Thursday, November 18, 2010

Amnesty International Coming to Town

Amnesty International USA will meet at the Omni William Penn Hotel Friday through Sunday for the last of five annual regional conferences on human rights issues. Speakers will highlight 50 successful years of advocating for human rights and examine current and future challenges.

Executive Director Larry Cox says there are many issues in our own country, like the death penalty and our poor standing on maternal mortality—41st in the world even though we are the richest country and spend the most on health care. Also, Cox says economic hard times here have led to scapegoating and harassment of immigrants.

The world at large has gone backwards in recent years, he says, because fear always increases human rights violations. Since 9/11, he notes, countries, including the U.S., have used the fear of terrorism to justify unjustifiable acts: imprisonment for years without charges and even torture.

Cox says millions have applauded the recent release of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, but there are still thousands of prisoners of conscience around the world.

The conference is open to the public.

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