human rights violations

187 petitions

This petition won 2 days ago

Petition to Guardia Nacional Bolivariana de Venezuela, Comandancia General de la GNB

Free Wuilly Arteaga

On July 27th, Wuilly Arteaga was detained by Guardia Nacional de Venezuela for protesting in the streets of Caracas. Wuilly had been playing his violin as a form of non-violent protest against the current regime. A protege who taught himself to play the violin from YouTube videos became a member of the esteemed El Sistema’s Youth Orchestra of Caracas. Wuilly has become a symbol of peaceful protest in a country known for its violence and oppression. He has sustained injuries on multiple occurrences and had his violin destroyed.  Artists Marc Anthony and Oscarito surprised Wuilly in an event on June 20th in Miami in which he was invited to play with the group San Luis.  Organizers gifted Mr. Arteage a new violin and new hope.  Katie Wyatt, executive director of El Sistema USA,  "He had become the embodiment of what the power of music can do, and I hope that he would not be penalized for focusing all of our attention on our common humanity.” This petition is asking the Guardia Nacional de Venezuela to release Wuilly Arteaga.  “We don’t want violence. This is a civic movement. And music is one of the best expressions of that.” Roberto Patiño, a community organizer.   El 27 de julio, Wuilly Arteaga fue detenido por la Guardia Nacional Bolivariana (GNB) por participar en las protestas organizadas por la oposició en las calles de Caracas. Wuilly usó su violín y su música como su método de protesta pacífica en contra del regimen. Un protegé quien usó videos de YouTube para aprender a tocar el violín pasó a formar parte del Sistema Nacional de Orquestas y Coros Infantines y Juveniles de Venezuela y de la Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas. Wuilly se ha convertido en un símbolo de protesta pacífica en un país que ultimamente ha estado siendo conocido por su violencia y opresión. En varias oportunidades Wuilly ha sido víctima de lesiones por parte de la GNB y le han destruído su violín. Los artistas Marc Anthony y Oscarito sorprendieron a Wuilly en un evento el 20 de junio en Miami en el cual fue un invitado especial para tocar con el grupo San Luis. Los organizadores del evento le obsequiaron a Wuilly un violín nuveo y consigo nuevas esperanzas. Katie Wyatt, directora ejecutiva del Sistema USA dice que Wuilly “se ha convertido en el significado de lo que puede hacer el poder de la música, y espera que no sea penalizado por enfocar toda la atención en lo que nos hace humanos”. La petición pide a la Guardia Nacional Bolivariana de Venezuela que liberen a Wuilly Arteaga. “No queremos violencia. Esto es un movimiento cívico. La música es la major expression de esto” asegura Roberto Patiño, un organizador de la oposición.    

James Pecard
203 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Kim Foxx, Bruce Rauner

New trial for an innocent man

Detective Richard Zuley may be most famous for his notorious interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, but he first learned his torture techniques in the interrogation rooms of Chicago. Now, this 30-year veteran of the Chicago PD is under investigation for using illegal methods to coerce confessions that have put several possibly innocent people behind bars. One of his cases has already been overturned, and a man who spent 23 years in prison is now finally free. But while officials slowly make their way through the pages of evidence against this corrupt cop, my friend Lee Harris -- another of Zuley’s many victims -- still wastes away in prison.   My name is Robert. From 2000-2001, I shared a cell with Lee. We became good friends. Like a lot of people in prison, he would go on about how he was innocent and how he had been wrongly accused, but I never knew what to believe. However, when I received letters from the “witness” who put him away, apologizing for lying on the stand, I started digging: Lee’s conviction doesn’t add up. And now that I am on the outside, I am doing everything I can to get him a new trial so he can prove his innocence. I am asking Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to grant my friend Lee Harris a new trial, so he can prove his innocence. He shouldn’t spend one more day behind bars while the true criminal is allowed to walk free. At first, Lee collaborated with Detective Zuley to help him find the real killer in the crime he is doing time for. Facing public pressure to find the killer, they pressed Lee for information using both threats and rewards. In one instance, Zuley offered him a $20,000 reward, and in another, he threatened to stop providing protection for his family, exposing them to retaliation. When they couldn’t find the real killer, they turned on their informant and charged him with the crime. They had no murder weapon or evidence connecting Lee to the crime. Yet, even with all these legal missteps and the lack of evidence, they still threw Lee behind bars for 90 years. He remains in jail to this day for a crime I am sure he didn’t commit. And I am not the only one: Chicago attorney Kathleen Zellner, who has won more exonerations than any other lawyer in the US, is now taking a closer look at Harris’ conviction. It’s time to grant my friend Lee Harris a new trial and let true justice be served. We cannot continue to keep this man behind bars while the real killer could be walking the streets. Please sign my petition and help me fight for justice for Lee Harris.

Robert Chattler
63,821 supporters