Latest Political imprisonment News

Spain: Court annuls daily releases for Catalan secessionists

Dec. 4, 2020 6:09 AM EST

MADRID (AP) — Spain's Supreme Court has revoked a less restrictive prison status awarded to nine Catalan political figures previously sentenced to jail for their part in a secession attempt in Catalonia. The status would have allowed them almost daily release. The court said Friday that such a measure was...

FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2008 photo, Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, poses for a photograph in her office in Tehran, Iran.  Iran's state-run news agency says on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020,  the leading Iranian human rights lawyer has been released from prison, a month after she was hospitalized amid a hunger-strike conducted from her cell. Sotoudeh was taken to hospital in mid-September, a month after launching her hunger strike seeking better prison conditions and the release of political prisoners amid the pandemic. (AP Photo/Arash Ashourinia)

Jailed Iranian rights lawyer released, amid health problems

Nov. 7, 2020 7:55 AM EST

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A leading Iranian human rights lawyer has been released from prison, Iran's state-run news agency reported Saturday, after she was earlier hospitalized amid a hunger-strike conducted from her cell. Nasrin Sotoudeh was taken to hospital in mid-September, a month after launching her...

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, right, welcomes Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya before a meeting at the federal chancellery in Vienna, Austria, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Disabled hold rally in Belarus to demand president step down

Nov. 5, 2020 3:09 PM EST

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — More than 200 disabled people rallied in Belarus' capital Thursday, continuing a nearly three-month wave of protests triggered by the disputed reelection of the country's authoritarian leader. They demonstrated in Minsk’s central avenue chanting “Go away!” and...

1000s of pensioners protest against Belarus' hardline leader

Nov. 2, 2020 11:38 AM EST

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands of aged pensioners marched Monday in the capital of Belarus to demand the resignation of the authoritarian president, who has been under pressure of daily demonstrations for nearly three months. The demonstrators, estimated at about 4,000 by the human rights group Viasna,...

People with old Belarusian national flags march during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. The demonstrations were triggered by official results giving President Alexander Lukashenko 80% of the vote in the Aug. 9 election that the opposition insists was rigged. Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus with an iron fist since 1994, has accused the United States and its allies of fomenting unrest in the ex-Soviet country. (AP Photo)

Thousands protest as Belarus leader faces demands deadline

Oct. 25, 2020 3:20 PM EDT

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Tens of thousands of protesters in Belarus swarmed the streets of the capital Sunday, pressing for the resignation of the country's authoritarian president, and an opposition leader said a nationwide strike would start Monday. Over 200,000 people took part in the largest demonstration...

People, most of them elderly women, walk during an opposition rally in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. The elderly rallied in Minsk once again on Monday to demand resignation of the country's President Alexander Lukashenko, as mass protests triggered by a disputed election continue to rock Belarus. Lukashenko's older supporters also gathered in the country's capital Monday for a pro-government rally. (AP Photo)

Retirees rally in Belarus against authoritarian president

Oct. 19, 2020 1:14 PM EDT

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — About 3,000 retirees rallied in the Belarusian capital of Minsk for a third straight Monday to demand the resignation of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko as mass protests of a disputed election continue to roil the country. They marched through the streets of Minsk carrying...

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, former candidate for the Belarus' presidential elections speaks to the members of press following her meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Vilnius, Lithuania, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron pushed for European mediation in Belarus political crisis after a meeting with the country’s opposition leader. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

Belarus opposition leader threatens nationwide strike

Oct. 13, 2020 1:09 PM EDT

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — The top opposition challenger in the Belarusian presidential election threatened Tuesday to call a nationwide strike unless the country's authoritarian president announces his resignation, releases political prisoners and stops his government's violent crackdown on protesters....

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 file photo, Board member of an NGO organization that monitors racism and xenophobia, Rafal Gawel, stands in his office in Warsaw, Poland shortly after it was raided by the police who seized computers. Norway has granted asylum to a Polish man who had fled prison term for fraud and forging of documents, but says the prison term was a form of political persecution under Poland's right-wing government. Observers say that Rafal Gawel's case is the first time political asylum has been granted to a Pole in more then 30 years since communism was ousted from Poland.  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

Norway grants asylum to fugitive Pole, raising controversy

Oct. 12, 2020 3:26 PM EDT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Norway has granted asylum to a Polish man who had fled prison term for fraud and forging of documents, but says the prison term was a form of political persecution under Poland's right-wing government. Observers say that Rafal Gawel's case is the first time political asylum has been...

People provide a health care to a wounded protester during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. (AP Photo)

Rights group: Scores detained during protests in Belarus

Oct. 11, 2020 1:39 PM EDT

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Scores of people were detained in Belarus on Sunday during protests against the country’s authoritarian leader, who won his sixth term in office in a vote widely seen as rigged, a Belarusian rights group said. Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in the Belarusian capital...

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko delivers a speech during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. State news agency BelTA reported that Wednesday's ceremony is taking place in the capital of Minsk, with several hundred top government official present. (Maxim Guchek, BelTA/Pool Photo via AP)

Belarus' authoritarian leader visits his foes in prison

Oct. 10, 2020 1:54 PM EDT

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarus' authoritarian president on Saturday visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for challenging his re-election that was widely seen as manipulated and triggered two months of protests. President Alexander Lukashenko spent more than four hours...