Birtukan Mideksa is one of Amnesty International’s 2009 Global Write-a-thon Cases

November 11th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Write for Rights – Join the Global Write-a-thon! – Amnesty International (more…)

Write for Rights – Join the Global Write-a-thon! – Amnesty International


Aung San Suu Kyi – Prisoner of conscience

Birtukan Mideksa – Prison conditions, prisoner of Conscience

Birtukan Mideksa, the leader of the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) Party, was arrested on 28 December 2008. She has been at Kaliti Prison, outside the capital Addis Ababa. She was charged with violating the terms of her pardon and her former sentence of life in prison was reinstated. For several months she was held in solitary confinement in a cell measuring 2m square, which according to former inmates is often unbearably hot.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord


The military rulers of Myanmar have jailed thousands of people in their continuing efforts to crush all dissenting views. Most prominent of those detained is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been the beacon of hope and change for nearly two decades in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Azam Farmonov and Alisher Karamatov – Prisoners of conscience, unfair trial

Prisoners of conscience, Azam Farmonov and Alisher Karamatov are members of the independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU). They were detained on April 29, 2006 as they defended the rights of local farmers who had accused some district farming officials of malpractice, extortion and corruption. The two men were allegedly tortured, charged with extortion, subjected to an unfair trial where they had neither a defense lawyer nor any other legal representative and then sentenced to nine years imprisonment.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Mansour Ossanlu – Trade union activist, prisoner of conscience

Mansour Ossanlu is a trade union activist and human rights defender. He has spent several periods in prison and has experienced a long history of persecution by the authorities for his legitimate trade union activities. Mansour Ossanlu has continually faced harassment and intimidation at the hands of the Iranian authorities both within and outside prison. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his immediate unconditional release.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Konstantina Kuneva – Trade unionist, women’s human rights defender

Konstantina Kuneva, a Bulgarian migrant worker and trade union leader, was severely wounded after a man threw sulphuric acid in her face when she was returning to her house from work. The attack, which took place in the Greek capital, Athens, on 22 December 2008, is connected with her trade union activities and follows an escalation of tension between Konstantina Kuneva and her employers. As a result of the attack, she lost her sight in one eye and has limited vision in the other, and her vocal chords and trachea were seriously damaged. She remained in a coma for several days and continues to be hospitalized, as she needs to have several operations.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Mohammed Mohammed Hassan Odaini – Detention without charge

Mohammed Mohammed Hassan Odaini remains detained in Guantánamo despite being cleared for release over 2 years ago. Odaini was detained in March 2002 along with several other Yemeni nationals, and sent to the detention camp at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In June 2005 he was deemed suitable for release from Guantánamo. Yemeni authorities have stated that they are prepared to take him back, yet he continues to be unjustly detained. He has not been interrogated for nearly two years and the reason for his continued detention is unclear.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Musaad Abu Fagr – Prisoner of conscience

Novelist and human rights activist Musaad Suliman Hassan Hussein, usually known by his pen name Musaad Abu Fagr, has been in administrative detention, by order of the Minister of Interior, since February 15, 2008, despite obtaining several court orders for his release, most recently in June 2009. Amnesty International considers Musaad Abu Fagr to be a prisoner of conscience, detained on account of his peaceful expression of his views, and that he should be immediately and unconditionally released.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan – Prisoners of conscience

Human rights lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan were jailed in May 2007 for “conducting propaganda against the State.” Amnesty International considers them prisoners of conscience.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Rita Mahato – Women’s human rights defender


Human rights defender Rita Mahato has received threats of death, rape and kidnapping as a result of her work assisting women who have suffered from acts of violence. She is a health adviser at the Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), which has been attacked by men from the village who object to WOREC’s work. The police have failed to provide Rita with protection, or investigate the threats, and she fears for her life.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Shi Tao – Journalist, prisoner of Conscience

In April 2004, the Chinese journalist Shi Tao used his Yahoo! email account to send a message to a U.S.-based pro-democracy website. In his email, he summarized a government order directing media organizations in China to downplay the upcoming 15th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists. Police arrested him in November 2004, charging him with “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities.” Authorities used email account holder information supplied by Yahoo! to convict Shi Tao in April 2005 and sentence him to 10 years in prison.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

Women of Atenco – Violence against women, impunity

When the women left their homes that May morning in 2006, they never imagined the horrific experience that lay ahead of them. During a police operation in response to protests by activists from a local peasant organization in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico, over 45 women were arrested without explanation. Dozens of them were subjected to physical, psychological and sexual violence by the police officers who arrested them. More than three years later, they are still waiting for justice. None of the officials responsible for their abuse have been held accountable.

Case Sheet: PDF Sample Letter: PDF | MSWord

  1. Biri
    | #1

    This is a very welcome news! Here is what I wrote in the Ethiopians-Forum about Birtukan:



    Since Birtukan was kidnapped from a street in Addis by tyrant Meles Zenawi’s killer squads in a disgraceful manner 317 days ago, we have seen events unfolding that show the fake allegations that she broke the terms of the so called pardon, out-cry regarding naked injustice and the rule of the jungle as well as the demystification/ dethroning of those who present themselves as the guardians of purity/patriotism.
    The culmination of it all is the drama played out in the wake of AEUP-TPLF’s Meles hand-shake!

    We fought against allegations that Birtukan is an under cover TPLF agent, she lacked experience, she broke this and that assumed understanding. ..
    In all of these, our exemplary leader(Birtukan) has proved them wrong!
    Those who say woyanes are their worst enemy are cutting corners to enjoy momentary elation before the sun would set on them.
    Birtukan is gaining in popularity and stares them in their eyes as the symbolic representation of the injustice against Ethiopians.
    While professor Mesfin Woldemariam and the like play around with phrases welcoming MZ-Hailu phenomenon to point score against the Medrek members, forgetting the dear Birtukan that they are supposed to campaign for, Birtukan is emerging as a unifying leader whose imprisonment is the imprisonment of the criminals pretending as leaders of the nation.

    Meles knows that he is playing the last card, perhaps this time to his own determent while Hailu Shawel and his advisors are taking off the ground to face the fate of Shewandagne Belete/Shemelis Mazengia who were early birds who hoped to convert MZ to Ethiopiawinet to no avail!
    The biggest challenge for Ethiopian democrats is to go beyond denouncing the AEUP and related, and to build on the unity of the opposition for all-inclusive genuine democratic system, post-tyrant MZ’s mercenary ruling clique!

    Those who see short cuts to power through a deceitful means of the enemy of my enemy is a friend will fail! Those who pursue genuine participation through competing ideas in a plural society shall prevail.
    Here-in lies the leading role of exemplary leaders such as Birtukan. She was vindicated!!
    Birtukan will be free! Ethiopia will be free!



  2. JIGSA
    | #2

    DURING 2005 STOLEN ELECTION ABOUT 40.000 INOCENT ETHIOPIANS ROUNDED UP BY TIGRAI LIBERATION FRONT IN ADDIS ABABA AND ARE SUFFERING UNDER ONE OF AFRICAN’S MOST BRUTAL DICTATORIAL REGIME IN ETHIOPIA.IN THAT 2005 ELECTION MORE THAN 200 INOCENT ETHIOPIAN EXCUTED IN A BROAD DAY LIGHT AMONG THE Arested were the opposition leaders.after international comunity and ethiopian outside the country put pressure the oppsition leaders released after 2years in prision.the rest thousands of thousands of them still in captivity by the regime in ethiopia.among the opposition leaders the only woman and first ethiopian oppsition party head BERTUKAN MIDEKSA RE ARESTED BY THE REGIME AND SUFFERING IN PRISION FOR NO APPARENT REASON.WE DEMAND THE TIGRAI LIBERATION FRONT IN ADDIS ABABA TO RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISIONERS IN ETHIOPIA NOW!!!!!!!THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY WILL PREVAIL!!!!!!!

  3. Robele Ababya
    | #3

    Icon Judge Birtukan has clearly engaged the conscience of people throught the world. She stands on a moral platform much higher than others. She spoke the truth at the risk of facing imprisonment once more in a congested prion in which she languished in the aftermath of the historic election of 2005. How many of us have the gut and principle to telling TRUTH to power come what may!

    Birtukan is suffering in jail so that telling TRUTH to power shall no longer be a crime in the future. By that unprecedented act of courage, She has made us free.

    Birtukan told the TRUTH to Ethiopian people who are entitled to know the condition of the amnesty for the realease of Kinijit leaders.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    Thank you Amnesty Int’l for keeping Bertukan’s(as well as other prisoners of conscience)barbed candle burning.As always,we are immensely grateful.

    Bertukan,like her Myanmar counterpart Aung San Suu Kyi,is now the vital symbol of the struggle of the Ethiopian people against the brutal and corrupt regime of Meles Zenawi.

    Bertukan is truthful,just,dignified and courageous.she is the embodiment of the vitality and change-seeking spirit of the youth of our nation.She simply wants to serve her people.

    Meles,by keeping Bertukan in jail indefinitely,reckons that he can extinguish the flame of our quest for freedom and democracy.He can’t.

    Bertukan is the nucleus of our fight.She is the moving spirit.She is the center of the ever gathering storm.She signifies our victory.

  5. Nedo
    | #5

    Judge Burtukan Mideksa, a prisoner of concise has demonstrated a higher level of integrity true to her non-violent struggle, that she believed in, and her sacrifice is going to pay. Thank you ! Amnesty for standing on the side of truth and being voice for the voiceless unlike governments who shift their policies using excuses like “national interest” to support dictators and criminals like Meles and co. of Ethiopia.

    Truth shall prevail !

  6. asgadhe
    | #6

    free our lady. mean while Five Soldiers Defect to Eritrea and more news. Watch below:

  7. Anonymous
    | #7

    Hon Birtukan Mideksa is priosoner of conscience I suport Amnesty Inernational’s call to free her.She is “the Ethiopian Mandela” she is the symbol of freedom and democracy in Ethiopia.

  8. Leul
    | #8


    A human being of high standard. Let work hard for her release. Thanks

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