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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views appear regularly in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites. Note that the ideas expressed here are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Amnesty International or any other organization with which she may be associated.
China is Exporting Torture
Research by Amnesty International (AI) and the Omega Research Foundation has uncovered a "flourishing trade" in the "export of tools of torture by Chinese companies" which is fueling human rights violations worldwide.
American Hunger and the Christian Right
"I have seen hunger, up close and personal, right here in the richest nation on the planet. And, despite what the so-called "Christian" right keeps telling us, I know that laziness does not explain why poor people are poor."
Amnesty International Says US Must Not Persecute Snowden
"Snowden is a whistleblower. He has disclosed issues of enormous public interest in the US and around the world. And yet instead of addressing or even owning up to these actions, the US government is more intent on going after Edward Snowden."
The Ex-Pope and the Holiness Myth
Sentimental Catholics and others have been praising the now-former pontiff. They call him a holy man. However, in looking back through his record, I see much that is downright unholy.
Sunday, February 17, 2013(26 comments)
They Still Cling to Guns and Religion
"When Obama made his controversial "guns and religion" comment almost five years ago, I'm sure he never envisioned the kind of backlash to his election that has caused those right-wing obsessions to grow exponentially."
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Jeanne Manford, PFLAG Founder, RIP
"I was saddened to learn of the recent death of Jeanne Manford, founder of an organization that eventually grew to become Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)..."
Vladimir Putin and the Crime of Dissent
"Russia may have made some steps forward towards social progress since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but it seems that President Vladimir Putin is doing everything he can to crack down on political dissent. And the new poster girls for this oppression are members of the feminist punk rock group p*ssy Riot."
Wednesday, July 4, 2012(1 comments)
Jefferson is Spinning
"As I write this on the July 4th holiday, 2012, it occurs to me that Thomas Jefferson is surely spinning in his grave..."
Did Texas Execute Yet Another Innocent Man?
A recent study by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review suggests that Carlos DeLuna, who was executed by the state of Texas in 1989 for the murder of Wanda Lopez, was actually innocent.
Freedom Of Religion Cannot Be Exclusive
"What government is really interfering with is the right's ability to impose its own religious beliefs on those of us who believe differently. What the government is doing is what freedom is really all about..."
Monday, March 12, 2012(2 comments)
Is Kony 2012 The Right Thing To Do?
"Through the Kony 2012 campaign, IC hopes to raise [Joseph] Kony's profile worldwide in hopes of finding him and bringing him to justice. And opinions on this tactic are diverse..."
Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law
On December 31, when most U.S. citizens were distracted with New Year's holiday plans, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. This law authorizes the President of the United States to order the U.S. military to arrest and imprison terrorism suspects indefinitely, including U.S. citizens, without charging them or putting them on trial.
Sunday, December 4, 2011(1 comments)
Troy Davis's Sister Succumbs to Cancer
On December 1, Martina Davis Correia lost her long battle with breast cancer. Correia was the sister of Troy Davis, who was executed by the state of Georgia on September 21 amidst worldwide protest.
Will Rick Perry Kill Another Innocent Man?
Texas governor and Republican presidential contender Rick Perry has faced criticism from the left (and applause from the right) for his heavy-handed use of the death penalty. And Perry has said that he loses no sleep over the possibility that he may have executed an innocent man. This is despite the fact that it appears that Perry has done just that - and could very likely do it again very soon.
In War On Terror, Obama Is Bush Light
We expected Obama to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay as promised and end the unfair military commission system there. But talk is cheap. And now it looks like we've been fooled.
More Torture Unpunished
Torture with impunity seems to be a recurring theme in this once-great nation these days...
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Rights Groups Speak Out On Egyptian Protests
Human rights groups have been weighing in on the protests, defending the people's right to demonstrate, and condemning what appears to be unnecessary violence against the protesters...