A desperate note from a factory worker has been found in a pair of pants from discount retailer Primark, making even more of a case for steering clear of our fast fashion addictions whenever possible. Karen Wisínska bought the pants in a Belfast Primark in 2011 and hadn’t worn them until recently. When she discovered the note, she reached out to Amnesty International to get involved.
The note, that has “SOS! SOS! SOS!” written across the top, translates to:
We are prisoners in the Xiang Nan Prison of the Hubei Province in China. Our job inside the prison is to produce fashion clothes for export.
We work 15 hours per day and the food we eat wouldn’t even be given to dogs or pigs. We work as hard as oxen in the field.
We call on the international community to condemn the Chinese government for the violation of our human rights!
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Sudan has freed Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging for not renouncing her Christian faith. Ibrahim was born to a Muslim father but was raised Christian, and then married a Christian man. Sudan lives under Sharia law and considers women the same religion as their father and relationships with non-Muslim men as “adultery.” It charged Ibrahim with apostasy and adultery and sentenced her to death while she was pregnant. Last month, Ibrahim gave birth to her second child while in prison. Today, her lawyer announced Ibrahim has been freed, claiming the initial judgment against her was “faulty.” Now she, her two children and her husband are reunited. It’s nice to read some good news for once. [CNN]
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who is eight months pregnant, was sentenced to death last week for marrying a Christian man.
In Sudan, a woman is considered to be of the same faith as her father, but 27-year-old Ibrahim’s Muslim dad abandoned her family when she was six, and she was raised with the beliefs of her Christian mom. Ibrahim has identified as Christian her whole life (although her brother is Muslim), but the Sudanese legal system sees her as a converted former Muslim and now refuses to recognize her marriage to a Christian man. Men are able to marry outside their faith, but Muslim women in Sudan are only expected to marry men who are also Muslims. Keep reading »
Police in Iran arrested six young adults over the weekend for posting a music video on YouTube in which they dance and lip synch to “Happy.” Tehran’s police chief reportedly called the video “obscene” and said it “offend[ed] public morals.” Particularly problematic was how the women were not wearing headscarves and men and women are shown dancing together.
After an outcry from human rights groups, the six were released yesterday and have posted appreciation for the worldwide support they’ve received over social media. However, the director of the amateur music video is still in police custody. Keep reading »
“Regarding the passing of Fred Phelps, [husband] Dennis and I know how solemn these moments are for anyone who loses a loved one. Out of respect for all people and our desire to erase hate, we’ve decided not to comment further.”
Judy Shepard is more gracious than most parents would have been following the death of Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, who picketed her son Matthew’s funeral. In 1998, a 21-year-old Matthew was tortured and killed by two young men because he was gay. The Phelps family has picketed LGBTQ pride events, military funerals, high-profile funerals in general, inaugural balls, and performances of the play “The Laramie Project” (about Matthew Shepard’s death), carrying signs that read “God Hates Fags” and “Sin & Shame, Not Pride.” Phelps died this week at age 84. Judy Shepard’s response is the personification of class. [Advocate] [Photos: Getty]
Just two months after being released from a Russian penal colony, members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are coming to America. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will appear at an Amnesty International event called Bringing Human Rights Home, taking place in Brooklyn on February 5th. Keep reading »