This article belongs to SAVE LIVES! column.

Kamal Al-Labwani ( Syria)
Victim of Injustice

Doctor Kamal Al-Labwani was condemned to 12 years in prison in July 2007 following an unfair trial. He was arrested on his return from a trip to Europe and the USA in 2005 where he had met with organisations involved with the defence of human rights. he subsequently launched an appeal for democratic reform in Syria.

He has been found guilty of "plotting with a foreign power" he has been maltreated and his conditions of imprisonment are terrible. 

Now Kamal Al-Labwani faces new accusations linked to his peaceful activities in favour of democratic reform in Syria. Kamal Al-Labwani He has been subject to three years in prison. 

Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of opinion and is acting for his immediate and unconditional release.

You can help expressing your solidarity with him in his defence of human rights, in order to help boost his morale by writing directly to him in prison. (Please do not mention anything religious)

The address is
Kamal Al-Labwani 
Asra Prison

Niger :

Ibrahim Manzo Diallo (journalist)

According to information received by Amnesty International  Ibrahim Manzo Diallo, editor in chief of a newspaper, has been detained in secret by the Army in an unknown place. He risks being victim to mistreatment, not to say torture. the organisation for the defence of human rights considers this man a prisoner of opinion, detained solely for his journalistic activities.  Despite having conducted them in a peaceful and legitimate way.

Ibrahim Manzo Diallo was arrested on the 9th October at 23.00 at Niamey airport (the capital), when he was about to board a plane for France. He was firstly placed in detention by the Direction of External Security (DGSE) before being interrogated by the police who accused him of being a correspondent for Radio France International (RFI). the fact of working for this media does not constitute an infraction of the law, but RFI has been provisionally prohibited from Niger since July 20007.

According to certain sources in Niger, those responsible in the Armed Forces demanded that Ibrahim Manzo Diallo be put in the hands of the Army in Agadez province ( town in the north of the country). It is not known where he is at the moment and nobody has seen him since his transfer from Niamey. The region of Agadez is currently governed by emergency legislation.

On the 24th August, the President of Niger, Mamadou Tandja decreed a state of emergency for three months following a series of attacks by the Movement of Nigerans for Justice (MJN), an armed opposition group made up of members of the Touareg community. in addition to the restriction of liberty of expression, the actions adopted give the Army and police seemedly unlimited powers, which worsens the fears of Amnesty International for detained prisoners. 

Until June 2007 Ibrahim Manzo Diallo had been editor in chief of a bi-monthly publication "Air Info" based in Agadez. The authorities banned publication of the journal for reasons of " incitement to violence" following the MJN attacks. Ibrahim Manzo Diallo was briefly arrested by the gendarmerie while he was preparing to launch a new monthly review "Info Air". After moving to Niamey he was arrested and is now in desperate need of international support. 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please mention the following in your appeals,

- exhort the Niger authorities to lift the detention of Ibrahim Manzo Diallo without delay

- demand his immediate and unconditional release

- engage the authorities to take the measures necessary to avoid his torture or other forms of mistreatment, and for him to be allowed immediate contact with close ones and his lawyer, as well as receiving all medical treatment that is necessary.

- express your discontent at the systematic character of intimidation and arrests of journalists in Niger and ask the authorities to respect the African Charter for the Rights of Man and of Peoples.

- declare your concern about the powers conferred upon the Army and police especially in relation to Agadez.

Appeals to :

President of the Republic
Mamadou Tandja
The Presidency,
FAX : + 227 20 72 27 07

Minster of Defence
Djida Hamadou
Ministry of Defence

FAX : + 227 20 72 40 78

Minster of the Interior
Albade Aboufa
Ministry of the Interior,
FAX : + 227 20 72 21 76

Copies to the Embassy of Niger in your country.