Prometheus Bound Program: Program Notes: The Prometheus Project - About the Prometheus Project

About the Prometheus Project

The Prometheus Project is a partnership between the American Repertory Theater, Amnesty International and local Boston activists to bring the theater arts to the service of human rights work.

By singing the story of Prometheus, the God who defied the tyrant Zeus by giving the human race both fire and art, this production hopes to give a voice to those currently being silenced or endangered by modern-day oppressors. Through our hero’s struggles, we experience the power of the individual to take action in the service of another human being.

The A.R.T. is therefore dedicating its run of Prometheus Bound to eight Amnesty Appeals calling to free prisoners of conscience and aid individuals at risk all over the world. After each performance, the audience will be given the tools to become activists: postcards will be collected, petitions signed and opportunities provided to engage with Amnesty and human rights advocates. The text, music and movement of this production fuse to create a work that inspires - and aspires to - social activism through artistic collaboration.

Please contact with any questions.


The 8 Amnesty Appeals

February 25 - March 4

NAME: Jafar Panahi
AI CONCERN: Prisoner of conscience/Unfair trial
BACKGROUND: Has been sentenced to six years in prison plus a twenty-year ban on all his artistic activities, including filmmaking, writing scripts, traveling abroad and speaking with media. Convicted of propaganda against the state for having exercised his right to peaceful freedom of expression through his filmmaking and political activism, he was specifically accused of making an anti-government film without permission and inciting opposition protests after the disputed 2009 presidential election. 

March 7–9

COUNTRY: Democratic Republic of Congo
NAME: Survivors of Sexual Violence
AI CONCERN: Rape as a Weapon
BACKGROUND: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been called the rape capital of the world. Every year, thousands of rapes are reported. Many more rapes go unreported because of the personal risk and shame associated with being attacked. The frequency of rape as a weapon of war by all sides in the Congo, and the almost total impunity for perpetrators of these atrocious crimes, have led to an increase in the incidence of rape in all corners of the country. The Congolese government, in collaboration with the UN, must develop a long-term, comprehensive action plan to end impunity for crimes committed in the country. The perpetual cycle of violence against women in the DRC must end.

March 10–16

NAME: Dhondup Wangchen
AI CONCERN: Prisoner of Conscience, Torture & Other Ill-Treatment, Human Rights Defenders
DATE OF SENTENCE: December 28, 2009
BACKGROUND: Detained in Qinghai Province and held in various detention centers from March 2008 to December 2009 for his involvement in making a film that expresses Tibetan attitudes toward the Beijing Olympics and the Dalai Lama. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for subversion of state power on December 28, 2009 after a secret trial by Xining City Intermediate Court. He has reportedly been tortured and is suffering from Hepatitis B, for which he has not been treated, and he has been denied access to a lawyer and family visits.

March 17–18

NAME: David Kato (deceased)
AI CONCERN: Human Rights Violations Against LGBT persons/Investigation into his murder
OCCUPATION: Kato was a LGBT Human Rights Activist
BACKGROUND: Amnesty International demands that Uganda conduct a credible investigation into the appalling attack that killed David Kato, a gay activist who successfully sued a national newspaper that pictured him in an article among "100 Top Ugandan Homos." David Kato, the advocacy officer for the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda, died on his way to the hospital on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 after he was hit on the head by an unknown attacker at his home in the Mukono district, outside Kampala.

: Vietnam
NAME: Tran Quoc Hien
AI CONCERN: Prisoners of Conscience Freedom of Association; Unfair trial, repressive legislation
OCCUPATION: Director of Legal Consultancy in Ho Chi Minh City; Legal Adviser; spokesperson for the United Workers-Farmers Organization (UWFO)
DATE OF SENTENCE: May 15, 2007
BACKGROUND: As the Director of the Legal Consultancy in Ho Chi Minh City, Tran Quoc Hien provided advice to farmers whose land had been confiscated by the authorities. On May 4, 2007 he was arrested and it was reported in the official media that he would be brought to trial by Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court, charged under Articles 88 (conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) and 89 (disrupting security) of the penal code. It is not known where he is currently detained. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

: Vietnam
NAME: Doan Van Dien
AI CONCERN: Prisoners of Conscience
OCCUPATION: Trade Unionist
DATE OF SENTENCE: December 10, 2007
BACKGROUND: Doan Van Dien, leading member of the United Workers-Farmers Organization, was arrested on November 14, 2007 in Dong Nai province before the APEC meeting began. At his trial on December 10, 2007 (International Human Rights Day), he was accused of collecting complaints about land use and sending them overseas, which were then used on Web sites. He was found guilty of "abusing democracy and freedom rights to infringe on the interests of the state, and legitimate rights and interests of organiza- tions and citizens."

: Vietnam
NAME: Doan Huy Chuong
AI CONCERN: Prisoners of Conscience
OCCUPATION: Trade Unionist
BACKGROUND: A founding member of the United Workers-Farmers Organization, Doan Huy Chuong was imprisoned for 18 months in 2006 for establishing an organization to promote the rights of workers and farmers. During this time, he was placed in solitary confinement for 48 days and was subjected to physical and psychological torture.

March 24–25

COUNTRY: Guatemala
NAME: Norma Cruz
AI CONCERN: Prisoners of Conscience Freedom of Association; Unfair trial, repressive legislation
OCCUPATION: Leader of Fundacion Sobrevivientes
DATE OF SENTENCE: December 10, 2007
BACKGROUND: Leads Fundacion Sobrevivientes (Survivors Foundation), a women’s rights organization based in Guatemala City. Since 2009, she has received numerous death threats for her work documenting cases of violence against women in Guatemala and helping women fight for justice. However, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has not reported any progress in the investigation into the remaining death threats against Norma Cruz, her relatives or members of the Fundacion Sobrevivientes. Even though the Guatemalan authorities have provided Norma Cruz, her family and her office with police protection the threats continue. To date, nobody has yet been held to account.

March 28–29

NAME: Reggie Clemons
AI CONCERN: Abolish the Death Penalty
BACKGROUND: A death row prisoner who was convicted for his alleged role as an accomplice in a 1991 murder of two women, Julie and Robin Kerry, in St. Louis. Clemons has consistently maintained his innocence, and there is no physical evidence against him; his case illustrates the flaws inherent in the U.S. death penalty system. More than 1,200 people have been executed in the United States since 1977, their lives extinguished by a system corrupted by economic and racial bias and tainted human error.

March 30–April 2

NAME: Nasrin Sotoudeh
AI CONCERN: Prisoner of conscience/Unfair trial
OCCUPATION: Human rights defender and lawyer
DATE OF SENTENCE: October 1, 2010
BACKGROUND: The persecution of Nasrin Sotoudeh is just one example of the Iranian government’s campaign against human rights attorneys who struggle to carry out their work in a deeply flawed legal system. Nasrin Sotoudeh was threatened for her efforts to represent Arash Ramanipour, a juvenile offender executed in January 2010. She was detained after her house and office were searched on 28 August and she was summoned to appear in court. Her assets have also been frozen.



• Sign an action postcard (to be distributed at end of performance)
• Text ACTION to 90999 to opt in to our mobile action alert list
• Join a local group
• Form a group at your high school or college
• Text AMNESTY to 90999 to donate $10


Amnesty International is a movement of people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.

Amnesty International is funded by people like you. We do not accept any funding from governments.
For more information contact Amnesty International’s Northeast Regional Office, 58 Day Street, Somerville, MA 02144
Telephone: 617-623-0202
Please visit

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