Document - Weekly Update Service 14/92 (includes addition)


AI Index: NWS 11/14/92

Distr: SC/PO

No. of words: 1770

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Amnesty International

International Secretariat

1 Easton Street

London WC1X 8DJ

United Kingdom


TO: PRESS OFFICERS


FROM: PRESS AND PUBLICATIONS


DATE: 9 APRIL 1992



WEEKLY UPDATE SERVICE 14/92


Contained in this weekly update are external items on Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Peru.



1. NEWS INITIATIVES - INTERNAL


Please note - the IS press office has today sent out a news release for immediate release on Cameroon, based on an Urgent Action (AI Index: AFR 17/04/92). The news release contains slightly more information than the UA and has a new index number; AFR 17/05/92. It will be coming in the Weekly Mailing and has been sent to those sections we expected would need it - if you do get media inquiries, contact the IS press office.



Sudan - 14 April PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE! (New Information)


As you all know by now, the embargo date for the Sudan news release has been brought forward by 24 hours and is now 0001 hrs gmt Tuesday 14 April and not Wednesday 15 April. Please refer to the urgent note sent out from the IS press office on Monday 6 April.


Enclosed in this weekly update is an item on the current situation in Sudan. If you are asked why the report has been brought out now, refer to the current situation in Sudan, and say this and our ongoing research program prompted the report and news release. Most of your contacts will not know that we have changed the date so you won't need to deal with queries about that. The news release has already been posted to you by the IS - please make sure that whoever is responsible for maintaining your files of IS material is aware of the date change.


If you have any specific problems with this change of date, give the IS press office a ring.


Israel/Lebanon - 6 May PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE! (New information)


News release to accompany first detailed report on treatment and conditions of detainees in Khiam prison, south Lebanon.


Please note that the date of this news release has now been brought forward one day, because 7 May is a national holiday in Israel.


Burundi - 13 May


Targeted news release with short document, following recent mission to Burundi.


China (Tibet) - 20 May 1992


A document and news release on repression in Tibet to go with a small-scale campaign. An electronic news release has also been prepared. There will be more details on the report, news release and ENR next week.



Pakistan - 28 May


A document and targeted news release on arrests in Sind.


Annual Report - 9 July


Thank you for your quick responses to our query about the embargo date. All responses were positive, so 9 July is the confirmed embargo date. We have now sent out a further inquiry about the timing of the embargo, suggesting 1300 hrs gmt (please see note to press officers sent out on 7 April). Thanks to all those of you who have replied so far, and if you have not yet expressed your opinions, please let us know as soon as possible. Thanks.


POSSIBLE NEWS INITIATIVES, STILL TO BE CONFIRMED


South Africa - date now possibly 10 June


The research team is planning a document, but as yet cannot give a definite date. It will have an international news release and probably a questions and answers - the date has still not been fixed, although it is quite likely to be 10 June.


Turkey


The planned news release on Turkey has been cancelled. A document on past abuses is planned, and weekly update items will keep you up-to-date with new developments. A research mission is planned for this month, with a possible news release to follow, depending on what information the research mission brings back.



NOTE RE: INDIA LAUNCH


It would be really useful for us to compile an analysis of the media coverage of the India Campaign Launch. Please could you assess how good the media coverage was in your country and detail what coverage you think was most important. In particular we are interested in finding out which images from the ENR were used - to improve future ENRs. Thanks to those of you who have responded already.


Weekly Update NWS 11/14/92


2. EUR 04/WU 01/92 EXTERNAL

9 April 1992



KAZAKHSTAN AND KYRGYZSTAN: FIRST AI VISIT


A delegation from Amnesty International's International Secretariat will begin on 14 April 1992 a two-week visit to the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The two countries became fully independent states in late December 1991, and were admitted to the United Nations at the beginning of March 1992.


The delegation will meet government representatives to introduce the work of AI and to raise with them AI's concerns in the republics, which are chiefly the retention of the death penalty, and the lack of a civilian alternative for conscientious objectors to compulsory military service. They will also be seeking information about constitutional and legal reform currently being undertaken. The delegation also aims to meet opposition representatives, lawyers and local human rights activists in order to gather information about the human rights situation in these countries.


A membership development officer is joining the delegation in order to meet the AI initiative group formed recently in Alma-Ata, the Kazakh capital, and to promote AI membership in both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Weekly Update NWS 11/14/92



3. AFR 54/WU 01/92 EXTERNAL

9 April 1992



INTERNAL


This item gives details of the most recent reports of human rights violations in Sudan.


As you know, the embargo date of the news release and document on Sudan has been brought forward by one day to 0001 hrs gmt Tuesday 14 April (please see urgent note sent on 6 April 1992). We are very concerned that this news release and document are not seen to be connected in any way to the deadline of 15 April given to Libya to deal with the suspects held in connection with the Lockerbie bombing. If you are asked why we are releasing this document now, we advise that you use this weekly update item as a basis, and say that current events in Sudan, along with our ongoing research program, suggest to us that we should be drawing attention to the serious human rights situation in Sudan.


If you have any queries about this issue, please ring the IS press office.

EXTERNAL



SUDAN: WOMEN ARRESTED FOLLOWING DEMONSTRATION


Women relatives of army officers executed almost two years ago have been arrested in Khartoum while peacefully demonstrating. They are reported to remain in detention, apparently uncharged, and to have been assaulted by security officials and denied medical attention.


On 31 March 1992, the 28th day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, women and children demonstrated to commemorate the execution of 28 army officers, executed on the 28th day of Ramadan in 1990 - in that year 24 April - after being convicted of participating in a coup attempt. The demonstrations culminated in the women entering the grounds of the Presidential Palace and placing a bouquet of flowers commemorating their dead relatives there. Security officials arrested at least nine women and a child who were reportedly taken to Omdurman Women's Prison. A nursing mother, Manal Awad Khojali, has reportedly been denied access to her baby.


The next day other women relatives of the executed officers demonstrated outside the security headquarters in Khartoum. At least another 15 women were arrested, among them a 70-year-old woman who was reportedly beaten and dragged along the ground by security officials. The 15 are reported to be held in the security headquarters.


One of those arrested on 31 March 1992, Majda Awad Khojali, suffers from a heart condition and is reported to have been taken ill while in detention. On 1 April 1992 she was reportedly taken from Omdurman Women's Prison under the promise of receiving medical attention. Instead, she was taken to the security headquarters where she was interrogated and beaten. She is reported to have received an injection from a security official, but the nature of this or the reasons for it are unknown. She was subsequently taken ill and security officials returning her to Omdurman Women's Prison allowed her to visit her home to collect medication. On her return to prison, however, she reportedly fell into a coma.


In recent months there have been many political demonstrations in cities in Sudan. There are reports of arrests in Juba in southern Sudan in late March 1992 and of other arrests in Khartoum following street demonstrations in January and February 1992.


The majority of men arrested for political reasons have been held for short periods in secret detention centres or the headquarters of the security service in Khartoum, in both of which torture and ill-treatment are routine. Women who have been arrested in the past have been beaten and flogged. In some cases, after the release of women detainees the authorities have then made them report daily to the security headquarters where they are made to wait all day before being allowed to return home - thereby preventing many of the women from being able to take care of their children.

Weekly Update NWS 11/14/92


4. AMR 46/WU 01/92 EXTERNAL

9 April 1992


INTERNAL


Please draw this item to the attention of section campaign coordinators. A Rapid Response action on this subject was issued to all sections yesterday (8 April 1992).

EXTERNAL



PERU: AI CONCERNED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS FOLLOWING POLITICAL CHANGES



Amnesty International is gravely concerned about measures taken in Peru, following President Alberto Fujimori's announcement on Sunday 5 April 1992 that he had dissolved Congress (el Congreso) and intended to reform the constitution and reorganize the judiciary and the Attorney General's Office.


The organization has learned of dozens of arrests in Peru since the president appeared on television and announced the establishment of an Emergency Government of National Reconstruction (Gobierno de Emergencia y Reconstrucción Nacional). Those arrested have been detained in military or police custody or placed under house arrest. They include members of parliament, trade unionists and former ministers during the previous government of President Alan García.


Amnesty International has also received reports on 8 April 1992 that a decree law (Decreto Ley) issued by the president and the Council of Ministers officially closed down the judiciary and the Offices of the Attorney General (el Ministerio Público) for a period of 10 working days and that security forces have been preventing officials of both from working. In effect, the judicial system has been brought to a halt and the right of habeas corpus, which guarantees a court appearance quickly, has been suspended in practice.


While aware of the difficulties faced by the government, including dealing with armed opposition groups which have themselves been responsible for widespread human rights abuses, Amnesty International continues to emphasize that the government of Peru is responsible for protecting the human rights of its citizens. Measures taken in the wake of President Fujimori's speech have instead threatened those human rights.


Amnesty International has written to the president urging him to release immediately any prisoners of conscience, to guarantee the safety of all those detained and to make it clear to all security forces that human rights violations will not be tolerated. The organization has also asked for full, up-to-date information on all those who have been detained and to guarantee the safety and work of human rights defenders.


AI Index: NWS 11/14/92 add

Distr: SC/PO

No. of words: 3550

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Amnesty International

International Secretariat

1 Easton Street

London WC1X 8DJ

United Kingdom


TO: PRESS OFFICERS


FROM: PRESS AND PUBLICATIONS


DATE: 27 MARCH 1992




ADDITION TO WEEKLY UPDATE SERVICE 14/92


Contained in this addition to the weekly update is an external item on the USA.



AMR 52/WU 05/92


USA: AI CALLS FOR CLEMENCY IN TEXAS EXECUTION CASES



Amnesty International is calling on the state authorities in Texas to change the state's implacable policy on executions and grant clemency to seven prisoners due to be executed this month.


The seven prisoners are scheduled for execution within a 15-day period starting on 15 April. Texas already leads the nation with 46 executions to its record in the last 10 years - nearly twice as many as any other US state.


Among the prisoners scheduled to be killed is Leonel Herrera, a man who may be innocent. Leonel Herrera is scheduled to be executed on 15 April, despite compelling evidence he did not commit the murders of two police officers in 1982. In sworn statements an attorney said another person had confessed to the murders, and the son of the man concerned said he had witnessed his father carry out the crime. However, the Texas authorities have ruled that this evidence that Lenonel Herrera is innocent is "irrelevant" and that his execution should proceed. Its reasons are procedural: it says claims the question of Herrera's innocence should have been presented to the state courts long ago, and it is now too late to raise it.


The US Supreme Court has agreed to review the case to decide whether the US Constitution permits the execution of an innocent person. But, in a bizarre move, it also ruled that the execution could meanwhile proceed.


Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, believing it to be the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The organization is urging the authorities to grant clemency to all seven prisoners by commuting their death sentences to imprisonment.


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