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UA NOTES

for AI speakers, staff

Urgent Action Program Office
P.O.Box 1270
Nederland CO 80466-1270
email:
uan@aiusa.org

August 2000 - June 2001

Below is an informal collection of UA-related stories with positive slants. We are constantly asked for UA “success stories”, thank-you quotes from prisoners, and other unique stories reflecting not only prisoners’ situations but also AI volunteers’ activism. We hope that some of the information found in UA Quotes (formerly called UA Notes) might be used to complement an AI presentation or just inspire your continued letter-writing. We are distributing this to the Urgent Action Network, regional office directors, our executive director, the development staff, and to anyone who asks to receive it. You are welcome to copy any part of UA Quotes for others and if you would like us to put anyone else in AIUSA on our mailing list just let us know. Email Scott at uan@aiusa.org if you would like a text version of this paper emailed to you. We issue UA Quotes whenever we have collected enough good news from Urgent Actions to fill these pages.

We have also included a few quotes from the UA letter-writers themselves who responded to the survey we issued in late 2000. These are identified with this symbol: ˜
best,

Scott Harrison and Ellen Moore
for the Urgent Action Network

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ARGENTINA: José Segundo Zambrano and Pablo Marcelo Rodríguez (UA 170/00 issued June 22, 2000 and re-issued July 5, 2000 and October 12, 2000). The Mendoza Province authorities told A.I. that judicial investigations into the killings of these two men were underway. Lawyers representing the men’s relatives believe that appeals from the Urgent Action network have obliged the authorities to act in the case.
The two men "disappeared" on 25 March 2000 after they apparently went to meet an officer of the Mendoza Investigations Police. José Zambrano’s blood stained car was later found abandoned, and the two men’s bodies were discovered nearby. The lawyers representing the two men’s relatives faced a campaign of harassment, and defamatory claims about them were circulated to the press. In a letter to Amnesty International, the Mendoza Ministry of Justice and Security has assured the organization that the lawyers will have all the guarantees their profession merits, and expressed the authorities’ respect for their work: "As for the situation of the lawyers who are working with the relatives of the victims...they can count on all the essential guarantees necessary to carry out their profession, which merits the greatest respect from the ministerial authorities." In a recent letter, the human rights lawyers representing the men’s relatives thanked Urgent Action writers, whom they believe helped avoid impunity in the case. "We really want to thank you... and all the other people and friends who helped avoid impunity once again. The Urgent Action was widely distributed and the [local] newspaper Los Andes published ... copies of some of them [the letters]."
˜ “Being a part of the Urgent Action Network has been a gift for myself and so many others involved. I know that the relatively simple process that each member participates in helps in an unbelievable way. The only suggestion that I do have is to keep doing what is being done and if at all possible to let people become even more involved. Thank you for letting my life be a part of so many people’s goals. The feeling of giving and of doing for something important can never be surpassed.”                -Julia Hafera ˜

KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA: 24 Vietnamese ethnic minority people (EX 20/01 issued April 10, 2001). The 24 Vietnamese ethnic minority people, who were at risk of being forcibly returned to Viet Nam, were granted refugee status by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They will be resettled in the U.S. The Cambodian authorities had initially denied the 24 asylum seekers access to the UNHCR, and maintained that they would be returned to Viet Nam. However, on 2 April the United States offered them asylum, providing that they were recognized as refugees by the UNHCR. They were granted refugee status on 9 April. Amnesty Intl. believes that pressure from the international community played a large part in the Cambodian authorities' decision to permit the 24 to apply for refugee status with the UNHCR. Amnesty International welcomes Cambodia's decision to comply with the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

COLOMBIA: Several young people aged 13-25 from the municipality of Puerto Gaitan, Meta department (UA 325/00 issued October 25, 2000). This UA was issued on behalf of forcibly displaced people in Meta Department and members of Pastoral Social that was helping them. Below is a portion of a message of thanks from the church-run organization Pastoral Social in Colombia sent to Amnesty International after army-backed paramilitaries released a number of people who were abducted in October 2000. “Thanks to your timely and effective Urgent Actions ... the paramilitaries based in Puerto Gaitán (Meta) allowed NELSON YAGUILU, ERMINIA ENCINOSA and her two sons RAMON and PEDRO ENCINOSA, as well as RAMON AGUILA, MARIA ELENA and MARIA CECILIA GAITAN among others to return home”.

COLOMBIA: Saja Jhoana KAIM MUÑOZ, aged 23, student (female), Oscar Eduardo MONROY, aged 23, student (male), Juan Carlos MUÑOZ (male) and Andrea (surname unknown), aged 17 (female) (UA 334/00 issued October 31, 2000). Four people who "disappeared" after they were reportedly abducted by paramilitaries in the department of Chocó have apparently been murdered. A relative of one of the two murdered students thanked Urgent Action writers for their appeals:
"Dearest Friends
    With all my heart I thank all of you for the work you have done on behalf of my cousin Saja and her friends Oscar Eduardo, Juan Carlos, and Andrea. It has meant so much to my family to have had your support.
    With much sadness, I am writing to inform you that we have received news that Saja and her friends were murdered; their bodies reportedly dumped into the sea. We may never know for sure what happened, but this is what we have been told.
    I don’t want anyone to feel that your effort was not worthwhile, for it was truly valuable and valiant. Rather than turn you away from such work in the future, may this tragedy inspire us all to do more so that such horrible nightmares are not visited on other families..."

˜ “I love the (UA) program and the newsletter updates, especially the testimonials. Thanks for your hard work. I’m giving a speech to 50 people tomorrow encouraging them to join.”        -Lisa Trent ˜

COLOMBIA: Jhon Fredy RESTREPO ARANGO (UA 85/01 issued April 5, 2001): Jhon Fredy Restrepo Arango was freed on 18 April by his captors, believed to be paramilitary gunmen. He had not been seen since 28 March, when he left his hotel in Bucaramanga, in the northeastern department of Santander. Jhon Fredy's family believes the Urgent Action helped secure his release: "And first of all I would like to thank you, members of Amnesty International and the entire organisation, for the efforts you made which were crucial. I want to encourage you to continue making similar efforts which at first don't appear to be successful, but are in the end."

COLOMBIA: Jaime DUQUE CASTRO (UA 74/01 issued March 30, 2001). Trade union leader Jaime Duque Castro was released safe and well by his abductors on 5 April. Jaime Duque Castro, who is the president of the El Cairo Cement Workers Union, had been abducted on 24 March. Following his release, Colombian Trades Union Congress, issued a statement expressing their conviction that international support secured the safe release of Duque:
     "We believe that our colleague was released safe and well thanks to the solidarity received at the national and international level from the trade union and popular movement, as well as from different NGOs. By denouncing the abduction, they made the momentous return of our colleague Duque possible".

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of Congo: Hubert Tshiswaka and Jeanne Bilonda (UA 148/01 issued May 16, 2001. Human rights activists Hubert Tshiswaka and Jeanne Bilonda were released without charge at around 6pm on 16 May after being held for 48 hours in a security service detention centre in south-eastern DRC. They were not ill-treated and their morale is said to be high. They have already resumed their work at the Lubumbashi branch office of the African Association for the Defence of Human Rights, where they had been arrested on 14 May. They have expressed their thanks to all those who campaigned on their behalf and are convinced that national and international pressure led directly to their release.

EL SALVADOR: William Hernández, director of Entre Amigos (Between Friends), a non-governmental organization working with sexual minorities (EX 159/00 issued November 12, 2000. The police finally offered protection to William Hernández in late February, when appeals on his behalf from the Urgent Action network were at their peak. He has offered his heartfelt thanks to all those who sent appeals, and told a recent Amnesty International delegation: "there is no doubt that without this pressure, they would not have given us police protection". During the meeting, William pulled out the files where he had kept copies of every single Urgent Action appeal: a total of 468 letters and 858 e-mails. When the authorities feigned ignorance of his case, William replied that he had copies of all the letters which had been sent to them. Embassies also put pressure on the authorities, again as a result of your appeals, writing repeatedly to ask what action they were taking. While the authorities are starting to investigate some cases involving sexual minorities, impunity and discrimination are still the norm for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people in El Salvador.

˜ Bruce Milne replied in his survey, "Thank you for this opportunity not to feel myself so helpless in the face of the injustices in the world, and for your enduring commitment to the work at hand.”˜

Ethiopia: Shabe Shako (UA 81/96 issued March 21, 1996). Early this year a lawyer in Winnipeg contacted the Canadian section to let them know that Shabe Shako (UA 81/96 issued 21 March 1996) had arrived safely in Canada, and wanted to pass on a big ‘thank you’ to Amnesty International members for the work we did on her behalf. This is her letter.
    " My name is Shabe Shako. I am an Oromo folk music singer. I came to Winnipeg on May 12 in the year 2000. I am a refugee in Canada, from Ethiopia. I was arrested in Ethiopia in February 1996. I was in different jails and prison camps until the end of 1998. Sometimes I was beaten by soldiers and police, and conditions were often very bad. When I was released at the end of 1998, I was afraid to be arrested again. When I had a chance, I fled with my oldest son to Kenya, to Nairobi, to the UNHCR camp there. We stayed in the safe refugee centre during 1999 and 2000 until we came to Canada.
    I have learned that Amnesty people wrote letters to help me, in 1996, and I want to say thank you and to let you know that I am now safe in Winnipeg. I am grateful to all of you. I also thank Canada for giving a new life to me and my son, and to my other children who will soon come to Canada also. I have seen an Amnesty report that Boharstu Obisa was arrested about the same time I was. She too is still alive, and now living in Norway. I am a singer in the Oromo language and I hope that some day I can sing for you. Finally I would like to say God bless you, and keep up your good work. There are many more Oromo people in prisons and being tortured even today in Ethiopia, and we must not forget them."
˜I can only say that you guys are doing a great job! This organization is a wonderful statement of humanity’s capability for compassion and action. I’m proud to be a small part of it.”        -Brad Kayl ˜

IRAN: Mahmood Salehi (MA 25/00 issued November 10, 2000). Mahmood Salehi, a trade unionist and political prisoner, was released on 18 April 2001 from Saqqez prison. Mahmood Salehi's wife Najibeh and his sister received a letter that the end of his sentence had arrived, upon which they went to Saqqez prison to meet him. His wife said that she and their two sons were very happy to have him home again. Mahmood Salehi was arrested at the end of August 2000 and was reportedly convicted for his efforts to organize workers and defend workers' rights. At the end of October 2000 he reportedly started to have problems in his one remaining kidney. Amnesty International appealed for Salehi to be provided with adequate medical care. Mahmood Salehi eventually did receive medical treatment in prison and his wife expressed enormous gratitude on his behalf to Amnesty International regarding the medical treatment he received. He has now returned to work at the Baker's Syndicate where he worked before he was arrested.

ISRAEL/OT: ‘Adnan al-Hajjar (UA 109/01, May 2, 2001). ‘Adnan Ibrahim al-Hajjar was released on 23 May 2001. In a telephone call he thanked Amnesty International for campaigning on his behalf.

MALAYSIA: Tian Chua and others (UA 94/01 issued April 11, 2001 and re-issued several times). Malaysian police detained at least seven leading members of one of Malaysia’s main opposition parties, National Justice Party. They were initially held incommunicado at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Those named in this action were arrested a few days before a demonstration they were reportedly planning to mark the second anniversary of the sentencing of prisoner of conscience Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister, who has been imprisoned since 1998 on politically motivated charges of sodomy and abuse of power. They were apparently also planning to submit a memorandum to the Malaysian Commission on Human Rights. The Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, has reportedly said that further arrests will be made, but refused to disclose the names of those being sought. Tian Chua, the Vice-President of the National Justice Party, later wrote to Amnesty International:

My sincere thanks to all of your efforts and hard work since our arrest . . . We are trying to get some rest and are recovering from the Special Branch sessions. Since the four of us had no opportunity to communicate during the 50-odd days, we have a lot to catching up to do. We are able to receive certain books hence reading and exercise and besides, talking takes up much of our time. . .Your continuous campaign has kept us in high spirits and we are confident that the injustices would come to an end soon. We will just have to wait patiently for our freedom - not us alone but the whole of Malaysia. . . Don’t let the energy die down even if we are released. The struggle has to be sustained for a larger reform. Despite being isolated, I can feel the momentum and dynamism of your mobilization. I also feel guilty for not being able to contribute more.

Well done and take care!
With lots of love and solidarity.
Tian Chua, Kamunting Detention Centre


LIBERIA: Conmany Wesseh (UA 367/00 issued December 1, 2000). Pro-democracy activist Conmany Wesseh, who has been an outspoken critic of Charles Taylor’s government, has also campaigned to halt the supply of small arms that fuels violent conflicts in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and other West African countries. He is a director of a leading pro-democracy organisation, the Centre for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE). On 21 November 2000, CEDE and other Liberian NGOs issued a public call for “serious action” to be taken to implement a moratorium on the import, export, and manufacture of small arms and light weapons in West Africa. The moratorium had been announced by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1998 and it was due to expire in October 2001. Liberia has repeatedly broken a UN embargo on arms imports, in place since 1992, according to UN investigators. A week later, on November 28, 70 men stormed the CEDE offices, armed with knives, hammers, and sticks. They stabbed Conmany Wesseh and beat up other CEDE staff. One of the attackers was reportedly a senior army officer. Conmany was hospitalized together with other CEDE staff. Later that day he blamed the attack on President Charles Taylor. It was feared there would be further reprisals.

An Urgent Action was issued three days after the attack. Together with other international pressure, this gave Conmany and the other members of CEDE some immediate protection. It appears that it also forced the authorities to investigate the attack. When Amnesty International delegates visited the Liberian National Police headquarters in February, a senior officer produced a huge file of letters from UA Network members. He said he had been struck by the fact that so many letters had come from all over the world. He also said that the police had done well and had arrested those responsible for the attack. Since the attack Conmany has mainly been working outside Liberia, but the CEDE office remains open. In an e-mail to Amnesty International, he wrote: "I have been talking to people about you all week at the UN in NY for the efficiency with which you mobilized international solidarity with us after the brutal attack...Once again, I want to thank you very much for all the great work that saved my life and those of my colleagues."

MEXICO: Rodolfo Montiel Flores and Teodoro Cabrera García (EX 52/00 issued May 30, 2000 and re-issued June 21, 2000 and September 22, 2000). Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, two environmentalist prisoners of conscience, have written a letter thanking those who have supported them, including the Urgent Action network: "From the Regional Prison of Iguala, Guerrero state, we would like to greet all our friends, of all ages, from all around the world. We would like to send our sincere and loving greetings to the civil and religious organizations, as well as to the environmental organizations and the political parties that fight for democracy and love and respect for others, to the media, human rights organizations, like Miguel Agustín Pro, and other national and local ones; and to our families, we would like to thank them for the great support that they have given us and we hope that they keep up their spirits and that we can increase our efforts to protect all forms of life. We must look after our forests, our springs, our rivers and our wild animals; in fact all our natural resources. There is still time to fight for a new world, full of peace and harmony.

Dear friends, we must not exchange the future of our children for a few coins. Let’s be united, hand in hand with this new world that is for all of us. Dear family, we repeat our commitment from behind the bars. This is not goodbye, but see you soon. With courage, good luck and faith anything can be achieved.

Sincerely,
The environmentalist peasant farmers of the Mountains of Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán.
Rodolfo Montiel Flores (signature) and Teodoro Cabrera García (finger print)"

Amnesty International adopted the two environmental activists as prisoners of conscience after they were detained and falsely charged, solely because of their peaceful protest against excessive logging in the Petatlán mountains of Guerrero state. Both men were taken into custody by the military in May 1999. They were held incommunicado and were tortured in order to force them to sign self-incriminating statements. Prison staff continued to harass and intimidate them while they were in detention awaiting trial. In August 2000, they were sentenced to respectively six years and eight months, and ten years’ imprisonment.

NICARAGUA: Dorothy Virginia Granada, aged 70 (UA 380/00 issued December 15, 2000 and re-issued February 1, 2001). The Appeals Court nullified the government's deportation order against Dorothy and reinstated her residency. Internal Affairs Minister Jose Marenco responded by stating that he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. When asked if she had any special words for her supporters in the United States, Dorothy said: "What is truly amazing is that all of the solidarity efforts and all of the letters have added up to turn a situation around not only for our community in Mulukuku but for many poor communities around the country. These efforts are really going to give life to many thousands of poor. The poor here know and appreciate the solidarity - both the poor and those who care about human rights. We have to appreciate that every little effort helps. No good work is wasted."

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: ‘Abd al-Fattah Ghanem (UA 202/00 issued July 7, 2000). ‘Abd al-Fattah Ghanem, the Presidential Adviser on Refugees, has been released. In a telephone call he thanked Amnesty International for campaigning on his behalf.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Duran Angiki (journalist), his wife and 3 children; also Dykes Angiki, his wife and 7 children (UA 303/00 issued September 28, 2000). The spokesperson for an armed political group that reportedly threatened a journalist and his family has said that their safety will be guaranteed. In a Radio Australia interview yesterday (4 October), lawyer Andrew Nori, the spokesperson for the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF), an armed political group involved in the Solomon Island's ongoing ethnic conflict, said that the MEF Supreme Council has 'passed a resolution that no-one in the Malaita Eagle Force, including the leadership, should threaten or should harm Mr Angiki or any members of his family'. He also said that since last week, he has received 'a lot of letters which were sent directly to me by fax' about journalist Duran Angiki, following appeals initiated by Amnesty Intl.

TUNISIA: Taoufik CHAIEB, 45, teacher (UA 232/00 issued August 4, 2000). Prisoner of conscience Taoufik Chaieb was released by presidential pardon on 30 August, on the 52nd day of his hunger strike. He was reunited with his family and is at home with them for the first time in 10 years - he had been in hiding for several years before he was arrested in 1996. He will now undergo medical tests to assess the impact of the hunger strike on his health. Taoufik Chaieb and his family have expressed their gratitude to Amnesty International for their support.

TUNISIA: Nejib Hosni (UA 379/00 issued December 15, 2000). Prisoner of conscience Nejib Hosni was released by presidential pardon on 12 May 2001, after nearly five months’ imprisonment. He spoke to Amnesty International and expressed his gratitude to all those who had campaigned on his behalf.

˜ “I travel a lot and I am not always easy to contact. FAPP guarantees that my appeal will go out at once. While I am free to move about the world FAPP speaks for those who do not have that freedom.” - Patrick Stewart˜

FAPP (The FIRST APPEAL Pledge Program) permits the UA staff to write and send individualized messages by fax, telex, telegram or email under the signatures of members who have pledged to pay for these immediate communications.


TURKEY: Osman Baydemir (WARN #10/01 issued May 24, 2001). Osman Baydemir, vice-president of the Human Rights Association (IHD) and head of its Diyarbakir branch, was released at around 9pm on 24 May 2001 after having been arrested by police from the office of the IHD office in Diyarbakir. He thanked Amnesty International for the activities on his behalf. Osman Baydemir reported that he had questioned in relation the speech he had given at the annual congress of the IHD Diyarbakir branch on 4 December 2000. The police told him that they were taking his statements upon order of the prosecutor. But the prosecutor who took his statement on 25 May said he had not given such an order. Osman Baydemir also reported that police questioned him in relation to Amnesty International’s UA issued 10 April regarding death threats against him, asking him whether such threats existed and whether the people who threatened him were police officers. He told Amnesty International that his situation had improved in the last two months.

˜ “I am co-founder of a meditation group where we study, meditate and have discussion so that each of us, and we as a group, can become more mindful people who help decrease the suffering in the world. I recently told the group that the one thing I do that I really feel good about is writing letters for Amnesty. These letters not only help free people from suffering and or death, they also help the unenlightened perpetrators of violence to think about their actions and to become better people themselves. I cannot express enough gratitude to you and all the people who help with Amnesty. I know of no cause more noble than to stand firm against all violence without bias. Thank you, thank you.”                            -Bob Hess, UA activist˜

TURKEY: Akin Birdal (Medical Action MA 10/00 issued May 30, 2000). Prisoner of conscience Akin Birdal was released from Ankara Central Prison on 23 September 2000. He was imprisoned from 3 June 1999 until 25 September 1999 when he was released temporarily for medical reasons. He was re-imprisoned on 28 March 2000 despite a medical report warning that his injuries from an assassination attempt in 1998 posed a risk to his life. Akin Birdal was imprisoned for speeches he gave on World Peace Day in 1995 and 1996 in which he called for a peaceful solution to the longstanding conflict between the Turkish state and the armed opposition Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and referred to 'the Kurdish people'. These speeches led to his prosecution on the basis of Article 312 (2) of the Turkish Penal Code for 'inciting people to hatred and enmity on the basis of class, race or regional differences'.
Amnesty International arranged a 'sea of flowers' near the prison in a gesture of solidarity with Akin Birdal and as a reminder of other prisoners of conscience in Turkey. On the day of his release Amnesty International's researcher on Turkey spoke to Akin Birdal on the phone. He was very touched by Amnesty International's support and
expressed his warmest thanks.

TURKMENISTAN: Nurberdi NURMAMEDOV (UA 7/00 issued January 11, 2000). Prisoner of conscience Nurberdi Nurmamedov was released on 23 December under a presidential amnesty to mark the Islamic holy night of Kadir and the end of Ramadan. Nurberdi Nurmamedov told Amnesty International that he is grateful to everybody who campaigned for his release. His supporters in exile believe that he would not have been released without pressure from Amnesty International and other human rights organizations.

USA /Georgia: Alexander Edmund Williams (EX 69/00 issued August 15, 2000). On 22 August, the Georgia Supreme Court stayed the execution of Alexander Williams two days before he was scheduled to die. Williams was convicted of murdering 16-year-old Aleta Carol Bunch in 1986, when he was 17. The stay appears to have been issued pending a separate Court decision on the constitutionality of the electric chair as a method of execution. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles had not issued a decision on whether to grant clemency when the stay was announced . The case has led to what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described as an “international furor”, and has generated much media attention inside and outside the USA. The Atlanta paper wrote of the “hundreds of letters, e-mails and petitions from around the world seeking clemency”.

˜ “It is an honor and a privilege to write letters for those whose rights as human beings are being abused!” --Jerry Cross ˜

USA (Alabama): Geramie Hart, aged 17 (UA 300/00 issued September 28, 2000). Geramie Hart’s capital trial has been postponed, and is now scheduled to begin on 4 June 2001. His lawyers had requested the postponement in order to have more time to prepare. The trial had originally been scheduled to begin on October30. Amnesty International’s action has generated substantial attention in the local media in Birmingham, Alabama, where the hearing took place. For example, an article in the Birmingham News on 31 October noted the “massive” international letter-writing campaign to county and state officials, reported on the USA’s international isolation on this issue, and noted that Alabama is second only to Texas in the use of the death penalty against child offenders.

˜In these cynical times when people may not believe in their individual vote, it is encouraging to know that the actions of many concerned souls can affect governments and leaders. I’m proud to write every letter I do on behalf of prisoners of conscience throughout the world, especially those who share my profession [journalism] and are merely telling the truth about the conditions where they live…My hat is off to all of you who do the good work of organizing people like me to work on behalf of human rights throughout the globe.”    -Craig Duff ˜

USA: (Oklahoma): Cornel Cooks (EX 152/99 issued October 29, 1999). This is an excerpt from a message to the USA researcher from one of Cornel Cooks’s lawyers, who met with him a few days before he was executed on 2 December 1999. "During our visit, I showed him a copy of an email from a man in Sweden who doesn't even know Cornel. The email simply expressed concern for Cornel, and requested that he not be executed. As I have many times in the past two months, I explained to Cornel that people all over the world care for him and did not want to see this happen. Even though he has been told this and also personally received several written expressions similar to this, he still was astounded and deeply touched by the care and concern.
When a condemned person finally realizes that they are loved and cared for, and that their life really does have meaning, it makes a considerable impact on how they handle what is to come. It gives them courage and a sense of dignity. Thanks to the many people who wrote Cornel and wrote letters on his behalf, Cornel went to his death with dignity, and with the complete assurance that he was loved.
I don't have a way to convey this to the many people who wrote from so many countries England, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, the United States...and I'm sure there were more. If there is a way to convey this message to them, I would appreciate it.
Please tell all the letter writers that even though we lost Cornel, and may very well lose many more in the coming year, their efforts are not in vain.
Please express to them the gratitude that Cornel felt, as well as my personal thanks and gratitude."

Cornel Cooks was sentenced to death in 1983 for the rape and murder of 87-year-old Jennie Ridling. With an IQ of 75 (borderline mental retardation), he did not understand when his trial lawyer told him the state was seeking the death penalty. The lawyer explained: ‘That’s what they do to niggers who rape white women.’

˜ “Please continue…our work is far from done.”    - anon. UA activist˜

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