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(New York) – Following the announcement that Martina Davis Correia, the longtime activist against the death penalty and sister of Troy Anthony Davis, had succumbed to cancer, Curt Goering, chief operating officer, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), released the following statement:
“Our hearts are breaking over the loss of this extraordinary woman. She fought to save her brother’s life with courage, strength and determination, every step of the way. She was a powerful example of how one person can make a difference as she led the fight for justice for Troy Davis, even as she endured her own decade-long battle with cancer. And despite the terrible blow of his execution, she remained brave and defiant to the core of her being, stating her conviction that one day his death would be the catalyst for ending the death penalty. Even as Martina’s health failed, she was making plans to continue her work against the death penalty in her brother’s memory, as he urged his supporters to do just before he was put to death. She was a tenacious fighter, a graceful inspiration to activists everywhere, and a true hero of the movement for human rights. At this sorrowful time, we at Amnesty International offer our profound sympathy to her family.”
Correia received many honors for her death penalty abolition activism as well as her work to raise awareness to prevent breast cancer. She was chair of the Steering Committee for AIUSA’s Program to Abolish the Death Penalty and, for 11 years, served as Amnesty International’s coordinator in Georgia for the death penalty program. In 2010, Amnesty International’s Irish section awarded her the Sean McBride Award for Outstanding Contributions to Human Rights.
In 2009, she received the Georgia Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Frederick Douglass Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.