FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Congressman Ellison, Amnesty International, Others Call for End to Darfur Crisis; Urge World Leaders to Act
WASHINGTON, DC - May 8 - Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox, Amjad Atallah and Niemat Ahmadi of Save Darfur Coalition, Omer Ismail of the ENOUGH Project, along with other Members of Congress and invited Muslim leaders, will speak out on the Darfur crisis at a press conference on Wednesday, May 14, to call for urgent action by the U.S. administration to speed up the full deployment of UN- peacekeepers and save lives.
Congressman Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, will join with other representatives and Muslim leaders to send the message that deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission is proceeding too slowly, leaving civilians exposed to continuing brutal attacks by the Sudanese government and government-backed militia.
“I urge the leaders of the world to listen to our collective voices when it comes to the genocide of our brothers and sisters in Darfur,” Congressman Ellison stated. “Ending suffering, and the pursuing of peace are not exclusively Christian, Jewish or Muslim values; but shared values by all. Our human response to the suffering in Darfur must be a united drive to end the conflict, meet humanitarian needs, and ensure the promise of a better future for all,” Ellison said.
“The world hasn’t paid enough attention to Muslim organizations and individual Muslim leaders who have strongly condemned devastating human rights abuses in Darfur and who continue to press more effective action to stop the killing,” said Lynn Fredriksson, Amnesty International advocacy director for Africa. “Their perspectives and their outrage over delays in resolving this crisis need to be heard by our own government as well.”
The news conference follows an unprecedented appeal on March 29 by a coalition of 20 international Muslim groups appealing to the Arab League to take a stand on Darfur by contributing more aid, demanding an end to the obstruction of peacekeepers, supporting a real ceasefire and promoting the peace process.
The coalition included human rights and aid agencies from countries as diverse as Britain, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bahrain, Iran, Turkey, Australia, and the United States.
More than 2.6 million Darfuri civilians have been driven from their homes by armed conflict, including one million children. Hundreds of thousands have died due to the conflict, and more than 90,000 have been displaced since January 2008 alone.
WHAT: Muslim Voices for Darfur Press Conference
WHO: Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox, Amjad Attalah and Niemat Ahmad, Save Darfur Coalition, Omer Ismail with the ENOUGH Project, Imam Magid (invited), and Garelnabi Abusikin (invited), along with other Members of Congress (invited).
WHEN: Wednesday, May 14, 11 A.M.
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building (room TBD)
For interviews or more information, please contact: Suzanne Trimel at Amnesty International USA, 212-633-4150 Amnesty International USA