September 19, 2009 |
The charges, her defenders maintained, were absurd from the start: an unarmed middle-aged indigenous woman who stood barely 5 feet tall was accused of kidnapping six federal police officers. Jacinta Francisco Marcial said she was innocent and had been railroaded. This week, after spending three years in prison, she was set free. The Mexican judiciary that had handed her a 21-year sentence decided she probably wasn't guilty after all. She received no apology, and was bundled out of prison Wednesday under cover of darkness in the predawn hours of Mexican Independence Day, when much of national attention was diverted by holiday frolic.
December 31, 2008 |
A lawyer said a former executive of dismantled oil giant Yukos, who was jailed in 2006 and suffers from AIDS and cancer, has been freed after posting $1.8 million bail. Vasily Aleksanian faces money-laundering and embezzlement charges. He is in a Moscow hospital, where he was moved in February while lawyers demanded that he be freed because of his health. Drew Holiner, a lawyer for Aleksanian, said guards surrounding Aleksanian's ward had been dismissed. The Moscow City Court set bail for Aleksanian this month, with rights groups calling it too high.
September 14, 2008 |
A Malaysian journalist detained in an apparent government crackdown using a tough security law was freed, but an opposition lawmaker and another journalist remained under arrest, officials said. Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar defended the trio's seizure Friday under the Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite detention without trial. He said it was necessary to prevent racial conflicts and denied that it was to thwart opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's bid to seize power by Tuesday.
May 8, 1989 |
A top Palestinian official said Sunday that a West German relief worker reported kidnaped in the southern Lebanese port of Sidon will probably be freed soon. Zeid Wehbeh, the Palestine Liberation Organization representative in Lebanon, told Visnews television news agency that the man, whom he named as Marcus Quint, "will maybe be in our hands in a few hours." He said Palestinian groups were doing their best to find the 24-year-old Quint, reported kidnaped Thursday with two other West German workers for the ASME-Humanitas relief agency.
October 28, 2008 |
A West African regional court ordered Niger to pay compensation to a woman who was sold into slavery at age 12 and held for a decade. It ruled that the country had failed to implement its anti-slavery laws. Hadijatou Mani, now 24, has testified that she was forced to work as a domestic servant and sexual slave until 2005, when her former master freed her in an apparent bid to legalize his relationship with her as his wife. West Africa has a long history of slavery, and the practice persists in some places.
September 9, 2009 |
A woman convicted of public indecency for wearing trousers outdoors was freed, despite her desire to serve a month in prison to protest Sudan's draconian morality laws. The judge who convicted journalist Lubna Hussein had imposed a $200 fine as her sentence, avoiding the maximum sentence of 40 lashes in an apparent attempt to put an end to a case that had raised international criticism of Sudan. Hussein's refusal to pay the fine would have meant a month's imprisonment. She told the Associated Press that she was freed after the fine was paid without her knowledge by the Sudanese Union of Journalists, which is headed by a member of the ruling party.