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)
On 28 November a court decided to extend the detention of Uzbekistani blogger and human rights defender Nafosat Olloshkurova in a psychiatric hospital. Nafosat Olloshkurova was detained and beaten by police on 23 September while monitoring and reporting about a peaceful protest. She was placed in psychiatric detention on 26 September. There are serious concerns that she is being subjected to medical treatment without her consent and that her health has deteriorated while in detention. She must be immediately released.
The High Criminal Court of Appeal in Bahrain has set 25 December 2019 to issue its verdict in the cases of Mohamed Ramadhan Issa Ali Hussain and Hussain Ali Moosa Hussain Mohamed. On 22 October 2018, Bahrain’s Cassation Court 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.
On 6 December 2019, 22-year-old Iraqi photographer Zaid Mohammed Abid al-Khafaji was abducted from the doorsteps of his house in Baghdad, Iraq, by four men in civilian clothes who dragged him into a car and drove off. His family raised his case with the local authorities, who told them that they will investigate.
A Pakistani Catholic family, who arrived in Colombo seeking asylum in July 2013 when their lives were threatened, quietly returned to Pakistan in September. Arrested after overstaying their visa, members of the John family were being detained in deplorable conditions when Amnesty International learnt that there were plans to deport them immediately from Sri Lanka on 31 May 2019. After the Easter Sunday attacks in April 2019, violent mobs displaced them, along with other families seeking asylum, from their home. While their deportation was successfully halted, Sri Lankan authorities did not offer them a safe alternative and the family was forced to return back to Pakistan as they could no longer live in the detention camp.
The trial against Juan Requesens, Venezuelan Representative in the National Assembly who has been in pre-trial detention since his arbitrary detention on 7 August 2018, finally began on 2 December after repeated undue delays and irregularities.
2,250 Persons from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Bojayá, Chocó (western Colombia) are under siege by the guerrilla National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and the paramilitary Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia) - groups that are denying them access to food and basic healthcare services. On 17 November, the Ombudsman's office reported that the armed groups threatened social leaders opposing their presence in the zone and were putting landmines around the few areas with phone coverage. We urge Colombian authorities to deploy a comprehensive protection plan to protect Bojayá’s communities’ rights.
While Professor Muhammad Ismail was granted conditional bail on 25 November, he remains at risk of a lengthy prison sentence and re-arrest as the trumped-up charges against him have not been dropped. His family continues to face harassment and intrusive surveillance, while Professor Ismail and his wife remain on the country’s no-fly list. Charged with “hate speech” and “cyber terrorism”, he is being punished for his political expression and for defending his daughter, Gulalai Ismail, a well-known woman human rights defender in Pakistan. Amnesty International calls for all charges against Professor Ismail to be dropped unconditionally, without delay.
The trial of Server Mustafayev has started following his transfer to a detention center in Rostov-on-Don, southwest Russia. Server Mustafayev is a human rights defender from Russian-occupied Crimea who has been in detention since May 2018, under false terrorism-related charges. He is a prisoner of conscience, targeted solely for his human rights activism, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Viktar Paulau is at risk of imminent execution after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence on 12 November. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, without exception, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
Five pro-democracy activists, Alseny Farinta Camara, Moussa Sanoh, Boubacar Diallo, Thierno Seydi Ly and Thierno Oumar Barry, were arrested on 14 November 2019 in Kindia, western Guinea, and charged with participation in an unauthorized gathering. They are all members of pro-democracy coalition National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French). Two of the activists require medical attention.