Kamis, 08 Desember 2011

International Community Celebrating Human Rights Day 10 Desember 2011

Human Rights Watch - Tyranny Has a Witness

Dear Santon,

This Saturday, December 10, we join the international community in celebrating Human Rights Day.

Looking back on the year, Human Rights Watch accomplished so much, thanks to supporters like you. Here are the ways you helped us hold tyrants accountable and ensure the rule of law.

Middle East & North AfricaMiddle East & North Africa
During the Arab Spring, when Arab leaders attempted to minimize reports of violence and keep essential information from foreign journalists, Human Rights Watch researchers were on the scene, uncovering the truth of deaths and injuries during the demonstrations.

"As you know, journalists are banned and we are relying on reports from Human Rights Watch and other observers… we're very concerned about reports of security forces firing on peaceful protesters." –Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the United Nations, on how the Obama administration gathered information during the Arab Spring.

Central AfricaCentral Africa
Over two decades, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) — a vicious Ugandan rebel group — has killed and abducted thousands of civilians in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, often targeting children and forcing them to become fighters.

Human Rights Watch pressed the US government to help the people of central Africa and bring the LRA's murderous leadership to justice. In October, the Obama administration said it would send 100 US military advisers to central Africa to assist the region's armies in combating the LRA, strengthening regional efforts to arrest the LRA's ruthless leader, Joseph Kony, and other top leaders.

On October 12, the Burmese government freed some 200 of its estimated 2,000 political prisoners. Human Rights Watch held high-level meetings with UN and government officials visiting Burma, arming them with the evidence they needed to press Burma into releasing those held behind bars. We helped keep these jailed activists — journalists, artists, opposition members, and Buddhist monks and nuns — on the international agenda with our report, Burma's Forgotten Prisoners.
We continue to push the Burmese government to free those political prisoners who remain locked up.

Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea
When Human Rights Watch exposed rapes and beatings by security personnel of the world's largest gold producer, Barrick Gold, the company chose to take swift action. Barrick Gold launched an internal investigation that confirmed our findings, and has promised to establish new, viable channels that people can use to complain about abuses without fear of retribution.

Papua New Guinea police forces are now in the midst of a comprehensive criminal investigation. Barrick has also committed to taking a broad range of measures to prevent abuses by security personnel at the mine in the future, including much tighter oversight and monitoring by senior officials.

As we look back on Human Rights Watch's impact in 2011, we also recognize the work that remains to protect people from human rights abuses — work that cannot be done without supporters like you, who allow us to remain ever vigilant and ever watchful.

As this year comes to a close, we are incredibly thankful to have such dedicated and staunch supporters. For all that you do, thank you for helping us change lives and ensure that tyranny has a witness.


Kenneth Roth
Executive Director

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