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Trafficking

    August 26, 2014

    By Maxim Tucker, Press Officer – Global Campaigns, Thematic Issues and UN.

    (BORGO MEZZANONE, ITALY) Ebrima’s bedroom is a stark corrugated square, five metres long and five metres wide. He shares it with one other asylum seeker – each has a foam mattress over a camp bed to sleep on. Wires dangle from a broken light in the ceiling and the floor is carpeted in dust, crumbs and the odd seashell.

    The Asylum Seekers Reception Centre at Borgo Mezzanone, Southern Italy, has been his home for the past six months. In this disused airbase which was turned into a detention centre, conditions are dire. But after a harrowing journey from Africa, through the Sahara and across the Mediterranean, Ebrima doesn’t even seem to notice. He is happy to be here.

    He tells me his journey started in Sierra Leone after the death of his Muslim father. The Christian community where he lived wanted him gone. Even his stepmother’s family tried to force him to convert from Islam to Christianity.

    February 29, 2012

    The Chinese authorities should not forcibly return any more North Korean border-crossers caught en route to South Korea, after it emerged that nine people were sent back, Amnesty International said.

    At least 40 North Koreans are said to be currently held in detention facilities near the China-North Korea border in North East China after being caught in transit. If sent back to North Korea, they would be at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment, forced labour, imprisonment in political prison camps and execution.

    In January the North Korean authorities reportedly condemned border-crossers and threatened them with severe punishments on their return.

    "The reported denouncement of border-crossers by North Korea's new government during a time of leadership transition could signal that those returned may be subjected to even harsher punishment than usual," said Rajiv Narayan, Amnesty International’s Korea expert.

    "The North Korean authorities must ensure that no one is detained or prosecuted for going to China, nor subjected to gross violations of their human rights on return there."

    September 21, 2011

    The Colombian authorities have failed to tackle the lack of justice for women and girl survivors during the country's long-running armed conflict, Amnesty International said in a new report today.

    “Women and girls in Colombia are often treated as trophies of war. They are raped and sexually abused by all the warring parties as a way to silence and punish them,” said Susan Lee, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “Since President Santos took office in 2010, the government has made clear commitments to tackle the human rights crisis but we have yet to see real improvements in bringing to justice those responsible for human rights abuses, such as sexual violence against women.”

    Amnesty International’s report, ‘This is what we demand. Justice!’ Impunity for sexual violence against women in Colombia’s armed conflict, documents how the rights of survivors of sexual violence to truth, justice and reparation continue to be denied by the authorities.

    May 03, 2011

    Amnesty International has published satellite imagery and new testimony that shed light on the horrific conditions in North Korea’s network of political prison camps, which hold an estimated 200,000 people.

    The images reveal the location, size and conditions inside the camps. Amnesty International spoke to a number of people, including former inmates from the political prison camp at Yodok as well as guards in other political prison camps, to obtain information about life in the camps.

    According to former detainees at the political prison camp at Yodok, prisoners are forced to work in conditions approaching slavery and are frequently subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. All the detainees at Yodok have witnessed public executions.

    “North Korea can no longer deny the undeniable. For decades the authorities have refused to admit to the existence of mass political prison camps,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International Asia Pacific Director.

    January 07, 2011

    Amnesty International is calling for the release of three anti-slavery activists who were jailed after exposing a case of two young girls allegedly forced to work as servants. Biram Dah Ould Abeid, Cheikh Ould Abidine and Aliyine Ould Mbareck Fall, all members of an anti-slavery NGO, were sentenced to one-year in jail - including six months suspended - on Thursday in the capital, Nouakchott.

    "Those jailed are prisoners of conscience, detained solely on the basis of their actions in the struggle against slavery," said Erwin van der Borght, Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    "The three men must be immediately and unconditionally released and Biram Dah Ould Abeid urgently treated for injuries he apparently sustained when ill-treated in detention."

    The men were arrested last month by security forces after reporting that the two girls, aged nine and 14, were being held in slavery in the home of a female civil servant. Biram Dah Ould Abeid said he was beaten in custody and denied medical treatment for his injuries.

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