In October last year, I had the privilege of meeting Damian Gallardo for the first time. It is a name I heard many times since 2013, when he was arrested in the middle of the night in his home in Oaxaca; since then Front Line Defenders – with many others – supported him and his family and campaigned for his release. I met him in what had been his home for five years, a high security prison outside Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco.
Niober had been planning and looking forward to this trip for months. It took him almost two days to reach Havana international airport from his town in Guantanamo, Cuba, but he still arrived well before his flight. He'd budgeted in plenty of time, knowing security is tight and checkpoints are common across the island. At the airport, just before the final security line, an officer from the Ministry of Interior quietly took him to a side. The officer told Niober he could not board the plane.
Mariam Diallo Dramé milite depuis son enfance. Elle n'avait que 13 ans lorsqu'elle a créé le Parlement des enfants du Mali, pour protéger les droits des enfants. Aujourd'hui, elle est présidente de l'Association Femmes Leadership et Développement Durable (AFLeD) et elle continue à défendre les droits des femmes et des enfants à la santé, à l'éducation, et aux opportunités de leadership, dans un pays que le Forum économique mondial considère comme l'un des plus dangereux au monde.
Le bien-être est apparemment dangereux en Turquie. Lorsque mon amie Ozlem Dalkiran a assisté à une formation sur la sécurité holistique, on lui a demandé de dessiner quelque chose qui représente ce qui la préoccupe. C'est le genre de tableau et de post-it se voulant bien intentionnés qui perturbent mon degré de stress, mais Ozlem a joué le jeu et dessiné une carte de la Turquie avec des personnages représentant des personnes fuyant la guerre en Irak et en Syrie à l'est et des amis emprisonnés à Istanbul.
In September 2016, the man who had ruled Uzbekistan for 27 years died. As often happens when authoritarians pass on, Islam Karimov’s death after so many years in power left questions as to who would fill the vacuum, and whether the country’s new ruler would ease the repressive practices of the past regime. When Shvakat Mirziyoyev quickly emerged as the successor to Karimov, many in the international community believed that there would be some form of liberalisation.
On 7 March, Wikileaks published a trove of documents showing the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) capabilities to remotely hack devices running Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS X and others. These leaks demonstrate how the CIA and, very likely, other intelligence services, are able to exploit software and operating systems’ vulnerabilities.
My friend Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam is currently chained by hands and feet to a wall in Kober Prison in Khartoum. He has been badly beaten. He started a hunger strike on Sunday in protest at his detention without access to a lawyer since the 7th of December 2016. He was allowed a brief visit from his brothers 10 days ago, but has otherwise been denied access also to his family.