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    May 28, 2015

    Scores of casualties in Sana’a have been caused by anti-aircraft munitions shot by the Huthi armed group which detonated after landing in populated areas killing and maiming civilians, said Amnesty International.

    During a week-long trip to the Yemeni capital, the organization spoke to medical staff at nine hospitals and residents who said that anti-aircraft weapons were the leading cause of casualties in the capital. Saudi Arabian-led coalition airstrikes against weapons depots in residential areas have triggered further explosions, also killing and injuring other civilians.

    “Sana’a’s residents are caught in a deadly crossfire between the Saudi Arabian-led coalition airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire from the Huthi armed group. Both sides have failed to take the necessary precautions to protect civilian lives in violation of the laws of war. Instead they have carried out attacks that have had devastating consequences for the civilian population,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.

    “For the civilians affected, it doesn’t matter which side is responsible. They pay the same price.”

    May 26, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs BST 27 May 2015

    Hamas forces carried out a brutal campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians accused of “collaborating” with Israel and others during Israel’s military offensive against Gaza in July and August 2014, according to a new report by Amnesty International. 

    ‘Strangling Necks’: Abduction, torture and summary killings of Palestinians by Hamas forces during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict  highlights a series of abuses, such as the extrajudicial execution of at least 23 Palestinians and the arrest and torture of dozens of others, including members and supporters of Hamas’s political rivals, Fatah.

    “It is absolutely appalling that, while Israeli forces were inflicting massive death and destruction upon the people in Gaza, Hamas forces took the opportunity to ruthlessly settle scores, carrying out a series of unlawful killings and other grave abuses,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

    May 26, 2015

    By Tarek Chatila, Montreal-area activist and writer for Amnesty Canada’s Isr/OT/PA co-group

    In March, Amnesty International released the report ‘Unlawful and deadly: Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict’, which focuses on the firing by Palestinian armed groups of thousands of unguided rockets and mortars towards Israel, during the fifty day war.

    May 23, 2015

    By Tarek Chatila, Montreal-area activist and writer for Amnesty Canada’s Isr/OT/PA co-group

    In March, Amnesty International released its report entitled ‘Unlawful and deadly: Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict.’ Coming just two weeks before Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is part of the ‘Nowhere to run for life, safety, justice’ campaign which demands accountability for human rights violations carried out by all parties during Israel’s operation in Gaza, codenamed ‘Protective Edge.’

    May 23, 2015

    By Lama Fakih, AMnesty International Crisis Resposne Team. Follow Lama on Twitter @lamamfakih

    As the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen resumed earlier this week, after a brief ceasefire, hospitals across the capital were getting ready to treat an influx of the wounded despite dwindling supplies of medicine and fuel. Doctors were going over detailed lists of needed medications, recruiting volunteer staff, and making black-market deals for overpriced diesel and fuel to keep generators and ambulances running. Some staff were taking up residence in the hospital to avoid the time and cost of travel to and fro.

    But despite their best efforts, the needs of the war wounded far outweigh the services these medical workers can provide. Sanaa’s publicly-run Kuwait Hospital was one of several hospitals where staff said they had to send patients away, because essential equipment had become inoperable without electricity or fuel for generators.

    May 11, 2015

    The disarmament agreement between rival armed groups and the government in the Central African Republic (CAR) must support efforts to ensure justice for crimes under international law and must not allow impunity, Amnesty International said today.

    Towards the end of a national forum yesterday, 10 rival armed groups signed a deal with the transitional authorities to lay down their arms and enter in a process of disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation.

    “If this deal is serious and accompanied by measures to hold accountable those suspected of crimes under international law, it could be an opportunity to move away from a conflict that has seen massive violations of human rights and cost thousands of lives,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

    April 08, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  9 April 2015

    Shocking new evidence of “execution-style killings” by pro-Russian armed groups in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, illustrates the urgent need for action to tackle the escalating human rights and humanitarian crisis in the area, said Amnesty International.

    “The new evidence of these summary killings confirms what we have suspected for a long time. The question now is: what are the separatist leaders going to do about it?” said Denis Krivosheev, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    “The torture, ill-treatment and killing of captured, surrendered or wounded soldiers are war crimes. These claims must be promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigated, and the perpetrators prosecuted in fair trials by recognized authorities.”

    Footage reviewed by Amnesty International shows Ukrainian soldier Ihor Branovytsky, one of the defenders of Donetsk airport, taken captive and interrogated. The video, posted on YouTube, shows signs that he was hit in the face. He remained in captivity until he was killed.

    April 08, 2015

    At least 18 civilians, including a 12-year-old girl and a humanitarian worker, have been killed in Yarmouk since the armed group which calls itself the Islamic State (IS) attacked and mostly seized the Palestinian refugee camp over the past week, said Amnesty International.

    Thousands more are at risk as Syrian government forces have intensified the shelling and aerial bombardment of the camp in response to the IS takeover of the area, including by dropping barrel bombs. Civilians have also come under sniper fire and been caught up in clashes between armed groups, notably IS and the mostly Palestinian Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis.

    “For civilians still trapped in Yarmouk life is an agonizing struggle for survival. After enduring a crippling two-year-long government-imposed siege, now they are pinned down by sniper fire fearing for their lives as shelling and aerial attacks escalate,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director.

    March 31, 2015

    There is growing evidence that the Saudi Arabian-led military coalition is failing to take precautions to prevent civilian deaths amid ongoing airstrikes on sites around Yemen, Amnesty International said, as it confirmed that at least six civilians, including four children, were among 14 people who burned to death in further strikes early this morning.

    The attacks, carried out at around 2 a.m. in Ibb governorate, were apparently targeting a Huthi checkpoint as well as fuel supplies along the road between Yareem and Dhammar. The dead included four children and two women, as well as eight men, but it is unknown if any of those were fighters. At least 31 others were hospitalized with burns and shrapnel wounds.

    “After several days of often intense bombardment in several areas across Yemen, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Saudi Arabian-led coalition is turning a blind eye to civilian deaths and suffering caused by its military intervention,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    March 26, 2015

    At least six children under the age of 10 were among a reported 25 people killed in Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes in the Yemeni capital Sana’a early this morning, Amnesty International confirmed after speaking to hospital officials and eyewitnesses. 

    The organization spoke to medical personnel at four different hospitals where the dead were taken after being pulled from the rubble of 14 houses that were hit in a residential neighbourhood near the city’s international airport. The rest of those killed were men, mostly in their 30s and 40s. It is believed that more people may still be buried beneath the rubble, and at least 20, including four women, were admitted to hospital with mainly shrapnel injures.

    “This high toll of civilian deaths and injuries in these attacks raises concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law. Saudi Arabian and any other armed forces carrying out airstrikes in Yemen are required to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    March 25, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT 26 March 2015

    Palestinian armed groups displayed a flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians by repeatedly launching indiscriminate rockets and mortars towards civilian areas in Israel during the conflict in July and August 2014, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

    Unlawful and deadly: Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict provides evidence that several attacks launched from inside the Gaza Strip amount to war crimes. Six civilians in Israel, including a four-year-old boy, were killed in such attacks during the 50-day conflict. In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian attack, 11 children were among 13 Palestinian civilians killed when a projectile fired from within the Gaza Strip landed in the al-Shati refugee camp.

    March 17, 2015

    Eyewitnesses to an alleged chlorine gas attack last night in Idlib, northern Syria, have told Amnesty International about the horrific death of an entire family, including three children younger than three years of age.

    Scores of other civilians were exposed to toxic chlorine gas in two apparent chemical weapons attacks allegedly carried out by government forces in and around the town of Sermine, Idlib, last night, eyewitnesses said.

    “These horrific attacks that resulted in civilians, including small children, suffering excruciating deaths, are yet more evidence that the Syrian government forces are committing war crimes with impunity. The situation in Syria must be referred to the International Criminal Court as a matter of urgency,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Program Director at Amnesty International.

    March 16, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT 17 March 2015

    A new report by Amnesty International provides damning evidence that Syrian government forces unlawfully killed scores of civilians in a series of aerial attacks on the city of al-Raqqa in November 2014 which violated international humanitarian law. Some of the attacks may amount to war crimes.

    Al-Raqqa under attack: Syrian air force strikes against civilians documents a series of airstrikes between 11 and 29 November that led to the deaths of up to 115 civilians, among them 14 children. They included attacks on a mosque and a busy market crammed full of civilians and other buildings not being used for military purposes.

    “Syrian government forces have shown flagrant disregard for the rules of war in these ruthless airstrikes. Some of these attacks give every indication of being war crimes,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program.

    February 23, 2015

    New eyewitness testimonies gathered by Amnesty International indicate that the Egyptian Air Force failed to take the necessary precautions in carrying out an attack which killed seven civilians in a residential neighbourhood in the Libyan city of Derna on 16 February.

    The incident is one in a string of horrific acts – some of which amount to war crimes – in recent weeks that show how civilians are increasingly bearing the brunt of reprisal attacks as violence in Libya escalates.  

    In the latest incident on 20 February, according to the Libyan authorities 42 people were killed, including civilians, in bombings targeting military and civilian targets in the eastern city of Qubbah. A group calling itself Barqa Province of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in retaliation for the Egyptian airstrikes.

    “Civilians in Libya are in mortal danger as retaliatory attacks by all sides spiral even further out of control in the aftermath of the horrific murder of the 21 Egyptian Copts,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International. 

    February 17, 2015

    A Ukrainian soldier is seen atop an armoured vehicle at the entrance to Debaltseve amid clashes earlier this month.© MANU BRABO/AFP/Getty Images

    Debaltseve’s possible capture by pro-Russian separatists must not result in widespread detainee abuse, Amnesty International urged amid reports that the Ukrainian military had partly lost control of the key railway hub town in eastern Ukraine.

    Video has emerged this afternoon apparently showing dozens of Ukrainian soldiers surrendering to armed groups as they closed in on Debaltseve. According to media reports, between 4,000 and 8,000 Ukrainian troops may be encircled in the town.

    “There is a history of separatist armed groups torturing or otherwise ill-treating captured pro-Kyiv soldiers. Some reports are as recent as 9 February near Debaltseve. Such acts would be war crimes,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International.

    “We urge all sides in the conflict to treat any detainees humanely according to the Geneva Conventions.”

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