Daily Archives: March 31, 2020

2020-03-31: News Headlines

RT (2020-03-31). Lower house of Russian Parliament approves fines, jail terms for quarantine offenders. rt.com Russian lawmakers in the State Duma on Tuesday approved legislation backing jail terms of up to seven years and fines of up to two million rubles ($25,500) for anyone flouting quarantine rules if their doing so led to people dying. | The lower house of the parliament also passed a bill in the first reading vesting the government with additional powers because of the coronavirus pandemic. | The legislation must be backed by the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin before entering into force. | The official tally in Russia rose to 2,337 coronavirus ca…

RT (2020-03-31). Taliban team arrives in Kabul for 1st time since 2001, will monitor prisoner release — spokesman. rt.com A three-member Taliban technical team arrived in the Afghan capital on Tuesday to monitor the release of their prisoners, a spokesman for the insurgent group said. The move is part of a peace deal signed by the Taliban and the US. | Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the team's arrival in a tweet. It marked the first time a Taliban delegation has been in Kabul since the group was driven out by the US-led coalition in November 2001, AP said. | US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday praised the Afghan government negotiating team that was identified to hold talks with the Taliban as appearing to…

WSWS (2020-03-31). Growing protests in US immigrant detention centers over coronavirus pandemic. wsws.org Detainees have stepped up their protests against unsanitary conditions over the very real fear of coronavirus spreading rapidly through the vast immigration detention network in the US.

commondreams (2020-03-31). Amnesty International USA and LIRS launch "Hope Can't Be Quarantined" campaign to help immigrants and asylum-seekers held in detention during the COVID-19 crisis. commondreams.org ______________________________…

Ben Norton (2020-03-31). Brazil's ex-President Lula on Venezuela: Maduro is democratic, Guaidó should be in prison, US blockade kills civilians. thegrayzone.com In comments ignored by English language media, Lula da Silva slammed the US coup attempt against Venezuela, calling Nicolás Maduro…

Sam Tunick (2020-03-31). Honk for Justice: COVID-safe Car Rally to End ICE Detention. indybay.org We will meet at SP+ Parking (50 Broadway, San Francisco), then depart as a caravan at noon to circle the ICE office and Civic Center Plaza.

Staff (2020-03-31). The US Decries Political Persecution of Nicaraguans But Won't Grant Them Asylum. truthout.org The second time around, John Martínez-Picado knew what awaited him inside "El Chipote." It had been almost a year but the spiral-shaped prison with its overcrowded underground cells and concrete beds on the floor still haunted him. He hadn't forgotten the suffocating feeling — "as if you were going to have a heart attack," Martínez-Picado said. He also hadn't fully recovered from the trauma of being forced to witness guards torture his cellmates, pulling out their fingernails and cutt…

Critical Resistance (2020-03-31). Organizing Against Toxic Imprisonment in the Face of COVID-19. indybay.org Online Event…

WSWS (2020-03-31). US prisons begin release of inmates after COVID-19 pandemic engulfs system. wsws.org An acute outbreak of COVID-19 in many US prisons is underway, with hundreds of prisoners and staff members testing positive for COVID-19.

sputniknews (2020-03-31). Russian Upper House OKs Bill on Up to 5 Years of Imprisonment for COVID-19 Disinformation. sputniknews.com MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian upper house, the Federation Council, approved on Tuesday a bill that makes the dissemination of fake information about the coronavirus a crime punishable with up to five years of imprisonment.

pip.hinman (2020-03-31). Government inaction puts staff and inmates in immigration detention at risk. greenleft.org.au

Susan Price (2020-03-31). Palestinians face two enemies: Occupation and pandemic. greenleft.org.au The number…

RT (2020-03-30). PM Orban secures open-ended emergency powers from parliament to fight coronavirus in Hungary. rt.com Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday secured the right to rule by decree to fight the coronavirus outbreak. His Fidesz party passed a law in parliament granting the PM open-ended extra powers. | The legislation extending a state of emergency has triggered criticism from opposition parties, human rights groups and the Council of Europe, as it contains no timeframe, Reuters reports. The law also imposes jail time of up to five years on those hindering measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and on those spreading false information related to the crisis. | The government said the law would…

commondreams (2020-03-30). As Federal Judge Weighs Release of Children in Immigration Detention, COVID-19 Risks Grow. commondreams.org ______________________________…

Jay Stanley (2020-03-30). Is Location Tracking Technology the Magic Pill to Stemming the Coronavirus? aclu.org This piece first appeared on

Ali Salam (2020-03-30). Israel's Shin Bet Slaps PLC Member with Administrative Detention. imemc.org The Shin Bet, Israel's intelligence agency, on Sunday, decided to renew the detention of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member and Hamas leader, Hasan Yousuf, for four months, under administrative detention. Sheikh Hasan Yousuf, 65, was scheduled for release on March 31, 2020, and just two days before his release, …

Staff (2020-03-30). Headlines for March 30, 2020. democracynow.org Trump Extends Social Distancing, Says U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Could Reach 100,000 | , States Mandate Quarantines, Set Up Checkpoints to Limit Cross-State COVID-19 Infections , ER Doctor Who Blasted Lack of Worker & Patient Protections at WA Hospital Removed from Post, Coronavirus Cases Mount in Prisons and Among Law Enforcement Workers | , 9-Month-Old Is First Known Infant to Die from the Coronavirus in U.S. | , Cigna and Humana to Waive Copays for Coronavirus Treatment | , CBS News Executive and Cancer Survivor Maria Mercader Dies from Coronavirus | , | New York Scrambles to Build Hospitals, Imposes Fines fo…

Ella Baker Center (2020-03-30). As COVID-19 Reaches Santa Rita Jail, Decarceration Becomes More Urgent. indybay.org Oakland, CA — According to Alameda County jail officials, a nurse in Santa Rita Jail has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the first positive test in the jail. The positive case follows at least one confirmed exposure and several possible exposures at the jail by an arrestee and sheriff deputy. For the last two weeks, advocates with the Audit Ahern Coalition and healthcare labor unions have been calling for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office (ACSO), Alameda County District Attorney's Office, and Alameda County Board of Supervisors to reduce the risk of this pandemic for those incarcerated at Santa…

IWOC Oakland (2020-03-30). ACSO Requests $255M in New Funding; COVID-19 Reaches Santa Rita Without Plans in Place. indybay.org Just over a week into the "shelter in place" directive that is now statewide, COVID-19 has reached Santa Rita Jail. The County confirmed on March 26 that a nurse working in one of the jail's housing units has tested positive for the virus. In response, that pod as well as one other in Santa Rita were placed under quarantine on Friday, March 27. The second pod was quarantined allegedly in response to a case of pneumonia or other similar medical condition. All transportation of detainees between the jail and the federal courthouse has been suspended, according to a federal court notice. Community advocates warn tha…

Rami Almeghari (2020-03-30). Palestinian Prisoners Concerned, as Coronavirus Hits Israeli Prisons. imemc.org The Ramallah-based Palestinian Committee for Prisoners and Ex-prisoners, said on Monday, that Israeli authorities have reported three Coronavirus-positive cases among Israeli wardens in both the Ofer and Nitsan jails, where there are hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. The committee added that the discovery of such positive cases signals a crisis for …

Fight Back (2020-03-30). Prominent organizations and individuals urge Gov. Pritzker to free Gerald Reed. fightbacknews.org Chicago, IL – Two dozen prominent organizations and individuals have urged Gov. J. B. Pritzker in a letter to use "the powers of [his] office to provide long overdue justice to Gerald Reed." Reed's deteriorating health puts him at extreme risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has heart failure, and late last year while awaiting a new trial at Cook County jail he had a heart attack. | Reed was wrongfully convicted 29 years ago based on a confession extracted through torture by subordinates of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. His conviction was vacated on December 18, 2019 by Judge Thomas V. Gainer, who ordered…

Thomas Knapp (2020-03-30). Decarceration: COVID-19 is Opportunity Knocking. counterpunch.org On March 23, 14 US Senators from both major political parties asked US Attorney General William Barr and Michael Carvajal, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, to "transfer non-violent offenders who are at high risk for suffering complications from COVID-19 to home confinement." It's a smart idea, and one local jails and state prisons

ACPD (2020-03-30). Alameda County Public Defender Wins COVID-19 Release of More Than 300 Inmates. indybay.org OAKLAND, Thursday, March 19 — Lawyers with the Public Defender's Office in collaboration with the Sheriff, prosecutors and courts have secured the release of more than 300 people because of the threat of COVID-19 in Santa Rita County Jail.

splcenter (2020-03-30). The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery played key role in launching SPLC's legal battle against Ku Klux Klan. splcenter.org The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, who died on Friday at 98 years old, was a longtime friend of the Southern Poverty Law Center and played a leading role in the SPLC's first lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan in 1980.

Peadar O'Cearnaigh (2020-03-30). As deaths occur and coronavirus cases start to rise in British prisons, campaigners express their concerns. thecanary.co As British prisons experienced their One of these campaigners told The Canary sh…

news.un (2020-03-30). Release inmates in Yemen to avert nationwide coronavirus outbreak, experts urge. news.un.org An international panel of human rights experts called today for the immediate release of political prisoners and detainees in war-ravaged Yemen to help avert a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19.

yenisafak (2020-03-30). COVID-19: Pakistan's top court halts prisoner release. yenisafak.com Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday halted the release of hundreds of prisoners who were supposed to be set free in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus in the country's overcrowded jails, local media reported.Several high courts, including the Islamabad High Court, last week, had ordered the release of over 500 under-trial prisoners and those already sentenced for their involvement in petty crimes, to reduce burden on the jails."Coronavirus is a serious issue but the decisions taken in haste and fear won't work," Chief Justice of Supreme Court Gulzar Ahmed remarked, according to local broadcaster Geo News…

yenisafak (2020-03-30). Daesh prisoners riot at YPG/PKK-run prison in Syria. yenisafak.com Daesh/ISIS prisoners have staged a rebellion at prison run by the YPG/PKK terror group in northeastern Syria in protest of their conditions, according to local sources on Monday. | The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the rebellion took place on Sunday at the YPG/PKK-run prison in Geweran district in Al-Hasakah province. | The rebellion was quashed with the support of a U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition, the sources said. | A number of Daesh/ISIS prisoners were reportedly injured in the riot. | At least 4,500 Daesh terrorists from 54 countries are held in the prison.

pip.hinman (2020-03-30). Civil rights groups condemn COVID-19 authoritarianism. greenleft.org.au

IMEMC & Agencies (2020-03-29). Analysis: Palestine Is Occupied, Segregated, And About To Face COVID-19. imemc.org Israel's military control of Gaza and the West Bank has only grown more brutal during the pandemic. Workers are held in quarantine, prisoners have been infected, and Israel is withholding money that could be used to help contain the outbreak. By Taya Graham for The Real News Network Israeli Journalist …

Andrea Germanos, staff writer (2020-03-28). 'Truly a Civil Rights Hero': Rev. Joseph Lowery Dead at 98. commondreams.org "We've come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely and died too young, to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey to justice," Lowery said in 2013. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/headline/thumbs/rip-joseph-lowery.jpg

splcenter (2020-03-27). Weekend Read: SPLC demands ICE act amid pandemic to save the lives of countless immigrants trapped in its crowded detention centers. splcenter.org As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, tens of thousands of immigrants, many of whom came to this country seeking asylum, seem to have been forgotten by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — the agency holding them captive with no way to protect themselves.

Alan Macleod (2020-03-27). Doctors "Strongly Condemn" UK Decision to Keep Assange Imprisoned During COVID-19 Pandemic. mintpressnews.com Assange's treatment in the UK's Belmarsh Prison has been so poor that convicted murderers and other high-security inmates had to stage a mass protest to secure his transfer to the hospital wing.

Staff (2020-03-27). Headlines for March 27, 2020. democracynow.org U.S. Leads World in Reported COVID-19 Cases as Hospitalizations Surge, Trump Doubts New York City's Need for 30,000 Life-Saving Ventilators, Politico: President Trump Failed to Follow Pandemic Playbook, Squandering Precious Time, Detroit and Chicago Join New Orleans as U.S. Coronavirus Hot Spots, House to Vote on Record-Shattering $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package, Three Unaccompanied Migrant Children Test Positive for COVID-19, Jailed Asylum Seekers Stage Hunger Strike, Demanding Release During Pandemic, Activists Demand Release of Aging Prisoners as Coronavirus Spreads, Hospitals in Spain and Italy on th…

Ashoka Mukpo (2020-03-26). Asylum Seekers Stranded in Mexico Face a New Danger: COVID-19. aclu.org Since the Trump administration first unrolled its policy of

Elie Mystal (2020-03-26). The Supreme Court Just Made It Easier to Get Away With Discrimination. thenation.com The Supreme Court Just Made It Easier to Get Away With Discrimination…

Fight Back (2020-03-26). Colombian prisoners ask for medical help and receive bullets. fightbacknews.org The National Prison Movement (Movimiento Nacional Carcelario) and other prisoner rights groups called a demonstration in Colombian prisons on March 21, to protest the lack of protection against the COVID-19 virus and the general lack of decent healthcare in the Colombian prisons. Twelve Colombian prisons answered the call for a 'cacerolazo,' a protest where one bangs on pots and pans to make enough noise so that the protest is heard. | The protest in the prison Carcel Nacional Modelo de Bogotá began at 9 p.m. on March 21. The prisoners were mostly on lockdown in their cells and began banging on their pots and pan…

news.un (2020-03-25). UN rights chief urges quick action by governments to prevent devastating impact of COVID-19 in places of detention. news.un.org COVID-19 has begun to strike in prisons, jails and immigration detention centres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned on Wednesday, as she urged Governments "not to forget hose behind bars" and to protect those working in closed facilities in their overall efforts to contain the pandemic…

Fight Back (2020-03-25). MN shows solidarity with Palestine during COVID-19 pandemic. fightbacknews.org Minneapolis, MN – The MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) wanted to be a part of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network's global week of action for Palestinian Land Day but they couldn't do it as a protest the way they had originally planned. Instead on March 24 the MN AWC reorganized their protest as a call-in day, and then did a five-person social distancing bannering protest. | In 1976, Land Day marked a turning point as the first mass mobilization by Palestinians within Israel against colonialism and land theft. Israeli police shot and killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel for protesting the Israeli go…

Staff (2020-03-24). "Top Priority Is Release": Will Rikers Island Free More Prisoners as 60+ Test Positive for COVID-19? democracynow.org As COVID-19 begins to spread in the U.S. prison system, calls are growing in the New York City epicenter of the pandemic to release people from Rikers Island, the second-largest jail system in the country. At least 39 prisoners and 21 staff at Rikers Island have tested positive. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday the city had released 75 people, but advocates are calling for the release of thousands more. We speak with Dr. Homer Venters, former chief medical officer for New York City's Correctional Health Services and author of "Life and Death in Rikers Island." His piece for The Hill is headlined "Coronavirus behi…

Kathryn Casteel and Will Tucker (2020-03-24). Arbitrary & excessive: Marijuana trafficking sentences in Alabama. splcenter.org Alabama resident Lee Carroll Brooker garnered national attention in 2016 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the marijuana trafficking case that put Brooker, in his 70s at the time, in prison for life.

Staff (2020-03-23). Former ICE Director: Release Immigrants from Detention or COVID-19 Will Spread Like Wildfire Inside. democracynow.org Alarm is growing about the safety of more than 37,000 people held in immigrant detention centers and private jails that contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, where it is nearly impossible for them to avoid close contact to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly half of those detained by ICE are accused of no crime other than civil immigration violations. Immigrants at three jails in New Jersey are now on hunger strikes over unsanitary conditions that put them at high risk during the pandemic.‚Ä®‚Ä® We hear from a detained person on hunger strike and speak wit…

Sonia Gill (2020-03-23). This is No Time to Play Politics with our Democracy. aclu.org Update 03/27/2020: Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to address the broad impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. While it included $400 million for states to expand access to the ballot for eligible voters, as outlined in this blog, more can and must be done to safeguard our democracy. , , To ensure elections proceed and eligible Americans can vote, any federal legislative package addressing the impact of COVID-19 on our elections must include an immediate, substantial infusion of federal funding and federal requirements for no-excuse mail-in absentee voting and early in-person voting.

Staff (2020-03-23). Headlines for March 23, 2020. democracynow.org Global COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 15,000 as Italy Drafts Military to Enforce Lockdown, Angela Merkel to Self-Quarantine After Her Doctor Tests Positive for COVID-19, First COVID-19 Cases Reported in Occupied Gaza, War-Stricken Syria and Afghanistan | , Coronavirus Cases Mount Across Africa, Two Nigerians Overdose Self-Medicating with Chloroquine After Trump Praised Anti-Malaria Drug as Possible COVID-19 Treatment, Coronavirus Leads to Lockdowns, Travel Bans in Latin America, as a Colombian Prison Riot Turns Deadly | , Fate of Tokyo Olympics Still Unknown as Canada, Australia Refuse to Send Athletes | , India Lock…

Anya Parampil (2020-03-22). Coronavirus hits US prisons: "thousands face death sentence" thegrayzone.com Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Dr. Amanda Klonsky, the chief program officer at a prison education organization, about…

Andrea Flores (2020-03-20). How the ACLU Organized to end Racial Profiling on Greyhound Buses. aclu.org Two years ago, the ACLU set a clear goal: push Greyhound to refuse Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers access to their buses to conduct warrantless searches. As part of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, CBP officers were targeting bus passengers around the country, boarding their buses to racially profile, harass, and too often, detain people who they suspected of being undocumented. Of course, you can't tell someone's immigration status by how they look or sound — this practice is unconstitutional and blatantly racist. By pushing aggressively with the help of our membership and…

Staff (2020-03-20). Headlines for March 20, 2020. democracynow.org Worldwide COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 10,000 as Italian Nurses "Stop Counting the Dead", Refugee Groups Warn of COVID-19 "Carnage" in Camps Housing Millions, Coronavirus Multiplies Across Australia, Latin America, Africa and Middle East, California Gov. Gavin Newsom Issues Statewide "Stay at Home" Order for 40 Million, New York Mayor Calls on Trump to Mobilize Military to Aid Overwhelmed Hospitals, Georgia State Legislators Urged to Self-Quarantine; Spring Break Revelers Party On in Florida, Demands Grow to Empty ICE Jails as NJ Detention Center Worker Tests Positive, Trump Blasts "Corrupt" Media at Rambling Coronav…

splcenter (2020-03-20). The Fight to Vote: Overcoming voter suppression in the South. splcenter.org Voter suppression is alive and well across the South.

Corene Kendrick (2020-03-19). We Know Prisons Need COVID-19 Plans, but our Arizona Prison Tour Suggests it's not Happening. aclu.org Earlier this month, the

Shaw Drake (2020-03-18). The Military Should not be Searching Cars or Checking Documents at the Border. aclu.org There's an old saying that goes, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." This adage is especially applicable to the Trump administration's approach toward border policy, which is ever more militarized. On March 6th, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials

2020-03-31: Social Media Postees

Please be social by posting these 'POSTEES' on social media!

Growing protests in US immigrant detention centers over coronavirus pandemic
wsws.org | 2020-03-31
Detainees have stepped up their protests against unsanitary conditions over the very real fear of coronavirus spreading rapidly through the vast immigration detention network in the US.
www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/31/immi-m31.html

Amnesty International USA and LIRS launch "Hope Can't Be Quarantined" campaign to help immigrants and asylum-seekers held in detention during the COVID-19 crisis
commondreams.org | 2020-03-31
______________________________…
commondreams.org/newswire/2020/03/31/amnesty-international-usa-and-lirs-launch-hope-cant-be-quarantined-campaign-help?cd-origin=rss

Brazil's ex-President Lula on Venezuela: Maduro is democratic, Guaidó should be in prison, US blockade kills civilians
Ben Norton | thegrayzone.com | 2020-03-31
In comments ignored by English-language media, Lula da Silva slammed the US coup attempt against Venezuela, calling Nicolás Maduro a…
thegrayzone.com/2020/03/30/brazil-lula-maduro-guaido-us-blockade/

Brazil's ex-President Lula on Venezuela: Maduro is democratic, Guaidó should be in prison, US blockade kills civilians
Ben Norton | thegrayzone.com | 2020-03-31
In comments ignored by English language media, Lula da Silva slammed the US coup attempt against Venezuela, calling Nicolás Maduro…
thegrayzone.com/2020/03/30/brazil-lula-maduro-guaido-us-blockade/

Honk for Justice: COVID-safe Car Rally to End ICE Detention
Sam Tunick | indybay.org | 2020-03-31
We will meet at SP+ Parking (50 Broadway, San Francisco), then depart as a caravan at noon to circle the ICE office and Civic Center Plaza.
indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/29/18831928.php

Change Is In The Air
Michael K. Smith | dissidentvoice.org | 2020-03-31
Quite literally. In a single week air pollution cleared up, housing was found for the homeless, evictions were banned, the stock market ceased being the gauge of social well being, water shut-offs ended, jails were emptied, debt peonage was suspended, universal basic income was proposed by "free market" die-hards, people started caring about the elderly …
dissidentvoice.org/2020/03/change-is-in-the-air/

Lower house of Russian Parliament approves fines, jail terms for quarantine offenders
rt.com | 2020-03-31
Russian lawmakers in the State Duma on Tuesday approved legislation backing jail terms of up to seven years and fines of up to two million rubles ($25,500) for anyone flouting quarantine rules if their doing so led to people dying. | The lower house of the parliament also passed a bill in the first reading vesting the government with additional powers because of the coronavirus pandemic. | The legislation must be backed by the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin before entering into force. | The official tally in Russia rose to 2,337 coronavirus ca…
rt.com/newsline/484567-russian-parliament-fines-quarantine/

The US Decries Political Persecution of Nicaraguans But Won't Grant Them Asylum
Staff | truthout.org | 2020-03-31
The second time around, John Martínez-Picado knew what awaited him inside "El Chipote." It had been almost a year but the spiral-shaped prison with its overcrowded underground cells and concrete beds on the floor still haunted him. He hadn't forgotten the suffocating feeling

US prisons begin release of inmates after COVID-19 pandemic engulfs system
wsws.org | 2020-03-31
An acute outbreak of COVID-19 in many US prisons is underway, with hundreds of prisoners and staff members testing positive for COVID-19.
www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/31/pris-m31.html

Organizing Against Toxic Imprisonment in the Face of COVID-19
Critical Resistance | indybay.org | 2020-03-31
Online Event…
indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/29/18831923.php

Russian Upper House OKs Bill on Up to 5 Years of Imprisonment for COVID-19 Disinformation
sputniknews.com | 2020-03-31
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian upper house, the Federation Council, approved on Tuesday a bill that makes the dissemination of fake information about the coronavirus a crime punishable with up to five years of imprisonment.
sputniknews.com/russia/202003311078777647-russian-upper-house-oks-bill-on-imprisonment-for-covid-19-disinformation/

Government inaction puts staff and inmates in immigration detention at risk
pip.hinman | greenleft.org.au | 2020-03-31
Refugees & migrants Niko LekaIssue 1259 Australia COVID-19 detention NewcastleMarch 31, 2020The federal government is not taking the nece…
greenleft.org.au/content/government-inaction-puts-staff-and-inmates-immigration-detention-risk

As Federal Judge Weighs Release of Children in Immigration Detention, COVID-19 Risks Grow
commondreams.org | 2020-03-30
______________________________…
commondreams.org/newswire/2020/03/30/federal-judge-weighs-release-children-immigration-detention-covid-19-risks-grow?cd-origin=rss

Is Location Tracking Technology the Magic Pill to Stemming the Coronavirus?
Jay Stanley | aclu.org | 2020-03-30
This piece first appeared on Just Security. , , If asked to give up their privacy in the interests of stemming the coronavirus, many Americans might be inclined to say yes. But the answer requires more nuance, both because there are serious tradeoffs to be made, and because sacrificing privacy may actually backfire., , Consider, for example, serious discussions reportedly und…
aclu.org/news/privacy-technology/is-location-tracking-technology-the-magic-pill-to-stemming-the-coronavirus

Israel's Shin Bet Slaps PLC Member with Administrative Detention
Ali Salam | imemc.org | 2020-03-30
The Shin Bet, Israel's intelligence agency, on Sunday, decided to renew the detention of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member and Hamas leader, Hasan Yousuf, for four months, under administrative detention. Sheikh Hasan Yousuf, 65, was scheduled for release on March 31, 2020, and just two days before his release, …
imemc.org/article/israels-shin-bet-slaps-plc-member-with-administrative-detention/

Honk for Justice: COVID-safe Car Rally to End ICE Detention
Sam Tunick | indybay.org | 2020-03-30
We will meet at SP+ Parking (50 Broadway, San Francisco), then depart as a caravan at noon to circle the ICE office and Civic Center Plaza.
indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/29/18831928.php

The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery played key role in launching SPLC's legal battle against Ku Klux Klan
splcenter.org | 2020-03-30
The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, who died on Friday at 98 years old, was a longtime friend of the Southern Poverty Law Center and played a leading role in the SPLC's first lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan in 1980.
splcenter.org/news/2020/03/30/rev-dr-joseph-e-lowery-played-key-role-launching-splcs-legal-battle-against-ku-klux-klan

Decarceration: COVID-19 is Opportunity Knocking
Thomas Knapp | counterpunch.org | 2020-03-30
On March 23, 14 US Senators from both major political parties asked US Attorney General William Barr and Michael Carvajal, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, to "transfer non-violent offenders who are at high risk for suffering complications from COVID-19 to home confinement." It's a smart idea, and one local jails and state prisons…
counterpunch.org/2020/03/30/decarceration-covid-19-is-opportunity-knocking/

As COVID-19 Reaches Santa Rita Jail, Decarceration Becomes More Urgent
Ella Baker Center | indybay.org | 2020-03-30
Oakland, CA

Alameda County Public Defender Wins COVID-19 Release of More Than 300 Inmates
ACPD | indybay.org | 2020-03-30
OAKLAND, Thursday, March 19

ACSO Requests $255M in New Funding; COVID-19 Reaches Santa Rita Without Plans in Place
IWOC Oakland | indybay.org | 2020-03-30
Just over a week into the "shelter in place" directive that is now statewide, COVID-19 has reached Santa Rita Jail. The County confirmed on March 26 that a nurse working in one of the jail's housing units has tested positive for the virus. In response, that pod as well as one other in Santa Rita were placed under quarantine on Friday, March 27. The second pod was quarantined allegedly in response to a case of pneumonia or other similar medical condition. All transportation of detainees between the jail and the federal courthouse has been suspended, according to a federal court notice. Community advocates warn tha…
indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/29/18831919.php

Prominent organizations and individuals urge Gov. Pritzker to free Gerald Reed
Fight Back | fightbacknews.org | 2020-03-30
Chicago, IL – Two dozen prominent organizations and individuals have urged Gov. J. B. Pritzker in a letter to use "the powers of [his] office to provide long overdue justice to Gerald Reed." Reed's deteriorating health puts him at extreme risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has heart failure, and late last year while awaiting a new trial at Cook County jail he had a heart attack. | Reed was wrongfully convicted 29 years ago based on a confession extracted through torture by subordinates of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. His conviction was vacated on December 18, 2019 by Judge Thomas V. Gainer, who ordered…
www.fightbacknews.org/2020/3/30/prominent-organizations-and-individuals-urge-gov-pritzker-free-gerald-reed

PM Orban secures open-ended emergency powers from parliament to fight coronavirus in Hungary
rt.com | 2020-03-30
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday secured the right to rule by decree to fight the coronavirus outbreak. His Fidesz party passed a law in parliament granting the PM open-ended extra powers. | The legislation extending a state of emergency has triggered criticism from opposition parties, human rights groups and the Council of Europe, as it contains no timeframe, Reuters reports. The law also imposes jail time of up to five years on those hindering measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and on those spreading false information related to the crisis. | The government said the law would…
rt.com/newsline/484497-orban-emergency-powers-hungary/

Palestinian Prisoners Concerned, as Coronavirus Hits Israeli Prisons
Rami Almeghari | imemc.org | 2020-03-30
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Committee for Prisoners and Ex-prisoners, said on Monday, that Israeli authorities have reported three Coronavirus-positive cases among Israeli wardens in both the Ofer and Nitsan jails, where there are hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. The committee added that the discovery of such positive cases signals a crisis for …
imemc.org/article/palestinian-prisoners-concerned-as-coronavirus-hits-israeli-prisons/

As deaths occur and coronavirus cases start to rise in British prisons, campaigners express their concerns
Peadar O'Cearnaigh | thecanary.co | 2020-03-30
As British prisons experienced their first deaths from coronavirus (Covid-19), justice campaigners have warned this might just be the beginning. A former prison officer and justice campaigners speak exclusively to The Canary about conditions on the inside. They say prisons are in urgent need of change, especially in the midst of this pandemic. | One of these campaigners told The Canary sh…
thecanary.co/exclusive/2020/03/30/as-deaths-occur-and-coronavirus-cases-start-to-rise-in-british-prisons-campaigners-express-their-concerns/

Organizing Against Toxic Imprisonment in the Face of COVID-19
Critical Resistance | indybay.org | 2020-03-30
Online Event…
indybay.org/newsitems/2020/03/29/18831923.php

As deaths occur and coronavirus cases start to rise in British prisons, campaigners express their concerns
Peadar O'Cearnaigh | thecanary.co | 2020-03-30
As British prisons experienced their first deaths from coronavirus (Covid-19), justice campaigners have warned this might just be the beginning. A former prison officer and justice campaigners speak exclusively to The Canary about conditions on the inside. They say prisons are in urgent need of change, especially in the midst of this pandemic. | One of these campaigners told The Canary sh…
thecanary.co/exclusive/2020/03/30/as-deaths-occur-and-coronavirus-cases-start-to-rise-in-british-prisons-campaigners-express-their-concerns/

Release inmates in Yemen to avert nationwide coronavirus outbreak, experts urge
news.un.org | 2020-03-30
An international panel of human rights experts called today for the immediate release of political prisoners and detainees in war-ravaged Yemen to help avert a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19.
news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2020/03/1060642

COVID-19: Pakistan's top court halts prisoner release
yenisafak.com | 2020-03-30
Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday halted the release of hundreds of prisoners who were supposed to be set free in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus in the country's overcrowded jails, local media reported.Several high courts, including the Islamabad High Court, last week, had ordered the release of over 500 under-trial prisoners and those already sentenced for their involvement in petty crimes, to reduce burden on the jails."Coronavirus is a serious issue but the decisions taken in haste and fear won't work," Chief Justice of Supreme Court Gulzar Ahmed remarked, according to local broadcaster Geo News…
yenisafak.com/en/world/covid-19-pakistans-top-court-halts-prisoner-release-3515414

Daesh prisoners riot at YPG/PKK-run prison in Syria
yenisafak.com | 2020-03-30
Daesh/ISIS prisoners have staged a rebellion at prison run by the YPG/PKK terror group in northeastern Syria in protest of their conditions, according to local sources on Monday. | The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the rebellion took place on Sunday at the YPG/PKK-run prison in Geweran district in Al-Hasakah province. | The rebellion was quashed with the support of a U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition, the sources said. | A number of Daesh/ISIS prisoners were reportedly injured in the riot. | At least 4,500 Daesh terrorists from 54 countries are held in the prison.
yenisafak.com/en/world/daesh-prisoners-riot-at-ypg-pkk-run-prison-in-syria-3515425

Civil rights groups condemn COVID-19 authoritarianism
pip.hinman | greenleft.org.au | 2020-03-30
Democracy Jacob AndrewarthaIssue 1259 Australia civil rights COVID-19March 30, 2020Against expert health and civil rights advice, governments are opting for authoritarian measures they claim will protect u…
greenleft.org.au/content/civil-rights-groups-condemn-covid-19-authoritarianism

As coronavirus infects women in Yarl's Wood, detainees make urgent demands
Eliza Egret | thecanary.co | 2020-03-29
As coronavirus (Covid-19) begins to infect detainees, women trapped in Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre are demanding their immediate release. Many of these women have already fled from dangerous situations, and include people with pre-existing health conditions an…
thecanary.co/trending/2020/03/29/as-coronavirus-infects-women-in-yarls-wood-detainees-make-urgent-demands/

Analysis: Palestine Is Occupied, Segregated, And About To Face COVID-19
IMEMC & Agencies | imemc.org | 2020-03-29
Israel's military control of Gaza and the West Bank has only grown more brutal during the pandemic. Workers are held in quarantine, prisoners have been infected, and Israel is withholding money that could be used to help contain the outbreak. By Taya Graham for The Real News Network Israeli Journalist …
imemc.org/article/analysis-palestine-is-occupied-segregated-and-about-to-face-covid-19/

'Truly a Civil Rights Hero': Rev. Joseph Lowery Dead at 98
Andrea Germanos, staff writer | commondreams.org | 2020-03-28
"We've come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely and died too young, to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey to justice," Lowery said in 2013. | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/headline/thumbs/rip-joseph-lowery.jpg
commondreams.org/news/2020/03/28/truly-civil-rights-hero-rev-joseph-lowery-dead-98?cd-origin=rss

Weekend Read: SPLC demands ICE act amid pandemic to save the lives of countless immigrants trapped in its crowded detention centers
splcenter.org | 2020-03-27
As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, tens of thousands of immigrants, many of whom came to this country seeking asylum, seem to have been forgotten by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Weekend Read: SPLC demands ICE act amid pandemic to save the lives of countless immigrants trapped in its crowded detention centers
splcenter.org | 2020-03-27
splcenter.org/news/2020/03/30/weekend-read-splc-demands-ice-act-amid-pandemic-save-lives-countless-immigrants-trapped-its

Weekend Read: SPLC demands ICE act amid pandemic to save the lives of countless immigrants trapped in its crowded detention centers
splcenter.org | 2020-03-27
splcenter.org/news/2020/03/30/weekend-read-splc-demands-ice-act-amid-pandemic-save-lives-countless-immigrants-trapped-its

Doctors "Strongly Condemn" UK Decision to Keep Assange Imprisoned During COVID-19 Pandemic
Alan Macleod | mintpressnews.com | 2020-03-27
Assange's treatment in the UK's Belmarsh Prison has been so poor that convicted murderers and other high-security inmates had to stage a mass protest to secure his transfer to the hospital wing.
mintpressnews.com/doctors-condemn-uk-decision-keep-assange-imprisoned-during-coronavirus/266112/

Asylum Seekers Stranded in Mexico Face a New Danger: COVID-19
Ashoka Mukpo | aclu.org | 2020-03-26
Since the Trump administration first unrolled its policy of forcing migrants to wait in Mexico for their asylum hearings, advocates have been warning that the practice places them in danger. Now, the global coronavirus outbreak is putting an exclamation point on those warnings and adding a new, frightening layer of risk into the lives of asylum…
aclu.org/news/immigrants-rights/asylum-seekers-stranded-in-mexico-face-a-new-danger-covid-19

The Supreme Court Just Made It Easier to Get Away With Discrimination
Elie Mystal | thenation.com | 2020-03-26
The Supreme Court Just Made It Easier to Get Away With Discrimination…
thenation.com/article/society/scotus-comcast-discrimination/

Colombian prisoners ask for medical help and receive bullets
Fight Back | fightbacknews.org | 2020-03-26
The National Prison Movement (Movimiento Nacional Carcelario) and other prisoner rights groups called a demonstration in Colombian prisons on March 21, to protest the lack of protection against the COVID-19 virus and the general lack of decent healthcare in the Colombian prisons. Twelve Colombian prisons answered the call for a 'cacerolazo,' a protest where one bangs on pots and pans to make enough noise so that the protest is heard. | The protest in the prison Carcel Nacional Modelo de Bogotá began at 9 p.m. on March 21. The prisoners were mostly on lockdown in their cells and began banging on their pots and pan…
www.fightbacknews.org/2020/3/26/colombian-prisoners-ask-medical-help-and-receive-bullets

UN rights chief urges quick action by governments to prevent devastating impact of COVID-19 in places of detention
news.un.org | 2020-03-25
COVID-19 has begun to strike in prisons, jails and immigration detention centres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned on Wednesday, as she urged Governments "not to forget hose behind bars" and to protect those working in closed facilities in their overall efforts to contain the pandemic…
news.un.org/feed/view/en/story/2020/03/1060252

MN shows solidarity with Palestine during COVID-19 pandemic
Fight Back | fightbacknews.org | 2020-03-25
Minneapolis, MN – The MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) wanted to be a part of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network's global week of action for Palestinian Land Day but they couldn't do it as a protest the way they had originally planned. Instead on March 24 the MN AWC reorganized their protest as a call-in day, and then did a five-person social distancing bannering protest. | In 1976, Land Day marked a turning point as the first mass mobilization by Palestinians within Israel against colonialism and land theft. Israeli police shot and killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel for protesting the Israeli go…
www.fightbacknews.org/2020/3/25/mn-shows-solidarity-palestine-during-covid-19-pandemic

Arbitrary & excessive: Marijuana trafficking sentences in Alabama
Kathryn Casteel and Will Tucker | splcenter.org | 2020-03-24
Alabama resident Lee Carroll Brooker garnered national attention in 2016 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the marijuana trafficking case that put Brooker, in his 70s at the time, in prison for life.
splcenter.org/news/2020/03/28/arbitrary-excessive-marijuana-trafficking-sentences-alabama

"Top Priority Is Release": Will Rikers Island Free More Prisoners as 60+ Test Positive for COVID-19?
Staff | democracynow.org | 2020-03-24
As COVID-19 begins to spread in the U.S. prison system, calls are growing in the New York City epicenter of the pandemic to release people from Rikers Island, the second-largest jail system in the country. At least 39 prisoners and 21 staff at Rikers Island have tested positive. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday the city had released 75 people, but advocates are calling for the release of thousands more. We speak with Dr. Homer Venters, former chief medical officer for New York City's Correctional Health Services and author of "Life and Death in Rikers Island." His piece for The Hill is headlined "Coronavirus behi…
www.democracynow.org/2020/3/24/rikers_coronavirus

Former ICE Director: Release Immigrants from Detention or COVID-19 Will Spread Like Wildfire Inside
Staff | democracynow.org | 2020-03-23
Alarm is growing about the safety of more than 37,000 people held in immigrant detention centers and private jails that contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, where it is nearly impossible for them to avoid close contact to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly half of those detained by ICE are accused of no crime other than civil immigration violations. Immigrants at three jails in New Jersey are now on hunger strikes over unsanitary conditions that put them at high risk during the pandemic.‚Ä®‚Ä® We hear from a detained person on hunger strike and speak wit…
www.democracynow.org/2020/3/23/ice_dentention_centers_covid_19

This is No Time to Play Politics with our Democracy
Sonia Gill | aclu.org | 2020-03-23
Update 03/27/2020: Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to address the broad impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. While it included $400 million for states to expand access to the ballot for eligible voters, as outlined in this blog, more can and must be done to safeguard our democracy. , , To ensure elections proceed and eligible Americans can vote, any federal legislative package addressing the impact of COVID-19 on our elections must include an immediate, substantial infusion of federal funding and federal requirements for no-excuse mail-in absentee voting and early in-person voting.
aclu.org/news/voting-rights/this-is-no-time-to-play-politics-with-our-democracy

Coronavirus hits US prisons: "thousands face death sentence"
Anya Parampil | thegrayzone.com | 2020-03-22
Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Dr. Amanda Klonsky, the chief program officer at a prison education organization, about…
thegrayzone.com/2020/03/22/coronavirus-prisons-death-sentence/

How the ACLU Organized to end Racial Profiling on Greyhound Buses
Andrea Flores | aclu.org | 2020-03-20
Two years ago, the ACLU set a clear goal: push Greyhound to refuse Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers access to their buses to conduct warrantless searches. As part of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, CBP officers were targeting bus passengers around the country, boarding their buses to racially profile, harass, and too often, detain people who they suspected of being undocumented. Of course, you can't tell someone's immigration status by how they look or sound

The Fight to Vote: Overcoming voter suppression in the South
splcenter.org | 2020-03-20
Voter suppression is alive and well across the South.
splcenter.org/news/2020/03/24/fight-vote-overcoming-voter-suppression-south