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.
On 13 September the Court of First Instance in Ain Tedles, Algeria convicted and sentenced President of the Ahmadiyya religious community, Mohamed Fali to a 6 month suspended prison term and a fine of 20,000 Algerian dinar. He was released from pre-trial detention on 13 September but remains at risk of further prosecution.
Palestinian circus performer and teacher Mohamed Faisal Abu Sakha was released on 30 August from Ketziot Prison in Israel. He spent nearly two years in administrative detention without being charged or tried. He has now returned home to his family in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
In recent weeks authorities have implemented some security measures for Mario Luna, human rights defender and leader of the Indigenous Yaquí community in Sonora state, northern Mexico, following an incident on 27 June where assailants burned the car of the wife, Anahí Ochoa. During July and August Amnesty International and other organizations placed pressure on authorities to achieve advances in his protection measures.
Leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Hakainde Hichilema and five others accused with him have been released. He, together with five others had been arrested in April and charged with treason over allegations of obstructing the Presidential motorcade as it was on the way to a traditional ceremony in the Western Province.
On 25 August, the Governor of Arkansas announced his intent to commute the death sentence of Jason McGehee, who had been scheduled for execution on 27 April, when he received a stay from a federal judge, and the parole board recommended clemency. The governor has now accepted that recommendation.
Six activists who were criminally detained in July 2017, after taking part in a seaside memorial for Liu Xiaobo in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, have all been released on bail. While still subjected to some restrictions, they have all been returned to their respective hometowns.
Dr. Mohamed Yasin Abdalla, the chairperson of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), has been released without charge. He was arrested on 22 April in Khartoum by National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents and detained at the office of the NISS Prosecutor of Crimes against the State in Khartoum.
On 22 August, the governor of Missouri issued a stay of execution for Marcellus Williams who was due to be put to death later that day. The governor will appoint a Board of Inquiry to review the case and make a recommendation on clemency.
Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal has ruled in favour of decriminalizing abortion under three specific circumstances. This is an important step toward ensuring the protection of women and girls’ human rights across the country.
University professor Ahmad Qatamesh was released from administrative detention by the Israeli authorities on 13 August. His three month detention order was not renewed after it expired. He is now back home in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank with his family. Ahmad Qatamesh was a prisoner of conscience.