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March 14, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: 38 Years and 148 Lashes for Women’s Rights Defender (Iran: UA 126.18)

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.

March 12, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: “Natural Security” Trials End in Life Sentences (Oman: UA 121.18)

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.

March 11, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Activist, Opposition Members Charged with Treason (Zimbabwe: UA 34.19)

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.

March 11, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Tortured Conservationists Face Death Penalty (Iran: UA 33.19)

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.

March 11, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Mexican Congress Approved Security Reform (Mexico: UA 212.18)

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.

March 8, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Turkey Must Release Civil Society Figures (Turkey: UA 35.19)

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.

March 8, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defender Allegedly Tortured (Equatorial Guinea: UA 15.19)

Human rights defender Joaquín Elo Ayeto was arrested on 25 February at his house in Malabo. He is accused of having information on a plot to kill the president. According to reliable sources, Joaquín was subjected to torture at least twice while at Central Police Station after his arrest which resulted in physical injuries. He was also threatened with death by police at the station. He is detained at Black Beach Prison. Since Saturday 2 March neither his lawyer nor his family has been allowed to see him.

March 7, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Indigenous Community Attacked by Armed Men (Paraguay: UA 32.19)

The Ysati Indigenous community in the district of Itakyry (department of Alto Paraná, southeast Paraguay) had their crops and six houses burned down and 55 people, of which 38 children, were displaced because of the violence. Community members are afraid that new attacks could take place and they are forced to flee. We urge the Attorney General to launch an immediate investigation on the attacks against the Ysati Indigenous community and to bring those responsible to justice.

March 7, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Palestinian Lawmaker Released (Israel/OPT: UA 187.17)

On 28 February 2019, Palestinian lawmaker and prominent political figure Khalida Jarrar was released from HaSharon prison in central Israel. She had spent 20 months in administrative detention without charge or trial.

March 7, 2019 • Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Poet Acquitted and Released (Somaliland: UA 17.19)

Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan, a poet in Somaliland, was released on 25 February. He had been arrested and detained on 12 January after reciting a poem the previous day in which he called on the Somaliland government to reform its prisons and criminal justice system.