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    August 10, 2017
      Following today’s execution of Alireza Tajiki, a young Iranian man who was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death as a child, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Magdalena Mughrabi said:   “By going ahead with this execution in defiance of their obligations under international law, and despite huge public and international opposition, the Iranian authorities have again cruelly demonstrated their complete disdain for children’s rights. This shameful act marks a critical turning point for Iran, and exposes the hollowness of the authorities’ claims to have a genuine juvenile justice system.”   “Alireza Tajiki is the fourth person executed in Iran this year who was arrested as a child. His execution, which was carried out despite his allegations that he was tortured into “confessing”, consolidates a horrendous pattern that has seen Iran repeatedly send people arrested as children to the gallows, often after deeply unfair trials.  
    July 25, 2017
      The phone rang at four in the afternoon, exactly as scheduled. The ringing heightened the tension in the small living room of the 1950s house in Mexico City.    “Will you accept a call from the West Federal Prison?” said the voice at the end of the line.   “Yes, of course. Yes, I will,” Blanca responded, visibly nervous, as if she hadn’t done this before.   But Blanca Aviña Guerrero has done this many times before. She has been doing it every Friday since her youngest son, Enrique, was arbitrarily detained by federal police in May 2013 and eventually thrown into a maximum security prison in the state of Jalisco, around 540 km west of Mexico City.    Authorities claim Enrique, 28, was involved in kidnapping the nephews of a well-known local businessman.   But a closer look at his case reveals a more sinister story.   False suspicions  
    July 19, 2017
      A court today convicted 23 Sahrawi activists over deadly clashes in Western Sahara after failing to exclude evidence tainted by allegations of torture during the trial hearings, said Amnesty International.   Early this morning the Rabat Court of Appeals sentenced the defendants to prison terms ranging from two years to life imprisonment in connection with the clashes that followed the forcible dismantlement of a protest camp in Gdim Izik, Western Sahara, in 2010, killing 11 members of the security forces and two Sahrawi protesters.  
    July 18, 2017
      Amnesty International is alarmed by the amendments to the Law on the National Council of Judiciary and the Law on Common Courts adopted by the parliament: the lower chamber, Sejm on 12 July and the Senate on 15 July. The amendments are now awaiting the signature of the President of Poland. Another amendment, of the Law on the Supreme Court, put on the agenda of Sejm at night of 12 July raises further concerns over the government’s attempt to put the judiciary under political control.   This amendment is going for the first hearing on 18 July. The changes and why they are problematic are listed below.   These changes follow earlier, already problematic amendments to the composition of the Constitutional Tribunal that severely affected its independence to the extent that the European Commission issued a recommendation under the Rule of Law Framework in which it found that there was a “systemic threat to the rule of law in Poland”.  Another source of concern in relation to the independence of the justice system is the large-scale personnel changes in the prosecution service carried out in 2016.
    July 14, 2017
      Responding to the news of Malaysian national Prabagaran Srivijayan’s execution in Singapore today, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific said:   “This execution is a shocking violation of the human right to life. That this cruel punishment has been administered after a trial filled with flaws makes this flouting of international law all the more disturbing.  “That an appeal was pending on this case in his home country at the time of execution, and that there were serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, underlines a flagrant disregard for due process in profoundly dubious circumstances.”   Background   Prabagaran Srivijayan was convicted of drug trafficking and given a mandatory death sentence in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine was found in the arm rest of a car he borrowed. He has consistently maintained his innocence.  
    July 12, 2017
      The Saudi Arabian government is employing the death penalty as a political weapon to silence dissent, said Amnesty International, following the execution of four Shi’a men in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on 11 July.  
    July 11, 2017
      The Singaporean authorities must halt the imminent execution of a Malaysian man convicted of importing drugs amid serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, Amnesty International said today.   Prabagaran Srivijayan’s execution has been scheduled for this Friday, 14 July 2017, according to his family who were informed last week. Prabagaran Srivijayan was convicted of drug trafficking and given a mandatory death sentence in 2012 after 22.24g of diamorphine was found in the arm rest of a car he borrowed. He has consistently maintained his innocence.   “There are only four days left to save Prabagaran Srivijayan’s life before he is cruelly dragged to the gallows. The Singaporean authorities must immediately halt his execution before another person suffers this inhumane and irreversible punishment,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.  
    July 06, 2017
      Responding to the news that Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, was detained on Wednesday along with seven other human rights defenders and two trainers during a digital security and information management workshop in Büyükada, Istanbul, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: 

    “We are profoundly disturbed and outraged that some of Turkey’s leading human rights defenders, including the Director of Amnesty International Turkey should have been detained so blatantly without cause.

    “Her incommunicado detention and that of the other human rights defenders attending a routine training event, is a grotesque abuse of power and highlights the precarious situation facing human rights activists in the country. Idil Eser and those detained with her, must be immediately and unconditionally released.

    June 22, 2017

    Dear Ministers Freeland and Wilson-Raybould, and Mr. Alghabra,

    Amnesty International is alarmed at the continued detention of Lebanese-Canadian dual national Hassan Diab in Fleury-Mérogis Prison in France in the face of six orders from investigating judges that he be released on bail. We urge you to call on your French counterparts to take immediate steps to secure his release on bail.

    June 20, 2017

    Media Advisory

    Strong new evidence uncovered in the past few days that could help in the case of Canadian citizen Hassan Diab, who has been held in pre-trial custody in France for 2½ years without charge or trial, will be the subject of a national press conference tomorrow.

    Mr. Diab, a Lebanese-Canadian dual national, was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014 to face criminal charges in connection with a 1980 bombing outside a synagogue in Paris. Mr Diab has consistently professed his innocence.

    French investigating judges have delivered 6 judicial orders that Mr. Diab be released on bail, all of which have been summarily overturned on appeal. The most recent release order, on April 24, cited evidence that indicated Mr. Diab was in Beirut during the Paris bombing. That order was quashed on appeal May 2.

    Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, and Chantal Vallerand, of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, will speak at the press conference, as will Mr. Diab’s Canadian lawyer and his spouse.

    May 30, 2017

    Cambodia’s government is using its courts to silence human rights defenders and political activists, Amnesty International says today in a new report.

    Using its tight grip on the criminal justice system, the Cambodian government has brought a series of trumped-up charges against members of the political opposition, trade union activists, human rights activists, and political commentators, in an attempt to harass, intimidate and punish them.

    “In Cambodia, the courts are tools in the hands of the government. Much lip-service is paid to the judiciary’s independence, but the evidence reveals a cynical manipulation of the criminal justice system to serve political goals and silence people whose views the government refuses to tolerate,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

    February 03, 2017

    Adolfo Garcia (pictured, second from the left), is a quiet, serious middle-aged farmer from Guatemala. Once the Guatemalan government began issuing mining licenses in Santa Rosa, he dedicated his life to protecting the land and water for future generations of farmers and residents of his small town in south-east Guatemala.

    Adolfo has since experienced terrible injustice and violence. During a peaceful protest in 2013, Adolfo, his son, and five other men were shot and gravely injured outside a silver mine owned by Canadian company, Tahoe Resources. Adolfo’s then-teenaged son, Luis Fernando, was shot in the face, requiring extensive and painful reconstructive surgeries to enable him to breathe again. Adolfo and his wife nearly lost their family home to pay for the operations. 

    August 29, 2016

    The Israeli authorities must ensure that the trial of a detained humanitarian worker employed by the charity World Vision is fair and open, said Amnesty International on the eve of his trial, amid reports that the proceedings are due to take place in secret.

    Mohammed al-Halabi, the manager of Gaza operations for the child-focused global development NGO, is facing 12 charges including being a member of a “terrorist organization” and siphoning off the charity’s funds for “terrorism” purposes.  He was initially denied access to a lawyer and, when she was eventually allowed to meet him, he alleged he had been seriously mistreated in custody.

    The lawyer is prevented from disclosing the details of that allegation, as well as many other elements of the case, by a set of severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on reporting around the case. 

    August 17, 2016

    Renewed violence underscores the urgency of bringing to account those responsible for crimes under international law committed during South Sudan’s armed conflict, said Amnesty International and FIDH today, a year on from a faltering peace agreement.

    The peace accord was signed on 17 August 2015 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. It requires the African Union (AU) to set up a hybrid court for South Sudan to investigate and prosecute individuals suspected of committing genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity since the conflict began in December 2013.

    “Last month’s return to violence underscores the need to seek accountability for the horrendous crimes committed and should bolster, not undermine, the pursuit of justice,” said Elizabeth Deng, Amnesty International’s South Sudan Researcher.

    “The African Union must stop dragging its feet and take concrete steps to set up the court, including by immediately collecting and preserving evidence before it is lost and witnesses’ memories of events fade.”

    March 21, 2016

    The case of Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadiya Savchenko, found guilty of murder today by a court in southern Russia, must go immediately for a fair retrial, Amnesty International said.

    “It is abhorrent to send Nadiya Savchenko to prison after such a flawed, deeply politicized trial,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia. 

    “The litany of dubious procedures and decisions by the presiding judge over the course of this trial shows a clear contempt for due process and suggests Nadiya never had a hope of proving her innocence.

    “The only way justice can be delivered both for Nadiya, and the journalists who were killed, is for there to be a full and impartial investigation into her allegations and a retrial that remains free of political interference and complies with international fair trial standards.”

     

    For further information contact John Tackaberry, Media Relations
    (613)744-7667 #236  jtackaberry@amnesty.ca

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