Hundreds Gather in San Francisco to Tackle Pressing Human Rights Concerns; Migrant Rights, Aung San Suu Kyi Are Front and Center

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Wende Gozan Brown at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org.

Hundreds Gather in San Francisco to Tackle Pressing Human Rights Concerns; Migrant Rights, Aung San Suu Kyi Are Front and Center

Amy Goodman, Jorge Bustamante, Rebiya Kadeer Headline Amnesty International Human Rights Conference, Nov. 5-7

SAN FRANCISCO - Amnesty International
USA (AIUSA) will bring together hundreds of activists from 13 Western states
November 5-7 for the organization’s annual regional conference.  This
year’s theme, Shine A Light: 50 Years of Activism, highlights Amnesty
International’s 50th anniversary – which will be celebrated
in San Francisco in March 2011 -- and spotlights some of the most critical
human rights issues today.  Open to the public, the event will take
place at the University of California's Hastings College of Law on 200
McAllister Street. The cost of attendance ranges from $15 to $35, on a
sliding scale.  

“For almost 50 years, Amnesty International
members around the world have proven time and again the power of grassroots
activism,” said

Rini Chakraborty, western regional director for
Amnesty International USA (AIUSA).  “San Francisco is a particularly
poignant backdrop for this conference.  It is the birthplace of the
U.N. Charter, which established human rights and fundamental freedoms for
all without discrimination. Given the city's rich and vibrant activist
history of fighting for civil, political, and economic rights, this is
the right place to celebrate our 50th anniversary.”

The human rights conference, which features
workshops, panel discussions and interactive exhibits, opens on

Friday
with a 5:00 p.m. march and rally in solidarity with the Burmese democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Burmese people. The march, which precedes
the Nov. 7 elections in Myanmar (formerly Burma), will begin on McAllister
and Hyde Streets and end at steps of San Francisco City Hall.  Speakers
include Toe Lwin, a youth leader for the National League for Democracy
and a member of Aung San Suu Kyi's Security Team; Nyunt Than of
the Burmese American Democratic Alliance; Yasmin Vanya of the Burmese
American Women's Alliance and Maung Maung Latt, an exiled Minister
of Parliament.  Amnesty
International is calling for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi
and the other 2,000-plus prisoners jailed for peaceful activism.  

AIUSA Executive Director

Larry Cox
will open the conference at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday at Hastings College of
Law, where he will highlight a half a century of successful human rights
activism. Throughout Saturday activists will attend panels on a number
of pressing human rights issues:  the death penalty in the
U.S., maternal mortality, immigrant rights, Guantanamo
and more.

At 4:15 p.m., a special plenary session,

Somos Arizona:  Migrant Rights in the U.S, will feature Dr.
Jorge Bustamante, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of
Migrants, and Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, coordinator of the Binational
Migration Institute of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona,
who will discuss the impact of the state’s draconian law, SB
1070.

On Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m., conference
attendees will hear from

Amy Goodman, host and executive producer
of Democracy Now! and long-time human rights champion. Goodman will
also sign copies of her book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, from 10-11
a.m.  At 11:45 a.m., the conference will wrap up with Rebiya Kadeer,
a Uighur human rights activist and former Amnesty International “prisoner
of conscience.”  Kadeer spent six years in a Chinese prison for criticizing
the government's repression of the Uighur people and abuse of their human
rights.  Amnesty International publicized her case and pursued her
freedom until she was released in 2005.

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.

 

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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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