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Good News for July/August 2013

Papua New Guinea

The three women being held hostage in Papua New Guinea, who had been accused of sorcery, were released after 3 weeks. All are free, safe and receiving medical care. Tragically, the teacher and women's rights advocate, Helen Rumbali, accused of the same crime, had been beheaded several days earlier. The president of Papua New Guinea has announced his intention to repeal the notorious Sorcery act, which would help prevent any such future brutality.


20/6/2013, AI Australia is pleased with reports that on World Refugee Day (20/6/13) the Australian Government has begun to remove asylum seeker families with children, as well as some vulnerable men, from the Manus Island Detention Centre. Amnesty's refugee spokesperson said he was relieved that 70 detainees, including 40 asylum seekers made up of family groups, have been relocated from the appalling conditions on Manus Island, and hopes the remaining families on Manus will be transferred as soon as possible. There are still more than 1600 asylum seeker children and 700 adults in detention centres across Australia, Nauru and Manus. The latter is part of Papua New Guinea. Save the Children welcomes the move but says families should be housed in the community, not detention centres.

The first Urgent Action

This was sent out on 19/3/1963, 50 years ago on behalf of the Brazilian labour rights activist Professor Luiz Rossi, who had been detained and tortured by the military junta because of his political activism. The then Central America researcher, Tracy Ultveit-Moe, decided to send out what she called an Urgent Action to try to stop his ill-treatment. Once letters were sent, Professor Rossi's torture stopped and he was later released. Thus Urgent Actions became a part of Amnesty's campaigning.


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