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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.