IMMEDIATE RELEASE - PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY
February 3, 2011
CALL TO ACTION:
Demand Obama Administration Respect UPR Process,
Adopt UN UPR Recommendation to Release U.S. Political Prisoners
Atlanta, GA, - The U.S. Human Rights Network Political Prisoner/State Repression Working Group (USHRN PP/SR Wkg Grp) today demands the Obama Administration adopt the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations to release COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era political activists held in U.S. prisons, some more than 40 years.
"The UPR shed global light on the United States' dirty little open secret and propelled to the forefront the unfinished business of the modern U.S. Civil/Human Rights movement. “We are working with activists across the country to put America’s political prisoners on the global human rights priority list alongside other atrocities like the death penalty, racial discrimination, the absence of treaty ratification and the lack of a national institution monitoring domestic human rights practices” Efia Nwangaza said.
Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser to the United States Department of State dismissed the significance of the recommendations made by the Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in generally and, specifically, the call for the release of long imprisoned political activists. Harold Koh, put the more than 230 recommendations into "3 categories:
1) Some in line with US policies
2) Some political provocation not to be taken seriously
3) Some to be considered.
Koh promised "all recommendations will be considered and taken back to branches for consideration before March, 2011. Further Koh remarked, “A small set of comments do not make bona fide recommendations for the UPR. These statements, those styled as “recommendations,” are actually political criticisms of U.S. policies or polemical comments about judicial cases, based on unsubstantiated or false allegations, which refer to individual matters that are either ongoing or already completed under court proceedings conducted under due process of law."
1. We call on President Obama to use his presidential powers to grant clemency and commute the sentences to time served and release all COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era political activists criminalized and held in federal custody.
2. We call on President Obama to direct U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice to review the convictions of all COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era activists in federal or state custody to identify and address civil and human rights violations perpetrated.
3. We call on the Obama Administration to create a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the release and compensation of all COINTELPRO/Civil Rights Era activists in federal or state custody.
Demand the Obama Administration Respect the UPR Process and Adopt UN UPR Recommendation to Release U.S. Political Prisoners (Recommendations Numbers 92.153 and 92.154). Please call, fax, write, e-mail, the U.S. UPR Delegation and the Obama Administration to Invite family, friends, neighbors, faith communities, social and professional organizations and elected and appointed officials to join this emergency campaign.
Michael H. Posner, Asst. Secretary of State (Democracy, Human Rights and Labor) T: 202-647-2126/F:202-647-5283/E: PosnerMH@state.gov
Esther Brimmer, Asst. Secretary of State (T:202-647-4000)
Harold Koh, Legal Adviser to State Department (T:202-647-4000)
Samuel Bagenstos, Principal Deputy Asst. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division) T:202-353-9065/F:202-3072572/E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General (T: 202-514-2001/E: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov)
President Barack Obama (T:202-456-1414/ 202-456-1111 /F: 202-456-2461/E: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact)
The US Human Rights Network formed to promote US accountability to universal human rights standards by building linkages between organizations and individuals. We strive to build a human rights culture in the United States that puts those directly affected by such violations, with a special emphasis on grassroots organizations and social movements, in central leadership roles. The Network is further committed to uniting the US human rights movement with the broader social justice movements both in the U.S. and globally. See U.S. Human Rights Network Reports to the UPR Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council: http://www.ushrnetwork.org/upr_reports.
Contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to report the number of e-mails and letters mailed/faxed. Many thanks. FREE ALL U.S. POLITICAL PRISONERS, NOW!