Thursday, January 15, 2015

Robert King in Sweden with Amnesty International for the release of a new song and music video about Albert Woodfox by Meja

Robert King of the Angola 3 is currently in Sweden supporting Amnesty International’s ongoing campaign to "Free Albert Woodfox" through the launch of a new song called Yellow Ribbon, written by the Swedish artist, Meja, with an accompanying music video featured above (view the press release here).

Meja's song Yellow Ribbon is helping to publicize Amnesty Sweden's online petition asking Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to stop impeding justice for Albert.

The A3 Coalition is also asking that you please support Amnesty's new petition to US Secretary of State John Kerry calling for US super-maximum security prisons to be opened up for UN scrutiny. Amnesty has just released a new interview with Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Meja's website explains more about how this new project began:

Meja read about Albert Woodfox in an Amnesty International magazine and was touched by the profound injustice that he had been held in solitary confinement for over 42 years on a conviction so weak it had been overturned three times. Still held in isolation, Albert Woodfox is the only remaining incarcerated member of the Angola 3.

Last Christmas eve, Meja sat down to write him a letter. His reply inspired Meja to write the song ”Yellow Ribbon”. The stamps on the envelope of Albert’s letter to Meja read, ”Liberty Forever – Justice Forever”.  These words became the opening line of the song.

”They encapsulate the hope” says Meja, ”that justice and freedom, for so long denied to Albert, will soon be his.” A November court ruling in his favour shows how close this time may be. As Meja was writing the song, the words ’Yellow Ribbon’ came to her. ”When I looked up their meaning, I understood why: families used to tie yellow ribbons in the trees to welcome released prisoners home”.

The song is being released in collaboration with Amnesty International who has been campaigning for justice for Albert Woodfox and against the cruel use of solitary confinement in the USA.

”I was deeply affected by Albert’s strength of mind in the face of the cruel injustice he continues to suffer. It is hard to believe in 2014 that an innocent man has been entombed in a cell for 23 hours a day for more than four decades. It´s tragic. I chose to leave the Christmas celebrations to sit in quiet solitude to write to Albert, acutely aware that the solitude I sought out has been his imposed daily reality for 42 years” Meja says.

In addition to asking people to join Amnesty International’s campaign for justice for Albert Woodfox, and to end the cruel use of solitary confinement in US prisons, Meja is donating 10% of her profits from the sales of ”Yellow Ribbon” to the organization.

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