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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.
In July and August, following the disqualification of opposition candidates from local elections in Moscow, tens of thousands of people participated in largely peaceful protests. Participants chanted slogans, held placards and briefly interrupted traffic on several streets. The protests remained peaceful until the authorities responded by attacking the crowds, arbitrarily beating and arresting people. The authorities brought unfounded charges against more than a dozen individuals, mostly youth, that carry lengthy prison sentences. All peaceful protesters must be urgently released, and charges against them must be dropped.
Journalist Amade Abubacar’s pre-trial hearing at the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court ended on 25 July. The court referred his case back to the Public Prosecution. The prosecutor will now decide whether to bring a case against Amade or withdraw the charges against him.
Human rights defender Serikzhan Bilash is facing charges of “incitement of social, national, clan, race, class or religious hatred” which carry a penalty of up to seven years in prison. The first hearing was held on 29 July in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan’s capital city, and it was decided that the case would be transferred to the city of Almaty. Serikzhan Bilash, who had been under house arrest since 10 March in Nur-Sultan, was transferred on 15 August to his home in Almaty where he will remain under house arrest. Serikzhan Bilash is the leader of the human rights organization Atajurt and is being prosecuted simply for defending the human rights of ethnic Kazakhs in China. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.
Fifteen refugees and asylum seekers (14 men, one woman) from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and one male refugee from Ethiopia have been arbitrarily detained for more than seven months. They have not been notified of the reason for their detention or of any criminal charges against them. According to Article 308 of the Criminal Procedural Code, a person cannot be held in pre-trial detention for more than 90 days after their arrest. They were arrested on 17 January at the Maratane Camp, in Nampula province.
Human rights defender Joaquín Elo Ayeto is in urgent need of medical assistance while in detention at Black Beach Prison. According to our sources, for the last couple of weeks, he has been experiencing severe diarrhea and high fever. On 5 August, Joaquín’s lawyer wrote to the judge asking for his client’s immediate transfer to a hospital. There has been no response. He has been detained since 25 February and has had no access to his family or lawyers for several weeks.
The sentence against Danish Jehovah’s Witness Dennis Christensen was upheld on 23 May. After that he was transported to the correctional penal colony No 3 in Kursk region, some 200 km away from Orel, the city in western Russia where he lived with his wife. Dennis Christensen is a prisoner of conscience, serving six years in prison for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of religion.
Gökhan Türkmen and Mustafa Yılmaz have been missing since 7 and 19 February 2019 respectively and are suspected to have been abducted and forcibly disappeared. The authorities have so far been denying that they are being held in official custody. On 29 July four men who had been missing since around the same time resurfaced in detention at the Anti-Terrorism Branch of the Ankara Police Headquarters. The authorities must promptly investigate to determine the whereabouts of Gökhan Türkmen and Mustafa Yılmaz and urgently inform their families.
Critically ill prisoner of conscience and human rights defender Arash Sadeghi is being tortured through the intentional and purposeful denial of his access to cancer treatment, causing him severe pain and suffering. A serious post-operation infection has developed in his right arm due to lack of care in prison, leaving it swollen, paralyzed and without sensation. He has also been denied critical bone marrow tests to monitor if his cancer has spread. His life is being put at risk.
On 6 July unknown men broke into Danelly Estupiñan’s house while she was not at home. Various human right organizations reported that unknown people made a payment to kill her. The Black Community Process and other organizations alerted the Prosecutor’s Office about the attack and the information about Danelly’s life being in danger, requesting immediate action. We are urging national authorities to swiftly and fully investigate all of these security incidents to identify the attackers and stop them from further threatening Danelly’s physical and psychological integrity.
On 6 August 2019, members of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) arrested former Bahraini parliamentarian Osama Jaber Muhana al-Tamimi at his home. The CID announced that he had been arrested for fraud. Since 2012, government authorities have subjected Osama al-Tamimi to false accusations in the government-linked press. In recent months, he has been summoned several times for questioning, while several unresolved crimes have targeted his personal businesses.