“Days after release of the Istanbul 10 human rights defenders, the arrest of Osman Kavala shows that the government is intent on continuing the crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society,”
Two leaders of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition party have reportedly been detained, along with six party deputies.
“At night in Ankara police detained the party’s chairwoman Figen Yuksekdag, the door was broken during the storming of the house,” said a representative of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
“Half an hour later, [chairman] Selahattin Demirtas was detained.”
At least six other HDP deputies were also apprehended as part of a “counter-terrorism” investigation, the representative added. Some reports suggest as many as 15 HDP members have been detained
The case of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who died in police custody on April 19, 2015 — now ruled a homicide — has raised a number of questions about the treatment of racial minorities within the criminal justice system, as well as about patterns of arrest-related deaths more generally.
The Baltimore Sun‘s 2014 investigation of these issues in that city revealed that “over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil rights violations.” Other outlets, such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have pursued similar investigations in their region. Still, it remains unclear how much these stark events and figures are characteristic of larger patterns across American society.
Eight people working in Iran’s fashion industry have been arrested and formally charged in an industry wide crackdown led by the Revolutionary Guards. Cases have also been opened on another 29 people, and most of the 170 fashion industry workers who have been targeted during the past six months have also been interrogated, an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“This kind of stifling and intimidation will only deprive Iranians of the cultural and artistic vitality that is rightfully theirs and further alienate the country’s youth,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“The Revolutionary Guards’ assault on Iran’s fashion industry testifies to the fear of hardliners who try to control every aspect of people’s lives and squash any visible challenge to their narrow world view,” said Ghaemi.
The prominent Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi has been sentenced to serve ten years of a 16-year prison sentence, for her work defending human and women’s rights in Iran.
Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Mohammadi to ten years in prison for “membership in the [now banned] Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty,” five years for “assembly and collusion against national security,” and one year for “propaganda against the state,” theDefenders of Human Rights Center announced on May 18, 2016.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls on the Islamic Republic to immediately release the unlawfully imprisoned Narges Mohammadi and end the years of suffering she has unjustly endured behind bars.
Azerbaijani authorities are using spurious drug charges to pursue long prison sentences against two youth activists, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges apparently are in retaliation for painting graffiti on a monument. The authorities should immediately free them and investigate credible allegations that they were ill-treated in police custody.
Giyas Ibrahimov, 22, and Bayram Mammadov, 21, were detained on May 10, 2016. On May 12, the Khatai district court ordered them held in pretrial detention for four months. The men were denied access to their lawyer until shortly before the May 12 hearing. During the hearing, the men described abuse and ill-treatment in police custody and the court agreed to investigate the allegations. If convicted they face up to 12 years in prison and confiscation of property.
“Azerbaijan has a sad history of fabricating drug charges against youth activists to intimidate them and deter others from following suit,” said Giorgi Gogia, South Caucasus director at Human Rights Watch. “Ibrahimov and Mammadov are the latest blatant examples of this government tactic to suppress dissent.”
A 60-year-old former CIA officer who was on vacation at the time the US spy agency abducted an innocent man in Italy may be the only person to face prison time for the American torture regime.
On Wednesday, former CIA spy Sabrina De Sousa will be handed over to Italian authorities to serve a prison sentence for her role in helping to seize a terror suspect 13 years ago.
In February 2003, Egyptian cleric and terror suspect Abu Omar was abducted from the streets of Milan as part of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. On the day in question, De Sousa was on vacation with her son on the ski slopes of Northern Italy over 185 miles (300 kilometers) away.