New virtual reality film Forced to Flee drives home dire situation of Rohingya refugees
New virtual reality film Forced to Flee drives home dire situation of Rohingya refugees
As Horgan Government Weighs Fate of the Megaproject, Treaty 8 Indigenous First Nations, Human Rights and Environmental Groups Bring a Message That Canadians and the World Expect BC to Keep Its Promise to Uphold Indigenous Rights
At 1:00 p.m. on November 2nd, representatives from Treaty 8 First Nations, human rights and environmental groups will present a literal “boat load” of petitions, postcards and solidarity messages urging the Provincial Government to protect the Peace River Valley. Across the country, more than 120,000 people have called for a halt to construction of the Site C dam. Their voices are joined by tens of thousands of solidarity messages from around the world.
The megaproject would flood more 100 km stretch of the Peace River Valley and its tributaries. If construction proceeds, Treaty 8 First Nations would lose hunting grounds, burial sites and other areas vitally significant to their culture, heritage and sustenance.
Southeast Asian leaders must take urgent steps to address grave human rights violations against the Rohingya in Myanmar, Amnesty International said in a letter sent to the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today.
The letter, signed by directors of 13 Amnesty International offices across the Asia-Pacific region, called for an emergency ASEAN summit to deal with the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.
“ASEAN is failing to take a stand as one of its member states carries out a violent campaign of ethnic cleansing,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
“Governments in the region must uphold the commitments to human rights enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, commitments which Myanmar’s military is showing clear contempt for as they perpetrate crimes against humanity against the Rohingya.”
Since a Rohingya armed group attacked dozens of security force posts on 25 August 2017, Myanmar has engaged in an unlawful and brutal campaign of violence against the Rohingya.
Ahead of a planned resumption of executions in Florida on 24 August, 18 months after the last one, Amnesty International is issuing a paper on recent developments relating to the death penalty in the US state.
“Death in Florida” outlines the state’s response to the January 2016 US Supreme Court decision that Florida’s capital sentencing law was unconstitutional, and the governor’s reaction to a prosecutor’s subsequent decision to reject the death penalty.
When State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced that she would not seek the death penalty due to its demonstrable flaws, Governor Scott immediately responded by ordering her replacement with a different prosecutor more willing to engage in this lethal pursuit. So far the Governor has transferred 26 cases to his preferred prosecutor.
Racial discrimination was one of the death penalty’s flaws – along with its costs, risks and failure as a deterrent – cited by State Attorney Ayala, the first African American to be elected to that position in Florida.
On March 8, six Ottawa-area feminist leaders will be recognized with Femmy Awards for their tireless work advancing women’s human rights and gender equality at an International Women’s Day event in Ottawa. The theme of this year’s event and Femmy Awards ceremony is “The Future is Feminist.”
Since 2009, local feminists have celebrated International Women’s Day with a fun-filled event, including presentation of the Femmy Awards, organized by a coalition of organizations and individual volunteers engaged in women’s rights including Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Amnesty International Canada, Canadian Federation of University Women, CUSO International, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Inter Pares, OCTEVAW, Oxfam Canada, Planned Parenthood Ottawa, and Women’s Shelters Canada.
President Donald Trump must use his upcoming meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make clear that the US government opposes the construction of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said Amnesty International in an open letter published today.
Released 00.01 14 February 2017
The EU-Turkey refugee deal has left thousands of refugees and migrants in squalid and dangerous living conditions, and must not be replicated with other countries, Amnesty International said today ahead of the deal’s one year anniversary.
The deal aimed at returning asylum-seekers back to Turkey on the premise that Turkey is safe for them, has left thousands exposed to squalid and unsafe conditions on Greek islands. In the new briefing “A Blueprint for Despair” Amnesty International also documented unlawful returns of asylum-seekers to Turkey in a flagrant breach of their rights under international law.
“The EU-Turkey deal has been a disaster for the thousands who have been left stranded in a dangerous, desperate and seemingly endless limbo on the Greek islands,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe.
With Prof. Homa Hoodfar, Mohamed Fahmy and other ex-prisoners of conscience.
Friday, February 3, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
University of Toronto Earth Sciences Building Auditorium,
5 Bancroft Avenue, Toronto
Launching a campaign for the release of Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian permanent resident unjustly locked in Iranian prisons for over 8 years.
Saeed Malekpour is an Iranian-born computer programmer who immigrated to Victoria B.C. and was arrested while on a trip to Iran in 2008. Initially sentenced to death on charges of “spreading corruption on earth,” he is now condemned to life in prison and has already served over eight years, and endured torture and solitary confinement. Malekpour’s indictment was based on confessions obtained under torture and he has been deprived of a fair trial.
On Thursday 26 January the UK High Court will rule on whether two Niger Delta communities whose environment and livelihoods were destroyed by oil spills can have their claims against Shell heard in the UK. The case could set a precedent for holding other UK-based multinationals to account for abuses committed overseas.
“This ruling will have wide-ranging implications for corporations based in the UK that abuse human rights abroad. If the court rules that the communities cannot have their case heard in the UK it would effectively be a green light for UK multinationals to profit from human rights abuses and environmental destruction around the world,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.
Two separate legal actions have been brought against Shell on behalf of more than 42,000 people from the Ogale and Bille communities in Nigeria’s Rivers State, who live with appalling pollution caused by oil spills.
The opening of the trial of former Malian junta leader Amadou Haya Sanogo is an important first step to put an end to an agonizing three-year-long wait for justice for those who suffered torture, as well as the murder and enforced disappearances of loved ones, at the hands of his soldiers, Amnesty International said today.
Sanogo and several soldiers under his command will be tried on 30 November by the Assize Court in Mali’s capital, Bamako, on charges linked to the abduction and murder of soldiers accused of supporting the ousted President, Amadou Toumani Touré. The charges also include the enforced disappearances of 21 soldiers between 30 April and 1 May 2012, whose bodies were later found in a mass grave.
“Sanogo’s brief rule was characterized by torture, disappearances and extra-judicial executions. For the victims and their families this trial brings a fresh hope of justice,” said Gaëtan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher.
The High Court in Kenya will on Monday 7 November hear a petition filed by two civil society organizations challenging the government’s decision to close down Dadaab refugee camp and disband the Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA).
Amnesty International is participating in the proceedings as an interested party and has filed submissions on Kenya’s obligations under international law to ensure the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.
The petition, filed by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and Kituo Cha Sheria, seeks to have the government’s closure decisions declared unconstitutional.
“The closure of Dadaab would be a disaster for the tens of thousands of refugees still living there who have nowhere else to go. Their repatriation back to Somalia is not voluntary - they are being forced to return when the conditions that forced them to flee in the first place have not improved,” said Michelle Kagari, deputy director of Amnesty International’s East Africa regional office.
Spokespeople available for interview
Fears for the safety of civilians in eastern and western Aleppo city are mounting amid the looming threat of a resumption and possible escalation of fighting and bombardment by Syrian government forces with Russian support, and non-state armed groups once a humanitarian pause comes to an end later today, said Amnesty International today.
Media reports indicate that a fleet of Russian warships have made their way to Latakia on the Syrian coast in recent days indicating that Syrian and Russian forces are preparing a final bloody assault to seize control of the city.
“Even in times of wars, there are fundamental rules that all parties must obey. Civilians must never be deliberately targeted. And armed forces must never indiscriminately bombard populated areas. Syrian government forces, with Russian support, have systematically violated international humanitarian law in eastern Aleppo and throughout Syria, unlawfully killing tens of thousands of civilians. And armed opposition groups have indiscriminately bombarded civilian areas in in western Aleppo and elsewhere. ”
CANADA: Rampant resource development in northeast BC puts Indigenous women and girls at HEIGHTENED risk of VIOLENCE
Vancouver – On November 3, Amnesty International will launch a new report at a press conference in Vancouver documenting how unchecked resource development and government policy failures have put Indigenous women and girls at increased risk of violence and human rights violations in northeast British Colombia, Canada.
The report, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, demonstrates how resource development has eroded the land base that provides the foundation for First Nations and Métis health and wellness in the region, while influxes of transient workers have driven up local prices and strained the social fabric. Increased rates of violent crime and diminished access to social services have placed Indigenous women and girls at increased risk of harm, while denying them the protections and support they need.
Ahead of the expected verdict in the trial of a Syrian man charged with committing an “act of terror” during clashes with Hungarian border guards at a Serbia-Hungary border crossing last year, an Amnesty International team is in court and available for interviews.
The man, a permanent resident of Cyprus who can only be identified as Ahmed H., could face a life sentence if found guilty. His elderly parents were convicted previously of unlawful entry and mass rioting, in relation to the same incident at the Röszke border crossing in September 2015.
“This trial is symptomatic of the Hungarian government’s vilification of people seeking protection in Europe,” said Kartik Raj, Amnesty International’s regional campaigner.
Geneva, Switzerland – Amnesty International spokespeople are available for interview from Geneva, where Canada will be under review by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on October 24th. This is the first review by the UN body since 2008, when the Committee outlined numerous shortcomings in Canada’s progress toward the elimination of discrimination against women and girls.
Amnesty International made a formal submission to the CEDAW as part of Canada’s review process. It finds that Canada is not doing enough to protect the human rights and safety of women and girls, especially First Nations, Metis, Inuit and migrant and refugee women and girls. Amnesty International is particularly concerned that many past recommendations from the Committee remain unimplemented.