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    May 09, 2018

    In advance of today’s hearing before the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Gina Haspel’s nomination to Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Amnesty is calling on the Committee to vote No.

    “Ever since President Trump nominated Gina Haspel to become CIA Director, we have called for her nomination to be withdrawn pending proper investigation and declassification of her alleged role in the CIA’s program of torture and enforced disappearances. No such investigation has been initiated or conducted, so as things stand, the nomination should not proceed. Simple as that.” said Daphne Eviatar, Director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA.

    “A nomination hearing is not the place to establish the truth about the nominee’s alleged role in crimes under international law. Senators should block this nomination.”

    May 09, 2018

    WASHINGTON – Three U.S. citizens – Kim Dong-chul, Kim Hak-song, and Kim Sang-duk –have been recently released by North Korea after spending months behind bars without a fair trial. Francisco Bencosme, advocacy manager for Asia Pacific at Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:

    “While we welcome the release of three individuals, we remain concerned over the fate of up to 120,000 North Koreans who remain confined in political prison camps. No one should languish behind bars without being given a fair trial. President Trump and his administration must urge North Korea to respect freedom of expression and other human rights at every opportunity, including the possible upcoming summit.”

     

    Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

    May 02, 2018

    A group of Amnesty volunteers will deliver a big box of letters to Microsoft Canada's headquarters at the end of May.

    Help them fill the box with letters to Microsoft! Continue reading for more information. 

    Amnesty is concerned about the strong possibility that there is child labour in Microsoft’s supply chain. Amnesty researchers have discovered that cobalt, a metal used in the rechargeable batteries of portable electronics such as laptops, tablets and cell phones, is being mined by children and adults under hazardous condvolunitions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    Amnesty researchers traced the cobalt supply chain and determined that the cobalt is very likely used in batteries in products sold by Microsoft, Samsung, Apple and others. We urged these companies, and others, to investigate their cobalt supply chains, publish the names of their smelters, and address any human rights issues, in accordance with international business and human rights guidelines.

    April 26, 2018

    An AI USA Press Release

     

    Ahead of the April 30 deadline for the Defense Department to comment on President Trump’s January order to allow the prison at Guantanamo Bay to remain open, Daphne Eviatar, Director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA stated:

    “Each day that this administration keeps the prison at Guantanamo open is an affront to human life. The unlawful detentions of those currently there must not be permitted to continue. No more prisoners should be transferred there, all those cleared for transfer should be transferred out immediately, and those remaining should either have their day in federal court, or be released.

    “The detainees are aging, many are sick and some are suffering from both the mental and physical effects of US torture, after being detained indefinitely for well over a decade, with no clear end in sight.

    "Secretary Mattis may not have the power to eliminate this stain on U.S. history , but he can and must recommend that the shameful practice of indefinite detention at Guantanamo cease.”

     

    April 26, 2018

    On Thursday 26 April, Amnesty International raised a billboard at the San Ysidro Port of Entry (POE) on the US–Mexico border in Tijuana, with a message reminding US and Mexican authorities of their obligations to facilitate asylum claims and to respect the universal human right of all people to seek asylum in other countries. 

    The billboard also invites asylum seekers to report to Amnesty International if authorities turn them away or otherwise violate their human right to seek asylum.

    As hundreds of people who have traveled in caravan from Central America prepare to claim asylum over the weekend at the San Ysidro POE, an Amnesty International delegation will be on the ground to monitor the conduct of authorities in the reception and facilitation of their asylum claims. 

    April 21, 2018

    (AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS) - Athlete and inspiring activist Colin Kaepernick has been honoured with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018, the human rights organization announced today.

    The award was officially presented at a ceremony in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 21 April 2018, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of Amnesty International’s national section in the country.

    “The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick. He is an athlete who is now widely recognised for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    “Just like the Ambassadors of Conscience before him, Colin Kaepernick chooses to speak out and inspire others despite the professional and personal risks. When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice. Colin Kaepernick’s commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of vitriol it has attracted from those in power.”

    April 17, 2018

    In response to Senator Corker’s proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF) intended to replace the 2001 and 2002 authorizations, Daphne Eviatar, director of Security with Human Rights for Amnesty International USA, made the following statement:

    “Since 2001, the U.S. has been operating as if the world is a permanent battlefield, at the costs of thousands of lives, including large numbers of civilians. Despite this, President Trump has reportedly expanded authority for air strikes outside of war zones, and expressed shockingly callous disregard for civilian casualties. The last thing President Trump needs is a renewed open-ended authorization that gives him a blank check to perpetuate endless war, which is exactly what this proposed bill represents.

    April 10, 2018
    Don't Let Children Grow Up in Jail

    Kids and their parents are stuck in what are known as “baby jails.” Their so-called crime? Fleeing violence and dreaming of safety in the United States.

    Every year, tens of thousands of people come to the U.S. southern border seeking safety. They are trying to escape horrific violence and persecution, and going there to ask for asylum, a form of protection recognized under U.S. and international law.

    The Problem

    April 04, 2018
    Human Rights are my pride - Amnesty flag

    Download PDF of UA 65/18 USA

    65 USA.pdf

    Sadat I. fled homophobic attacks from a criminal group in Ghana and has been held in US immigration detention since requesting asylum there in January 2016. US authorities are seeking to forcibly return Sadat to Ghana, where he faces human rights violations by police and the groups he fled. Sadat must immediately be released on parole pending the resolution of his asylum claim, and under no circumstances be deported to Ghana.

    April 03, 2018

    We all want to be good, responsible people, don't we? But sometimes doing the right thing in our daily lives is made next-to-impossible by forces well beyond us. At these times, we need to work together, creatively, to do what's right. 

    Amnesty International's palm oil campaign gives you a chance to help fix a serious problem hidden in your breakfast cereal and possibly in the toothpaste you used this morning. Palm oil and palm oil ingredients are now in half of all consumer products, yet the harvesting of this product is leading to the exploitation of children, and human rights abuses of women and workers. 

    We have a plan to stop these abuses, and it starts with your signature.

    March 27, 2018

    Sadly, the United States has become somewhat infamous for school shootings, but there’s a crucial point missing from the gun violence debate: saving lives is not a policy choice for elected officials to consider or ignore. 

    It is a legal obligation on the US government under human rights treaties that the country has committed to abide by.

    Of course, a key challenge is how to enforce these obligations and that’s where activism – like the youth-led March for Our Lives on March 24 in Washington DC and across the world – plays a critical role.

    People must demand that elected officials respect, protect and fulfil our human rights –  including those of people most impacted by gun violence: youth, women and people of colour.

    There is plenty that can be done

    In that context, there are several steps that the US government can and should take to protect people’s lives from gun violence.

    No elected official should ever claim that there’s nothing that can be done to stop gun violence. It’s the opposite – there’s plenty.

    The US government can and should:

    March 21, 2018

    Amnesty International USA will have member and staff-led delegations in 14 cities around the country as part of the March for Our Lives event this Saturday, March 24. Amnesty International USA is not an organizer of the event, but has endorsed the march.

    “Gun violence in the United States is a human rights crisis,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “It is unacceptable that people cannot live their lives without fear of being shot. The laws currently in place at all levels are not enough to protect the fundamental right to live. We stand with all students, parents, co-workers, neighbors and loved ones who have been touched by gun violence in saying ‘no more.’ In many communities across the U.S., gun violence is a daily occurrence. They have been calling for change for years--- we need meaningful reform without delay.”

    AIUSA delegations will march in the following cities: Washington DC, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Oakland and Los Angeles, Orange County, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis, Columbus and Detroit.

    March 20, 2018

    Responding to an initiative announced by President Donald Trump on the use of the death penalty as a means to address the opioid crisis, Amnesty International’s Senior Program Officer for Criminal Justice, Kristina Roth stated:

    “We are deeply concerned about the administration’s plans to address the United States opioid crisis, by ramping up the use of the death penalty. The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. All people have the right to life, and we all have the right to be free from cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment. These are human rights that people have, regardless of whether they have been convicted of crimes. The death penalty is never an appropriate option in any circumstance, let alone when responding to a public health crisis.

    “There is no evidence that the death penalty has a unique deterrent effect, improves public safety, or reduces drug-related harm. The death penalty will not lower the alarming number of deaths related to the use of opioids. What we need are more humane, effective and evidence-based policies, to better protect public health and human rights.

    March 14, 2018

    By Rebecca Ma, Associate Campaigner, Amnesty International USA

    For the past three years, fourteen-year-old Astrid and her father Arturo were living an ordinary life in Easton, Pennsylvania. She was in the eighth grade, studying at Easton Area Middle School, where her favorite subject is Math.

    Less than a month before the much anticipated quinceañera celebration of her fifteenth birthday, life as Astrid knew it was turned upside down.

    On February 20, at approximately 5:00 AM, Astrid was asleep in her room when she was awoken by six male Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) armed agents standing before her bed and yelling: “IMMIGRATION — GET UP!” They ordered everyone in the house into a room and asked them for identification. The ICE agents did not show a warrant or say why they were there.

    March 13, 2018

    In response to reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced by current CIA director Mike Pompeo – who will in turn be replaced by current CIA deputy director Gina Haspel -- Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, issued this statement:

    “Both Pompeo and Haspel have deeply alarming records when it comes to human rights. Before they assume positions that could have repercussions for human rights around the world, they should be given utmost scrutiny by the Senate in the confirmation process.

    “Pompeo has previously voiced his support for interrogation tactics like waterboarding and there are reports that Haspel directed a CIA ‘black site’ at a time when detainees were subjected to torture and enforced disappearance. She may also have had a role in the destruction of evidence of such crimes under international law.

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