Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

StopTorture

    May 28, 2015

    Moses Akatugba, who was sentenced to death by hanging for stealing mobile phones, has been granted a total pardon by Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State!

    UPDATE - JUNE 2, 2015:  THE RELEASE ORDER ARRIVED AT WARRI PRISON THIS AFTERNOON AND MOSES IS NOW FREE!

    Thank you to the thousands of you who took action for Moses and urged the Governor to show mercy.

    The news of his release comes days after thousands of Amnesty supporters sent Facebook and Twitter messages to Governor Uduaghan asking him to make sparing Moses part of his legacy before he steps down on 29 May.

    Tens of thousands of Amnesty supporters also signed petitions as part of Amnesty's global campaign to Stop Torture and wrote letters as part of Amnesty's global event Write for Rights. Together our voices really can make a difference – thank you.


    Tortured into a ‘confession’

    16-year-old Moses Akatugba was awaiting the results of his secondary school exams when his life changed forever.

    April 17, 2015

    By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

    The tremendous news that three Mexican police officers have been criminally charged with torturing Adrián Vázquez in Tijuana in 2012 is a historic breakthrough; and a great day for justice.  It is obviously very welcome news for Adrián himself; and it can and must spur greater efforts across Mexico to ensure that those who have been responsible for the staggering crisis of torture the country has faced over the past decade are held accountable.

    April 10, 2015

    By Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research, Amnesty International

    The long-awaited fifth season of Game of Thrones begins on Sunday, April 12. Broadcast in 170 countries, the show shocks viewers and generates controversy with graphic violence, especially against women.

    Yet many aspects of real life around the world today are WORSE than the mythical Game of Thrones world of Westeros.

    [spoiler alert: reveals plot lines up to the end of season 2]

    1. EXECUTIONS

    Game of Thrones begins with Northern Lord Ned Stark executing a deserter. Since no character is safe in the show, he is then beheaded by the despotic King Joffrey seven episodes later. Despite several executions, Westeros pales in comparison with the 2,466 death sentences Amnesty International reported worldwide in 2014, up 28% on 2013.

    March 20, 2015

    What happened?
      
    Alfonso Martín del Campo spent nearly 23 years in prison after being convicted in 1992 for the murder of his sister and brother-in-law. But he confessed to these crimes only after being tortured.
     
    Alfonso Alfonso Martín del Campo was detained in May 1992 in Mexico City. Police officers beat, smothered and threatened him. Years later, a police officer admitted that he and other officers had tortured him. But for more than two decades, the authorities ignored this and other evidence of his torture, including medical reports.
     
    Mexico's Supreme Court finally ordered Alfonso Martín del Campo Dodd’s release on March 18.
      
    "Alfonso Martín del Campo's release is a long-overdue victory for justice," said Perseo Quiroz, Executive Director of Amnesty International Mexico. "His case should have been thrown out decades ago after torture was used to extract his confession." confession."
     
    How are Amnesty supporters helping to end torture in Mexico?
     

    March 10, 2015

    By Gemma Regina Cunanan, Director of Amnesty Philippines 5 March

    On 16 February, Jerryme Corre celebrated his birthday, joined by his wife and Amnesty Philippines staff at Angeles City Jail. Jerryme has spent the last three years imprisoned there after police allegedly tortured him into a confession. Gemma Regina Cunanan, Director of Amnesty Philippines, describes the day.

      "I can never give enough thanks. These [letters] give me strength. It also gives courage to my wife. We are not alone in this fight. Many people also seek justice for us."   Jerryme Corre

    When Jerryme walked out to meet us on Monday at Angeles City Jail, his smile was wide.  Our team from Manila had brought thousands of letters from all over the world – and a cake. 

    March 05, 2015

    Tomorrow marks eight weeks since the Saudi Arabian authorities publicly flogged the blogger and activist Raif Badawi, sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for “insulting Islam” and founding an online forum for political debate.

    After his first session of 50 lashes in front of a mosque in Jeddah on 9 January, a doctor advised prison authorities that his wounds had not healed sufficiently for him to undergo the second round of this brutal punishment.

    The following Friday, while a medical committee had advised that Raif Badawi should not be flogged because of high blood pressure, another prison doctor insisted that there was nothing wrong with him and that he should be flogged. Then, for five consecutive weeks the Friday floggings were not carried out for reasons that remain unknown. It is anybody’s guess whether the next part of his sentence will be carried out tomorrow.

    Raif Badawi has made headlines around the world. But his case is just the tip of the iceberg for the Gulf Kingdom’s appalling human rights record. Here are 10 sobering facts from Amnesty International’s research:

    February 11, 2015

    A heavy cloud has been lifted from a courageous survivor of torture.

    Mexican authorities have dropped all criminal charges against Claudia Medina Tamariz, a Mexican woman who was tortured and forced into a false confession.

    In 2012, marines broke into the home of Claudia Medina Tamariz, mother of three. They took her away to a local naval base. There, Claudia suffered terrible torture, including electric shocks and sexual assault.

    The torture was aimed at forcing Claudia to incriminate herself in drug-related crimes. To make the torture stop, Claudia signed a piece of paper put before her. She later discovered it was a “confession” to crimes she had not committed.

    Amnesty International members in Canada, and around the world, rallied to support Claudia and express concern to Mexican authorities about was done to her.

    Your efforts have made a difference!

    This is what Claudia had to say when she learned all the charges had been dropped:

    February 02, 2015

    By Jacqueline Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner, in conversation with Dr. Donald Payne, Health Network Coordinator

    January 23, 2015

     By Sevag Kechichian, Researcher on Saudi Arabia at Amnesty International.

    The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has, once again, focused international attention to the oil-rich Middle Eastern country’s human rights record.

    “What will be King Abdullah’s legacy?” everybody seems to be asking.

    The answer is not simple.  

    Since taking the throne in 2005, King Abdullah initiated some positive reforms.

    Women, for example, have slowly been included in the Shura Council, a powerless consultative body to advise the King, and incorporated into the workforce – with some being allowed to work in courts as lawyers.

    The late King is credited for opening a dozen new universities and providing thousands of Saudi Arabian citizens with generous scholarships to study abroad. He also initiated seemingly ambitious judicial reforms that have not really gone anywhere.  

    He even decreed the founding of a formal National Human Rights Commission and allowed the establishment of a supposedly independent human rights organization.

    But that’s where the good news ends.

    January 23, 2015

    The injustice facing one man in Saudi Arabia has brought into focus the harrowing human-rights reality that Canada routinely overlooks in its relationship with the kingdom. As concern increases for blogger Raif Badawi, who is scheduled to receive a public flogging later this week, his case exposes the lengths to which Canada and other governments go to overlook Saudi Arabia’s disgraceful rights record. It is time for a new approach.

    January 23, 2015

    Raif Badawi is sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website in Saudi Arabia.

    Amnesty International spoke with another local blogger – who has to remain anonymous for their own safety – about different tactics the authorities use to silence people online.
     

    1. Gagging anyone with an independent opinion

    "Overall, the situation in Saudi Arabia is very bad, particularly from the point of view of people with independent opinions who go against the grain. Recently, there have been investigations, arrests and short-term detentions of journalists, athletes, poets, bloggers, activists and tweeters."
     

    January 19, 2015

    Guest writer: Verity Stevenson, in a special to the Globe and Mail
     

    Ensaf Haidar stood beside the kitchen table, urging her three children to eat. Newspapers featuring her husband’s face on the front were spread in the spaces between three pizza boxes, and a banner covering most of the wall showed him as well, with several dozen signatures of those who attended a #FreeRaif vigil in Montreal.
     

    January 17, 2015

    Béatrice Vaugrante, Director General of Amnistie Internationale Canada francophone, gives a snapshot of some of the widespread global campaigning for Raif Badawi. Raif has been sentenced to ten years and 1,000 lashes after starting a website for public debate in Saudi Arabia.

    When the vigil in Montreal ended, we were all frozen to the bone. It was a gorgeous day, but to motivate activists and supporters to stay outdoors for over an hour in -20 degree temperatures, you have to be creative.

    Motivating them to come in the first place wasn’t that hard – I could see the energy and the anger in their faces. They were outraged at what was happening to Raif Badawi, and they wanted to act. Another reason to attend: standing beside me, upright, silent and proud, small in stature but great in spirit, was Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, who has taken refuge in Quebec along with their three children. Together, we our determined to reunite this family.

    January 14, 2015

    By Sister Maria Vida Cordero, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Amnesty International Philippines

    This week, people across the Philippines are incredibly excited about the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis.

    Not only is this the first papal visit to our country in two decades, but Pope Francis has already inspired millions of people across the globe – Catholics and non-Catholics alike – with his message of hope, mercy and compassion for the world’s poorest people.

    One of the issues that Pope Francis has spoken out about strongly and clearly continues to blight the Philippines – torture. Last year he condemned torture as a “very grave sin”.

    His Holiness has repeatedly urged governments around the world to stamp out this abhorrent practice and “invite[s] Christians to commit themselves to work together for its abolition and to support victims and their families.”

    January 09, 2015

    An eyewitness account of the flogging today of Raif Badawi an activist in Saudi Arabia sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website for public debate. The witness has not been named for security reasons.

    When the worshippers saw the police van outside the mosque, they knew someone would be flogged today.

    They gathered in a circle. Passers-by joined them and the crowd grew. But no one knew why the man brought forward was about to be punished. Is he a killer, they asked? A criminal? Does he not pray?

    Pages

    Subscribe to StopTorture
    rights