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January 14, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Military Arbitrarily Detain NGO Staff (Venezuela: UA 3.21)

Officers of the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence in Maracaibo (DGCIM) detained six staff members from Azul Positivo, a medical and humanitarian NGO in Venezuela, on 12 January in Zulia (Western Venezuela). One was released, but five remain detained and will be charged. DCGIM officers raided the NGO’s office and seized their work equipment. Staff members have not had access to their lawyers or family. We demand the immediate release of all Azul Positivo workers and the halt of harassment and criminal prosecution of civil society.

January 14, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Two Years of Arbitrary Detention of 16 People (Mozambique: UA 78.19)

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.

January 14, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: 10 Hongkongers Sentenced in Unfair Trial (China: UA 141.20)

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.

January 13, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Students Allege Ill-Treatment in Detention (Turkey: UA 2.21)

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.

January 13, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Execution Risk for Iranian-Swedish Academic (Iran: UA 38.17)

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.

January 12, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Lengthy Imprisonment for Retired Uyghur Doctor (China: UA 88.20)

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.

January 8, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Detained in New Case (Egypt: UA 104.19)

On 2 January 2021, Ibrahim Ezz el-Din appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution for investigations into a new case (No. 1018/2020) over baseless charges of "belonging to a terrorist group". On 27 December 2020, the Cairo Criminal Court ordered his release in another case, after 13 months of arbitrary pre-trial detention, and he was transferred the next day to the Samanoud police station in the governorate of his residence, in preparation for his release.

January 8, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Covid-19 Journalist Sentenced to Four Years for Exposing Truth (China: UA 170.20)

The Pudong New District People’s Court sentenced citizen journalist Zhang Zhan to four years in prison on 28 December 2020. The charge against her of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” stemmed from her COVID-19 reports from Wuhan that began in February 2020. Zhang Zhan has suspended her hunger strike to avoid having her legs shackled and her hands restrained by detention center authorities. However, there remain grave fears that she might face further torture and other ill-treatment.

January 8, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Three Face Execution in Trump’s Last Six Weeks (USA: UA 26.20)

Two men and one woman convicted under US federal law face execution in the last weeks of the Trump presidency. The US federal authorities resumed executions after 17 years and have been pursuing an unprecedented number of lethal injections, bucking national and global trends towards abolition. The cases of those selected for execution have been affected by arbitrariness, ineffective legal representation, racial bias, and have involved people with severe mental and intellectual disabilities, in violation of international law and standards. We urge the US Attorney General to halt all executions.

January 7, 2021 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: Prisoner of Conscience on Hunger Strike (Guinea: UA 154.20)

Pro-democracy activist and mobilization coordinator for National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), Oumar Sylla (alias Foniké Mengué) has been on hunger strike since 25 December 2020, in protest of his detention and demanding that his trial be speedily organized. On 4 December 2020, his charges were changed to "participation in a gathering likely to disturb public order". He is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.