, officials
transferred Abdulhakim al-Fadhli to
Kuwaits Central Prison where he has

remained in detention since. Immediately following his arrest, he began a


hunger strike in protest.
On February 20th, a Kuwaiti appeal
court had upheld a January 2015
conviction against him of one years
imprisonment followed by deportation,
handed down for alleged public order
offences arising from his participation
in a peaceful gathering on February
19th 2014 in Taima, west of Kuwait City.
This gathering marked the anniversary
of peaceful demonstrations held in
February 2011, calling on the Kuwaiti
government to extend citizenship rights
to the stateless Bidun community living
in Kuwait.

AIUSA group 48 Newsletter May 2016 Pg 2

Abdulhakim al-Fadhli was not detained after his conviction


was upheld as he did not take part in the court hearing and
was at large until his arrest on April 18th 2016.
Abdulhakim al-Fadhli was detained between February and
May 2014 and stated that he was beaten and threatened in
detention.
Action

Salutation: Your Excellency


Copies To

Chairperson
Parliamentary Human Rights Committee
National Assembly
P.O. Box 716, al-Safat 13008, Kuwait
Fax: +965 2243 6331
Email: ipu-grp@kna.kw (Subject line: FAO Chairperson
of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee)

Please write immediately in Arabic or your own language:


Calling on Kuwaiti authorities to ensure that Abdulhakim
Ambassador Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,
al-Fadhli is protected from torture and other ill-treatment
Embassy of the State of Kuwait
and given prompt access to a lawyer of his choice, his family
2940
Tilden St.NW., Washington, DC 20008
and any medical attention he may require;
Fax: 202.364.2868
Urging the authorities to open a prompt, impartial and
Email: consulate@kuwait-embassy.us
independent investigation into his allegations of torture and
Please let us know if you took action so that we can track our
other ill-treatment, with a view to bringing to justice anyone
impact! EITHER send a short email to uan@aiusa.org with
suspected of a recognizably criminal offense through trials
UA 102/16 in the subject line, and include in the body of
that meet international standards of fairness;
the email the number of letters and/or emails you sent, OR
Calling on them to drop any charges against him that arise fill out this short online form https://www.surveymonkey.
solely from the exercise of his rights to freedom of expression com/r/M6TR9GZ to let us know how you took action. Thank
and peaceful assembly and to ensure that any trial he faces is you for taking action! Please check with your section office if
in accordance with international fair trial standards.
sending appeals after the above date.
Appeals To

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE JUNE 10th 2016 TO:


Amir of the State of Kuwait
His Highness Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad
al-Jaber Al Sabah
Al Diwan Al Amiri, P.O. Box: 1,
al-Safat 13001, Kuwait
Fax: +965 2243 0559
Email: amirsoffice@da.gov.kw
Salutation: Your Highness
First Deputy Prime Minister
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed
Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah
Ministry of the Interior
P.O. Box 12500, Shamiya 71655
Kuwait
Fax: +965 2249 6570
E-mail: info@moi.gov.kw

Additional Information

Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli was detained on February 24th, 2014


and held for three months. Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli stated that
for four hours after his arrest he was beaten and threatened
with rape. He stated that he was interrogated without a lawyer
present and complained to an investigating prosecutor that he
was tortured by the police to force him to sign a confession.
He said that he faced other forms of physical and verbal abuse
during this time, including having his head covered with
plastic bags.
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AIUSA group 48 Newsletter May 2016 Pg 3

More than 100,000 stateless Bidun people live in Kuwait.


Because of the discrimination they face, Bidun who are able
Many were born there and belong to families who have lived
to work in the public sector accept lower wages and poorer
there for generations. Despite reforms announced by the
terms of employment than Kuwaiti citizens. The Bidun often
government in 2015, the stateless Bidun community face
pay higher fees for essential medical care they cannot obtain
severe restrictions on their access to employment, health care, at state facilities. Bidun parents sometimes have to send their
education and the state support enjoyed by Kuwaiti citizens.
children to fee-paying schools as they are largely excluded
When Bidun have protested to demand their rights, they
from free state schools, although there is a state-sponsored
have often faced violence and repression. See the September
fund for education that Bidun families can access. In April
2013 campaign digest: The Withouts of Kuwait: Nationality
2011, the government promised to improve the rights of
for stateless Bidun now http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/
Bidun, but have yet to turn their words into deeds. This
MDE17/001/2013/en/.
continues to deny tens of thousands of Bidun their right to
Until 1986, the Bidun enjoyed a status similar to that of Kunationality, as recognized by international human rights law.
waiti citizens. Since then, however, many thousands of Bidun
have not been able to access government services that require Inspired by protests which broke out in 2011 in the wider
national IDs because they possess only temporary documents Middle East and North Africa region, the Bidun community
began protesting peacefully in February 2011, demanding to
whose renewal is at the discretion of the state. Thousands
be recognized as citizens of Kuwait. The security forces used
more have no documents at all and often rely on charity to
survive.
force to disperse demonstrations and arrest protesters, some
of whom were charged for taking part in the demonstrations.
The naturalization process, administered by a government
body the Central System to Resolve Illegal Residents Status The Kuwaiti Prime Minister told Amnesty International on
is opaque and based on shifting criteria. The Central System 18 October 2012 that the government would extend Kuwaiti
assesses cases and makes recommendations to the Higher
nationality to 34,000 Bidun and resolve the remaining cases
Committee of Citizenship, a government body that decides
within five years.
whether nationality will be granted.

CHINA: Urgent Action - Tibetan Education Advocate Detained


Tashi Wangchuk (m)

not know where he is detained and is not able to find him a


lawyer.

Tashi is an advocate for greater Tibetan language education


in schools in Tibetan populated areas. Currently, Mandarin
Caroline Keyzor Stock.Xchng
has become the sole language of instruction. He expressed on
social media his anxieties about many Tibetan children being
young Tibetan, Tashi Wangchuk, who advocates for Tibetan language education has been detained and charged with unable to speak their native language fluently, as well as the
gradual extinction of Tibetan culture. In 2015, the New York
inciting separatism, with no access to family and lawyer. He
Times wrote an article and produced a short documentary
could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
video about his unsuccessful efforts to use the legal system to
challenge government policies on language instruction. A TiTashi Wangchuk, 30, has been detained by the Chinese authorities since January 27th, 2016, in Yushu, Qinghai Province, betans Journey for Justice reported his trip to Beijing to seek
legal help in filing a lawsuit against local officials for the lack
in western China. According to the International Campaign
for Tibet, his family were not informed of his detention until of Tibetan language education in schools. The video showed
how no law firm was willing to take on his lawsuit, and media
March 24th, 2016, when they received the document stating
Tashi was charged with inciting separatism. His family do
outlets refused to report on his case.

AIUSA group 48 Newsletter May 2016 Pg 4

Action

Please write immediately in English, Chinese or your own


language:

Fax: 1 202 495 2138


Phone: 1 202 495 2266
Email: chinaembpress_us@mfa.gov.cn

Urging the authorities to ensure Tashi has regular, unrestrict- Please let us know if you took action so that we can track our
ed access to his family and lawyer of his choice, without delay, impact! EITHER send a short email to uan@aiusa.org with
and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment;
UA 79/16 in the subject line, and include in the body of the
email the number of letters and/or emails you sent, OR fill
Calling on them to immediately and unconditionally release
out this short online form https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/
Tashi, unless he is formally charged with an internationally
FGCSGKV to let us know how you took action. Thank you
recognizable criminal offence.
for taking action! Please check with the AIUSA Urgent AcAppeals To
tion Office if taking action after the appeals date.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE MAY 23rd, 2016 TO:
Additional Information
Police Chief
Ethnic Tibetans in China face discrimination and restrictions
Qiao Yanpei
on their rights to freedom of religious belief, expression, asPublic Security Bureau
sociation and peaceful assembly. Tibetan monks, writers, proYushu Peoples Government
testers and activists are regularly detained as a result of their
Shengli Lu
peaceful activities. On March 19th 2015, Tibetan writer and
Yushu, Qinghai 815000
blogger Druklo (pen-name Shokjang) was sentenced to three
Peoples Republic of China
years imprisonment by the Peoples Intermediate Court in
Salutation: Dear Police Chief
Huangnan (Malho), Qinghai province, for inciting separatism, as a result of articles he wrote describing the increased
Director
presence of Chinese security officers ahead of a politicallyWang Zhengsheng
sensitive Tibetan anniversary.
Qinghai Provincial Administration of Security
50 Bayi Zhonglu
In recent years the Chinese government has enacted or draftXining, Qinghai 810007
ed a series of sweeping laws and regulations under the pretext
Peoples Republic of China
of enhancing national security. There are fears that they could
Salutation: Dear Director
be used to silence dissent and crack down on human rights
defenders
through expansive charges such as inciting subverGovernor
sion and separatism.
Hao Peng
Qinghai Provincial Government Office
Harsh criminal sentences continue to be imposed in China on
12 Xi Dajie
writers, bloggers, journalists, academics, whistle-blowers and
Xining, Qinghai 810000
ordinary citizens for peacefully exercising their right to freePeoples Republic of China
dom of expression. Amnesty International has documented
Fax: +86 0971 8252135
the misuse of the various charges of separatism and terrorEmail: qhsxxgk@163.com
ism to violate the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful
Salutation: Dear Governor
assembly and religion.
Copies To

Ambassador Cui Tiankai,


Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China
3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

Torture and other ill-treatment remain endemic in all places


of detention in China, and this risk is even greater for those
who are not allowed access to their family or lawyer.

AIUSA group 48 Newsletter May 2016 Pg 5

CHAD: Urgent Action - Activist Given Four-Month Suspended Sentence


Jonathon Hayward Stock.Xchng

Calling on Chadian authorities to immediately quash the


sentence against Dr. Albissaty Salhe Alazam;
Urging them to end harassment against human rights
activists and defenders and political activists for the peaceful
exercise of their human rights;
Urging them to protect and ensure the rights to freedom of
expression, association and peaceful assembly for all in conformity with Chads international human rights obligations.
Appeals To

Dr. Albissaty Salhe Alazam arrested and detained on April

4th for his participation in organizing a peaceful demonstration that took place on April 5th in NDjamena, Chad, has
received a four month suspended prison sentence. One of the
leaders of the civil society organisations platform a suffit
(Its enough), Dr Alazam was found guilty of attempting to
incite an unarmed gathering by the High Court of Justice of
NDjamena on April 18th. He has received a four-month suspended prison sentence. His lawyers have lodged an appeal.
Dr. Alazams trial begun on April 18th after it was adjourned
on April 11th. He was on trial for charges of incitement to
an unarmed gathering, disturbing public order, disobeying a
lawful order and accused of organizing an unlawful demonstration which took place on April 5th without the authorization of the Ministry of Public Security and Immigration. The
peaceful demonstration was held to call on the authorities
to release four detained activists, Mahamat Nour Ibedou,
Younous Mahadjir, Nadjo Kaina Palmer and Celine Narmadji
who were detained and tried for planning to organise peaceful demonstrations to protest against President Idriss Debys
re-election bid. He was transferred to the Amsinene prison
after being charged.
During his detention, Amnesty International considered him
to be a prisoner of conscience who was detained solely for
peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression
Action

Please write immediately in French or your own language:

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE JUNE 1st 2016 TO:


Prime Minister
Albert Pahimi Padack
P.O. Box 463
NDjamena, Chad
Twitter: @PrsidenceduTcha
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Dr. Ateib Idriss Halawlaw
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
NDjamena, Chad
Email:coofoui@yahoo.fr
Salutation: Dear Minister
AIUSA Group 48 Contact Information
Group Coordinator
Megan Harrington
megan.harrington
@gmail.com
Treasurer
Tena Hoke
tena.hoke@gmail.com
Newsletter Editor
Dan Webb
write_to_dan@yahoo.com
OR Area Coordinator
Marty Fromer
martyfromer@gmail.com
Indonesia
Max White
maxw33@comcast.net

Prisoners Cases
Jane Kristof
kristofj@pdx.edu
Jama Chorush
jchorush@yahoo.com
Concert Tabling
Will Ware
ww_ware@yahoo.com
Central Africa/
OR State Death
Penalty Abolition
Terrie Rodello
tarodello@igc.org

AIUSA group 48 Newsletter May 2016 Pg 6

Copies To

Public Prosecutor
Alghassim Khamis
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Tribunal de Grande Instance
P.O. Box: 426
NDjamena, Chad
Email:lghassimk21@gmail.com
His Excellency Mr Ambassador Mahamat Nasser Hassane
Embassy of the Republic of Chad
2401 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Email:info@chadembassy.us
Please let the AIUSA UA Network know if you took action
to track its impact! EITHER send a short email touan@aiusa.
orgwith UA 84/16 in the subject line, and include in the
body of the email the number of letters and/or emails you
sent, OR fill out this short online form https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H33TLCM to track your action. Thank you
for taking action! Please check with your section office if
sending appeals after the above date.
Additional Information

From March 21st to 23rd, four human rights activists, Mahamat Nour Ibedou and Younous Mahadjir, spokespersons
of the civil society organizations platform a suffit, Nadjo
Kaina Palmer, coordinator of the youth movement Iyina and
Celine Narmadji, spokesperson of the civil society movement Trop cest trop! were arrested for planning to organize
peaceful demonstrations against President Idriss Debys
re-election bid. They were detained at the judicial police
headquarters before being transferred to the Amsinene prison
on April 24th. The four were found guilty of incitement to
an unarmed gathering and received a four month suspended
prison sentence on April 14th. They have also been prohibited from engaging in subversive activities. The current urgent
action on them is available at
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr20/3848/2016/
en/https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/
afr20/3848/2016/en/
On March 30th, a request for a peaceful demonstration or-

ganized by civil society organizations to call on authorities to


release the four activists was denied by the Ministry of Public
Security and Immigration.
On April 5th, two groups of protesters decided to peacefully
demonstrate and call on the Chadian authorities to release
the five activists including Dr. Albissaty Salhe Alazam. The
Take Action: Dont let California
Jumpstart Executions
by Terrie Rodello, AIUSA Oregon State
Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator

Officials at the California Dept. of Corrections

and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are doing everything


they can to jumpstart executions after over a decade without themand with the largest death
row in the country, they could fast track dozens
of cases for execution.
In order to resume executions, California needs
to pass a new lethal injection procedure. Thats
where you come in: by state law, new procedures must go through a Public Comment
Period.
That means anyone in the world, in any language, can send in a comment. The CDCR
is required to READ and RESPOND to every
substantive comment.
Your action can delay Californias CDCR from
using the death penalty and give time to end the
death penalty there once and for all.
Let CDCR know there is NO humane way to kill
a human being: Take action today.
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AIUSA group 48 Newsletter May 2016 Pg 7

venue of the rally by the first group was invaded by security


forces who fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. The second group of protesters who were planning to demonstrate
peacefully in front of the USA embassy were intercepted by
the police. It was reported that at least two protesters were
arrested and at least one was injured.

on trial. Due to space limitation, many of them stayed outside


the court. They were singing and shouting slogans calling on
the authorities to release the four human rights defenders.
Many of the supporters were wearing t-shirts with images of
the four defenders and/or holding placards with slogans.

When taking the defenders back to prison, supporters refused


During the four activists trial, there was heavy presence of se- to give passage to the prison car. Security forces fired live
curity forces in and outside the Court building. Hundreds of
rounds and tear gas to disperse them, triggering a panic in
people showed up at the court grounds in support of the four which at least two people were injured.

Death Penalty 2016: Alarming surge in recorded executions sees highest toll in
more than 25 years
elle jiang Stock.Xchng

states around the world. In 2015 governments continued relentlessly to deprive people of their lives on the false premise
that the death penalty would make us safer, said Salil Shetty,
Amnesty Internationals Secretary General.
When this report was released, Salil Shetty, AI General Secretary, was visiting New York. A series of interviews was held in
NYC with Secretary Shetty, who was accompanied by James
Clark, AIUSAs Senior Death Penalty Campaigner. The report
and interviews were mentioned in the media. Here are two
articles:
4/11/16Americas Place in the Executioners Club,New York
Times,editorial

In April, Amnesty International published its global report

on the death penalty. It noted a dramatic global rise in the


number of executions recorded in 2015 that saw more people
put to death than at any point in the last quarter-century. The
surge was largely fueled by Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,
Amnesty International found in its review of the global use of
the death penalty.
At least 1,634 people were executed in 2015, a rise of more
than 50% on the year before and the highest number Amnesty
International has recorded since 1989. This total does not include China where thousands more were likely executed, but
where death penalty data is treated as a state secret.
The rise in executions last year is profoundly disturbing. Not
for the last 25 years have so many people been put to death by

4/13/16Times Up on the Death Penalty,US News and World


Report.Op-ed byJames Clark.
World Press Freedom Day: Journalists
under attack just for doing their job
Amnesty International published a blog for
World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2016, featuring 9 cases from across the world, including the
case of the 3 Cameroonian journalists who are
standing trial over charges of non-denunciation
of information and sources.
The blog is accessible at: https://www.amnesty.
org/en/latest/campaigns/2016/05/journalistsunder-attack-world-press-freedom-day/

AIUSA group 48 Newsletter May 2016 Pg 8

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AIUSA group 48 Newsletter May 2016