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Good News for March 2013


Mao Henfeng, China
Mao, a human rights defender, was allowed to leave police detention on 8th February. The Chinese authorities issued a notice allowing the rest of her "re-education through labour" term at home. She thanks all those who campaigned on her behalf. Her husband believes this was due to international and domestic pressure, while authorities were also reluctant to continue her RTL programme due to her poor health. She is now resting at home. She had been arrested for disturbing the peace, by commemorating the late petitioner Teng Jingdi. She was held in solitary confinement, in a dark windowless cell, and not given access to clean water until her health deteriorated. She has very high blood pressure and has experienced sever headaches during her detention.
Bouavanh Chanmanivong, Laos
One of three "October 26th" protesters, has now been released although the other two have been sentenced to prison until 2019. He had been held for over 13 years for organising a peaceful protest in the capital, Vientiane .
Sri Lanka Tamils, from Channel 4 News
On 27th Feb our High Court blocked the deportation of dozens of Tamils to Sri Lanka, in a decision their barrister called "unprecedented and precedent-setting". The Judge's decision followed an admission by the UK Border Agency that at least 15 deportees had been tortured. This coincides with a Human Rights Watch report documenting 75 accounts of sexual abuse against imprisoned Tamils inside Sri Lanka. Their government dismissed the report as 'lies' and 'rubbish'.


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