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Ireland

    October 24, 2017

    “The judges of the Supreme Court have a chance to put right centuries of human rights abuse. We urge them to take it” – Grainne Teggart

    Amnesty International will be an intervenor in a significant Supreme Court case that starts today challenging Northern Ireland’s abortion law.

    The case will consider whether Northern Ireland law breaches women’s rights by not allowing abortions in cases of sexual crime and fatal foetal abnormalities.

    Grainne Teggart, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland campaigns manager, said:

    “We cannot continue with the intolerable situation that treats women in Northern Ireland as second-class citizens, denying them healthcare and control over their own lives.

    “For generations, politicians in Northern Ireland have failed women and failed to protect their rights. It is time for the Supreme Court to step in and do what our government has failed to do – protect the long-neglected human rights of women and girls in a part of the UK.

    “The judges of the Supreme Court have a unique chance to put right centuries of human rights abuse. We urge them to take it. The time for change is now.”

    June 29, 2017
    ·         ‘This absurd ruling is an insult to women and girls and everyone around the country who cares about justice’ – Grainne Teggart ·         ‘This is a dark day for women’s rights in Northern Ireland’ – Sarah Ewart   The Court of Appeal in Belfast has ruled today that Northern Ireland’s highly restrictive abortion laws are not in breach of human rights standards, a decision Amnesty International called “absurd” and “an insult to women and girls”.   The court assessed whether a High Court ruling in 2015 that current laws, which prohibit abortion even in the case of rape or incest or where the foetus has a fatal defect, breach women’s right to privacy. It also looked at whether the laws are at odds with the right to be free from cruel and degrading treatment and discrimination.    Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland Campaign Manager for Amnesty International, said:
    April 24, 2017

    Amnesty International Ireland Release

    Overwhelming vote for complete constitutional and legal reform an important vindication of women’s and girls’ human rights

    Amnesty International today applauded the Citizens’ Assembly’s resounding vote against retaining the Eighth Amendment to Ireland’s Constitution, and its vote to give the Oireachtas unrestricted power to legislate for abortion. It described the Assembly’s two-thirds majority vote for access to abortion on request at least in early pregnancy, and even greater majority votes for later gestational limits in specific circumstances, an important vindication of women’s and girls’ human rights.

    March 03, 2017

    DUBLIN, 3 March 2017 - Amnesty International has called on the Irish government to ensure that the Commission of Investigation into ‘Mother and Baby Homes’ fully investigates alleged human rights abuses, following the discovery of ‘significant’ quantities of human remains in Tuam, Co. Galway.  The organisation had broadly welcomed the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into allegations of serious human rights abuses at ‘Mother and Baby’ homes around Ireland, though it cautioned that the Commission needed to conduct an effective and comprehensive investigation that is fully compliant with Ireland’s human rights obligations.

    June 09, 2016

    The UN Human Rights Committee’s ground-breaking decision that Ireland’s law prohibiting and criminalizing abortion violated the human rights of a woman who had a diagnosis of fatal foetal impairment will advance women’s rights in Ireland and beyond, said Amnesty International today.

    The UN Committee’s ruling today said Ireland’s laws prohibiting abortion violated the rights of Amanda Mellet, a dual citizen of Ireland and the USA, as it denied her an abortion despite her receiving a diagnosis of fatal foetal anomaly in 2011. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee in November 2013 on Ms Mellet’s behalf.

    It is the first time that an international human rights body has found a state in violation of its human right obligations for criminalizing and prohibiting abortion.

    March 17, 2016
    St Patrick’s Day is when we celebrate all that is great about Ireland – we can now add the Irish public’s support for wider access to abortion.

    Today, people all over the world are marking St Patrick’s Day and honouring what it means to be Irish. The Eiffel Tower is glowing green in France and in the USA, President Obama is hosting the Irish Prime Minister at the White House’s annual celebration.

    December 02, 2015

    Amnesty International Northern Ireland Press Release 

    ‘Success in this case could have positive implications for thousands of other couples in Northern Ireland’ – Patrick Corrigan
     
    Ahead of a legal challenge in Belfast’s High Court tomorrow (Thursday), Amnesty International has reiterated its call for Northern Ireland to lift its ban on same-sex marriage.

    The High Court is set to hear a Judicial Review taken by two couples challenging Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex marriage. Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles, and Charles and Henry Flanagan-Kane, the first two couples to become civil partners in the UK, are taking the case. Success would mean an end to Northern Ireland’s same-sex marriage ban.

    September 25, 2015

    Amnesty International Ireland joined with the Abortion Rights Campaign fourth annual March for Choice in Dublin today, to highlight the fact that criminalising women for having abortions is an abuse of their human rights.

    Amnesty International’s global My Body My Rights campaign has Ireland as a focus, because we have one of the most restrictive abortion regimes in the world. Not only are women and girls denied their human right to access safe and legal abortions, at a minimum where they are pregnant as a result of rape or incest, their heath is at risk or there is a fatal or severe foetal impairment.  Irish law also criminalises any woman or girl - and her healthcare provider - if they have an abortion outside of the very limited scope of the 2013 Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act.

    Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said:

    August 06, 2015

    Amnesty International Ireland 

    Ireland must repeal the 8th amendment – Amnesty International global delegates call for change

    Today in Dublin, Amnesty International activists from around the world staged a protest against Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws outside the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister). Delegates brought 80 suitcases to signify the number of Irish women and girls who travel abroad each and every week to access a safe and legal abortion.

    Their reasons for seeking an abortion vary; some are survivors of rape, some are carrying a foetus with a severe or fatal impairment, some have serious health conditions, some make the decision for economic or other reasons. But all of them are left with no option other than to travel to another jurisdiction.

    Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O’Gorman said: “Every year 4,000 Irish women and girls travel abroad for an abortion. Since 1971, at least 177,000 women and girls have had to leave Ireland to seek an abortion. The true figure may in fact be higher but this is a staggering number.

    July 08, 2015

    Released 10.30 GMT (11.30 BST) 08 July 2015 

    The Irish government is under growing pressure to reform its anti-abortion law, one of the most restrictive in the world, Amnesty International said today as it published results of an opinion poll on public attitudes to abortion in Ireland.

    The poll, carried out for Amnesty International by RED C Research and Marketing, shows that the majority of people in Ireland are not aware that abortion is a criminal offence. The vast majority disagree with the current criminal sanctions for women who have abortions, or doctors who provide abortions.  

    Asked whether the Irish government should decriminalize abortion, 67% agreed and 25% disagreed. 81% are in favour of significantly widening the grounds for access to legal abortions in Ireland.

    June 22, 2015

    Amnesty International Ireland Release

    The Government must accept that the 1983 Eighth Amendment of Ireland's Constitution is causing serious human rights violations, Amnesty International said today following the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ criticism of the state’s law on abortion.

    In its review of Ireland’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, the UN Committee was critical of Ireland's "highly restrictive abortion law and strict interpretation thereof" and set out a pathway for reform.

    Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said:

    “The UN is clear on what international law says about Ireland – its laws on abortion are violating the human rights of women and girls.

    June 09, 2015

    Pregnant women and girls risk putting their health and lives in danger if they remain in Ireland, Amnesty International said today in a report on the country’s abortion law.

    The report  She is not a criminal: The Impact of Ireland’s abortion law documents shocking cases of Irish authorities denying women and girls necessary healthcare in order to prioritize the life of the foetus – which is protected by an amendment to Ireland’s constitution added in 1983.

    May 21, 2015

    Amnesty International Ireland Release

    In less than 24 hours, Ireland will go to the polls in a referendum that is truly historic, the first time any nation has asked its people to vote ‘Yes’ and end discrimination against LGBTI people in its civil marriage laws. If passed, Ireland will become the first country anywhere in the world to guarantee its people the equal constitutional right to marry the person they love, regardless of their sexual orientation, following a popular vote.

    Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said:

    “Love does not discriminate, and neither should our laws. If a state decides to recognise, protect and value loving, intimate, committed relationships in its laws, it should not deny this recognition to some just because of their sexual orientation. We call on the people of Ireland to bring in a new era of equality in civil marriage. It is their decision now.

    February 08, 2015

    Amnesty International Ireland Release  -  Irish Government can no longer expect ‘due process’ 

    Ibrahim Halawa, the Irish 19 year old, who is in prison in Egypt for 18 months without trial on trumped up charges, has seen his trial postponed again to 29 March according to his family.

    This is the fourth postponement of the trial of Ibrahim Halawa and 493 others since he was arrested on 17 August 2013 while hiding from gunfire in Al Fath mosque in Cairo.

    “This latest episode is devastating for Ibrahim’s family. He has now spent 541 days in pre-trial detention simply for protesting peacefully. By any international standard of justice, this is absolutely unacceptable,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.

    Amnesty International has called yet again on the Egyptian authorities to release Ibrahim immediately and unconditionally with all charges against him dropped as is a prisoner of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly.

    January 09, 2015

    The Irish government’s decision not to include the treatment of women and girls in Magdalene Laundries in the proposed scope of an inquiry announced today into the Mother and Baby Homes is a missed opportunity that will leave gaping holes in the narrative of historical abuses, Amnesty International said.

    The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is an important step towards redressing past abuses in these institutions. But the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has today confirmed that the government has no further plans to investigate abuses at the Magdalene Laundries, which it asserts were comprehensively covered in the 2013 report of a government Inter-Departmental Committee (the McAleese Report).

    “The proposed terms of reference for the Commission are a missed opportunity to finally address Ireland's responsibility to provide justice and truth to women and girls placed in Magdalene Laundries. Many of those women and girls came from those Mother and Baby homes,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.

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