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    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.

    March 03, 2017

    By Tanya O’Carroll (@tanyaocarroll) and Joshua Franco (@joshyrama)

    Both as a candidate and now as President, Donald Trump has made clear his intent to pursue aggressive policies targeting Muslims, refugees and immigrants under the banner of national security. In his first week in office Trump enacted the patently unlawful travel ban seeking to bar all refugees, and individuals from 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. A second executive order the same week, as well as later accompanying policy memoranda, extended powers to law enforcement and immigration agencies to increase detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

    We do not know what the future holds, but the President’s statements certainly give cause for serious concern. Trump has notoriously refused to rule out the possibility of a “Muslim registry”, and has stated his intention to quickly deport between 2 and 3 million undocumented immigrants.

    March 02, 2017
    */ /*-->*/ I want to thank Amnesty International activists like you for taking action on my behalf. I truly appreciate your support and your actions made a difference. Because of you, I can now get the medical care I need and be reunited with my family who I have not seen in over 15 months. Thank you.

    -Sara Beltran Hernandez

    Sara Beltran Hernandez, a 26-year-old mother who fled violence in El Salvador and has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas for 15 months, has been released from detention to be with her family and to seek treatment for a brain tumor.

    March 02, 2017

    Sara Beltran Hernandez, a 26-year-old mother who fled violence in El Salvador and has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas for 15 months, has granted bond. She is expected be released this evening to be with her family and to seek treatment for a brain tumor.

    Amnesty International had campaigned for her release and mobilized its 1.2 million members across the country to flood ICE with phone calls asking for Sara to be freed.

    “Sara and her family are overjoyed that she will finally be able to be with her loved ones and receive medical care after being unjustly detained for over 400 days,” said Eric Ferrero of Amnesty International USA.

    “Sara never should have been held for so long in the first place, let alone with a medical issue. It is unconscionable to treat people fleeing violence and danger as if they are criminals. Applying for asylum should not mean giving up one’s human rights in the process.”

    February 10, 2017

    Spokespeople available for interview

    President Donald Trump’s proposed suspension of a ground-breaking transparency law on conflict minerals will reward irresponsible business practices and seriously undermine global human rights protections, Amnesty International said today.

    “The conflict minerals law is a vital way of breaking the chain between horrific human rights abuses in Central Africa and consumer products like smart phones. By requiring companies to be transparent about how they source minerals, it throws light on shameful and secretive business practices that allow companies to benefit from conflict and abuse. Suspending it would be a boon to irresponsible companies and the perpetrators of violence in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said Audrey Gaughran, Head of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

    “Claims by President Trump that blocking this vital human rights protection would somehow protect US national security is patently illogical and absurd. This is a shameless proposal which threatens to unravel years of progress in ending the trade in conflict minerals.

    February 09, 2017

    Despite efforts by civil rights and human rights groups to delay his confirmation, Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed today as Attorney General. Following is a statement from Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

    “As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions must remember that his duty is to uphold the law and protect everyone’s human rights. Attorneys General do not have the option of choosing which people should enjoy their rights, or which rights are worthy of being protected. Amnesty International’s 1.2 million members and supporters in the U.S. will be monitoring his actions closely and will hold him accountable at every turn.

    “This administration has already shown a disregard for people’s human rights with an executive order that writes anti-Muslim bigotry into policy and refuses to help refugees, some of the most vulnerable, at-risk people in the world. Jeff Sessions must leave behind his deeply troubling record on human rights, including his past racist statements and his fight to allow U.S. officials to torture people.

    February 07, 2017

    NEW YORK – Following a filing by the Department of Justice to an appeals court weighing President Trump’s Muslim ban, Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security With Human Rights program, released the following statement:

    “President Trump continues to defend his indefensible Muslim ban as more and more Americans are rejecting it. From polls to protests, Americans are sending a clear message to Congress: Step in and block this Muslim ban now. Congress must intervene immediately and stop this once and for all.”

    This statement can be found online here:http://amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/trump-s-defense-of-muslim-ban-is-out-of-step-with-americans

     

    February 06, 2017

    “From polls to protests, the message to Congress is clear: Step in and stop this Muslim ban now,” Amnesty International says

    (NEW YORK, NY) – As Americans learn more about President Trump’s Muslim ban, they increasingly reject it, multiple polls show. Amnesty International USA said today that Congress should listen to growing public opposition to the Muslim ban and pass legislation to block it.

    February 06, 2017
    A women stands in front of a Trump Hotel with her fist raised

    Since taking over at the White House, US President Donald Trump has wasted little time putting into action his poisonous campaign rhetoric. In his first couple of weeks in office, he pushed through a series of repressive executive orders that threaten the human rights of millions at home and abroad. Here are seven potentially devastating steps already taken by President Trump:

     

    1.    Turning his back on refugees

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