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Human Rights Abuses

    January 18, 2013

    Overnight police raids in several Turkish cities have resulted in the arrest of 15 human rights lawyers known for defending individuals’ right to freedom of speech and victims of police violence, Amnesty International said.
     
    The police operation, which was reportedly aimed at clamping down on a banned left-wing group, included arrests in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir and targeted residential addresses as well as law offices. Headquarters and branches of the Contemporary Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) and the Peoples’ Law Office in Istanbul were among the addresses included in the raids.

    According to information received by Amnesty International, police searched the People’s Law Office without having a prosecutor and bar association representative present, as required by law. 

    “The detention of prominent human rights lawyers and the apparent illegal search of their offices add to a pattern of prosecutions apparently cracking down on dissenting voices,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey.

    January 10, 2013

    Concrete measures are needed to back up a new law aimed at guaranteeing the rights of victims of crime and human rights abuses in the ongoing violence resulting from the struggle against organized crime in Mexico, Amnesty International said.

    Mexico’s new President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the General Victims’ Law (Ley General de Víctimas) into effect on Wednesday.

    Since 2006, more than 60,000 people have been killed and thousands have disappeared in the violence by organized crime and as a result of security force operations. The victims and their relatives have frequently been ignored and are routinely denied access to justice.

    The efforts of Mexican NGOs – including victims of the violence themselves – have been crucial to the measure’s passage, and they are hopeful it will ensure victims are treated with respect, crimes are investigated and compensation is paid to help stop similar abuses from being repeated in the future.

     

    Come check out Amnesty International's table at the Mexican community's vibrant, traditional, artistic celebration of Day of the Dead in Toronto.

    Sign our petitions and help create a massive, colourful montage of Monarch butterflies in support of 43 missing students and more than 28,000 others disappeared in Mexico.

    Amnesty International thanks the Dia de los Muertos Collective for the invitation to collaborate on this event and help make visible the human rights crisis in Mexico.

    From 4 pm to 10 pm

     

     

    Federal authorities must launch a full and thorough investigations into the disappearances for 43 missing students in Iguala, Mexico as doubts persist that the bodies found in a mass grave belong to the missing students, said Amnesty International today. 

    “The search for these missing students must continue in earnest. This horrific crime has shocked the world and the truth must come out. The coming days provide a vital window to establish what really went on and these sensitive investigations must be performed by those at the highest, federal level, including with the support of international forensic experts already assisting investigators,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director, Amnesty International.

    "Now is the time for President Enrique Peña Nieto to step up and ensure rapid and thorough investigation into these abuses to get to the bottom of what has happened to these victims. It is imperative that Mexico’s promises to respect human rights are not just government platitudes behind which a host of abuses can be committed with impunity.” 

    Join us for a thought-provoking presentation by visiting Mexican human rights defender Míguel Alvarez Gándara. Míguel works with the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Centre in Chiapas and the peace-building organization Serapaz. He is a highly respected spokesperson for Mexico’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, which has publicized the names and photos of thousands of victims killed during the government’s war on drugs. Míguel will also talk about efforts to support the families of 43 disappeared students from a teachers college in Ayotzinapa in their quest for truth and justice.

    The event will offer an opportunity to add your voice to Amnesty’s Butterflies for Mexico Action Campaign - see www.amnesty.ca/butterflies.

    When: Tuesday May 10 from 7:00 to 8:45 PM

    Where: Mary Ward Centre, 70 St Mary Street, Toronto  [ West of Bay St. + South of Charles St. - Bay or Museum subway stops ]

     

    Their names are Héctor, Brenda Karina, Jorge Antonio, Dan Jeremeel … The list goes on and on.

    Some were last seen being taken away by military or police, like the 43 students of Ayotzinapa. Others left their homes but never arrived where they were going. All disappeared, never to be seen again.

    It’s nothing less than an epidemic, concludes Amnesty’s latest report. More than 30,000 people are now missing, at least half of them reported during the current government of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

    Families desperate to find their loved ones meet with indifference or hostility from officials whose ‘investigations’ are destined from the start to lead nowhere.

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