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 15 February, Ali Feruz was released and arrived in Germany a few hours later. The release came after the Supreme Court’s decision on 25 January to uphold the activist’s appeal and overturn the 2017 decision to deport him to Uzbekistan. Ali Feruz had been detained since August 2017 for supposedly violating the terms of his stay in Russia.
Detained since 3 December 2017 in North Korea for leaving the country without legal permits, Koo Jeong-hwa’s family reports that she is no longer at risk of being sent to a political prison camp together with her 4-year-old son.
Kamran Yousuf was granted bail and released from prison on 14 March 2018, following six months of pre-trial detention. He has been charged with several criminal offences including ‘waging war against the government of India’, and faces life imprisonment if convicted. Kamran Yousuf, a freelance journalist, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in … Continued
A further 35 patients awaiting medical evacuation in besieged Eastern Ghouta have been evacuated to Damascus city for medical treatment and care. 496 patients are still awaiting evacuation. They require urgent medical treatment.
Equatorial Guinean cartoonist and activist, Ramón Esono Ebalé was released from Malabo prison of Black Beach on 7 March. Eight days earlier on 27 February, the charge of ‘counterfeiting money’ against him was dropped after a court hearing in Malabo.
Alain Didah Kemba, spokesperson of the Chadian youth movement IYINA, was unconditionally released on 26 February after being presented before the prosecutor. Three days earlier, he had been released from detention for health reasons. He was having difficulty standing as he reported that he had been beaten during an interrogation while in detention. He was never formally charged.
On 22 February, the Governor of Texas commuted the death sentence of Thomas Whitaker hours before he was due to be executed. It was the first such act of clemency in Texas since August 2007, a period which has seen nearly 150 execution in the state.
Prisoner of conscience Villca Fernández finally received medical care after having been denied urgently needed medical treatment since June 2017. Since 26 January 2018, prison authorities have transferred Villca Fernández to a military hospital on several occasions for continued treatment.
Two environmental activists and prisoners of conscience, convicted of and sentenced on trumped-up charges based on their peaceful activism, were released after serving five months out of their 1-year prison sentences, as seven months of their sentences had been suspended.
All 11 doctors who are members of the Turkish Medical Association’s Central Council, detained on 30 January following the association’s statement calling for an end to Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, northern Syria, have been released.