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Update on the Buruli Ulcer Campaign

May 4, 2009

As part of our campaign on Human Dignity, the MU Chapter of Amnesty is joining forces with several other on campus organizations to bring awareness and aid to those suffering with a bacterium caused condition known as the Buruli Ulcer. Many regions of the global South are affected by this tropical disease, which is further exacerbated by the lack of health care facilities and treatment supplies. This, therefore, is a direct affront on human dignity and cause for action on our parts.

During the upcoming Fall 2009 semester, we will be hosting events to increase awareness of the disease and helping, wherever needed, in the completion of the overall MU Buruli Ulcer campaign’s current goal of providing 46 motorcycles, which will provide many more suffering individuals with access to far-off health care facilities.

For more information, please visit our Joint Campaigns – Buruli Ulcer page, related links and/or contact us at anytime!

Let’s Help Make a World that supports Human Dignity for All!

Doug Yeich
Public Relations Officer

Mixed messages from President Obama after 100 days

April 29, 2009

Mixed messages from President Obama after 100 days
28 April 2009

100 days after taking office, President Obama’s record in terms of US counter terrorism policies has been assessed in a new Amnesty International report. The organization describes the message from the presidency as “mixed”.

When he took office on 20 January 2009, President Barack Obama inherited a legacy of torture, impunity and unlawful detention. The legacy is the result of the USA’s response to the attacks of 11 September 2001. The response has been marked by an assault on the framework of international human rights law.

Human rights violations – including the crimes under international law of torture and enforced disappearance – were not only committed, but were also justified, by the US government as necessary and legal.

Images of caged, shackled detainees in the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba; of torture and other ill-treatment at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq; of Gulfstream jets used to transfer detainees to secret prisons around the world; have been seared into the public consciousness.

During his campaign for the presidency, Barack Obama committed himself to closing the Guantánamo detention facility and ending torture by US personnel. To what extent these commitments would mark a real shift towards bringing the USA into compliance with its international human rights obligations in the struggle against terrorism remained to be seen.

Amnesty International issued a checklist on 5 November 2008 against which to assess the progress made towards this goal in the new administration’s first 100 days.

After the election, the organization called on President-elect Obama to take 17 concrete steps during his first 100 days in office towards:
closing Guantánamo and ending illegal detention;
eradicating torture and ill-treatment;
ending impunity.
At the end of the 100 days, it is clear that significant steps have been taken by the new administration, including some to undo the damaging detention and interrogation policies developed under the previous administration.

However, other changes have been more symbolic than substantial. The little action taken by the new administration on accountability for past human rights violations has cemented the impunity nurtured in the past, for at least some of the perpetrators.

“President Obama’s actions – within 48 hours of taking office – to close Guantánamo within a year and end secret CIA detentions was very welcome,” said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Closure and disclosure will not be complete until the US Government follows through by ending all unlawful detentions, bringing to justice all those responsible for torture and other serious human rights violations carried out during the Bush administration, and providing real remedies to victims.

“We have seen some important positive developments in the first 100 days but there are still some steps that are either incomplete or remain to be taken. For instance, on Bagram where hundreds are still detained with no solution in sight.”

Amnesty International’s report on President Obama’s first 100 days uses the organization’s checklist as a guide. The report reviews the words and deeds of the new administration to evaluate the USA’s progress towards meeting Amnesty International’s appeal to counter terror with justice.

Click here for more information on the 100 Days Campaign.
100-days

Urgent Action Needed — Darfur

April 28, 2009

Millions of civilians deprived of aid by the Sudanese government

Nearly two months ago, the Sudanese government decided to expel 13 international humanitarian aid groups from working in and around Darfur.

These are the consequences:

According to a joint UN-Sudanese humanitarian assessment team, around May 1st we will see a sharp drop in the health and well-being of people living throughout the Darfur crisis region. Emergency food rations will run out. Clean water, an already rare commodity, will become even scarcer. And to top it off, a “rainy season” will render on-the-ground movement extremely difficult, escalating the risk of disease and danger to children and the elderly.

If Sudan’s leaders won’t step in to steer their country away from inevitable doom, then they will bear the blame for this new phase to the crisis in Darfur.

Urge UN and Sudanese Ambassadors to use their influence to press the government of Sudan to fully restore humanitarian aid in and around Darfur.
Children affected by the crisis in Darfur

Two weeks ago, in light of the looming May 1st deadline, U.S. Senator John Kerry traveled to meet with Sudan’s leaders on the heels of a separate visit made by the U.S. special envoy to the country. After speaking with senior Sudanese officials, Senator Kerry announced that Sudan would restore partial aid to devastated areas. He admitted that “a partial restoration of capacity is not sufficient,” but it is a step in the right direction.

May 1st is just days away, yet Sudan’s leaders have not confirmed their commitment to restore any aid. We are deeply concerned that Sudan may be trying to duck its responsibilities.

Senator Kerry’s visit may have been noteworthy for U.S. diplomacy in Sudan. But Sudan’s leaders will need to hear from those key groups and individuals they trust most before they will budge on this issue. That’s why we’ll have to convince the Sudanese Ambassador to the U.S. and the African Union and Arab League Ambassadors to the UN that restoring aid is the right thing to do. Please email the Ambassadors asking them to encourage Sudan to restore full aid in and around Darfur. And if you have an extra moment, please follow-up your email with a call, letter, or fax to their offices to guarantee that this message is heard loud and clear.

There’s no negotiating this May 1st deadline. If Sudan’s leaders don’t act now, masses of people will face starvation, thirst, and disease; a grim situation that could have easily been avoided.

Sincerely,

Denise Bell
Darfur Campaign
Amnesty International USA

TAKE ACTION NOW!

MU Cine Club, Amnesty International, and MU Allies Present “Milk”

April 28, 2009

Come watch Milk! Before the movie we will have snacks and a short discussion, and then the movie will begin at 6:30. Everyone is welcome, and please invite your friends. This event is open to the public!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Time: 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Location: Myers Auditorium

Jerry Martin
Vice President

Welcome to the Millersville Chapter of Amnesty International

April 28, 2009

Hey guys!

Greetings and welcome to the new website for the Millersville Chapter of Amnesty International. This website will help people stay in contact with our chapter by listing events and contact information. Also, we will try our best to keep up with events occurring internationally. Please feel free to post comments or any questions you may have from us!

Jerry Martin
Vice President

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