prisoners of conscience

17 petitions

Started 3 months ago

Petition to Ralph S. Northam

Governor Northam - Grant Clemency for Uhuru B. Rowe!

**For more info about Uhuru, in his own words -- visit his blog HERE** Text of the petition:"Hon. Governor Northam: We, the undersigned concerned friends, citizens, and supporters of Uhuru Baraka Rowe, submit this joint petition in support of his latest request, to be submitted to your desk in January of 2020, for a commutation (reduction) of his sentence. We are of the opinion that Uhuru's 93-year prison sentence without parole is a de-facto life term and is excessive, as the sentence handed down to him is eighty years over the recommended sentencing guidelines established by the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission (VCSC). We firmly believe that if granted early release, Uhuru will conduct himself as a productive member of his community and a law-abiding citizen of good character. We pray that you will consider our plea for leniency on Uhuru's behalf, and that your consideration of his request for clemency be guided by the following mitigating circumstances: 1. Uhuru was not the actual trigger-man in this case, and he did not possess a single firearm or weapon during the crime. 2. Uhuru was barely 18 years old at the time of the commission of the crime. The U.S. Supreme Court in Johnson v. Texas, 509 U.S. 350 (1993) acknowledged that the "lack of maturity and underdeveloped sense of responsibility of youths often result in impetuous and ill-considered actions and decisions," and that a judge should consider "youth as a mitigating factor" because "signature qualities of youth are transient; as individuals mature, the impetuousness and recklessness that may dominate in younger years subside." This is quite true in Uhuru's case, as the man he has matured into reflects that the "signature qualities of his youth," which led to him making the poor decision to participate in the crime which led to his incarceration, are no longer present within him. Such qualities stemmed from suicidal depression and alcoholism, resulting from a difficult home life, for which he was hospitalized when he was only 16 years old. 3. Rowe had no adult criminal record prior to the commission of the crime which led to his incarceration. 4. Rowe's 93-year prison sentence exceeds the sentencing guidelines recommendation established by the VCSC by a total of eighty (80) years. This is consistent with a statistical tendency by the sentencing judge, James B. Wilkinson, to hand down harsher sentences for black defendants than white defendants for similar crimes. The result of a joint study by a University of Richmond mathematics professor and the Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD) which confirmed this trend - in which no factor other than race was found to account for the trend - was first published in a March 8th, 1998 RTD article. 5. January 20, 2020 will mark Rowe's 25th year of incarceration. Rowe has served more time in prison than many individuals who have committed murder with their own hands. We feel that 25 years in prison for a crime in which a person has not actually committed murder more than satisfies the debt owed to society. Keeping Rowe in prison for longer than 2 and 1/2 decades for a crime he participated in in his youth serves no other purpose than to make him suffer, and to cause his family and community - that he can clearly be an asset to - to suffer. 6. Rowe has completed a number of treatments and educational programs since his incarceration. To date, he has earned his G.E.D. and completed the Cabinet Making/Woodworking and Autobody Repair vocational trades. He is currently enrolled in the Computer Systems Technology (i.e. Computer Science) vocational class at Greensville Correctional Center in an effort to earn a third vocational trade certificate. This alone reflects Rowe's desire to transform himself and his ability to succeed under extremely difficult circumstances. 7. Uhuru has been infraction-free for 3 and 1/2 years, and his behavior has earned him the greatest possible reduction in security level. He is now earning good time at Earned Sentence Credit (ESC) Level 1, per §53.1-202.3 of the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Corrections Operating Procedure 830.3 (VIII). This shows that Rowe is fully willing and capable of following the rules of society. We believe that the foregoing, when considered as a whole, presents substantial evidence of extraordinary circumstances, which warrant an act of clemency in Rowe's case. Therefore, we beseech you to do the right and just thing, and commute Uhuru Rowe's sentence. In extending grace and a second chance at life to Rowe and others whose futures were cut short by excessive sentencing, we believe our great Commonwealth will take a step forward out of its dark legacy of violence against young black men and the communities they come from - a legacy that has continued since the end of slavery into the era of mass incarceration - and into the light of a better, more just future for all."

Cori Bedois
171 supporters
Update posted 9 months ago

Petition to Ebrahim Raisi, Majid Takht Ravanchi, Hassan Rouhani, Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

Quash Sentences of Iranian Labor Unionists and Release Them From Prison

Iranian labor unionists who organize for better working conditions and higher wages through participating in peaceful protests and strikes often get arrested, imprisoned, and threatened with the death penalty. Instead of addressing their complains, Iranian authorities charge them with “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” and “disrupting public order by participating in illegal gatherings” for engaging into peaceful trade union activities. The charges against one of the unionists included giving out cookies. Amnesty International and AIUSA Group 11 in New York City call for overturning the sentences and releasing the Iranian trade unionists Esmail Abdi, Ebrahim Madadi, and Davoud Razavi and quashing the remaining sentence for Reza Shahabi, all of whom were convicted of the above charges. These labor unionists are innocent. Article 23 (4) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” ABOUT TRADE UNIONISTS Ebrahim Madadi, the deputy head of the Syndicate of the Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC), is now serving a 5-year prison term based on charges of “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” and “disrupting public order by participating in illegal gatherings”.  Among the activities mentioned in Madadi’s indictment was distributing cookies to bus drivers in celebration of the International Labor Day. Davoud Razavi, a trade unionist, was sentenced to 5 years in prison on similar charges. The court found publishing online photos of unionist meetings tantamount to “anti-revolutionary propaganda” and cited an invitation to an International Labor Organization conference as “evidence” of his contact with “opposition labor rights activists outside of Iran.” Reza Shahabi, a trade unionist and the treasurer of the Syndicate of the Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC), was released from prison on medical furlough after having served most of his 6-year sentence for participating in union activities. He is barred from participating in any political activity for two years. After his release he openly spoke about his torture and violent treatment in prison. He undertook a hunger strike in August 2017 to protest his imprisonment and in December 2017 he suffered a stroke. Despite now being free, his sentence remains and he can face jail time at any moment. Esmail Abdi, a high school math teacher and former Iran Teachers Trade Association (ITTA) secretary general, has been serving a six-year prison sentence since November 2016. After refusing to give in to demands to resign from his ITTA position and cancel national teacher demonstrations, he was convicted of national security offenses, including “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”. Abdi went on a hunger strike in 2018 to protest his imprisonment. Please sign this petition and follow the campaign #DareToGiveACookie.

AIUSA Group 11
211 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Francisco Quintana, Mark S. Inch, Deborah, Deborah G. Shult, President of the United States, Donald Trump, Barack Obama

Release of Ramsey Muniz under the Compassionate Release Program

Releasing Ramsey from prison and jail to be with family and in the community. The spiritual message he sent in 2015, (versión en español a sigues)  The spiritual presence of my family on New year's eve I have these strong spiritual feelings and I can envision my their faces already, because they will be with me tonight like never before - I know they can the sadness and the hurt in my heart and soul like never before - They know that these 21 years of oppopression, discrimination, chains, shakles, nakedness, hunger, pain have taken a toll on my body, but not my heart or my soul. The only reason why it hasn't taken a toll my heart or my soul is because of the love you have given me, the love you have shared with me and my family, and those close to us seeking immediate freedom !!! This message comes from the heights of heaven and there is no question in my heart and in my soul we shall be free.  Your father shared with me, "Ramsey, in reality, you are free spiritually like no other man on earth or in Heaven and all because of your suffering and pain and darkness that you have had to overcome even in this forecoming New year," Dr. Salvador Alvarez  Faith and miracles!!! Your able to believe and have faith in the essence and reality of your freedom, allowing miracles and faith to belong and enjoin that reality.   Please help free Ramsey Munoz by signing this petition to free Ramsey Muniz!!   (versión en español a continuación)   El mensaje espiritual que envió en 2015, (versión en español a continuación) La presencia espiritual de mi familia en la víspera de Año Nuevo       Tengo estos fuertes sentimientos espirituales y ya puedo imaginar sus.  caras, porque estarán conmigo esta noche como nunca antes. Sé que.        pueden sentir la tristeza y el dolor en mi corazón y en mi alma como nunca antes. Ellos saben que estos 21 años de la opresión, la discriminación, las cadenas, los esqueletos, la desnudez, el hambre y el dolor han cobrado un precio en mi cuerpo, pero no en mi corazón ni en mi alma. ¡La única razón por la que mi corazón o mi alma no han pasado factura es por el amor que me has brindado, el amor que compartiste conmigo y mi familia, y aquellos cercanos a nosotros que buscan la libertad inmediata! ¡La única razón por la que mi corazón o mi alma no han pasado factura es por el amor que me has brindado, el amor que compartiste conmigo y mi familia, y aquellos cercanos a nosotros que buscan la libertad inmediata! Este mensaje proviene de las alturas del cielo y no hay duda en mi corazón y en mi alma que seremos libres. Tu padre compartió conmigo, "Ramsey, en realidad, eres espiritualmente libre como ningún otro hombre en la tierra o en el cielo y todo por tu sufrimiento, dolor y oscuridad que has tenido que vencer incluso en este nuevo año venidero", Dr. Salvador Alvarez Fe y milagros !!! Tu puedes creer y tener fe en la esencia y la realidad de tu libertad, permitiendo que los milagros y la fe pertenezcan e impongan esa realidad. ¡Por favor ayuda a liberar a Ramsey Muñoz al firmar esta petición para liberar a Ramsey Muniz!

Seth Hulett
323 supporters
Update posted 3 years ago

Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President of the United States, Rick Snyder

Demand that Saudi Arabia ends juvenile executions

Imagine being arrested at 16 and sentenced to die by beheading and crucifixion. Your crime: a peaceful protest asking for equal rights. This is the fate that awaits Ali Mohammad al-Nimr and three others after being arrested for protesting for democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia. All three were juveniles at the time of the arrest. Amnesty International, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and talk show host Bill Maher have all called for clemency for these innocent boys. So far, Saudi Arabia says it plans to go forward with the execution. Saudi Arabia has no reason to stop. Allies like the US continue to support its regime and sell it billions of dollars in weapons without holding them responsible for human rights. We are calling on the US to take a stand against barbaric acts like juvenile executions and demand that Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, Dawood Al Marhoon, and Abdullah Al Zaher, Mutjaba al Suweikat be pardoned and released. This could be accomplished by amending House Joint Resolution 90, a bipartisan effort to ban weapons sales to Saudi Arabia unless it can ensure it is taking all necessary precautions to protect civilians where the weapons are used. Tell Congress to add a measure demanding that Saudi Arabia ends juvenile executions and frees Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, Dawood Al Marhoon, Abdullah Al Zaher and Mujtaba Al-Suwaiket Human rights groups repeatedly document cases of brutality. Saudi Arabia has been cited by numerous human rights groups for its horrific punishments, especially towards minority communities and women. Ali’s only crime is that he believes in democracy and that everyone should have equal rights. The world should come to the rescue of a young man who demonstrated the courage to stand up for equal rights at just 16 years old.  Saudi Arabia does not announce when it will carry out an execution. Any day could be these boy’s last unless we take action. Please add your name to the petition, share with friends and family, and tell your member of Congress that there should be no more weapons until juvenile executions are stopped and Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, Dawood Al Marhoon, Abdullah Al Zaher and Mujtaba Al-Suwaiket are freed.

Esha Krishnaswamy
109,809 supporters