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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 19 February 2019, a judge ordered the conditional release of Egyptian activist Islam Khalil. On 25 February, the police moved Islam to al-Santa police station to complete his release procedures, but instead of releasing him the authorities held him incommunicado. On 10 March 2018, Islam was forcibly disappeared after National Security Agency officers had abducted him. He remained in arbitrary detention for almost a year facing the trumped-up charges of “membership in an illegal group” and “disseminating false information.” His family believes that Islam is at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in incommunicado detention.
Immediately after human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong was released from prison on 28 February 2019, he and his father and sister were taken away. While they have now been returned to his family home, he remains under tight surveillance and is being constantly followed, with no freedom to choose his employment. Having completed his two-year sentence for ‘inciting subversion’, Jiang Tianyong was a prisoner of conscience and should never have been detained for practicing his right to freedom of expression.
On 10 March 2019, the Israeli Ofer Military Court in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) approved the renewal of Ayman Nasser’s administrative detention for further six months. Since 17 September 2018, Ayman Nasser has been detained without charge or trial in Ofer prison, near Ramallah, in the West Bank. Ayman is the legal unit coordinator of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Right Association, a Palestinian NGO. His detention is now expected to end on 7 September 2019.
Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes after two grossly unfair trials. The charges against her stem solely from her peaceful human rights work, including defending women’s rights and her outspoken opposition to the death penalty.
Oman sentenced six defendants to life imprisonment for “infringement of the country’s independence or unity or the sanctity of its territory” after grossly unfair trials. The charges were based on the six men’s online browsing habits in relation to Oman’s Musandam province and the Shuhuh tribe that lives there. Following the trials, credible allegations of torture emerged. However, the verdicts were summarily upheld by an appeals court. No further appeals are possible.
Activist Rashid Mahiya and Members of Parliament with the opposition, Joanna Mamombe and Charlton Hwende were arrested on different dates in Zimbabwe. All three have been charged with ‘subverting a constitutional government’ which attracts a sentence of more than 20 years in prison. This charge is in connection with a three-day national shutdown called for on 14-16 January in protest against a hike in fuel prices.
Eight detained conservationists could face the death penalty or long prison sentences, following a grossly unfair trial in which they were accused of trumped-up spying charges. Their charges stem solely from their conservation activities including carrying out research into Iran’s endangered wildlife. They have said they were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.
On 28 February, Mexican Congress approved a controversial Constitutional amendment to introduce a “National Guard” in Mexico. The bill originally proposed was substantially changed after heavy criticism by human rights defenders and activists. The approved bill does not contain the most concerning provisions of the proposal and, if correctly implemented, could be a first step in the orderly withdrawal of the military from security tasks.
Osman Kavala (pictured below), Yiğit Aksakoğlu and 14 other prominent civil society figures are facing life in prison after a court accepted an indictment against them on 4 March. They are wrongly accused of ‘attempting to overthrow the government or prevent it from performing its duties’ for their alleged role in ‘directing’ the Gezi Park protests of 2013. Osman Kavala has already been remanded in pre-trial detention for over 16 months and Yiğit Aksakoğlu for almost four months. The rest of the accused are currently free pending trial. The Turkish authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Osman Kavala and Yiğit Aksakoğlu and drop the trumped-up charges against all 16.
Prisoner of conscience Huỳnh Trương Ca is being held in conditions of detention that further violates his rights. He shares a small, unlit cell with four other prisoners and cannot leave the cell, not even for meal times. The only time he leaves the cell is once a month for family visits. He also suffers several illnesses, yet the prison authorities refuse to provide him with the medical treatment he requires. The Ministry of Public Security plans to move him to another facility far away from his hometown. We call on the Vietnamese government and its Ministry of Public Security to release Huỳnh Trương Ca immediately and unconditionally.