We’ve got news, great news!
We’ve been hit with such good news and updates since the beginning of this year… We simply had to round it all up! So here are just 10 of the many successes Amnesty International’s members have contributed to.
1. Myanmar: Phyoe Phyoe Aung
Phyoe Phyoe Aung, who was detained in Myanmar after helping to organise largely peaceful student protests, has finally been released more than one year on. Amnesty supporters across the world wrote more than 394,000 letters, emails, tweets and more for Phyoe Phyoe Aung during Write for Rights.
2. Philippines: Jerryme Corre
© Amnesty International
In a historic ruling by a Philippines court, a police officer was convicted of torturing bus driver Jerryme Corre. This plants a seed of hope that the tide may be turning against impunity for perpetrators of torture.
This victory comes after a three-year campaign by Amnesty International to #StopTorture.
3. Egypt: Mahmoud Hussein
20-year-old Mahmoud Hussein was released from prison in Egypt after spending more than two years behind bars for wearing an anti-torture t-shirt. He had been tortured while in detention and forced into signing a confession.
“Thanks to Amnesty International, and all those who work in it. Because of your solidarity, I am free now. And I dream of a nation without torture. When your letters arrived for me, I felt strength and safety. Persist in your solidarity with all prisoners of conscience.”
4. Iran: Atena Farghadani
© Justice for Iran
Artist Atena Farghadani’s release is a long-overdue step towards righting the injustice against her. She was released after her an appeal court in Tehran dramatically reduced her original 12-years and nine months sentence to 18 months, most of which she had already served.
5. Azerbaijan: 10 prisoners of conscience released
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree ordering the release of 148 prisoners, including 10 prisoners of conscience. The prisoners released included human rights and opposition activists, members of a pro-democracy youth movement and a journalist imprisoned on politically motivated charges.
6. Norway: Historic breakthrough for transgender rights
The Norwegian Ministry of Health proposed key legal reforms which could change the lives of transgender people in Norway for generations. The proposals would allow individuals to self-determine their gender.
7. Central African Republic: Historic step forward for victims of sexual violence
The former Congolese vice-president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, was found guilty by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of using sexual violence as a tool of war. It was a historic moment in the battle for justice for victims of sexual violence in the Central African Republic and around the world.
8. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Karadžić found guilty of Srebrenica genocide
Former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadžić was found guilty of genocide and other crimes under international law. A UN Court convicted Karadžić of genocide in relation to the massacre in Srebrenica, where more than 7,000 Bosnian men and boys were killed. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison..
9. Myanmar: Unity 5
Five media workers from the Unity newspaper in Myanmar have been released following a Presidential pardon. The good news came after months of campaigning for the ‘Unity 5’ from Amnesty International members and supporters across the world.
10. UN Security Council adopts crucial resolution to protect civilians in conflict
Early this year, we asked Amnesty supporters to take action, calling on the UN Security Council to prioritise the protection of civilians. A resolution put forward by by several elected UNSC members including New Zealand, Spain and Japan was unanimously adopted by the Council to bring an end to attacks on hospitals and aid workers in conflict zones.
This important resolution comes amid continuing reports of attacks on hospitals and high numbers of civilian casualties, including children, in countries like Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.