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Amnesty Urgent Actions
Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 03


Protect women’s day rally in Uzhgorod
Vitalina Koval, a defender of women’s and LGBTI rights, is organising a rally on International Women’s Day, in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod. Previous 8 March events in 2017 and 2018 were targeted by far-right groups and the authorities failed to protect participants. In 2018, Vitalina Koval and other demonstrators were attacked, paint was thrown at them and Vitalina sustained chemical burns to her eyes. A year on, the investigation is still ongoing and there are concerns that far-right groups might target the event again.
Jailed musician faces trumped-up charges
On 5 May 2018, Egyptian authorities arrested 33-year-old musician Rami Sidky at Cairo International Airport. He was detained in connection with a satirical music video, «Balaha,» which had gone viral ahead of the March 2018 presidential elections, and appeared to poke fun at President El-Sisi. According to his lawyer, Rami Sidky took no part in writing, producing or performing the «Balaha» song. The authorities had already detained the alleged author of the lyrics in March 2018, along with four other individuals accused of involvement in the track production. In addition, Amnesty International considers that the song is part and parcel of the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. Rami Sidky, along with his co-defendants in case 480/2018, are facing the trumped-up charges of «membership of a terrorist group» and «insulting the president.» On 9 February 2019, a judge extended Sidky’s pre-trial detention for another 45 days.
Indigenous community attacked by armed men
The Ysati Indigenous community in the district of Itakyry (department of Alto Paraná, southeast Paraguay) had their crops and six houses burned down and 55 people, of which 38 children, were displaced because of the violence. Community members are afraid that new attacks could take place and they are forced to flee. We urge the Attorney General to launch an immediate investigation on the attacks against the Ysati Indigenous community and to bring those responsible to justice.
Prisoner of conscience suffers behind bars
Prisoner of conscience Huỳnh Trương Ca is being held in conditions of detention that further violates his rights. He shares a small, unlit cell with four other prisoners and cannot leave the cell, not even for meal times. The only time he leaves the cell is once a month for family visits. He also suffers several illnesses, yet the prison authorities refuse to provide him with the medical treatment he requires. The Ministry of Public Security plans to move him to another facility far away from his hometown. We call on the Vietnamese government and its Ministry of Public Security to release Huỳnh Trương Ca immediately and unconditionally.
Human rights defender allegedly tortured
Human rights defender Joaquín Elo Ayeto was arrested on 25 February at his house in Malabo. He is accused of having information on a plot to kill the president. According to reliable sources, Joaquín was subjected to torture at least twice while at Central Police Station after his arrest which resulted in physical injuries. He was also threatened with death by police at the station. He is detained at Black Beach Prison. Since Saturday 2 March neither his lawyer nor his family has been allowed to see him.
Turkey must release civil society figures
Osman Kavala, Yiğit Aksakoğlu and 14 other prominent civil society figures are facing life in prison after a court accepted an indictment against them on 4 March. They are wrongly accused of ‘attempting to overthrow the government or prevent it from performing its duties’ for their alleged role in ‘directing’ the Gezi Park protests of 2013. Osman Kavala has already been remanded in pre-trial detention for over 16 months and Yiğit Aksakoğlu for almost four months. The rest of the accused are currently free pending trial. The Turkish authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Osman Kavala and Yiğit Aksakoğlu and drop the trumped-up charges against all 16.
Tortured conservationists face death penalty
Eight detained conservationists could face the death penalty or long prison sentences, following a grossly unfair trial in which they were accused of trumped-up spying charges. Their charges stem solely from their conservation activities including carrying out research into Iran’s endangered wildlife. They have said they were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.
Activist, opposition members charged with treason
Activist Rashid Mahiya and Members of Parliament with the opposition, Joanna Mamombe and Charlton Hwende were arrested on different dates in Zimbabwe. All three have been charged with «subverting a constitutional government» which attracts a sentence of more than 20 years in prison. This charge is in connection with a three-day national shutdown called for on 14-16 January in protest against a hike in fuel prices.
Protect rights of juvenile prisoners
Emil Astrauko and Vasily Sauchanka are held in a juvenile prison in Belarus in conditions which violate their human rights and are subjected to harassment and discrimination by the prison authorities. Following flawed trials in 2018, they were sentenced to 10 years in prison each for minor drug offences. They were 17 years old at the time of their arrest. Their case is emblematic of thousands of teenagers imprisoned in appalling conditions following unfair trials for minor drug-related offences.
Mother deported, children left behind
On 4 February, Vanessa Gómez Cueva, a Peruvian citizen with residence status in Argentina for over 15 years, was deported along with her two-year-old Argentinian son. She was forced to leave behind her two other children (aged 5 and 14), who are also Argentinian. She was not allowed to say goodbye. The deportation order was based on a criminal conviction, for which Vanessa had served a sentence in 2014. The National Migrations Office must reverse this order, which violates the rights of the children under national and international law, and reunite Vanessa and her children.
Labour activist detained without lawyer
Wei Zhili, an editor of «New Generation» (xinshengdai) a website which monitors and reports on internal migrant workers in China, was taken away by police from his home in Shenzhen on 20 March 2019. No direct contact has been made with him since his arrest and, without access to a lawyer of his choice, he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Eight Lebanese men facing an unfair trial
Eight Lebanese men were arbitrarily detained in the United Arab Emirates between December 2017 and February 2018. Some of them were forced to sign «confessions» that they were not allowed to read. They were all held without charge at an undisclosed location until their trial began on 13 February 2019. The eight men remain held in solitary confinement without access to their lawyers. Their charges include forming a terrorist cell and planning terrorist attacks in the UAE on orders of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Their next trial session is set for 3 April 2019.
Venezuelan refugees persecuted and deported
On 17 March, police and immigration officers arbitrarily detained 14 Venezuelan refugees (three women and 11 men) at a shelter in La Paz, Bolivia, who had participated in a peaceful demonstration at the Cuban Embassy against human rights violations in Venezuela on 15 March. Officers took them to an immigration office, interrogated them and accused them of «conspiracy» and «political activities in exchange for money», violating their right to due process. That same day, six of them were arbitrarily deported to Peru, which was the entry point to Bolivia. The remaining eight, who had applied for asylum, were released but five subsequently fled to Peru fearing further persecution. Those released who remain in Bolivia currently fear persecution and arbitrary deportation. According to local organizations and witnesses, many were ill-treated and threatened by police officers. Urge the Minister of Government to stop persecuting and arbitrarily deporting Venezuelan refugees in need of international protection.