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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.
On 8 January 2019, the Cairo Criminal Court renewed Islam Khalil’s detention for a further 45 days. Islam Khalil was a victim of an enforced disappearance and has been held in pre-trial detention on trumped-up charges since 10 March 2018. He is being denied access to necessary health care. The charges, of which Islam Khalil maintains his innocence, are believed to have been brought against him in retaliation for his political activism. The four other co-defendants who were facing the same charges denied knowing Islam Khalil and were released on probation in 4 September.
On 15 January 2019, Hoda Abdelmoniem appeared before the prosecution for investigation, and her pre-trial detention was renewed for 15 days. Hoda told her daughter that she is being detained in an undisclosed location. Hoda’s last appearance before the public prosecution was on 21 November 2018, after her 20 days of enforced disappearance. From 2 December 2018 until 14 January 2019, Hoda’s lawyer and family could not find her in any prison and did not know about her fate and whereabouts.
On 11 January, two unidentified men in a motorbike shot three times at the car in which Alfamir Castillo was in a rural area of the municipality of Pradera, Valle del Cauca Department, southern Colombia. Alfamir Castillo was with her husband and two bodyguards granted by the National Protection Unit and were not injured. Alfamir Castillo has faced several threats and attacks for years as she is seeking justice for the unlawful killing of her son by members of the Colombian armed forces.
Kishorchandra Wangkhem, a journalist based in Manipur, India, was arrested in August, and again in November 2018, because of Facebook posts where he criticized the government. While he was released on bail in both cases, on 27 November, he was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA). This draconian administrative detention law allows for him to be imprisoned for 12 months without charge or trial, in violation of regular criminal justice safeguards. The High Court of Manipur will hear his challenge to his detention under the NSA on 1 February 2019.
The Chechen authorities have unleashed a new wave of attacks on people believed to be gay or lesbian. At least 40 individuals have been arbitrarily detained and tortured in Chechnya, a republic in the south of Russia. At least two people are reported to have been tortured to death.
Amade Abubacar, a journalist at Nacedje community radio, was arrested on 5 January 2019, by the police in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique. The police confiscated his cell phone, handcuffed him and took him to Macomia’s Police Station. Amade Abubacar was arrested when he was interviewing internally displaced civilians who fled their homes due to the intensification of violent attacks in the northern Cabo Delgado. Amade Abubacar is being held in incommunicado detention, he has not been officially charged with any crime and has not been granted access to his lawyer.
On 31 December 2018, prominent human rights defender, Ahmed Mansoor, had his 10-year prison sentence upheld by the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi. He was convicted on charges that include “insulting the status and prestige of the UAE and its symbols”, including its leaders, “publish[ing] false information to damage [the] UAE’s reputation abroad” and “portray[ing] the UAE as a lawless land”. Ahmed Mansoor is a prisoner of conscience. Amnesty International will continue to call for his immediate and unconditional release and for his conviction and sentence to be quashed.
On 26 December 2018, the Azerbaijani authorities brought new criminal charges against prisoner of conscience Mehman Huseynov, just as his current jail term nears to an end. The prominent journalist has been charged with assault for allegedly attacking an inspector at the detention center. Mehman Huseynov denies the accusation. On 26 December 2018, he went on a hunger strike in protest of the new criminal charges and there are now grave concerns for his health which has been reported by his lawyer as ‘critical’. If convicted, Mehman Huseynov could face up to seven more years in jail. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Bruno Almada Comas, a young queer artist, was accused of “acts of exhibitionism” and risked prison, based on a performance denouncing violence and discrimination against LGBTI people in Paraguay. He has now accepted an agreement for a conditional suspension of the criminal procedure. If he complies with the conditions imposed, the case will be closed.
On 31 December 2018, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld the five-year prison sentence of human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Nabeel Rajab. He was convicted of “spreading false rumours in time of war”, “insulting a foreign country" and “insulting public authorities”, in relation to peaceful tweets about the conflict in Yemen and torture allegations in Jaw prison. Nabeel Rajab has therefore exhausted all legal remedies in this case. Amnesty International will continue to call for his immediate and unconditional release and for his convictions and sentences to be quashed.