Internet Sources

WITNESS

WITNESS
"WITNESS is an international organization that trains and supports people using video in their fight for human rights."
https://witness.org/

Antislavery Literature Project

Antislavery Literature Project
"The goal of the Antislavery Literature Project is to increase public access to a body of literature crucial to understanding African American experience, US and hemispheric histories of slavery, and early human rights philosophies. These multilingual collections contribute to an educational consciousness of the role of many antislavery writers in creating contemporary concepts of freedom." 
http://antislavery.eserver.org/

Selected testimonies from victims of the Syrian conflict - Human Rights Council, September 2014

Selected testimonies from victims of the Syrian conflict - Human Rights Council, September 2014
"The ongoing armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has caused death and destruction on a massive scale. The commission’s reports, updates, thematic papers and speeches have chronicled violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law by all warring parties and the immense human suffering that these violations have caused. The commission is presenting, with their consent, twelve selected testimonies from victims of egregious violations. These testimonies are a public recognition of victims’ suffering and the harm caused to them by parties to the conflict. They serve as an acknowledgement of the facts and as a tribute to the victims."
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/.../A_HRC_27_CRP.1_E.doc

The Guantánamo Testimonials Project

The Guantánamo Testimonials Project
Pursuant to its mission, the UC Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA) launched, in Fall 2005, a long term research project to assess the effects of the U.S. war on terror on human rights in the Americas.

Whether invoked as the rationale for the "extraordinary rendition" of Canadian citizen Maher Arar to Syria or as the basis for the suppression of indigenous movements in South America, the war on terror has had significant effects on human rights in the Americas. But nowhere have these effects been greater than at the detention facilities of the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Consequently, it seemed appropriate to begin our project by looking into the human rights situation at these facilities.

We begin our endeavor with The Guantánamo Testimonials Project. The goals of this project are to gather testimonies of prisoner abuse in Guantánamo, to organize them in meaningful ways, to make them widely available online, and to preserve them there in perpetuity.

The strength of these testimonies is considerable. Based on them, a number of distinguished individuals and organizations have called for the closure of Guantánamo. 
http://humanrights.ucdavis.edu/projects/the-guantanamo-testimonials-project/

Canadian Museum for Human Rights: Oral History Program

Canadian Museum for Human Rights: Oral History Program

Oral History Program


The Museum’s Oral History Program plays a central role in our research, collections, exhibits and programs. The Museum has now conducted more than 180 interviews with people from Canada and around the world. 

What is Oral History? Oral history involves interviewing individuals about historic events and activities to which they were witness, or in which they were involved, in order to gain a more comprehensive and personal view of the past. This personal testimony is as critical as the newspapers, government documents, and personal papers that traditionally have been consulted by historians. Oral history offers something other sources lack — perspectives from often marginalized groups and individuals whose stories have not otherwise been preserved in the historical record.



https://humanrights.ca/oral-history-program

Voice of Witness: Amplifying Unheard Voices

Voice of Witness: Amplifying Unheard Voices
OUR MISSION Voice of Witness (VOW) is a non-profit that promotes human rights and dignity by amplifying the voices of people impacted by injustice. Through our oral history book series and education program, we foster a more nuanced, empathy-based understanding of human rights crises. Our work is driven by a strong belief in the transformative power of the story, for both teller and listener.
http://voiceofwitness.org/

Death of 14 Year Old Boy in Chinese Factory

"The unexplained death of a 14-year-old boy at an electronics factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province, has led to renewed calls to eliminate child labor in China, where World Day against Child Labour is celebrated on Wednesday."
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-06/12/content_16608993.htm

JOE GIARRATANO - STORIES FROM SOLITARY

JOE GIARRATANO - STORIES FROM SOLITARY
In a letter, Joe Giarratano discusses his 8 years in solitary confinement. He recalls 80-day hunger strikes, vitamin D deficiencies, and the disturbing noises that haunted him from other cells. Giarratano concludes his letter by declaring, "I do not care how strong one is mentally solitary confinement will adversely affect you. I have literally watched grown men deteriorate before my eyes, and go mad. There were times during my 8 year stint that I lost it and began to hallucinate and lose my grip on reality. What the public needs to realize is that eventually all of those who experience that will be released back into society, far more broken than when they went in." He believes solitary confinement should only be a last resort, and that the stints should be no longer than "1 - 3 days tops."
https://www.aclu.org/infographic/joe-giarratano-stories-solitary?redirect=prisoners-rights/joe-giarratano

PRISON VOICES: BILLY MCCARTHY OF WE ARE AUGUSTINES TALKS ABOUT SOLITARY CONFINEMENT AND MENTAL ILLNESS

In a podcast interview, Billy McCarthy discusses his brother's struggle with mental illness and the turning points in James' life. His changed personality and behavior led to heroin use, altercations, and time in Folsom State prison's solitary unit. Tragically, James committed suicide after 5 years in solitary confinement. Billy argues that solitary confinement is inhumane, and patients' mental illnesses are rarely taken into account when their surrounding environment undoubtedly worsens their mental condition.
https://www.aclu.org/podcast/prison-voices-billy-mccarthy-we-are-augustines-talks-about-solitary-confinement-and-mental?redirect=prisoners-rights/prison-voices-billy-mccarthy-we-are-augustines-talks-about-solitary-confinement-and

Walking While Trans: Interview with activist Monica Jones

Walking While Trans: Interview with activist Monica Jones
Monica Jones is a LGBTQ activist, black transgender woman, and a student at Arizona State University. In 2013, Jones was arrested and charged with “manifesting prostitution” after she accepted an offer of a ride home from a police officer at a bar. The "manifesting prostitution" law is meant to criminalize anyone who intends to or appears to intend to solicit prostitution. What has been called the "walking while trans" law is often criticized for being ambiguous and opening the door to racial/gender profiling.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1VGlvmL7x4

2 Years Later, Arizona DOC Still Not in Compliance with Healthcare Performance Measures

In this news article written by Jimmy Jenkins, the quality of medical care in Arizona prisons is evaluated. For public prisons, the state is responsible for providing medical care to inmates based on the Eighth Amendment. However, most public prisons found loopholes and provided extremely poor health care that is said to be "cruel and unusual." DOC in Arizona privatizes their health care by partnering with a single company: Corizon Health. Since Corizon is the only medical company contracted with prisons there is no motivation for them to provide excellence service and the public prison is able to spend less money on healthcare.
http://kjzz.org/content/453243/2-years-later-arizona-doc-still-not-compliance-healthcare-performance-measures

Investigation Into Private Prisons Reveals Crowding, Under-Staffing and Inmate Deaths

Seth Wessler reported on medical care in privately-run prisons in an interview with Dave Davies. Wessler spent four years looking into 13 different private prisons. He found that the federal investigators are charging thousands of immigrants for illegal entry and housing them in private prisons but not meeting all of their needs since they are not citizens of the United States. The main problems Wessler found in private prisons was the quality of the medical care provided to inmates.
http://www.npr.org/2016/08/25/491340335/investigation-into-private-prisons-reveals-crowding-under-staffing-and-inmate-de

Visions from the Inside

This does not provide direct testimonies, but it is still a highly powerful piece. The work shows pieces done by several artists based on letters written by people in detention centers. This site provides the artwork, quote from letter and artist statement. Even though the original letters are not on the site, there are still quotes that show what these people are feeling. “The guards mistreat them because they do not speak English.” -Excerpt from Reina’s letter “I didn’t come here to hurt anybody. I just came to this country trying to save my life.” Excerpt from Marlon’s letter. “The way I see it, this place is a human warehouse.” -Excerpt from Pavel’s letter “to get to this country, one suffers a lot.” The work expresses the sentiments of these people, many who were deceived by their high hopes of what they thought coming to this country would mean. The majority of these people are fleeing horrific situations in their home countries but once they are here they a treated as to what they would call “inhumane”. Many are denied health care, treated violently or in a demeaning manner, causing them to feel defeated and with a loss of identity. What is most noticeable is the lack of humanity.
http://visionsfromtheinside.tumblr.com

Detained Voices

-This site is purely first hand testimonials from people held in detention centers. It is set in the UK, but serves for comparison and has a lot of interesting information (names not given) - There are often hunger strikes in these detention centers - Colnbrook: Detainees are not treated as human – they are not spoken to, they are not told what is happening, and their only mission is to send these people away. One detainee has lived in the UK for 8 years, has lectured, “trained hundreds of engineers,” and has volunteered in the community through Salvation Army. They lost their job because the Home Office discouraged Newcastle college from hiring them; “the Home Office caused this problem in the first place… by strnagl[ing him].” They have a clean record and claims that there should be more legal aid so that people have a chance. So that parents aren’t taken away from children, etc. - Harmondsworth: A detainee has been in England for 18 years and applied for asylum because it’s not safe for them to back to Ghana. He has no record. His brother, sister, and wife all live in England. He applied to be an over-stayer but the Home Office refused him years later. They told him to report at the immigration center every 2 weeks but he missed one week because his sister passed away. He notified them of this and they gave him a ticket back to Ghana that night. The ticket was cancelled and they put him in a detention center. - Tinsley House: A detainee talks about how his family is suffering because of the detention center, saying “my partner and my kids are wasting away.” Their son cannot sleep unless he talks to him and his daughter wants to run away. They haven’t been in their home country for 19 years. They only stopped working because they were told it was a criminal offense. Even playing by their roles does no good. - Yarls Wood: A woman escaped from Nigeria because, there, it is not safe for her to openly be a lesbian. She was scared of her husband, whom she was forced to marry. She lived in in the U.K. for 6 years and her appeal was refused. She’s supposed to be deported next week. Her ex-husband knows this and is waiting there to kill her. Her ex-husband and the Nigerian police are waiting for her. She was the one who paid for her 4 children to go to school but since she’s been in detention, she cannot send money and 2 of them cannot go. Her husband doesn’t help and doesn’t look after the children. She’s extremely selfless, saying “they should spare my life because of my children. I am begging”
https://detainedvoices.com/about-2

Refugee Action

This site has plenty of valuable information and is set in Australia. This website explains the stories of refugee children as if from their perspective. I chose one to discuss because it demonstrates the lack of humanity and care these centers have, even towards children. Faisal: Escaping imminent danger in Iran, Faisal’s parents took the family to Australia. Faisal was only 4 years old. He witnessed a detainee setting fire to his room and several detainees threaten to kill themselves. Faisal became sick and traumatized. He stopped eating, drinking, and talking. He was hospitalized 8 times and later placed in a foster home. Now, most of his family is out of the detention center and he smiles some more. The Australian Minister for Immigration said that it’s the parents’ responsibility to stop their kids from seeing traumatizing sights.
https://refugeeaction.org/information/refugee-stories/