Urgent Action Update: Drop Charges Against Human Rights Defenders (USA: UA 69.19)
November 1, 2019
On 17 January 2018, US Border Patrol agents arrested Dr. Scott Warren, a Human Rights Defender and humanitarian aid volunteer. The US Department of Justice prosecuted him on two counts of felony “harboring” and one count of felony “conspiracy” for his humanitarian aid activities in the USA–Mexico border areas. In June 2019, his case resulted in a mistrial. On 2 July 2019, US federal prosecutors decided to retry Dr. Warren on the two “harboring” charges. His retrial begins on 12 November 2019. He faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted on both charges. Authorities should immediately drop all criminal charges against Dr. Warren for his vital humanitarian work.
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Mr. Michael Bailey First Assistant United States Attorney
District of Arizona
United States Courthouse
405 W. Congress Street, Suite 4800
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Email: [email protected]
Dear Mr. Bailey,
I am writing now to urge you to immediately drop the charges against Dr. Scott Warren (case 4:18-cr-00223-RCC-BPV), which appear to constitute a retaliatory and politically motivated violation of his protected rights as a Human Rights Defender.
Amnesty International acknowledges the volunteer activities of Dr. Warren and his associated organization No More Deaths as vital humanitarian aid directed at upholding the right to life of migrants and preventing the further arbitrary deaths of thousands more migrants and asylum seekers in the Sonoran Desert.
Amnesty International is opposed to the criminalization of humanitarian aid and calls on all states to ensure that their laws are not misused to target and harass human rights defenders working for the rights of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, or others whose lives and other human rights are at risk.
Human rights defenders and their organizations must be able to carry out their work in a safe and enabling environment, free from fear of reprisals.
I call on you to immediately drop all the charges against Dr. Warren.