Saturday, September 29, 2018

IRAN: Human Rights Defender Granted Furlough - NEWS

Iran Human Rights, Sept 28, 2018

Iran Human Rights (Sep 27, 2018): Narges Mohammadi, the prominent human rights defender, has been granted a three-day long furlough for the first time since she was imprisoned three years ago. Having been sentenced to 16 years in prison, she suffers from several health problems. Iran Human Rights (IHR) calls for her immediate release and medical treatment outside the prison.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Amnesty International USA

Around the world millions of people are victims of modern slavery. The complexity of today’s global supply chains means that consumers are often unknowingly contributing to the exploitation of others. Modern slavery is therefore an urgent challenge, which is why Amnesty International worked to help bring about the transparency in supply chain provisions under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Act requires organizations doing business in the UK with a total turnover of £36m or more to report on the steps that they are taking to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place in their global supply chains.

This is a statement made by Amnesty International’s International Secretariat on its own compliance with the requirements of section 54 of the Act. It sets out steps that Amnesty International’s International Secretariat has taken to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place in our supply chains and any part of our own business.

CLICK HERE to READ COMPLETE STATEMENT  Scroll to bottom of page

COLOMBIA: Rios Vivos Movement; Relatives Killed - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Sept 26, 2018

On 22 September, two relatives of members of the Rios Vivos Movement were killed in Antioquia, Colombia. These killings come after several others of environmental human rights defenders, members of the same movement, affected by the environmental and human rights impact of the Hidrohituango dam construction.

On 22 September, the nephew of Rubén Areiza, a member of the Rios Vivos Movement (Movimiento Ríos Vivos Antioquia, MRVA), was shot death by unidentified men while returning from a sport event in the Briceño municipality, Antioquia department, northwest Colombia. Another man was injured in the attack. On the same day, the son of a former member of MRVA was killed with a sharp object in the Valdivia municipality, also in Antioquia.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CHILE: Indigenous Rights Lawyer Intimidated by Police - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Sept. 24, 2018.

Chilean lawyer Karina Riquelme was followed and surveilled by police intelligence agents because of her work as a defender of Mapuche Indigenous rights.

On the night of 10 July in the city of Temuco (South), two men aimed a green laser for several minutes through the window of lawyer Karina Riquelme’s apartment, where she lives with her 6-year-old daughter. The men left when a colleague of Riquelme arrived at her home. 

The day before, when Karina Riquelme was in a hearing, she noticed the intimidating presence of strangers whom she identified as Chilean police intelligence agents.

Karina Riquelme reported to Amnesty International the presence of several agents both inside and outside the courtroom who photographed her and another lawyer. 

When Riquelme in turn photographed these individuals, one of the agents approached her angrily and posed threatening questions. The next day, one of the agents entered the courtroom posing as a member of the public. When the presiding judge asked this individual to identify himself, he muttered unintelligibly and left the courtroom.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

ERITREA: Ex-Minister Arrested after Book Release - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, Sept 18, 2018.
Former Eritrean Minister of Finance, Berhane Abrehe, was taken to an undisclosed location by security agents on 17 September. His arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention come just days after he published a book encouraging Eritreans to peacefully protest against government policies.    
On the morning of 17 September, former Eritrean Minister of Finance, Berhane Abrehe was approached by security agents while having breakfast with one of his sons in Asmara. They asked him to come with them and he was taken to an undisclosed location. His family has not been notified of his fate or whereabouts or been in touch with him. 
Amnesty International believes his arrest was in relation to a two-volume book Berhane authored, entitled Eritrea Hagerey (Eritrea My Country), which was released on 11 September. The book criticizes the current Eritrean political system and calls on Eritreans to struggle peacefully to ensure that democratic changes become institutionalized in the country. In a pre-recorded internet audio message shared with Eritreans on 6 September, Berhane blamed the Eritrean President for the suffering of the Eritrean people and demanded change, challenging the Eritrean President to a televised debate. The audio message was published online since there is no independent media in Eritrea. 
His wife, Almaz Habtemariam, has been detained without trial for the past year for allegedly allowing their son to leave the country without government permission. Eritreans seeking to leave the country must first request permission from the government. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

PUERTO RICO: Water for Hurricane Survivors Left on Airport Runway - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, USA, September 18, 2018.

 Sept On 11 September, Abdiel Santana, a police officer in Puerto Rico shared pictures on his Facebook account of what he said were almost a million boxes of water left on an airport runway. CBS News confirmed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has acknowledged that millions of water bottles meant for survivors of Hurricane Maria were left undistributed at an airport in Puerto Rico for more than a year.

Amnesty International is demanding that the Puerto Rican and US federal authorities initiate an independent investigation into the authorities' response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which cost 2,975 lives.

MADISON: UW Humanities Without Borders - EVENTS

University of Wisconsin,  Humanities, September 17, 2018.

See the following link for more information.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

BANGLADESH - Photographer Imprisoned - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, Sept. 2018.

World-renowned photographer and social activist, Shahidul Alam, is facing 14 years in prison simply for giving a media interview.

His crime? Shahidul spoke with Al-Jazeera, criticising the Bangladesh government for its violent repression of popular student protests calling for safer roads in the wake of a tragic bus accident.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

SAUDI ARABIA: Urge Car Makers to Help Stop Arrests of Women Drivers - ONLINE ACTION

Human Rights Watch, September 11, 2018.

When the Saudi government agreed to let women drive, major car companies publicly and rightly hailed that development. It was a step towards equality for women in the Kingdom and created a lucrative new market for the industry. Now, the courageous women that fought for their right to drive are being arrested, jailed, and harassed. It is a cruel irony that the women who fought for equality are in jail while the companies stand to make millions from the market those women have helped create. They should tell the government to stop going after these activists.

On May 15, just weeks before they lifted the decades-long driving ban on June 24, Saudi authorities launched a large scale coordinated crackdown against the women’s rights movement. They have since arrested at least 13 prominent women’s rights activists and accused several of them of grave crimes which appear to be directly related to their activism. At least nine women continue to be detained without charge, some of whom are awaiting a trial that could have them facing up to 20 years in prison. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

IRAN: Three Kurdish Men Executed - NEWS

Amnesty International, September 8, 2018.

In response to the news that three Iranian Kurdish men, Zaniar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Ramin Hossein Panahi, were executed this morning in Raja’i Shahr prison, Karaj, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s  Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:
“We are horrified by the news that the Iranian authorities have executed these men, despite widespread condemnation of their death sentences and calls from UN human rights experts and other bodies to halt their executions.

“The trials of all three men were grossly unfair. All were denied access to their lawyers and families after their arrest, and all said they were tortured into making “confessions”. In sentencing them to death despite these massive failings in due process, the Iranian authorities have once again demonstrated their brazen disregard for the right to life.

“We call on the international community to strongly condemn these executions and urge the Iranian authorities to respect their obligations under international law. The Iranian authorities must take steps to ensure that everyone has a fair trial, that torture and other ill-treatment are absolutely prohibited, and that the practice of forced ‘confessions’ is stopped once and for all.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

IRAN: Family of Disappeared Imprisoned - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, Sept. 6, 2018.

Raheleh Rahemipour did nothing more than seek truth and justice about the fate of her brother and niece, who were forcibly and cruelly disappeared in Iran. Now, she has been convicted by the Iranian Authorities.

In 1983, Raheleh’s brother Hossein and his pregnant wife were arrested for their affiliation to an opposition political group. A year later, the family was told to pick up his personal effects and that he had “gone to hell.”

Raheleh’s niece, Golrou, was born in prison and taken away from her mother when she was just 15 days old. The family was later told that she had died.

Their bodies were never returned, no death certificates were issued and no information about their deaths or burial was ever provided.

Now, the Iranian authorities have convicted Raheleh on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and say that they will only stop the prosecution if she withdraws a complaint that stands before the United Nations.

No one should face state reprisals simply for seeking answers about their loved ones.

Monday, September 3, 2018

CONGO: Pro-Democracy Activists Face Prison - ONLINE ACTION

Amnesty International, Australia, Sept 3, 2018.

Right now, five pro-democracy youth activists are facing three years in jail in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Their crime? Mobilising people to protest for inclusive, peaceful and credible elections.
In the DRC, presidents are only allowed to serve two terms – it’s in the Constitution. But when time ran out for President Joseph Kabila in 2016, he refused to budge.
So, in 2017, five pro-democracy activists – Grâce Tshiunza, Mino Bopomi, Cedric Kalonji, Carbone Ben and Palmer Kabeya – helped publicise protests to defend the Constitution. They called for the release of prisoners, respect for a free press and the return of opposition leaders from exile.


Photos of AZAM from last week's protest in Milwaukee.