Posts Tagged ‘release on bail’

Scholars at Risk supports photojournalist Dr. Shahidul Alam in Bangladesh

December 5, 2018

On 5 December 2018 Scholars at Risk expressed concern about the charges against Shahidul Alam, an intellectual and acclaimed photojournalist, who was just released on bail after over one hundred days in prison in apparent retaliation for his public comments on the widespread student protests in Bangladesh.

Dr. Alam is a world-renowned photographer and visiting professor at Sunderland University who has established notable photography and media institutions in Bangladesh, including the Drik Gallery, the Pathshala South Asian Media Academy, and Majority World. He is well-known for photographing significant political moments in Bangladesh since the 1980s.

On August 5, 2018, Dr. Alam spoke on Facebook Live and Al Jazeera about the ongoing student protests in Bangladesh that sought safer roads, following an incident in which a speeding bus killed two college students. Earlier that day, Dr. Alam was covering one of the protests when youth league members reportedly attacked him and a group of journalists. Referencing this incident, while speaking with Al Jazeera, Dr. Alam alleged that police hired armed individuals to violently attack student protesters. Hours after the interview, a group of thirty police officers reportedly raided Dr. Alam’s home, took him into custody, and interrogated him. They then charged him under section 57 of the International Communication and Technology Act (ICT Act) for electronically sharing material that “tends to deprave and corrupt” the public and causes “deterioration in law and order.” No evidence has been produced by the police in their investigation of Dr. Alam to support these charges.

On August 6, while police escorted Dr. Alam out of the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court following a hearing, Dr. Alam told reporters that police had beaten him while in custody. Dr. Alam received treatment at a hospital the following day by request of a court. On August 8, Dr. Alam was returned to jail and held for over one hundred days. On November 20, Dr. Alam was released on bail; however he still faces up to 14 years in prison based on charges under the ICT Act.

SAR asks for emails, letters, and faxes respectfully urging authorities to drop all charges against Dr. Alam that stem from his peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression; and, pending this, to ensure immediately his case is addressed in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, and detention, in accordance with Bangladesh’s obligations under international law.

On how to join the campaign see: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/50943/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=25660

Chinese human rights defender He Xiaobo released on bail but others jailed

April 8, 2016

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

reports that on 8 April 2016 that human rights defender He Xiaobo (not to be confused with Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo) was released on bail after over four months in custody in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. The workers’ rights campaigner had been detained on 3 December 2015 along with a number of colleagues and on 8 January he was formally charged with ’embezzlement’. Two other human rights defenders detained at that time, Zeng Feiyang and Meng Han remain in detention and are facing charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order”. He Xiaobo runs Nanfeiyan Social Work Service Centre, an NGO campaigning for compensation on behalf of workers who have been injured during the course of their work. The centre’s registration was rescinded in 2015. https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-he-xiaobo.

It is not a breakthrough in the treatment of human rights defenders in China (https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/the-plight-of-chinas-human-rights-lawyers-worsened/) but even small good news is welcome. On the other hand, also today Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD人权捍卫者‏@CHRDnet) reports that 6 human rights defenders collectively received 20.5 years in prison for exercising their rights to free speech, assembly and association

Sri Lanka releases prominent human rights defender on bail

March 11, 2015

<p>Tamil rights activist Balendran Jeyakumari (center) stands with supporters after being released on bail yesterday (Credit: ucanews.com) </p>

Tamil rights activist Balendran Jeyakumari (center) stands with supporters after being released on bail yesterday (Credit: ucanews.com)

So, maybe things are slowly changing in the right direction in Sri Lanka. On Tuesday 10 March, human rights defender, Balendran Jeyakumari, arrested 13  March last year,  was released on bail. [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/sri-lanka-release-of-mr-ruki-fernando-and-rev-praveen-mahesan/]

Read the rest of this entry »

Human rights defender Shireen Essawi goes on hunger strike against trial postponement

May 18, 2014

Shireen Essawi holding a photograph of her brother Samer

On 8 May 2014 human rights defender and lawyer Ms Shireen Essawi began a hunger strike after learning of the postponement of her trial for nine months and a day. She is charged with cooperating with actors who are working against the state of Israel. Shireen Essawi is a human rights lawyer who has participated in monitoring and documenting human rights violations committed against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, especially children, women, and prisoners from the Gaza Strip. The human rights defender also reported on practices adopted by Israeli authorities for Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails that she believes violate human rights, such as preventing visits by lawyers.

The postponement of her trial on 7 May 2014 follows several court appearances by the human rights defender since her arrest on 6 March 2014. It is reported that under Israeli law, a trial may be suspended and detention can continue upon the condition that a final judgment and sentence is issued within nine months and a day of the adjournment. Shireen Essawi began her hunger strike out of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, and has declared she will continue it in protest at the adjournment of her trial. The human rights defender was arrested at her home in Jerusalem as part of a wave of arrests targeting lawyers. Her colleagues have since been released on bail, pending trials.

Front Line Defenders expresses its concern at the postponement of the trial and continued detention of Shireen Essawi, which is solely related to her peaceful and legitimate human rights work, in particular concerning the rights of Palestinians and Arab Israelis.

via: http://palsolidarity.org/2014/05/hunger-strike-by-human-rights-defender-ms-shireen-essawi-as-trial-postponed-by-one-year/

Helping the police in Kenya can cost you dearly – human rights defender John Abok experienced it

June 30, 2013

On 27 June 2013, human rights defender John Abok was arrested and held in police custody over allegations of impersonation. Read the rest of this entry »

update: Abdullah Fairouz in Kuwait released on bail on 15 April 2013

April 15, 2013

Having just reported on his trial, it is fair to add that today we were informed byFrontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedthat human rights defender Abdullah Fairouz was released on bail on 15 April 2013 upon payment of 200 Kuwait Dinars (approximately €536).  A court date has yet to be set.  During his detention period, Abdullah Fairouz was not permitted access to his lawyer including during interrogation. The human rights defender reported that police officers insulted him whilst in detention.

 For more information on this case see the urgent appeal <http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/22298>  concerning his arrest on 11 April 2013.

Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda temporarily freed in Bahrain

January 21, 2013

In an earlier post of 18 December I reported that  Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda was detained (again). After the arrest of most leaders, he was one of the few left to continue the work of the courageous group, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, and came to Geneva in October last year to represent the NGO as 2012 nominee of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.newlogo MEA

A court in Bahrain on Thursday released him on bail pending trial for charges of spreading false news to harm security, according to Amnesty International. Al-Muhafda is scheduled to appear in court on January 29 2013 when witnesses are expected to testify. In view of earlier experience with HRDs on trial in Bahrain one should not expect too much.