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    December 01, 2010

    Amnesty International has called on the Central African Republic (CAR) to arrest wanted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and surrender him to the International Criminal Court (ICC), should he go ahead with his planned visit to the country today. President Bashir is wanted on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the conflict in Darfur.

    "The Central African Republic should not shield President Omar al-Bashir from international justice," said Christopher Keith Hall, Senior Legal Adviser at Amnesty International.

    “His visit to the country is an opportunity to enforce the arrest warrant and send a message that justice will prevail."

    "Today, an ICC Pre-Trial Chamber requested the CAR 'to take all necessary measures to arrest Omar Al Bashir and transfer him to the Court'.

    If it were not to arrest President Omar al-Bashir, the CAR would violate its obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which it ratified in October 2001.

    Thousands of people are being held in Mozambique’s prisons despite not having been found guilty of a crime, Amnesty International said in a report released today, which exposes how many inmates are arrested on spurious grounds and held for years without access to a lawyer.

    The report Locking up my rights: Arbitrary arrest, detention and treatment of detainees in Mozambique describes how people from poor social groups are particularly at risk of being locked up for months, sometimes years, in squalid, overcrowded cells without having committed a crime.

    The report – which is a collaboration between Amnesty International and the Mozambique Human Rights League – also shows how, in the majority of cases, these economically disadvantaged individuals are not informed of their rights or are unable to understand them; cannot afford an attorney and are therefore almost invariably represented by unqualified individuals or poorly qualified attorneys; and are rarely granted freedom whilst awaiting trial.

    Arms supplied by the world’s major powers are among those contributing to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and blighting the livelihoods of millions of people every year, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published just days before final negotiations on a global Arms Trade Treaty open at the United Nations.

    Between them, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA – are responsible for over half of the almost US$100 billion total annual global trade in conventional weapons.

    The same five states will be pivotal to finalizing an effective Arms Trade Treaty with strong human rights protections at the conference taking place at the UN from 18-28 March.

    All this week in the run-up to that historic meeting, Amnesty International activists and supporters are holding a “Global Week of Action” to call on world leaders to adopt an effective Arms Trade Treaty with strong human rights protections.

    Thousands of people are being held in Mozambique’s prisons despite not having been found guilty of a crime, Amnesty International said in a report released today, which exposes how many inmates are arrested on spurious grounds and held for years without access to a lawyer.

    The report Locking up my rights: Arbitrary arrest, detention and treatment of detainees in Mozambique describes how people from poor social groups are particularly at risk of being locked up for months, sometimes years, in squalid, overcrowded cells without having committed a crime.

    The report – which is a collaboration between Amnesty International and the Mozambique Human Rights League – also shows how, in the majority of cases, these economically disadvantaged individuals are not informed of their rights or are unable to understand them; cannot afford an attorney and are therefore almost invariably represented by unqualified individuals or poorly qualified attorneys; and are rarely granted freedom whilst awaiting trial.

    Amnesty International’s Moscow office is currently being inspected by prosecutors and tax inspectors – part of the wave of inspections of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) across Russia in recent weeks. Three other prominent Russian NGOs are also being inspected today: Public Verdict Foundation, For Human Rights Movement and Agency for Social Information. The stated version of the inspections was to check compliance with Russian legislation on NGOs.

    Amnesty International, along with other NGOs, has repeatedly condemned the new legislation imposing increasing restrictions on NGOs and expressed its fears that the NGO laws would be used to harass and seek closure of those highlighting abuses and critical of the government.

    Amnesty International is also concerned that the recent wave of inspections has been carried out in such a way as to deliberately stigmatise and discredit NGOs in the eyes of the public.

    Amnesty International is confident that all its activities comply with Russian legislation. The organization expresses regret that its time and that of the inspectors involved is not employed in a more useful manner.

    El Salvador must finally deliver justice for a brutal massacre that took place three decades ago, Amnesty International urged today in an open letter to President Mauricio Funes, as families across the country are set to mark the annual Day of the Dead religious festival.

    More than 200 men, women and children were killed by an elite army unit at the El Calabozo massacre in the northern San Vicente region on 22 August, 1982. Three decades later, the Salvadoran authorities have yet to acknowledge the horrific murders or bring to justice those responsible.

    In the open letter, Amnesty International urges the President to publicly recognize state responsibility for the massacre, bring those responsible to justice, and ensure the survivors and families receive reparation. The letter echoes the demands of survivors and the Salvadoran NGO Centro para la Promoción de los Derechos Humanos “Madeleine Lagadec” who work alongside them.

    Federal authorities must launch a full and thorough investigations into the disappearances for 43 missing students in Iguala, Mexico as doubts persist that the bodies found in a mass grave belong to the missing students, said Amnesty International today. 

    “The search for these missing students must continue in earnest. This horrific crime has shocked the world and the truth must come out. The coming days provide a vital window to establish what really went on and these sensitive investigations must be performed by those at the highest, federal level, including with the support of international forensic experts already assisting investigators,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director, Amnesty International.

    "Now is the time for President Enrique Peña Nieto to step up and ensure rapid and thorough investigation into these abuses to get to the bottom of what has happened to these victims. It is imperative that Mexico’s promises to respect human rights are not just government platitudes behind which a host of abuses can be committed with impunity.” 

    Thousands of people are being held in Mozambique’s prisons despite not having been found guilty of a crime, Amnesty International said in a report released today, which exposes how many inmates are arrested on spurious grounds and held for years without access to a lawyer.

    The report Locking up my rights: Arbitrary arrest, detention and treatment of detainees in Mozambique describes how people from poor social groups are particularly at risk of being locked up for months, sometimes years, in squalid, overcrowded cells without having committed a crime.

    The report – which is a collaboration between Amnesty International and the Mozambique Human Rights League – also shows how, in the majority of cases, these economically disadvantaged individuals are not informed of their rights or are unable to understand them; cannot afford an attorney and are therefore almost invariably represented by unqualified individuals or poorly qualified attorneys; and are rarely granted freedom whilst awaiting trial.

     

    OTTAWA - With federal political parties preparing for an election year, Amnesty International and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) are calling on Canadians to help make ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls a priority for all politicians. Our organizations will be working with women’s organizations and other allies across Canada to ensure that all parties make tangible commitments to end violence against Indigenous women and girls in the upcoming election.

    Recently released RCMP statistics report the murder of 1017 Aboriginal women and girls between 1980 and 2012, with more than 100 others remaining missing under suspicious circumstances or for unknown reasons.

    NWAC President Michèle Audette told a press conference on Parliament Hill today. “Each woman was somebody. She was also somebody’s sister, daughter, mother, or friend and every one of them deserved to be safe from violence. They deserve more from our Government than excuses and a patchwork of underfunded and inadequate programs and services. We need solutions and actions that will make a difference in women’s lives.”

    Ireland must ensure that its domestic law and policy on access to abortion is in line with international human rights law, said Amnesty International today (17.11.2012).

    The organization – which has written to Irish Minister for Health James Reilly - is concerned the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar illustrates a gap in Irish law and policy on the most basic human rights level - that is a woman’s right to access abortion where her life is at risk.

    This right has already been established as a Constitutional principle by the Irish Supreme Court Amnesty International also expressed its concern about the lack of clarity as to whether or not a specific legislative framework is required.

    “International human rights law is clear about the right of a woman to access a safe and legal abortion where her life is at risk,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ireland.

    Released 1100 GMT+1 (1200 CEST), 30 September 2014

     A year on from the Lampedusa shipwrecks, which claimed more than 500 lives, a new report by Amnesty International highlights how the shameful inaction of European Union (EU) countries has contributed to a spiralling death toll with thousands of refugees and migrants losing their lives in a desperate bid to reach European shores.

    Amnesty International’s report, Lives adrift: Refugees and migrants in peril in the central Mediterranean, details the findings of recent visits to Italy and Malta, including a research trip on an Italian Navy vessel. Interviews with survivors of shipwrecks, experts and authorities expose the reality of the dangers faced by those fleeing war, persecution and poverty, and the pitiful response of most European states.

    Israel’s new government must drop a proposed law that would lead to mass forced evictions of Bedouin people and instead pursue legislation to protect Bedouin housing rights, Amnesty International said, as the Ministerial Committee on Legislation is due to consider the proposal on Sunday.

    The draft “Law for Regularizing Bedouin Habitation in the Negev - 2012”, approved by the previous government, threatens at least 30,000 Bedouin in the country’s southern Negev/Naqab desert with forced eviction from their communities, which have never been officially recognized by the Israeli government.

    “Forcibly evicting tens of thousands of Bedouin from communities where they have lived for generations cannot be justified in the name of economic development or any other reason – Israel’s new leaders must have the courage to venture where previous governments have ignored human rights standards,” said Ann Harrison, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    The investigation into the gunning down of three Kurdish women activists in Paris must be prompt and thorough, Amnesty International said.

    Sakine Cansýz, a founder of the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Fidan Dogan and Leyla Söylemez were found shot dead at the “Kurdistan Information Office” on the evening of 9 January.

    “There must be justice for these apparently political killings – no stone must be left unturned in the investigation by the French authorities,” said John Dalhuisen,Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.

    “The Turkish authorities must cooperate fully in the investigation to bring those responsible to justice.”

    The killings come at time when the Government of Turkey and the PKK have begun peace negotiations.

    “Both sides must ensure that the killings do not derail negotiations aimed at ending the decades long conflict and ongoing human rights abuses,” said Dalhuisen.

    The acquittal of three high-ranking members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) after a retrial on war crimes charges has prompted Amnesty International to reiterate its call for justice for all of the victims in the 1998-9 Kosovo war, and their relatives.

    Ex-prime minister and former KLA commander Ramush Haradinaj, Lahi Brahimaj, his uncle, and a fellow KLA commander, and deputy commander Idriz Balaj, were found not guilty of a joint criminal enterprise to mistreat Kosovo Serbs, Roma and Egyptians, and Albanians perceived to be collaborators with the Serbian authorities, or otherwise not supporters of the KLA.

    They were also acquitted on all counts relating to individual criminal responsibility for the murder, cruel treatment and torture, as war crimes, of members of minority communities, and Albanians perceived to be collaborators, at a KLA compound at Jablanica/Jablanicë.

    Dozens of men and boys from Maiduguri in northern Nigeria have been reportedly shot by security forces as Amnesty International published a report condemning human rights violations by the security forces in response to the Boko Haram campaign of violence.

    Amnesty International has received reports that between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning scores of men were taken out of their houses by the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the younger men were then shot.

    According to information received by Amnesty International at least 30 bodies have been deposited at Maiduguri teaching hospital morgue with gun shot wounds.

    One eye-witness told Amnesty International that on Thursday she saw dozens of bodies on the floor of the morgue with bullet wounds. Some burials took place on Friday morning.

    These reports were received as Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, concluded a high level mission to Nigeria. He had presented the findings of Amnesty International’s latest report to members of the government and met with civil society members.

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