The Threat of an Urgent Action

This message is from a member of the Urgent Action Team at Amnesty’s International Secretariat in London:

“I wanted to share the success story of an Urgent Action that was drafted and edited today, but was not issued. The Russia Team sent us a draft Urgent Action about a prisoner, Stanislav Ryabchikov, who was being held in a punishment cell in poor conditions at a detention facility in Moscow, where he was being denied medical treatment for tuberculosis. The team had heard about the case from a Russian NGO, and was concerned for the man’s health and well-being. Just as we were about to send out a Urgent Action on his behalf, the Russia Team heard that he had been released from the punishment cell, and was back in a specialist wing of the prison for tuberculosis sufferers.

“The team told us that they felt the Urgent Action may have been a factor in his release, as both the team at the IS and the NGO in Russia had telephoned the detention facility a number of times to check the fax numbers we were including in the Urgent Action. They think that this made the authorities aware that the international spotlight was about to be turned upon them, so they took action before this happened!

“There is no news on the state of Stanislav Ryabchikov’s health, and further action by Amnesty International may be needed on his case in the future, but it’s great to be reminded of the power of Urgent Actions!”