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We refuse to stand by while guns enter the wrong hands resulting in heartbreaking losses in our communities. Even if we can’t stop all gun violence, this is a common-sense step we can take to make our country safer.
Gun violence in the U.S. is a human rights crisis, resulting in the death of 38,658 in 2016 alone. Our government has clear international human rights obligations to protect people from gun violence. The first step in preventing guns from getting in dangerous hands is requiring common sense gun violence prevention measures like comprehensive background checks for the purchase of every gun.
Hundreds of children — even babies — have been reportedly held in U.S. Border Patrol facilities without a chance to bathe, brush their teeth or change their clothes for weeks. There are reports of extreme cold and inadequate food, sanitation and medical care.
Enough is enough: it is an outrage that children are being detained, especially in these appalling conditions.
The U.S. government is defying international law while heartlessly putting infants and children in harm’s way. We cannot stand by idly and ignore this crisis.
Officers of the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence in Maracaibo (DGCIM) detained six staff members from Azul Positivo, a medical and humanitarian NGO in Venezuela, on 12 January in Zulia (Western Venezuela). One was released, but five remain detained and will be charged. DCGIM officers raided the NGO’s office and seized their work equipment. Staff members have not had access to their lawyers or family. We demand the immediate release of all Azul Positivo workers and the halt of harassment and criminal prosecution of civil society.
17 January marks two years that fifteen asylum seekers and refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and one refugee from Ethiopia, have been arbitrarily detained in Pemba, northeast Mozambique, in appalling conditions. They must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Ten of the 12 Hongkongers arrested in August 2020 by the Chinese coast guard were sentenced on 30 December 2020 without a fair trial. Having been detained for more than four months, the 10 individuals still have no access to their families or family-appointed lawyers.
Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a peaceful protest held at the Boğaziçi University on 4 January. At least 45 students were detained during raids between 5 to 7 January after their alleged participation in a protest at the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. Many among them have alleged torture or other ill-treatment, including being handcuffed on their backs, beaten, and some LGBTI+ students threatened with rape and subjected to insults. The prosecuting authorities must investigate these allegations and bring law enforcement officers found to be responsible to justice.
Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali has been held incommunicado in Tehran’s Evin prison since 24 November 2020, when he learned that his death sentence for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) was to be carried out imminently. In late December 2020, his family learned that Ahmadreza Djalali’s execution was halted for one month. He remains at risk of execution.
Retired Uyghur doctor Gulshan Abbas was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in a secret trial for “taking part in organized terrorism, aiding terrorist activities and seriously disrupting social order” in March 2019. Her family learned about this sentencing through a trusted source 21 months later in December 2020. They believe that Gulshan Abbas’s lengthy sentencing is linked to the activism for Uyghurs of Gulshan Abbas’ relatives in the US. Gulshan Abbas has multiple chronic diseases that require constant monitoring and regular medical treatment. The fact that Gulshan has had no access to her family members for more than two years raises serious concerns for her health and wellbeing.
On 2 January 2021, Ibrahim Ezz el-Din appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution for investigations into a new case (No. 1018/2020) over baseless charges of "belonging to a terrorist group". On 27 December 2020, the Cairo Criminal Court ordered his release in another case, after 13 months of arbitrary pre-trial detention, and he was transferred the next day to the Samanoud police station in the governorate of his residence, in preparation for his release.
The Pudong New District People’s Court sentenced citizen journalist Zhang Zhan to four years in prison on 28 December 2020. The charge against her of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” stemmed from her COVID-19 reports from Wuhan that began in February 2020. Zhang Zhan has suspended her hunger strike to avoid having her legs shackled and her hands restrained by detention center authorities. However, there remain grave fears that she might face further torture and other ill-treatment.
Two men and one woman convicted under US federal law face execution in the last weeks of the Trump presidency. The US federal authorities resumed executions after 17 years and have been pursuing an unprecedented number of lethal injections, bucking national and global trends towards abolition. The cases of those selected for execution have been affected by arbitrariness, ineffective legal representation, racial bias, and have involved people with severe mental and intellectual disabilities, in violation of international law and standards. We urge the US Attorney General to halt all executions.
Pro-democracy activist and mobilization coordinator for National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), Oumar Sylla (alias Foniké Mengué) has been on hunger strike since 25 December 2020, in protest of his detention and demanding that his trial be speedily organized. On 4 December 2020, his charges were changed to "participation in a gathering likely to disturb public order". He is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.