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Human Rights Abuses

    September 29, 2017

    A resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council today, mandating a group of international experts to investigate abuses by all parties to the conflict in Yemen, is a momentous breakthrough that will pave the way for justice for countless victims of human rights abuses and grave violations of international law, including war crimes, said Amnesty International.

    The resolution was passed today by consensus, after intensive negotiations. It is the result of years of campaigning and lobbying by Yemeni human rights organizations as well as Amnesty International and other international organizations.

    “This resolution is a victory for Yemenis whose suffering at the hands of all parties to the conflict in Yemen has been overlooked by the international community. The resolution offers hope for those seeking justice and can serve as a stepping stone towards accountability,” said Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research.

    September 28, 2017

    UPDATE 28 September 2017: Scroll down for an open letter to the UN from 87 civil society organizations urging immediate action on the crisis in Myanmar.

    The UN Security Council must do everything it can to end the crimes against humanity and ongoing ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya civilian population in Myanmar, including by imposing a comprehensive arms embargo on the country, Amnesty International said.

    The Council is holding a public session on the situation in Myanmar on Thursday, when Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will brief members on the current crisis in Rakhine state.

    “The Myanmar military is forcibly displacing and killing Rohingya, a campaign of crimes against humanity that amounts to ethnic cleansing. When they meet on Thursday, UN member states must ask themselves what side of history they want to be on and do everything they can do end this nightmare. Together, they do have the power to pressure Myanmar to end the violence,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director.

    September 07, 2017

    A wave of brutal attacks in the Central African Republic, including the systematic rape and murder of civilians, highlights the urgent need for stronger UN action to protect civilians, Amnesty International said today.

    On-the-ground research by the organization in August 2017 also uncovered a horrifying surge in torture, pillage, and forced displacement by a Seleka off-shoot, the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC).

    “Communities living in Basse-Kotto have been left at the mercy of the UPC. Women have been raped, men murdered, villages destroyed, and the region’s UN peacekeeping force has proved ineffective in stemming these abuses,” said Joanne Mariner, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International.

    “Civilians are not accidental victims in this conflict; they are direct targets. If the UN’s mandate in the Central African Republic is to mean anything, civilians must be better protected.”

    September 07, 2017

    Responding to news that outspoken government critic Tanzanian parliamentarian Tundu Lissu has been shot and wounded by unidentified attackers in the capital Dodoma, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “This cowardly attack on one of Tanzania’s most fearless and prominent politicians raises concerns about the safety of all dissident voices in the country, at a time when space for dissent is quickly shrinking.

    “This heinous crime must not be swept under the carpet. The Tanzanian authorities must immediately launch an effective and impartial investigation into the shooting and ensure that those responsible are held to account.

    “The authorities must take steps to reassure Tanzanians and the world that this shooting was not politically motivated.”

    Background

    Tundu Lissu, who also heads up the lawyer’s association, the Tanganyika Law Society, is a fierce and outspoken critic of President John Pombe Magufuli.

    September 05, 2017
      Prime Minister Narendra Modi should use his official visit to Myanmar to urge authorities there to take urgent steps to protect civilians in violence-hit Rakhine State and lift restrictions on international humanitarian aid to Rakhine, Amnesty International India said today. Thousands of people, mainly Rohingya, are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign in Rakhine.

    “Prime Minister Modi needs to tell Myanmar’s leadership that they are not doing enough to protect all communities in the state, whether it is stopping military abuses targeting the Rohingya or restricting crucial humanitarian access for people in need,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.

    “As a historic friend of Myanmar, India can play an important role in defusing tensions and saving civilian lives. Prime Minister Modi must urge the Myanmar authorities to address the long-standing and systematic discrimination against Rohingya and other Muslims in Rakhine State, which has left people trapped in a cycle of violence and deprivation.”

    September 04, 2017

    · At least 381 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram since April 2017 in Cameroon and Nigeria amid a spike in suicide bombings

    · Millions remain in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and protection as attacks and increased insecurity hamper aid efforts

    A major resurgence in Boko Haram attacks and suicide bombings in Cameroon and Nigeria has left at least 381 civilians dead in the five months since the start of April 2017, with casualties more than double the previous five months, Amnesty International said today.

    According to data collected by the organization, a sharp rise in civilian deaths in the Far North region of Cameroon and the Nigerian states of Borno and Adamawa has been driven by the armed group’s increased use of suicide bombers – often using women and girls who are forced to carry explosives into crowded areas.

    August 25, 2017

    An air strike which hit Faj Attan, a residential area of Yemen’s capital Sana’a in the early hours of this morning, destroying three homes, killing ten people and injuring seven more, shows that after more than two years of devastating conflict in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is as brazen as ever in its disregard for international humanitarian law, Amnesty International said today.

    “Last night the Saudi Arabia-led coalition rained down bombs on civilians while they slept, killing five children and leaving three others seriously injured. Locals say that a four-year-old girl was the sole survivor in her family, after the air strike killed the other seven members. Many people were trapped beneath the rubble of their homes until the early hours of this morning”, said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International.

    August 24, 2017

    Reacting to the final report issued today by the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

    “People in Rakhine State, in particular the Muslim Rohingya minority, have suffered a horrific catalogue of rights abuses for decades. This comprehensive report released by the Commission today clearly outlines many of the steps Myanmar’s authorities must take to end discrimination and segregation in the region.

    “The government has spent the past year playing for time and trying to hide behind the Commission, but has now run out of excuses not to act. Authorities in Myanmar must swiftly move to implement the report’s recommendations for improving the human rights situation and ending discrimination. In particular, they must urgently lift restrictions on movement, allow full access for humanitarian workers and media, and review and amend the country’s discriminatory citizenship laws.

    August 24, 2017
      A hearing today in the Philippines Senate has exposed the abysmal failings of the police to protect children from the deadly consequences of the “war on drugs”, Amnesty International said.   The Senate hearing convened to address last week’s police killing of the 17-year-old student Kian Loyd Delos Santos, a case which has triggered widespread national and international outrage. Although police claim the killing was done in self-defence, CCTV footage and eyewitnesses have seriously called this into question.   “Kian’s death has rightly sparked a national outcry and public trust in the police is at an all-time low. The only way to address this is for the Philippines authorities to end all deadly drug operations, and return to return to an approach anchored on due process and rule of law,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.  
    August 22, 2017

    Six years since the Tawargha people were displaced from their hometown by Misratah militia forces in August 2011, the community of about 40,000 are still unable to return safely to their homes, Amnesty International said today.

    Two months ago, in June 2017, a political agreement was signed paving the way for their return. However, the terms of the deal not been implemented and some of those who have attempted to make the journey home since have faced threats and intimidation. The agreement also fails to ensure access to justice and reparations for the horrendous abuses Tawarghas have endured in recent years.

    “The failure to hold anyone accountable for the catalogue of abuses the Tawargha have suffered since they were displaced demonstrates the catastrophic consequences of years of lawlessness in Libya, where militias have committed gross human rights abuses with complete impunity,” said Heba Morayef.

    “Without clear political will to enforce the agreement to ensure the Tawargha’s safe return home, the public commitments made in June will be little more than an empty gesture.”

    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.”  

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