These 15 successes belong to you
1. Freed from unjust detention in Thailand
Hakeem al-Araibi spent 76 days unjustly imprisoned in Thailand after speaking out about his experiences of torture in Bahrain. He was at risk of extradition back to the very place that had tortured him. Due to the incredible support of people like you, in February he was released and is now free and safe with his loved ones at home in Australia.
“Thank you all, you have given me big support to be strong. I love you all and thank you from the heart. Well done. We did it.” Hakeem’s wife
2. Kids off Nauru
You helped advocate for the men, women and children seeking asylum locked up in offshore detention. Earlier this year, our government finally removed all children from Nauru. Your gift made Amnesty’s research exposing the injustices on Nauru possible.
3. Protecting the rights of children in Australia
You demanded equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Your support helped investigate and expose human rights abuses against children in the Queensland government’s police watch houses. Thanks to you, we are now closer than ever to getting children as young as 10 out of Australian prisons, and the Queensland Government has now drafted a bill that will help ensure kids are no longer detained in police watch houses for lengthy periods.
4. Freedom of the press protected in Myanmar
In May, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were released after they put their own safety on the line to investigate the Myanmar military’s crackdown on the Rohingya people. They were sentenced to seven years in prison, just for doing their jobs. Almost 20,000 Australian supporters signed a petition to release the journalists, and over 50 organisations sent a joint letter to Aung Suy Kyi demanding their release.
5. Released from prison for blogging
Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, a prominent Vietnamese blogger also known by her pseudonym, Mẹ Nấm (Mother Mushroom) was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of “conducting propaganda” against the state. She spent two years behind bars, but the mobilisation around the world for her case saw her freed in October.
6. Defying the death penalty for taking photos
In 2013 Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan was imprisoned for photographing Egypt’s police violently dispersing peaceful protesters at a Cairo sit-in. He faced the death penalty simply for doing his job as a journalist. More than 43,000 Amnesty International Australia supporters demanded that the Egyptian authorities release Shawkan and drop all charges against him. Finally in March, after more than five years of pressure, Shawkan is now free.
7. Free to seek asylum from a violent mob
Aasia Bibi, a Christian farmworker, had been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 2010. Despite being acquitted of all charges by the Supreme Court in 2018, the Pakistani Government gave in to the demands of a violent mob, stopping her from leaving the country and having the Supreme Court review its ruling. Supporters like you worked to defend Aasia’s rights – demanding her death sentence be overturned and to allow her to seek a safe life in another country. In May, thanks to supporters like you, she is now living safely in Canada with her family.
8. Women’s rights activists free in Saudi Arabia
Shortly before lifting their ban on women driving in June 2018, the Saudi authorities detained several women’s rights activists and imprisoned them without charge and some were tortured and sexually assaulted. Amnesty supporters all around the world mobilised, calling on Saudi Arabia to release the activists. In the United Kingdom, people held a ‘beep for freedom protest’ outside the Saudi Embassy. In Australia, people like you took action on International Women’s Day and helped us lobby the Australian Government to act. After a 10-month ordeal, Saudi activists Iman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef were released on bail in March.
9. Released after charges of blasphemy
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, is a former governor of Jakarta – and a Christian. He had been convicted of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced to two years imprisonment in May 2017. Nearly 15,000 Australians signed an Amnesty petition for Ahok and he was released from prison earlier than expected this January. On his release, Ahok’s supporters gathered outside the detention centre to greet him and welcome his freedom.
10. Released from a 15-day sentence that turned into years
Hanan Badr el-Dinis is the co-founder of the Families of the Forcibly Disappeared Association, which she founded after her husband disappeared in July 2013. Egypt’s authorities arrested her in May 2017, charged her with belonging to a banned group and ordered that she be detained for 15 days. That 15 days turned into almost two years of pre-trial detention. Amnesty action groups around the world mobilised for Hanan during Amnesty’s Write for Rights 2017 campaign, and over 500,000 people took action for her release around the world. After years of pressure from people across the globe, Hanan saw freedom in April.
11. Free from cruel and degrading punishment just for writing a story
Golrokh Ebrahimi was imprisoned after an unfair trial simply for writing an unpublished story about Iran’s practice of stoning. During her detention she endured solitary confinement and alleges that she was subjected to hours of interrogation while blindfolded. In Australia, 30,000 people took an action calling for Golrokh’s release, which she saw in April.
12. Released from prison for a Facebook comment
Jordanian journalist and poet, Tayseer Salman al-Najjar, was detained in Abu Dhabi’s al-Wathba prison in 2015 because of a comment he posted on Facebook criticising the United Arab Emirates and praising the resistance in Gaza. After Tayseer’s arrest, thousands of Australian Amnesty supporters called on the authorities to release him—and he went free this February.
“You have been like a family to Tayseer and me. Thank you for your continuous support.” Tayseer’s wife
13. Freedom after protesting war crimes put him in jail
Tin Maung Kyi was put in prison for staging a solo protest, calling on the international community to arrest senior Myanmar generals. Nearly 10,500 Australian supporters signed a petition or wrote a letter demanding that the authorities release him, and on 29 March he was freed.
14. Imprisoned for fighting sexual harassment, now free
Egypt’s authorities imprisoned Amal Fathay in May 2018 after she posted a video on Facebook that criticised the government for failing to address sexual harassment. Shortly after posting the video, police raided Amal’s home in the middle of the night and detained her. Tens of thousands of supporters around the world demanded that Amal be freed, including hundreds of supporters in Turkey who all mailed letters to the Egyptian Government on Amal’s behalf. After spending months in prison, the pressure worked: Amal was released on house arrest in December 2018, and only two months later her house arrest was lifted.
15. From fabricated charges to freedom in Chechnya
Human rights defender Oyub Titiev was sentenced to five years in prison on fabricated charges. Amnesty supporters, in Australia and around the world, mobilised for Oyub’s release during the 2018 World Cup – getting his case featured during SBS’s World Cup coverage and across the Australian media. After almost a year and a half behind bars, Oyub is now free from prison in Chechnya.
“I am grateful to everybody who supported me, without your help this release would not have happened. Once more, a massive thank you!” Oyub Titiev
Your support is helping to build a world where every person can live freely and safely.