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The health and life of Mapuche Indigenous spiritual leader Machi Celestino Córdova, imprisoned since 2014 in Temuco, central Chile, is at risk after having spent more than 90 days on hunger strike, which he started in protest after the authorities denied him access to his ceremonial altar.
Prominent Chinese activist Wu Gan (better known by his pen name Tufu, ‘The Butcher’) continues to face grave risks of torture and other ill-treatment after the Tianjin Municipal High People’s Court rejected his appeal and upheld his sentence of eight years’ imprisonment for subverting state power.
Matar Younis Ali Hussein, a visually impaired religious teacher, was arrested by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Zalingei city, Central Darfur State on 1 April. He is currently being held at the NISS detention centre at Kober Prison in Khartoum and has been denied access to a lawyer and his family. Matar Younis has been a vocal critic of the government’s policy in Darfur.
On 13 April, prisoner of conscience, Akmaral Tobylova was released on bail. She had been under house arrest since 13 March, and is charged with financing an extremist organization merely for browsing an opposition party website.
Pavitri Manjhi has faced continued threats, harassment and intimidation in relation to her peaceful activism. Visited at her home by two men every evening from 3 to 5 April 2018, she has been told to withdraw all formal complaints filed by Adivasi villagers against two private companies who allegedly defrauded members of the community of their land.
An Israeli military court renewed, for the third time, the administrative detention of NGO worker Abdul Razeq Farraj for another three months. Abdul Razeq Farraj has been held by Israel without charge or trial for 325 days.
20-year-old journalist Yousef al-Kronz is being denied permission by Israeli authorities to travel to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank for urgent medical treatment. Yousef al-Kronz was seriously wounded by Israeli forces on 30 March during Land Day protests in Gaza and is at imminent risk of losing his second leg.
Dozens of people, including 33 children, were left homeless after their homes were demolished using bulldozers in the presence of 20 armed police. The families belong to the farming area of Embetseni in Malkerns town.
India: Further information: Dalit rights activist still detained without charge: Chandrashekhar Azad
Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’, a prominent Dalit rights activist, has been held in administrative detention since 3 November 2017. His current term of detention expires in May 2018. However, under the National Security Act, he is at risk of being detained for up to 12 months without charge or trial.
Four human rights defenders (HRDs), Moussa Tchangari, Ali Idrissa, Nouhou Arzika and Lirwana Abdourahmane were among a group of people arrested and detained on 25 March by security forces in Niamey, Niger. They have been charged with ‘organisation and participation in a prohibited demonstration’, ‘complicity in violence’, ‘assault’ and ‘destruction’ in connection with a peaceful protest organised by their organisations, but which they did not attend.
The trial of journalist, Bobomurod Abdullayev began on 7 March. During the hearing, he removed his shirt to show bruises on his body that he alleges were sustained under torture. On 15 March, the judge announced that the forensic medical examination he had ordered into the journalist’s torture allegations found no evidence of torture.
Three separate Istanbul courts have remanded in prison a total of ten Boğaziçi University students, for ‘making propaganda for a terrorist organization’, and released seven others on bail. On 19 March, the students had peacefully protested Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, northern Syria. They must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Ethiopian security forces arrested and detained 11 people including a lawyer, journalists, bloggers, opposition members and academics on 25 March. The 11 were arrested while attending a private ceremony in Addis Ababa. They have not been charged with any offence or brought to court.
Human rights defender Zhen Jianghua was formally arrested on 29 March 2018 on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”. Denied access to his lawyers, Zhen Jianghua continues to be at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Ezzat Ghoniem is a human rights defender and co-founder and director of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms. He has been detained for almost a month over unfounded charges along with journalists Mostafa al- Aassar, Hassan al-Banna and Moataz Wadnan, and lawyer Azzoz Mahgoub.
Hunger strike to protest torture in detention: Abbas Dehghan, Javad Khamis Abadi, Kianoush Abbaszadeh, Ahmad Mousavi, Nour Ali Mousavi, Mehdi Eskandari, Amir Labbaf, and Mir Sadegh
Eight detainees from Iran’s Gonabadi Dervish minority began a hunger strike on 27 March in protest against the torture and other ill-treatment to which they say they are subjected. One of the men, Abbas Dehghan, has allegedly been threatened with his wife being raped in front of him if he does not “confess”. The men require medical care for injuries sustained at the time of their arrest on 19 February.
At least 11 women from Iran’s Gonabadi Dervish religious minority have been arbitrarily detained in inhumane conditions, without access to their lawyers, since 20 February following the violent dispersal of a protest held by Gonabadi Derivshes in Tehran. Some urgently need medical care for injuries sustained from beatings at the time of their arrest.
Thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers are at risk of either being forced to go to Rwanda or Uganda, where their protection is not guaranteed, or being indefinitely detained in Israel. While some are already detained, the Israeli authorities have given others until early April to leave the country or be detained.
11 students from Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, who had attended a small peaceful campus protest on 19 March against Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, Syria, have been arrested and remain in police custody following statements by government officials labelling them ‘terrorists’. They risk prosecution under anti-terrorism laws and expulsion from university.
Further information: Court upholds death sentences of two men: Ahmed Amin Ghazali, Abdul Basir Abdul Rauf and others
On 26 March, the Supreme Military Court of Appeals upheld the death sentences of two men, Ahmed Amin Ghazali and Abdul Basir Abdul Rauf. The two men are at imminent risk of execution unless President Abdelfatah al-Sisi decides within 14 days of the sentence date to pardon or mitigate the sentence.
Since 13 March, the police have threatened bloggers, activists and members of the public across Kazakhstan with prosecution for supporting the opposition political party, Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, on social media. Akmaral Tobylova, is currently under house arrest, accused of financing an extremist organization charges, merely for browsing the party’s website. She is a prisoner of conscience.
Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani went on hunger strike on 21 March, after the authorities denied his request for judicial review and blocked his leave for the Iranian New Year holidays. On 26 March he temporarily halted the strike but expressed his intent to resume it on 20 April. He has a number of health conditions, including digestive and intestinal complications. He is a prisoner of conscience who should be released immediately and unconditionally.
Sadat I. fled homophobic attacks from a criminal group in Ghana and has been held in US immigration detention since requesting asylum there in January 2016. US authorities are seeking to forcibly return Sadat to Ghana, where he faces human rights violations by police and the groups he fled. Sadat must immediately be released on parole pending the resolution of his asylum claim, and under no circumstances be deported to Ghana.
Beijing lawyer Yu Wensheng has been detained for more than two months without access to a lawyer of his choice. While the Public Security Bureau in Jiangsu province have admitted that they are holding him, his exact whereabouts are unknown. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Criminal cases have been filed against Manzoor Pashteen and other leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (Movement for the Protection of Pashtuns), for peacefully calling for equality and justice for human rights violations against the Pashtun community.
Seyoum Teshome and Taye Dendea were both arrested from their homes in March for publicly criticizing the Ethiopian government during the State of Emergency.
Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories-Palestine: Further information: Palestinian prisoner of conscience sentenced: Munther Amira
An Israeli military court sentenced Palestinian human rights defender Munther Amira on 12 March 2018 to six months in prison, five years of probation and a fine. He was convicted on charges relating to his peaceful participation in protests.
Across Ukraine, marches marking International Women’s Day, on 8 March, were marred by violence against peaceful demonstrators. Far-right groups physically attacked and have threatened with further violence women’s rights activists taking part in the event. The local police say that they are unable to offer protection from far-right groups.
48 people including families and children, who came to Mexico looking for protection, are at risk of being deported to possible persecution or grave human rights violations in their countries due to unusual failures in the procedures of Mexico´s refugee agency and migration authority.
Yukpa indigenous people that crossed to Colombia are facing eviction and threat of being sent back to Venezuela violating their rights as a binational population. The Colombian State is denying their right to remain in the country and their rights as Indigenous Peoples.
One year ago on 20 March 2017, prominent Emirati human rights defender and blogger Ahmed Mansoor, was arrested at his home. His whereabouts remain unverified despite a February mission by Irish lawyers to Abu Dhabi to find him. He remains without access to a lawyer. He is a prisoner of conscience.
Further information: Two men given the death penalty in Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab (Ali al-Arab) and Ahmad al-Malali
On 31 January, the Fourth High Criminal Court in Bahrain sentenced Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab and Ahmad al-Malali to death, convicting them on charges including “forming and joining a “terrorist” group”. According to information received by Amnesty International, Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab was tortured upon transfer to Jaw prison.
Youth activists Grâce Tshiuza, Mino Bompomi, Cedric Kalonji and Carbone Beni remain in arbitrary detention and have yet to be brought to court since their arrest on 30 December 2017 while mobilizing the public to participate in a peaceful protest. The authorities have been reluctant to share information on what they are accused of. They are being held by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR).
Ho Duy Hai was sentenced to death in December 2018 after being convicted of plundering property and murder. In 2015, the Committee on Judicial Affairs of the National Assembly urged for review of his case after it found that the conviction was the result of serious procedural errors in his proceedings. On 7 December 2017, the Chief of Long An’s Procuracy pushed for acceleration of his execution in a televised speech.
A Swedish doctor has been denied access to Gui Minhai according to a statement released by the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Hong Kong bookseller is urgently in need of medical care, and it remains unclear whether he has access to a lawyer of his choosing or if his family members have been able to visit him since he was again detained in January 2018.
The execution of Hishamrudin Bin Mohd has been scheduled for 16 March, a week after Singapore’s first known execution of 2018 took place. The Singaporean man was convicted of, and sentenced to the mandatory death penalty for, drug-related offences in 2016. He maintains his innocence of the crime.
Further information: Prosecutor calls for death penalty in mass trials: Mahmoud Abu Zeid (“Shawkan”)
On 3 March, the prosecutor in the “Rabaa dispersal” case called for Mahmoud Abu Zeid, also known as “Shawkan”, and the other 738 defendants in the case to be sentenced to death. The next hearing in the case at the Cairo Criminal Court will take place on 17 March.
The pre-trial detention of Oyub Titiev, a prisoner of conscience and head of Russian human rights group Memorial, has been extended for a further two months, until 9 May. There has also been an increase in the number of attacks on Memorial offices and its employees, which are widely believed to be connected to the ongoing persecution of Oyub Titiev. Amnesty International believes this is part of a concerted, politically motivated attempt by the authorities to intimidate and silence human rights defenders in Russia.
The US authorities are preparing for possible detainee transfers to the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. President Trump has ordered the Secretary of Defense to make policy recommendations by 30 April. The last detainee transfer to the base was in 2008.
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