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

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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Urgent Action – Syrian family at risk

Amnesty International
Urgent Action UA 258/14
14 October 2014

Parents and Six Children At Risk

A Syrian couple, Rania Alabbasi and her husband Abdulrahman Yasin, and their six children, now aged three to 15, have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the Syrian authorities. They were arrested in March 2013.

According to a relative who lives abroad, Military Intelligence officers came to Rania Alabbasi and her husband Abdulrahman Yasin’s house on 9 March 2013 and arrested Abdulrahman Yasin. They are not believed to have given any reason for arresting him. They returned the following day and confiscated items such as money, jewelry, papers and the family’s three cars.

They returned again on 11 March, this time to arrest Rania Alabbasi along with her six children. She has five daughters, Dima (aged 15), Entisar (aged 14), Najah (aged 11), Alaa (aged nine) and Layan (aged three) and one son, Ahmad (aged seven). Rania Alabbasi’s secretary, who was in the house when the security forces arrived, was also arrested.

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Urgent Action – First Oregon Execution in 14 Years Looming

20 October 2011

UA 308/11
USA (Oregon)

The first execution in Oregon since 1997, and only the third in this US state since 1962, looks set to be scheduled for 6 December. Questions remain about the mental competence of the condemned prisoner, who has chosen to give up his appeals against his death sentence.

Oregon has carried out two executions since judicial killing resumed in the USA in 1977 — one in 1996 and one in 1997. Both were of inmates who had given up appeals against their death sentences. Now Gary Haugen, a 49-year-old man, is expected to receive an execution date of 6 December after waiving his appeals. He and Jason Van Brumwell were sentenced to death in 2007 for the murder of fellow inmate David Polin in Oregon State Penitentiary in 2003. At the time of the murder, Gary Haugen was serving a life sentence after being convicted in 1981 of the murder earlier that year of his former girlfriend’s mother. On automatic appeal in 2010, the state Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and death sentence. Since then Gary Haugen has said he wants to drop any further appeals.

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Urgent Action – Troy Davis (Imminent execution)

12 April 2011

UA 110/11- Imminent execution

USA – Troy Davis

Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis is facing the possibility of his fourth execution date in four years after the US Supreme Court dismissed his appeal on 28 March. Doubts persist about his guilt in the crime for which he was sentenced to death two decades ago.

Troy Davis was sentenced to death in 1991 for the murder of police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia in 1989. No physical evidence directly links Davis to the murder – no murder weapon was ever found. The case against Davis primarily rested on witness testimony. Since his trial, seven of nine key witnesses have recanted or changed their testimony, some alleging police coercion.

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