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THURSDAY

Although her plight was graver than that of television’s Ellen, Americans failed to notice this spring when Amnesty International adopted the case of Mariana Cetiner, a woman sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in Romania for seducing another woman. In 1991, already possessed of a daunting mission, the organization expanded its mandate to include work on behalf of people imprisoned due to their sexual orientation. Tonight, Amnesty International U.S.A. hosts the discussion “Breaking the Silence,” on human rights abuses against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals around the globe. Serkan Altan, a gay man granted political asylum in the U.S. for fear of such persecution in Turkey, will recount his experience, attorney Elizabeth McGrath will speak on related legal issues, and Amnesty reps will discuss their campaign. Skip the “very special” sitcoms from 8-10 p.m. at Cobalt, 1639 R St. NW. Free. (202) 775-5116. (John Dugan)