Saturday, July 28, 2018

IRAN: Road to be Built Over Grave Sites - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, July 21, 2018.

The Iranian authorities are building a road over a mass grave and dozens of individual graves in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, that contain the remains of dozens of political dissidents, who were forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially killed in the 1980s including during the mass killings of 1988. Since 20 July 2018, photo and video evidence has surfaced, which appears to show that the concrete structure marking the mass grave as well as dozens of individual graves have been smashed to pieces. The graves are now hidden beneath piles of dirt and debris. According to an official board placed at the site, the purpose of the project is to build a “boulevard” and create a 21-acre park. The board notes that the project is supervised by the Municipality of Ahvaz.
Families of the victims in Ahvaz first learned that a construction project was underway in May 2017. According to information received by Amnesty International from human rights defenders outside Iran, municipal officials had previously promised the families that the road under construction would not go over the individual and mass graves. However, when families visited the site on 20 July 2018, they saw that the authorities had destroyed the graves. An eyewitness has reported that in the following days barbed wire was put around the site and it is now under heavy surveillance. 
The anguish and distress caused to the families by the authorities’ decisions to forcibly disappear and secretly execute their loved ones, to conceal the whereabouts of their remains, and to desecrate their graves constitute a form of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against the families, prohibited under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

MEXICO: Journalist Killed - NEWS

Reporters Without Borders, July 24, 2018.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador to prioritize the protection of journalists after Rubén Pat, a local news website editor in Playa del Carmen, in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, became the second journalist to be murdered in Mexico in the space of two weeks. His murder follows that of magazine editor Luis Pérez García in Mexico City on 9 July.

NEBRASKA: Stop Resumption of Executions - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, July 23 2018.

The State of Nebraska is set to carry out its first execution in 21 years on 14 August 2018. 

The prisoner, who has been on death row for 38 years, has given up his appeals and is not seeking clemency. Amnesty International is urging the state not to resume executions.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

IRAN: Free Human Rights Lawyer - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, Sept 17, 2018.

Earlier this year Nasrin took on defending women who peacefully protested against the compulsory hijab in Iran. Now, she’s facing a five-year sentence on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security.”

The movement against the compulsory hijab erupted in 2017 when one woman staged a solo act of resistance, removing her headscarf and silently waving it on the end of a stick.  Countless women across the country joined her, staging their own protests.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

MALDIVE: Opposition Leader Faces Trumped-Up Charges - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, July 13, 2018

Faris Maumoon, opposition politician in the Maldives was sentenced to four months and 24 days for identity fraud on 27 June 2018 in proceedings that raise questions about fair trial standards. He was accused of illegally using the flag and logo of the Progressive Party of Maldives during a press conference held on 22 March 2017 after his expulsion from it.

The conviction flies in the face of a Supreme Court ruling that ordered the release and retrial of Faris Maumoon and eight other members of the political opposition. The Supreme Court ruled that they were “convicted in breach of the Constitution and Maldives’ international obligations under various international human rights treaties” and of the opinion that the investigations were politically motivated.

Refusing to implement the verdict, the government has since arrested and convicted the Chief Justice and another Supreme Court judge.

TIBET: Pompeo Wants Reciprocal Access to Tibet - NEWS

International Campaign for Tibet, July 13, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is taking action to guarantee reciprocal access to Tibet—the principle that American citizens should be able to freely visit Tibet the way Chinese citizens are free to come and go in the United States.
Responding to a set of questions raised by the House Committee on Foreign Relations at a hearing on May 23, 2018, Pompeo wrote “I am working to ensure that US journalists, legislators, scholars, and members of civil society have unimpeded access to all areas [of] China, including the Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas.”
CLICK HERE to READ MORE, then click newsroom

Friday, July 13, 2018

CHINA - Liu Xia Released From House Arrest - GOOD NEWS

Human Rights Watch, July 13, 2018.

Chinese authorities have released Liu Xia, ailing widow of Nobel Peace Prize-winning political dissident Liu Xiaobo, after almost 8 years of house arrest.

Liu Xia, artist, photographer, and poet—never charged with a crime—had been held arbitrarily as her health rapidly deteriorated under house arrest.

SUDAN: Religious Leader Faces Death Penalty - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, July 12, 2018.

Matar Younis Ali Hussein, a 48-year-old religious teacher and father of eight who has a visual disability, was charged under the 1991 Penal Code on 24 June for allegedly ‘undermining the constitutional system’ (Article 50) and ‘waging war against the State’ (Article 51), both of which carry a death penalty or life imprisonment. He has also been charged with ‘espionage’ under Article 53 of the Penal Code. 

Matar Younis has been a vocal critic of the government’s policy in Darfur and has called for the protection of displaced people. He was arrested by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on 1 April in Zalengi city, Central Darfur. 

Amnesty International considers Matar Younis to be a prisoner of conscience who is held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression in his public criticism of the government’s policy in Darfur. Amnesty International is also concerned that Matar Younis’ is held in inhumane conditions and his continued and prolonged detention puts him at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. His trial is scheduled for 12 July in Khartoum.

Monday, July 9, 2018


Amnesty International, USA, July 8, 2018.

Seven bodies, all male, were found piled on a road of the municipality of Argelia, in the southwest region of Cauca, Colombia. The bodies are being identified by authorities as they were presumably not from the municipality. In the past few weeks, paramilitary groups have been circulating pamphlets threatening to kill certain groups of people.

Amnesty International has received reports from the Displaced Afrodescendant Association (AFRODES) that pamphlets from paramilitary groups, identified as the Popular Cleansing Squad (Comando Popular de Limpíeza) and the Self Defense Gaitanista Forces (AGC - Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia), have been circulated in the past weeks, in which the two groups warn they will “eliminate” robbers, rapist, and gossipers, and those from outside the municipality were declared “military targets”.
The people of Argelia are scared as this might be a warning of future violent acts. They reported the presence of various armed groups in the area- including ELN (National Liberation Army), FARC (The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), dissident groups that did not participate in the Peace Agreement, paramilitary groups and criminal gangs believed to be involved in drug trafficking; the municipality of Algeria is identified as a drug trafficking activity corridor.

Friday, July 6, 2018


Amnesty International, USA, July 5, 2018.

A group of approximately 230 internally displaced women (known as the Knifar movement) and their children were at risk of starvation after state authorities stopped supplying food to the women on 18 April in an internally displaced (IDP) camp they have been living in since 2017. However, food supply to the women by humanitarian agencies has resumed and the women and their children now have access to food.
The decision by Borno State authorities to stop food supply to the women is believed to have been a strategy to silence the women for their activism and to return them and their children to Bama. They previously lived in Bama, but had to flee for security reasons.


Amnesty International, USA, July 6, 2018.

The State of Nevada is set to carry out its first execution in 12 years. The execution – of a prisoner who has given up his appeals – is scheduled for 8pm on 11 July. Amnesty International is calling on Nevada not to resume executions.
The last execution in Nevada took place on 26 April 2006. The one scheduled for 11 July would take place in the state’s new death chamber at Ely State Prison. It would be the first in the USA using the three-drug combination chosen by the Nevada authorities – midazolam (a sedative), fentanyl (an opioid) and cisatracurium (a paralytic).

Nevada has carried out 12 executions since the US Supreme Court upheld new capital laws in 1976 and Nevada passed its current capital law in 1977. Eleven of these 12 executions were of so-called “volunteers”, prisoners who waived their appeals. The prisoner scheduled to be executed on 11 July has likewise given up his appeals. He has been on death row since 2007 for a murder committed in 2002. He asked to waive his appeals in 2016. The judge found him competent to do so in July 2017 and later that month signed a death warrant for 14 November 2017. The judge subsequently stayed his execution amidst concerns about the lethal injection protocol. The Nevada Supreme Court lifted the stay in May 2018 on grounds that the judge abused her discretion in reviewing the issue, and the execution was reset for 11 July.  Serious concerns remain about the never-before used drug combination.

USA: Ensure Healthcare for Native Women - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International, USA,  July 5 2018.

My name is Charon and I am a member of the Comanche Nation. I am also a survivor of sexual assault. Not all healthcare is the same, and I personally know the challenges Native women face when it comes to receiving care after a sexual assault. 

As someone who runs a Women’s Shelter and Resource Center, I know that when a person does not disclose that they have been raped, they carry it around for a lifetime. The trauma of a rape can create such a burden that it can crush your dreams and aspirations.

It’s important to have both physical and psychological healthcare. I create safe spaces for people to disclose assault, so that when they disclose in a timely manner, law enforcement can get involved and forensic exams can happen. The sooner a person discloses their trauma, the sooner they begin their journey to healing.

My shelter makes a difference by working with young people who have been raped. We work to create safe spaces so survivors can get the help they need, but there is so much more the government could be doing to support Native women. 

As a rape survivor and a survivor of domestic violence I understand that our aspirations for the future and self-worth are detoured. When I help someone who has gone through this, I can actually see a change in them — they begin to smile and talk about the future. The more Native women have access to rape kits, follow-up care and support services, the more quickly our communities can heal.

Monday, July 2, 2018

IRAN: Teen Executed - NEWS

Iran Human Rights Monitor, June 27, 2018.

According to Amnesty International sources, Abolfazl Chazani Sharahi, a juvenile offender charged with murder at the age of 15, was executed on Wednesday, June 27 at Qom Central Prison. This is the fourth juvenile offender executed in Iran since the beginning of 2018.