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.
Shahidul Alam, photographer and outspoken social activist, has been freed on permanent bail after spending more than 100 days behind bars for comments he made in an interview with Al-Jazeera in August 2018. In detention, he was ill-treated and subjected to prolonged detention merely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.
James Gatdet and William Endley received a presidential pardon on 31 October 2018. The president also ordered the immediate deportation of William Endley to his home country, South Africa. They were released on 2 November.
On 30 September, Salah Hammouri, French-Palestinian lawyer and NGO worker, was released from Ketziot prison in southern Israel. He had spent one year in administrative detention without charge or trial.
Paraguayan authorities have called for an impartial and independent investigation into the attacks against Tekoha Sauce Indigenous leader Amada Martínez, and provided physical protection to the community. In addition, the Paraguayan Institute for Indigenous Affairs formally recognized Cristóbal Martínez as their Indigenous representative leader enabling the community to claim their ancestral lands.
Activist Ahmed Al-Dai Bushara Joudah was released without charge from Kober prison on 18 September. He had spent sixty-four days in detention.
Chilean human rights defender and lawyer Karina Riquelme is no longer considered under imminent threat. The Supreme Court of Justice of Chile ordered protection measures for her on 25 September 2018.
Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’, a prominent Dalit rights activist, has been released from Saharanpur District Prison on 14 September. He was being held in administrative detention without charge or trial under the draconian National Security Act.
On 22 August, independent journalist and prisoner of conscience Khairullo (Khayrullo) Mirsaidov received a non-custodial sentence and was released in the courtroom, after spending more than eight months behind bars. He had been detained and prosecuted following his allegations of government corruption.
Khalid Mohd Ismath, former prisoner of conscience, has had all charges against him dropped. Arrested on 13 October 2015 and released on bail later that same month, Khalid Mohd Ismath has faced court proceedings, including hearings that were often postponed, for nearly three years. Following the good news, no further action is required.
On 17 July, Abdul Razeq Farraj, Finance and Administration Director at the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a development NGO based in Ramallah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), was released from Ofer prison. He had spent 14 months in administrative detention without charge or trial.