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Hi everyone,

Please consider spreading the word about LiNK, donating or joining them. LiNK helps rescue North Korean refugees fleeing torture and trauma. It doesn't depend on government funding or on political parties. It relies on private donations, which makes them independent and enables them in forming impartial recommendations. Thank you so much.

From the website http://linkglobal.org/who-we-are/faq.html :

LiNK is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is supported solely by private donors. Our work entails aiding and protecting North Korean refugees in the underground, advocating on their behalf and for the North Korean crisis in general, providing assistance upon resettlement in countries that will provide them with asylum, and raising awareness through creative media (such as videos) and mobilizing the grassroots through official LiNK chapters.

Estimates of up to 300,000 refugees have fled to neighboring China and are hiding in the underground. These refugees risk torture and execution if captured and repatriated to North Korea. In violation of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, China repatriates all North Koreans who have illegally crossed the border.

Women and Children: North Korean refugees in China, particularly women and children, face serious exploitation and sex trafficking. Over 80% of North Korean refugees are victims of human trafficking in China. Within North Korea, children are routinely forced into child labor, and are subject to extremely abusive or dangerous situations.

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Hello everyone,

Please strongly encourage President Obama to back the Rule of Law at Guantanamo Bay. A US Justice Department-led task force recently suggested that the U.S. continue to detain about 50 Guantanamo detainees indefinitely. This is an outrage. Obama has previously promised to close Guantanamo and stop indefinite detention. We need an independent 2 party commission that will examine and report its opinions about the rules and practices linked to the detention, treatment, and transfer of Guantanamo detainees.
 Urge Obama to keep his promise and restore the US' reputation.

Sign the petition here:

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=13645&ICID=T1001A03&tr=y&auid=5842965

Thanks so much if you sign or raise the heads up about this.
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Hello everyone,

I strongly recommend that you read and sign. Tell others, tell as many people as you can about this.

The text below is from the website below from Amnesty International:

On January 27th, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address. He has many serious topics to cover, but we need to make sure that accountability for U.S. torture is one of them. Send a message to President Obama urging him to announce in his State of the Union address that he will work with Congress to set up an independent commission of inquiry to tell the truth about torture committed in our names. Remind him that he is required by law to investigate U.S. torture, prosecute those responsible and ensure remedy for victims.

Take a stand. Sign here:
http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/c.jhKPIXPCIoE/b.5738421/k.C90A/10_Against_Torture__State_of_Union/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?ICID=T1001A02&tr=y&auid=5833515

Thank you so much if you signed or spread the message. People need to hear this, and to tell Obama to take a stand. Torture doesn't work in gaining life saving accurate information.We need to speak out against it for the sake of security and upholding human rights.

This post was edited to fix a spelling error.
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Hello everyone,

Here are two videos on torture, and how it doesn't work. The videos explain how torture techniques have been used as braiinwashing techniques to extort false confessions.

One of the most disturbing things to my mind is that these techniques of gaining false confessions are used by intelligence agencies to gain accurate information.

Part 1 of Youtube video by psychetruth called: "Guantanamo Bay, Mind Control, Brain Washing Torture, MKUltra"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IIxrcDcB5s

Part 2 of the above video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8f_-dLYKCY

Definitely worth seeing.

My views on torture are that it would be a very ineffective way of gaining accurate information, because severe trauma and abuse can jumble up people's memories and make them block out parts of their memories. So it doesn't make it easier to remember things and provide accurate information - quite the reverse:

http://www.lawandpsychiatry.com/html/hippocampus.htm

Also, people's memories become more unreliable when they are sleep deprived, starving, or in some cases when they lack medical treatment (because many medical problems can cause memory loss, delirium and confusion:

http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/confusion-memory-loss-and-altered-alertness-topic-overview ). People's memories can also become more unreliable when they are suffering from depression (as a result of torture).

links on how sleep deprivation, depression and poor nutrition increases memory loss:

http://women.webmd.com/news/20030314/sleep-deprivation-leads-to-trouble-fast

http://www.vitaminsdiary.com/relieve-symptoms/memory-loss.htm
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I think Katara using waterbending to make thuse earthbender boys talk was a form of torture (see the episode The Blind Bandit).

And I actually think that Toph using earthbending to trap a Dai Li agent and forcing him to talk (in the episode where Katara is kidnapped by the Dangerous Ladies in Ba Sing Se) is a form of torture (for the definition of torture that I use, go here):

http://baeraad.livejournal.com/151948.html#cutid1

The words in italics are posts from the above link:

And frankly, making a suspect 'uncomfortable' is still torture, if you are using said discomfort to eke out information. That's the crucial part of it. Noble prisoners were kept in the Tower of London, sometimes w/out being physically tortured, but the fact that they had to receive their family visits at the whim of a guard, or know that their family's life was becoming more difficult the longer they withheld information, was torture enough.

Yeah, that was kind of my point... if someone finds something so unpleasant that he's willing do anything to make it stop, then I think you're justified in calling it "torture," no matter how different it is from racks and thumbscrews.

And no, torture doesn't usually work in gaining accurate, lifesaving information. There have been US army members, interrogators and former intelligence staff who say that torture doesn't work:

http://www.amnestyusa.org/counter-terror-with-justice/reports-statements-and-issue-briefs/military-intelligence-and-law-enforcement-officers-opposing-torture/page.do?id=1031036

Thoughts, flist?
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Hi all,

Please read the following text in italics from Amnesty International and consider donating to them to help Amnesty put an end to torture:

Today, we expect President Obama to announce a plan to close Guantánamo Bay prison. This is a major victory in restoring our values and rehabilitating America’s image worldwide. I want to personally thank you for being part of this fight with us.
we can restore America’s commitment to justice and take our place, once again, as a human rights leader around the world.

Make a tax-deductible donation to our 100 Days Campaign and help us seize this unprecedented opportunity to make human rights a centerpiece of the new Obama administration at this site:

https://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.jhKPIXPCIoE/b.4906793/k.B455/Watch_the_video_and_support_our_100_Days_campaign/apps/ka/sd/donorcustom.asp?msource=W91JDAY2&auid=4419046&kntaw25429=B44D542885184E76B3031E7AA6252DEE

In addition to closing Guantánamo Bay prison, in his first 100 days in office, we are calling on President Obama to end the use of torture and other inhuman treatment and fully investigate U.S. detention and interrogation policies, including holding accountable those responsible for torture.

Please watch this disturbing
video clip from Taxi to the Dark Side. Then, make a donation of $35, $75 or $100 — whatever you can afford — to help us end the use of torture and restore America’s reputation around the world.

Amnesty members like you have always remained vigilant in the protection of human rights. I am counting on your continued leadership and commitment as we demand a full investigation into all aspects of U.S. detention and interrogation policies and usher in a new era of respect for human rights around the world.
Sincerely,

Larry Cox
Executive Director, Amnesty International


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The Burmese military regime's economic mismanagement, poor governance and oppression of the people, poverty and disease has greatly increased. This September, The Burmese Monks' peaceful protest was violently repressed by the Burmese government. Moreover, the Burmese dictatorship continues its brutal treatment against ethnic minorities, destroying over 3,000 villages, forcing millions from their homes, and conscripting more child soldiers than any country in the world.

From the "Don't Forget Burma" website (http://www.dontforgetburma.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=41):
Burma, a country of around 50 million people is ruled by fear. A military machine of 500,000 soldiers denies a whole nation its most basic rights. Aung San Suu Kyi, pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, symbolises the struggle of Burma's people to be free.

Aung San Suu Kyi's Party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won 82% of the seats in elections held in 1990. The people of Burma overwhelmingly rejected military rule yet the military continues to refuse to transfer power to Burma's democratically elected leaders.

Read more... )

To find out what you can do to help (actions to participate in, petitions to sign and events to attend), go to the "Support the Monks' protest in Burma" Facebook site at http://usydedu.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24957770200

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