Mohammed al-Qahtani abused in prison

Dr. Mohammed al-Qahtani, an imprisoned Saudi human rights activist and scholar and the focus case of Group 39, is subject to numerous forms of abuse in prison. He (and other prisoners of conscience) has been put in a mental-health ward within the prison, which is notorious for being overcrowded and not providing adequate care for the mentally ill inmates. Dr. Mohammed al-Qahtani was assaulted by one of these prisoners, which emphasizes that conditions in this ward are not safe and don’t meet international standards. See here for more info on these developments.

We call on the Saudi authorities to release Dr. Mohammad al-Qahtani from prison, and pending his release, to ensure that he is not kept in the mental health wing and receives adequate medical care. Furthermore, prisoners with mental health issues need to be provided with appropriate hospital placement. [Click here for letter template]

2021 Write for Human Rights

Download poster/flyer

Join Amnesty International Pittsburgh (group 39) and many other inspiring Pittsburgh rights groups and community leaders on Thursday, December 9, 2021, 7:00-8:30pm at Calvary Episcopal Church for our annual Write-for-Rights event.

This year marks the 36th annual gathering in Pittsburgh! During the event you can contribute to writing hundreds of letters on important human rights cases of our time.

Stop in and stay as long as you can. Write letters. Talk to other activists. Check out information tables about local groups working in Pittsburgh on local, national and international issues. There will be a candle-lighting ceremony at about 7:45pm.

All attendees are required to wear face coverings and are requested to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In response to the pandemic the event will be shorter than in past years, but participants are encouraged to take materials for writing more letters at home.

Tabling at farmers markets

Members of Group 39 have been tabling at farmers markets in Bloomfield and Squirrel Hill in June and July. We have been collecting signatures for two petitions to Congress:

  • For our focus case, the imprisoned human rights advocate and scholar Mohammed al-Qahtani in Saudi Arabia.
  • To support a bill that would end the practice of immigration detention for families with children.

At each occasion, we have been able to collect 100-200 signatures!

Impressions of the virtual Write for Human Rights

Both our online kick-off and wrap-up events for the Write for Human Rights campaign had 20+ participants. Below are a few pictures, including a snapshot of the candle lighting ceremony, and live music presented by fellow Amnesty activist Michael Andrews from Florida. In total, participants wrote 126 letters, but we are sure that were many more letter writers out there among you that we are unaware of!