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 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
By Adotei Akwei,Managing Director for Government Relations and Kayla Chen, Government Relations and Individuals at Risk Intern at Amnesty International USA
Sub-Saharan Africa is facing a growing trend of evaporating political space. Non-governmental organizations are being heavily and often violently restricted, and newspapers, bloggers and other voices of dissent or criticism are being silenced or intimidated into exile.
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Esra Mungan, Muzaffer Kaya, Kıvanç Ersoy and Meral Camcı are academics currently held in pre-trial detention in Istanbul after they held a press conference on 10 March 2016.
Turkey has suffered from a series of horrendous attacks in recent months. The security challenges it faces are very real. Unfortunately, the rhetoric coming out of Ankara suggests that, under the umbrella of fighting terrorism, the most basic civil liberties are to be targeted.
Citizens from all walks of life, including journalists, scholars, lawyers, and thirteen year olds sharing stuff on facebook, have all been targeted by the Turkish authorities simply for expressing ideas that the government doesn’t like. Turkey’s current campaign against academics who signed a “peace petition” is emblematic of a much larger problem. It is time to take action. It is time to add your voice to those calling on Turkey to respect the most basic rights of freedom of expression.
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By Courtney Dobson, Country Specialist for Russia at Amnesty International USA
Ekaterina Vologzheninova, a single mom and shop assistant from Sverdlovsk region in Russia, has been found guilty of ‘inciting hatred and enmity’ for sharing links on social media. Action is needed to call on the Russian authorities to overturn Ekaterina Vologzheninova’s conviction and respect the right to freedom of expression for all persons in Russia. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
One year after Raif Badawi was publicly flogged, he and many other activists across Saudi Arabia urgently need your support.
A year after the international outcry over his public flogging, Raif Badawi and dozens of activists remain in prison and at risk of cruel punishments in Saudi Arabia. More and more are being sentenced under a harsh counter-terrorism law, while Saudi Arabia’s allies shamelessly back the Kingdom’s repression in the name of the so-called ‘war on terror’. Join the fight back today – here are six ways you can demand action from Saudi Arabia. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Zunar, via The Washington Post
I’m a cartoonist in a country where cartooning can be a crime. Under my pen name, Zunar, I expose corruption and abuses of power by the Malaysian government. As it happens, I have a good deal of material to work with. For instance, Prime Minister Najib Razak is currently facing questions about a $700 million “donation” made to his personal bank account.
Last February, police raided my home in the middle of the night and hauled me off to jail. I was handcuffed for eight hours and thrown into a cell with all the other criminal suspects. I managed to avoid telling my cellmates what I was in for: using Twitter. Continue reading
Read the full piece published by The Washington Post here
This week, Azam Farmonov, a prisoner of conscience in Uzbekistan, is spending his 37th birthday in prison. Azam has spent the last ten years jailed for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.
Please join Amnesty International in wishing Azam a happy birthday and declaring your support and solidarity with him. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Samar Badawi, wife of imprisoned Saudi Arabian human rights lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, and their daughter Joud.
Samar Badawi’s husband is Waleed Abu al-Khair, a prominent human rights lawyer in Saudi Arabia. Waleed is in prison, serving a 15-year sentence for speaking out about human rights.
Take action now to demand Waleed’s release
Words are not enough for me to express how proud I am of my husband. How deeply proud I am of the man who believed in me and my cause when I was imprisoned. As my lawyer, he defended me and never left me alone to face those who unjustly attempted to impose their patriarchal authority over me just because I am a woman who dared to speak up. Everyone turned their backs on me except for my husband who remained by my side until he had helped achieve justice for my cause.
He has always been my rock whenever I felt weak, he was my strength and my source of motivation and inspiration. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Max White, Country Specialist, Indonesia and Timor-Lesté, Amnesty International USA
Indonesian authorities this week released Filep Karma from prison more than 10 years after arresting him for simply raising a flag. Amnesty International USA celebrates this long-overdue release of prisoner of conscience Filep Karma from Abepura Prison in Papua, Indonesia.
On December 1, 2004, police violently beat and stomped on Filep Karma, after arresting him for leading a peaceful ceremony which included raising the Morning Star flag, a Papuan symbol. He was (and is) a prominent advocate for the rights of Indonesia’s Papuan population. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST