Amnesty Feminists

Update May 2021

Nazarin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

On 26th April, Nazarin was sentenced to another year in prison on the baseless charge of ‘propaganda against the regime’ and a one year travel ban after that.

Loujain a-Hathloul

In December 2020, Loujain a-Hathloul was sentenced to five years and eight months for peacefully campaigning for an end to the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia; she also fought for women’s right to drive.  She was convicted of trumped-up charges including ‘spying with foreign parties’ and ‘conspiring against the system’. She has since been released on strict probation conditions for two years and ten months and also faces a five year travel ban.

Despite her release from prison, Loujain is far from free.

There is more information on the Amnesty website along with a petition calling on the Saudi embassy to help quash Loujain’s sentence and to ensure her clams of torture in detention are investigated.  If you can, please sign and share this on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Nasrin Sotoudeh

The petition to free Human Rights Lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, is still on the Amnesty website. Please sign and share this if you can.

Positive news!

These five young women of colour are fighting climate change worldwide.

Leah Namugerwa:

Leah turned fifteen years old last August. To celebrate her birthday, she planted 200 trees to highlight environmental damage in country, Uganda. She is a Fridays for the Future activist and has led a campaign to persuade Kampala to ban plastic bags.

Artemisa Xakriaba:

Artemisa is nineteen years old and belongs to the Xakriaba people of Brazil. She represented more than 25 million indigenous people and traditional communities from The Global Alliance of Territorial Communities at the Global Climate Strike in New York. This alliance protects 600 million hectares of the Amazon Rainforest.

Autumn Peltier:

This fourteen year old Canadian indigenous activist is a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation and is  known for her clean water advocacy.

Isra Hirsi:

Isra is the 16 year old co-founder and executive director of US Youth Climate Strike. She focuses on intersectionality, drawing attention to the fact that people of colour are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change.

Ridhima Pandey:

Ridhima is eleven years old and comes from Haridwar in India. She is pushing the India government to take tangible action against climate change.

Update April 2021

Nasrin Sotoudeh

The petition to free Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is still available to sign on the Amnesty website. Nasrin is facing 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work. She is a human rights lawyer who has dedicated her life to defending women’s rights, protesting against Iran’s discriminatory and degrading forced veiling laws. Amnesty is calling on Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Nasrin and overturn one of the harshest sentences we have seen in Iran against a human rights defender in recent years. Please sign and post on Twitter and Facebook if you can.

Nazarin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

On 26 April, Nazanin was given a new jail sentence of one-year and a travel ban to follow the year after for “propaganda against the system” following a hearing before an Iranian Revolutionary Court in Tehran after recently completing a five-year sentence. Here at Amnesty, we are still thinking of Nazarin and her family and hope that she will be able to rejoin her family in the UK very soon.

8th March 2021 – Belarus: Women activists subject to threats and abuse for taking part in protests – new Report

Women who have played prominent roles in the protests sweeping Belarus are subject to reprisals and threats, Amnesty International said today. In its new report,’ Belaurus: Women on the Front Line’, Amnesty highlights the important role women activists have played in the protests after widely contested presidential elections and reveals state reprisals against them too.

Women activists told Amnesty that they had been accused of being ‘bad mothers’ and ‘bad wives’ and that the authorities had threatened to take their children away from them. They have also faced ill-treatment in detention, and prison sentences resulting from unfounded criminal prosecutions.

Belarus is currently experiencing the most egregious clampdown on human rights in its post- independence history. Amnesty has heard harrowing accounts of peaceful protesters being arrested en masse and subjected to torture, stripped naked, mercilessly beaten, held in stress positions, and deprived of food, drinking water or medical care for days.

Amnesty Talk : 12th April ; ‘Women Living Under Muslim Law’

At our recent local Taunton Amnesty meeting on Tuesday 12th April, we had a talk from Dana Kamour entitled  ‘Women Living Under Muslim Law’ about a transnational Feminist Network working to defend and campaign for women’s rights in Afghanistan. Information can be found about this group on their Facebook page.

Update March 2021

It’s nearly a year since the Amnesty Feminist Network has been in touch with Amnesty groups across the country as activities had to be paused due to the pandemic. It is now up and running again and planning for the year ahead. It will soon be relaunching the WearWhatYouWant campaign and more information about this will follow in due course.

International Women’s Day Event

To mark International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March, an on-line Zoom event was held. Introduced by Lo from the Amnesty Feminist Network, with a Keynote speech from Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, a panel of four Polish human rights activists described their experiences of arrest and court appearances. These very courageous and inspiring young women were recently acquitted of charges of “offending religious beliefs” after they put up posters which showed the Virgin Mary with a halo in the rainbow colours of the LGTBTI Pride flag. They described the rise of far-right groups and organisations in Poland which are dehumanising LGTBTI people along with how they had personally suffered violence and racist abuse at the hands of the police during demonstrations. They said how important it was to them to know that they had had international support.

Marta Lempart

As leader of the Polish Women’s Strike, Marta Lempart has been involved in many nationwide protests against a near total abortion ban in Poland and was charged with criminal felonies earlier this month.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin’s prison sentence officially ended on Sunday, 7th March and she had her ankle tag removed but was also told that she would have to face further charges in court on Sunday 14th March. It seems that further charges are being brought against her because of her role in a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy a few years ago. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has demanded her immediate release and there has been a higher media profile about her recently including an interview with her sister-in-law, who is a GP in Wales, on Radio Wales’ s current affairs programme, ‘Sunday Supplement’ and again on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’. Her husband, Richard, has also been interviewed again recently on television and was filmed handing in another petition to Downing Street; he was accompanied with people holding supportive Amnesty placards.

Nassima al-Sada sentenced

Women’s Rights Defender, Nassima al-Sada, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia because she campaigned for an end to the male guardianship system and the driving ban on women. She has been sentenced to five years in prison. This has been backdated to when she was first arrested in 2018, so, with two years’ suspension, it is expected that she will be released in June this year.

Iranian jailings

Three woman, Monireh, Yasaman and Mojgan, have been jailed in Iran for over thirty years between them for ‘inciting prostitution’ by not wearing the veil. There is an email petition to the Head of Judiciary in Iran on the main Amnesty website to protest against this court ruling.


Nahid Taghavi

Sixty-six year old German-Iranian national, Nahid Taghavi, has been arbitrarily detained in Tehran’s Evin prison since October 2020. With a serious medical condition, she is at high risk of severe illness or death, if she contracts Covid. There is an on-line petition on the main Amnesty website calling on her release.

Loujain al-Hathlow

We finish this month with some very good news – Human Rights defender, Loujain al-Hathlow who campaigned for Saudi women to be able to drive was released earlier this month after nearly three years in jail. During her detention, Loujain was tortured and sexually harassed, held in solitary confinement and denied access to her family for months at a time.

Comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: