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    December 20, 2010

    Amnesty International renews its call on the Chinese authorities to release an ethnic Uighur prisoner of conscience jailed on separatism charges after his family reported that he is being tortured in a Xinjiang prison. Ablikim Abdiriyim, the son of prominent Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer, told relatives visiting him last week that he has been held in solitary confinement since 3 November after witnessing an incident that prison authorities wanted to keep quiet. His health has since deteriorated sharply.

    The news comes exactly a year after 20 Uighur asylum-seekers were forcibly deported to China from Cambodia. China has not made public the whereabouts of the group, which included two children, since they were seized on 19 December 2009.

    "The alleged torture of Ablikim Abdiriyim is the latest example of systematic human rights abuses suffered by China's Uighur population at the hands of the Chinese authorities," said Catherine Baber, Asia-Pacific deputy director at Amnesty International.

    December 17, 2010

    Amnesty International has condemned the Spanish authorities’ decision to forcibly return a man accused of terrorism-related offences to Morocco where he faces the risk of torture, incommunicado detention and unfair trial. Ali Aarrass was extradited from Spain to Morocco last Tuesday. The dual Belgian-Moroccan national had been held in Spain since his arrest in April 2008.

    The Moroccan authorities accuse him of belonging to a terrorist network headed by Abdelkader Belliraj, a Belgian-Moroccan national who was sentenced to life imprisonment last year in Morocco after he and others were convicted of planning terrorist acts.

    "By forcibly returning Ali Aarrass to Morocco, the Spanish authorities have exposed him to a serious risk of torture and other human rights violations amid persistent reports of abuses by Moroccan security forces committed in the name of countering terrorism," said Andrea Huber, Deputy Programme Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International.

    December 14, 2010

    The Australian government’s newly announced policy of transferring prisoners detained in Afghanistan to Afghan and United States forces could violate international law, Amnesty International warned today. On 14 December 2010, Australian Minister of Defence, Stephen Smith, announced an agreement for managing detainees, with allegedly ‘high risk’ prisoners handed over to the US, ‘low risk’ prisoners handed to Afghan forces, and the remainder of those being held released.

    “The handover of detainees to the US and Afghan forces raises real concerns about potential human rights abuses,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director. “The US continues to hold prisoners without access to fair legal processes. And the Afghan National Directorate of Security, which runs some of the detention facilities, is all too often linked to disturbing accounts of torture and mistreatment.”

    December 06, 2010

    The Malaysian government must immediately end the practice of judicial caning, which subjects thousands of people each year to systematic torture and ill-treatment, leaving them with permanent physical and psychological scars, Amnesty International said today in a new report.

    A Blow to Humanity provides an in-depth look at Malaysian caning, which leaves victims, including many foreigners seeking asylum, with little recourse, support or hope. Many have no understanding of the charges or fate that awaits them.

    “Caning in Malaysia has hit epidemic proportions,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director. “In every case that we examined, the punishment amounted to torture, which is absolutely prohibited under any circumstances.”

    In recent years, Malaysia has increased the number of penal offenses subject to caning to more than 60. Since 2002, when Parliament made immigration violations such as illegal entry subject to caning, tens of thousands of refugees and migrant workers have been caned.


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