Many people have heard of the March 2016 murder of Berta Cáceres, an award-winning environmental and indigenous rights leader in Honduras, and the many threats that proceeded her death. They may not know, however, that the Honduran authorities had falsely charged Cáceres with inciting usurpation of land, coercion, and damages against the company building the hydo-electric damn opposed by her organization, the Civic Council of the Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in 2013. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
“I am dying bit by bit. Sometimes when I set off on the road, I wish that a vehicle would hit me.” – Mother of disappeared youth
Over the last 30 years, Sri Lanka has been wracked by two separate conflicts: an insurrection in the late 1980s within the majority Sinhalese community and a 26-year civil war with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam seeking an independent state for the island’s Tamil minority. Both sides in each conflict committed gross human rights abuses, including political killings, torture and abductions and enforced disappearances. The Sri Lankan government has acknowledged having received over 65,000 disappearance complaints since 1994. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
The news was hard to take when I first learned of it on 7 July – Chelsea Manning, who publicly stood up and took responsibility for releasing materials she felt would demonstrate the atrocities of war to the world, had attempted to take her own life nearly two days prior. Having witnessed how she sat in Court each day during her military trial, back stiff as a board, in front of media, M.P.s and observers as expert witnesses spoke about her struggles and her desire to present as a woman; knowing that she continued to struggle against the military as it refused to recognize her as such – my mind swirled back and forth between concern and sorrow as I realized that she finally reached a breaking point. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action in response to the June 21 raid of Impunity Watch’s office in Guatemala. Three armed men forced their way into the office and then blindfolded the organization’s secretary and covered her mouth with duct tape before ransacking the files.
The Dutch NGO has been assisting the family of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, the victim of an enforced disappearance in 1981. It’s offices were raided two days before the scheduled start of a trial against four high-ranking retired military officers for this crime. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
One year ago today, the initial arrests were made of a group of activists in Angola’s capital of Luanda. Dubbed the #Angola17, their crime was meeting to read a book and discuss non-violent methods to promote political change, primarily how to urge the government to expand civil and human rights. However, the Angolan government saw this as a threat, prosecuted them and convicted them to prison sentences ranging from 2 to 8 years. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Kathy Peltier, Daughter of Leonard Peltier
Today, fathers across the U.S. will be celebrated, spending time with their loved ones and enjoying time with their children.
But for me, Father’s Day is an empty day.
My father is , a prominent member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). His name is synonymous with the struggle for Native rights and he has been behind bars for over 40 years—my whole life.
With my father’s health failing, it would mean everything to me if he’d get to spend a little of his life with me—even a week with him would be incredible.
By Kaitlyn O’Shaughnessy
At any one time, there are around 10 million people in prison worldwide. Of these, an estimated 3.2 million haven’t yet had a trial. International human rights law prohibits arbitrary detention—detention that occurs for no legitimate reason or without legal process—and requires fair and independent public hearings to determine rights and obligations related to criminal charges.
Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines every individual’s right to be free from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile, while Article 10 enshrines an individual’s right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal when faced with criminal charges.
A recent uptick in arrests of dual nationals by Iranian authorities serves as a reminder that constant vigilance is required to ensure freedom from arbitrary detention and fair trial rights are respected worldwide. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Maria Teresa Rivera
On 20 May 2016, Maria Teresa Rivera was finally freed from prison in El Salvador after a judge dismissed the charges against her. In 2011, she had been given a 40-year sentence after suffering a miscarriage. Thousands of people across the world rallied to her cause. This is her thank you message to everyone.
I want to thank everyone who supported me and who never left me alone, everyone who believed in me and always said that I was innocent even though you did not know me. This was very special to me. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Ella Shen and Viachaslau “Slava” Bortnik, Eurasia Coordination Group at Amnesty International USA
**UPDATE: Khadija was freed on May 25th, 2016, however, her conviction is still yet to be overturned.
Renowned investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova turns forty on Friday, May 27, celebrating her birthday for the second consecutive year in Baku’s Kurdukhani jail. Prior to the politically motivated charges and her imprisonment, Ismayilova worked as a senior investigator with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and as a political radio host at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Please join Amnesty International in wishing Khadija a happy birthday and declaring your support and solidarity with her. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST