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January 5, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Academic Arbitrarily Detained (Morocco: UA 1.21)

On 29 December 2020, Moroccan academic and human rights defender Maati Monjib was arrested while having lunch at a restaurant in the capital Rabat and has been held in arbitrary detention since then. He had been under investigation since 7 October 2020 on accusations of money laundering against him and members of his family. The investigation is the latest attempt to intimidate Maati Monjib and retaliate against him for his critical stance towards the authorities and his work promoting the right to freedom of expression in Morocco following years of harassment and unlawful surveillance. Maati Monjib is a prisoner of conscience. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.

January 5, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Guinean Pro-Democracy Activist Is Free (Guinea: UA 83.20)

Saïkou Yaya Diallo, the legal coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), was freed from Conakry prison on 11 December 2020 after having served seven months in prison. He was sentenced in November 2020 to one-year imprisonment with five months suspended on fabricated ‘assault, violence, threats and public insults’ charges.

January 5, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Opposition Members Released (Togo: UA 171.20)

Political activists Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo and Gérard Yaovi Djossou were released from detention on 17 December 2020 and are now under judicial supervision. At the end of November 2020, they were arrested and charged for ‘criminal conspiracy’ and ‘undermining the internal security of the state’ after calling for a demonstration to denounce the results of the February 2020 Presidential election. Following their release, they thanked Amnesty International’s members for campaigning for their release.

December 21, 2020 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Indigenous Land Defender Receives Protection (Paraguay: UA 160.20)

In November, Paraguayan authorities opened an investigation and provided protection to Bernarda Pesoa, leader of an indigenous Qom community, after she was attacked in late October. We continue to monitor the situation closely as the land conflict related to wood exploitation on Qom lands persist.

December 21, 2020 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Peaceful Protesters Face Years in Prison (Thailand: UA 134.20)

Hundreds of peaceful pro-democracy protesters, including children, may face decades of or even life imprisonment for taking part in mass, pro-democracy demonstrations, as the crackdown on the freedoms of peaceful assembly and of expression further escalates in the country. At least 220 persons, including six children, face criminal proceedings. Thailand must amend or repeal the repressive laws it is using to suppress peaceful assembly and the expression of dissenting opinions.

December 21, 2020 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: 10 Hongkongers Charged, No Access to Own Lawyers (China: UA 141.20)

Ten of the 12 Hongkongers arrested by the Chinese coast guard in August 2020 were formally charged on 16 December. Two have been charged with allegedly organizing people to cross the border between Hong Kong and China and the other eight for allegedly crossing the border, charges that hold a maximum of seven years and one year imprisonment, respectively. The procuratorate will hold a closed-door hearing to decide whether to prosecute the other two who were children at the time of their detention. Detained since 23 August 2020 without access to their families and family-appointed lawyers, the 12 individuals remain at imminent risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

December 17, 2020 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Investigate Torture Claims in Diyarbakir Prison (Turkey: UA 174.20)

On 1 December, Mehmet Sıddık Meşe was allegedly subjected to a severe beating by guards in a prison in the Turkish city of Dıyarbakır. He was denied access to urgent medical care and to examination by medical forensic staff. On 9 December, the prosecutor decided not to prosecute the suspected perpetrators based on the prison doctor’s report. Mehmet Sıddık Meşe requires access to adequate medical care and a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment must be launched.

December 17, 2020 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Human Rights Defenders Released (Egypt: UA 166.20)

On 3 December 2020, Gasser Abdel Razek, Karim Ennarah and Mohamed Basheer, directors at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), were released and are now safely home with their families and loved ones.

December 14, 2020 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Tortured Detainee Denied Medical Care (Belarus: UA 173.20)

Viachaslau Rahashchuk is a taxi driver from the Belarusian city of Pinsk who was arbitrarily detained in 10 August and remains behind bars. He is in need of urgent medical treatment due to injuries he sustained from being tortured while in detention.

December 14, 2020 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Tortured Sufi Prisoner Must be Released (Iran: UA 172.20)

Behnam Mahjoubi, from Iran’s persecuted Gonabadi Dervish religious minority, is being subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, including through the denial of specialist medical care. He is a prisoner of conscience serving a two-year prison sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison for attending a peaceful protest.