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  • Campaigns
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Unlawful Detention

Iraq/Kurdistan Region-Iraq: Journalists must be released immediately: Sherwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebari, Hariwan Issa, Ayaz Karam and Shvan Saeed

On 16 February, the 2nd Erbil Criminal Court, in the Kurdish Region of Iraq’s capital, sentenced activists and journalists Sherwan Sherwani, Ghudar Zebari, Hussein Issa, Ayaz Karan and Shvan Saeed to six years in prison following an unfair trial, based on trumped-up charges of “destabilizing the security and stability of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I)”. The five journalists are now on hunger strike as they await the appeal verdict expected to take place by 16 March.

Date:
26 February 2021
Ref:
MDE 14/3754/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Turkey
  • Censorship and Freedom of Expression

Turkey: Further information: Release detained Boğaziçi protesters

Nine people, the majority university students, are in pre-trial detention and 31 others under house arrest in Turkey for participating in peaceful protests following the appointment of Professor Melih Bulu as rector of Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University on 1 January 2021. Those deprived of their liberty, including under house arrest, simply for exercising their right to peaceful assembly must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Date:
26 February 2021
Ref:
EUR 44/3758/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

China: Further information: Activist subjected to torture and charged with subversion: Xu Zhiyong

Prominent legal scholar and activist Xu Zhiyong, who has been detained since February 2020, has for the first time been allowed to meet with his lawyer through two video calls. During these conversations, Xu told his lawyer that he was subjected to torture when he was detained under “residential surveillance under designated location” and described harsh conditions in the current detention centre. Originally detained for “inciting subversion of state power”, the People’s Procuratorate of Linyi City informed Xu’s lawyer on 20 January that he is now charged with “subversion of state power”.

Date:
26 February 2021
Ref:
ASA 17/3753/2021
  • Campaigns
  • United States of America
  • Migrants

USA: Four of five families freed from detention

Over the course of 2020, Amnesty International campaigned to free five families from immigration detention in the USA, with the broader call for all detained families to be freed. Of these five, four were released, and one was deported to their country of origin. As dozens of families remain detained and could be at risk of deportation we will continue to monitor the situation and disseminate new actions if and when needed.

Date:
24 February 2021
Ref:
AMR 51/3604/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Iran
  • Detention

Iran: British-Iranian labour activist detained: Mehran Raoof

Mehran Raoof, a British-Iranian national and a labour rights activist, is being arbitrarily detained in Tehran’s Evin prison. Revolutionary Guards agents arrested him on 16 October 2020. He is being held in prolonged solitary confinement, in violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Date:
23 February 2021
Ref:
MDE 13/3743/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Censorship and Freedom of Expression

Indonesia: Farmers detained amid conservation work: Samsul Bahri and Samsir

Samsul Bahri and Samsir, father and son from a farmer community in North Sumatra province, have been detained since 10 February 2021 in what is feared to be spurious charges. Advocates have labelled their arrest as a form of criminalization that specifically aims to stifle the farmers’ work in rehabilitating a mangrove forest in the area and their work to claim their rights to land. Environmental human rights defenders in Indonesia are among the most persecuted activists in the country.

Date:
22 February 2021
Ref:
ASA 21/3728/2021
  • Campaigns
  • China
  • Censorship and Freedom of Expression

China: Further information: Transferred 1000km from family, medical care needed: Yu Wensheng

Prominent human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng was transferred without notice to Nanjing Prison in Jiangsu Province on 26 January, 1000km away from his family. Yu’s wife only found out that he had been transferred after continuously calling Xuzhou City Detention Centre on 3 February for news about his whereabouts. Once the authorities finally confirmed the move, Xu immediately travelled to Nanjing and was able to have a 30-minute video call with Yu on 5 February.

Date:
22 February 2021
Ref:
ASA 17/3729/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Russian Federation
  • Censorship and Freedom of Expression

Russian Federation: Further information: Peaceful protester released after 16 months: Konstantin Kotov

Prisoner of conscience Konstantin Kotov, who was convicted for “repeated violations of regulations of public assemblies”, left prison on 16 December after having spent one year and four months behind bars. Konstantin Kotov was arrested on 10 August 2019 for intending to participate in an “unsanctioned” peaceful rally and was subsequently sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for similar “offences”. In April 2020, his sentence was reduced to 18 months.

Date:
22 February 2021
Ref:
EUR 46/3734/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Iran
  • Detention

Iran: Two Baluchi prisoners at risk of execution: Hamed Rigi and Mehran Naru’i

Death row prisoners from Iran’s Baluchi ethnic minority, Hamed Rigi and Mehran Naru’i, are at risk of execution. They have been subjected to serious human rights violations including enforced disappearance and torture and other ill-treatment to extract “confessions” used to convict and sentence them to death in unfair trials. Since mid-December 2020, the Iranian authorities have executed 18 Baluchi men, raising fears that Hamed Rigi and Mehran Naru’i may be executed imminently.

Date:
18 February 2021
Ref:
MDE 13/3711/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Russian Federation
  • Censorship and Freedom of Expression

Russian Federation: Two family members disappeared in Chechnya: Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev

On 4 February, 20-year-old Salekh Magamadov and 17-year-old Ismail Isaev were abducted by police in Central Russia and taken to Chechnya. They had fled Chechnya in 2020, following their arbitrary detention and reported torture for exercising their right to freedom of expression, and fearing further reprisals, including in connection with their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

Date:
18 February 2021
Ref:
EUR 46/3719/2021
  • Campaigns
  • France
  • Refugees

France: Chechen man faces deportation to Russia

A. S. , a Chechen man currently held in immigration detention in France faces imminent deportation to Russia where he would be at real risk of being subject to torture and other ill-treatment. His deportation is scheduled for 26 February. The authorities must ensure the safety of A. S. by not deporting him and granting him protection, in accordance with France’s obligations under international human rights law.

Date:
18 February 2021
Ref:
EUR 21/3722/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Women and Girls

Saudia Arabia: Further information: Loujain al-Hathloul conditionally released

On 10 February, woman human rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul was conditionally released after being sentenced in December 2020 to a prison term of five years and eight months following a deeply unfair trial. She was convicted of charges related to her women’s rights work. She has appealed the sentence. Loujain al-Hathloul continues to be on probation for two years and 10 months, partially suspended from her sentence, and faces a five-year travel ban.

Date:
18 February 2021
Ref:
MDE 23/3715/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Americas
  • Indigenous People

Guatemala: Attacks against Xinca leaders continue

On 7 February 2021, Luis Fernando García Monroy, member of the Xinca Parliament, received a death threat by a man in Aldea El Volcancito (east Guatemala). Three weeks earlier, another member of the Xinca Parliament, Julio David González Arango, was shot by an armed man in Mataquescuintla (south east Guatemala). Luis Fernando and Julio David have been defending the rights of the Xinca people from the impact of the Pan American Silver’s Escobal mine and faced attacks in the past due to their work.

Date:
16 February 2021
Ref:
AMR 34/3697/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Right to Health

Saudi Arabia: Further information: 83-year-old detainee needs urgent medical care: Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari

The health of 83-year-old Palestinian national detained in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari, has been deteriorating due to the lack of access to adequate health care, including care for his bladder catheterization, compounding bad detention conditions. Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari had undergone surgery and was being treated for prostate cancer when the Saudi authorities arbitrarily arrested him and his son, Dr.

Date:
15 February 2021
Ref:
MDE 23/3692/2021
  • Campaigns
  • Americas
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Colombia: Protect environmental defenders at risk

On 8 February, unidentified persons distributed threatening pamphlets giving 72 hours for Luis Alberto González López to leave the territory before becoming a military objective near the place of his residence in the city of Barrancabermeja. Luis González López is the vice-president of FEDEPESAN, an organization that protects the environment in the Magdalena medio region (central Colombia). The pamphlet was signed by the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Date:
12 February 2021
Ref:
AMR 23/3691/2021