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 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.
Afonso S. Muatchipuculo (22), António J. Fernando (18) and Justino H. Valente (21) were released on 17 July. The three youth had been sentenced to seven months in prison by the Malange Provincial Court in Angola on 9 April after an unfair trial. They were arrested on 4 April by the police in Malange province in Angola for allegedly throwing stones at the Vice-President’s convoy during a demonstration.
After nearly two months on a hunger strike, Mapuche Indigenous spiritual leader Machi Celestino Córdova is granted access to his ceremonial altar to carry out a renewal ceremony, essential to guaranteeing the Mapuches’ psychic and physical well-being.
On 18 July, St Petersburg’s Kalininsky District Court sentenced former court secretary and whistleblower Aleksandr Eivazov to one year and ten months in an open penal colony for “interfering with the course of justice”. On 21 July he was released, having served his sentence in full in pre-trial detention.
On 20 July, the Governor of Ohio commuted the death sentence of Raymond Tibbetts, who was scheduled for execution on 17 October. In so doing, the governor rejected the parole board’s 8-1 recommendation against clemency.
Prisoner of conscience and environmental activist, Dr Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, was sentenced in Cuba to one-year imprisonment for contempt. On 3 July he was released with conditions.
Liu Xia was finally allowed to leave China for Germany on 10 July 2018, after almost eight years of illegal house arrest. Her release came three days before the first anniversary of the death of her husband, Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xia’s brother Liu Hui remains in China. Liu Xia left Beijing and flew …
Approximately 230 internally displaced women (known as the Knifar movement) and their children who had previously been denied access to food are now able to access food supplies.
On 19 June, an Istanbul court ordered the immediate release of rapper, Ezhel, after acquitting him of ‘publicly promoting the use of drugs’ on the basis of insufficient evidence of intent to engage in any unlawful behaviour.
On 6 June, Palestinian activist and human rights defender, Munther Amira was released from Hadarim Prison in Israel after serving his prison sentence. He was sentenced to six months in prison, five years of probation and a fine on 12 March. He was convicted on charges relating to his peaceful participation in protests.