Human Rights Updates

Latest News

By Christy Hargesheimer, Nebraska resident and Nebraska State Death Penalty Action Coordinator for Amnesty International USA

Wow, who would have thought it possible? Red-state Nebraska (with a few purple splotches) actually has repealed the death penalty by voting to override the Governor’s veto! And who were the people responsible for finally pushing this through? A strong coalition of abolitionists, plus some unlikely suspects, that’s who.

At this weekend’s Forbidden Fruit Festival in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Amnesty International Ireland activists will be campaigning on SOS Europe - we will be asking festival goers to support our calls all countries in the European Union, including Ireland, to act to save refugee and migrant lives at sea.

Moses Akatugba was 16 years old when his life changed for ever. He was arrested for stealing mobile phones and tortured. His finger and toe nails were pulled out with pliers and he was shot in the hand. He had a ‘confession’ beaten out of him. The pain and fear he must have gone through is unimaginable. Things got worse.

Good News

Five women rights activists detained after planning events to mark International Women’s Day were released on bail on 13 April. This follows a huge outcry about their detention both in China and internationally, which it is believed played a major role in their release.  


Saudi Arabian women drivers Loujain al-Hathloul and Maysaa al-Amoudi were released on 12 February after spending 10 weeks in detention.

Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez, imprisoned after losing her pregnancy in 2007 in El Salvador, has been released from prison. Guadalupe who was 18 years old when she was jailed and sentenced to 30 years in prison after suffering a miscarriage. She was accused of having an abortion, which is outlawed in any circumstance in El Salvador.
“Those seven years were very long for me,'' said Guadalupe.

Act Now

Shafqat Hussain, a Pakistani man who was just 14 years old in 2004 when he was sentenced to death, is at risk of being executed. 

Eight Roma familes are at risk of being forcibly evicted from their homes in Eforie, in south-east Romania. 

When Wafae Charaf and Oussama Housne dared to speak out about being abducted and tortured, they were imprisoned for “false reporting” of torture. They must be released now.