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This year’s Write for Rights cases are all women human rights defenders from around the world. Sign your name in support of all ten cases.
Atena is in prison in Iran. Nonhle is being threatened in South Africa. Marielle (above) was killed in Brazil. Each of them have paid a price for defending human rights in their countries. So have seven other women from around the world, each harassed and threatened for their peaceful activism. We can help them and their families by demanding change on their cases. Read more about them in the petition letter below.
Right now, eight families are being held indefinitely at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. After the trauma of being ripped apart when they came here seeking safety, they are now together — but still behind bars.Join the effort to reduce harmful online abuse against female politicians and journalists. With just a few spare minutes on your computer or mobile phone you can help fight back against trolls online.
The US Government claims it’s keeping Americans safe by using drones, air strikes and Special Forces operations to kill people it calls “militants” or “terrorists” around the world. But in the process it is killing thousands of civilians, usually without explanation or an effort to compensate survivors or their families for their devastating losses.
7,000 persons from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Bojayá, Chocó (western Colombia) face live-threathening and forced displacement risk as the guerrilla National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and the paramilitary group Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia) are increasing hostilities in their territory. The communities of Unión Baquiaza, Union Cuití, Carrillo, Playita, Mesopotamia and Egoróquera are at risk. In Chocó several assassinations of community leaders recently occurred, and communities are constantly under threats from armed groups without any preventive action from national authorities.
Professor and political figure Youssef al-Bawab has been held in incommunicado detention in Sana’a’s Political Security Office (PSO) since 2 April 2019 and is at heightened risk of being tortured. He has been detained since 20 October 2016. In April 2017, he was accused of charges that carry the death penalty. The legal proceedings against him have been seriously flawed, including enforced disappearance, excessive pre-trial detention, undue delays in his trial, allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and lack of access to legal counsel and medical care. Amnesty calls on the Huthi de facto authorities to drop all charges and immediately release him as the organization believes that he is being prosecuted on trumped-up charges used to punish him for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.
Journalist Amade Abubacar has formally been charged with the crimes of “public incitement of a crime using electronic media”, “incitement” and “outrage against public forces officials”, under articles 323, 393 and 406 of Mozambique’s Penal Code.
Sichuan activist Chen Bing was sentenced to three and a half years after he and three other activists were convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” for producing and promoting their own baijiu – Chinese liquor – to commemorate the Tiananmen crackdown.
Falun Gong practitioner and chemistry teacher Chen Yan is facing a trial in April 2019 after she was detained for distributing Falun Gong materials on a street in Beijing. She has no access to her family members and her lawyer said the judge handling her case threatened to give her a heavier sentence if she does not admit to “using evil religious organizations to sabotage the implementation of state laws”.
Alejandra fled attacks and extortion based on her transgender identity in El Salvador and requested asylum in the US in November 2017. She has been detained since December at the Cibola detention centre in New Mexico, where she and other trans women complained of inadequate and unresponsive health care. US immigration authorities should immediately stop her deportation.
Gao Zhisheng, a former prisoner of conscience and human rights lawyer, is subject to enforced disappearance. No information about his whereabouts are known since he was taken away from his home in Yulin City, Shaanxi, northwest China, on 13 August 2017. Gao Zhisheng previously shared his experience of repeated torture in detention as a result of his work, raising fears that he is at high risk of torture and other ill-treatment or even death.
Activist Rashid Mahiya and opposition Members of Parliament Charlton Hwende and Joanna Mamombe are awaiting trial on the charge of ‘subverting a constitutional government’. The charge attracts a sentence of more than 20 years in prison. All three have been released on bail and are awaiting trial.
Bloggers Cheikh Jiddou and Abderrahmane Weddady were arbitrarily arrested on 22 March in Nouakchott. Both were arrested after posting comments on Facebook condemning corruption. Their comments came after media articles were published, accusing some Mauritanian officials of corruption. The two bloggers have been charged with ‘malicious accusation’. On 27 March, they were transferred to the Central prison of Nouakchott.
Malak al-Kashef is a 19-year-old transgender woman human rights defender, arbitrarily detained in the all-male Mazra’at Tora prison. On 6 March 2019, National Security Agency (NSA) officers arrested Malak at her family’s residence in Giza. Malak’s arrest was part of a massive arrest campaign that followed the 27 February fire incident at Cairo’s main train station, which killed 25 people. Malak is facing the trumped-charges of “aiding a terrorist organization” and “misusing social media to commit a crime punishable by law”. On March 10, the authorities subjected Malak to a forced anal examination at a government hospital, where she was also subjected to other forms of sexual assault.