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Human Rights

    September 19, 2013

    In presenting a deeply disappointing report today at the UN Human Rights Council, outlining Canada’s response to a review of the country’s human rights record carried out in April 2013, the Canadian government has squandered a valuable opportunity to move forward in addressing important national human rights concerns and to demonstrate human rights leadership on the world stage.

    Canada was reviewed under the UN’s Universal Periodic Review process on April 26 and 30.  Other countries, including many of Canada’s closest allies, highlighted a wide range of concerns and made recommendations to Canada regarding steps to improve human rights protection in the country.

    June 15, 2013

    The decision to grant Judge María Lourdes Afiuni Mora conditional release is a positive step, but clearly insufficient, Amnesty International said today.

    "More than three years after being detained, no reliable evidence has been presented against Judge Afiuni. Once more, we demand that the charges against her be dropped," said Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty International’s Americas Program Director.

    "The preventive measures attached to her release are worrying, since they constitute a serious limitation on her freedom of expression and movement.”

    Yesterday, the 17th Caracas tribunal judge, Marilda Ríos, granted Afiuni conditional freedom. She will have to appear in court every 15 days and she is not allowed to travel abroad, to give statements to national and international media, or write on social networks. The trial against her continues.

    Amnesty International has repeatedly stated that the detention of judge María Lourdes Afiuni Mora is a case of unwarranted political interference by the executive branch.

    June 05, 2013

    On 1 June, Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA) received the latest draft of the country’s Constitution and is expected to vote on it soon.

    Amnesty International has reviewed the latest version amended following discussions among political parties and found that – while there are some improvements over the drafts circulated in August and December 2012 and April 2013 – the text still undermines tenets of international human rights law. It includes restrictions of some basic rights such as the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and to freedom of movement, as well as providing insufficient guarantees for the independence of the judiciary and to protect against torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

    If the entire draft Constitution is not approved by two thirds of the NCA, it will eventually be put to a national referendum.

    Amnesty International has published an analysis of the latest draft and has experts available for comment.

    May 10, 2013

    World leaders must reject an aid-based model of development and instead pursue an approach that puts human rights and justice at its core, 18 non-governmental organizations urged ahead of a High-Level Panel report to the UN on the future of sustainable development.

    The call from Amnesty International, the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), and 15 other organizations worldwide comes as a high-level panel of experts reviews the final draft of a report it will submit to the UN Secretary General at the end of May, laying the groundwork for action once the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015.

    Any new model must ensure that people are empowered and enabled to hold their governments and other entities to account for their conduct when human rights are ignored or abused, the organizations said.

    April 24, 2013

    The Pakistani authorities must investigate the wave of attacks and threats on political candidates and election workers, Amnesty International said in an open letter released before the country goes to the polls for general elections on 11 May.

    The organization also called on all political parties, and candidates to commit to specific measures for improving the country’s human rights situation during their election campaigns.

    “This has been a particularly deadly election period marked by an alarming surge in attacks and intimidation of political activists and election officials,” Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty International’s Pakistan Researcher, said.

    Campaigning ahead of Pakistan’s upcoming general elections has been marred by human rights abuses. At least 37 people have been killed and 183 injured in attacks on election officials and political party representatives and supporters countrywide.

    March 25, 2013

    Civilians in the Central African Republic, including members of President Bozizé’s government still in the country, must be protected, Amnesty International said after rebels seized the capital, Bangui. 

    Seleka, a loose coalition of five rebel groups, stormed the presidential palace, claiming Bozizé had failed to honour a power-sharing peace agreement in January. Bozizé has since fled the country.

    The latest phase of the rebellion began on Thursday and escalated over the weekend, when 13 South African soldiers were shot dead trying to protect the capital.

    Amid reports of looting by armed gangs, Amnesty International called for the Seleka coalition to ensure the protection and respect of human rights in the country.

    “We are extremely concerned by the insecurity in the Central African Republic right now,” said Paule Rigaud, Africa program Deputy Director, “and we fear that human rights abuses are being committed in Bangui. The Seleka leadership must make it clear to its forces that human rights violations will not be tolerated and that perpetrators will be brought to justice.”


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