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security forces

    July 28, 2017
      Israeli forces attacked peaceful crowds of Palestinians as they gathered at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem this afternoon for the first time since Israel lifted recent security measures imposed at the site, according to Amnesty International staff at the scene.   “Israeli forces started firing stun grenades, tear gas and sponge-tipped bullets into a peaceful crowd as they stood at the entrance of the al-Aqsa mosque compound and inside. It appeared to be an entirely unprovoked attack. Some Palestinians threw empty water bottles in return. Others, began to throw stones as well,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.   “Using unnecessary and excessive force to disperse a peaceful gathering is a flagrant violation of Israel’s obligation to uphold the rights of Palestinians to peaceful assembly. The Israeli authorities must urgently rein in their security forces to prevent the situation from spiralling out of control and to avoid further bloodshed.”   
    July 21, 2017
      The Egyptian authorities must conduct an independent, thorough and impartial investigation into allegations that police officers tortured a man to death this week at a police station in Cairo, Amnesty International said today, urging them to ensure that witnesses who testified against the suspected perpetrators are protected from any threats or harassment.   On 18 July, police officers arrested Gamal Aweida, a 43-year-old Coptic Christian man, along with a friend, from a local café and took them to Mansheyet Nasir police station for questioning in relation to a minor offence. Around 15 hours later, his family received a phone call informing them he was dead.       “The evidence strongly suggests that Gamal Aweida was tortured to death by Egyptian police. Such brutality is shocking and far too common.  Years of impunity have emboldened perpetrators of such abuses in Egypt, giving security forces free rein to torture and ill-treat detainees without fearing any consequences,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International.  
    July 13, 2017
      A bill on the agenda for discussion in Tunisia’s parliament today could bolster impunity for security forces by granting them immunity from prosecution for unnecessary use of lethal force as well as potentially criminalizing criticism of police conduct, said Amnesty International today.   The proposed law, known as the “Repression of attacks against armed forces” bill, would authorize security forces to use lethal force to protect property even when it is not strictly necessary to protect life, contrary to international standards. It would exempt security forces from criminal liability in such cases if the force used is deemed “necessary and proportionate”. The bill was first proposed by the government to parliament in April 2015 and was reintroduced at the demand of police unions.  
    July 10, 2017
      Following reports in Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper that security forces in the Russian republic of Chechnya killed 27 people on the night of 26 January 2017, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia, said:   “These allegations come from a credible source and as horrendous as they are, appear totally plausible for Chechnya, where the authorities enjoy complete impunity for human rights violations.   “Amnesty International has documented the practice of extrajudicial executions in Chechnya and elsewhere in the North Caucasus for many years, and these allegations are consistent with our past findings. They must be investigated immediately, and if proven to be true, all perpetrators must be brought to justice.   “In addition, a full and thorough investigation needs to  be carried out into allegations of the secret imprisonment and torture and other ill-treatment of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya in April.  
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