Aster Fissehatsion, Eritrea
Arrested in 2001 for signing an open letter opposing the rule of Isaias Afwerki — President of the country since it was created in 1993. Fissehatsion, 66, was a leading figure in the country’s liberation struggle. She is recognised by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience.
Sergei Tikhanovsky, Belarus
A vlogger and democracy activist, Tikhanovsky, 43, was arrested in 2020 soon after declaring his candidature for President against Alexander Lukashenko, which the country’s election body refused to accept. He was arrested for breach of public order while collecting signatures for his wife Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s candidature. She lost the polls and is in exile in Poland. He is recognised by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience.
Alexei Navalny, Russia
Opposition leader and lawyer who accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of having him poisoned in 2020. Navalny, 46, was arrested in 2021 after returning from treatment in Germany for parole violations of an earlier conviction for embezzlement. Received more sentences for embezzlement and contempt of court. Amnesty International has called his trial a sham and recognises him as a Prisoner of Conscience.
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar
Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, 77, spent 15 years under house arrest before being released by the country’s ruling military junta in 2010, only to be arrested again in 2021 following a coup in which the armed forces returned to power. Her National League for Democracy swept the polls in 2015 and 2020, during which time she faced criticism for ignoring the genocide against Rohingyas by the country’s security forces.
Tofig Yagublu, Azerbaijan
A decorated veteran, journalist and key Opposition figure, Yagublu, 61, has been arrested several times for protests and tortured as well. He has been in jail since 2021. Amnesty International has recognised him as a Prisoner of Conscience.
Mostafa Tajzadeh, Iran
Arrested last year and sentenced to at least five years in jail for plotting against state security, spreading falsehood and propaganda against the regime. Tajzadeh, 66, is a reformist politician and former deputy interior minister of Iran. He has previously spent six years in jail for “assembly and collusion against national security”. Tajzadeh has called for a new constitution and an end to military interference in politics. He is an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience.