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    January 24, 2013

    A series of recommendations to curb violence against women in India in the wake of the rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman will require strong political action and judicial will if they are to be turned into reality, Amnesty International said.

    A panel led by former Chief Justice of India J S Verma, appointed by the Indian authorities in December 2012 following widespread protests against the rape and killing of a young woman in Delhi, yesterday made public its recommendations.

    Key points included comprehensive changes to laws dealing with crimes of sexual violence, and key judicial and police reforms to ensure transparency and accountability in those institutions, as well as a reiteration of the rights guaranteed to women under India’s Constitution

    “The Indian authorities must follow up on their promise to give top priority to considering the Verma Committee recommendations. The Government must also actively initiate public education and other measures that need to be taken to change discriminatory attitudes towards women”, said Tara Rao, Head of Education  for Rights, Spokesperson, Amnesty International in India.

    January 10, 2013

    An Adivasi (Indigenous) rights activist in central India’s Chhattisgarh state has been released after spending 29 months in prison on what Amnesty International has always maintained were politically motivated charges.

    On Monday evening a trial court acquitted activist Kartam Joga of the last four charges against him, and he was released from Jagdalpur jail on Tuesday.

    Amnesty International had named him a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully expressing his views, and campaigned extensively for his release.

    After his release, Joga said messages of support sent by the organization’s members were “one of the key factors” which kept up his hopes for release.

    He urged the release of seven of his fellow activists from the Communist Party of India (CPI) who he says have been targeted and jailed on false charges for peacefully defending the rights of Adivasi communities.

    January 09, 2013

    An Adivasi (Indigenous) rights activist in central India’s Chhattisgarh state has been released after spending 29 months in prison on what Amnesty International has always maintained were politically motivated charges.

    On Monday evening a trial court acquitted activist Kartam Joga of the last four charges against him, and he was released from Jagdalpur jail on Tuesday.

    Amnesty International had named him a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully expressing his views, and campaigned extensively for his release.

    After his release, Joga said messages of support sent by the organization’s members were “one of the key factors” which kept up his hopes for release.

    He urged the release of seven of his fellow activists from the Communist Party of India (CPI) who he says have been targeted and jailed on false charges for peacefully defending the rights of Adivasi communities.

    October 08, 2012

    The Indigenous People who live near the town of Lanjigarh in India’s Orissa state used to have enough to eat, and plenty of pure river water for drinking, cooking and bathing. 

    A few years ago, a company named Vedanta Resources arrived in Lanjigarh because they had discovered a plentiful supply of an ore called bauxite. The company planned to build a refinery to turn the bauxite into alumina. 

     Vedanta Resources and the Orissa state government told the Indigenous community that they would get jobs and be offered money to give up their land and locate elsewhere. Some agreed. So the land was cleared for the refinery, whether everyone agreed or not. 

    Now, the air, water and land have all been polluted. The community did not know that their land would be severely polluted, and that they would not be given meaningful jobs. They did not know that the refinery’s poisonous waste, collected in “red mud ponds” would make them sick. They did not know they had a right to be consulted first, nor that it was their right to say “no” to the project. 

     

    December 3rd, 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal industrial disaster in India. Within two weeks of that horrific chemical leak, over 8,000 people had died. Another 12,000 have died since from gas-related diseases. Some 500,000 survivors have suffered injury and disability.

    "One of the most powerful and urgent pieces of human rights theatre ever made"
    The Herald

    On December 16, 2012, a young woman boarded a bus in Delhi heading for home. What followed changed countless lives forever. Internationally acclaimed playwright and director Yael Farber (Mies Julie) has created a searing new work that cracks open the cone of silence around women whose lives have been shattered by violence. The draw: Rave reviews and dozens of awards including the coveted Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. For ages 16+. Contains adult themes and mature content. York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver.

    Nirbhaya: Performances November 3 to 14 Special Amnesty International evening November 4: ticket package $40 includes performance, post-show Q&A, and one drink – use "discount coupon" code Amnesty40.

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