Hilal Mammadov, 55, is an Azerbaijani editor and minority rights activist who was arrested on June 21, 2012 and sentenced to five years in prison on fabricated charges. The government charged Mr. Mammadov—an active member of the ethnically Iranian Talysh minority group [...]
Eskinder Nega, 44, is a prominent Ethiopian journalist who was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison on treason and terrorism charges. Prior his current detention, Mr. Nega was a widely published independent journalist and a well-known critic of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government; as a result of his writings, the Ethiopian government has detained Mr. Nega at least eight times since 1993 [...]
Mr. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, 52, is a prominent human rights defender convicted and sentenced to life in prison on June 22, 2011 for financing and participating in terrorism to overthrow the government, as well as spying for a foreign country [...]
Dilmurod Saidov, 52, is a prominent Uzbek journalist and human rights activist who has been wrongly detained in Uzbekistan since 2009 on fabricated extortion and forgery charges. Prior to his detention, his articles appeared in many local newspapers, and were […]
Washington, D.C.: On August 7, 2014, Chinese authorities released renowned Chinese human-rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. He is now staying with his wife’s sister in Xinjiang, under a round-the-clock watch by Chinese security officials. Since his release, the family has now learned some terrible details about how he was treated in prison. From the time of his reappearance in Shaya prison in December 2011, Gao was held in a small cell, with minimal light [...]
Washington, D.C.: Today, Freedom Now joined 40 other human rights and civil society organizations in a letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressing grave concern at the continued targeting of journalists and bloggers on terrorism charges. The letter, also joined by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the PEN American Center, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, highlighted the recent terror charges laid against seven bloggers associated with the Zone 9 website (one in absentia) and three independent journalists in Ethiopia.
Last week, Washington D.C. hosted the US-Africa Leaders Summit, where over 50 African heads of state discussed important issues ranging from public health to trade and development. I was honored to participate in a parallel civil society conference that highlighted the challenges faced by civic leaders on the continent, including the all too prevalent crack-down on free expression.
Salijon Abdurakhmanov, one of Uzbekistan’s most prominent imprisoned journalists, turned 64 today–his sixth birthday spent behind prison walls because of his independent reporting in one of the world’s most repressive states. Abdurakhmanov’s case is a constant reminder of Uzbekistan’s abysmal record on free press and fair trial rights. If the United States genuinely hopes to bolster such values abroad [...]
As the honorary chair of Freedom Now, it is my pleasure to welcome you. Freedom Now is an exceptional organization whose dynamic vision and commitment to freeing prisoners of conscience is changing our world for the better.