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.
Saïkou Yaya Diallo, the legal coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), was freed from Conakry prison on 11 December 2020 after having served seven months in prison. He was sentenced in November 2020 to one-year imprisonment with five months suspended on fabricated ‘assault, violence, threats and public insults’ charges.
Political activists Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo and Gérard Yaovi Djossou were released from detention on 17 December 2020 and are now under judicial supervision. At the end of November 2020, they were arrested and charged for ‘criminal conspiracy’ and ‘undermining the internal security of the state’ after calling for a demonstration to denounce the results of the February 2020 Presidential election. Following their release, they thanked Amnesty International’s members for campaigning for their release.
In November, Paraguayan authorities opened an investigation and provided protection to Bernarda Pesoa, leader of an indigenous Qom community, after she was attacked in late October. We continue to monitor the situation closely as the land conflict related to wood exploitation on Qom lands persist.
On 3 December 2020, Gasser Abdel Razek, Karim Ennarah and Mohamed Basheer, directors at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), were released and are now safely home with their families and loved ones.
On 8 March 2020, the Bahrain authorities forcefully returned Geelaman Pashteen a Pashtun human rights activist and supporter of Pakistan’s Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) to Pakistan. Geelaman Pashteen was later released.
On 28 July 2020, the Jordanian criminal court deemed Tujan al-Bukhaiti, “not guilty” over charges of “blasphemy” and “insulting religious feelings” in relation to her social media posts. Tujan had been on trial over a lengthy period of eight months after the Jordanian Cybercrime Unit filed a complaint against her Facebook posts discussing religious and cultural issues.
On 20 October, the Slovak Parliament rejected a bill that would have further obstructed access to safe abortion care, violating the human rights of women and girls, and endangering the health and wellbeing of those who could be seeking an abortion.
In March 2020, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez publicly committed to present a bill to Congress to legalize abortion before the year’s end. On 17 November 2020, he fulfilled this commitment by tabling a bill for the legalization of abortion before the Argentinian Congress. The bill is now subject to congressional debate and voting, which is expected to take place between November 2020 and February 2021. Amnesty International will continue to actively and decisively campaign to ensure both chambers vote in favor of the bill and abortions are finally legal in Argentina.
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.