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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.
On 17 January, prominent Russian anti-corruption and opposition activist Aleksei Navalny was arrested at the airport as he returned to Moscow. He has narrowly survived what has since been independently confirmed as poisoning by Novichok nerve agent in August 2020 and spent the last five months in Germany recovering. He is a prisoner of conscience, his detention arbitrary and politically motivated.
Three people, including one woman, were executed in the last week of the Trump administration, bringing the total number of federal executions carried out in the last six months to 13. The cases of those executed were tainted by arbitrariness, ineffective legal representation, racial bias, and involved people with severe mental and intellectual disabilities, in violation of international law and standards.
On 27 December 2020, the Jiangsu Provincial People’s High Court rejected Yu Wensheng’s appeal of his four-year prison sentence for “inciting subversion of state power”, passed down after a secret trial in June 2020. After almost three years without access to his family, Yu Wensheng was finally able to take part in a video call with his wife Xu Yan on 14 January 2021. Afterward, Xu expressed grave concerns about the apparent deterioration of Yu’s health. In addition to being unable to use his right arm due to nerve damage, Yu continues to show signs of malnutrition. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, and must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Manaus, the capital of the Amazonas State, is facing a health crisis due to a spike in COVID-19 infections coupled with what health workers, media outlets and state officials have labeled as a critical lack of oxygen to treat patients currently hospitalized. Other cities and states nearby could also be at risk of facing a similar situation. Despite an initial supply of oxygen by the federal government, authorities must ensure its continued supply and other equipment needed to guarantee the right to health of the people of Manaus.
On 12 January, Officers of the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence in Maracaibo (DGCIM) detained staff members from Azul Positivo, a medical and humanitarian NGO in Zulia (Western Venezuela). Johan León Reyes, Yordy Bermúdez, Layners Gutiérrez Díaz, Alejandro Gómez Di Maggio and Luis Ferrabuz, have been charged with financial crimes and ‘association to commit crimes’. Amnesty International considers their detention and prosecution to be solely based on the humanitarian work carried out by the NGO they work for, Azul Positivo. They are prisoners of conscience and they must be released immediately and unconditionally.
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.