Answer the call to defend people under immediate threat of grave human rights abuse.
The concept is simple: Take Action, Change a Life.
Urgent Actions ask our community of volunteers to flood the mailboxes, inboxes, phones and social media of authorities when someone is in imminent danger of human rights violations. Your letters, emails, phone calls, faxes and Tweets have helped to halt executions, support human rights defenders and free prisoners of conscience—people jailed solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs and identity.
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Urgent Action emails specify the case, local and international government officials to contact, their contact information and suggestions about what to write, say or Tweet. Learn more about writing effective letters and emails.
Are you an educator looking for ways to engage your students in human rights? Find out how your students can show their power through letter writing!
In many cases, your action on these cases leads to better conditions for prisoners and their eventual release. Those individuals at the center of these Urgent Actions often send their thanks to Amnesty International, citing that these messages serve as a source of hope.
“The reason we could resist the ban and move forward was the international support and solidarity by Amnesty International activists around the world. We could not have gone further without your support” – ODTÜ/Student Organized Pride March in Turkey (UA 83.18)
“My case once again showed how important solidarity and attention are in protecting the freedom of speech and human rights. I admire your noble work and boundless courage, dear activists” – Bobomurod Abdullayev, POC from Uzbekistan (UA 232.17)
“I am very grateful for all the support I received while I was in prison. Life in prison was very difficult and I was treated badly, but the support of those who believed in me made me strong.” – Munther Amira, Palestinian Human Rights Defender (UA 26.18)
Members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) reviewed and agreed on new protection measures with the Honduran government, including for Rosalina Dominguez, member of the Río Blanco community who faced threats in 2019.
On 8 January 2020, the High Criminal Court of Appeal in Bahrain upheld the convictions and death sentences of Mohamed Ramadhan Issa Ali Hussain and Hussain Ali Moosa Hussain Mohamed. On 22 October 2018, Bahrain’s Cassation Court had overturned their death sentences which it had confirmed in 2015 and returned their cases to the Appeal Court for re-examination, based on new evidence. The case will now go again before the Cassation Court.
Babacar Diop, Malick Diallo Biaye, Mamadou Diallo, Souleymane Diockou and Pape Abdoulaye Touré were released on bail on 20 December 2019. Souleymane Ndjim was released on bail on 4 December. Three other activists, Guy Marius Sagna, Fallou Galass Seck and Ousmane Sarr, are still detained in Camp Penal prison in Dakar, Senegal.
The 13 activists arrested on 14 November 2019 after giving water to a group of people on hunger strike to demand the release of their relatives were among the 91 people released on 30 December 2019. However, they still face charges and will be brought to court on 30 January 2020. According to local groups, 65 people detained in the aftermath of the April 2018 protests remain in prison. We urge the Nicaraguan authorities to drop all charges and immediately release all those detained solely on the grounds of exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held a press conference on 30 November solely to address the smog crisis that gripped Punjab during 2019. Accepting that smog was a “silent killer”, he rolled out a plan in line with expert recommendations to tackle the toxic air pollution. We welcome the responsiveness of the Government of Pakistan and their willingness to address the crisis and will be monitoring the situation closely to see them follow through on their commitment to clear the air.
Renewed attacks on representatives and staff linked to opposition parties in Venezuela’s National Assembly began on 20 December 2019. Following events on 5 January 2020, there are serious concerns about the risk of arbitrary detention and other grave human rights violations for all other representatives. This is not the first time that President Nicolas Maduro and his government have intimidated, harassed, physically abused, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared National Assembly representatives and staff in an attempt to silence political dissent.
Five pro-democracy activists, Alseny Farinta Camara, Moussa Sanoh, Boubacar Diallo, Thierno Seydi Ly and Thierno Oumar Barry, were released on 19 December 2019 in Kindia, western Guinea. Charged with participation in an unauthorized gathering, three of the five activists were given a four-month sentence, including a three-month suspended sentence. The two other activists were acquitted and released.
Human Rights Defender Leyner Palacios has been vocal about the presence of these illegal armed groups in the territories of the communities of Bojayá. On December 31, 2019, 300 members of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia placed four communities of Bojayá under forced confinement. On January 3, 2020, the AGC threatened Leyner Palacios and gave him two hours to leave the territory of Bojayá or they would kill him. We urge the Colombian government to take immediate action to guarantee his protection.
The Federal Supreme Court has set 20 January 2020 to issue its verdict in the case of two Lebanese men, including Ahmed Nimr Sobeh, who are appealing their conviction and sentences. The Court is yet to set the date to hear the appeal of a third Lebanese man, Abdelrahman Talal Chouman. The three men had been sentenced by the Federal Appeal Court in a trial that did not meet international fair trial standards.
Detained labor rights activist Bakhtiar Rahimi, from Iran’s Kurdish minority, was arrested on 27 November 2019 in Marivan, Kurdistan province. Bakhtiar Rahimi has serious heart and kidney conditions for which he needs daily medication. The Iranian authorities have denied him access to a lawyer and permitted him only one very brief phone call to his family since his arrest.