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Aliou Sané

Aliou Sané

Senegal/ Detained October 5, 2023

UPDATE: Aliou Sané was released on February 15, 2024, after four months in prison.

On October 5, Aliou Sané, coordinator of the Y’en a Marre Movement and deputy coordinator of the Forces Vives de la Nation (F24) platform, was arrested at his home by Dakar Central Police’s urban security force. The arrest took place based on a detention warrant previously issued against him.

Mr. Sané was originally arrested on May 28 while trying to reach the home of opposition figure Ousmane Sonko, who had been prevented from leaving his residency and was later sentenced to two years in prison. Mr. Sané was charged with participating in an “undeclared demonstration” and disturbing the public order. At the time of the arrest, he was on his way to visit Mr. Sonko’s house as part of the delegation of F24.

While Mr. Sané was granted bail after 5 days in detention, the public prosecutor referred the case to the Indictments Division of the Dakar High Court to have the decision overturned. According to Mr. Sané’s lawyer, on July 25, the Indictment Division of the Dakar High Court decided to follow the prosecution and order the detention of Mr. Sané, it is in the execution of this warrant that Mr. Sané has been arrested.

Senegalese civil society organizations call on the authorities to respect their international human rights obligations by immediately and unconditionally releasing Mr. Sané and all other people who have been detained while exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The World Movement for Democracy stands in solidarity with Aliou Sané and calls for his immediate release.

Vladimir Kara-Murza

Vladimir Kara-Murza

On April 17, 2023, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a leading independent voice in Russia, journalist, and historian was sentenced to 25 years in prison for criticizing the Putin regime and its war in Ukraine. His trial was held behind closed doors. Kara-Murza was arrested outside his home in Moscow on April 11, 2022, on charges of disobeying the police. He was later charged with spreading false information about the Russian Army and in October of 2022, additional charges of treason were introduced against him. While in detention, Kara-Murza’s health has significantly deteriorated, and he has suffered from polyneuropathy caused by two near-fatal poisoning attacks in Russia in 2015 and 2017. Kara-Murza’s detention is part of a widespread campaign by the Putin regime to silence independent voices and crack down on civil society and the media in Russia.

Vladimir Kara-Murza has been politically active since the early 2000s. While working for various newspapers and earning his master’s degree in history from Cambridge University, Kara-Murza joined the Open Russia Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes civil society and democracy in Russia. In 2012, he was elected to the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition and served as deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party from 2015 to 2016. In 2018, Kara-Murza was awarded the Civil Courage Prize and in 2022 he was awarded the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.

The World Movement for Democracy joins the growing international call for the immediate release of Mr. Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Seymur Hazi (Haziyev)

Seymur Hazi (Haziyev)

AZERBAIJAN / Detained August 29, 2014

Seymur Hazi (or Haziyev) an Azerbaijani journalist, a reporter for the newspaper Azadliq, a leading anchor for opposition satellite Azerbaijan Saati (Azerbaijani Hour) TV program and a senior politician with the Front Party of Azerbaijan. He is accused of hooliganism. Authorities said that while waiting for a bus on his way to work, Hazi attacked and beat a Baku resident. In January, 2015 he was sentenced to five years in jail. Lend your voice and share a solidarity tweet to help #SetThemFree!


Nabeel Rajab

Nabeel Rajab

©2011 Conor McCabe. Some Rights Reserved.


Nabeel Rajab is a prominent human rights defender and President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR). On February 21, 2018, Bahrain authorities sentenced Rajab to five years in prison for his criticism on Twitter of Bahrain’s prison conditions and for condemning Saudi Arabia’s role in the war in Yemen.   

UPDATE: Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights lawyer and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was conditionally released from a Bahraini prison on June 9, 2020. Rajab was arrested in 2016 for televised interviews with the international press during which he discussed Bahrain’s human rights abuses. After already serving for two years, Bahrain’s Criminal Court sentenced Rajab to five-years in prison for his tweets criticizing Bahrain’s prison conditions and condemning Saudi Arabia’s role in the war in Yemen. Rajab will now complete the rest of his prison sentence under house arrest, which is allowed under a 2017 law which states that detainees can complete “alternative” sentences after they have served half of their sentence in prison.

On January 10, 2019, Bahrain rejected a call by the United Nation’s Human Rights Office to free the prominent human rights defender saying that Rajab’s “false tweets” were not protected by his right of freedom of expression. On January 15, 2019, Rajab was informed that all future family visits would be conducted through a glass wall – a procedure normally reserved for violent criminals because of its large psychological impact on the prisoner. Rajab recently lost his appeal to Bahrain’s Supreme Court against his five-year jail term on December 31, 2018.

Nabeel Rajab is a prominent human rights defender and President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR). On February 21, 2018, Bahrain authorities sentenced Rajab to five years in prison for his criticism on Twitter of Bahrain’s prison conditions and for condemning Saudi Arabia’s role in the war in Yemen. He was convicted of “disseminating false rumors in a time of war,” “offending a foreign country,” and “insulting a statutory body.” The international community has condemned his sentencing, but there are serious concerns about his health, which has steadily worsened while in jail.

A frequent target of state-sponsored harassment, Rajab was earlier arrested in October 2014 for “insulting the Ministries of Interior and Defense” for a series of Twitter posts in which he accused Bahraini security forces of cooperating with the Islamic State. He was released on bail, but was quickly arrested on new charges concerning Twitter posts about torture practices in Jaw Prison. On June 13, 2016, Bahrain authorities arrested and detained Rajab for the third time since 2014. Nabeel’s health deteriorated during this term, and on several occasions, he was denied medical treatment for his heart condition.

Shortly after this arrest, it came to light that Rajab’s charges were related to his televised interviews with the international press about Bahrain’s human rights abuses, as well as his Twitter posts. Bahrain sentenced him to two years in prison on July 10, 2017. Rajab was charged with making “false or malicious” comments against government authorities and was sentenced in absentia, as he was too ill to attend the hearing and remained in the hospital. His most recent charges were brought against him as a separate case, solely concerning his Twitter commentary. This trial was postponed 20 times, and many feel court procedures were violated by failing to give Rajab’s lawyers enough opportunity to defend him.

On June 5 2018, a Bahraini appeals court ruled that the 5-year prison sentence against human rights activist Nabeel Rajab would be upheld. Rajab himself did not attend the hearing, but his defense team emphasized that due process requirements had been violated. Rajab can now only appeal to Bahrain’s Court of Cassation or be pardoned by Bahrain’s king, Hamad bin Isa Khalifa.

Human rights organizations have united through online campaigns to mobilize support for Rajab, and several members of the European Union and other government leaders have issued statements for his release. Human rights activist and son of Rajab, Adam Nabeel Rajab, recently said: “My father is sacrificing himself to see a country which respects human rights, and he is happy to do that. I’m not exaggerating when I say he is unbreakable.” The European Union (EU) spoke out against Rajab’s sentence in a statement and called for his release, a request later echoed by both the United Nations, the government of Norway, and several civil society organizations.