Urgent Action – Detained Kuwaiti activist at risk of torture

Amnesty International
Urgent Action UA 70/15
24 March 2015

Detained Activist at Risk of Torture

Kuwaiti human rights activist Nawaf al-Hendal was arrested and beaten as he monitored apeaceful demonstration in Erada Square in Kuwait City on 23 March. He is a prisoner of conscience. At least 17 other Kuwaiti men were arrested at the same time, including a lawyer.

Nawaf al-Hendal is a well-known human rights activist who founded the Kuwait Watch Organization for Human Rights in early December 2014. He was arrested on 23 March as he was monitoring a peaceful demonstration organized by Kuwaiti opposition groups calling for reforms including “upholding freedom of expression and assembly as guaranteed by the constitution”, “the release of prisoners of conscience” and “the abolition of unfair and retaliatory withdrawal of citizenship for political reasons”. Nawaf al-Hendal was beaten during arrest and had his phone confiscated. Continue reading

Blogger in Saudi Arabia faces public flogging

Tomorrow, after Friday prayers on January 9, Saudi Arabia plans to publicly flog Prisoner of Conscience Raif Badawi. His crime? Freely expressing his ideas online.

Raif started the Saudi Arabian Liberals, a blog where readers could openly discuss religion, politics and other topics in Saudi Arabia. In retaliation for this peaceful act, Raif is serving 10 years and was sentenced to 1,000 lashes.

According to information obtained by Amnesty International, Raif will be subjected to approximately 50 lashes tomorrow, while the rest of the full sentence of 1,000 lashes will be meted out over a period of 20 weeks.

Raif Badawi was initially charged with “apostasy,” a crime that carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. He has been detained since June 17, 2012. His lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is also serving a 15-year sentence for his work in defense of human rights. Raif’s wife and children escaped to Canada. We need to do all we can to reunite him with his family.

Twenty weeks of agony. Ten years of imprisonment. This is the painful price of criticizing religious authorities in Saudi Arabia.

Sign this online petition to demand Saudi Arabia immediately release Raif Badawi and halt this abhorrent flogging.

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Egypt: Retrial of Al Jazeera journalists must pave way to their unconditional freedom

Amnesty International
Press Release
January 2, 2015

An Egyptian court’s call for a retrial of three jailed Al Jazeera journalists acknowledges major flaws in the original convictions but leaves the men in unjust incarceration, Amnesty International said today.

“By calling for a retrial the Egyptian courts are prolonging the injustice that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed have faced,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

“These men should never have been jailed in the first place and should not have to spend one more day in prison. Instead of prolonging their unjust detention pending a retrial, they must be freed immediately.”

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Group 48 Holiday Potluck & Write-a-thon

Write for Rights is Amnesty International’s annual global letter writing marathon. Every December, Amnesty supporters write millions of messages for people whose basic human rights are under attack.

Date: Friday, December 12, 2014

Time: 7:30-9pm (set up starts at 7:00pm)

Location: Buchan Building at First Unitarian Church (church map)
1011 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR

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Algeria: 18-year-old Syrian Refugee Faces Deportation

Amnesty International
Urgent Action UA 269/14
28 October 2014

The Algerian authorities may be preparing to forcibly return an 18-year-old Syrian refugee after he entered the country without official legal documentation.

Moustafa Albakkor, 18, fled Syria in 2012 to escape the crisis that had begun in 2011 and entered Turkey where he was officially recognised as a refugee by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He travelled to Algeria in August 2014.

He was arrested on 18 August and detained in El-Oued Penal Institution, in the north-east of the country. He was tried on 12 October 2014, sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and fined 50,000 Dinars (US$600) for “entering the country with forged travel documents”. His appeal hearing is scheduled for 5 November. His family told Amnesty International they have been prevented from visiting him in prison for over two months.

He is now at risk of being forcibly returned to Syria, where he would face a real risk of human rights violations. Shortly after he was arrested, an official source told Moustafa Albakkor that the Syrian Embassy were in dialogue with the Algerian authorities regarding his deportation.

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