• Cases in Azerbaijan

    Since 2011, Azerbaijan has imprisoned over 160 journalists, political opposition leaders, grassroots activists, human rights defenders, and lawyers.

  • Cases in Belarus

    Belarus has consistently targeted political opposition leaders., including the four profiled here.

  • Cases in Burma

    Freedom Now has represented four clients in Burma since 2009, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

  • Lapiro de MbangaCameroon

    Lapiro de Mbanga, a.k.a “Ndinga Man” or “Guitar Man”, (born 3 November 1957) was a popular singer-songwriter and political activist who was wrongfully imprisoned in Cameroon in 2008. On April 8, 2011, Mr. Mbanga was released from detention after serving […]

  • Lewis MedjoCameroon

    Lewis Medjo is a Cameroonian journalist twice arrested and imprisoned for his reporting on human rights abuses and corruption. He serves as managing editor of the weekly newspaper La Détente Libre. Mr. Medjo is known for his reporting on human […]

  • Chen KeguiChina

    Chen Kegui, 33, is the nephew of renowned Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng and was sentenced to three years and three months in prison on charges of “intentionally inflicting injuries.” It is widely understood that the Chinese government arrested and […]

  • Gao ZhishengChina

    Gao Zhisheng is one of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers who has been repeatedly detained by the Chinese government since 2006.

  • Liu XiaoboChina

    2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo was a Chinese scholar and renowned dissident who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” on December 25, 2009, for his role in drafting Charter 08.

  • Dr. Yang JianliChina

    Dr. Yang Jianli (born 1963) is a scholar and democracy activist who was imprisoned by the Chinese government in April 2002 for espionage and illegal entry. He was freed on April 27, 2007. Dr. Yang, a Chinese citizen, is internationally […]

  • Oscar Elias BiscetCuba

    Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet (born 20 July 1961) is a doctor and noted advocate for human rights and democratic freedom in Cuba. He was serving a 25 year prison sentence for allegedly committing crimes against the sovereignty and integrity of […]

  • Dr. Saad Eddin IbrahimEgypt

    Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim (born 3 December 1938) is an internationally renowned sociologist and democracy and human-rights advocate who was arrested on June 30, 2000 and originally sentenced to seven years imprisonment for criticizing the Egyptian government. Dr. Ibrahim was […]

  • Cases in Ethiopia

    Ethiopia has continually used its anti-terrorism laws to punish critics and imprison opposition leaders. Contained are four representative cases.

  • Filep Samuel KarmaIndonesia

    Filep Samuel Karma is a prominent Papuan political activist and former Indonesian civil servant who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raising a banned flag at a 2004 political rally.

  • Behnam EbrahimzadehIran

    Behnam Ebrahimzadeh is a labor rights and child rights’ activist sentenced to 7 years in prison in Iran for communicating with the UN

  • Golrokh Ebrahimi IraeeIran

    Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee is a writer and political activist who served a 30 month prison sentence for charges related to an unpublished story she wrote criticizing the practice of stoning in Iran.

  • Abdolfattah SoltaniIran

    Abdolfattah Soltani is an Iranian human rights lawyer and a founding member of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison on national security-related charges.

  • Nasrin SotoudehIran

    Nasrin Sotoudeh, 50, is an Iranian journalist, human rights activist, and lawyer. On September 4, 2010 authorities arrested Ms. Sotoudeh on charges including “propaganda against the state.” On September 18, 2013, she was released early from prison after serving three years in prison […]

  • Serikzhan BilashKazakhstan

    Serikzhan Bilash is an advocate for ethnic Kazakhs & other minorities held in detention camps in China’s Xinjiang Region. He was released in August 2019 after agreeing to a plea bargin.

  • Ramazan YesergepovKazakhstan

    Ramazan Yesergepov, born 30 April 1956, was the Chief Editor and founder of the Alma-Ata Info newspaper, a leading Kazakh investigative journalist and labor rights advocate. Mr. Yesergepov, who was trained as an engineer and enjoyed a successful business career […]

  • Mohamed NasheedMaldives

    Mohamed Nasheed, 48, is an activist, journalist, and politician who served as the first democratically elected president of the Maldives. After being ousted in a coup in 2012, Mr. Nasheed continued his pro-democracy activism and was sentenced to 13 years in prison on politically-motivated terrorism charges.

  • IRA-MauritaniaMauritania

    Biram Dah Abeid (pictured), Brahim Bilal Ramdane, and Djiby Sow are anti-slavery activists imprisoned in Mauritania for conducting a peaceful protest.

  • IRA-MauritaniaMauritania

    Thirteen members of the anti-slavery organization IRA-Mauritania were imprisoned for participating in a peaceful protest.

  • Mohammed Shaikh Ould Mohammed Ould MkhaitirMauritania

    Mohammed Shaikh Ould Mohammed Ould Mkhaitir is a blogger who was arrested in January 2014 and sentenced to death for apostasy.

  • Chakib Alkhayari (a.k.a. El-Khiari)Morocco

    Chakib Alkhayari (a.k.a. El-Khiari) is a Moroccan journalist and human rights activist who was wrongfully imprisoned in Morocco on February 17, 2009. After a royal pardon, he was released on April 14, 2011. Mr. Alkhayari is the founder and president […]

  • Saed JadadOman

    Saed Jadad, 50, is a prominent Omani human rights activist and blogger who was imprisoned for 9 months as a result of an open letter his public criticism of the Omani government. Prior to his imprisonment, Mr. Jadad documented human rights violations […]

  • Ayub MasihPakistan

    Ayub Masih was arrested in 1996 for allegedly violating Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. On August 15, 2002, after a sustained campaign by Freedom Now, the Supreme Court of Pakistan reversed Mr. Masih’s conviction, acquitted him of all charges, and released him […]

  • Dr. Luis Williams Pollo RiveraPeru

    Dr. Luis Williams Pollo Rivera, 65, died in arbitrary detention on February 12, 2012. Dr. Pollo was a surgeon who specialized in traumatology and orthopedics in Peru. He was serving a 10 year prison sentence for allegedly rendering support to […]

  • Mohammed al-AjamiQatar

    Mohammed al-Ajami is a Qatari poet sentenced to a 15 year sentence on charges of incitement to overthrow the government and insulting the Emir of Qatar.

  • Cases in Rwanda

    Since President Paul Kagame came to power in 2000, Rwanda has steadily clamped down on all forms of dissent. Contained are profiles of four of our former clients.

  • Cases in Syria

    Syria has routinely targeted human rights lawyers and democracy activists. Contained are profiles of two former clients.

  • Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy KhadzhievTurkmenistan

    Annakurban Amanklychev (7 February 1971) and Sapardurdy Khadzhiev (born 15 August 1959) are independent journalists and human rights advocates in Turkmenistan. They were arrested in 2006 […]

  • Maksat Kakabaev and Murad OvezovTurkmenistan

    Maksat Kakabaev (aka MARO) and Murad Ovezov are popular singers who were wrongfully detained in Turkmenistan on fabricated charges. Mr. Kakabaev and Mr. Ovezov were sentenced to seven and five years in prison[…]

  • Olara OtunnuUganda

    Olara Otunnu is the President of the Ugandan Peoples Congress (UPC) and was a presidential candidate for the 2011 general elections in Uganda. The Government of Uganda arrested him on April 18, 2011, for his leadership in a peaceful protest against high food and gas prices and rising inflation.

  • Cases in Uzbekistan

    Since 2005, the authorities in Uzbekistan have imprisoned hundreds of journalists, political opposition leaders, grassroots activists, human rights defenders, and lawyers. Contained are six of our former clients.

  • Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Nguyen Hoang Quoc HungVietnam

    Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung are labor activists who were arrested in February 2010 for organizing workers.

  • Dr. Nguyen Dan QueVietnam

    Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is one of Vietnam’s most renowned democracy activists. He was arrested on March 17, 2003 and convicted of “abusing democratic rights to jeopardize the interests of the state.” Dr. Que was freed on February 1, 2005. […]

  • Nguyen Huu Quoc DuyVietnam

    Nguyen Huu Quoc Duy is an online activist who served a three year sentence for criticizing the Vietnamese government on Facebook.