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    April 11, 2017

    An Amnesty International team recently returned from the US-Mexico border where they investigated how President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security threaten to affect thousands of people. 

    This is what they found.

    What did you find at the border? 

    We spent almost two weeks visiting towns and cities on both sides of the US-Mexico border, talking to migrants, asylum seekers, human rights activists and government officials. We travelled the entire length of the land border, something that no other international human rights organization has done since Trump took office. We knew this was essential to get a clear picture of what was happening in what has become one of the most talked-about places on earth. 

    We were surprised by what we found. 

    Most places were quiet – but the kind of edgy quiet before a big storm kicks in. Because President Trump’s executive orders are setting the scene for what could turn into a full-blown refugee crisis. 

    April 11, 2017

    By Madeleine Penman, Mexico Researcher at Amnesty International

    The sight of one of the most infamous borders on earth – roughly 1,000 kilometers of porous metal fence dividing lives, hopes and dreams between the USA and Mexico, is undoubtedly overwhelming, but not in the way we expected it to be.

    While it has been one of the most talked about issues since last year’s USA election campaign, the stretch of land that separates the USA and Mexico now lies eerily quiet.

    April 04, 2017

    Some of the world’s largest companies are selling food and cosmetics containing palm oil that is tainted by shocking human rights abuses, including forced and child labour. Corporate giants, such as Nestlé , Kellogg’s, Colgate, Unilever and Procter & Gamble are turning a blind eye to the exploitation of workers in their palm oil supply chain. These companies reassure their customers that they are using “sustainable” palm oil, yet Amnesty’s research reveals that the palm oil is anything but.

    These companies buy palm oil from plantations run by Wilmar in Indonesia. Amnesty has discovered severe labour abuses at Wilmar’s plantations, including unsafe working conditions, discrimination against women, unrealistic targets and penalties, and children doing hazardous work.

    Write a lettter:

    Contact the makers of Dove soap, KitKat chocolate bars, Knorr soup, Pantene shampoo, Gerber baby cereal, Colgate toothpaste, Palmolive dish soap and Magnum and Parlour ice cream and demand that they take responsibility for human rights abuses in their palm oil supply chain.

    April 04, 2017

    Governments around the world go through many efforts to cover a veil of secrecy upon their cruel practices of torture. Ammar al Baluchi's story shows the ways in which the US has tried to cover their brutal, extensive use of torture.

     

    Ammar al Baluchi faces charges, including the death penalty, for an alleged role in the 9/11 attacks.

    In April 2003, Ammar was abducted and taken into US custody in Pakistan. For the next three years, the CIA subjected him to enforced disappearance, moving him to different CIA-operated "black sites". Throughout this time, Ammar was brutally tortured by CIA authorities as part of their interrogation program. Acts of torture that he was forced to endure include: water torture similar to water boarding; continuous high volume music; extreme sleep deprivation; forced nudity, and beatings that have resulted in a painful traumatic brain injury.

     

    March 30, 2017

    Following a preliminary injunction against the Muslim ban in Hawaii, Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, had the following reaction:

    “The courts have once again clearly rejected the Muslim ban. Like the previous travel ban, the new order is indefensibly discriminatory. Rather than make people safer, the order has caused thousands of people to live in fear and uncertainty. President Trump must abandon this failed agenda and immediately revoke the ban.”

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    For media requests, please contact Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations: jkuehn@amnesty.ca // 613-744-7667 x 236

    March 30, 2017

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will reportedly lift human rights conditions on an arms sale to Bahrain, despite that country’s record of oppression against dissidents and participation in a Saudi Arabia-led coalition that has bombed thousands of civilians in Yemen. Yemen is one of the six Muslim-majority countries included in Trump’s revised travel ban executive order.

    Sunjeev Bery, an advocacy director with Amnesty International USA, made the following statement in response:

    “While getting weapons from the USA, Bahrain’s government is silencing critics at home and participating in a military coalition that is bombing civilians in Yemen. This deal sends a dangerous signal to Bahrain and all other countries that engage in serious human rights violations. It is particularly galling to arm these governments while simultaneously barring those fleeing violence entrance to the USA. These deals place the USA at risk of being complicit in war crimes, and discourage other countries, like Saudi Arabia, from addressing their own human rights records.”

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    March 29, 2017

    NEW YORK – US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that human rights should be an integral part of the UN Security Council’s mission when the United States assumes the presidency of the council next month.

    “Ambassador Haley’s welcome remarks today prioritizing human rights are certainly encouraging, and she must follow through on these promises as the US assumes the presidency of the Security Council,” said T. Kumar of Amnesty International USA.

    “President Trump’s previous statements expressing hostility to the United Nations raised serious concerns about the commitment of the US to international human rights law. We hope that Ambassador Haley’s remarks show that the U.S. will honour its obligations, including not reducing funding to the UN.”  

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    For media requests, please contact Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations: jkuehn@amnesty.ca // 613-744-7667 x 236

    March 16, 2017

    NEW YORK -- Following a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii blocking President Trump’s revised Muslim ban, Margaret Huang, executive director at Amnesty International USA had the following reaction:

    “As long as this hateful policy remains, it will continue to be fought in courts while thousands of people and families are trapped in uncertainty. Congress can end this by passing legislation that effectively nullifies the ban. This decision against the ban tells us what we already know: this is anti-Muslim bigotry falsely packaged as security. Hatred won’t make us safe. The ban must be repealed now.”

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    For more media inquiries, contact Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations

    613-744-7667 ext 236 // jkuehn@amnesty.ca

    March 10, 2017

    NEW YORK – Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is launching a campaign today urging Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release several families with young children being detained at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania. Four of the 35 children currently detained at Berks – aged three, four, seven and 16 –  have been at the Center for over 500 days, despite having pending applications for legal permanent residency.

    AIUSA sent a letter to ICE on March 9 requesting that these families be granted parole and is mobilizing its over 1.2 million U.S. members and supporters to call the agency to demand that the families be released.

    “These four children have spent a significant amount of their lives essentially behind bars. The U.S. cannot continue to treat those fleeing horrific violence like criminals,” said Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA executive director.

    March 09, 2017

    By Rawya Rageh, Senior Crisis Response Advisor at Amnesty International. Follow Rawya on Twitter @RawyaRageh.

    It was an excruciating choice that no family should ever have to make.

    Should they stay together with their two young daughters and miss perhaps their only chance to escape the horrors of war, or should they make a break for freedom but leave their year-old baby behind in a foreign land half-way around the world?

    This was the devil’s dilemma facing US-Yemeni dual national Baraa Ahmed (not his real name) and his wife, who were separated from their breastfeeding baby in the wake of President Trump’s discriminatory travel ban.

    “I would have never left my daughter behind in Malaysia and flown back [to the States] if it weren’t for the decision by the President. Nothing would have made me leave my daughter behind … But [Trump’s executive order] really compelled us to do what we did,” Baraa Ahmed told Amnesty International.

    What brought them to entrust their baby’s care to friends in Malaysia, a country 15,000 km away where they have no close ties?

    March 08, 2017

    In response to WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of documents on the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) hacking tools, Sherif Elsayed Ali, Head of Technology and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said: 

    “Given everything we already know, this new revelation again highlights the inherent difficulty of keeping information safe in the digital age. The fact that one of the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies is vulnerable to losing control over its operational secrets puts into perspective the risks faced by journalists and human rights defenders in a world where governments are increasingly hostile to those who speak truth to power.

    “To protect transparency and accountability, we must preserve the space for civil society – in today’s world, this means protecting communications and data from unwarranted interference.

    March 08, 2017

    By Tarah Demant, Senior Director, Identity and Discrimination Unit, Amnesty International USA

    It’s hard to keep track of the various assaults on human rights coming out of the Trump administration. It’s particularly dizzying for women’s rights defenders — because make no mistake, these assaults are all part of a broader attack on women’s rights by President Donald Trump and his administration.

    March 07, 2017
    New packaging, same fear and hate.

    Donald Trump's Executive Order on immigration may have been revised, but it remains blatantly discriminatory. 

    Thinly disguised as a national security measure, Trump’s travel ban reinstates many of the most repellent elements of the original blocked by US courts.

    The US president has effectively shut America’s door to anyone - including refugees - from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. These six countries have two main things in common: they are predominantly Muslim, and many of their citizens are trying to seek asylum abroad to escape serious human rights violations like persecution, indiscriminate bombing, and torture.

    Rather than curbing the excesses of the first travel ban, the revised version shows a xenophobic policy towards Muslims which is mutating, virus-like, into an ever more resilient strain. And like a virus, its effects cannot be easily contained.

    March 06, 2017
    Same hate & fear, new package

    On March 6, President Trump signed a new Executive Order – often referred to as the travel ban or Muslim ban – reinstating harmful measures that discriminate against nationals, including refugees, from six Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen). It also temporarily stops refugees from any countries from resettling in the US.

    This Executive Order could affect families who have escaped the rubble of Aleppo, or fled war and famine in Yemen. These are people fleeing conflicts and other serious threats, and they deserve protection.

    March 06, 2017

    In response to President Trump’s new Executive Order to reinstate the suspension of the USA’s refugee resettlement programme and establish a temporary travel ban on people from six majority-Muslim countries, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

    “President Trump’s determined efforts to slam the door on those fleeing the very terror he claims to be fighting will be remembered among the darkest chapters of US history. The idea that these measures are in the interest of national security does not stand up to the slightest scrutiny.

    “This new Executive Order simply reinstates many of the most repellent elements of its predecessor. It tramples on the values the USA has long claimed to stand for and threatens to dash the hopes of thousands of refugees who were due to be resettled in the USA.

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