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January 17, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Arbitrary Detention Extended (Egypt: UA 176.18)

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.

January 17, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Lawyer Detained In Undisclosed Location (Egypt: UA 190.18)

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.

January 15, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Woman Attacked for Seeking Justice for Son (Colombia: UA 296.12)

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.

January 15, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Administrative Detention for Facebook Posts (India: UA 3.19)

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.

January 15, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Homophobic Crackdown In Chechnya Resumes (Russian Federation: UA 2.19)

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.

January 11, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Journalist Arbitrarily Detained Incommunicado (Mozambique: UA 1.19)

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.

January 10, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender’s 10-Year Sentence Upheld (United Arab Emirates: UA 200.15)

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.

January 9, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: New Charges Against Prisoner of Conscience (Azerbaijan: UA 168.12)

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.

January 9, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Queer Artist Accepts Agreement to Avoid Prison (Paraguay: UA 110.18)

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.

January 9, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Loses Final Appeal (Bahrain: UA 249.14)

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.