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Human Rights Abuses

    August 17, 2017

    Amnesty International strongly condemns the attack that left numerous people dead and wounded on Thursday 17 August on La Rambla in Barcelona. The organization expresses its solidarity with the victims and their families and urges the authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

     

    “We send our full support and solidarity to the victims of this despicable act at this difficult time”, announced Esteban Beltrán, Director of AI Spain. “We must continue to stand up to hate. These types of attacks demonstrate a complete disregard for the most fundamental principles of humanity,” he added.

     

    August 16, 2017

    After Philippine police killed 32 people in what is believed to be the highest death toll in a single day in President Rodrigo Duterte's so-called "war on drugs", Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, James Gomez, said:

    "These shocking deaths are a reminder that President Duterte's lawless 'war on drugs' continues unabated and actually appears to be plumbing new depths of barbarity, with police routinely gunning down suspects, violating the key right to life and completely flouting due process.

    "No one is bearing the brunt of this brutality more than the poorest communities in areas such as Bulacan province, a hotspot for extrajudicial executions since the president took power, and the scene of 21 of yesterday's 32 killings.

    "Duterte‘s recent statement that he might not be able to solve the Philippines' drug-related problems during his current term are very concerning. With the indefinite extension of this failed strategy there is seemingly no end in sight to these killings.

    August 14, 2017

    In response to President Trump’s comments on the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists following this weekend’s violence in Charlottesville — Amnesty International USA Deputy Executive Director of Campaigns and Membership, Njambi Good, issued the following statement:

    “Despite today’s speech, President Trump has traded in bigotry since day one, putting ordinary people at greater risk of violence and harassment by white supremacists. It’s time for Trump to completely change course, and commit to concrete steps that will prevent white supremacists from inciting discrimination, hate, or violence.

    “If the President is serious about stopping racism and religious discrimination, he must abandon the bigoted agenda that he campaigned on and that continues to fuel hate-based violence, including the refugee and Muslim ban.”

     

    This statement can be found online at https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/amnesty-international-usa-response-to-trumps-remarks-on-hate-groups/

     

    August 12, 2017

    AI USA Release

    NEW YORK – In response to today’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia, Amnesty International USA Deputy Executive Director of Campaigns and Membership, Njambi Good, issued the following statement:

    “The authorities must act to deescalate tensions in Charlottesville and take immediate steps to counter hate against people of color, immigrants, refugees, Jews, Muslims and others.

    “Every time the Trump administration equivocates on white supremacy, it risks emboldening more acts of violence, harassment and discrimination. Around the world, we have seen what happens when governments fail to act consistently and promptly to condemn racial and ethnic hatred. Violence and discrimination result, and ordinary people pay the price of government inaction.”

    This statement can be found online at: https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/trump-must-condemn-racial-and-ethnic-hatred/

     

    August 02, 2017
      Recent events in Kenya, including the chilling murder of a top electoral commission official, are creating a cloud of fear that must be properly addressed, warned Amnesty International today, ahead of next week’s election.   Chris Msando, who was in charge of the electronic voting system at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), was found murdered three days after his family reported him missing to the police.   “This brutal murder has sent a chill down the spine of many Kenyans and raised the spectre of violence,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.   “Msando’s murder is the most horrendous incident this election year, but it is not the only one with the potential to sow fear. Numerous threatening statements have been made by high-ranking officials and politicians that infringe on people’s rights to freedom of expression and to access information.”  
    July 28, 2017
      Israeli forces attacked peaceful crowds of Palestinians as they gathered at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem this afternoon for the first time since Israel lifted recent security measures imposed at the site, according to Amnesty International staff at the scene.   “Israeli forces started firing stun grenades, tear gas and sponge-tipped bullets into a peaceful crowd as they stood at the entrance of the al-Aqsa mosque compound and inside. It appeared to be an entirely unprovoked attack. Some Palestinians threw empty water bottles in return. Others, began to throw stones as well,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.   “Using unnecessary and excessive force to disperse a peaceful gathering is a flagrant violation of Israel’s obligation to uphold the rights of Palestinians to peaceful assembly. The Israeli authorities must urgently rein in their security forces to prevent the situation from spiralling out of control and to avoid further bloodshed.”   
    July 25, 2017
      Israeli soldiers and police stormed a Palestinian hospital twice over the past week terrifying staff and patients and in some cases preventing doctors from providing emergency medical care to critically injured patients, said Amnesty International today.   The raids on al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem took place as tensions escalated in Jerusalem and across the West Bank in recent days following an Israeli government decision to place metal detectors and search worshipers at the entrance of Al-Aqsa mosque after two Israeli policemen were killed at the site on 14 July. At least four Palestinian civilians have been killed and more than 1,090 injured by Israeli police and military forces over the past 10 days in the widespread Palestinian protests against the decision and ensuing clashes.  
    July 24, 2017
      The Saudi Arabian Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the death sentences of 14 men after a grossly unfair mass trial is a worrying reminder of the country’s lethal crackdown on dissent, said Amnesty International today. The men who were found guilty of protest-related crimes now face imminent execution.   “By confirming these sentences Saudi Arabia’s authorities have displayed their ruthless commitment to the use of the death penalty as a weapon to crush dissent and neutralize political opponents,” said Samah Hadid, Director of campaigns for the Middle-East at Amnesty international.   “King Salman’s signature is now all that stands between them and their execution. He must immediately quash these death sentences which are a result of sham court proceedings that brazenly flout international fair trial standards," At least 66 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia since the start of 2017, including 26 in the past three weeks alone - more than one execution per day.  
    July 12, 2017
      Responding to statements made by spokespeople for the US-led coalition and the Iraqi forces, Lynn Maalouf Head of Research for Amnesty International in the Middle-East said:   “We are disappointed by the dismissiveness with which the US-led coalition and Iraqi forces have treated our report depicting the immense civilian suffering in west Mosul.   “At the bare minimum, governments who are part of the coalition as well as Iraqi forces must ensure a prompt, impartial investigation into the alleged violations we have documented.   “We hope to see an immediate public acknowledgement of the immense cost to civilians that this battle has caused as well as a transparent response from the US-led coalition and Iraqi forces to the violations and attacks documented by Amnesty International in its report on the west Mosul operation.   “Even wars have laws and there must be accountability when these are violated..  
    July 11, 2017

    Iraq: Battle between US-led coalition, Iraqi forces and Islamic State creates civilian catastrophe in west Mosul

    July 05, 2017
      During his official visit to Israel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi must ask Israel to immediately lift the illegal 10 year blockade of Gaza and raise the issue of 50 years of illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land, Amnesty International India said today. 

    This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister since establishment of diplomatic relations 25 years ago.

    “Prime Minister Modi must tell his Israeli counterparts that the illegal settlements are a violation of international humanitarian law and cause of mass violations of human rights. He must also press them to lift the 10 year blockade of Gaza that has unlawfully deprived Palestinians in Gaza of their most basic rights and necessities,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.           

    “Merely condemning Israel’s settlement expansion cannot suffice. India should ban products from these illegal settlements as helping them flourish economically blatantly undermines its own international obligations.”

    June 13, 2017

    The conviction of five people for the charge of “public indecency” after smoking a cigarette or eating in public during the month of Ramadan is a clear violation of individual freedoms in Tunisia, said Amnesty International.

    In the latest incident, a man was sentenced to one month in jail for “public indecency” in the town of Bizerte, northwest of Tunis, for smoking outside a courthouse on 12 June. A day earlier, dozens of protesters took to the streets in Tunis to demand their right not to fast during Ramadan. He is the fifth man to be sentenced by the same court to a jail term for breaking his fast during Ramadan this month. Four other men were sentenced to one month in prison after eating in public on 1 June.

    June 12, 2017

    A new wave of killings and attacks targeting people with albinism over the past six months is being fueled by systemic failures in Malawi’s criminal justice system which leave members of this vulnerable group at the mercy of criminal gangs, Amnesty International said today on International Albinism Awareness Day.

    Since January 2017, at least two people with albinism have been killed while seven more have reported crimes such as attempted murder or abduction. This stands in stark contrast to the last six months of 2016, when no such incidents were reported.

    “Despite stronger legislation, including reforms to the Penal Code and the Anatomy Act, to tackle attacks against people with albinism, we are seeing an alarming resurgence of killings and attacks against this vulnerable group in 2017,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

    “When the wheels of justice turn so painfully slowly, as they do in Malawi, and historic cases of attacks on people with albinism remain unresolved, it creates a climate of impunity and emboldens suspected perpetrators of these horrific crimes.”

    June 08, 2017

    (Beirut, June 8, 2017) – The expected battle involving Iraqi and US-led coalition forces against the Islamic State (ISIS) in west Mosul’s Old City poses a considerable threat to civilians and civilian objects, international humanitarian and human rights organizations said today. All warring parties should cease using explosive weapons with wide area effects and inherently indiscriminate weapons in densely populated west Mosul. ISIS’s unlawful use of civilians as “human shields” and the difficulty of identifying civilians in buildings increases the risk of civilian casualties.

    The United Nations has estimated that 200,000 civilians remain in the two-square-kilometer area in west Mosul’s Old City, which Iraqi and US-led coalition forces are encircling in preparation for the battle there.

    June 07, 2017

    The group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for today’s suicide bombing and gun attack at parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, the first Leader of Islamic Republic, which killed a number of people and injured dozens in Tehran. In response, Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said:

    “The coordinated attack today at parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum was a brutal and deliberate assault on civilians carried out in cold blood. There can never be a justification for targeting civilians. The group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has again displayed its utter contempt for human life and fundamental principles of humanity.

    “The Iranian authorities must promptly carry out an impartial and independent investigation into this attack and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials, without violating the absolute prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment and without recourse to the death penalty as punishment.”

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