Amnesty International USA welcomes the good news that Yury Bandazhevsky, a prisoner of conscience and one of AIUSA’s Special Focus Cases, was conditionally released on August 5, 2005. A well-respected scientist, Professor Bandazhevsky had clashed with the Belarusian government over his work on the health impact of the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986 on the people of Belarus. He served four years of an eight-year sentence on fabricated criminal charges before his release.
Amnesty International activists around the world had called for Prof. Bandazhevsky’s release, and AIUSA had campaigned intensively on his behalf through its Special Focus Case project. Since 2004, more than 400 Amnesty student groups in the Northeast have championed his case, and people from across the U.S have sent more than 6,300 actions on his behalf via AIUSA’s Online Action Center. Prof. Bandazhevsky’s case was featured in AIUSA’s annual Holiday Card Action, in its Urgent Action Network, and its Freedom Writers Network. Through AIUSA’s Music for Human Rights program, the rock band The Cure promoted action on behalf of Prof. Bandazhevsky during their concerts and via their website. Read more. »