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    March 09, 2016

    The absolute failure of the police to account for the enforced disappearance of Itai Dzamara, a pro-democracy activist and critic of President Mugabe’s government, highlights the culture of impunity for human rights violations in Zimbabwe, said Amnesty International on the anniversary of his abduction.

    “It has been a year since Itai Dzamara was disappeared without a trace, leaving his family in agonizing uncertainty about his fate and whereabouts. This appears to be a well-orchestrated plot to silence a well-known government critic, and is a deeply troubling indictment of the state of freedom of expression in Zimbabwe,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa.

    “The authorities must initiate a genuine search for Itai Dzamara’s safe return while establishing a full and impartial judge led commission of inquiry into the circumstances of his disappearance.” 

    March 08, 2016

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT   9 March 2016

    Restrictions on communications compound North Korea’s dire human rights situation

    Ordinary North Koreans caught using mobile phones to contact loved ones who have fled abroad, risk being sent to political prison camps or other detention facilities as the government tightens its stranglehold on people’s use of communication technology, reveals Amnesty International in a new report published today.

    Connection Denied: Restrictions on Mobile Phones and Outside Information in North Korea, documents the intensified controls, repression and intimidation of the population since Kim Jung-un came to power in 2011.

    “To maintain their absolute and systematic control, the North Korean authorities are striking back against people using mobile phones to contact family abroad," said Arnold Fang, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International.

    March 08, 2016

    The catalogue of failures in the investigation into the death of a prominent Indigenous leader last week exposes the Honduran government’s absolute lack of willingness to protect human rights defenders in the country, said Amnesty International after a visit to the Central American country.

    “Authorities in Honduras are saying one thing and doing another. They have told us they are committed to finding those responsible for Berta Cáceres’ death yet they have failed to follow the most basic lines of investigation, including the fact that Berta had been receiving serious death threats related to her human rights work for a very long time,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “This shocking lack of action is sending the dangerous message that anyone can kill those who dare to confront the most powerful in society and get away with it. That authorities seem to be willing to trade lives for money.”

    March 07, 2016

    The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights issued its Concluding Observations today following its review of Canada’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights last month.  It is the Committee’s first review of Canada since 2006 and the first review of Canada by any UN human rights body under Prime Minister Trudeau’s government. 

    The Committee has forcefully rejected the position advanced by the government on numerous occasions over many years that economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights are of a different nature and not susceptible to the same level of judicial enforcement as civil and political rights.

    March 07, 2016

    The lives of millions of women and girls across Latin America are at the mercy of “lottery-style” health care systems that prioritize religious doctrine and stereotypes over the lives of patients, Amnesty International said in a new report.

        The State as a Catalyst for Violence Against Women

    Read report

    March 07, 2016

    Eleven people could face imminent expulsion from Bahrain tomorrow if their deportation orders are upheld in two separate appeal hearings, as Bahrain’s authorities increasingly resort to the extreme measure of banishing individuals after revoking their citizenship, said Amnesty International.

    Two people were already forced to leave Bahrain last month, while a court confirmed a third deportation order yesterday on 6 March.

    “The increasing tendency to resort to expulsion of individuals who have had their nationality arbitrarily revoked is a chilling development that points to the wider erosion of human rights in Bahrain in recent years. Expulsion increasingly appears to be the Bahraini authorities’ weapon of choice when it comes to casting out ‘unwanted’ individuals and silencing dissent,” said James Lynch, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

    March 06, 2016

    Released 00:01 GMT on Monday 7 March 2016

    European leaders’ attempts to use Turkey as their border guard to stop refugees and asylum-seekers heading to the EU is a dangerous and deliberate ploy to shirk their responsibilities to people fleeing war and persecution, warns Amnesty International ahead of the EU and Turkish leaders’ meeting today in Brussels.

    EU efforts to address the refugee crisis have focused on ensuring that refugees and asylum-seekers remain in Turkey, instead of sharing the responsibility for their protection and assistance.

    “Using Turkey as a ‘safe third country’ is absurd. Many refugees still live in terrible conditions, some have been deported back to Syria and security forces have even shot at Syrians trying to cross the border,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia.

    “Europe has an absolute duty to protect refugees and must make the bold decision to fast-track significant, unconditional resettlement as a matter of urgency.”

    March 03, 2016

    Authorities in Kazakhstan are failing in their duty to promptly, impartially, and effectively investigate reports of torture and other ill-treatment perpetrated by members of law enforcement agencies and prison staff, Amnesty International said in report published today.

    “The failure to investigate torture and prosecute those responsible leaves victims hopeless and intimidated, reliant on their families and a small band of dedicated civil society activists and lawyers to negotiate the labyrinthine process of appealing against a refusal to investigate a report of torture,” said John Dalhuisen, Director of the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office at Amnesty International.

    In its report, Dead End Justice: Impunity for Torture in Kazakhstan, Amnesty International reveals that while human rights organizations in Kazakhstan receive hundreds of reports of torture and other ill-treatment each year, the fear of reprisal, lack of access to appropriate legal advice, or the assumption that nothing will be done means that few cases are registered, and an even smaller number result in prosecution.

    March 02, 2016

    Posted at 0001 GMT    3 March 2016

    Russian and Syrian government forces appear to have deliberately and systematically targeted hospitals and other medical facilities over the last three months to pave the way for ground forces to advance on northern Aleppo, an examination of airstrikes by Amnesty International has found.

    Even as Syria’s fragile ceasefire deal was being hammered out, Syrian government forces and their allies intensified their attacks on medical facilities.

    “Syrian and Russian forces have been deliberately attacking health facilities in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. But what is truly egregious is that wiping out hospitals appears to have become part of their military strategy,” said Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International.

    “The latest string of attacks on health facilities north of Aleppo appears to be part of a pattern of attacks on medics and hospitals, a strategy that has destroyed scores of medical facilities and killed hundreds of doctors and nurses since the start of the conflict.”

    March 02, 2016

    Amnesty International UK Release

    Shell’s failure to maintain and protect pipelines may leave it liable to a raft of compensation claims from dozens of Niger Delta communities, said Amnesty International today as London law firm Leigh Day announced two more lawsuits against Royal Dutch Shell.

    The latest cases were filed today on behalf of two communities in the Niger Delta who have been affected by oil pollution, Bille and Ogale.

    In its investor briefing, Shell’s growing liabilities in the Niger Delta: Lessons from the Bodo court case, Amnesty International warns Shell’s investors that failures in the way the oil giant inspects and reports on oil spills could mask the scale of potential financial liability arising for Shell.

    March 01, 2016

    Musicians and filmmakers around the world are being asked to join forces with Amnesty International activists to call on the Iranian authorities to quash the torture-tainted convictions of filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, his brother Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, both musicians, ahead of Music Freedom Day on Thursday.

    The three men are at risk of imminent arrest after an appeal court upheld their prison sentences for ludicrous charges related to their artistic work, Amnesty International warned today amid an ongoing crackdown on artists and freedom of expression in Iran.

    “These sentences lay bare the absurdity of Iran’s criminal justice system, which brands individuals as criminals merely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression through making music and films. These young men should never have been arrested, let alone brought to trial,” said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

    March 01, 2016

    Amnesty International UK Release

    “It beggars belief that the government is blundering on with its snooping power-grab completely disregarding the concerns being raised from all sides.” – Kate Allen

    Responding to the surprise publication of the government’s Investigatory Powers Bill today, Kate Allen Amnesty International UK’s Director, said:

    “It beggars belief that the government is blundering on with its snooping power-grab completely disregarding the concerns being raised from all sides including no fewer than three of its own parliamentary committees, every privacy group in the country, the UN and tech firms like Apple.

    “It’s like adding extra storeys to a burning building.

    “Even the USA is rolling back its surveillance systems because of concerns over people’s right to privacy.

    “These surveillance measures go too far, too fast. Basic protections are simply not there, including proper independent judicial oversight - the very least required.

    February 29, 2016

    The taking of another life is no way to ensure justice for the murder of Salman Taseer and Pakistan must immediately impose a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition of the death penalty, Amnesty International said today.

    Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard of ex-Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was hanged today in Islamabad’s Adiala Prison, after he had been convicted of murder. Mumtaz Qadri admitted that he killed Salman Taseer in January 2011 over the governor’s opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

    “Salman Taseer was a brave voice for religious tolerance in Pakistan and his murderer should be brought to justice, but carrying out more killings is a deplorable way to honour Salman Taseer’s life and message. The death penalty is always a human rights violation, regardless of the circumstances or nature of the crime,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s South Asia Regional Office Director.

    February 28, 2016

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT   29 February 2016

    Escalating violations, including possible war crimes, that have sparked a humanitarian crisis amid Yemen’s armed conflict will only worsen unless all states immediately impose a comprehensive embargo on arms transfers that could be used by any of the warring parties, Amnesty International warned today as a meeting on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) got under way in Geneva.

    ATT States Parties and signatories are among those who continue to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners for use in Yemen – in brazen violation of the treaty, in particular its human rights provisions. Arms have also been diverted into the hands of Huthi and other armed groups fighting in Yemen.


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