Answer the call to defend people under immediate threat of grave human rights abuse.
Amnesty International’s Urgent Action Network is a community of people just like you who take action—letters, emails, phone calls, faxes and tweets–on emergency cases of human rights abuses around the world.
Together, we’ve helped stop torture, halt executions and free prisoners of conscience like Phyoe Phyoe Aung in Myanmar (pictured here).
Once people like you take action, the relevant authorities quickly realize that the world is watching and an international audience is deeply concerned about the case’s outcome. That global pressure often helps achieve a positive outcome.
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Bulletins specify the case, government officials to contact, their contact information, and suggestions about what to write, say or tweet. Learn more about writing effective letters and emails.
Journalist Amade Abubacar was transferred from the Macomia district prison to Mieze prison in Pemba district, the capital of Cabo Delgado province on 24 January. Since then prison authorities have denied him family visits. He was allowed one supervised visit with members of a Commission of the Mozambican Bar Association and his lawyer on 25 January where he alleged that he had been subjected to ill-treatment while in military detention.
On 25 January, Islam Khalil and four other prisoners began a hunger strike to protest their arbitrary detention. On 8 January, the Cairo Criminal Court had renewed Islam Khalil’s detention for a further 45 days. Islam Khalil, a victim of enforced disappearance, has been held in pre-trial detention on trumped-up charges since 10 March 2018. Islam Khalil maintains that he is innocent. It is believed that the charges brought against him are in retaliation for his political activism. According to information received by Amnesty International, Islam Khalil is physically and mentally exhausted and requires urgent medical care.
Agustinus Yolemal, a Papuan pro-independence activist was convicted for inciting hatred and hostility and sentenced to 1 year’s imprisonment by the Timika District Court in Papua Province on 14 January 2019. He has decided not to file appeal as he is concerned about the safety of his family as well as the boy who was implicated in the video he posted on Facebook. Detained since September 2018, Agustinus Yolemal will serve another 8 months in prison.
Guatemala’s Congress could imminently pass a law that would grant an amnesty to those suspected or found guilty of crimes such as genocide, torture, and enforced disappearances during the internal armed conflict (1960-1996). The bill could lead to the release of those found guilty within 24 hours of its approval. It would also lead to the suspension of ongoing investigations into these crimes. Guatemala’s Congress must refrain from passing this bill to respect the rights of victims to justice, truth and reparation.
Woman human rights defender Fátima Mimbire has been receiving intimidating messages on social media from unknown people since 18 January. These threats began after she took up an active role in the Center for Public Integrity’s (CIP) campaign against the Mozambique government seeking to repay loans it acquired illegally and secretly. There has also been a smear campaign aimed at Fátima on social media in an attempt to further intimidate her and delegitimize her work.
Iranian labor rights activists Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian, who were rearrested on 20 January after speaking out about beatings and other abuse they suffered in detention in late 2018, are at grave risk of further torture. The authorities must release them immediately and unconditionally as they are prisoners of conscience jailed solely on the basis of their peaceful activism in defense of workers’ rights.
Hwang Won, a former TV producer from South Korea, was not allowed to return to his home country after arriving involuntarily to North Korea on a hijacked plane on 11 December 1969. Despite repeated requests from his family, the North Korean authorities have refused to disclose information regarding Hwang Won’s vital status or whereabouts for the last 50 years. South Korean authorities must call on the North Korean authorities to provide accurate information on Hwang Won, who will turn 82 this year.
Forty-seven students of Darfur origin remain in incommunicado detention after security agents arrested them in raids on their homes on 23 and 27 December 2018 in Sinnar and Khartoum states. One student was killed in the raids. In press conferences on 23 and 28 December 2018, the government accused the students of infiltration, association with a rebel group, and planning to kill protesters in the ongoing protests in the country.
Peter Biar Ajak, a prominent South Sudanese academic and activist, has been arbitrarily detained by the National Security Service (NSS) for almost six months. The activist has yet to be brought before a court and charged. He has also been denied access to his lawyers since 7 October 2018. He has only been allowed sporadic family visits while in detention. Peter Biar was arrested on 28 July 2018 by the NSS. He has been a vocal critic of the South Sudan government.
On 23 January, Anastasia Shevchenko, an Open Russia human rights defender from Rostov-on-Don, in southern Russia, was put under house arrest and may face up to six years in prison if convicted. This is the first time the Russian authorities have opened a criminal case under the repressive “undesirable organizations” law. It is a worrying precedent and could open the floodgates to the prosecution of hundreds of Open Russia members across the country. Anastasia Shevchenko is a prisoner of conscience. She must be immediately and unconditionally released.