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Jack Healey
GET UPDATES FROM Jack Healey Healey has confronted the human rights abuses of governments for over 50 years, and is still actively campaigning through Human Rights Action Center, (HRAC) a nonprofit he founded in 1994.

His new memoir, Create Your Future is now available. In addition to raising millions of dollars to stop world hunger, Healey helped move the topic of human rights from closed-door diplomatic negotiations to widespread awareness, public debate, and direct citizen action. As Executive Director of Amnesty International USA for 12 years, he produced with Bill Graham some of the largest musical events in our time, all over the world; from Turkey to Chile to Zimbabwe, using over 130 musicians to spread the message of human rights. John G. (Jack) Healey has received many accolades across industries:

Named "Mr. Human Rights" by U.S. News and World Report
--ABC World News Person of the Week
--6 entertainment industry awards
--7 honorary degrees from Universities in the US

For a full list of Healey's distinctions, please visit Human Rights Action Center

Email Jack

Entries by Jack Healey

Youth Unemployment in the Middle East Causes Radicalization

(11) Comments | Posted April 17, 2016 | 8:11 PM

Following the recent ISIL attacks, which ripped through Brussels with devastating impact, we are left mourning the loss of innocent lives, a situation growing all too familiar. Within in this process of mourning is the media circus that surrounds such tragic acts of senseless aggression.

In the...

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Why I Am for Bernie Sanders

(141) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 5:46 PM

The USA should listen to its young
Two opposing movements are being played out in American politics this election year. One movement, Trump's, is led by older folks. The Bernie Sanders movement is being led by young people. I go with the young people every time. I...

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March 21: International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination

(5) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 10:40 AM

Having spent four and a half years living in Lesotho as a Peace Corps Director, I speak of Africa with a deep respect and a love of the land and the people. My years were filled with friendships, community help in schools and farms done by the Peace Corps volunteers...

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The United States Needs Transitional Justice

(28) Comments | Posted February 21, 2016 | 11:20 AM

Following Donald Trump's crushing victory in the New Hampshire primary, a viral video of him calling fellow candidate Ted Cruz a "pussy" grows even more important.

2016-02-21-1456075450-8630146-SenateComm.Torture.cover.jpg Once again, the media picked up the sensationalism...

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Lesotho Development Aid Needs New Direction

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 10:49 PM

A recent blog post, Can Lesotho survive more development? by John Aerni-Flessner and Charles Fogelman points out that "Despite post-Millennium development programs..., most Basotho still live in poverty, and average life expectancy is 49 years."

This astounding fact reminded me of my time in Lesotho in...

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A Victory for Taiwan in 2016

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 10:54 AM

Taiwan: New Hope for Chen Shui-Bian and Taiwan's new President

The Kuomintang (KMT) government in Taiwan lost a huge election to the Green Party, called the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led by Tsai Ing-wen. The outgoing Ma government, the Blue Party, fell way short in the 2016 presidential...

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Burma Today: What the Aung San Suu Kyi Victory Means

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2016 | 9:51 PM

Much like the citizens of Chile in 1990, the Burmese got tired of the military running and ruining their nation and they did something about it this year. The people voted, and Aung San Suu Kyi won (again) by a massive majority. The Burmese military who held power since the...

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Doing Some Good for the World

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 9:36 AM

"Doing some good for the world" comes as a challenge to those young people trying to find their way in the world and a career path that produces something for which they can be proud. This is a normal and...

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Human Rights Day - A Day to Honor Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 12:17 PM

A visit to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt monument along the Potomac is one of the best experiences any American citizen can have. The four staged monument is absolutely powerful with water and great stones and verses from FDR. I take my visitors...

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Sandy Berger: Tribute to a Strong Servant to the Nation

(1) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 1:30 PM

My longtime friend Sandy Berger came out of the politics of upper New York State. His writing talent took him to the campaign headquarters of Senator George McGovern. That campaign, though I was not involved in any significant way, brought me a number of friends. Most of them moved from...

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Clean Hands With Stone Hearts as Children Die

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 3:42 PM

Bringing Human Rights to Saudi Arabia

Let me ask you a question. If on 9/11, 13 of the 16 hijackers were Iranian, what would have happened? My guess is that a bombing campaign would have been initiated by at least two nations, the U.S.A. and Israel. But since the 13...

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Nativism: Everywhere the Enemy of Human Rights

(1) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 9:19 AM

Though we are a nation of immigrants, a segment of the American people has always wanted to walk through the door and then close it behind them, keeping everyone else out. This segment dates back most clearly to the nativist movement that took place in the years leading up to...

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Reformers Who Entrench Power

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2015 | 8:48 PM

When most U.S. citizens hear about reformers taking on military dictators, the story seems clear. Things must be getting better. We felt this way as we watched recent developments in Burma and Egypt, among others. Unfortunately, history is filled with those who are genuine reformers and those who are not....

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Beauty and Injustice in Lakota Land

(6) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 11:20 AM


The Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota (Sioux) reservation lies hard against the South Dakota badlands to the north and just east of the Black Hills to the west. It is a land of harsh and stunning extremes. Brutal winter blizzards with hauntingly howling winds...

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One Short Film* for Chen, One Giant Leap in Justice for Taiwan

(7) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 11:59 AM

Because of some strong rescuing effort inside and outside of Taiwan, Mr. Chen Shui-Bian, former President of Taiwan, is finally home to recover from a spectacular failure in the justice system of Taiwan after surviving six years of harsh and demeaning imprisonment....
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One Short Film* for Chen, One Giant Leap in Justice for Taiwan

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 11:51 AM


Because of some strong rescuing effort inside and outside of Taiwan, Mr. Chen Shui-Bian, former President of Taiwan, is finally home to recover from a spectacular failure in the justice system of Taiwan after surviving six years of harsh and demeaning imprisonment. If...

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Support Justice, Not Further Amendments

(1) Comments | Posted July 3, 2015 | 12:10 PM

On June 11, 2015 in a Politico, Human Rights First ran an ad supporting the McCain-Feinstein anti-torture amendment by at least 40 former high ranking US military brass, called "retired Generals and Admirals against torture."

Human Rights First. Politico [Washington, D.C.] 11 June...
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Presidential Follies: Torture and Drones

(1) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 2:01 PM

To paraphrase Yeats, if you feed the heart a lot of violence, the heart grows fond of the fare.

My deep belief is that Presidents Obama and George W. Bush have done exactly this to our military. American taxpayer dollars have been used to encourage our intelligence officers to...

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It's Time: Call for Clemency for Leonard Peltier

(8) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 11:04 AM

Not many blog posts start off with a listing of the deceased, but in Leonard Peltier's clemency request to President Obama, he will say the following:

After 40 years in prison, it is with sadness that I write the names of some of my dearest friends and strongest supporters who have passed on: My friend, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii who was my great champion is one. My dear friend, writer Peter Matthiessen along with Bill and Rose Styron, and Kurt Vonnegut were some of the writers who cared about me and stayed in contact with me. Marlon Brando and Steve Allen were my friends. Looking back so many members of my family and so many friends and many of my lawyers have gone on. I miss them all.

Today on YouTube we are releasing a second request for citizens to join the long list of Nobel laureates, civil and human rights leaders, religious and political leaders and scholars calling for clemency for Leonard Peltier. Bonnie Raitt and Robbie Robertson are featured in the new edition of our PSA.

Is it not time for you to join this effort? Clemency is a request any citizen can make of our government, and all our voices need to be heard. We just want Leonard to go to his home on the northern plains and be able to spend what remains of his life with his family and be able to rest and be at ease with his people of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, his relatives in Indian country, and with us.

Pope Francis recently said that "long prison sentences are death sentences." We believe Peltier is innocent, but we are not arguing that anymore. What happened on that bitter day in 1975 was part of an ongoing conflict, and we may never know what really happened. Forty years is long enough, in any case. Another life has been taken for all practical purposes.

Today, with the passage of four decades, Peltier's supporters have included the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand and Pete Seeger. The late Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa spoke and wrote for him. Civil rights giants Coretta Scott King, Congressman John Lewis and many members of the Congressional Black Caucus stood up for him in very meaningful ways that included helping him get some badly needed medical care. The late, wrongly convicted boxer Ruben "Hurricane" Carter spoke strongly for Peltier's release and shared his own story of years behind bars without the benefit of a fair trial.

Sixty members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed an amicus brief calling for a new trial. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for his release, as did 55 members of Canada's Parliament.

Nobel laureates including Rigaberta Menchu Tum of Guatamala, Mairaid Maguire and Betty Williams of Northern Ireland, Jose Ramos Horta and others have come to his aid. Yet he still wastes away in a super-max prison 2,000 miles from his home on the northern plains.

On human rights day of last year, Leonard's supporters called for his release. Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Carlos Santana, Harry Belafonte, Robbie Robertson, Pam Anderson, UK's Peter Gabriel, Michael Moore, Wes Studie, Irene Bedard, the National Congress of American Indians (representing 566 tribes), The Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of Canada, the Oglala Sioux Tribe of Pine Ridge (South Dakota) and more then 500 other tribes in the U.S. and Canada, award-winning Native American film director Chris Eyre and many Native actors and musicians are part of his support groups. Human Rights Action Center, the UN Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International have all called for clemency.

Names like Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte and Steve Allen seem from a long-ago era. Only Mr. Belafonte survives to this day. As a longtime singer, actor, artist and human rights activist, Belafonte received a special lifetime Humanitarian Oscar at this year's Academy Awards. He has supported the efforts to secure the freedom of Leonard Peltier from the beginning and calls it one of the most important issues of his...

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Chen Shui Bian at Home, but for How Long?

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 4:32 PM

The other morning I opened The New York Times to the headline "Thailand's Junta Tries to Bury the Opposition in Endless Lawsuits." The story was referencing the civil takeover of that government by the military through institutions often hailed as bastions of democracy and stability -- the court...

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