We Did It! A Victory for VAWA
Around 15 men detained in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital, during a protest held on 16 December have been released. Around 12 were set free without charge after they were reportedly made to sign pledges that they would not participate in protests in the future. The remaining three were released after being tried and sentenced to suspended prison terms of up to five months.
Former prisoner of conscience José Daniel Ferrer García told Amnesty International how he had been arrested in Havana on 21 February and held in police custody. He was transferred to a detention facility in the province of Camagüey the following day, and then to the province of Santiago de Cuba on 23 February before being released without charge on 24 February. While detained he was threatened with imprisonment if he continued his dissident activities as coordinator of the umbrella group of dissident organizations Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unión Patriótica de Cuba, UNPACU).
On 24 February, at around 00:30, Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez was released on bail, following a court hearing in the afternoon of 23 February, in the 6th court of the District of Oaxaca. The charges against her have not been dropped, and Amnesty International remains concerned that she may be denied a fair judicial process free of fabricated evidence or unfounded charges.
Sudanese student Taj Alsir Jaafar was released without charge on 23 February 2012 after being detained by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for almost two months. It is believed he was arrested for participating in student protests, including a peaceful sit-in at Khartoum University.