We Did It! A Victory for VAWA
Faustin Ndikumana, President of the Burundian organization Words and Action for the Awakening of Conscience and the Evolution of Mindsets (PARCEM), was released on 21 February, after two weeks in custody. He was also fined 1,000,000 Burundian francs ($775 US). He had alleged that magistrates bribe officials in the Ministry of Justice to secure appointment.
Three Zimbabwean activists from the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) who were arrested in December 2011 have been released on bail. Two charges against them have now been dismissed by a Magistrate. They continue to face a third charge of “undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe”. Amnesty International believes that the activists were arrested solely as a result of their legitimate work advocating for media reforms and freedom of expression in Zimbabwe.
Human rights defender Daniel Deuzoumbe Passalet was released without charge on 30 December 2011. He returned to N'Djamena, the capital of Chad, still weak from his hunger-strike.
A Maldivian activist who was attacked and detained on 10 December 2011 for organizing a peaceful protest calling for religious tolerance was released on 6 January. His attackers remain at large.