Tag Archives: political prisoners

Hong Kong: Court overturns jail sentences for activists

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Three prominent Hong Kong democracy activists have won an appeal in the territory’s highest court against jail sentences relating to the 2014 ‘umbrella movement’ protests, but were warned that future acts of civil disobedience would be dealt with harshly. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were given prison terms ranging from six to eight months in August on charges of ‘unlawful assembly’ for staging a demonstration that sparked 11 weeks of sit-ins in 2014 calling for greater democracy. A five-judge panel at the court of final appeal said those sentences applied a new standard ‘retroactively,’ and overturned the prison terms. But speaking for the court, the chief justice, Geoffrey Ma, said ‘elements of disorder or violence must be deterred,’ and ‘fully endorsed’ harsher sentences for protests in the future.” (02/06/18)


Maldives: Yameen declares state of emergency, has Supreme Court judges abducted

Source: Malta Today [Malta]

“Maldives president, Abdulla Yameen, has declared a state of emergency as heavily armed troops stormed the country’s top court. The country’s chief justice of the Supreme Court and a former president were arrested as the political crisis worsens in the Indian Ocean nation. Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after the government declared a state of emergency. The country receded into chaos on Thursday, when the supreme court called for the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, ruling that their trails were politically motivated and flawed.” (02/06/18)


UK: Judge will rule on Assange’s bid to end his unlawful political detention

Source: ABC News

“A British judge is scheduled to rule Tuesday on Julian Assange’s bid to force Britain to drop a warrant for his arrest, a development that would remove a substantial legal hurdle to his leaving the Ecuadorean Embassy in London that has been his refuge for more than five years. … Assange’s legal team argued in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Jan. 26 that a U.K. arrest warrant for Assange should be dropped. Lawyer Mark Summers said the warrant had ‘lost its purpose and its function’ since it’s related to a sex crimes investigation against Assange in Sweden that has ended without him being charged with wrongdoing. Swedish authorities are no longer pursuing Assange, but he still faces arrest in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.” (02/05/18)


“Treatment we associate with regimes we revile as unjust …”

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“On January 29, US District Judge Katherine B. Forrest ordered the release of immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir from pre-deportation detention. … ‘It ought not to be — and it has never before been — that those who have lived without incident in this country for years are subjected to treatment we associate with regimes we revile as unjust, regimes where those who have long lived in a country may be taken without notice from streets, home, and work. And sent away. We are not that country; and woe be the day that we become that country under a fiction that laws allow it. The Constitution commands better.’ Where, I wonder, was Forrest’s devotion to the Constitution when she sentenced Ross Ulbricht to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2015?” (01/30/18)


Russia: Navalny arrested during protests

Source: CNN

“Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested during anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow on Sunday, as rallies continue nationwide. ‘I’ve been detained. This doesn’t matter. Come to Tverskaya (Street). You are not going there for me, it’s for you and your future,’ Navalny tweeted after his arrest. Within minutes of arriving at Pushkinskaya Square, where hundreds of protesters had gathered, Navalny was wrestled into a patrol van by police, in dramatic footage posted on Youtube. Moscow Police said Navalny taken to a police station for arraignment and to be charged for illegally organizing a protest. If found guilty, he faces 30 days in detention and a fine.” (01/28/18)


UK: Julian Assange’s health in “dangerous” condition, say doctors

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Julian Assange’s long stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is having a ‘dangerous’ impact on his physical and mental health, according to clinicians who carried out the most recent assessments of him. The pair renewed calls for the WikiLeaks publisher to be granted safe passage to a London hospital. Sondra Crosby, a doctor and associate professor at the Boston University’s school of medicine and public health, and Brock Chisholm, a London-based consultant clinical psychologist, examined Assange for 20 hours over three days in October. … The UK government refused an earlier request to allow Assange safe passage for hospital treatment. A fall-back position would be to allow doctors with the necessary medical equipment into the embassy, but the size of the equipment needed appears to rule out this option.” [editor’s note: There’s a simple solution to this, and that is to make it very clear to the UK regime figures responsible for Assange’s political imprisonment that THEIR continued health is inextricably linked to HIS continued health so long as that imprisonment continues – TLK] (01/24/18)


Sudan: Regime releases Reuters, AFP journalists

Source: Reuters

“Sudanese authorities on Monday released a Reuters journalist and an Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter who were detained while covering protests in Khartoum on Wednesday last week. Reuters regained contact with its Sudanese reporter, Khalid Abdelaziz, on Monday evening for the first time since before his arrest. He said he had not been mistreated, and was released alongside the AFP reporter and another local journalist. No charges were filed against the reporters, who were detained in Khartoum’s Kobar prison. ‘We are extremely relieved that Reuters reporter Khalid Abdelaziz has been released from detention in Khartoum,’ a Reuters spokesperson said.” (01/22/18)


TX: Adam Kokesh files for Libertarian presidential nomination, is arrested after illegal drug search

Source: Reason

“Adam Kokesh, longtime anarcho-libertarian activist who first came to public prominence with Iraq Veterans Against the War in 2007 and was later a big Ron Paul supporter, today filed the paperwork necessary to officially seek the U.S. presidency. He is hoping for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination. He also had his RV pulled over twice by Texas police, and was arrested the second time. … A video of the second pullover that led to the arrest can be found on Facebook (and is embedded below). It shows highway patrol officers instructing Kokesh to shut off his camera at the point a police dog, off-camera, was said to have ‘alerted’ to the RV.” (01/16/18)


Ecuador grants citizenship to Assange in bid to end London embassy standoff

Source: Washington Post

“Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the South American nation’s foreign minister announced Thursday, in a bid to resolve an ‘unsustainable’ situation at its embassy in London, where Assange sought refuge more than five years ago. But a standoff with British authorities continued, as the Foreign Office rejected an Ecuadoran request that it grant diplomatic status to Assange, insisting instead that the Australian national ‘leave the embassy to face justice.’ Ecuador’s foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, subsequently said that Assange would not leave the embassy in the absence of security guarantees.” (01/11/18)


Private prison continues to send ICE abductees to solitary confinement for refusing voluntary [sic] labor

Source: The Intercept
by Spencer Woodman

“Officials at a privately [sic] run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia locked an immigrant detainee in solitary confinement last November as punishment for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in a labor program that ICE says is strictly voluntary. Shoaib Ahmed, a 24-year-old who immigrated to America to escape political persecution in Bangladesh, told The Intercept that the privately run detention center placed him in isolation for 10 days after an officer overheard him simply saying ‘no work tomorrow.’ Ahmed said he was expressing frustration over the detention center — run by prison contractor CoreCivic — having delayed his weekly paycheck of $20 for work in the facility’s kitchen.” (01/11/18)