believes that Dr Munawar Anees has been imprisoned as part of the
Malaysian authorities' campaign against supporters of prisoner of
conscience Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime
Dr Munawar Anees, a Pakistan
national and former speech-writer for Anwar Ibrahim, was arrested
at his house in Kuala Lumpur on 14 September 1998. He was taken to
a secret detention centre where he was reportedly punched,
humiliated, deprived of sleep and forced to confess to a homosexual
relationship with Anwar Ibrahim. He was also denied adequate
medical attention for a serious heart complaint.
He was held incommunicado
under the draconian Internal Security Act, which allows for
detention without charge or trial.
On 19 September 1998, Dr
Munawar Anees was sentenced to six months' imprisonment on the
basis of his confession. He was represented by a police-appointed
lawyer who entered a guilty plea.
Dr Munawar Anees has denied
the charges and is now appealing against his conviction on the
basis that his plea was not made voluntarily.
AI believes that the charges
laid against Dr Munawar Anees were politically motivated, and
considers him a prisoner of conscience on this basis. Whatever the
circumstances, however, AI would consider anyone imprisoned solely
for homosexual acts between consenting adults in private to be a
prisoner of conscience.
Please write, calling for Dr
Munawar Anees' immediate and unconditional release, to: Dato' Seri
Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister and Minister of Home
Affairs, Jalan Dato' Onn, 50502 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Faxes: 60
3 238 3784).
Salutation: Dear Prime
GUATEMALA - extrajudicial
Nearly a year after the
murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera, those responsible have
still to be brought to justice.
Bishop Gerardi was battered
to death with a piece of paving stone in Guatemala City on 26 April
1998. The 76-year-old director of the Archbishop's human rights
office was killed only days after launching a report by the
Guatemalan Catholic Church's Recuperation of Historical Memory
Project. The report was based on a three-year study of more than
55,000 human rights abuses reportedly perpetrated during the
36-year Guatemalan civil conflict, and concluded that around 79 per
cent of the abuses had been carried out by the security forces. AI
fears that Bishop Gerardi was murdered by agents of these official
In the face of all the
evidence, the authorities have refused to acknowledge that Bishop
Gerardi's killing may have been politically motivated. The official
investigation into his death considers the murder to be either a
common crime or a crime of passion. In a report released on behalf
of the Guatemalan Catholic Church in November 1998, former Attorney
General Acisclo Valladares concluded that Bishop Gerardi's murder
had all the hallmarks of an extrajudicial execution. The report
also stated that the priest held in connection with the murder had
been wrongfully accused.
Please write, urging a full,
independent and impartial investigation into allegations that
military or former military personnel were involved in the April
1998 murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera. Call for those
responsible to be brought to justice. Send your letters to: S.E.
Álvaro Arzú Irigoyen, Presidente de la República de Guatemala,
Palacio Nacional, 6ª Calle y 7ª Avenida, Zona 1, Ciudad de
Guatemala, Guatemala. (Faxes: 502 221 4537).
Nana Koulagna, a former
member of the National Assembly in Cameroon, has been detained
without charge or trial in Garoua Central Prison, northern
Cameroon, since May 1997. He is perceived as a political opponent
by the lamido of Rey Bouba, a traditional ruler in his local
Prior to parliamentary
elections in May 1997 Nana Koulagna conducted an election campaign
in Mayo-Rey Division, North Province, on behalf of the Union
nationale pour la démocratie et le progrès (UNDP). On 12 May 1997
he and other UNDP members were attacked by the private militia of
the lamido of Rey Bouba. Two UNDP members and three members of the
militia reportedly died in the confrontation. While no member of
the private militia was arrested, the following day Nana Koulagna
and 15 other UNDP members and supporters were detained. All but
Nana Koulagna were subsequently freed. Although the judicial
authorities in Garoua later ordered Nana Koulagna's release without
charge, he remains in detention apparently as a result of influence
exerted by the lamido of Rey Bouba.
AI believes that Nana
Koulagna was arrested and imprisoned solely on account of his
legitimate and peaceful political activities. There is a persistent
pattern of intimidation, physical assault, illegal detention and
torture of political opponents by traditional rulers in northern
Cameroon, who often act with the tacit approval of the authorities.
No official investigation of allegations of human rights abuses
committed by traditional leaders and their private militias has
Please write, calling for the
immediate and unconditional release of Nana Koulagna and urging
that an independent inquiry be established to investigate
allegations of human rights abuses by traditional rulers and their
private forces. Send letters to: President Paul Biya, Président de
la République, Palais de l'Unité, 1000 Yaoundé,