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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chinese human rights defender Zhen Jianghua was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to two years in prison on 28 December 2018. The executive director of “Human Rights Campaign in China”, an online platform, with over 10 years’ experience working for marginalized communities in China, Zhen has been persecuted solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and association.
On 20 October 2018, Ali Mohamed al-Showaikh was deported from the Netherlands and arrested upon arrival at Bahrain International Airport. For more than ten weeks since, he has been held without access to an attorney while the Public Prosecution’s terrorism unit proceeds with charges against him. There are strong reasons to fear he has been subjected to ill-treatment.
In March, Valquiria and her seven-year-old son Abel* fled Brazil and requested asylum in the US after death threats from drug traffickers. US border authorities forcibly separated them and continue to detain Valquiria. The extreme anguish she and her son are experiencing may amount to torture. US immigration authorities must immediately free Valquiria while she pursues her asylum claim.
Dr Nasser bin Ghaith’s health has severely deteriorated. The prominent Emirati economist and academic has been on hunger strike for over 70 days in al-Razeen prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to protest the detention conditions and the denial of access to medical care. He is a prisoner of conscience.
The Pemón Indigenous communities in the Canaima National Park (western Venezuela) were the target of a violent attack during a two-day military operation, for which there was no justification. The communities fear for their safety in the context of these operations and the militarization of their ancestral territory ordered by the national government.