Saturday, April 28, 2018

IRAN: Trade Unionist on Hunger Strike - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, IRAN, April 26, 2018.

Iranian trade unionist Esmail Abdi started a hunger strike on 24 April to protest against the treatment of teachers and workers in Iran, on the one hand, and the denial of his requests for prison leave, on the other. Esmail Abdi is a prisoner of conscience serving a six-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison for his peaceful trade union activities.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

USA: Nepalese Face Deportation - NEWS

Washington Post, April 25, 2018.

The Department of Homeland Security is preparing to cancel the temporary residency permits of about 9,000 immigrants from Nepal, the Trump administration’s latest move to expel foreigners living in the United States with some form of provisional status.

According to internal planning documents viewed by The Washington Post, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will give the Nepalis a one-year grace period to prepare their departure, but they would face deportation after June 24, 2019.

NICARAGUA: State Repressing Demonstrators - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, April 24, 2018.

Since 18 April, several protests have taken place all over the capital city of Managua as well as other cities in Nicaragua (Bluefields, León, Estelí, Masaya), mobilizing hundreds of people from different sectors of society that were in disagreement with reforms to the social security system. 

At least 28 people have been killed and there are reports of several injured, detained and disappeared.  
Although President Daniel Ortega announced on 22 April the derogation of social security reforms, reports of demonstrators detained and disappeared persist. 
Repression against journalists has been particularly strong and scaling. When the demonstrations began on 18 April, security forces and armed civilians who sympathize with the government hit several journalists and threatened them with stealing their equipment. On 19 April, the government censored national media, and took three channels off the air. On 21 April, an unknown assailant fatally shot a journalist in the head while he was doing a Facebook Live broadcast of the commotions taking place in Bluefields. 

INDIA: Indigenous Activist Threatened - ONLINE EMAIL ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, April 23, 2018.

For decades India’s Adivasi Indigenous people have been kicked off their lands and seen their rights trampled on – to make room for business development, factories and dirty power plants.

One Adivasi woman in central India, Pavitri Manjhi, is mobilising her community to take a stand. And local ‘strongmen’ have been called in to intimidate and harass her into silence.

Pavitri says her family and other villagers were coerced into selling their land to make way for power plants.

Since they filed complaints against the companies, two men have visited her home and threatened her. They told her, “everyone who helped you file the complaints are outsiders and will not be able to save you and we will silence them”.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

BAHRAIN: Urge Moratorium on Death Sentences - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, April 19, 2018.

On 28 March, the Public Prosecutor issued a statement in which he said that his office had received a memorandum from the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) relating to its investigations into the complaints brought by Mohamed Ramadhan Issa Ali Hussain and Hussain Ali Moosa Hussain Mohamed. The SIU recommended that the cases be sent for review, despite the fact that their death sentences had been previously upheld by the Cassation Court.
 The cases have been referred to the Minister of Justice to consider the SIU’s recommendation. According to the SIU, the unit uncovered medical reports issued by doctors of the Ministry of Interior relating to the alleged torture of both men that had not been made available to the court before it issued its verdict.
On 16 November 2015, the Court of Cassation had confirmed the death sentences of Mohamed Ramadhan and Hussain Ali Moosa and their cases were passed to the King who has the authority to ratify the sentences, commute them or grant a pardon. The two men are held in Jaw prison in south Manama, Bahrain’s capital. They were sentenced to death on 29 December 2014 for the killing of a policeman, who died in a bomb explosion in al-Deir, a village northeast of Manama, on 14 February 2014. Ten people, who were sentenced with them, to between six years and life in prison, also had their sentences upheld.

During the trial, Hussain ‘Ali Moosa’s forced “confession” was used as the main piece of evidence against him. His “confession” was also used to incriminate Mohamed Ramadhan.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

IRAQ: Two Hours, 14 Death Sentences - NEWS

New York Times, April 18, 2018.

The 42-year-old housewife had two minutes to defend herself against charges of supporting the Islamic State.

Amina Hassan, a Turkish woman in a flowing black abaya, told the Iraqi judge that she and her family had entered Syria and Iraq illegally and lived in the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate for more than two years. But, she added: “I never took money from Islamic State. I brought my own money from Turkey.”

The whole trial lasted 10 minutes before the judge sentenced her to death by hanging.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TURKEY: Students Imprisoned for Peaceful Protest - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, April 16, 2018.

At this moment, 10 students from Boğaziçi University in Turkey are in prison for ‘shouting slogans and holding banners’ at a peaceful anti-Syrian war protest.

The Turkish courts have accused them of ‘making propaganda for a terrorist organisation’ and these young people may face up to five years in prison.
The situation in Turkey for human rights defenders is volatile. But when thousands of Amnesty supporters take action for people unfairly imprisoned, we can win their freedom.

Just last year, within months of Turkey unjustly imprisoning a group of human rights defenders, hundreds of thousands of Amnesty supporters signed petitions and emailed Turkey’s authorities in protest. And in October those people were released and once again with their families and friends.

We are in a position to work together and put enough pressure on Turkey’s authorities to get the students released too.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

ISRAEL: Demand Release of Injured Journalists - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, April 13, 2018.

On 30 March, Yousef al-Kronz, 20, and Mohammad al-‘Ajouri, 17, from Gaza City, were among the hundreds of people shot and wounded with live ammunition by Israeli forces during Land Day protests near the fence that separates Gaza from Israel. Both young men were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for treatment of serious injuries that placed them at risk of losing their legs. As al-Shifa Hospital did not have the required medical equipment to save their legs, doctors referred both men to Al Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah. On 1 April, human rights groups Adalah and the Gaza-based al-Mezan Centre submitted a request to exit Gaza on behalf of both men to the Israeli military Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
As in many other cases, COGAT did not respond to the request and the two rights organizations sent an urgent letter on 4 April requesting authorization for Yousef al-Kronz’ and Mohammad al-‘Ajouri’s immediate transfer from Gaza to Ramallah. On 5 April, Adalah was informed that COGAT refused the men's requests apparently because of their participation in mass protests on 30 March. On 8 April, both organizations filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court demanding that Israel allows the two seriously wounded young men to leave the Gaza Strip to Ramallah, where their legs could possibly be saved. Despite the urgency of the request, the court decided not to hold an immediate session and gave the government three days to respond.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

TIBET: Allow UN Rights Experts into Tibet - NEWS

Human Rights Watch, March 8, 2018.

The Chinese government’s repression of political dissent in Tibetan areas warrants fact-finding visits by United Nations human rights experts, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a new compilation of cases and sentences against Tibetans.

On February 21, 2018, six UN experts called for the release of Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk, who awaits sentencing on baseless charges of “inciting separatism.” The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reported that, in January, veteran dissident Tsegon Gyal was sentenced to three years in prison, also for “inciting separatism,” charges that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention last year said had “no legal basis.” These cases fit a larger pattern of arbitrary and incommunicado detention, followed by closed trials resulting in long sentences, Human Rights Watch said.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

NIGER: Human Rights Defenders Arrested - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA; April 9, 2018.

Four human rights defenders (HRDs), Moussa Tchangari, Ali Idrissa, Nouhou Arzika and Lirwana Abdourahmane were among a group of people arrested and detained on 25 March by security forces in Niamey, Niger. 

They have been charged with ‘organisation and participation in a prohibited demonstration’, ‘complicity in violence’, ‘assault’ and ‘destruction’ in connection with a peaceful protest organised by their organisations, but which they did not attend.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

CHAD: Mahadine Released - GOOD NEWS

Amnesty International, USA, April 7, 2018.

“We are delighted that Mahadine has been released and will finally be reunited with his loved ones after spending over 18 months in prison on trumped up charges,” said Balkissa Ide Siddo, Amnesty International Central Africa researcher.

“More than half a million people from across the world signed letters and petitions calling for Mahadine’s release, and they too will be delighted to know that he is finally free.”

Mahadine had originally been charged with undermining the constitutional order, threatening territorial integrity and national security, and collaborating with an insurrectional movement. If he had been convicted he could have faced life imprisonment.

INDIA: Release Disabled Activist - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, April 6, 2018.

Activist and teacher, G N Saibaba, who is paralysed, continues to be denied access to adequate medical treatment in Nagpur Central Jail despite pleas of intervention from his family. 

Convicted under a draconian anti-terror law on 7 March 2017, his life remains under threat if he is not provided immediate and adequate access to medical care.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Amnesty International, UK, April 3, 2018.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly two years on bogus charges. She hasn’t committed any crime.

Nazanin has been told that she could be charged again and face another trial imminently, which may result in an even longer prison sentence.

The UK government has called for Nazanin’s freedom, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said he’ll do all he can to secure her release. Now we need the Iranian authorities to let Nazanin return home.

IRAN: Human Rights Lawyer to Resume Hunger Strike - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, April 2, 2018.

Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani went on hunger strike on 21 March, after the authorities denied his request for judicial review and blocked his leave for the Iranian New Year holidays.

On 26 March he temporarily halted the strike but expressed his intent to resume it on 20 April. He has a number of health conditions, including digestive and intestinal complications. He is a prisoner of conscience who should be released immediately and unconditionally.