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Congolese pro-democracy activists Jean Mulenda, Patrick Mbuya, Jean-Pierre Tshibitshabu and Eric Omari were sentenced to eight months in prison on 30 August. They have appealed the sentence. A fifth activist, Timothée Mbuya is still facing trial. The five were arrested on 31 July for their involvement in public protests demanding the publication of the elections calendar. They are currently in custody.
An Equatorial Guinean cartoonist and activist, Ramón Esono Ebalé, whose work has been critical of the government has been arrested and detained. He is being held at the Black Beach prison in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. He has not been charged yet.
On 12 September, prisoner of conscience Nabeel Rajab was interrogated by the Terrorism Prosecution in relation to comments posted on Instagram and Twitter accounts running in his name. He faces new charges including “inciting hatred against the regime”. There are also concerns for his safety after he was interrogated by the National Security Agency in June.
Staff of the Indonesian and Jakarta Legal Institutes were threatened by violent ‘anti-communist’ protesters outside their offices. The organizations have since closed due to concerns for the safety of their staff. Indonesian authorities must take action to protect them and ensure that these human rights defenders are able to continue their work.
Keith Tharpe is scheduled to be executed in Georgia at 7pm on 26 September. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his sister-in-law in 1990. His appeal lawyers are trying to get back into court to argue that juror racism infected his 1991 trial.
Iranian trade unionist Reza Shahabi was forced to return to prison on 9 August, prompting him to go on hunger strike in protest. After over 40 days on hunger strike, his health has seriously deteriorated and he is in need of urgent specialized medical care. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Saudi Arabia: Further information: Juvenile offender at risk of imminent execution: Abdulkareem al-Hawaj
The family of Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, a Saudi Arabian Shi’a young man sentenced to death for offences that occurred when he was 16 years old, learned that their son’s sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 11 September. He has exhausted all his appeals and is at risk of imminent execution.
Ibrahim Metwaly, human rights lawyer and co-founder of the Families of the Disappeared in Egypt group, was detained on 10 September while on his way to Geneva to address the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. After being held incommunicado for two days by Egyptian security forces, the Prosecutor has now ordered his detention for a further 15 days, pending investigation.
Nabil Mohamed El-Niwari, a Sudanese political activist and member of the opposition party Sudan Congress, was arrested by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Khartoum on 5 September. He is currently being held without charge at the NISS detention centre at Kober Prison in Khartoum North. He has been denied access to a lawyer and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in detention.
Activist and human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng is said to be currently in police custody in Beijing. Last heard from on 13 August 2017, his exact location and current condition remain unclear. Given his previous treatment in detention, and without access to a lawyer, he is at high risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
Evdokia Romanova, an LBGT activist from Samara, Russia was charged with “homosexual propaganda” on 26 July for reposting links to the international Youth Coalition for Sexual Reproductive Rights website and to articles that promoted LGBT equality. She will stand trial on 18 September.
US national Robert Slaten was sentenced to death on 13 July in Saudi Arabia on appeal. A court convicted him of the murder of his wife after a grossly unfair trial. The conviction relied largely on statements made by the victim’s son, who did not witness the crime.
Three Vietnamese activists, Trương Minh Đức, Nguyễn Trung Tôn, and Phạm Văn Trội, are being held incommunicado at B14 prison in Hà Nội after their arrests on 30 July 2017. They have a range of pre-existing health conditions that require treatment and face a sentence of up to life imprisonment or capital punishment.
Ola al-Qaradawy and her husband Hossam Khalaf have been detained in solitary confinement since 3 July. On 30 June, security forces arrested them on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. They are both detained in poor prison conditions.
Imran Salamov is a 39-year old Chechen man who was forcibly returned from Belarus to Russia on 5 September. His whereabouts are currently unknown and he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Lee Ming-cheh, the first foreign NGO worker detained after the new Foreign NGO Management Law came into effect, will be tried for subversion by a court in Yueyang city, Hunan province. No trial date has yet been announced. The whereabouts of Lee Ming-cheh remain unknown.
Saudi Arabian activist Issa al-Nukheifi was brought to trial before the counter-terror court on 21 August, where he first learned of the charges against him. The charges and the trial are connected to his human rights activism and social media posts. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately.
Poet Wu Mingliang, better known as “Langzi” (literally “Wanderer”), has been criminally detained on suspicion of “illegal business operations”. Previously held for questioning after co-signing a letter in support of Liu Xiaobo, Amnesty International believes he is being targeted for helping publish an anthology of poems commemorating the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Authorities have 37 days to decide whether to lay formal charges.
Naser Aldeen Mukhtar Mohamed, the former chairperson of the Darfur Students’ Association at the Holy Quran University, was arrested on 22 August in Khartoum by National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents. He is currently being held without charge at the NISS detention centre in Khartoum North. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in detention.
Bahraini woman human rights defender Ebtisam al-Saegh was removed from solitary confinement following a two-day hunger strike in protest at her conditions of detention. She is a prisoner of conscience. The authorities have undertaken to carry out an investigation into her allegations of torture and sexual assault during her May detention.
Clashes between paramilitary groups, the National Liberation Army and state security forces continue to violate the rights of the Wounaan and Embera Indigenous peoples in Chocó, western Colombia, generating an imminent humanitarian and security crisis.
On 27 August a Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced spiritual teacher Mohammad Ali Taheri to death for “spreading corruption on earth” for establishing the spiritual group Erfan-e Halgheh. He has been held in solitary confinement for over six years.
Political activist, Oktovianus Warnares was convicted of “rebellion” (makar) in 2013 after peacefully commemorating the 50th anniversary of the handover of Papua to the Indonesian government. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.
Mehman Aliyev, the director of independent news agency Turan, has been arbitrarily detained since 24 August on what appears to be trumped up charges of tax evasion and other offenses in retaliation for his work as a critical journalist. The charges against him follow the same pattern used to silence government critics in Azerbaijan in recent years.
Saudi Arabia: Further information: Prison term upheld for Saudi Arabian defender: Abdulaziz al-Shubaily
Saudi Arabian human rights defender Abdulaziz al-Shubaily was informed on 31 July that his eight-year prison sentence has been upheld by the Court of Appeal in Riyadh. He is now at risk of being imprisoned at any time to start serving his sentence. If imprisoned he will be a prisoner of conscience.
After being arbitrarily detained on 17 August, Yulier Perez, a graffiti artist known for painting dilapidated walls in Havana, is at risk of being imprisoned again, after months of intimidation and harassment from authorities.
Formally arrested for “inciting subversion of state power” in December 2016, Liu Feiyue, founder and director of Hubei-based human rights website “Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch” (www. msguancha. com), is to face an additional charge of “leaking state secrets”. He could face a sentence of life imprisonment if convicted of this additional charge.
Further information: Two activists freed and one still detained: Elwaleed Imam Hassan Taha, Alaa Aldin al-Difana and Elgassim Mohamed Seed Ahmed
Elwaleed Imam Hassan Taha and Alaa Aldin al-Difana have been released from the custody of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) without charge. A third activist, Elgassim Mohamed Seed Ahmed, remains in detention pending further investigations into his online activities. The three were deported from Saudi Arabia to Sudan on 11 July and arrested by the NISS upon arrival in Sudan.
Former prisoner of conscience, Nguyễn Bắc Truyển was last seen on 30 July 2017 after dropping off his wife outside her place of work in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. Although State media reported that he was arrested by authorities, more than three weeks later his wife has received no official confirmation from police as to the accusations against him or his place of detention. He is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment and has pre-existing medical conditions that require treatment.
Kenya’s NGO Coordination Board threatened to arrest George Kegoro, Executive Director of Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Gladwell Otieno, Executive Director of African Center for Open Governance (AfriCOG) and Maina Kiai, former UN Special Rapporteur and a member of AfriCOG’s Board of Directors on 16 August.
Investigative journalist Tomasz Piątek is facing criminal charges for a book he published in June, alleging a link between the Defence Minister and the Russian intelligence services. If found guilty he could face up to 3 years in prison.
Further information: Harassment of dissident Iranian cleric must end: Seyed Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi
Dissident Iranian cleric Seyed Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi has faced continued intimidation and death threats by the Iranian authorities since his release from prison on 4 January. He is under 24 hour surveillance and has effectively been placed under house arrest. He is critically ill, and could be returned to prison at any time.
Huang Qi, founder of “64 Tianwang” (64tianwang. org), who has been detained since November 2016, was ill-treated by police officers in the detention centre and it is unclear if he has received adequate medical treatment.
Iranian prisoner of conscience and human rights defender Arash Sadeghi is critically ill and requires immediate hospitalization outside of prison. However, the authorities are refusing to authorize the transfer, apparently on the orders of the Revolutionary Guards. The denial of access to medical care in these circumstances amounts to torture.
Human rights defender and Convenor of Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh, Punhal Sario, has been forcibly disappeared in Sindh Province, southern Pakistan. This is another example in a string of recent enforced disappearances by the security forces in Sindh. His fate and whereabouts remain unknown. He is at grave risk of torture, ill-treatment, and even death.
Ihar Hershankou and Siamion Berazhnoy were convicted and sentenced to death by the Mahiliou Regional Court, in eastern Belarus, on 21 July 2017. Theirs are the second and third death sentences imposed in Belarus in 2017.
On 12 August, the Cairo criminal court adjourned Mahmoud Abu Zeid's court hearing 19 August, for the 35th time. Today is the four-year anniversary of Mahmoud Abu Zeid arrest. The Egyptian photojournalist, also known as “Shawkan,” has been in prison for four years. He is a prisoner of conscience.
Australia’s offshore detention and processing policy on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG), amounts to the systematic abuse of hundreds of individuals. Ongoing reports of violence and the recent death of an Iranian man who had sought asylum underline the grave harm being done by Australia’s policy.
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