The undersigned civil society organizations applaud Chairman Chris Smith, and Ranking Member Karen Bass of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations for holding a hearing on Ethiopia today entitled, “Ethiopia: Democracy Under Threat.”
The undersigned organisations condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s sentencing of Mehman Huseynov, Azerbaijani journalist and chairman of the country’s leading freedom of expression group, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, to two years in jail on defamation charges. […]
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a prominent international coalition, should suspend Azerbaijan’s membership for failing to carry out key reforms, a coalition of 21 groups including Freedom Now, Human Rights Watch, ARTICLE 19, and International Media Support said today.
Please join Freedom Now and Dechert for an evening with President Mohamed Nasheed, former President of the Maldives and honorary co-chair of Freedom Now.
Freedom Now is pleased to announce that Vietnamese labor rights activist Doan Huy Chuong has been released from prison after the conclusion of his unjust seven-year sentence. However, while Mr. Doan has been freed, his colleague, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, remains in prison.
On Wednesday December 14th, Freedom Now and other human rights organizations will gather in front of the Trump International Hotel at 11th & Pennsylvania Avenues from 3:30-4:30 pm to highlight the continued repression of civil society and independent voices in Azerbaijan.
Freedom Now joins 18 international organizations in calling for Azerbaijan to respect freedom of expression
Freedom Now is pleased to announce the release of 10 anti-slavery activists in Mauritania. A total of 13 activists had been detained since June 2016 and were serving prison sentences between three and 15 years for their involvement in anti-government protests. On November 18, an appeals court acquitted three activists of the charges and reduced the sentences of seven more.
Freedom Now joins three organizations in asking President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to secure the release of blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed Mkhaitir.
Freedom Now is delighted to announce the appointment of President Mohamed Nasheed to its Board of Directors. The former president of the Maldives and prisoner of conscience will join Archbishop Desmond Tutu as Honorary Co-Chair.
Washington, D.C. – Freedom Now is pleased to announce the release of human rights activist and farmer Bobomurod Razzakov after three years of wrongful imprisonment. Mr. Razzakov was serving a four year sentence related to his involvement with Uzbekistan’s only […]
Freedom Now joins 17 international NGOs in welcoming the decision by the EITI not to restore Azerbaijan’s status in the Initiative, but calls for further steps to address civil society crackdown.
In light of the upcoming review of Azerbaijan’s status in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in October, the undersigned organisations call on the EITI Board to suspend Azerbaijan from participation in EITI.
The undersigned civil society organizations applaud U.S. Representatives Chris Smith, Keith Ellison and Mike Coffman for introducing the House Resolution entitled “Supporting human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.”
Freedom Now is pleased to announce the release of human rights activist and blogger Saed Jadad after 9 months in prison.
Less than six weeks ahead of a constitutional referendum, the Azerbaijani authorities have unleashed a new wave of repression to silence critical voices. Members of the Sport for Rights coalition condemn this renewed crackdown, and call on the Azerbaijani authorities to take immediate steps to improve the human rights situation in the country, starting with the release of political prisoners.
A letter from NGOs to His Holiness Pope Francis on political prisoners in Azerbaijan
Washington, D.C. – Freedom Now is pleased to announce the release of democracy activist Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly from prison after nine years of wrongful imprisonment. Father Ly was serving an eight year sentence related to his affiliation with […]
On May 26, human rights organizations, journalists, and others will gather in front of the White House as part of a global campaign to highlight the ongoing repression of civil society and independent voices in Azerbaijan.
A joint statement by Amnesty International USA, ARTICLE 19, Belarusan-American Association, Committee to Protect Journalists , Crude Accountability, Freedom House, Freedom Now, International Women’s Media Foundation, McCain Institute for International Leadership, and Reporters Without Borders
Freedom Now is pleased to announce that journalist Khadija Ismayilova was released from prison today after nearly 18 months of wrongful imprisonment.
Freedom Now is delighted to announce yesterday’s release of anti-slavery activists Biram Dah Abeid and Brahim Bilal Ramdane after 18 months of wrongful imprisonment.
Azerbaijan’s independent media is under greater attack than ever before. The undersigned members of the Sport for Rights coalition condemn the Azerbaijani authorities’ relentless crackdown on the independent media and other critical voices.
Prominent human rights organizations call on President Obama to raise the issue of imprisoned activists when he visits Vietnam next month.
The Sport for Rights Campaign sent three letters to Pharrell Williams, Enrique Iglesias and Chris Brown ahead of their peformance at the Formula One European Grand Prix in Baku
Freedom Now is pleased to announce that today Azerbaijani human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus were finally allowed to travel out of the country and have arrived in the Netherlands.
The US Senate unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Government of the Maldives to reverse the injustice of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s conviction without due process and to release all political prisoners in the country.
Freedom Now is delighted to announce today’s release of Intigam Aliyev after nearly two years of imprisonment.
Today, the UN Human Rights Council adopted by vote of 33 to 6, with 8 abstentions, a landmark resolution on the protection of human rights defenders. Freedom Now welcomes the adoption of this resolution and looks forward to its implementation.
Freedom Now is very happy to announce that 15 prisoners of conscience have been released in Azerbaijan this week.
Members of the Sport for Rights coalition, express our relief over the release of 15 political prisoners in Azerbaijan, but reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.
Freedom Now is pleased to announce that yesterday the Government of Qatar released poet Mohammed al-Ajami, after four years of imprisonment.
On the third anniversary of the unfair 15 year prison sentence handed down to the Qatari poet, Mohammed al-‘Ajami, the human rights bodies Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, Amnesty International, English PEN, Freedom Now, PEN International and Split This Rock renew longstanding calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
Today, Freedom Now, launched its report Moving From Condemnation to Action: The Case for the United States to Impose Targeted Financial Sanctions and Travel Bans on Serious Human Rights Abusers in the Maldives.
The Khadija Ismayilova Investigative Journalism Fellowship is a living tribute to Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning Azeri journalist, who was imprisoned by authorities on December 5, 2014 and sentenced to 7.5 years in jail in an attempt to silence her.
Freedom Now welcomes today’s release of Leyla Yunus and the commutation of her sentence to five years probation.
On the eve of the anniversary of the arrest of journalist Khadija Ismayilova, members of the Sport for Rights coalition and the Civic Solidarity Platform underscore the unprecedented nature of the repression that has taken place in Azerbaijan in the year that has passed.
Freedom Now is pleased to announce that Papuan activist Filep Samuel Karma was released from prison today, four years before the end of his 15 year sentence.
Freedom Now welcomes today’s release of Arif Yunus to house arrest. An academic and activist, Mr. Yunus was convicted of politically motivated charges in August and sentenced to seven years in prison. His wife and co-defendant, Leyla Yunus, was sentenced to eight and one half years and still remains in prison.
Freedom Now partner Woodley & McGillivary was awarded the 2015 Frances Perkins Award for pro bono work related to the case of Vietnamese labor activists Doan Huy Chuong, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, and Do Thi Minh Hanh
Freedom Now has sent a formal communication to the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, regarding Mauritania’s denial of medical care to imprisoned activist Biram Dah Abeid.
Freedom Now’s letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo regarding the case of imprisoned Papuan activist Filep Karma
Today, Freedom Now released a letter sent by a dozen Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to the Prime Minister on September 2, 2015, urging him to call publicly for the release of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia.
Five Zone 9 bloggers were acquitted of terrorism charges and three were released from prison on Saturday, October 17.
Today, the International Bar Association presented jailed Azerbaijani lawyer Intigam Aliyev with its 2015 Human Rights Award.
Today, the legal team of former President Mohamed Nasheed released Opinion No. 33/2015 (The Maldives) of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, finding President Nasheed’s detention in violation of international law.
Freedom Now released a letter sent by a dozen Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to President Barack Obama on September 2, 2015, urging him to call publicly for the release of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia.
Two members of former President Nasheed’s international legal team, Amal Clooney and Jared Genser, will travel to the Maldives next week to visit President Nasheed in Maafushi Jail, where he is currently being held.
The Sport for Rights coalition, of which Freedom Now is a member, strongly condemns the sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova to a staggering 7.5 years in jail.
Freedom Now welcomes the release of Belarusian politician Mikalai Statkevich and calls on Belarus to respect fundamental human rights.
Freedom Now strongly condemns today’s sentencing of Leyla Yunus, a prominent Azerbaijani human rights defender and activist, to eight and one-half years in prison and her husband Arif Yunus, an academic and activist, to seven years in prison. The charges brought against the couple were clearly politically motivated and we call for their immediate release.
On July 29, 2015, the Chinese government released Chen Kegui, the nephew of renowned blind barefoot Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng. Freedom Now welcomes the release and urges the Chinese government to provide required medical care.
Statements from the U.S., the European, and Albania in support of Freedom Now’s application for UN consultative status.
Today, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations officially awarded – by vote – Freedom Now special consultative NGO status.
Freedom Now and the Ethiopia Human Rights Project are very happy to announce that five individuals associated with the Zone 9 blogger group have been released from prison in Ethiopia.
16 U.S. Senators have written to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev expressing their concern about the diminishing space for civil society and the harassment of activists in Azerbaijan.
More than 50 law students called on the Azerbaijan government to release Mr. Aliyev and allow him to continue his human rights work.
Today, six members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry raising the continued detention of peaceful activists in Indonesia.
We are writing to you as members of the Sport for Rights campaign, which has been working to raise human rights violations in Azerbaijan in the context of the European Games. We are deeply disappointed by your decision to perform at the opening ceremony of the games amidst the worst human rights crackdown to date in Azerbaijan, and ask you to consider our appeal to help right this very public wrong.
Freedom Now is pleased to announce that Azerbaijani journalist and human rights activist Emin Huseynov safely left Azerbaijan Saturday, after spending 10 months sheltered at the Swiss embassy in Baku. Mr. Huseynov departed Azerbaijan by plane with Switzerland’s foreign minister Didier Burkhalter, who was attending the opening ceremonies of the European Olympic Games.
On May 29, 2015, the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) officially rejected Freedom Now’s application for NGO consultative status.
In recent years, Azerbaijani authorities have intensified a crackdown on civil society and devastated critical voices, without regard for domestic or international law. This crackdown is in stark contrast to the polished image of a modern and prosperous European state that President Ilham Aliyev has presented to outside observers.
We are deeply troubled over the comments made by Under Secretary Wendy Sherman yesterday in Addis Ababa. The Under Secretary’s unfortunate statement calling Ethiopia a democracy puts the United States government on record as endorsing a government that systematically suppresses the fundamental rights of its citizens.
The Sport for Rights coalition resolutely condemns yesterday’s sentencing of Rasul Jafarov, a prominent Azerbaijani human rights defender, to 6.5 years in prison on politically motivated charges. The coalition calls for his immediate release.
We the undersigned are alarmed by the deteriorating human rights situation in Azerbaijan. Arrests and detentions of journalists, civil society and human rights activists, religious believers, and opposition figures have multiplied; Azerbaijan now has twice as many political prisoners as […]
We are alarmed by the deteriorating human rights situation in Azerbaijan. Arrests and detentions of journalists, civil society and human rights activists, religious believers, and opposition figures have multiplied; Azerbaijan now has twice as many political prisoners as Russia and Belarus combined.
Washington, D.C.: Freedom Now is pleased to announce that Azerbaijani civil society leader Bashir Sulemanli has been released from prison almost two years before the end of his three and one-half year sentence. President Ilham Aliyev pardoned Mr. Sulemanli ahead of the Novruz holiday, which celebrates the coming of spring. His early release occurred after considerable international attention to his case. However, while Mr. Sulemanli has been released, his colleague, Anar Mammadli remains in prison.
Despite early, high-level condemnation of the arrests of independent journalists and bloggers in Ethiopia nine months ago, international attention has waned as the pre-trial proceedings have dragged-on. The government’s continued detention of three independent journalists and six members of the Zone 9 blogging collective is not only an outrageous attack on the press – it is also illegal and unconscionable.
Today, eight U.S. Senators wrote to Uzbek President Islam Karimov and raised the continued imprisonment of journalists and activists in Uzbekistan. Following-up on letters from June 2013 and May 2014, the initiative lead by Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) highlights the imprisonment of five individual prisoners of conscience who are serving long sentences in response to their peaceful activities: Akzam Turgunov, Dilmurod Saidov, Salijon Abdurakhmanov, Muhammad Bekjanov, and Bobomurod Razzokov […]
Calling for the release of Uzbek journalists and activists.
October 10, 2014 For Immediate Release New York – Brussels – Geneva – Paris: In an open letter that Nobel Peace Prize Laureates together with major human-rights organizations addressed to the United Nations and the European Union today called for […]
Urging action for the release of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo
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.
Washington, D.C.: Freedom Now is pleased to announce that the Vietnamese labor rights activist Ms. Do Thi Minh Hanh has been released from prison almost three years before the end of her seven-year sentence. Her early release yesterday occurred after considerable international attention to her case and a coordinated effort by international and Vietnamese human rights groups. However, while Ms. Do has been freed, her colleagues Mr. Doan Huy Chuong and Mr. Nguyen Doan Quoc Hung remain in prison.
On Wednesday June 25th, at 1 pm EST, Freedom Now will participate in a press conference at the House Triangle with Chen Guangcheng to release Opinion No. 2/2014 of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention regarding Chen Kegui’s case […]
Today, Agnes Uwimana-Nkusi, editor of Umurabyo, an independent Kinyarwanda-language newspaper in Rwanda was released after serving four years in prison for “undermining national security” and “defamation” of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
It is with a heavy heart that I share sad news with you. Former Freedom Now client – and my friend – Lapiro de Mbanga died yesterday in Buffalo, New York […]
Washington DC: Today, Uzbek President Islam Karimov postponed his controversial visit to the Czech Republic to meet with Czech President Miloš Zeman following international criticism from human rights groups, including Freedom Now, labor unions, and investors. While the trip has not been cancelled, no new date for the trip has been scheduled. Czech officials report that President Karimov postponed the trip after many Czech ministers, including Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, were unavailable to meet with the Uzbek delegation […]
Dear President Zeman, Thank you for your quick response to our letter voicing our deep concern over your invitation of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov for an official visit this month. You make three points, which we address here: First, Václav […]
Today, eleven members of the House of Representatives joined a public letter to Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang calling for the release of three imprisoned labor rights activists. Among the signatories are Representatives Frank Wolf and James McGovern, the Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and Representative Chris Van Hollen, who adopted the case as part of the Commission’s Defending Freedoms Project […]
Expressing concern about the imprisonment and mistreatment of Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Nguyen Doan Quoc Hung and calling on Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to release the three labor activists.
Freedom Now is delighted to announce that it will be a Passion Project Partner with the School of Public Policy (SPP) at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary. The Passion Project program is the culmination of an effort to […]
Dear President Zeman, We are writing to express our surprise and deep concern that you have invited Uzbekistan’s president, Islam Karimov, on an official visit to Prague on February 20-22, 2014. As the leader of one of the most repressive […]
December 23, 2013
International Human Rights Committee Blog (American Bar Association)
By: Patrick Griffith
Earlier this month, on December 10, rights activists around the world celebrated International Human Rights Day, which commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Although the UDHR was passed by the UN General Assembly 65 years ago, its promise remains unfulfilled in states like Uzbekistan, where the government continues to persecute its own citizens for peacefully exercising their fundamental human rights.
December 13, 2013
By: Jared Genser and Greg McGillivary
During his fourth trip to Asia as Secretary of State this week, John Kerry is visiting Vietnam to “highlight the dramatic transformation in the bilateral relationship” between Washington and Hanoi. Indeed, in addition to security cooperation, bilateral trade has been thriving, up almost 60 percent in the past five years to $25 billion annually. Since the bilateral trade agreement of 2001, the United States has swiftly become Vietnam’s largest market for exports. Now, both countries are participating in negotiations on the massive Trans Pacific Partnership multilateral trade deal. Less promising, however, is the increasingly harsh reality of ongoing human rights abuses by the Vietnamese government.
Washington D.C.: In response to a petition filed by Freedom Now, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (Working Group) issued an opinion finding the detention of political activist Gulgeldy Annaniyazov by the Government of Turkmenistan a violation of […]
Finding Gulgeldy Annaniyazov's imprisonment in violation of international law and calling for his immediate release.
Two Ethiopian journalists imprisoned under Ethiopia’s anti-terror laws have appealed to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights arguing that their conviction and imprisonment for alleged terrorist activity violates their right to freedom of expression and to a fair trial […]
Freedom Now is excited to welcome the early release of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh from arbitrary detention in Iran. Prior to her arrest, Ms. Sotoudeh was a prominent human rights advocate and lawyer working to advance women’s and children’s […]
August 30, 2013
By: Patrick Griffith
On Wednesday 17 July 2013, members of the European Parliament’s Sub-committee on Human Rights visited Ethiopia and urged the government to release journalists and opposition activists imprisoned under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652/2009 (Anti-Terror Proclamation)[…]
July 24, 2013
The New York Times
By: Eskinder Nega
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — I AM jailed, with around 200 other inmates, in a wide hall that looks like a warehouse. For all of us, there are only three toilets. Most of the inmates sleep on the floor, which has never been swept. About 1,000 prisoners share the small open space here at Kaliti Prison. One can guess our fate if a communicable disease breaks out […]
Washington, D.C.: Freedom Now is delighted to announce that its Founder and Board Member Jared Genser has been selected to receive the 2013 American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s International Human Rights Award. “The Award is being presented for Jared’s extraordinary contributions to the rule of law, access to justice, and human rights,” said William R. Bay, Chairman of the ABA Section of Litigation. “His work on behalf of human rights has been a beacon of light in some of the world’s darkest places,” he added […]
July 2, 2013
The Wall Street Journal
By: Sohrab Ahmari
Another day, another American celeb shamed for entertaining a foreign dictator. This time it was the artist formerly known as Jennifer Lopez, who on Saturday performed for Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, the ruler of Turkmenistan […]
Washington, DC: Today, a bi-partisan group of 12 United States Senators, led by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), called on President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan to release three human rights defenders unjustly imprisoned in Uzbekistan. Other signatories […]
Calling on President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan to release three human rights defenders unjustly imprisoned in Uzbekistan.
The Wall Street Journal Europe
By: Martin Schibbye and Patrick Griffith
This month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the 21st African Union (AU) summit. The message he brings will speak volumes about the future of American engagement on the continent […]
By Mirakmal Niyazmatov
Later this May, European Union officials will meet a delegation from Turkmenistan during annual human rights consultations. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s authoritarian regime in Ashgabat is one of the most repressive in the world, yet the meeting poses perhaps the biggest test for the EU side […]
Today, Freedom Now, Amnesty International, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, the Committee to Free Eskinder Nega, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, English PEN, the International Press Institute, the International Women’s Media Foundation, Media Legal Defence Initiative, the National Press Club, PEN American Center, PEN Canada, and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, condemned the decision by the Ethiopian Supreme Court upholding the 18-year sentence imposed against independent journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega. “By upholding the sentence, the Ethiopian government has missed yet another opportunity to respect its freely undertaken obligations under international law,” the groups said. “This failure is particularly striking in light of today’s World Press Freedom Day celebrations.” […]
In an opinion released today by Freedom Now, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found the Government of Ethiopia’s continued detention of independent Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega a violation of international law. The panel of five independent experts from four continents held that the government violated Mr. Nega’s rights to free expression and due process. The UN Working Group called for his immediate release […]
Finding Eskinder Nega's imprisonment in violation of international law and calling for his immediate release.
By Birtukan Mideksa
Although Ethiopia has its first new prime minister in 17 years – so far, the government has failed to right a long history of wrongs. With prisoners of conscience still languishing in its prisons, Ethiopia must receive the clear message – especially from allies like the United States – that continued human rights violations will not be tolerated […]
Freedom Now welcomes the attached letter by 13 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to the President of Turkmenistan urging him to release members of the Jehovah’s Witness faith who have been imprisoned in his country for refusing to serve in the military because of their religion. […]
Calling for the release of Jehovah's Witnesses imprisoned in Turkmenistan for conscientious objection.
Nasrin Sotoudeh may not yet be an international household name — but she deserves to be. An Iranian political prisoner now in her third year of imprisonment (much of which has been spent in solitary confinement in the notorious Evin prison), she is the embodiment of the struggle for human rights in Iran and the symbol of the Iranian regime’s massive domestic repression […]
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found the continued detention of three Vietnamese labor organizers, Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Doan Quoc Hung, to be a violation of international law […]
Finding Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Doan Quoc Hung's imprisonment in violation of international law and calling for their immediate release.
Freedom Now is happy to report that Turkmen singers Maksat Kakabaev (MaRo) and Murad Ovezov have been released from prison. The two popular singers were released as part of an amnesty celebrating National Flag Day. They each served approximately two years of a seven and five-year sentence, respectively […]
Washington, DC – Turkmenistan released prisoners of conscience Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy Khadzhiev from prison on February 16, 2013 […]
Washington, D.C.: Today, Freedom Now welcomes the attached letter by 24 Members of the European Parliament to the Turkmen Ambassador in Brussels calling for the release of prisoners of conscience in Turkmenistan. The letter highlights the continued unannounced detention of […]
Calling for the release of prisoners of conscience in Turkmenistan.
Washington, DC: Freedom Now welcomes the nomination by U.S. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) of Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly and the Most Venerable Thich Quang Do of Vietnam for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination […]
Nominating Father Ly and the Most Venerable Thich Quang Do of Vietnam for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
Washington, DC: Portuguese Member of European Parliament Ana Gomes nominates Bahraini human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughters, Zainab and Maryam al-Khawaja for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for their commitment to pursuing peaceful democratic reforms and respect for […]
Member of European Parliament Ana Gomes nominates Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughters, Maryam and Zainab, for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
In October, Veronika Szente Goldston of Human Rights Watch wrote that the European Parliament must “send a clear message that enhanced relations with the European Union must go hand in hand with concrete improvements in human rights” when it considers whether to support a partnership and co-operation agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan […]
Washington, DC: Today, Bahrain’s highest court upheld convictions against 13 activists, including human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, for their roles in peaceful anti-government demonstrations in Bahrain. The Court of Cassation upheld Mr. al-Khawaja’s sentence of life imprisonment […]
The Huffington Post
By: Sohrab Ahmari
The death of North Korea’s psychopathic dictator, Kim Jong-Il, once again refocused international attention on the hermit kingdom. In Europe, the news was not exactly greeted with high hopes for democratic development in the (inaptly named) Democratic People’s Republic of Korea […]
Washington, D.C.: Today, 16 members of the European Parliament issued a public letter to Ethiopian Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn expressing their grave concern regarding the continued detention of imprisoned journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega.
Arrested in 2011 and detained without access to an attorney for nearly two months, Mr. Nega was sentenced to 18 years in prison under the country’s broad 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation on July 13, 2012. Mr. Nega’s arrest and prosecution came after he wrote online articles and spoke publicly about the possibility of an Arab Spring-like movement taking place in Ethiopia. After his sentencing, the government initiated proceedings to seize his assets, including the home still used by his wife and young son. An appeal hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday, December 19th.
Calling for the release of Eskinder Nega.
Twenty years ago this week, Uzbekistan adopted its first constitution as an independent republic creating the legislative framework for human rights and democracy. Yet, two-decades later, the democratic government and individual liberties enshrined in the Uzbek constitution bear little resemblance […]
Today, on the anniversary of the United Nation’s (UN) adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), we celebrate the fundamental freedoms enshrined in that declaration and continue our work to ensure that all people are able to exercise these rights without fear of persecution or arrest […]
The Uzbek government should unconditionally release all of its political prisoners on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the country’s constitution on December 8, 2012, human rights groups said today. Freeing the country’s many political prisoners would demonstrate a genuine commitment to Uzbekistan’s much-touted reform process, the groups said. […]
Washington, D.C.: Today, Freedom Now filed a petition on behalf of jailed Jehovah’s Witnesses Juma Nazarov, Navruz Nasyrlaev, Zafar Abdullaev, and Mahmud Hudaybergenov, with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Freedom Now is seeking an opinion from the Working Group that the Turkmen government’s detention of Messrs. Nazarov, Nasyrlaev, Abdullaev, and Hudaybergenov is in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights […]
On behalf of Juma Nazarov, Navruz Nasyrlaev, Zafar Abdullaev, and Mahmud Hudaybergenov.
Washington, D.C.: Today, the law firm Woodley & McGillivary, in consultation with Freedom Now, submitted a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of imprisoned Vietnamese labor organizers Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung. […]
Filed by Woodley & McGillivary in consultation with Freedom Now.
Washington, DC: Today, the below letter was sent to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn by 29 media and human rights organizations, including Freedom Now, calling on him to remove arbitrary restrictions on the rights of freedom of expression and association in Ethiopia […]
Today, the Government of Bahrain sentenced prominent human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja to life in prison following a retrial of his case in civilian court on security-related charges. In response to a petition filed by Freedom Now, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion in its most recent session that the Bahraini government’s detention of Mr. al-Khawaja is arbitrary and a violation of international law. The UN Working Group—an independent panel of human rights experts from around the world – calls on the Bahrain government to release Mr. al-Khawaja.
Finding Abdulhadi al-Khawaja's imprisonment in violation of international law and calling for his immediate release.
Washington, D.C.: Today, Freedom Now filed a petition on behalf of jailed Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Freedom Now seeks a legal opinion from the Working Group that the Ethiopian government’s detention of Mr. Nega is in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights […]
Submitted by Freedom Now on behalf of Eskinder Nega.
Washington, DC: Today, the Ethiopian government sentenced journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega to 18 years in prison on terrorism charges after he published articles and publicly commented on the possibility of an Arab Spring-like movement occurring in Ethiopia […]
Today the below statement was issued by 10 media and human rights organizations, including Freedom Now, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Media Legal Defence Initiative, and the PEN American Center, condemning the conviction of Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega on terrorism charges […]
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) expresses its deep concern regarding the alarming state of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan, which has significantly worsened in the weeks since the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Baku in May 2012 […]
Today, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan ordered that Bakhtiyar Hajiyev be released nine months before the completion of his sentence. The court released Mr. Hajiyev early for good behavior; however, the release is conditional and he may not leave the country for nine months […]
While we were celebrating Memorial Day this past Monday, Mr. Salijon Abdurakhmanov, an outspoken journalist from Uzbekistan, spent his 62nd birthday in prison colony 64/61 in Karshi city far away from his family and friends. Mr. Abdurakhmanov is an independent journalist known for his […]
It should be about the performances. But, it isn’t. It’s European politics at its most flamboyant. And this show has been a curious reflection of regional politics since 1956.
This election year, Americans are reminded and fatigued at how the campaign season drives rifts between various groups in the country. Wouldn’t you love instead to live in a nation where the President is so universally beloved, he is elected with a 97 percent majority?
Today, a bipartisan group of five United States Senators, led by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) request that President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan help facilitate the release of imprisoned democracy activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev.
Urging Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to immediately release imprisoned democracy activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev.
Washington, D.C.: Today, a bipartisan group of 28 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, lead by Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and John Shimkus (R-IL), urged the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to move its 2014 World Championship from Minsk, Belarus. In the letter, attached, the members pointed to the “heightened crackdown on freedom of expression and association since the 2010 presidential election” and noted that…
Urging the International Ice Hockey Federation to Move Its 2014 World Championships from Minks, Belarus.
Washington, DC: Freedom Now has learned that prominent Uzbek journalist and human rights activist Dilmurod Saidov received a family visit on April 27, 2012 at special facility #36 where he is serving a twelve and a half year prison sentence. […]
May 3, 2012: Today, we celebrate World Press Freedom Day. We recognize the work of journalists, including our clients, who risk their personal safety and freedom to deliver news and shine a light on problems in their communities. World Press […]
Uzbekistan: 50th birthday in prison Today, Dilmurod Saidov is spending his 50th birthday in a prison work camp in Navoi, Uzbekistan. Over the course of the last year, the international community has watched, and debated, as relations between Uzbekistan and the […]
Bahrain’s Formula 1 is an insult to country’s democratic reformers (CNN) — “Unified: One nation in celebration” is the jubilant slogan of this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bahrain. The irony could not be harsher: while sports fans look […]
Today, four members of the United States Senate, including Senators Richard Durbin (D-Il), Robert Casey (D-PE), Marco Rubio (R-Fl), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) requested Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa to release longtime human rights advocate Abdulhadi al-Khawaja […]
Calling on Bahrain's Prime Minister al-Khalifa to release Mr. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja on urgent humanitarian grounds.
On Saturday April 14, imprisoned Belarusian opposition leader and former diplomat Andrei Sannikov was released from prison under a pardon. The following day, April 15, Mr. Sannikov’s former campaign aide, Zmister Bandarenka, was also released from prison. It is unclear if their early releases are subject to any restrictions.
Washington, DC: In response to a petition filed by Freedom Now and lawyers with the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has issued an opinion that the detention of Pierre Rodger Lambo Sandjo (a.ka. Lapiro de Mbanga) by the Government of Cameroon was arbitrary and a violation of international law.
Finding the detention of Mr. Mbanga a violation of international law.
On February 8, Mr. Abdulhadi Alkhawaja launched an open hunger strike to demand his release. Since that time, Mr. Alkhawaja’s health has deteriorated rapidly and it is believed that his condition is severe enough to be life threatening.
Submitted by Freedom Now calling for Abdulhadi Alkhawaja's release from prison.
Freedom Now mourns the passing of Dr. Luis Williams Pollo Rivera, who died February 12 from a heart attack. Dr. Pollo was a medical doctor arbitrarily imprisoned by Peruvian authorities since August 2003. Dr. Pollo’s funeral will be held today in Peru.
See “Human rights or security: A false choice”.
Philadelphia Inquirer Op-ed by Executive Director Maran Turner arguing that the United States should use its deepening relationship with Uzbekistan to promote human rights.
Washington, D.C.: In response to a petition filed by Freedom Now, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has issued an opinion that the detention of Akzam Turgunov by the Government of Uzbekistan is arbitrary and a violation of international law. The UN Working Group—an independent panel of human rights experts from around the world calls for his release.
Finding the detention of Mr. Turgunov a violation of international law.
London: Today, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi and Freedom Now released Opinion No. 21/2011 of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. In the opinion, the United Nations body declares that the detention of lawyer and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh is a violation of Iran’s obligations under international law and calls for her immediate release. Ms. Sotoudeh is serving six years in prison for her work for the Center for Human Rights Defenders, which was founded by Ms. Ebadi.
Wall Street Journal op-ed by Shirin Ebadi.
Finding the detention of Ms. Sotoudeh a violation of international law.
See, “Imprisoned in Belarus.”
The Washington Post op-ed by Irina Bogdanova commenting on the plight of her brother, Andrei Sannikov, who is a political prisoner in Belarus.
Washington, D.C.: Today, Zmister Bandarenka’s pro bono international legal team, which includes Freedom Now and lawyers with the international law firm Hogan Lovells, filed a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of the imprisoned Belarusian opposition leader. The team hopes to obtain an opinion from the UN Working Group that the Government of Belarus’ detention of Mr. Bandarenka is in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Freedom Now joins people around the world in mourning the passing of former Czech President, playwright, and dissident Václav Havel. Havel served as Freedom Now’s honorary co-chair since 2006, imbuing our work with the moral urgency of his personality.
Washington, DC: The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has issued its opinion that the Government of Indonesia is in violation of international law by detaining Filep Karma. The Working Group calls on the Government of Indonesia to immediately […]
See “Press Release: Freedom Now joins the United Nations and Thomson Reuters in launching the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Document Search website.”
Freedom Now is excited to announce the launch of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Document Search website – a free to use searchable database of legal case opinions. This searchable database is a joint pro bono effort between The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Freedom Now, and Thomson Reuters.
Washington, DC: The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finds Muhannad Al-Hassani’s imprisonment in violation of international law. Mr. Al-Hassani was released from prison as part of a general amnesty by the Syrian government on June 2, 2011. The Syrian […]
See “Joint letter to Secretary Clinton.”
Joint letter from Freedom Now and 19 other organizations calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to stand behind past statements and hold Uzbekistan accountable for its gross human rights violations.
See “Press Release: Freedom Now files Petition to United Nations on behalf of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja.”
On September 19, 2011, Freedom Now filed an urgent action petition with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja. Freedom Now hopes to obtain a legal opinion from the Working Group that the Bahraini government’s detention of Mr. Alkhawaja is in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
See “Some Straight Talk for a Washington Visitor.”
Huffington Post op-ed by Patrick Griffith of Freedom Now and Steve Swerdlow of Human Rights Watch calling on the United States to reinforce the message that it supports a democratic Uzbekistan that respects the rights of all its citizens during talks with the Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister in Washington.
A bipartisan group of 16 members of the United States Senate, led by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to urge the Vietnamese government to release longtime human rights advocate Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly.
Urging U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to engage personally with the Government of Vietnam on behalf of Father Ly.
A bipartisan group of 26 members of the United States House of Representatives, led by Reps. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and James Moran (D-VA) requested that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia release Papuan human-rights advocate Filep Karma.
Washington, D.C.: Yesterday, the Government of Vietnam arrested Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, a 65 year-old Catholic priest and prominent pro-democracy advocate. Authorities arrested Father Ly at 2:30 p.m. at his home in Hue, ending one-year and four-months of temporary medical parole. Father Ly continues to be in very ill health. He has suffered three strokes and has been under medical care for a brain tumor.
Listen to “When Regimes Don’t Let Lawyers Do Their Jobs.”
NPR Interview with Freedom Now President Jared Genser about Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's case.
Listen to “Bahraini Sentence to Life, Daughter Speaks Out.”
Maryum Al-Khawaja, daughter of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, speaks to NPR about her father's case.
Washington, D.C.: It was confirmed today that the Government of Syria released prisoner of conscience Muhannad Al-Hassani from his wrongful imprisonment. Mr. Al-Hassani’s release was part of a general amnesty release on June 2, 2011. The government had held Mr. Al-Hassani since July 28, 2009, when the Syrian General Intelligence Service arrested him for “weakening national sentiment.”
Announcing the release of Muhannad Al-Hassani
See “A chance to deal Belarus’s dictator a blow.”
Washington Post highlights imprisonment of Freedom Now client Andrei Sannikov and urges Obama Administration to press for release of political prisoners.
Washington, D.C.: Today, a group of 4 members of the German Bundestag, the national Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany, urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to raise the cases of Freedom Now client Azkam Turgunov and 12 other imprisoned human rights defenders in her government’s interactions with Uzbekistan.
Urging Chancellor Angela Merkel to Raise the Cases of Akzam Turgunov and 12 Other Imprisoned Human Rights Defenders.
Urging Chancellor Angela Merkel to Raise the Cases of Akzam Turgunov and 12 Other Imprisoned Human Rights Defenders.
Washington, DC: Today, the Cameroonian government released musician and social activist Lapiro de Mbanga from New Bell prison, known in Cameroon as “hell on earth” because of its notoriously harsh conditions and overcrowding.
“We are relieved that the Cameroonian government has finally ended Lapiro’s unjust imprisonment and has released him,” said Maran Turner, Executive Director of Freedom Now. “After three years in prison, he can finally be at home with his family. I call on the government to cease its harassment of Lapiro and his family and allow him to continue to inspire the Cameroonian people with his music.”
See “Freedom Now Executive Delivers Keynote at CBU Conference.”
Caper Times Editorial by Lucy MacDonald.
Havana, Cuba / Washington, D.C. / Miami, FL: Óscar Elías Biscet González’s release from prison in Cuba today is celebrated by the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom Now, who are joined by supporters of human rights and democracy around the world. Dr. Biscet, a noted advocate for human rights and democratic freedoms in his native Cuba, had been arrested in late 2002 for merely exercising basic civil liberties, convicted on sham charges, and was serving a 25-year prison sentence.
Washington, D.C.: Today, the Government of Syria released prisoner of conscience Haitham Al-Maleh, an 80-year old Syrian human rights lawyer and activist, from his wrongful imprisonment. The government had held Mr. Al-Maleh since October 14, 2009, when it arrested and charged him with “spreading false news that could weaken the national morale.” Mr. Al-Maleh’s friend and fellow human rights lawyer, Muhannad Al-Hassani, however, remains in prison after being arrested on similar charges on July 28, 2009.
See “Zimbabwe: No Bail for Gwisai.”
The Herald article by Tendai Rupapa reporting that Zimbabwe Judge Dismisses Charges Against 39 of 45 Accused of Treason for Watching Videos of Egypt and Tunisia Protests, Six Held for Trial on March 21st.
GENEVA (1 March 2011) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed deep concern Tuesday about the continuing illegal detention and reported ill-treatment of 45 members of civil society in Zimbabwe, who have allegedly been charged with treason for discussing events in Egypt and Tunisia. She also called for their speedy release.
Washington – Freedom Now announced today it has been retained by Munyaradzi Gwisai and 44 other human-rights activists, who have been charged with treason by the unity government of Zimbabwe, to serve as their international counsel. It immediately filed a petition to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, on their behalf.
See “Attack on a Diplomat Shows Vietnam’s Contempt for Human Rights.”
Washington Post Op-Ed by former Freedom Now client Nguyen Dan Que commenting on the attack against a U.S. diplomat in Vietnam after the diplomat attempted to visit former Freedom Now client Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly.
See “Uzbekistan: Washington Must Stand Up for Democracy.”
EurasiaNet op-ed by Patrick Griffith Calling on the United States to stand up for democracy in Uzbekistan during Annual Bilateral Consultations in Tashkent.
See “A Tale of Two Burmas”
Refuting claims of real democratic reform in Burma and calling on the international community to support the legitimate aspirations of the Burmese People.
Washington, D.C. – Freedom Now and the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights are pleased to announce the nomination of Dr. Óscar Elías Biscet González for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Prime Minister of Hungary, members of the Parliament of Canada, members of the United States Congress, members of the European Parliament, members of the British House of Lords, and a leading member of another government.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention publicly released its opinion that the Government of Syria is in violation of international law by arresting and continuing to detain Haitham Al-Maleh. This opinion comes in response to a petition filed by Mr. Al-Maleh’s son, Iyas Maleh, who has retained Freedom Now and Hogan Lovells LLP as international pro bono counsel for his father. In its opinion, the Working Group calls on the Government of Syria to immediately release the human rights lawyer.
See “Kazakhstan: Central Asian States Should Fulfill OSCE-Mandated Rights Commitments.”
EurasiaNet Op-Ed by Maran Turner calling on OSCE member states to address human rights in Central Asia.
November 19, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maran Turner +1 646-596-5064 firstname.lastname@example.org Washington, D.C.: The Azerbaijani government released Emin Milli (Abdullayev), an Azeri human rights activist and social media blogger, from his wrongful imprisonment today. The government had wrongfully detained […]
November 18, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maran Turner +1 646-596-5064 email@example.com Washington, D.C.: The Azerbaijani government released Adnan Hajizade, an Azeri human rights activist and social media blogger, from his imprisonment today. The government has wrongfully detained Adnan along […]
See “Now We Must All Stand With The Lady.”
The Times Op-Ed by Jared Genser calling on the international community to support Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.
MEDIA RELEASE For Immediate Release November 13, 2010 Contact: Jared Genser +1 (202) 320-4135 firstname.lastname@example.org Washington, D.C.: Today, the Burmese junta released Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from her illegal house arrest. The junta has detained Suu Kyi for 15 […]
FIRST TEST FOR THE JUNTA WILL BE WHETHER IT FREES AUNG SAN SUU KYI ON NOVEMBER 13TH MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 4, 2010 Contact: Jared Genser +1 202.320.4135 email@example.com Washington, D.C. – On Sunday November 7, 2010, Burma […]
Join us in NYC, November 16, 2010: a conversation with Lapiro de Mbanga LIVE from prison in Cameroon. (Preview @ http://tiny.cc/xod7b). Freedom Now Executive Director, Maran Turner, to speak.
It will be a Top Chef All Stars Viewing Party with Master Chef Spike Mendelsohn at We, The Pizza from 9-11 pm tonight (December 1). Why so late? We’re watching Chef Spike Mendelsohn compete on the premiere of Bravo’s Top […]
Join us! December 1st for a premier-watching, pizza-eating evening with Master Chef Spike Mendelsohn @ We, the Pizza
See, “A charade the U.S. can’t play.”
Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by Jared Genser.
Washington, D.C. – Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of the National League for Democracy and the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, should be released immediately and unconditionally from her illegal house arrest; however, she must, under Burmese law, be released on November 13, 2010.
See “I’m an American,” Washingtonian Magazine, October 2010.
Washingtonian article by Marisa M. Kashino.
On August 17, 2010, former Freedom Now client Lewis Medjo began republishing his newspaper, La Détente Libre, just three months after being freed from Cameroon’s New Bell Prison. The publication, which the Cameroonian government shut down, was known for its […]
On June 16, 2010, Freedom Now announced the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had issued Opinion No. 12/2010 finding her to be held in violation of international law.
Freedom Now announced the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued Opinion No. 12/2010 finding Aung San Suu Kyi to be held in violation of international law.
Freedom Now President Jared Genser was awarded the 2010 Charles Bronfman Prize for his efforts on behalf of prisoners of conscience worldwide in his capacity as founder and president of Freedom Now. The Charles Bronfman Prize is a humanitarian award […]