Changing lives and policies
We free people from prison who are being held unjustly because of who they are or what they believe. We change laws to protect millions of people’s human rights. We transform societies to be more fair, free, and just. Here are our victories.
Marilin* (31) and Yunior* (11), have been released! Before the family’s release this week, Marilin faced an anniversary no parent would want: one year of lockup with her child simply for seeking safety here in the United States.
Marilin and Yunior were featured in our family detention campaign surge – several weeks of sustained actions, from grassroots activism to billboards, to drive attention to the dozens of families who are invisible behind detention walls in Pennsylvania and Texas. We want them and the government to know they’re not forgotten, and that we are working to free them all.
Thank you all for your continuing support and activism on these case campaigns. Our collective action shines a bright light on these families and the unlawful detention of them and so many more people detained in immigration facilities, and helps push the needle for their release.
On 2 October 2020, five activists who were charged for “unauthorized gathering” were granted a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) by the Ipoh Magistrate. The charges stemmed from the activists’ participation in a peaceful picket on 2 June 2020 by a government hospital cleaners’ union against a cleaning services company. During the picket, they called out the alleged unfair treatment of union members and insufficient personal protective equipment for cleaners.
Siberian shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev was released from psychiatric detention on 22 July after his defense team succeeded in their request for a psychological and psychiatric examination on 21 July. Aleksandr Gabyshev was targeted for his open criticism of the authorities and spent more than two months arbitrarily deprived from his freedom.
On 11 October LGBT+ activist Victoria Biran was released after two weeks in detention. Victoria Biran was detained on her way to the Women’s March in Minsk on 26 September and sentenced on 28 September to 15 days of administrative detention for intending to exercise her rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Political activist Serge Branco Nana is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for ‘mutiny’ in Mfou Prison, southern Cameroon, after having been accused of inciting a riot while in pre-trial detention in 2019. He has now been granted access to a doctor and his family have been allowed to visit him in detention.
Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces, Cuban lawyer, independent journalist and prisoner of conscience, was released from prison on 4 September 2020, after serving his one-year sentence. Although it is good news that Roberto is finally home, his conviction and imprisonment for merely expressing his opinions, should have never happened. We will continue to monitor the situation after his release.
Oumar Sylla (alias Foniké Mengué), who was in charge of the mobilization efforts of the opposition coalition group, Front for the Defense of the Constitution, was freed from Conakry prison, in the Guinean capital, on 27 August after the judged dismissed all charges against him and ordered his release. He had been arbitrarily detained for 132 days in an attempt to obstruct his work as a pro-democracy activist.
As of the beginning of August, payment was given to all 46 workers who had been fired from the Industrial Park Temporary Hospital in Guatemala City in June. They all have been paid after a complaint initiated by the Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman's Office.
Maury Carrero, detained arbitrarily in April 2020 by officers of the Directorate for Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) in Caracas, was unconditionally released on 2 September as part of a group of 110 individuals recently pardoned by Nicolás Maduro. Maury Carrero spent five months in prison, indicted for crimes under counterterrorism legislation.
Nicmer Evans, a Venezuelan political scientist and communicator, was unconditionally released on 1 September as part of a group of 110 individuals recently pardoned by Nicolás Maduro. After being arbitrarily detained in Caracas, Venezuela, on 13 July 2020, he spent over 50 days in custody of the Directorate for Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) for posting on social media messages that allegedly challenge the policies of Nicolás Maduro.
On 17 June 2020, seven Papuan activists were convicted of treason (makar) and sentenced to between ten and 11 months in prison for their role in an anti-racism demonstration in August 2019. They have all since been released and been able to return to their homes in Papua.