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Tell President Obama to Stand Up for Human Rights in Colombia
Human Rights First / Tuesday 23 June 2009
web: HRF

Leading international human rights organization based in New York. We protect individuals at risk: refugees fleeing persecution, victims of crimes against humanity, human rights activists who are attacked for defending the rights of others and individuals whose human rights have been eroded in the name of national security. We accept no government funds.

This coming Monday, June 29, 2009, President Barack Obama will meet in Washington D.C. with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, their first official private meeting since President Obama took office. Urge President Obama to place human rights at the top of his agenda with Colombian President Uribe.

While the pending Free Trade Agreement with Colombia is likely to attract most attention, it is vital that President Obama tells President Uribe that respect for human rights in Colombia is essential.

A new scandal in Colombia reveals the precarious situation of human rights defenders and indicates the poor state of human rights there generally. Colombia’s national intelligence agency (DAS) has apparently engaged in widespread illegal wiretaps and surveillance of human rights defenders, and in one case, sent a defender a death threat in the form of a bloody doll, instead of providing protection. Soraya Gutierrez from the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective received the doll with a note, "You have a pretty daughter. Don’t sacrifice her."

Demand that President Obama stand up for human rights defenders in Colombia and recognize the importance of the human rights they promote. Take action now to send President Obama an email with five key human rights messages he should raise with President Uribe.

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