Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ramsey Clark awarded UN Human Rights prize

Dear Friends,

This is wonderful news about Ramsey Clark. This past summer when I contacted Ramsey about the Jeff Wood case, he did not hesitate when asked to write a letter to the governor and the Board of Pardons.

Ramsey was the attorney for my friend Carlos Santana who was executed by the state of Texas in March of 1993. After witnessing Carlos' murder, I remember thanking Ramsey for all the work he had done for Carlos, who was convicted under the law of parties. He told me that Carlos was dead because he was poor and didn't have a good attorney at his trial. That is why we must stop the death penalty, he told me.

The ruling class hates Ramsey because he turned his back on them and has never looked back. Whether it is the death penalty or the genocide against Iraq or the threats against Iran, Ramsey will not tolerate injustice.

At our January meeting, we should all sign a card for him congratulating him on this award. I know he is not concerned about awards, but there is no one more deserving and we should thank him for all he does.

Ramsey is from Texas. His father Tom, was on the US Supreme Court. Ramsey was the US Attorney General under LBJ, I think. After that he totally did an about face and has stood with the poor and oppressed of the US and the world.


International Action Center

Congratulations to Ramsey Clark

Ramsey Clark receives UN Human Rights Award 2008

International Action Center founder Ramsey Clark, a former US Attorney General and internationally renown human rights defender, received the respected United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 10 December 2008.

The announcement of the award was presented by the President of the General Assembly, Miguel d´Escoto Brockmann, who is one of the five members of the selection committee. The award is made every five years to five human rights defenders whose life's work has been outstanding. It is presented on December 10, International Human Rights Day, every five years

At the UN Press Conference after accepting the award, Ramsey Clark emphasized the UN's role in ensuring world peace reminding journalists that “The greatest threat to human rights is war.”

The award is given to individuals and organizations in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Previous recipients have included Nelson Mandela, Amnesty International, Jimmy Carter, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Reverend Dr. Martin L. King.”

Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said “As we mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we acknowledge the tireless work and invaluable contribution of these individuals and organizations that have fought to see the rights and freedoms embodied in this historic document become a reality for people in all corners of the world.”

“These awardees constitute symbols of persistence, valour and tenacity in their resistance to public and private authorities that violate human rights. They constitute a moral force to put an end to systematic human rights violations.”

The UN announcement described Ramsey Clark as “a veteran human rights defender and rule of law advocate, played a key role in the civil rights and peace movements in the US, and more recently has spoken out against abuses committed in the name of “counter-terrorism.”

The International Action Center, founded by Ramsey Clark in 1992 is known internationally for its major role in the anti-war movement in the U.S. and its actions in the forefront of extending solidarity to countries and peoples facing U.S. attack and threats.

The many activists and the large all-volunteer staff of the International Action Center along with hundreds of people who have worked with him over many years extend their enthusiastic congratulations to Ramsey Clark for his tireless and courageous efforts. This United Nations Human Rights Award is well deserved.

We remain committed to solidarity with peoples and countries under U.S. attack. We are determined to continue developing ever wider opposition to U.S. policies of endless war, expanding militarism, racism and growing poverty for millions. Si se puede!

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