Public statements

Posted at 0001hrs GMT 4 April 2014

World leaders must commit to keeping invasive surveillance systems and technologies out of the hands of dictators and oppressive regimes, said a new global coalition of human rights organizations as it launched today in Brussels.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has voted for a degree of transparency on the now long-festering injustices associated with the secret detention program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after the attacks of 11 September 2001.

Given the systematic failure of the US authorities to declassify and disclose anything like the full truth about the CIA rendition, detention and interrogation programs, any transparency on them is a step in the right direction.

Posted in : Torture, USA

Palestine’s application this week to join the Geneva Conventions and key international human rights treaties is a significant advance for human rights protection, Amnesty International said today, urging it to sign up as well to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

On 2 April 2014 it was announced that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had the day before signed letters of accession to some 20 multilateral treaties.

Amnesty International has today launched Injustice Incorporated: Corporate Abuses and the Human Right to Remedy (Injustice Incorporated). The book aims to advance the right to remedy for victims and survivors of corporate human rights abuses. It focuses not just on challenges but on solutions. It provides a manifesto for change; a call to use the law to empower people and to redress the dangerous imbalances that have resulted from the failure to ensure corporate accountability.

A court in Krasnodar ruled on 12 February 2014 that environmentalist Yevgeniy Vitishko should serve a three-year sentence in a prison colony. This is the latest step in a sustained campaign by the Russian authorities against environmental activists in Krasnodar Region, which is hosting the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, to prevent them from speaking out about the environmental damage suffered by the region.

Posted in : Russian Federation

A lack of political will and unacceptable court delays are allowing Haiti’s former “president-for-life,” Jean-Claude Duvalier, to escape justice for human rights violations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. 

Posted in : Human Rights Abuses, Haiti

Four years after the devastating earthquake which killed around 200,000 people and left some 2.3 million homeless, very little has been done to ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to adequate housing in Haiti, Amnesty International said today.

December 10th celebrates international human rights and the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family. Refugees are part of the human family and entitled to the same rights.

These rights include the rights to asylum, to liberty, to protection from torture, to an adequate standard of living, to healthcare, to be reunited with family and to the protection of the best interests of children.

On November 7, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the crucial case of William v. British Columbia. At stake is the right of the Tsilhqot’in Nation to own lands at the heart of its traditional territory. Canadian law recognizes that Indigenous peoples may hold ongoing title to their lands that predates colonization. Yet to date no Canadian court has ever affirmed such Indigenous title.

Greenpeace Canada and Amnesty International Canada

30 October 2013 (Ottawa) – At a news conference on Parliament Hill today the families of two Canadian Greenpeace activists jailed in Murmansk, Russia, joined Greenpeace and Amnesty International in urging Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to step up his efforts to secure their release by speaking out publicly and using all available political channels.

In response to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta decision in Omar Khadr’s case on 18 October 2013, Amnesty International Canada (English Branch) Secretary General Alex Neve noted the following:

Posted in : Omar Khadr, Canada

On November 4-5 2013, Amnesty International Canada will be intervening in a case at the Court of Appeal for Ontario:  Minister of Justice of Canada v Hassan Naim Diab. Our role is as “friend of the Court,” in which we present arguments about the legal test that should be applied to extradition decisions. Lorne Waldman is acting as our counsel.

The UN Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic investigating the 21 August attacks on the outskirts of Damascus on Monday reported that it had found convincing evidence that chemical weapons were used on a large scale.

Amnesty International condemns the use of chemical weapons in the strongest possible terms. They are internationally banned and their use is a war crime.

Posted in : Syria, Syria

Six years ago – on September 13, 2007 – the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the minimum standards for the “survival, dignity and well-being” of Indigenous Peoples around the world.

The reintroduction of the regulation on the transmission of infectious diseases by the Greek Health Minister puts vulnerable groups including sex workers, HIV positive individuals and drug-injecting users at risk of further discrimination and stigmatization. Amnesty International calls on the Greek authorities to immediately overturn the new regulation and to end these discriminatory practices, which violate European and International human rights obligations.

Posted in : LGBTI Rights, Greece

Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the ongoing clampdown in Russia against civil society. The organization strongly condemns the use of the “Foreign Agents Law” to prosecute and hold personally liable the leaders of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that refuse to be labelled in a manner that creates a negative public image of their work in the eyes of the Russian society.  

Amnesty International is deeply concerned that for the second year in a row, the Canadian government’s required report to Parliament about human rights and the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) fails to contain any analysis about human rights realities in Colombia.

Today the UN Human Rights Council adopted its annual resolution on violence against women, with a special focus on sexual violence. Canada has chaired negotiations on this resolution for nearly 20 years, and its leadership has been lauded for progressively strengthening this important resolution.

The resolution, formerly known as UN Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/23/L.28 on “Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women: preventing and responding to rape and other forms of sexual violence,” was adopted in Geneva by 89 states.

Posted in :

Amnesty International and the organizers of KyivPride 2013 welcome the cooperation and protection provided by the Ukrainian police during Saturday’s first ever successful LGBTI Pride March in Ukraine. The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ recognition and fulfillment of their obligation to protect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly for LGBTI people is an important step in combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Ukraine.

Posted in : LGBTI Rights, Ukraine

In advance of the Annual General Meeting of Tahoe Resources to be held on 9 May, 2013 in Vancouver, Amnesty International urges the company to acknowledge mounting human rights concerns associated with its Escobal Silver Mine project in Guatemala. 

Amnesty International further calls on the company’s investors to recognize the impact on human rights of the Escobal project and, in turn, insist that the company take immediate corrective action consistent with international human rights standards.

Research conducted by Amn

President Mohamed Morsi should release the findings of an official investigation he instigated into abuses against protesters without delay and ensure the armed forces are not above the law and are held accountable for abuses, Amnesty International said today.

Amnesty International is alarmed that statements by the authorities in response to part of the report being leaked effectively signal that impunity will continue for human rights violations by the army.

Posted in : Egypt, Egypt

Amnesty International called on all parties to the Syrian armed conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and end attacks which target or indiscriminately kill and injure civilians after dozens were killed and injured in an explosion in a Damascus mosque on 21 March 2013.

Among those reported killed in the mosque was a prominent Sunni Muslim cleric Mohammad al-Bouti, a supporter of President Bashar al-Assad. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a welcome move, the government of Maldives has added its voice to the mounting national and international concern about the sentence of flogging the Juvenile Court imposed on a girl of 15 last week.

The girl, who had been sexually abused, was sentenced on 26 February 2013 to 100 lashes and eight months’ house arrest on a charge of “fornication”. Amnesty International called on the government of Maldives to ensure the girl is not flogged and the punishment is removed from Maldivian law.

Posted in : Maldives

On 14 February 2013, Amnesty International Canada was granted leave to intervene in an important and precedent-setting corporate accountability case.

(Beirut, London, Paris, 13 February 2013) - The Iranian authorities should immediately release from arbitrary house arrest two former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, author and political activist, and cease harassing or detaining without cause the couple’s two daughters and Mehdi Karroubi’s son, said the Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and six leading human rights bodies.

Amnesty International condemns the bomb attack on the Embassy of the United States in Ankara. According to reports, the explosion occurred at around 1.10pm inside one of the entrances to the embassy. According to a statement made by the Turkish authorities, the bombing was carried out by a suicide bomber and resulted in the deaths of two persons, one of them an embassy security guard.  A member of the public was also injured and is receiving treatment in hospital.

Since its inception in 2002, the African Union (AU) has become a central player in Africa in the areas of conflict resolution, peace and security, international justice and the general promotion and protection of human rights.

Posted in : International Justice

Amnesty International is calling for the immediate and unconditional release, as well as respect for the lives and personal safety, of five mining workers taken hostage last Friday, reportedly by the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group.

The five workers, including two Peruvians, one Canadian and two Colombians, were taken captive in the northern department (province) of Bolívar.

Amnesty International condemns hostage-taking, which is a serious breach of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime.

Indigenous and human rights organizations stand in solidarity with Chief Theresa Spence in her appeal for full respect for Aboriginal and Treaty rights by the government of Canada. There is an urgent need for Canada to demonstrate genuine respect and long-term commitment, initiated by a meeting between First Nations’ leadership, the Prime Minister and the Governor General.

Posted in : Indigenous Peoples

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND ACCOUNTABLITY PROJECT
 
Amnesty International and Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have hailed last Friday’s ECOWAS Court of Justice ground-breaking judgment as a “key moment in holding governments and companies to account for pollution.”

Posted in :

For the reasons described below, Amnesty International believes that the US authorities should release Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota Native American and leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), who has been imprisoned for 35 years. Having studied the case extensively over many years, Amnesty International remains seriously concerned about the fairness of proceedings leading to Leonard Peltier’s conviction and believes that political factors may have influenced the way in which the case was prosecuted.  

Posted in : Indigenous Peoples

Reacting to the announcement that the federal government has approved the takeover of the Canadian oil company Nexen Inc. by Chinese state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, members of the Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China expressed grave disappointment that serious and pressing human rights considerations do not appear to have played any significant role in the government’s decision.

ADVOCACY COUNCIL FOR THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION * AMNESTY INERNATIONAL * JUSTICE FOR IRAN * SHIRIN EBADI

In advance of Iran’s National Student Day on 6 December, Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and three human rights groups, Advocacy Council for the Right to Education (Council to Defend the Right to Education), Amnesty International and Justice for Iran join together to call on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, including students imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their conscientiously held beliefs.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

Activist and former monk U Gambira was arrested in Yangon on Saturday 1 December 2012. He is reportedly facing charges of trespassing and criminal damage for removing the locks from several monasteries in February 2012, as well as for staying in a monastery without permission. These monasteries had been sealed by the authorities who believed that the resident monks had played an active role in Myanmar’s 2007 Saffron Revolution.

Posted in :

‘President Obama has been given a second chance to keep his promises on human rights. Don’t blow it’ - Suzanne Nossel

Responding to the re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America, Amnesty International USA executive director Suzanne Nossel said:

“When President Obama was first elected in 2008, many human rights activists rejoiced. It had been eight long years where the United States tortured, detained hundreds without charge and trial, and tried to justify the horrors of Abu Ghraib.

Posted in :

Monday’s conviction of an Egyptian broadcaster for “insulting the President” is a further blow to freedom of expression, Amnesty International said.

A court in the governorate of Luxor sentenced Tawfiq Okasha to four months in prison. Okasha was not present for the verdict, but was reportedly ordered to pay bail pending an appeal.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

 Amnesty International has urged Ukrainian parliamentarians ahead of parliamentary elections on 28 October to commit publicly to addressing police abuse in the country.

One year since Amnesty International launched its report “No Evidence of a Crime: Paying the Price for Police Impunity in Ukraine”, a review of the manifestos of all major parties contesting the elections shows that none of the parties have put forward a concrete proposal for investigating and punishing endemic police criminality in Ukraine.

Amnesty International has called today on the Bahraini authorities to ensure the safety of civil society members who participated at the 21st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva after they received threats of reprisals for their participation in the meeting.

Amnesty International is dismayed that today the Federal Court of Canada denied the motion to stop the removal of Kimberly Rivera, pending the outcome of her Humanitarian and Compassionate application to remain in Canada. Kimberly has been ordered leave Canada for the United States on Thursday 20 September. It is expected that Ms. Rivera will be detained upon arrival in the USA, transferred to military control, court-martialed and imprisoned for refusing to serve in the U.S. military on grounds of conscience.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

Following the Canadian government’s decision to end diplomatic relations with  Iran, announced on September 7, 2012, Amnesty International strongly recommends that efforts be intensified to safeguard the rights of  Canadian-Iranian citizens, Hamid Ghassemi-Shall and Hossein Derakhshan as well as Canadian permanent resident, Saeed Malekpour.  Ghassemi-Shall and Malekpour are on death row in Tehran’s Evin Prison and Derakhshan has been sentenced to 19 years for blogging.  Canadian diplomatic efforts on these cases must continue and, given the strained contex

Amnesty International condemns the brutal killing of some 17 people who took part in a music party in Musa Qala district of Helmand province on Sunday night 26 August. According to reports there were two or three women among the dead; some of the victims were shot dead and others were beheaded.

The Afghan government accused the Taleban of the act and stated that the area where the incident happened was under the control of the Taleban. However, the Taleban has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

They never consulted with us, they never told us… that this was going to have… so much negative impact, …that it was going to cause so much conflict.” -- Carmen Mejía, an Indigenous woman from San Miguel Ixtahuacán, describing Goldcorp Inc’s Marlin mine in Guatemala.

Following the release on18 July of a second Draft Constitution Of Zimbabwe document, Amnesty International has reiterated its call for total abolition of the death penalty in the proposed new Constitution.

Posted in :

The death last week of Omar Suleiman, former chief of the Egyptian General Intelligence, must lead to the Egyptian authorities pursuing accountability for human rights violations committed during renditions to Egypt in the 2000s, not to turning the page on this episode, Amnesty International said today.

Omar Suleiman, who also served for 14 days as vice-president during the last days of Hosni Mubarak’s rule, was the alleged mastermind of renditions to Egypt. He is reported to have died in the USA on 19 July after routine medical tests.

Two years after an international outcry erupted over her sentence of stoning to death, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani remains imprisoned in north-west Iran apparently still facing a stoning sentence.  Her lawyer, Javid Houtan Kiyan, arrested on account of his advocacy for her, remains held as a prisoner of conscience, and is reported to have been sentenced to a lengthy prison term.  He is believed to have been tortured during his detention.  

Posted in : Torture

United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Fifth Session, 9-13 July 2012

Joint submission by Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), Assembly of First Nations, Amnesty International, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers), Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Treaty Four First Nations, Haudenosaunee of Kanehsatake, Indigenous World Association, First Peoples Human Rights Coalition, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.

Amnesty International welcomes the Singaporean Government’s move towards putting an end to the mandatory death sentencing for drug trafficking and homicide cases, and the moratorium on executions in place until proposed changes in the law are enacted.

Mandatory death sentences are prohibited under international law and Amnesty International therefore calls on the Government of Singapore to abolish mandatory death sentencing unconditionally.

Posted in :

As the situation in northern Rakhine State remains very tense, Myanmar authorities should ensure full and unfettered humanitarian access to displaced people, and conduct an independent and impartial investigation into recent communal violence, Amnesty International said in a statement today.

The Myanmar government should also aim to replace the state of emergency in Rakhine State at the earliest opportunity, facilitate international monitors, and address decades of systemic discrimination against ethnic minority Rohingyas.
 

Posted in : International Justice

Amnesty International is deeply concerned that changes to the Federal Interim Health Program are discriminatory and will result in violations of the right to health of refugees in Canada, in contravention of Canada’s international human rights obligations.  Amnesty International is calling on the federal government to withdraw the changes and to ensure that any changes to the program are consistent with international human rights standards with respect to access to health care, non-discrimination and refugee protection.

Posted in : International Justice

Amnesty International welcomes plans to re-affirm the rights to water and sanitation at the United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). However, the organization is deeply concerned that the current formulation in the draft Outcome would undermine the legal recognition of the rights to water and sanitation, rights that are essential for life, for dignity and for sustainable development.
 

Amnesty International welcomes the Canadian government’s recent indication that it is prepared to explicitly recognize the rights to water and sanitation. In an interview with Embassy Magazine on May 29th Environment Minister Peter Kent stated that “by the time we get to Rio, we will make it clear that Canada recognizes the right to safe drinking water and to basic sanitation.” The statement refers to the upcoming Rio+20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Brazil June 20-22, 2012.

The people of Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishnabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) know first-hand the terrible consequences of having control over their traditional lands and territories taken from them.

In the 1950s, provincial hydroelectric dams flooded large areas of land, wiping out wild rice beds central to their culture and way of life.
In the 1960s, a pulp and paper mill in Dryden, Ontario contaminated the rivers with mercury, resulting in the devastating closure of the fishery and debilitating health problems that are still being felt today.

On the eve of the 23rd anniversary of the Chinese military’s violent suppression of peaceful demonstrators in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Amnesty International again calls on the government to hold an open and independent inquiry into the events of 1989.

With the anticipated release of the Canadian government’s human rights impact of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Amnesty International Canada urges that the human rights emergency affecting Indigenous Peoples in the South American country is given the priority attention it deserves.

Singapore’s announcement that it carried out four executions in 2011, after no executions the previous year, flouts the global trend toward abolition of the death penalty and reversed a notable reduction in executions there, Amnesty International said today.

On 27 March 2012, Amnesty International published its annual global figures on the use of the death penalty, noting no confirmed reports of executions in Singapore for 2011. After publication, however, Amnesty International learned that Singapore authorities had reported four executions for 2011.

Posted in :

Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of three young women arrested by the Russian authorities as members of the punk group ‘Pussy Riot’ who staged a protest song in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral on 21 February.

The government of Iraq should immediately investigate and bring to justice those responsible for a targeted campaign of intimidation and violence against Iraqi youth seen as belonging to the non-conformist “emo” subculture, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said today. The attacks have created an atmosphere of terror among those who see themselves as potential victims.

Amnesty International is calling on the Mexican government to specify what measures it will take to comply with the recommendations on Mexico of the Working Group of Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances presented to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

The Working Group’s report highlights the terrible dimensions of this grave violation of human rights in Mexico and the lack of a government policy designed to prevent and punish this crime.

Posted in :

Provisions that would make it legal for police to secretly detain certain groups of criminal suspects would violate China’s obligations under international law and should be dropped from the latest revisions to the Criminal Procedure Law, Amnesty International said today.

The undersigned Organisations call on the Syrian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mazen Darwish, a prominent Syrian human rights defender and Director of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) – an organization that enjoys UN ECOSOC consultative status -, as well as seven of his colleagues and a visitor, who were arrested on 16 February 2012 during a raid on their Damascus offices.

There have been a number of recent media articles in Sri Lanka recently suggesting that Amnesty International’s impartiality had been compromised because the Canadian Tamil Congress chose to make Amnesty International Canada a beneficiary of funds raised at their third annual Walk-a-Thon held in Toronto in September 2011.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

Amnesty International is deeply disappointed to learn about the recent decision made by the Canadian Quebec Court of Appeal to refuse jurisdiction to hear a class action brought on behalf of Congolese citizens against the Canadian company, Anvil Mining Limited (“Anvil Mining”), for serious human rights abuses committed in Kilwa in 2004, otherwise known as “the Kilwa Massacre.”

A law issued on Saturday providing immunity from prosecution for President Ali Abdullah Saleh and all those who worked with him during his administration is a bitter blow for those calling for justice for human rights violations over recent years, Amnesty International said today.

A year after a young Tunisian street vendor set himself alight, triggering an uprising which led to the toppling of his country’s government, many Tunisians say their demands for justice have yet to be fulfilled.

Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to enjoy the same standard of living and access to government services that are enjoyed by other people in Canada. They have the right to live and bring up their families on their own lands and territories. Our organizations, Canadian human rights and faith-based groups, are deeply concerned that these basic principles are repeatedly cast in doubt.

Posted in : Demand Dignity

The transfer of former President Laurent Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court (ICC) marks the first significant step towards addressing impunity for crimes against humanity committed in the country, in particular between 2002 and 2011.

The transfer of Laurent Gbabgo gives hope to some of the thousands of victims of these crimes committed by all parties over nearly a decade. However, the ICC Prosecutor should not limit the investigation by focusing only on the crimes under international law committed since December 2010.

Amnesty International is calling on the federal government to move quickly to approve the application made by Omar Khadr in the spring of 2011, under the International Transfer of Offenders Act, for return to Canada.

Under the terms of a plea agreement reached between Omar Khadr and US officials in October 2010, Omar Khadr pled guilty to the five charges he faced. Further to that agreement, he was convicted and sentenced to an eight year prison term commencing on 31 October 2010.

Posted in : International Justice

 On Friday, October 28, the Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS) will hold its first ever hearings into the violation of Indigenous land rights in Canada.

Posted in :

Amnesty International calls on the authorities to conduct a full review of the legal cases against indigenous prisoners on hunger strike in Chiapas since 29 September 2011. According to available evidence their detention, trial and convictions were marred by irregularities and abuses, including allegations of ill-treatment and torture. Amnesty International believes that they may have been subject to unfair trials and unsafe convictions. They should be retried according to international fair trail standards or released.

Posted in : International Justice

The report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, released yesterday, documenting widespread torture in Afghan detention facilities, and the earlier NATO decision, announced on September 6th, to suspend transfers of prisoners into Afghan custody, both make it clear that Canada’s policy of handing prisoners over to Afghan officials over the course of more than five years violated international law and should have been reversed years ago.  Among many disturbing conclusions, the UNAMA report finds “a compelling pattern and practice of systematic torture an

Each year on October 4th communities across Canada come together to honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. As we do so, we remember the lives of sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers tragically taken from us.
Today, we offer our support and sympathy to their families and we join with them in demanding justice.

Posted in :

Sierra Leone: Amnesty International welcomes the acceptance in principle of a moratorium on the death penalty and the commitment to improve healthcare in connection with birth delivery and to address other causes of maternal mortality

Posted in :

Amnesty International has called on the UK authorities to bring to justice all those responsible for the death Baha Mousa, after an inquiry into the death of the Iraqi hotel receptionist found that UK soldiers violently assaulted him while in custody in Basra in 2003.

Baha Mousa suffered 93 separate injuries before he died, said the inquiry’s report, which was released today. Nine other Iraqis held with Mousa were also subjected to human rights violations that constituted war crimes during their detention.

Amnesty International welcomes the reported release of around 70 prisoners of conscience and political prisoners, convicted of vaguely worded “security related” charges including involvement in the protests which followed the disputed presidential election of 2009. They were among 100 said to have been pardoned by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on 27 August 2011, ahead of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations at the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

Amnesty International welcomes the historic decision of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in the complaint regarding Alyne da Silva Pimentel v. Brazil (Communication No. 17/2008).

Alyne da Silva Pimentel, a 28-year-old woman of African descent and resident of one of Rio de Janeiro’s poorest districts, was six months pregnant with her second child, when she died of complications resulting from pregnancy after her local health center misdiagnosed her symptoms and delayed providing her with emergency care.

Amnesty International today called on the Jordanian authorities to ensure that the next phase of the investigation into the reported use of excessive force against demonstrators and journalists during a protest in Amman on 15 July 2011 is carried out by a body that is fully independent and impartial and will be perceived as such.

Italy has failed to take action to protect minority groups from discrimination, Amnesty International said today, after the parliament rejected a bill on homophobic and transphobic crimes.

The bill was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday by 293 votes to 250.

“The Italian Parliament has wasted an opportunity to take a step in the right direction," said Nicola Duckworth, Amnesty International's Director for Europe and Central Asia Programme.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression


Amnesty International sends its condolences to the victims and their families of these terrible events.

The organization expresses solidarity with the people of Norway as they try to move on from the bombing and shootings carried out in Norway on 22 July 2011 that took the lives of more than 70 people.

Amnesty International’s 3 million supporters are at one with the Norwegian people, standing together for an open and diverse society where people are able to express their opinions peacefully.  

Posted in : International Justice

Amnesty International welcomes the decision by the Mexican Supreme Court to remove alleged human rights violations committed by the armed forces from military jurisdiction. The decision represents an historic step in the struggle to limit the jurisdiction of the military courts and to guarantee victims of abuses the right to an effective remedy.

It also sets an important precedent with regard to the obligation to comply with judgments handed down by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court) and international human rights treaties.

Posted in : International Justice

The recent repression in the Middle East and North Africa demonstrates that a wide range of arms used by military, security and police forces, must be covered under the scope of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), Amnesty International said today.

The latest draft of the terms of a global Arms Trade Treaty, due for completion in 2012, emerged from talks between UN member states in New York yesterday.

Indiscriminate attacks which lead to civilian casualties are a serious violation of international humanitarian law and could constitute war crimes, Amnesty international said following the detonation of an explosive device in the urban centre of Toribío Municipality, Cauca Department, on 9 July, which has been attributed to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group.

The explosion took place during an armed attack by the FARC against the security forces in the municipality, in the south-west of the country.

Two years after the disputed election of 12 June 2009 which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejhad returned to power, the human rights situation in Iran remains dire.

The security forces continue to use violence against peaceful protestors and have carried out thousands of arrests. Many detainees have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated and hundreds have been sentenced to prison terms and in some case death after grossly unfair trials. Prison conditions are harsh.

Posted in :

It’s been 22  years since the People’s Liberation Army fired on peaceful protesters in Beijing and other cities , killing hundreds, if not thousands, of students and other ordinary people who had gathered to demand a more open and responsive government.

Amnesty International sees as positive the action taken on 12 May to enforce the arrest warrant issued against Rufino Juárez Hernández, the leader of the group Unión de Bienestar Social de la Región Triqui (Ubisort), Union for the Social Well-being of the Triqui Region, who is accused of at least two murders committed in the community of San Juan Copala, municipality of Santiago Juxtlahuaca, during 2010.

Posted in :

 Six years to the day that the government of Zimbabwe embarked on a program of  mass forced evictions which left 700,000 people without a home, a livelihood, or both, Amnesty International called on the government to urgently address the plight of survivors.

Survivors of the devastating program of forced evictions known as Operation Murambatsvina, continue to endure deplorable living conditions, without access to basic essentials services and they remain at risk of further forced evictions.

Posted in : Demand Dignity

Amnesty International today expressed its concern over the safety of Judge María Cristina Trejos Salazar after President Juan Manuel Santos appeared to question the validity of her decision to convict a retired army general for serious human rights violations.

Posted in :

Amnesty International has submitted the following statement to the sixteenth special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Posted in : International Justice

Indigenous peoples and human rights organizations urge all political leaders in Canada to make a clear public commitment to ending the discriminatory underfunding that is tearing apart First Nations families.

Posted in : Demand Dignity

As Zimbabwe’s celebrates 31 years of independence, Amnesty International today expressed concern about the lack of effort by the government to address the legacy of human rights violations and respect for human rights guaranteed in the country’s own constitution as well as international treaties.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

The Azerbaijani authorities have initiated a new wave of arrests and criminal charges in an attempt to stifle the latest opposition rally, “Great Unity Day” planned for 17 April. On 9 April a further five opposition activists were charged with “organising mass disorder” for their participation in the violently dispersed 2 April “Day of Wrath” protest in Baku.


Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and nine human and labour rights organizations today expressed dismay at parliamentary proceedings in Iran which look set to pass into law a bill which appears intended to wipe out independent civil society in the country, in violation of international standards on freedom of association and assembly, which Iran is obliged to uphold.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

Amnesty International welcomed today the adoption of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.  

After more than two years of negotiations, the Ministers’ Deputies of the Council of Europe adopted the text of the Convention. The treaty will be opened for signature at the Ministerial Session of the Committee of Ministers in Istanbul on 11 May.

Posted in :

Amnesty International today condemned Chinese authorities for their plan to execute three Filipinos on Wednesday for the non-violent offence of drug smuggling, which falls short of the legal threshold of the ‘most serious’ crimes as set in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Ramon Credo, a 42-year-old father of five, was detained on 28 December 2008 at Gaoji International Airport in Xiamen, China. He is alleged to have smuggled  4,113 grams of heroin in his luggage. He is scheduled to be executed in Xiamen.

Posted in :

The Malaysian government’s prosecution of 54 anti-racism protestors violates freedom of association and peaceful assembly, Amnesty International said today.

On 4 April, hearings begin for participants in a peaceful rally against racial discrimination, held by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi and its affiliated Human Rights Party in Kuala Lumpur on 27 February.

Hindraf, a nongovernmental organization which advocates for equal rights for Malaysians of Indian origin, was banned as an “unlawful society” in 2008 under the Societies Act.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

As the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar presents his report to the 16th session of United Nations Human Rights Council, governments should speak with one voice on Myanmar’s long-standing failure to address widespread and systematic human rights violations in the country.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

Amnesty International stands alongside women and girls in Nicaragua this International Women’s Day.  Amnesty International supports the women’s movement demand to end sexual violence against women and girls. Together we are calling on the Nicaraguan authorities to eradicate rape and widespread sexual abuse of girls.

According to police statistics, between 1998 and 2008, more than 14,000 cases were reported. Two thirds of the victims were under the age of 17.

Posted in : Maternal Mortality

Amnesty International supports the voices of Aboriginal families in calling for real action, not empty rhetoric, to stop violence against Aboriginal women and girls.

In October 2010, Minister of State for the  Status of Women, Rona Ambrose, stated, “I am very concerned about the pattern of violence against Aboriginal women, and the impact it has on the families and communities who suffer as a result.”

Posted in :

(Paris, 16 February 2011) – Other nations and the UN should speak out against a wave of executions in Iran, the Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and six human rights organizations said today. Shirin Ebadi and the human rights groups called on the Iranian Judiciary and Parliament to institute an immediate moratorium on all executions.

Posted in :

On the second anniversary of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Amnesty International is urging Zimbabwe’s coalition government to act on ongoing human rights abuses and to institute reforms of the security sector and the media.

Two years since the unity government was set up in Zimbabwe, Amnesty International is concerned about lack of progress in implementing key reforms to address the legacy of human rights abuses.  

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Salil Shetty said: “The protests in Egypt and elsewhere are a wake up call to all those gathered in Davos. It is time the rhetoric on human rights and reform delivered here is matched with genuine steps to uphold the rights of people. Egyptians, especially the dynamic youth, could wait no longer. They are holding their leaders to account for the ruthless repression they continue to be subjected to and the failure to address the rights of the poor.

Posted in :

Amnesty International condemns the bomb attack at the Moscow airport Domodedovo which took place at around 16.30 (13.30 GMT) in the arrivals lounge and has resulted in numerous victims. Currently, reports suggest that as many as 31 persons been killed and 130 injured. The organization extends its condolences to the victims and their families.

Amnesty International considers that this attack reveals a blatant disregard for human life and is a flagrant violation of a fundamental right. It cannot be justified or excused.

Posted in :

On 24 January 2011, the spokesperson and the specialist on anti-semitism of the non-governmental organization Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) and four members of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) will be tried before the 6th Misdemeanors Court of Athens for charges of false accusations and aggravated defamation against the author of the book “Jews – The Whole Truth”, Kostantinos Plevris, following a complaint he filed on 4 January 2007. Panayote Dimitras, the Greek Helsinki Monitor spokesperson is also charged with perjury.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression

For the last five years, we have stood alongside the Native Women's Association of Canada to promote vigils across Canada to honour the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. In these five years, the Sisters in Spirit vigils have become a genuine national movement, with events in more than 80 cities and communities.

Posted in :

Amnesty International strongly condemns the bomb attack perpetrated in the early hours of 1 January 2011 which targeted worshippers at a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, killing 23 and injuring scores of others during a New Year midnight service. Amnesty International is calling on the Egyptian authorities to take comprehensive measures to protect Coptic Christians ahead of their celebration of Christmas on 7 January 2011. The bombing targeted the al-Qidissin (the Saints) Church in the area of Sidi Basher in the city of Alexandria.

Posted in :

The second trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, which began on 31 March 2009, concluded today with their conviction on charges of theft and money laundering while running YUKOS between 1998 and 2003.

Posted in :

Amnesty International is calling on the authorities in Bangladesh to order an immediate inquiry into reports that four people have died during violent clashes between police and garment factory workers in Bangladesh on 12 December. The inquiry must establish the causes of the deaths and find out if the deaths were due to police using excessive force against the demonstrators.

If police have used excessive force, the government should bring to justice the police officers responsible.

Posted in :

Amnesty International is deeply concerned about the situation on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), following the events of 3 December in which over 20 indigenous people were injured during an operation to evict them from buildings and land that they occupied as part of a protest. A number of detentions were made.

Posted in :

Amnesty International is concerned that the decision to close Libya Press, the only privately owned news agency in Libya, is the latest in a rising series of government attacks on the privately-owned press, and risks further narrowing the Libyan media landscape and the scope of freedom of expression.

Posted in : Freedom of Expression