iOS app Android app

Jack Healey
GET UPDATES FROM Jack Healey
 
Jack Healey is the Director of the Human Rights Action Center.

Entries by Jack Healey

Beauty and Injustice in Lakota Land

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

2015-07-27-1438010232-2685008-unnamed2.jpg

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...

Read Post

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

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

2015-07-17-1437148225-4089805-unnamed.jpg
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....
Read Post

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

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

2015-07-17-1437148225-4089805-unnamed.jpg

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...

Read Post

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."

2015-07-03-1435939667-3202132-ScreenShot20150702at12.31.35PM.png
Human Rights First. Politico [Washington, D.C.] 11 June...
Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

Kennedy Center Honoree Sting Deserves Highest Regard for His Work in Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 11:29 AM

Along with other worthy artists, Sting received recently the 2014 Kennedy Center Honors and the accolades of his peers, the nation, and President and Mrs. Obama. It was a very worthy choice.

However, the moving tributes omitted what I regard as Sting's highest contribution - his passionate work on...

Read Post

The CIA Dipped Our Flag into the Dirt

(5) Comments | Posted January 18, 2015 | 10:18 PM

2015-01-19-SenateComm.Torture.cover.jpgSenator Feinstein has called for giving a pass on prosecution to former CIA Director David Petraeus for leaking classified information to his biographer. Yet, this same senator wants to prosecute to other "leakers" and call them traitors. If I had taken a...

Read Post

Taiwan's 30-Day Medical Release of Former President: A Joke or Continued Vengeance

(0) Comments | Posted January 11, 2015 | 12:44 PM

The decision of Taiwan's Ma administration to release former President Chen Shui Bian brought joy and relief to many of Mr. Chen's followers. But joy quickly turned to grief when the public learned the release was for 30 days only. After that time, health officials will determine whether Chen's health...

Read Post

I WILL: Call for Leonard Peltier Clemency

(10) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 5:37 PM

2015-01-06-Leonard.Peltier.Iwill3.jpg

Leonard Peltier has been in prison since 1977 in spite of overwhelming calls for clemency. It is enough now. Clemency is long past due for Leonard Peltier.

See what others have to say in the "I WILL" video:

Readers can make the difference. Will you?

I WILL... call the White House to request clemency.

Even better? Leave comment when you have contacted the White...

Read Post

Vengeance in Taiwan

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 1:24 PM

Three years ago, Professor Jay Tu of North Carolina State University wrote me concerning the plight of the former president of Taiwan, Mr. Chen Shui-Bian. Mr. Chen was jailed immediately after his two terms as president of Taiwan for corruption, real or imagined. Jay felt no one was...

Read Post

Burma's Slave or Burma's Save: Democratic Reforms, Human Rights, and the Reluctant Generals of Myanmar

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 9:46 AM

2014-11-20-burmashave.JPG


The world is waiting, trying to decipher how to angle itself to an American government that appears to be changing, but may be just end up being same-old, same-old. In spite of the "shellacking" given to Democrats in the elections two...

Read Post

Chairman Ma: To Support Hong Kong Democracy, Support Taiwan's and Free Chen

(42) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 10:47 AM

ma yingjeou

Even the best possible world of media will make mistakes and omissions from time to time. We live in a complex world and the sheer quantity of trying to keep track of things will sometimes flood the most devoted news junkie. In the past few...

Read Post

Ebola Panic and Human Rights: Racism and Public Health in the United States

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 2:24 PM

2014-10-21-ebolapanic.jpg

With only a handful of cases in the United States or afflicting Americans abroad, the country is adrift on an apparently boundless sea of anxiety. Although worthy of more energy to contain and resolve this outbreak, it would be far wiser to extend...

Read Post

Destroying Dictatorships and Wagging the Dragon: On Umbrellas, Sunflowers, and Beijing's Chance to Change

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 2:01 PM

2014-10-09-chaichina.jpg

A little over 25 years ago, the Chinese military -- grimly named the People's Liberation Army, or PLA -- had encircled Beijing and finally stormed Tiananmen Square with machine guns and tanks in a brutal attempt to extinguish voices of courage and hope...

Read Post

Mad Monks: Wirathu, Sri Lanka, and Diverting Democracy in Burma

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 12:01 PM

2014-10-02-rakrohburn.jpg

The news out of Hong Kong for the past few days has had many of us watching the reports and videos that are coming out of the Occupy Central movement with admiration and anxiety. We have seen this before, with students...

Read Post

Ma Lies While Chen Dies: Ugly Party Politics on a Beautiful Island

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 10:55 AM

2014-09-23-malies.jpg

Once again, it's time to look at Taiwan. Unfortunately, there is still a need to call for freedom from prison for Chen Shui-bian and a need to call out Ma Ying-jeou (the most unpopular president in Taiwan's...

Read Post

Without Reservations: Supporting Human Rights for Native Americans

(11) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 11:23 AM

2014-09-17-peltierl.jpg

Indigenous peoples in the Americas, American Indians, have been decimated several times over. While a lot of loss came from diseases for which there was no native immunity, it is impossible to overstate the intentional displacement, disrespect, and active destruction of indigenous peoples....

Read Post

Humor, Hope, and Human Rights: On the Loss of Robin Williams

(5) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 9:45 AM

2014-08-20-robin1986.jpg

Luckily for me, though perhaps not for them, I have had the opportunity to meet, work with, and come to know a few comedians. I was the advance man for Dick Gregory's cross-country Run Against Hunger in 1976 and had a...

Read Post