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October 19, 2010
3:21 PM

CONTACT: Amnesty International - USA

AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302,
Laura Spann:


Hundreds of Activists to Gather in Atlanta to Discuss Islamophobia, Troy Davis and Corporate Accountability

Amnesty International Annual Human Rights Conference, Oct. 22-24

ATLANTA - October 19 - Amnesty International activists from 12 southern states will gather in Atlanta from October 22-24 to tackle pressing regional and international human rights issues at the organization’s annual regional conference.  The event, which will take place at the Holiday Inn Decatur Conference Plaza (130 Clairmont Avenue in Decatur), is open to the public; the cost of attendance ranges from $30 to $65, on a sliding scale.  This year’s theme, Shine A Light: 50 Years of Activism, highlights Amnesty International’s upcoming 50th anniversary.

“For almost 50 years, Amnesty International members around the world have proven again and again the power of grassroots activism,” said Everette Harvey Thompson, southern regional director for AIUSA.  “The wrongfully imprisoned have been freed.  Legislation has been passed.  Executions have been prevented.  As we head into the next fifty years, we are excited to grow our movement and tackle head-on those issues that leave the most marginalized of communities susceptible to human rights abuses.”

On Saturday, panelists will examine the impact of corporate environmental abuse, including the Gulf oil spill, on marginalized communities. Attendees will hear from Robert D. Bullard, Ph.D., founding director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University; Melina Laboucan-Massimo a Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta, Canada and a Greenpeace campaigner; Lenny Kohm, Campaign Director for Appalachian Voices, an award-winning non-profit committed to protecting the land, air and water of the central and southern Appalachian region; and Simon Billenness, an Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) board member who currently serves on the Board of Directors of the US Campaign for Burma.

A Troy Davis update will be a noon focal point on Saturday, when activists view a five-minute video update about the case.   Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International USA’s (AIUSA’s) Death Penalty Abolition Campaign, will encourage continued advocacy on Davis' behalf while appeals filed to federal courts on Davis' behalf are in motion.

That evening will be dedicated to examining Islamophobia, with a panel focusing on the underlying causes of the recent wave of hate crimes and intolerance against Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities in the United States. Panelists include: Abbas Barzegar, Professor at Georgia State University, Mandana Afshar from the National Endowment for Democracy and Ramzy Kilic, Communications Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Tampa.  

On Sunday, conference goers will have the opportunity to hear from Edith Rosales, one of dozens of women who were beaten and sexually assaulted in police custody in May 2006, following public protests in San Salvador Atenco, near Mexico City. A mother and grandmother who works at a pediatric hospital, Edith went to San Salvador Atenco to offer health care support and act as an observer during the protests when she found herself detained without explanation. More than four years later, no one has been held accountable for the assaults on these women.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.


We are people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.


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