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Ireland

    March 20, 2018

    European Court of Human Rights maintains its 1978 judgement

    “This is a very disappointing outcome, for the men and their families” - Grainne Teggart

    Amnesty International is disappointed at the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling refusing to revise its 1978 conclusion that the treatment to which the United Kingdom subjected the 14 ‘hooded men’ in Northern Ireland did not amount to torture. It is important to note that today’s Court ruling is not a statement that the ‘five techniques’ do not constitute torture as it is legally defined today.

    In its 1978 landmark Ireland v UK judgement, in a case taken against the UK by the Irish Government, the Court had found that the UK violated the men’s rights to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment, but that the treatment the men suffered did not amount to torture.

    Today, the Court found that the information known to the UK Government at the time about the long-term effects of the ill-treatment, which the Irish Government brought to Court’s attention in this revision request, would not have decisively impacted on the Court back in 1978.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    January 29, 2018

    DUBLIN, 29 January 2018 – Amnesty International has welcomed the government’s decision at today’s Cabinet meeting to schedule a referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. The Cabinet decided wording that effectively repeals the Eighth Amendment. It adopted the Attorney General’s recommendation that an enabling clause be inserted to provide greater legal certainty for the Oireachtas to legislate for termination of pregnancy. It was agreed that the Minister for Health will prepare legislation in line with the Joint Oireachtas Committee’s recommendations on abortion access, which includes a 12-week ‘on request’ period for abortion access.

    “We are heartened at today’s government backing for legislation framed around a 12-week ‘on request’ model for abortion access, with later gestational limits in specific circumstances. This is a further sign of real political will to put women’s and girls’ bodily autonomy firmly at the centre of abortion law reform. We further welcome the Taoiseach’s personal endorsement of this legislative model as the best way to ensure effective access to this healthcare.

    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.

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