Saturday, December 29, 2018

UAE: Human Rights Defender Verdict - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Dec 22, 2018.

On 24 December 2018 the Federal Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to hear the appeal of prominent human rights defender and prisoner of conscience, Ahmed Mansoor. The court may issue a final verdict. On 29 May 2018, Ahmed Mansoor was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges including "insulting the UAE and its symbols".

Please take action before February 1, 2019.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

UAE: Human Rights Defender Health Deteriorating - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, December 21, 2018.

Human rights defender Dr Nasser bin Ghaith detained in the high security al-Razeen Prison, has been on hunger strikes for various lengths of time since 7 October 2018. For over 70 days he has only eaten a small amount of food a handful of times and his health has severely deteriorated. He is protesting against the prison authorities’ ill-treatment of detainees, including denial of access to medical care and inconsistency of family visits. According to reliable information, he has now lost much of his sight and is too weak to stand up and walk unaided as a result of his hunger strike. Dr Nasser bin Ghaith is also demanding his own release following the presidential pardon granted to British academic Matthew Hedges on 26 November 2018, a week after he was sentenced to life in prison on spying charges.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Women's March 2019: The Women in Our Family

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The Women's March 2019 is on January 19, 2019 - check out the website and video below for more information. Thanks for all you do!


Monday, December 17, 2018

USA: Amnesty International Wins! - GOOD NEWS

Amnesty International Wire Magazine.

Over the last year, almost seven million Amnesty International supporters have taken action - protesting, writing, petitioning and much more - to defend and advance human rights everywhere.

It’s had a huge impact: people who have been unfairly imprisoned have been released; laws have been changed and brave people around the world have stood up and taken action!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

BELARUS: Two Prisoners at Risk for Execution - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International USA, December 14, 2018

Aliaksandr Zhylnikau and Viachaslau Sukharko were originally sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2017 after being found guilty of the murder of three people in December 2015. In July 2017, following an appeal by the prosecutor, the Supreme Court sent their case back to the lower court for a retrial, which resulted in them being sentenced to death on 20 January 2018. On appeal, Aliaksandr Zhynikau’s lawyer asked for a new forensic examination to be ordered which could prove his innocence in two out of the three murders. The lawyer also asked for a less harsh sentence. Both requests were denied and on 30 May 2018, the Supreme Court upheld Aliaksandr Zhylnikau and Viachaslau Sukharko’s death sentences.
Please take action before January 25, 2019.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

SUDAN: Sudanese Activist at Risk of Torture - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, December 10, 2018

Sudanese political activist Mohamed Hassan Alim Shareef was deported from Egypt to Sudan on 9 October. Officers from Sudan’s National Intelligence Service (NISS) arrested him upon his arrival in Sudan. He is currently detained at the NISS headquarters in Khartoum North. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Women will be Silent No More


It's not too late to help change the world.

70 years ago, world leaders committed to protecting human rights for all people.
70 years ago, we committed to achieving "the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family."
70 years ago, the world was changed forever.
As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we honor individuals who have committed their lives to fighting for the rights we all deserve.
And we fight right alongside them.
Look no further than the women on behalf of whom we are mobilizing across the world today. Atena, Geraldine, Marielle, Pavitri, Awad, Nawal, Nonhle, Vitalina, Gulzar, and the Sengwer Indigenous people have paid with their freedom, their safety, and even their lives to advocate relentlessly for equal rights for all people.
Today, we join together with hundreds of thousands of others across the world to amplify the call for justice.

The call for human rights to come first.
Today, you can still mark 70 years of human rights by sending a tweet, writing a letter, and using our online tool to send emails directly to decision-makers.
We've been doing this for years because it works. Because of you.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Happy International Human Rights Day 2018!

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Happy International Human Rights Day 2018!

Thanks for all you to do advocate for human rights across the world. Here are a few videos with special messages on this special day.

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VICTORY: 37 families released!

Today is Human Rights Day. And to say thank you for your continued support of our work, I just have to share this incredibly special photo and breaking news with you.

In an extraordinary move, 37 families — who are seeking a better life in safety — have been released from the South Texas Family Residential Center in the town of Dilley. Their releases are especially significant in light of the Trump administration’s hostility toward immigrants and asylum-seekers.

Their lawyers just shared this beautiful photo with me. And I had to share it with you today, as we honor Human Rights Day. 

Do you see these smiling faces? These families are smiling thanks to our impactful work together. 

This decision is a huge relief for these mothers and their children, who were forcibly separated and then reunited behind bars. After spending months in family detention, these children will now be able to play in the park, go to school, and live their lives in freedom while their asylum applications are processed.

This is a step in the right direction, but we must make sure everyone arriving in the United States is given a fair hearing and humane treatment. Families should be met with compassion, not contempt.

Our fight for human rights continues. And we are so grateful to have you standing by our side.

Thank you. We really can’t say it enough. 

Margaret Huang
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

TURKEY: Human Rights Activists jailed for their work

Women defending human rights

You helped win my freedom when I was jailed by the Turkish Government for speaking up for human rights. Now, I’m asking you to speak up for four other women who face injustice simply because they stood up for what's right.

Nonhle, Atena and Vitalina are in danger right now — imprisoned or at risk for their human rights work. Tragically, Marielle was killed earlier this year for standing up for her community.

We need to demand that Marielle’s killers are brought to justice, and make sure Atena, Nonhle and Vitalina are safe.

I’ll never forget the day I was arrested.

The Turkish police detained me at a human rights workshop in 2017. Until recently I was the Director of Amnesty Turkey and I am no stranger to injustice. But when it happens to you — it makes you lose your breath.

They charged me and nine other human rights defenders with aiding a terrorist organisation. We spent almost four months in prison.

But there was hope: Amnesty supporters like you around the world who were willing to speak up for me until I was released.

I am now free and so are my colleagues; we are all so thankful. If it wasn’t for your efforts, we wouldn’t be here.

That’s why I must help others and I hope you’ll join me.

Make a difference for Marielle, Nonhle, Atena and Vitalina.

Idil Eser
PS. Marielle, Atena, Nonhle, Vitalina and I all live in different countries, but each of us have paid a price for defending human rights. We can help these brave women and their families by demanding an end to threats and for those accountable to be brought to justice.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

SOUTH AFRICA: Defender of Ancestral Lands Harassed - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, Dec 2, 2018.

When Nonhle Mbuthuma’s people were threatened with eviction from their ancestral lands by the subsidiary of an Australian mining company, she and her community united five villages to push back.
Now, Nonhle is being harassed just for defending their rights. She’s even survived an attempt on her life.

IRAN: Juvenile at Risk for Execution - NEWS

Iran Human Rights, December 4, 2018.

Milad Azimi is a juvenile offender who allegedly committed a murder at the age of 17. His death sentence was upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court a few months ago. The plaintiff has set a diyeh (blood-money) of 500 millions Toman (approximately 50.000 USD) with the deadline of December 4. Milad's family are not able to pay that amount of money. Therefore, if he fails to win the plaintiff’s consent, his execution will be carried out quite soon. Local civil society activists have been trying to collect money to save Milad's life.
Iran Human Rights (IHR) urges the Iranian authorities to stop juvenile executions and calls on the international community to act in order to save Milad's life.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

STATE OF PALESTINE: Social Justice Activist on Hunger Strike - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, November 29, 2018.  

On 3 November at 8pm, Suha Jbara was arrested by Palestinian security forces from her home in Turmusaya near Ramallah in the West Bank, and taken to Jericho Detention and Interrogation Center used by the Joint Security Committee.

According to her lawyers, Mohannad Karajah and Thafer Sa’ayda, Suha Jbara was in interrogation for three consecutive days during which she alleges she was tortured by several male interrogators. She told her lawyers that she was severely beaten on her chest and back, shaken and slammed against the wall, and threatened with sexual violence.  Her father Badran Jbara, 56, visited her in prison on 21 November and told Amnesty International that his daughter showed him bruises on her body as a result of beating. Suha has been held in solitary confinement since arriving at the Jericho Prison.

During a closed court session on 22 November, Suha Jbara announced she started a hunger strike in protest against her detention and ill-treatment, and stated her intention to continue it until she is released. A request from her lawyer for her to be examined by a forensic doctor to check her claims of torture during interrogation was rejected. She has been taken to the Jericho hospital twice since she started the hunger strike and each time returned to prison. Her lawyers are denied access to the casefile which is held by the Attorney General.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

CANADA: Stop Forced Sterilization of Indigenous Women - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Canada, November 23, 2018.

When 29-year-old Lisa* entered a Saskatchewan hospital to give birth in 2001, she could never have expected her doctor would also perform a tubal ligation against her will, leaving her unable to have more children.

Yet, that is exactly what happened -- and Lisa* is not alone.

Across Canada, and as recently as 2017, Indigenous women report being forcibly or coercively sterilized after giving birth. Some women were incorrectly told the procedure is reversible. Others were separated from their babies until they consented to a tubal ligation surgery.

Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, will you call on Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to make sure that not one more Indigenous woman is sterilized without consent?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

CONGO: Activists Held Incommunicado - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Nov. 20, 2018.

Activists Arsene Katolo, Alain Muwaka, Oto Shaminga, Heritier Losomba, Miko Booto, Enoch Muanda and Mwanza are being held incommunicado at an unknown location in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

Arsene KatoloAlain MuwakaOto ShamingaHeritier LosombaMiko BootoEnoch Muanda and Mwanzawere arrested on 11 September in Kinshasa as they were handing out leaflets against controversial plans to use electronic voting machines in next month’s election. The elections are scheduled for 23 December.

Their families and lawyers have not been allowed to see them and they have not been presented in court. There is concern that they could be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment while in detention.

The activists are members of “Les Congolais Debout”, a movement of Congolese activists opposed to human rights violations, and defending civil and political liberties in the country.


Dear AIUSA members,

Today at 4:30pm GMT, the International Secretariat posted on the Amnesty International website the Laddie report which investigates the death of Gaëtan Mootoo, who was a long-time Africa researcher for Amnesty. The UK barrister James Laddie had a scope of work to determine whether there was a breach of the duty of care Amnesty is obligated to provide staff in the case of Gaëtan taking his own life. While the report does not find a breach in the duty of care, Laddie does highlight a number of serious concerns regarding the culture and structure of Amnesty. It is also particularly critical of the organization’s management, and there are a series of recommendations in the report that have been accepted in full by Kumi and the SLT.

You can find Kumi’s response to the report here. Please note that any media queries should be directed to the AIUSA media team – – and we are deferring all comments to the IS spokespeople.

Today’s report includes information that is difficult to read and includes recommendations that can be applied to our work here in the U.S. as well as across the global movement. Our thoughts are with people who have been impacted by Gaëtan’s tragic death. When a colleague takes their own life, it can affect any of us in different ways and we all need to be mindful of the potential impact on our colleagues and ourselves.

Friday, November 16, 2018

MYANMAR: Acquitted Former Child Soldier Held - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Nov. 15, 2018.

Former child solider Aung Ko Htwe has been acquitted of the latest in a series of charges against him after he gave a media interview about being forcibly recruited by the Myanmar military when he was only 13. Despite this acquittal, he remains in prison serving two years and six months on other politically motivated charges. He should be immediately and unconditionally released.

VIETNAM: Prisoner Critically Ill - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, November 15,2018.

Nguyễn Văn Túc health is quickly deteriorating to the point where he is fainting on a daily basis, yet the authorities continue to deny him adequate medical treatment and have moved him to a remote prison, making family visits much more difficult. Determined to be a prisoner of conscience, Nguyễn Văn Túc should be immediately and unconditionally released.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

EGYPT: Death Sentence Upheld - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, November 13, 2018

On 24 September 2018, Egypt’s Court of Cassation...upheld the death sentences of 20 Egyptians, including Sheikh Abdel Rehim Abdel Halim Gabreel. They were convicted of killing 13 policemen during the 2013 attack on a police station in the Giza suburb of Kerdasa. 
On 26 September 2013, Sheikh Abdel Rehim Abdel Halim Gabreel was arrested from a mosque. After six months of investigations without a lawyer, he was put on trial. On 2 February 2015, he was sentenced to death. The sentence was upheld by the Court of Cassation on 24 September 2018. 
Sheikh Abdel Rehim Abdel Halim Gabreel does not have any political affiliation and did not participate in the criminal acts at Kerdasa. During the trial, two prosecution witnesses denied the testimonies written in the affidavits presented by the prosecution and that incriminated Sheikh Abdel Rehim Abdel Halim Gabreel. 
Sheikh Abdel Rehim Abdel Halim Gabreel’s lawyers performed a forensic medical examination, confirming that he suffers from Psoriasis...His overall physical and psychological health deteriorated in prison, as he cannot have access to adequate health care. The Wadi al-Natrun prison authorities did not allow his family to bring him medication; they only accept giving him some medication and refuse to let his family provide him with all the medication he needs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

IRAN: Activists Executed - NEWS

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS, November 11, 2018

Two different sources have reported to Iran Human Rights (IHR) that several Ahwazi Arab activists were executed on Thursday, November 8, at one of the prisons in the Iranian city of Ahvaz (Ahwaz).

One of the sources said: “In the aftermath of the September attack to a military parade in Ahvaz, Iranian Ministry of intelligence announced that 22 people were arrested for alleged connection to the incident. It seems that authorities executed all of them on Thursday. Today [Sunday, November 11] they told the prisoners’ families that the executions were carried out. They (authorities) warned the families against public mourning.”

Friday, November 9, 2018

MEXICO: Indigenous Leaders Killed - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Canada, Nov. 8, 2918.

The mountains, canyons and forests of Mexico’s Tarahumara Sierra are renowned for their breathtaking beauty.

They are also a place of extreme danger for Indigenous people trying to defend their ancestral territory and the environment on which their survival depends.

The shocking reality is that more than a dozen Rarámuri Indigenous leaders from the tiny community of Coloradas de la Virgen have been killed since 2015.

That terrible toll worsened on October 24 when the disfigured body of Julián Carrillo was found after shots were heard.

Like others before him, Julián had courageously spoken out to denounce illegal logging and mining concessions that threaten Rarámuri lands. He knew he was in danger and reported death threats on repeated occasions. Yet authorities failed to protect him, just as they failed to protect other Rarámuri leaders.

Julián’s voice has been silenced. Ours are urgently needed.
This is literally a matter of life and death. The people of Coloradas de la Virgen have good reason to fear more attacks. They are counting on our support.  Please sign our action calling on Mexico to stop the killers and protect Indigenous environment defenders.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

EGYPT: Human Rights Lawyer Detained - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Nov 7, 2018

On 1 November 2018, State Security forces broke into the house of Hoda Abdelmoniem in Cairo at 1:30 am, ransacked it, and took her blindfolded to her mother’s house. While the Security forces searched her mother’s house, she was left blindfolded in a police vehicle. Hoda was then forcibly taken to an unknown destination. Hoda’s daughter witnessed her arrest.

The officers confirmed to Hoda’s daughter that they belong to the State Security forces. However, they did not show an arrest warrant, and refused to tell her daughter about the reason of the arrest or the destination where she was being taken. Hoda was not allowed to take any medicines or personal belongings with her. She has a blood clot in her leg and high blood pressure, resulting in repeated instances of imbalance. Hoda’s lawyers have been asking about her fate and whereabouts in different police stations but have not been unable to locate her. The authorities denied the fact that Hoda has been arrested and said that they do not know her whereabouts. Amnesty International believes that Hoda Abdelmoniem has been forcibly disappeared.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bahrain: Opposition Leader Sentenced to Life - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Nov. 5, 2018

On 4 November 2018, the Bahraini Appeal Court sentenced opposition leader and prisoner of conscience, Sheikh Ali Salman, to life imprisonment. The court overturned an earlier acquittal, and convicted him and two others of communicating sensitive security information to Qatar.

On 4 November 2018, the High Criminal Court of Appeal in Manama, Bahrain’s capital, sentenced Sheikh Ali Salman, the Secretary General of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society (al-Wefaq), Bahrain’s main opposition party, to life imprisonment. He was convicted with two others of “exchanging intelligence information with a foreign country [Qatar] and with those serving its interests to carry out hostile acts against Bahrain....

The two other men, Ali al-Aswad, a former al-Wefaq Member of Parliament, and Sheikh Hassan Sultan, a party member whose nationality was revoked in January 2015, were tried in abstentia.

Sheikh Ali Salman is held in Jaw Prison, south of Manama. He was due for release at the end of December, having served his four-year prison sentence in another case relating to his peaceful speeches.

Monday, November 5, 2018

URGENT ACTION: Activist charged for peaceful anti-military protest

Urgent Action


Activist Tin Maung Kyi has been detained for staging a peaceful solo protest calling on the international community to arrest senior Myanmar generals. He has been charged under laws often used to silence peaceful activists and faces up to two years and one month in prison if found guilty. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Take Action:
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Release Tin Maung Kyi immediately and unconditionally as he has been detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly;
  • Ensure that, pending his release, Tin Maung Kyi is protected against torture and other ill-treatment, that he has unfettered access to his family and legal counsel of his choosing, and is provided with any medical treatment he may require. 
  • Repeal or amend all laws criminalizing the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, including Article 505(b) of the Penal Code and the Peaceful Assembly Act, and bring them in line with international human rights law and standards.
Contact these two officials by 17 December, 2018:

Lt. Gen. Kyaw Swe, Minister of Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Office No. 10, Nay Pyi Taw,
Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Fax: +95 67 412 439
Salutation: Dear Minister

Ambassador U Aung Lynn, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
2300 S St. NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 332 3344 OR 202 332 4350 I Fax: 202 332 4351
Email: -OR-
Contact form:
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Click here to let Amnesty know if you took action on this case! This is Urgent Action 188.18.

Here's why it is so important to report your actions: we record the actions taken on each case—letters, emails, calls and tweets—and use that information in our advocacy.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS CASE: Read and download the full Urgent Action
GET INSPIRED: Read about the people you have helped
READ TIPS for writing effective letters and emails

Thanks for all you do!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

EVENT: A Conversation with Congressman Mark Pocan: Clean Water for Children in Gaza

Displaying image006.jpgDear Friends,

In Gaza, 97 percent of the water is unfit for human consumption!

Amnesty Internationl Local Group #139 - Madison is proud to be a supporter of Clean Water for the Children of Gaza - a joint project of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, First Unitarian Society of Madison, Jewish Voice for Peace/Madison, and Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.

We are co-sponsoring a fundraiser for this project on Tuesday, November 20th at 7:00 pm at First Unitarian Society – 900 University Bay Dr. in Madison.

At this event, Congressman Mark Pocan will discuss the water crisis in Gaza and share his insights with our community. We will also be raising money to purchase a water filtration system that will serve two schools in Gaza, thus providing clean water to over 3,250 children and their families.

There will also be a brief presentation about the project, a musical performance by Beat Road, and light refreshments. This event is free and open to the public. Donations at this fundraiser will be greatly appreciated!

Event flyer and poster are attached. You can also share our Facebook event and our project brochure. For more information call Tim Cordon at 608-630-3633.

Hope to see you on November 20th!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

AUSTRALIA: Free Remaining Children on Nauru - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, October 31, 2018

38 children and their families remain on Nauru. And tomorrow our government will still go to the Federal Court to stall the immediate transfer of critically ill children.

It begs the question: if the government is serious about bringing kids to safety, why block their immediate transfer? Why are the remaining children and families not being moved right now?

Saturday, October 27, 2018

IRAN - Prisoner Force-Fed While on Hunger Strike - PRESS RELEASE

Amnesty International, USA, October 26, 2018

Farhad Meysami, a medical doctor, was detained in July for supporting a campaign against Iran’s laws imposing forced hijab (veiling) on women and girls. He has been on hunger strike since 1 August and his health has deteriorated drastically. On 26 September, he was forcibly transferred from section 4 of Evin prison to the medical clinic, where he is being held in isolation, and has been administered intravenous fluids against his will. Sources told Amnesty International he is being held there until he agrees to end his hunger strike.

“Farhad Meysami’s only ‘crime’ is speaking out against Iran’s degrading and discriminatory practice of forced hijab and defending women's rights to choose their own clothing. He is a prisoner of conscience and it is utterly outrageous that he is being detained at all,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

MALAYSIA - Death Penalty Victory! GOOD NEWS

Amnesty International, New Zealand, October, 2018

On World Day Against the Death Penalty, we were excited to hear the Malaysian Government announce plans to abolish the death penalty. With more 800 people on death row, this is a huge victory for human rights. 

Thank you for supporting Amnesty International's 40-year long campaign to end the cruel and inhumane punishment that is the death penalty. This win shows our power. When we come together, governments listen.