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.
We recently helped two young children and their mothers who fled violence in their native countries in Central America get released from over 600 days in immigration detention. Three-year-old Diego and eight-year-old “Antonio” have spent much of their childhood behind the walls of a detention center in Berks County, Pennsylvania despite having proven that they and their mothers posed no safety or flight risk while their asylum petitions are reviewed. Two other children and their mothers who have been at Berks for an extended time remain. AIUSA continues to fight for their freedom, and for an end to family detention.
Mubashar Hasan, a well-known Bangladeshi academic who went missing and was feared to have been subject to an enforced disappearance, was returned home on 22 December, after 44 days.
Palestinian human rights defender and media coordinator for prisoners’ rights group Addameer, Hasan Safadi, was released on 7 December from Ketziot Prison in Israel. He spent nearly a year and a half in administrative detention without charge or trial. He has now returned home to his family in Beit Hanina, in occupied East Jerusalem
Pastor Evan Mawarire, a human rights defender in Zimbabwe, was acquitted of the charge of ‘subversion of constitutional elected government’ on 29 November.
The Malaysian police have officially closed all investigations into Maria Chin Abdullah, who was detained under security laws for organizing a rally on free and fair elections. Placed in solitary confinement for ten days in November 2016, she was released on 28 November 2016 and has continued with her human rights work. She is grateful for all the support and no further action is needed.
Crimean Tatar leaders Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz, both sentenced to prison by the de facto authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea, were taken to an airport and flown to Turkey on 25 October. On 27 October they arrived in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
On 7 November, the Arkansas Supreme Court granted a stay of execution in the case of Jack Greene, a 62-year-old man who was scheduled to be executed on 9 November. The state said that it would not seek to have the stay lifted.
The Chilean Minister of Interior submitted an application to the court for the crimes of four Indigenous Mapuche men to be reclassified and no longer considered “terrorist crimes”. The men are accused of having burned down an Evangelical church.
On 23 June, Saudi Arabian writer Dr Zuhair Kutbi was released after serving two years in prison. He remains banned from travelling and writing on social media. The conditions of his release are unknown. On 23 June, Dr Zuhair Kutbi, a prominent Saudi Arabian writer, was released after serving two years in prison. On 21 … Continued
Thirteen health and human rights activists, including two South Africans and one Ugandan, have been released after the court found that there was insufficient evidence against them. The 13 were arrested during a consultative meeting to discuss the Tanzanian government’s decision to limit the provision of certain health services that it had previously provided.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted a stay of execution to Clinton Young, who was due to be put to death on 26 October. The case is remanded to the trial court for resolution of the claim that false or misleading testimony was introduced at his trial. Clinton Young was convicted in 2003 … Continued