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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 9 February, a judge ordered the pre-trial detention of human rights defender and lawyer Ezzat Ghoniem for 45 days pending investigation. Ezzat Ghoniem and Azzoz Mahgoub were detained on March 1, 2018. The court ordered their release on probation on 4 September 2018, provided they report to a police station twice a week. They were never released, and on September 14 they were forcibly disappeared by the authorities. On 20 October 2018, an arrest warrant was issued against them for not respecting the probational terms – which they could not apply as being forcibly disappeared. Ezzat Ghoniem remained forcibly disappeared until February 9, when lawyers saw him at the Cairo Criminal Court. Azzoz Mahgoub is still held incommunicado.
On 12 February, Mexican Indigenous human rights defenders, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel (pictured below) and Hilario Cornelio Castro disappeared while traveling through Guerrero state, southwest Mexico. They were both members of the Organization of Indigenous Mepha'a People (OPIM, Organización del Pueblo Indígena Mepha'a). Since 2009, due to their human rights work, Obtilia Eugenio and other OPIM members have received several attacks and threats, including death threats. Obtilia Eugenio was recently elected member of the Indigenous Municipal Council of the Ayutla de los Libres town (Guerrero state). Their fate or whereabouts are unknown. Authorities must urgently search for them and bring those responsible to justice.
Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che has been given rotten food and insufficient clothing in his freezing prison cell. As a result of exposing these prison conditions, his wife is not allowed to visit him again until 22 April 2019. Sentenced in 2017 to five years’ imprisonment for “subverting state power”, Lee Ming-che is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.
Danish national and Jehovah’s Witness Dennis Christensen was found guilty on 6 February of “organizing activities of an extremist organization” and sentenced to six years imprisonment by a court in Orel, western Russia. He is a prisoner of conscience imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of religion. He must be immediately and unconditionally released, and his conviction must be quashed.
Sixty-two people including activists from the Independence Movement of Cabinda (Movimento Independista de Cabinda – MIC) together with their family members and colleagues, were arrested between 28 January and 1 February in Cabinda, Angola. They were arrested for their involvement in peaceful protests. They are being arbitrarily detained at Cabinda Province civil prison.
Native American activist Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned in the USA for over 40 years despite concerns over the fairness of his trial. The Bureau of Prisons should grant his request for a transfer, so he can be in a facility that is closer to his relatives and with better access to medical care facilities to treat his chronic health issues. We also continue to call for Leonard Peltier to be granted clemency and be released.
Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan, a poet in Somaliland, has been in detention since 12 January. He was arrested after he had recited a poem the previous day in which he called on the Somaliland government to reform its prisons and criminal justice system.
The Deep Sea Community in Nairobi, Kenya is once again at imminent risk of forced evictions. On 1 February, the Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) of Westlands Subcounty informed residents of the informal settlement that they had four days to vacate their homes to pave way for an EU funded road construction project. Failure to which he threatened that the government would forcibly take over the land.
Hakeem al Araibi, is a known footballer who was granted asylum in Australia after being tortured, detained and subject to an unfair trial in Bahrain. He has been detained by Thai authorities since 27 November, when he arrived in Bangkok on his honeymoon. Under international law, Thailand must not forcibly send him to Bahrain, where he faces a real risk of torture and other human rights violations. Thailand should immediately drop extradition charges, release Hakeem and allow him to return to Australia.
Soro Tangboho, alias Carton noir, an outspoken online activist, was arbitrarily arrested on 8 November 2018 in the town of Korhogo (the north of the country). He was detained and subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while live streaming a video on Facebook showing police officers who were, according to him, extorting money from motorists. He has been accused of disrupting public order. Soro Tangboho is currently hospitalized at the MACA prison clinic.