Wednesday, June 28, 2017

GAUTEMALA: Women Threatened for Defending Ancestral Lands - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, June 28, 2017

Attacked and threatened for defending her people’s ancestral lands from logging in Guatemala, Aura Lolita Chávez now fears for her life.

Last month at least 10 armed men attacked Lolita and a number of other women, after they handed a potentially illegal logging truck over to the authorities.

These women have a right to protect their lands; they must be able to carry out their peaceful work in safety and without fear.

Lolita is the Indigenous leader of the K’iche People’s Council (CPK), who work tirelessly to protect their traditional lands from mining, logging and hydroelectric interests.

Indigenous women in Guatemala who speak out against powerful companies face enormous risks in the course of their work in seeking justice when their rights are violated.  But, just last year seven Guatemalan environmental defenders facing charges for non-violent protests against hydroelectric projects were released after global pressure from people like you.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

IRAN: Demand Release of Nazanin & Kamal - INFORMATION & ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, June 26, 2017

Despite thousands of you demanding that the UK government take action for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, they have never publicly called for her release nor condemned her mistreatment in prison. To this day, she remains behind bars,being sentenced to four more years of this nightmare. 

Now we’re shifting gears and hoping to influence individual MPs to raise their voice for Nazanin. 

Nazanin is not the only British-Iranian held in Iran under false charges. 77-year-old Kamal Foroughi has been suffering inside a prison cell for over six years – on charges of ‘espionage’. He has been eligible for release since 2014 but the Iranian authorities continue to hold him. 

British citizens may take online action.

Monday, June 26, 2017

GUATEMALA: Excessive Force Against Protestors - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, June 23, 2017

People peacefully protesting against a mining project in Casillas, Guatemala, and by-standers including elders and children were tear gassed and dispersed by riot police on 22 June. Some children were intoxicated and had to be evacuated. Four protesters were detained during the operation and released later that day without charges. 
There are concerns of further excessive use of force as police presence continues in the community. 

Amnesty International contacted an officer at the Vice Ministry of Security who told the organization that they have not yet received any information regarding the events in Casillas on 22 June. 

International organizations and protestors have expressed concern that excessive use of police force may continue, as four police patrols were seen in the community on the afternoon of 23 June. 

Friday, June 23, 2017


Amnesty International, June 22, 2017
The confirmed death in custody of a child detained in November 2016 in northern Rakhine State as part of “clearance operations” increases fears for the safety of hundreds of detained Rohingya men and boys. All remain at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and of being subjected to unfair trials.
On 5 June 2017, the Office of Myanmar’s State Counsellor released a statement announcing that Mammud Rawphi, aged between 13 and 15, died on 2 February “while receiving medical care for inflammation of the stomach”. He had been detained at the Border Guard Police Camp 3 since his arrest on 12 November 2016. His death brings to eight the total reported deaths in custody of men and boys who had been detained as part of military clearance operations in northern Rakhine State. While an investigation has been initiated in at least one of these deaths, the outcome has not yet been made public.
According to the State Counsellor’s Office, five children are currently detained at the Border Guard Police Camp 3 while their trials for murder, for being a member of an unlawful association and other offences is ongoing at a juvenile court. In addition, credible sources report that at least six other children arrested during clearance operations are being held in Buthidaung prison in Rakhine State. There are concerns that they are being tried in an adult rather than juvenile court.

VIRGINIA, USA: Mentally Ill Man set to be Executed - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, June, 23, 2017

Virginia is set to execute William Morva on July 6, even though he has been diagnosed with delusional disorder, a serious mental disability. 

William Morva has a family history of mental disability and during his high school years, close friends and family saw his mental health decline. 

But jurors never heard about the full extent of William Morva’s mental disability. They never heard that his delusional disorder may have contributed to his crimes. 

Urge Governor McAuliffe to stop this execution! The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and executing people with serious mental disability is a violation of international safeguards countries must observe in all capital cases.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ISRAEL: Circus Performer Detained 554 Days - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, June 19, 2017

Ofer Military Court in the occupied West Bank renewed on 12 June the administrative detention order of 25-year-old Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha for a period of three months. His previous six-month administrative detention order expired on 11 June. This comes after the Israeli High Court in Jerusalem ruled on 10 May that the renewal of his administrative detention should be limited to only one additional three-month period. The High Court ruling came after Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha's lawyer, Mahmoud Hassan who works for the Palestinian prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, filed an appeal against the renewal of his administrative detention order.

Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha continues to be held in Ketziot prison inside Israel in flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which provides that detainees from the population of an occupied territory must be detained within that territory. His family, who lives in the occupied West Bank, must apply for permits from the Israeli authorities to visit him and have faced problems obtaining them. Permits for his mother and father were denied on “security” grounds for almost all of the last three months of 2016.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

BANGLADESH: Lawyer Sultana Kamal faces Threats of Violence - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, June 7, 2017

Sultana Kamal is an inspirational lawyer and activist in Bangladesh who isn’t afraid to stand up for justice in her country. However, some people want her silenced at any cost. 

An Islamist group called Hefazat-e-Islam are threatening Sultana with violence in an attempt to stop her from peacefully expressing her opinions. "If you come out to the streets, we will break every bone in your body"
Junayed Al-Habib, Vice President, Hefazat-e-Islam.

While Sultana is living under the threat of violence every day, it’s not unusual for human rights defenders in Bangladesh to experience harassment or surveillance for simply speaking up. 

As fellow human rights supporters, we can’t let this go on.

Join our call on the authorities in Bangladesh to investigate all violent threats made against Sultana. Help ensure her safety so she can continue her peaceful work. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

CHINA: Human Rights Lawyer Jiang Tianyong Imprisoned - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, June 14, 2017
Jiang Tianyong has been formally arrested for “subverting state power” according to a notification received by his father from the Changsha City Public Security Bureau. His father received the notification, issued on 31 May 2017, on 5 June 2017. He was taken to the police station after returning home from the post office, warned not to disclose the details about Jiang Tianyong’s formal arrest to the outside world and later released the same day. If convicted, the maximum punishment for the charge of “subverting state power” is life imprisonment. Jiang Tianyong is now detained at the Changsha City No.1 Detention Center. 

Jiang Tianyong’s lawyer, Chen Jiangang, has requested a meeting with Jiang Tianyong for the ninth time since he was detained. The Changsha City Public Security Bureau rejected all previous meeting requests.  To date, Jiang Tianyong has had no access to a lawyer. Jiang Tianyong was accused of “inciting subversion of state power” when he was placed under “residential surveillance in a designated location” in Dec. 2016.

Jiang Tianyong is a well-known human rights lawyer, whose activism resulted in him being disbarred in 2009. He has since continued his work as a human rights defender, despite suffering ongoing harassment, detention and physical beatings.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

TURKEY: Imprisonment of Amnesty Chair - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, June 9, 2017
Taner Kiliç became the latest victim of the government’s sweeping purge after he was detained in the early hours of Tuesday on suspicion of involvement with the Fethullah Gülen movement, together with 22 other lawyers based in Izmir.

At his court hearing in the western Turkish city today, he was charged with membership of the “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation” and remanded in pre-trial detention. Amnesty International is demanding his immediate and unconditional release. 

“Taner Kiliç is a principled and passionate human rights defender. The charges brought against him today are completely without merit. They show just how arbitrary, just how sweeping, the Turkish government’s frenzied pursuit of its perceived enemies and critics has become. He must be released immediately and the charges against him dropped,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“Taner’s arrest highlights not just a disregard for human rights, but a desire to target those who defend them. We are calling on all those in Turkey and around the world who care about human rights to speak up for a courageous campaigner who has dedicated his life and now sacrificed his liberty in their cause.”

Friday, June 9, 2017

CHECHNYA: End Persecution of Gay Chechnens - NEWS

Amnesty International, June 9 2017

The response of the Chechen authorities was to claim that gay men do not exist – even as they defended killing them in the name of “honour”.
The aggressive homophobia of the Chechen authorities is replicated throughout society, so that gay men have to hide their identities even from their families and closest friends for fear of being attacked and killed.

One man told Amnesty International that he knew of a gay man who was shot by his relatives and not given a burial. “For a Muslim, having no funeral is particularly hard. It’s as if this person has never existed, that no-one has the right to remember him.”

But gay Chechens do exist. They are real, and they are in desperate need of real help.
Since the story broke, Amnesty International activists from all over the world been coming together in defiance of the authorities’ senseless denials, to express their support and solidarity with gay people in Chechnya.

Last week we handed in more than half a million signatures to Russian embassies around the world, demanding an end to this horrifying persecution and a proper investigation into the allegations.

USA: Free the BERKS KIDS - ONLINE PETITION to Ivanka Trump

USA, June 7, 2017

Candles, birthday cake, presents, friends and family. That’s what every parent hopes for their child’s birthday. Instead of festivities, Tomás spent his eighth birthday behind bars—for the second year in a row.

The reason why? Because Tomás and his mom were jailed in the only place in the country where you can hold a child who has never committed a violent crime for over 600 days: Berks Country, PA. Tomás and his mom, Natalia, are amongst at least 60 other moms, dads, and children who were locked up after seeking safety here, though they fled from violence in their home countries.

Today, we’re calling on Ivanka Trump to join us in the fight for kids like Tomás. Ivanka campaigned for her father on a commitment to support kids and mothers—shouldn’t that include all kids—even the ones at Berks?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

INDONESIA: Governor Ahok accused of Blasphemy - Take Online Action

Amnesty International, Australia, May 31, 2017

Ahok, who is a Christian, was accused of ‘insulting Islam’ in an online video posted just after he announced he would re-run as Governor in the 2017 election. This sparked nationwide demonstrations calling for him to be charged with defamation of Islam.

In his comments Ahok said: “So it can be that in your subconscious that you, ladies and gentlemen, you can’t vote for me because you’ve been lied to, with Surat Almaidah 51 and the like. That’s your right. If you feel you can’t vote for me because you fear you’ll go to hell, because you’ve been lied to, no worries. That’s your personal call.”

Blasphemy laws have been used by both Muslims and non-Muslims in attempts to stifle freedom of expression and religion in Indonesia. Under the laws, people face up to five years in prison simply for peacefully exercising their right to religious freedom.