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Thank you to everyone who donated on Give to the Max Day 2012! We received many generous sustaining gifts and gifts from new donors. You helped us reach our total amount of matching funds available: $10,000!
Although Give to the Max Day is over, our work to protect fundamental human rights continues every day. Whether you give as a longtime supporter, a new donor, or a new sustaining donor, every donation to The Advocates supports basic human rights. Thank you for being a part of making human rights a reality for people in Minnesota and around the world!
The Advocates for Human Rights is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization whose mission is to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. We believe that every person has a part to play in building the human rights movement and we engage hundreds of volunteers every year in hands-on human rights work, leveraging every dollar spent three to five times.
The Advocates saves Burundian man persecuted for his political beliefs
Mr. S is one example of how The Advocates’ work actually saves lives. Following a radio interview in which he denounced the imprisonment of journalists who had criticized the Burundian government, the secret service invaded Mr. S’s house in the middle of the night and brought him to a secret service prison. There he was beaten, starved, and twice threatened with death. After more than 20 days in prison, the secret service forced him to sign a pledge to never speak out against the government again. Mr. S continued to speak out against injustice and was imprisoned and tortured for another two months. Human rights groups spoke out against Mr. S’s detention, prompting the government to release him, but the secret service attacked him at his house the very next day. His sister and his infant son were killed in the attack and his wife and two other children went missing. Immediately after, Mr. S escaped to the United States on a visitor visa.
Once in the United States, Mr. S contacted The Advocates for Human Rights. With the help of volunteer attorneys Mark Lee and Matt Lewis, he was granted asylum on June 27, 2012. Mark and Matt represented Mr. S in removal proceedings over the course of five years. Mr. S says The Advocates “saved my life. They represent my hope. They took me when I was desperate and found me not one lawyer but two. If I hadn’t found them, I don’t know what I would have done. Now I can finally breathe.” Mr. S is currently studying International Trade at St. Paul College and working with The Advocates to reunite with his wife and two children, who are still missing.
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