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Amnesty Urgent Actions
Startseite Urgent Actions 2022 05


Teacher convicted of defamation for Facebook posts
On 17 March, the Criminal Court of Mananjary sentenced human rights defender and secondary school teacher Jeannot Randriamanana to two years imprisonment after convicting him of charges of «defamation and humiliation of members of Parliament and public servants and identity fraud». Throughout February 2022, Jeannot Randriamanana exposed on his social media the local authorities’ alleged embezzlement of humanitarian aid for the populations impacted by cyclones, Batsirai and Emnati, that hit Madagascar on 5 and 23 February respectively. The Appeal Court is due to rule on the appeal on 10 May.
Activist forcibly disappeared for months
Political activist Ebrahim Babaei was forcibly disappeared by Iranian authorities amidst his efforts to flee Iran on 21 December 2021 to escape unjust sentences consisting of imprisonment and flogging. His fate and whereabouts remain concealed from his family and he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Human rights defender at risk
During his annual meeting with the Banjul Muslim Elders for Koriteh at the State House on 2 May 2022, President Adama Barrow accused human rights defender Madi Jobarteh of being a «troublemaker» who wants to bring violence into the country. It is believed that this assertion was made in relation to a recent social media post that Madi Jobarteh made calling for the removal of a government minister, due to alleged mismanagement of public lands. Such statements by the President put Madi Jobarteh’s safety at risk, and fundamentally undermines the right to freedom of expression in Gambia.
State of emergency grave threat to rights
On 27 March 2022, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly approved a state of emergency in response to reports of a spike in gang-related homicides. Since that time, more than 25,000 people have reportedly been arrested, and the human rights of the population are gravely under threat. Amnesty International calls on President Nayib Bukele to take all necessary measures to put an immediate end to human rights violations occurring in the context of the state of emergency, and to design public security strategies that guarantee fundamental rights.
Charge or release student Mohamed Imran
Mohamed Imaam Mohamed Imran was 20 years old when he was detained, on 9 May 2019, under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Three years after his arrest, the now 23-year-old has still not been charged with an offence, and the state has yet to provide any evidence of him committing an internationally recognizable crime. Mohamed Imran must be immediately released, or promptly charged with recognizable offense, in accordance with international standards.
Quash whistleblower’s death sentence
Mohamed Benhlima is an activist, former military official and whistle-blower who exposed the corruption of high-ranking Algerian military officials online. He sought asylum in Spain but the Spanish authorities refouled him to Algeria in March without due process or evaluation of his asylum claim. The Algerian authorities imprisoned him in El Harrash prison in Algiers before moving him to El-Blida military prison where he is awaiting completion of investigations and trial on several cases before the military and civil courts. He was sentenced to death in absentia, while still an asylum seeker in Spain, on charges of espionage and desertion.
Activists charged with subversion
#MeToo activist Sophia Huang Xueqin and labour activist Wang Jianbing went missing on 19 September 2021. Detained under «inciting subversion of state power», both of their cases are now with Guangzhou City People’s Procuratorate. They were charged for joining weekly private gatherings held at Wang’s house where they discussed challenges faced by activists and civil society in China. Detained solely for practicing their rights to freedom of expression and association, Sophia Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing should be released immediately. Pending their release, the authorities must ensure that they are not subject to torture and other ill-treatment, and ensure that they have access to family members and lawyers of their choice.
Venezuelan photographer arbitrarily detained
Carlos Debiais, a Venezuelan photographer, was detained on 12 November 2021 and has been arbitrarily held in Caracas since 12 April 2022, when a release warrant was issued in his name. Carlos Debiais was filming in Falcón state when he was questioned by security personnel of the state-owned oil company PDVSA and later detained by officers of the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM). His fate and whereabouts were unknown on several occasions during his detention. Prison authorities reportedly claim the release warrant cannot be executed on orders of the Minister for Penitentiary Affairs. We call for his release.
Halt imminent execution of two Bahraini men
Jaafar Mohammad Sultan and Sadeq Majeed Thamer, two Bahraini Shi’a men, are at imminent risk of execution in Saudi Arabia. The Specialized Criminal Court sentenced them to death in October 2021 following a grossly unfair trial for terrorism-related charges, which include smuggling explosive materials into Saudi Arabia and participating in anti-government protests in Bahrain. In April 2022, the Supreme Court upheld their sentences, rendering their execution imminent as soon as the King ratifies it. Amnesty International calls on the Saudi authorities not to ratify the death sentence, quash their conviction and re-try them in line with international fair trial standards.
Venezuelan defenders face criminalisation
On 16 May 2022, recognised Venezuelan human rights defenders Marino Alvarado and Alfredo Infante received notification of a defamation lawsuit filed against them by the governor of Carabobo state, Rafael Lacava. The lawsuit comes as a response to a report published in March by the NGOs Alvarado and Infant belong to, Provea and Centro Gumilla respectively, which exposes possible extrajudicial executions in Carabobo state and the lack of accountability enforced by the governor. This attack from the governor against Marino Alvarado and Alfredo Infante must end immediately, dropping the lawsuit and ensuring a safe working environment for human rights defenders.
Government witnesses retract testimony
Three witnesses against prisoner of conscience Senator Leila de Lima have retracted their testimonies against her. They include a former government official who remains a prosecution witness and whose testimony was cited by a court in deciding to proceed with trial. In their latest statements, all three said they were coerced and threatened by the police and high-level government officials to falsely implicate the senator in the illegal drug trade. As it becomes clear that the charges against her were fabricated from the start, these charges must now be dropped, and de Lima must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Prisoners of conscience face trial
The trials of Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Castillo Pérez, prisoners of conscience, are set to start on 30 May and 31 May, respectively, in Cuba. Otero Alcántara and Castillo Pérez have been in pre-trial detention for nearly a year, after being detained for criticizing the Cuban government. A prosecutor has requested that they be sentenced to seven and ten years in prison. We urge Cuban authorities to grant access to international organizations to monitor the trials and to immediately unconditionally release these prisoners of conscience.