We Did It! A Victory for VAWA
Two Cuban prisoners of conscience have been released on bail to await trial on trumped-up charges arising from their joining peaceful protests.
Mohammed Najati Tayyara, a retired school teacher from Homs, was arrested on 12 May 2011 following media interviews he gave about human rights violations committed by Syrian security forces against pro-reform protesters in Syria.
Mohamed Zain Al-Abideen, the Dean of the College of Higher Education at the University of Al Zaiem Al Azhari in Omdurman, was arrested on 20 February by National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents after leaving his office at the university campus. He was taken to the NISS headquarters, where he was interrogated for an hour and a half about an article he wrote, in which he criticized Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on the issue of government corruption and nepotism. Mohamed Zain Al-abideen was subsequently transferred to Kober Prison in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. He was detained for 15 days in a 2m x 2.5m cell, with no access to a lawyer or contact with his family. He was released on 4 March without charge.
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.