(UA 286/09) Turkmen Environmentalist Evades Five Years' Imprisonment

Andrei Zakota, a 53-year-old male environmentalist, was released on 6 November from a sentence of five years in prison after he paid a fine of 1,000 Manat (about 350 USD). He was arrested on 20 October on charges of "hooliganism" and faced an unfair trial. When the regional court ruled that the city court did not take into account mitigating factors such as his environmental activity, his reputation and his cooperation, his prison sentence was commuted to a fine.
2009-11-12


(UA 110/08) Freedom in Sri Lanka for Vettivel and Valarmathi Jasikaran

Journalist Vettivel Jaskaran and his wife Valarmathi Jaskaran were released on 26 October 2009 after being arbitrarily detained since March 2008 under anti- terror legislation. Vettivel Jasikaran was arrested on suspicion of "terrorism- related activities" as was his wife for supposedly supporting him. After six months being held without charge he and his wife were indicited for "inciting communal disharmony". Their case has now been dismissed.
2009-11-10


After 3 Months, Iranian Prisoner of Conscience Released Without Charge (UA 176/09)

Jakarkhon Sheikho, an Iranian prisoner of conscience who was detained incommunicado for nearly three and a half months, was released without charge on October 3. He spent part of his detention in an interrogation center in Damascus that is notorious for torture. It is believed that he was arrested by Military Security because of his activities as a senior member of an unauthorized Kurdish Syrian political party.
2009-10-23


Human Rights Defender Released on Bail in Iran (UA 193/09)

Human rights defender Shadi Sadr was released on bail on July 28 after being abducted on July 17 in Tehran by men believed to be security officials. It is not known what she has been charged with, but she is believed to have been arrested in connection with her human rights activities after the disputed presidential election. A lawyer and a journalist, Shadi Sadr was released after 11 days in custody on bail of 50 million toumans (US$54,000).
2009-07-30


Usra al-Hussein Released from Incommunicado Detention in Syria (UA 261/08)

Usra al-Hussein was released on July 18 after spending nearly a year in incommunicado detention without charge or trial. Her husband, Jehad Diab, has been held without charge or trial as an "enemy combatant" in the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since August 2002. Usra al-Hussein was arrested by State Security officials on July 31, 2008, from her home in al-'Otayba after contacting an international organization regarding the detention conditions of her husband. Since her arrest, she was permitted no contact with the outside world, and her family was given no information by the Syrian authorities as to where she was being held or why she had been arrested. Amnesty International does not yet have information on her treatment during detention.
2009-07-23


Harassmant of a Peasant Farmer and His Family Stopped in Brazil (UA 005/09)

Jose Luis da Silva, Severina dos Santos Silva and their family are currently receiving protection after numerous threats to their lives were made over the disputed land of their farm. Due in large part to the response from the members of the Urgent Action network, the Silva family's case was publicized and the threats have ceased. The family is also receiving psychological treatment due to the support of Amnesty International. The investigation and judicial process surrounding the threats are now moving more quickly and the family and Amnesty International are hopeful that the attackers will be punished. The Silva family expressed their gratitude to Amnesty International in a letter detailing their improved condition.
2009-07-22


Afro-descendant Community of Caracoli in Colombia Not Evicted (UA 154/09)

Local police in the Curvarado region of Colombia were preparing to serve an eviction notice on the community of Caracoli on June 18. However, thanks in part to pressure from the international community, the Colombian Constitutional Court ordered the immediate suspension of the eviction notice and called for the protection of the community, which consists of over 100 people. The eviction notice had been ordered by a local judge despite the central government's repeated recognition that the residents of Caracoli legally own their lands and have a right to remain there. Caracoli is included in a collective land title, owned by the local Afro-descendant community, covering the region of Curvarado and Jiguamiando.
2009-07-20


Ahmed Zuhair Released from Guantanamo (UA 350/08)

Saudi Arabian national Ahmed Zaid Salem Zuhair was released from Guantanamo and flown to Saudi Arabia on June 12. He had been held without charge or trial in Guantanamo since June 2002 and had been on hunger strike and a force feeding regime since August 2005. He was seized in a market in late December 2001 in Lahore, Pakistan, by a dozen men in civilian clothes. He was blindfolded and taken to a house where, he said, he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated. He was transferred to a military facility in the capital, Islamabad, and held incommunicado there for about 10 weeks. In mid-March 2002, he was handed over to U.S. custody and held in Bagram air base in Afghanistan. In June 2002, he was transferred to Kandahar, where he was held for two weeks. He was transported to Guantanamo later that month. He said he was ill-treated while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. In Saudi Arabia, he will be subject to judicial review before undergoing a rehabilitation program, throughout which he will be under the control of the Saudi government. The U.S. Justice Department emphasized that his transfer, as well as those of two other Saudi Arabian nationals, Khalid Saad Mohammed and Abdalaziz Kareem Salim AL Noofayaee, were the result of the review by the Guantanamo Review Task Force set up under an executive order signed by President Barack Obama on January 22.
2009-06-15

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