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.
Sign up to receive Urgent Action emails. You can choose to receive all emails or a more limited number. You can also choose to receive emails on specific issues or regions.
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)
Javier Tarazona, Director of local NGO FundaREDES, Rafael Tarazona and Omar de Dios García, FundaREDES’ activists, were arbitrarily detained on July 2, 2021 after attempting to report harassment from security officers at the Attorney General’s Office in the city of Coro (Western Venezuela), and charged with inciting hatred, treason, and terrorism. Despite numerous requests, their trusted legal representatives have been denied accreditation before the court. The three are still awaiting a pre-trial hearing to take place. We urge authorities to release them immediately and unconditionally since their detention is politically motivated.
Since August, authorities in Mexico have been conducting mass detentions and deportations of migrants and asylum seekers without taking measures to ensure that these individuals are not being returned to locations where their lives or physical integrity might be at risk. Such deportations potentially endanger the lives of thousands. Excessive use of force against migrants and asylum seekers has also been reported. Take action urgently to protect their rights.
Three Syrian refugees from Daraa governorate in southern Syria, Ahmad Al Waked, Tarek Al A’lo, and Fares Al Zo’bi, are at risk of forced deportation to Syria after General Security detained them at Beirut International Airport on September 13, 14, and 16, 2021 respectively. Since then, the three detainees have been held in incommunicado detention.
Valentina Chupik, a recognized refugee and migrant rights defender, has been held in the transit lounge at Sheremetevo airport in Moscow since September 25, 2021. She has been told that she has been stripped of her refugee status, banned from Russia for 30 years, and is threatened with imminent forcible return to Uzbekistan. She must be immediately released and allowed to remain in Russia so that she can continue her work.
Concerns are growing over activist Alaa Abdel Fattah’s life and wellbeing after his family and lawyer learned about his suicidal thoughts due to his unjust detention and cruel prison conditions. On September 29, 2021, Alaa Abdel Fattah and human rights lawyer Mohamed Baker will complete two years of arbitrary detention without charge or trial solely for their peaceful exercise of human rights. Amnesty International calls for their immediate and unconditional release.
With the beginning of the new parliamentary term, a preliminary draft of the Criminal Code is being debated by the Dominican Republic’s Congress with the objective of approving a reformed version by the end of this legislative year. Legislators are currently pushing forward with a reformed criminal code that would fail to decriminalize abortion in three circumstances and that would not provide protections against torture, violence, and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. We demand the Congress approves a reformed criminal code that meets their human rights obligations to respect, protect and fulfil women’s, girls’, and LGBTIQ+ people’s rights, lives, health, dignity, and autonomy.
Thousands of Haitians are traveling to the US-Mexico border to seek asylum in the U.S., with many settling in camps after being denied entry. The US government is responding with human rights violations and violence, including deportations of thousands to Haiti. These deportations put Haitians at risk of violence, being unhoused, and even death as Haiti is in the midst of political, economic, and environmental crises. Media has documented US border authorities abusing and taunting Haitians while riding on horses and brandishing whips. Call on US authorities to end deportations and respect the human right to seek asylum.
On September 23, 2021 the Supreme Court of Sakha (Yakutia), will consider shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev’s appeal against the decision to confine him to psychiatric hospital. Meanwhile he is in pretrial detention and under investigation for alleged violence against a police officer. The shaman has been long targeted by the authorities after he vowed in 2019 to walk from Siberia to Moscow and use his shamanic powers “to purge” President Vladimir Putin. He has been repeatedly arbitrarily arrested, and subjected to humiliating searches and examinations, and confined in a psychiatric institution, all for criticizing the Russian authorities and his peaceful activism.
Yassine Ayari, an outspoken parliamentarian and whistle-blower who exposed several corruption cases in Tunisia, has been held since July 28, 2021 in the Mornaguia prison to serve a two-month sentence pronounced by a military court in 2018 for his Facebook posts criticizing the army. The military court has initiated new prosecutions against him following his statements calling President Saied's assumption of exceptional powers on July 25, 2021 a "coup". Yassine Ayari started a hunger strike on September 7 to protest his prison conditions.
Iranian Kurdish prisoner Heidar Ghorbani is at imminent risk of execution for “armed rebellion against the state” (baghi), despite serious fair trial violations and the trial court confirming that he was never armed. In August 2021, the Supreme Court rejected his second request for judicial review. His conviction is based on torture tainted “confessions” obtained while he was forcibly disappeared.