Free the 20: Empower Women, Don’t Imprison Them

Last month, Ambassador Samantha Power and the US Mission to the UN launched a campaign to highlight 20 cases of women who have been wrongfully imprisoned around the world. Here are a few of their stories:

Khadija Ismayilova, Azerbaijan: Khadija Ismayilova is an internationally renowned, award-winning investigative journalist and human rights activist. She was arrested in December 2014 in the context of a broad crackdown on civil society activists and journalists, and was sentenced yesterday to 7.5 years in prison.

Gao Yu, China: Gao Yu, the 71-year-old veteran journalist, was sentenced to seven years in jail on April 17, 2015, on charges of “leaking state secrets overseas.” Ms. Gao’s April 2014 arrest came as authorities detained dozens of rights activists and dissidents ahead of the 25th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre

Phyoe Phyoe Aung, Burma: Phyoe Phyoe Aung, General Secretary of the All-Burma Federation of Student Unions, was arrested with over 100 other participants in March for leading protests advocating for reform to Burma’s education system.

Nadiya Savchenko, Ukraine/Russia: Nadiya Savchenko, a member of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) and a helicopter pilot in the Ukrainian military, was seized by Russia-backed separatists in 2014 on Ukrainian territory before being illegally transferred to Russian custody.

You can read about the rest of the cases here.