Prisoners of Conscience - 2021

 

UPDATE: Zhang is still held by the authorities. She began a hunger strike in the summer of 2021 which led to a deterioration in her wellbeing. She has since ended her hunger strike which has improved her health. Please continue to pray for her.

UPDATE: Bernardo Caal Xol A teacher and trade union leader, Bernardo Caal Xol empowered his people, the Indigenous Maya Q’eqchi’, and peacefully protected their land and natural resources. After protesting against a hydroelectric dam project, he was convicted without evidence in 2018 and sentenced to more than seven years in prison. On 24 March 2022, Bernardo was released early after more than four years behind bars. His lawyers said a judge had ordered his release. "It’s great news for Bernardo, his family and Guatemala’s Indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ communities that he can leave prison and be reunited with his loved ones... However, Bernardo remains convicted of a crime he did not commit and thus the Guatemalan authorities continue to criminalise him for his work in defence of human rights and the environment," comments Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International's Americas director

UPDATE: Last year at this time we gave an update on Nazanin who had been imprisoned since April 2016 in Iran. Following a long campaign and negotiation between the British and Iranian governments, Zaghari-Ratcliffe returned home to the UK in March 2022 and was re-united with her husband Richard and her young daughter Gabriella. Nazanin, who spent six years in jail in Iran, is to write a memoir with her husband Richard Ratcliffe. The book, which is currently untitled, will tell the full story of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s imprisonment in Iran and her husband’s campaign for her release. Speaking about the memoir, which will be released in autumn 2023, Nazanin said her “story as a hostage is unique, but it is also the story of many other women in Iran in prison who are unknown but have helped me enormously to go through this journey and come out of it stronger”.