Tuesday, January 30, 2018

TURKEY: Medical Association Members Threatened with Violence - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Jan 29, 2018.

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and its prominent members have been subjected to threats of violence, following a statement they issued on 24 January, calling for an end to the ongoing military operation by the Turkish armed forces in Afrin, northern Syria. The TTB lodged a request with the Ankara Governorship to provide protection for its offices and members, but they have received no response.

ALABAMA: Stay of Execution Granted - GOOD NEWS

Amnesty International, USA, Jan 29, 2018

The US Supreme Court granted a stay of execution in the case of Vernon Madison who was scheduled to be executed in Alabama on the evening of 25 January. The stay is to allow the Court time to decide whether to review the claim that Vernon Madison is not “competent” for execution due to his mental disability.  

Sunday, January 28, 2018

USA: Amnesty International Education Video Series

Amnesty International, January 27, 2018.

Please have a look at these short videos.  They will inspire you.

The first video listed, People of Nowhere is available here:  https://youtu.be/VXHYtIfaEQ8

Friday, January 26, 2018

TENNESSEE: Sex-Trafficking Victim Sentenced to Life in Prison - NEWS

Time Magazine, January 24, 2018

A woman who fatally shot a man who had picked her up for sex when she was 16 was unconstitutionally sentenced to life in prison, her lawyers say.

Cyntoia Brown, now 29, has been at the Tennessee Prison for Women since 2004, when she was convicted of killing the 43-year-old man.

The Tennessean reports Brown’s advocates say she was a sex trafficking victim fearing for her life and wronged by the legal system. Prosecutors say Brown killed the man to rob him.

Brown’s lawyers filed a federal appeal, after celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West called for her release. Brown won’t be eligible for parole until her late 60s, and her lawyers argue she may not live that long.

HONDURAS: Justice for Murdered Human Rights Defender - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Jan. 18, 2018.

Local NGOs report that numerous social activists, human rights defenders, and people actively involved in protests occurring throughout Honduras since 29 November 2017 have been subjected to beatings, intimidation, harassment and stigmatization, and that some of their names appear on lists in the hands of security forces. The Coalition against Impunity registered at least 63 attacks against defenders since the post-election crisis started.
Among them, the Broad Movement for Justice and Dignity reported that security forces brutally repressed a protest in La Masica, Atlántida on 16 December. Security forces beat and later fired taser guns at approximately 10 people, including Diego Aguilar López and Wilmer Paredes.  On 29 December, Wilmer Paredes requested protection from the National Protection System for human rights defenders after he reported vehicles following him. Unknown assailants shot and killed Wilmer Paredes on 1 January 2018. 

OHIO: Stop First Execution of 2018 - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Jan. 23, 2018.

Raymond Tibbetts, aged 60, is due to be executed in Ohio on 13 February. His lawyers are urging the Governor to take account of mitigating evidence they say the clemency board failed to give proper weight to, and about which the jury was not fully informed.

TEXAS: Execution Reset Despite Delusional Disorder - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Jan. 25, 2018.

John Battaglia, aged 62, is due to be executed in Texas on 1 February. This date was set after a trial court judge rejected the opinions of three psychologists that a severe delusional disorder deprives the prisoner of a rational understanding of his execution. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

EGYPT: Drop Charges of Human Rights Defender - EMAIL ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Jan. 25, 2018.

Azza Soliman is a lawyer and activist who has been fighting for the basic rights of women in Egypt for over 30 years.

The right not be harassed at work. Not to be beaten. Not to be raped. Rights that we sometimes take for granted here at home.

Betrayed by her own country, she now faces a lengthy prison sentence because the Egyptian government apparently don’t think women should be protected from these horrors.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Amnesty International, USA, January 23, 2018.

18-year old student Taibeh Abbasi is at imminent risk of being deported to Afghanistan, a country she has never been to. Despite the rise in the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, Norway has declared Kabul safe for returns. Should Taibeh Abbasi be deported to war-torn Afghanistan, she would be at serious risk of human rights violations.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

IRAN: Man Arrested at 17 at Risk of Execution - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Jan. 22, 2018.

Hamid Ahmadi, aged 27, has been on death row in Lakan prison in Rasht, Gilan province, since August 2009 in connection with the fatal stabbing of a young man during a fight among a group of boys in 2008. 

He was 17 years old at the time of the crime. 

Since his sentencing, he has been scheduled for execution and transferred to solitary confinement at least five times, which has caused him great mental anguish. The last time was in February 2017, when his execution was halted at the last minute due to public pressure. He subsequently requested a retrial on the basis of his young age and the unfairness of his original trial. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

ISRAEL: Release Palestinian Teen - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International, Australia, January 21, 2018.

At 16, she possesses the courage many people only dream of. Ahed Tamimi is a teen activist that isn't afraid to defend her village in occupied Palestinian land.

Last month, Israeli soldiers arrested Ahed during a night raid. She's still in detention now and has endured aggressive interrogation and threats by Israeli authorities.  

Saturday, January 20, 2018

IRAN: Teen arrested at 14 still at risk of execution - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, Iran, January 19, 2018.

Iranian teenager Abolfazl Chezani Sharahi remains at risk of execution after his execution scheduled for 17 January was postponed. He was 14 years old at the time of the crime of which he was convicted. 

The execution of Iranian teenager Abolfazl Chezani Sharahi, aged 19, was scheduled to take place on 17 January 2018 in Qom prison. The authorities postponed it hours before it was due to take place without stating a reason and after international pressure mounted. He remains at risk of execution.

Abolfazl Chezani Sharahi was sentenced to death on 17 September 2014, after Branch 1 of the Criminal Court in Qom province convicted him of murder for the fatal stabbing of a young man during a fight on 26 December 2013. He was 14 years old at the time of the crime. In sentencing him to death, the court held that he had reached the age of adult criminal responsibility as per Article 147 of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code, which sets this age at 15 lunar years (14 years and six months) for boys and 9 lunar years (8 years and 8 months) for girls. 

LONDON: Women's March Against Hate - NEWS

Amnesty International, UK, Jan. 20, 2018.

Amnesty International will be taking part in the Women’s March on London tomorrow (21 January) in solidarity with all people around the world whose human rights are further threatened by the repercussions of recent political events in the UK and the USA.

Friday, January 19, 2018

ALABAMA, USA: Execution Set for Inmate with Dementia - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Jan 18, 2018.

Vernon Madison is scheduled to be executed in Alabama on 25 January. His lawyers maintain that he lacks a rational understanding of the reason for his execution as a result of severe strokes which have left him with dementia and unable to remember the crime.

Call on the governor to commute Vernon Madison’s death sentence, pointing to the compelling evidence that he is incompetent for execution because he lacks a rational understanding of his punishment as a result of stroke-related dementia and amnesia, as three federal judges concluded.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Amnesty International, USA, January 16, 2018.

The death sentences of Ihar Hershankou and Siamion Berazhnoy were upheld by the Supreme Court of Belarus on 20 December 2017. The two men were convicted and sentenced to death..on 21 July 2017. In the likely event that their appeal for clemency is rejected...both men will be at risk of imminent execution.

In Belarus, no notice is given of the date or time of execution; no final meeting with relatives is granted.  In accordance with Belarusian law, their bodies are not returned to their families for burial, nor is the location of the burial site disclosed.
Belarus is the only country in Europe and Central Asia which continues to implement the death penalty. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception as a violation of the right to life, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MILWAUKEE: In Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King - NEWS

IRAN: Juvenile to be Executed - NEWS

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS, January 16, 2018.

Abolfazl Chezahi Sharahi, an underage offender who is sentenced to death on murder charges, has been transferred to solitary confinement and is scheduled to be executed at Qom Central prison on Wednesday. IHR calls on the international community to react before it is too late.
According to a close source, the authorities informed Abolfazl Chezahi Sharahi’s family that his execution would be carried out on the morning of Wednesday, January 17. He is sentenced to death on the charge of murder during a street fight in 2013.
Abolfazl’s public defender asked for a checkup by the forensics on July 20, 2014, and the forensics report states, “The 15-year-old defendant committed murder last winter and is mentally mature and aware of his action (murder).”
As a result, the court issued a death sentence and sent the case to the Supreme Court after Abolfazl objected to the verdict. The Supreme Court rejected the verdict based on the defendant’s age and the forensic reports and sent the case to a parallel court.
The second court also issues death sentence and this time the Supreme Court approves the verdict.
Iran Human Rights (IHR) calls for an immediate halt of execution of Abolfazl Chezahi Sharahi and a retrial based on Iran’s international commitments.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights (IHR), says: “The European governments should not be indifferent to the execution of juveniles, especially those who have a closer economic and political relationship with Iran.” 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

ECUADOR: Indigenous Human Rights Defender Attacked - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, January 12, 2018.

Patricia Gualinga, Indigenous human rights defender, reported that on 5 January an unknown man attacked her home in Puyo, Pastaza province, throwing stones at the windows while yelling death threats against her.

Patricia Gualinga is a Kichwa leader of the Sarayaku Indigenous Peoples, whose ancestral lands are located in eastern Ecuador. She works to defend rights related to land, territory and the environment in the context of extractive projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon... 
Many Indigenous leaders and human rights defenders have expressed their concerns regarding the effects that oil exploration and extraction could have on their lands, territories and water sources and have previously reported threats and harassment as a consequence of their human rights work. In December 2017, after days of mobilizations and a meeting with the Ecuadorian Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie), President Lenin Morales promised the suspension of new oil and mining concessions in Indigenous lands that have been accorded without “prior consultation”.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

SYRIA: Hundreds Await Medical Evacuation - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Jan. 8, 2018.

29 of the 558 patients awaiting medical evacuation in besieged Eastern Ghouta have been evacuated and transferred to hospitals in Damascus for treatment. 529 more patients still require urgent medical treatment.
On 27 December 2017, the Syrian government approved the medical evacuation of 29 critical cases from Eastern Ghouta.  This evacuation was completed on Friday 29 December 2017 with 17 children, six women, and six men transferred to hospitals in Damascus, where they are being treated for serious injuries or medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and kidney failure. 
According to medical personnel in Eastern Ghouta, 14 people have died while awaiting medical evacuation. The medical evacuation of 572 people with severe injuries and chronic diseases has been pending approval from the Syrian government since July 2017. Medical personnel corroborated news about the evacuation being agreed after negotiations that led to the release of individuals held by the armed opposition. These 29 cases were at the top of the list of patients awaiting medical evacuations due to the urgency of the cases.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

EGYPT: Government Critics Jailed - PETITION

Amnesty International, USA, January 6, 2018.
We the undersigned appeal to you on behalf of well-known, secular social media activists Islam al-Refaei, and  journalists Hossam el-Swefy and Ahmed Abdel Aziz.
Islam al-Rafaei has been criticized for his posts that challenge religious and cultural norms in Egypt.   On 16 November plain clothes, security agents lured Islam to a meeting on the pretext of discussing a website he allegedly designed.   He was detained for 15 days and charged with “joining a banned group”. On 13 December, the Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered renewal of his detention for another 15 days.  His family and friends only became aware of his whereabouts after a lawyer reported that he saw him being questioned by the state security prosecutor in Abdeen police station.

Hossam el-Swefy and Ahmed Abdel Aziz were arrested during a peaceful demonstration in downtown Cairo on 7 December 2017.  The prosecutor decided to combine the cases of Hossam el-Swefy, Ahmed Abdel Aziz, and Islam al-Refaei.  He also added four more individuals to their case. The four other individuals were arrested on two separate occasions.
We appeal to you for:
    **Immediate and unconditional release of Islam al-Refaei, Hossam el-Swefy and Ahmed Abdel Aziz, as they are imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression or peaceful assembly;
Assurance that, all the men have all their due process rights upheld, including access to legal representation and the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention; and
Ceasing the practice of prolonged and arbitrary pre-trial detention

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Sent to: Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek, Office of the Public Prosecutor, Dar al-Qada al-Ali, Down Town
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, Fax:
Copies to:  Ambassador Yasser Reda, Embassy of Egypt, 3521 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
202 895 5400, Fax: 202 244 4319 OR 202 244 5131,  Email: embassy@egyptembassy.net

Stop Action date 31 Jan 2018

CAMBODIA: Environmental Activists Jailed - PETITION

 Amnesty International, USA, January 6, 2018.
Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy were arrested on 11 September 2017 while filming two large vessels they suspected of illegally carrying silica sand for export.  Cambodian customs data show only 28,900 tonnes of sand sent to Taiwan between 2010 and 2016, Taiwan registered receiving 1.7 million tonnes in the same period, an alleged 30 million USD discrepancy between Cambodia’s customs records on exports and Taiwan’s customs records of imports.   At the time of their arrest, Hun Vannak and Doem Ku were affilated with the environmental protection NGO, ‘Mother Nature Cambodia’.  
Both were questioned without their lawyer, and both were charged by the Investigating Judge with “incitement to commit a felony” and “violation of privacy (recording of a person’s image)”, for allegedly filming on “private property”.  Amnesty International does not consider these to be criminal offences. Both could face up to three years in prison if convicted. A hearing date has yet to be set.  Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy are currently in pre-trial detention in Prek Svay prison. Both were denied bail.
We the undersigned call on you to:
  • Immediately and unconditionally release Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy, and all other prisoners of conscience, detained and charged solely for their peaceful activism; and
  • Put an end to harassment of all human rights defenders for their peaceful activism and exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association.

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Sent to: Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, 75 Norodom Blvd, Khan Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Fax: +855 23 426 585
Copies to:  H.E. Ambassador Chum Bunrong, Royal Embassy of Cambodia, 4530 16th St NW, Washington DC 20011, Phone: 1 202 726 7742 I Fax: 1 202 726 8381, Email: camemb.usa@mfa.gov.kh

Stop Action date 02 Feb. 2018

EGYPT: Government Critics Arrested - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, Jan. 6, 2018

On 16 November, security agents in plain clothes arrested Egyptian social media figure Islam al-Refaei. The Egyptian authorities ordered him to be detained on the trumped-up charge of “belonging to a banned group”. 
The prosecution originally ordered his detention for 15 days pending an investigation into the charge of him “joining a banned group”...According to Islam al-Refaei’s lawyers, the detention order relied only on information from the National Security Agency. On 13 December, the Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered the renewal of Islam al-Refaei’s detention for another 15 days. Islam al-Refaei is...has previously drawn criticism for his posts that challenge religious and cultural norms in Egypt. 

On 7 December, security forces arrested two journalists, Hossam el-Swefy and Ahmed Abdel Aziz. Both were arrested during a peaceful demonstration in front of the premises of the Journalists’ Syndicate. The prosecutor has decided to pursue the case against the two journalists and that against Islam al-Refaei’s as one case and added four more individuals to it. The four other individuals were arrested on two separate occasions.

Monday, January 8, 2018

IRAN: Stop Ruthless Crackdown of Peaceful Protest - PRESS RELEASE

Amnesty International, January 4, 2018.

Iranian authorities must ensure the right to peaceful protest, investigate reports that security forces have unlawfully used firearms against unarmed protesters and protect hundreds of detainees from torture and other ill-treatment, Amnesty International said today amid concerns that the crackdown against demonstrations that have spread across Iran in the past week is intensifying.

Friday, January 5, 2018

CHINA: Gao Zhisheng Missing Since August - EMAIL ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, Jan. 4, 2018.

Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been missing since August 2017. His family hasn’t been told where he is or the state of his health. He is at high risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Gao Zhisheng is one of the most respected human rights lawyers in China. He represents human rights activists and works on other politically sensitive cases.

Over the years he has been subjected to enforced disappearance, torture, illegal house arrest and detention.

His friends say that since Gao Zhisheng’s latest disappearance, at least three of his supporters have been detained, seven summoned and two given verbal warnings by police. It is believed the authorities are attempting to silence critics and conceal any information about Gao Zhisheng.

Monday, January 1, 2018

CAMBODIA: Environmental Activists Jailed - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Dec. 24 2017

On 11 September, at 10:45am, two environmental activists, Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy were arrested on a speedboat by police, while filming two large sand-bearing vessels anchored off the coast of Prek Khsach in Koh Kong province. They suspected the vessels were illegally carrying Cambodia’s much-desired natural resource, silica sand, for the purpose of export. Both activists were charged by the Investigating Judge with “incitement to commit a felony” and “violation of privacy (recording of a person’s image)” under Articles 495 and 302 of the Criminal Code, respectively, for allegedly filming on “private property”. Amnesty International does not consider these to be criminal offences. I
At the time of their arrest both activists were still affiliated with prominent environmental protection NGO, ‘Mother Nature Cambodia’ (MNC). Hun Vannak’s and Doem Kundy’s arrest occurred two days after MNC had published a video online, exposing illegal exports of Cambodia’s valuable silica sand by companies linked to the Cambodian Government. MNC accused the Cambodian government of complicity in illegal trade of Cambodia’s natural resource by turning a blind eye to fraud and tax evasion allegedly committed by sand-dredging companies.