The Nicaraguan government must stop placing business before the future of the country and its people, Amnesty International said in a new report today looking at a secretive deal that will lead to the construction of a canal and other side projects that will affect the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people and might leave many homeless.
Danger: Rights for sale. The Interoceanic Grand Canal project in Nicaragua and the erosion of human rights reveals how the obscure legal framework that led to the concession of the project, without genuine consultation with all affected communities, violates a catalogue of national and international standards on human rights and might lead to the forced eviction of hundreds of families. It also accuses authorities of harassing and persecuting anyone who dares to voice an opinion against the deal.
“Authorities in Nicaragua have secretly sold the country’s future to the highest bidder and put thousands of people at risk of losing everything,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
The Malaysian authorities must immediately release a distinguished Bangladeshi human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience and allow him to speak at and participate in a conference on the death penalty, Amnesty International said today.
The Malaysian authorities at Kuala Lumpur airport detained Adilur Rahman Khan, the Secretary of Odhikar, a leading Bangladeshi human rights organization, this morning as he arrived in the country to speak at a conference on the death penalty.
“The Malaysian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Adilur Rahman Khan and allow him to participate in and speak at the conference,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
“There is no justification for detaining him whatsoever. It is an outrage that a human rights activist cannot even travel freely to speak on a key human rights issue. Moreover, we understand that he still has not been given access to legal advice and is at risk of being deported.”
Responding to the news that Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo has passed away, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International commented:
“Today we grieve the loss of a giant of human rights. Liu Xiaobo was a man of fierce intellect, principle, wit and above all humanity.
“For decades, he fought tirelessly to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms in China. He did so in the face of the most relentless and often brutal opposition from the Chinese government. Time and again they tried to silence him, and time and again they failed. Despite enduring years of persecution, suppression and imprisonment, Liu Xiaobo continued to fight for his convictions.
“Although he has passed, everything he stood for still endures. The greatest tribute we can now pay him is to continue the struggle for human rights in China and recognize the powerful legacy he leaves behind. Thanks to Liu Xiaobo, millions of people in China and across the world have been inspired to stand up for freedom and justice in the face of oppression.
Responding to news that Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, seven other human rights activists and two IT trainers, are being investigated for membership of an armed terrorist organization, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:
“The absurdity of these accusations against Idil Eser and the nine others cannot disguise the very grave nature of this attack on some of the most prominent civil society organizations in Turkey.
“Their spurious detention while attending a routine workshop was bad enough: that they are now being investigated for membership of an armed terrorist organization beggars belief.
“If anyone was still in doubt of the endgame of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown, they should not be now. There is to be no civil society, no criticism and no accountability in Erdoğan’s Turkey.”
“If world leaders meeting at the G20 fail to stand up for Turkey’s beleaguered civil society now, there may be nothing left of it by the time the next summit comes around.
Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is participating in a high level Central American prosperity and security conference in Miami today.
Amnesty International Canada urges that extreme dangers facing defenders of land, territory and the environment must not be overlooked in discussions she has with her counterparts from the US and Mexico, as well as government official and business leaders from Central America, the United States, Canada and Mexico.
On June 8, Parliament’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights heard disturbing testimony from community leaders from Honduras and Guatemala regarding threats, attacks and assassinations in response to their peaceful efforts to oppose the negative impacts of resource extraction projects proceeding without due diligence.
Following the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’sruling against President Trump’s discriminatory Muslim ban, Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA’s executive director, released the following statement:
“It’s always been crystal clear that this policy is discriminatory and cruel at its core. Rather than keeping anyone safe, this ban demonizes millions of innocent people and creates anxiety and instability for people who want to visit a relative, work, study, return to the country they call home, or just travel without fear. The Trump Administration must drop all defenses of this bigoted ban. If they won’t drop their appeals, Congress must step in and nullify this order once and for all.”