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    January 28, 2015

    New evidence shows that the Nigerian military were repeatedly warned of impending Boko Haram attacks on Baga and Monguno which claimed hundreds of lives, and failed to take adequate action to protect civilians, said Amnesty International.

    According to a senior military source and other evidence gathered by Amnesty International, commanders at the military base in Baga regularly informed military headquarters in November and December 2014 of the threat of a Boko Haram attack and repeatedly requested reinforcements. Other military sources and witnesses have told Amnesty International that the military in Monguno had an advanced warning of the Boko Haram attack on 25 January.

    “It is clear from this evidence that Nigeria’s military leadership woefully and repeatedly failed in their duty to protect civilians of Baga and Monguno despite repeated warnings about an impending threat posed by Boko Haram,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director.  

    January 13, 2015

    An artillery strike on a bus that killed 10 civilians and wounded 18 in eastern Ukraine must be investigated urgently as it could amount to a violation of international humanitarian law, Amnesty International said.

    An unguided Grad artillery system was apparently used in the strike, but at present it is unclear where the attack came from. It hit a civilian bus which was passing through a military checkpoint controlled by pro-Kyiv forces in the town of Volnovakha.

    “The world needs to know the truth about this tragic incident. It must be investigated thoroughly, impartially and independently, as a possible violation of the laws of war,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International.  

    “Those responsible for this incident either failed to take steps to protect civilians, as demanded by international humanitarian law, or it was a deliberate act which would constitute a war crime.”

    December 12, 2014

    The recent wave of attacks on civilians by the Taliban and other armed groups in Afghanistan are reprehensible acts which underscore the new Afghan government’s urgent responsibility to protect the right to life, Amnesty International said today.

    The most recent assault, a suicide bombing at Isteqlal High School Theatre in Kabul on Thursday evening, killed one and injured around a dozen civilians who were watching a play. It added to the rising toll of lives lost and hundreds of injuries in armed attacks in different parts of the country in recent weeks.

    “Targeting civilians for attack is reprehensible and a clear violation of international humanitarian law, amounting to war crimes. It is crucial that those responsible are brought to justice,” said Horia Mosadiq, Afghanistan Researcher at Amnesty International.  

    “One of the core responsibilities of the Afghan authorities is protecting civilians against such violent attacks. The onus is now on the new administration to bolster the security response and regain the trust of the Afghan people.”

    December 11, 2014

    The failure of the Central African Republic authorities and the United Nations to effectively investigate war crimes is perpetuating the cycle of violence and fear in the country, Amnesty International said in a report today.

    Central African Republic: Impunity is fuelling violence, based on a mission to CAR by Amnesty International researchers, details how some leaders and members of armed groups have continued to commit further atrocities and defy the rule of law. This is despite Amnesty International publishing evidence last July that raised reasonable suspicion of the involvement of a number of them in serious abuses including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    “The failure to hold accountable those implicated in the killing of civilians, the use of child soldiers and the burning of villages means they are not only able to walk free, but also to continue terrorising the population without fear of repercussions,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.  

    December 08, 2014

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  9 December 2014

    Air strikes on landmark buildings at the tail end of the Israeli military’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in August 2014 were a deliberate and direct attack on civilian buildings and amount to war crimes, says Amnesty International today.

    “Nothing is immune”: Israel’s destruction of landmark buildings in Gaza provides evidence that attacks on four multistorey buildings during the last four days of the conflict were in contravention of international humanitarian law and calls for them to be independently and impartially investigated.

    “All the evidence we have shows this large-scale destruction was carried out deliberately and with no military justification,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

    “Both the facts on the ground and statements made by Israeli military spokespeople at the time indicate that the attacks were a collective punishment against the people of Gaza and were designed to destroy their already precarious livelihoods.”

    November 09, 2014

    By Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General

    Nearly three months have passed since the latest conflict came to an end, but the piles of rubble and empty shells of family homes in Gaza serve as painful reminders of the death and destruction that resulted from Israel’s latest military operation there in July and August this year.

    Mohammad Akram al-Hallaq’s three grandchildren were watching cartoons in the television room when the three missiles struck on 20 July. The walls collapsed in an avalanche of rubble, crumbling into piles of dust and rocks above and below them. None of the children survived. Eight people, all civilians, including four children from another family living in the building were also killed.

    November 06, 2014

    The killing of a schoolboy and an 18-year-old during shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Wednesday highlights a larger pattern of indiscriminate attacks which could amount to war crimes, Amnesty International said today.

    “Both Ukrainian government and separatist forces must immediately stop carrying out indiscriminate attacks in violation of the laws of war,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia director of Amnesty International.

    “These continuing civilian deaths – a predictable result of such attacks – are inexcusable and those responsible on both sides must be held accountable.”

    During a research mission in late September and early October, Amnesty International documented more than 20 recent civilian deaths due to shelling and rocket fire in the eastern Ukrainian towns of Donetsk, Avdiivka, and Debaltseve. Most of the deaths, which took place in residential neighbourhoods, appeared to be the result of indiscriminate attacks, with the attacking forces using weapons that could not be targeted with sufficient accuracy to distinguish between civilian and military objects.

    November 05, 2014

    The deaths of two children killed by shelling while they played football on a school playing field in eastern Ukraine must be immediately, fully and impartially investigated, Amnesty International said today.

    Four other youths were wounded in the attack, which came as separatists and pro-Kyiv forces accused each other of breaking a ceasefire agreement.

    “We have witnessed both sides in this conflict ignoring their legal obligations and failing to protect civilians and this is the latest tragic example of the consequences,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia.

    “Today’s shocking attack in Donetsk must by fully investigated. If it is found to constitute a war crime, those responsible must be brought to justice.”

     

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

     

    November 03, 2014

    By Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser, in northern Iraq

    Unlike in nearby villages recently captured by the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS), not a single villager has returned to Barzanke.

    As I go from house to house, it becomes clear why. There is nothing for the residents to return to; virtually all the houses have been destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

    Some were seemingly bombed from the air by US forces, others may have been struck by the Peshmerga as they tried to dislodge the IS fighters who had seized the area last August, but most were evidently blown up from inside.

    Some Peshmerga had previously told me and another human rights investigator that it was their own colleagues who had blown up the houses because the villagers supported IS.

    October 29, 2014

    Released 00:01 GMT 30 October 2014

    Lawless militias and armed groups on all sides of the conflict in western Libya are carrying out rampant human rights abuses, including war crimes, according to a new briefing from Amnesty International.

    Rule of the gun: Abductions, torture and other abuses by militias in western Libya provides evidence that armed groups have possibly summarily killed, tortured or ill-treated detainees in their custody and are targeting civilians based on their origins or perceived political allegiances.

    Likewise, satellite images released today by Amnesty International show that fighters on all sides in the conflict have displayed an utter disregard for civilian lives, with indiscriminate rocket and artillery fire into crowded civilian neighbourhoods damaging homes, civilian infrastructure and medical facilities.

    October 20, 2014

    Released 0900 GMT, 20 October 2014

    An Amnesty International investigation into allegations of execution-style and other deliberate killings by pro-Russian separatists and pro-Kyiv forces has found evidence of isolated incidents attributable to both sides, but not on the scale reported by Russian media and authorities.

    Summary killing during the conflict in eastern Ukraine, presents the findings of research conducted in eastern Ukraine (Donbass) in late August and late September 2014 and interviews with victims of human rights abuses and their families, eyewitnesses, local officials in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, medical personnel and combatants on both sides.

    October 13, 2014

    Released  00:01 GMT Tuesday 14 October

    Shi’a militias, supported and armed by the government of Iraq, have abducted and killed scores of Sunni civilians in recent months and enjoy total impunity for these war crimes, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today.

     
    “By granting its blessing to militias, the Iraqi government is sanctioning war crimes and fuelling a dangerous cycle of sectarian violence that is tearing the country apart."

    - Amnesty International's Donatella Rovera

    October 06, 2014

    Originally Released  00:01 BST 6 October 2014

    New legislation which would overturn an amnesty law that has been shielding perpetrators of human rights violations committed during Pinochet’s brutal regime is a monumental step forward against impunity, said Amnesty International today.

    “For many years this law acted as a shield, hiding those responsible for serious human rights abuses from justice. Victims have been forced to live knowing those that tortured and killed were enjoying impunity for their crimes,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Director Americas Programme, Amnesty International.

    “The overturning of the law would be an historic moment for Chile and would bring the country one step closer to addressing the crimes of the Pinochet regime, as well as sending a clear message that Chile does not protect those responsible for human rights violations.”

    The Amnesty Decree Law, passed in 1978, exempts all individuals who committed human rights violations between 11 September 1973 and 10 March 1978 from criminal responsibility.

    September 23, 2014

    Any further intervention in the Middle East must include plans to address the suffering of Syrian civilians, a global coalition of 39 leading human rights and humanitarian organizations said today.

    Ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the #WithSyria coalition, comprised of Save the Children, Amnesty International and others, is urging world leaders, whoever they support in the conflict, to make clear that they are on the side of civilians. This means by using their power to ensure that international law is respected and attacks on civilians including schools, hospitals, and shelters are stopped. According to the UN, direct, indiscriminate, and disproportionate attacks by groups on all sides are responsible for the majority of civilian deaths, as well as making it impossible in some areas for humanitarian agencies to reach those in desperate need.

    September 08, 2014

    (Kyiv) In a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk today, Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty urged the Ukrainian government to stop abuses and war crimes by volunteer battalions operating alongside regular Ukrainian armed forces.

    “The Ukrainian authorities must not replicate the lawlessness and abuses that have prevailed in areas previously held by separatists,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International Secretary General from Kyiv.

    “The failure to stop abuses and possible war crimes by volunteer battalions risks significantly aggravating tensions in the east of the country and undermining the proclaimed intentions of the new Ukrainian authorities to strengthen and uphold the rule of law more broadly.”
     
    The call came as Amnesty International published fresh research collected on the ground in the northern Luhansk region, Abuses and war crimes by the Aidar Volunteer Battalion in the north Luhansk region, documenting a growing range of abuses by the Aidar Volunteer battalion.  

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