2010 success stories
From women standing up for the rights of a nine-year-old girl in Nicaragua to bloggers lampooning the Azerbaijani government on YouTube we have seen a number of successes this year to be really proud of.
Below are a few of our highlights from 2010 and if you were one of the 2,300 people who took action for these cases, thank you. You’ve made a real difference.
Women’s Human Rights Defenders
In April nine human rights defenders from Nicaragua received formal notification that an investigation against them had been closed.
The women, Ana Maria Pizarro, Juanita Jiménez, Lorna Norori, Luisa Molina Arguello, Marta María Blandón, Martha Mungia, Mayra Sirias, Violeta Delgado and Yamileth Mejía, had spent the previous two-and-a-half years in a legal limbo after a complaint had been lodged against them in connection with their support of a nine-year-old girl who had obtained a legal abortion after being raped.
Convicted of treason
In July, peaceful protester Yusak Pakage from Indonesia was released from prison having served half of his 10 year sentence. In 2005 he was charged with treason after he protested against the detention of Filep Karma who had attended an annual ceremony advocating Papuan independence from Indonesia.
Cuban journalist freed
Also in July Cuban journalist Pablo Pacheco Avila was released from prison and transferred to Spain. Pablo had been arrested in March 2003 during a severe crackdown on the dissident movement in Cuba, and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. Pablo’s release came after a five year campaign and a huge build up of international pressure on Cuba.
Opposition leader released
In October Ethiopian opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa was released from prison, after serving nearly two years of a life sentence. Over half of all UK MEPs took up her case with the European Commission after people from around the country called on their local MEP to push for her release.
Imprisoned for making fun
In November Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade were released from prison in Azerbaijan after serving 16 months of their respective 30 month and 24 month prison sentences for ‘hooliganism’.
The two bloggers had been arrested just over a week after Adnan Hajizade posted a video critical of the Azerbaijani government on YouTube.
Despite this good news, their release was only conditional.
Not over yet
If you haven’t done so already, it’s not too late to take part in the Greetings Card Campaign. Sending a card with a simple, personal message means so much to people facing human rights abuses. It could be the most important card you send this year.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.