Amnesty International welcomes the release from prison on January 23 of Zmitser Dashkevich, leader of a youth organization that advocates political freedom in Belarus. AI mounted a global campaign to win his release featuring his case in a Global Write-a-thon in December through which thousands of people across the United States appealed for his release. As one of Amnesty International USA's Special Focus Cases, Zmitser Dashkevich's case was a particular focus for action by Amnesty student activists, who joined youth activists around the world in sending 10,000 origami cranes to Belarusian authorities in a symbolic plea for freedom for Mr. Dashkevich and other prisoners of conscience.
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Syria: Demand an End to Enforced Disappearances
Since protests broke out in Syria in February 2011, thousands of suspected opponents of the government have been arbitrarily arrested and detained; many appear to have been subjected to enforced disappearance.
The participation of Afghan women in shaping their country’s future and engaging as equal partners will help improve and secure their political status, security, economic and social well-being, and uphold their human rights.