The Advocates Post

The Advocates for Human Rights works locally and globally to fight injustice, restore peace, save lives and build the human rights movement.

Execution in Arizona Takes 2 Hours

“‘Joe Wood is dead, but it took him two hours to die,’” Troy Hayden of Phoenix’s KSAZ-TV and an eyewitness to the execution of Joe Wood was quoted as saying … Continue reading

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“Bring Back the Firing Squad”

“If we, as a society, cannot stomach the splatter from an execution carried out by firing squad, then we shouldn’t be carrying out executions at all,” wrote Ninth Circuit Court … Continue reading

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If we fail them, “their hell will increasingly become our own”

“. . . [T]wo superpowers — the United States and the Soviet Union — chose our region [Central America] as a place to work out their disputes. They were eager … Continue reading

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Taking Stock of U.S. Involvement in Central America

“Today, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are horrifyingly dangerous places. Children are fleeing. The response from much of Congress and the tea party has been to argue for the repeal … Continue reading

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We Should Be Better than This

“This is not the best face of a great nation. This is the underside of a great stone, which when lifted sends creepy things slithering in all directions. We are … Continue reading

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A Nation of Immigrants Turns Its Back

Don’t call hundreds of thousands of people a “border crisis” and a “problem.” Start realizing that they’re refugees, whether officially stamped or not. I’ve never been crazy about the Fourth … Continue reading

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“If you stay you will die, if you leave, you might…either way it’s better to try”

Basic Facts about Plight of Central American Children Why are so many unaccompanied children and mothers with children coming to the U.S.? Why the sudden surge? Who/what created the problem? … Continue reading

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Crisis at the border: We must ensure humanitarian protections work and American values are upheld

While the impact of the refugee crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is being felt most dramatically in Texas, Arizona, and other southwestern states, we can expect it to affect us … Continue reading

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Resolving Refugee Crisis at Border Stymied by U.S. Policy

The United States’ response to the refugee crisis that has developed at the US-Mexico border endangers the human rights of thousands of migrants. At the current pace, an estimated 90,000 … Continue reading

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UN Special Procedures Urged to Visit Ethiopia to Investigate Crackdown on Oromo Protests

Today, The Advocates for Human Rights, along with Human Rights First, the International Oromo Youth Association, Oromia Support Group Australia, the Oromo Community of Minnesota, the Oromo Studies Association, and … Continue reading

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End “Tinkering with the machinery of death”

Harkening back to the 1800s, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill into law on May 22, 2014 that brings back the electric chair – a method of execution plainly … Continue reading

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Supreme Court Separates Families

A fractured U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that children who “age out” of certain immigration categories must move to the back of the line and reapply in a new … Continue reading

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Another County Takes the Right Step

Big news out of Hennepin County, Minnesota’s most populous county: Sheriff Rich Stanek and County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that Hennepin County will no longer honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s … Continue reading

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Outstanding Human Rights Defenders Being Honored at Awards Dinner, June 25

Five people are being honored at The Advocates for Human Rights’ 2014 Human Rights Award Dinner, being held Wednesday, June 25 at the Hilton Minneapolis.  These individuals are integral components in … Continue reading

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In on the Action and Supported by Lobbying in D.C.

With billions of dollars at stake under immigration reform legalizing undocumented immigrants (and reducing the number of people subject to detention), it should come as no surprise that Congress isn’t … Continue reading

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Ambo Protests: Going back

This account of events that took place during the second week of May in Ambo, Ethiopia, was originally posted on the blog Jen & Josh in Ethiopia: A Chronicle of … Continue reading

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Ambo Protests: Spying the Spy?

This account of events that took place in early May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was originally posted on the blog Jen & Josh in Ethiopia: A Chronicle of Our Peace … Continue reading

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Ambo Protests: A Personal Account

This account of events in the Oromia town of Ambo–events which began exactly one month ago, on April 25–was originally posted on the blog Jen & Josh in Ethiopia: A … Continue reading

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Diaspora Speaks for Deliberately Silenced Oromos; Ethiopian Government Responds to UN Review

When students in Ethiopia started protesting last month against the Ethiopian Government’s proposal to annex territory from the state of Oromia to facilitate the expansion of the capital city Addis … Continue reading

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Raising My Voice to #BringBackOurGirls

  On Mother’s Day, I spoke at a local march and rally to show support for the nearly 300 school girls abducted a month ago in Nigeria. Here’s what I … Continue reading

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Take Notice: Nigeria Abductions Are Not an Anomaly

Like many other people, I am outraged by the April 14 abduction of hundreds of young girls from their school in northeastern Nigeria by the insurgent group Boko Haram. The … Continue reading

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Call Legislators Today; Move People Out of the Shadows

  Lack of access to a driver’s license forces many to hide in the shadows and steeps their every day lives in fear. We have an opportunity to make a … Continue reading

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“Little Oromia” Unites to Advocate for Justice and Human Rights in Ethiopia

Last Sunday afternoon, a steady stream of people poured into the Oromo Community of Minnesota’s meeting hall in St. Paul. They gathered for a forum to discuss how the Oromo … Continue reading

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Allegations of Sexual Assault of High School Student in Jail Not Surprising

Last month the Star Tribune reported that an 18-year-old high school student who was being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Sherburne County Jail suffered repeated sexual assaults … Continue reading

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Ethiopian Government Faces Grilling at UN

Update: This blog post was updated on May 30, 2014, after the Armenian Mission to the UN in Geneva contacted The Advocates with the final, official version of the statement … Continue reading

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Oromo Diaspora Mobilizes to Shine Spotlight on Student Protests in Ethiopia

The Oromo Community of Minnesota hall was packed yesterday afternoon. Twice we scooted our chairs forward to make room for the crowds at the back; our knees were pressed up … Continue reading

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Rise for Our Sisters in Nigeria

On the night of April 14, dozens of armed men showed up at the dormitory of the Government Girls Secondary school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria.  Dressed in Nigerian military uniforms, … Continue reading

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Nightmare for Nigeria’s School Girls

On the night of April 14, dozens of armed men showed up at the dormitory of the Government Girls Secondary school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria.  Dressed in Nigerian military uniforms, … Continue reading

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Another Botched Execution

Oklahoma botched last night’s execution of Clayton Lockett by using a new, untested lethal injection protocol. While execution officials had pronounced Lockett unconscious, he was awake minutes later, writhing and … Continue reading

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Safety in Everyday Realities

It’s a bright and shiny day in Minnesota, with the temperature working its way into the 70s for the first time in months. It’s a bright and shiny day, too, … Continue reading

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The Advocates’ Robin Phillips Testifies before Congressional Committee

Robin Phillips, executive director of The Advocates for Human Rights, testified today (April 4, 2014) at a hearing before the United States Congress Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission about religious … Continue reading

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Lives on the Line: Will Supreme Court Hold U.S. Accountable for the Death Penalty?

Video excerpting questions about the administration of the death penalty in the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as well as the responses from the United States … Continue reading

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Why is U.S. Border Patrol Shooting Rock-Throwing Teenagers?

Amy Bergquist, staff attorney with The Advocates for Human Rights, is in Geneva this week for the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s review of the United States’ human rights record. … Continue reading

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Paving Pathways for Justice & Accountability: New Tools for Diaspora Communities

Human rights advocacy takes many forms, and human rights activists can be found in every corner of the world.  Tremendous advancements in technology and communication have allowed activists to form … Continue reading

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U.S. Human Rights Record Undergoes International Scrutiny

Amy Bergquist, staff attorney with The Advocates for Human Rights, is in Geneva this week for the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s review of the United States’ human rights record. … Continue reading

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The Advocates’ Experts at UN’s Commission on the Status of Women’s 58th Session

Work around the world on violence against women featured Women’s human rights experts from The Advocates for Human Rights are participating and presenting at the 58th Session of the UN … Continue reading

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Live from Geneva! It’s Crunch Time for the UN’s Examination of the U.S. Human Rights Record

The Advocates for Human Rights has a booth at the Minnesota State Fair every year. We have a wheel that fairgoers spin to take a shot at answering a question … Continue reading

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“I did not want to live like an animal . . .,” death row exonoree tells U.S. Congress

At one point, Damon Thibodeaux, on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, wanted to be executed instead of live in solitary confinement. “I did not want to live … Continue reading

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Moving Forward: Four Steps and Six Strategies for Promoting LGBTI Rights Around the World

While viewers across the United States watched the Olympic closing ceremonies, Jason Collins became the first publicly gay male athlete to compete in a major North American professional sports league … Continue reading

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The Wild East: Vigilante Violence against LGBTI Russians

When I was in high school, U.S.-Soviet “space bridges” were popular: a studio audience of Americans would connect up live with a studio audience in the USSR, and they’d pose … Continue reading

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Locking the Iron Closet: Russia’s Propaganda Law Isolates Vulnerable LGBTI Youth

Update: Great news! A district court in Nizhni Tagil acquitted Elena Klimova on charges of violating Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, according to a report this morning from Deti-404. In the … Continue reading

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Russia’s “Gay Propaganda” Law: How U.S. Extremists Are Fueling the Fight Against LGBTI Rights

On June 30, 2013, just four days after the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decisions in favor of marriage equality in Windsor and Perry, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into … Continue reading

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Out in the Cold: LGBT Visibility at Olympics Key to Ending Homophobia

Last summer I spent a few days in Moscow to watch the Rugby Sevens World Cup. The tournament was held in the main stadium for the 1980 Summer Olympics—a stadium … Continue reading

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A Deeper Look at Asylum “Fraud”

Today, rather than considering whether American compassion is being taken advantage of by nefarious asylum seekers exploiting holes in our country’s immigration system, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee should ask … Continue reading

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“Why doesn’t she leave?”

Leslie Morgan Steiner, a Harvard graduate, journalist, and best selling author, met “Connor” on the New York City subway when she was 22.  He sat next to her on the … Continue reading

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Dennis McGuire’s Execution: A Real-Life — or Real-Death — Example of Cruel and Inhuman Punishment

Ohio officials put Dennis McGuire to death this week using a new two-drug combination that had never been tested. Ohio’s experiment with the new two-drug injection is a real-life — … Continue reading

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The Advocates Leads Momentum in Mongolia to Keep Women Safe

The Advocates for Human Rights is in Mongolia this week to release a report and to lead presentations on that country’s efforts to combat domestic violence. One in three women … Continue reading

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Morocco: Human Rights Violations Under Article 475

In Morocco, a 15 year old girl experienced constant harassment and threats from a 35 year old man in her town.  He waited for her each day outside of her … Continue reading

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Minnesota Anti-Trafficking Model Inspires Federal Legislation

Minnesota passed the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act in 2011, laying the groundwork for a victim-centered response to sexually exploited children and those at risk of sexual exploitation. … Continue reading

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Modern-Day Slavery: Human Trafficking

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Human trafficking, including sex trafficking, is modern-day slavery, and now is the perfect time to address, speak out, and change attitudes … Continue reading

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