Saturday, April 29, 2017

MALAYSIA: Siti Noor Aishah (student) convicted for possession of illegal books - URGENT ACTION

Urgent Action Update: Student Convicted For Posession of 'Illegal' Books (Malaysia: UA 79.17)

Research student Siti Noor Aishah has been sentenced by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to five years in prison for possessing 12 books deemed ‘illegal’ by the Malaysian government.

On 26 April, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced Siti Noor Aishah to five years in prison for her possession of 12 books. She was found guilty under Section 130JB(1)(a) of Malaysia’s Penal Code which prohibits any “possession, custody or control of any item associated with any terrorist group or the commission of a terrorist act”. The law is both broad and vague as it does not clearly define what books or other materials would be prohibited.

While Siti Noor Aishah contended the books were for researching her thesis at Universiti Malaya, where she majored in Islamic studies, the High Court indicated it applied the standard of strict liability which meant the reason for her having the books was irrelevant. The 12 books in question are not banned and can be legally purchased at bookshops in the country.

After her first arrest on 22 March 2016, Siti Noor Aishah was subjected to prolonged periods of detention pending her most recent hearing before the High Court.

Madison, WI: March For Science and Climate 2017 - NEWS

Group 139 of Amnesty International
April 22, 2017
Members of our Group 139 participated in Madison local March For Science and Climate.
Estimated participants were 5000. We walked from James Madison Park to University of Wisconsin Library Mall. There were several speeches including the one delivered by Tia Nelson, daughter of Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day.

IRAN: Filmmaker Keywan Karimi Released - URGENT ACTION VICTORY

Amnesty International

Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi was released from Tehran’s Evin prison on 19 April 2017. He had been imprisoned since 23 November 2016. Keywan Karimi was a prisoner of conscience.

Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority, was released on 19 April 2017 after spending nearly five months in prison. According to an interview given by his lawyer, Amir Raeisian, to the Saat24 (24 Hours) news website on 19 April 2017, Keywan Karimi was released after the Office of the Prosecutor and Branch 54 of the Court of Appeal in Tehran agreed to grant him a conditional release. He will be under probation until the end of October 2017. His flogging sentence of 223 lashes can be enforced at any time and his five-year suspended prison sentence remains in place.

IRAN: Atena Daemi, Anti-Death Penalty Activist on Hunger Strike - UGENT ACTION

Amnesty International USA

Iranian human rights defender Atena Daemi has been on hunger strike in Tehran’s Evin prison since 8 April. She is protesting the suspended prison sentences imposed on two of her sisters, Hanieh and Ensieh, for “insulting public officers on duty”. She has accused Iran’s security bodies of harassing family members as a way to inflict further pain and suffering on political prisoners.

SOMALIA: Children Executed - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International 
Seven boys were arrested by police on 28 December 2016 in Bosaso, Puntland for allegedly killing three high ranking officials serving in the Puntland administration. Ayub Yasin Abdi (14), Muhamed Yasin Abdi (17), Daud Saied Sahal (15), Abdulhakin Muhamed Aweys (17), Hassan Adam Hassan (16), Nour Aldiin Ahmed (17), and Ali Ismaeil Ali (15) were detained in shipping containers for about two weeks before being transferred to a police station. Two of the boys told their families that they were all subjected to various forms of torture and other ill- treatment, including electrocution, being burned with cigarettes on their genitalia, binding genitals parts together, drowned in water, beatings and raped until they “confessed” and signed the murder confessions.

USA: Stand up to Trump. Protect human rights. #TrumpWatch-Online Petition

Amnesty International USA 

     April 29th marks Trump’s first 100 days in office. Since his   inauguration Trump has shown how dangerous his agenda is for human rights here and around the world. When we sat down to document the first 100 days, it didn’t take long to identify 100 ways this administration has threatened people’s human rights. 
Click here for online petition

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

UZBEKISTAN: Muhammed Bekzhanov freed after 17 years-NEWS & VIDEO (48 sec

Published on Feb 22, 2017

Muhammad Bekzhanov from Uzbekistan was released on 22 February 2017 after 17 years in prison. Amnesty International members and supporters have tirelessly campaigned for his release. He was one of the longest detained journalists in the world.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

ZAMBIA: Detained Opposition Leader Accused of Treason-URGENT ACTION

Leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr Hakainde Hichilema was arrested on 10 April. He has been charged with treason over allegations of obstructing the Presidential motorcade as it was on the way to a traditional ceremony held in the Western Province on 8 April. Treason is a non-bail able offense punishable by death in Zambia. Hakainde Hichilema is being detained at Lilayi Police Camp, a police training school outside Lusaka. 

Hakainde Hichilema is the president of the main opposition political party in Zambia, the United Party for National Development (UPND). Hakainde Hichilema contested against President Edgar Chagwa Lungu in the presidential elections held on 11 August 2016, where he was narrowly defeated. Following the defeat, UPND challenged the electoral results and their petition was thrown out by the Constitutional Court, without being heard by three Constitutional Court judges who took the decision without involving two other Constitutional Court judges.
Hakainde Hichilema was arrested alongside UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba in Luanshya on 6 October 2016 while on their way to visit their supporters in prison. Some members of the party have been in custody since August 2016. Hakainde Hichilema has always availed himself to the police whenever they have wanted. UPND members and activists have been subjected to harassment and arbitrary arrests in the past.

CLICK HERE to Take Action

SYRIA: US cannot turn its back on Syrian Refugees - ONLINE ACTION

If Trump really wants to help the victims of war, he needs to stop turning his back on refugees. Syrian refugees are fleeing horrific violence, and this escalating violence only makes it more urgent that we support them.

We’ve all seen the horrific images from Syria—ground covered with lifeless bodies, many of them children, have shocked the world and stunned our collective conscience.

A doctor in Idlib told Amnesty, "Children are the first ones to die, they cannot fight this back. We only had one child who, thank God, survived.” No one should ever have to utter those words.

People fleeing this unimaginable violence need protection. Instead, Trump has banned refugees, like the ones fleeing violence in Syria, and is trying to cut funding for them. We can’t let this happen.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

CHECHNYA: Gay Men being Abducted and Killed, ONLINE PETITION


According to independent daily newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, up to 100 men suspected of being gay have been abducted as part of a coordinated campaign. It claims the men have been tortured and otherwise ill-treated, and three are reported to have been killed by their captors – but there could be more.

We need you to urge the Russian and Chechen authorities to investigate these abductions and bring those responsible to justice.

Government coverup
Far from taking responsibility, the Chechen authorities deny that gay men even exist in Chechnya.
‘You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,’Kadyrov spokesman Alvi Karimov told Interfax. ‘If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.’

Thursday, April 6, 2017

SYRIA: Chemical gas used on people of Syria - NEWS & PETITION

Amnesty International 
April 5, 2017

Chemical gas is being used on people in Syria
Today, the production, retention, and transfer of chemical weapons is firmly prohibited under international law.

Yet, it happened again yesterday in Syria. Chemical weapons killed more than 70 people and injured hundreds, including young children.

Please help us deliver a powerful message to the United Nations that these deadly attacks on human life must be stopped, and those responsible must be held accountable.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Fighters Occupying, Looting Schools - NEWS

Fighters Occupying, Looting Schools Keep Children From Their Education
Human Rights Watch
March 23, 2017
     Soldiers camping out in schools and breaking up desks for firewood is common in parts of the Central African Republic. According to a United Nations report from November, 20 percent of the country’s schools are not operational, many because of misuse by armed groups. Some students were forced out of school four years ago, when the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels cut a bloody swath through the country and seized the capital. Thousands more children stopped going to school in the ensuing years, as Christiananimist anti-balaka fighters ousted the Seleka, torching whole Muslim communities and displacing more than 860,000 people. Many of these children may never resume their studies, despite hopes kindled when a new government took over a year ago. Researcher Lewis Mudge talks to Amy
     Braunschweiger about his latest research and what a lost generation could mean for the future of one of the world’s poorest countries