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    July 18, 2016

    Iran’s authorities are callously toying with the lives of prisoners of conscience and other political prisoners by denying them adequate medical care, putting them at grave risk of death, permanent disability or other irreversible damage to their health, according to a new report by Amnesty International published today.

    The report, Health taken hostage: Cruel denial of medical care in Iran’s prisons, provides a grim snapshot of health care in the country’s prisons. It presents strong evidence that the judiciary, in particular the Office of the Prosecutor, and prison administrations deliberately prevent access to adequate medical care, in many cases as an intentional act of cruelty intended to intimidate, punish or humiliate political prisoners, or to extract forced “confessions” or statements of “repentance” from them.

    July 16, 2016

    Following yesterday's attempted coup by elements of the Turkish armed forces, Amnesty International's Director for Europe John Dalhuisen said:

      "Upholding human rights and the rule of law is the job of elected governments. The coup plotters in Turkey forgot this; it is crucial that President Erdogan and the authorities do not.   "Investigations and accountability should now begin, but this is no time for further rights regression in Turkey. Fair trials must be ensured and there must be no return to the death penalty in the country, which would deliver justice for no-one."
    July 15, 2016

    In response to the Ugandan police beating hundreds of supporters of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party in the capital Kampala, Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “Amnesty International is appalled by the deliberate and senseless beating of unarmed opposition supporters, the latest episode in the now all too familiar and systematic pattern of police brutality in Uganda. The beating of people gathering peacefully is cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under international law, which Uganda must respect. In severe cases it may even amount to torture.”

    “The relevant authorities must immediately order an independent, impartial, efficient and transparent investigation into these incidents. Where sufficient, admissible evidence points to responsibility of individuals, including command responsibility, such persons must be prosecuted in fair trials.”

    The Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, was quoted in the Ugandan press today as saying the beatings were justified “because when you are beaten, you don’t die.”

    July 15, 2016

    Amnesty International utterly condemns the despicable attack in Nice last night, which has left over 80 dead and many more injured. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which President Hollande has described as being of a “terrorist nature”.

    Amnesty International’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen said: “We are all deeply shocked by the appalling attack in Nice last night.  We grieve with those who lost loved ones, and stand united with those opposing terror with freedom, fairness and the respect for human rights.” 

    July 14, 2016

    Citing concerns about human rights violations at protests in the U.S. over the last couple of years, Amnesty International will deploy teams of human rights observers to both the Republic National Convention in Cleveland, OH, and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, to monitor any protests and law enforcement response.

    Amnesty International has a long history and depth of expertise monitoring protests and investigating police conduct. Since the organization’s founding 55 years ago, it has deployed researchers and independent human rights observers to a range of situations, including the Gezi Park protests in Turkey and in Egypt for  the Arab Spring protests. In the United States, AIUSA has recently monitored protests both in Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, MD, in the wake of police killings – documenting multiple violations of the human rights of protestors, journalists, and others. After additional killings by police in the U.S. in recent weeks, protesters and journalists have reported a range of human rights violations.

    July 14, 2016

    A decision by El Salvador’s Supreme Court to declare the country’s Amnesty Law unconstitutional is a historic and long awaited step forward for justice, Amnesty International said.

    “Today is an historic day for human rights in El Salvador. By turning its back on a law that has done nothing but let criminals get away with serious human rights violations for decades, the country is finally dealing with its tragic past,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “El Salvador must waste no time and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility for the tens of thousands of unlawful killings and enforced disappearances that were committed during the internal armed conflict to justice. Victims should not be made to wait for justice, truth and reparation for a second longer.”

    According to a UN Truth Commission, more than 75,000 people were tortured, unlawfully killed and forcibly disappeared during the internal armed conflict in El Salvador between 1980 and 1992.

    The Salvadorian army was responsible for a number of massacres in villages accused of supporting guerrilla groups.

    July 14, 2016
    Up to eight people dying each month as a result of desperately overcrowded conditions in Maroua Prison More than 100 people, including women, sentenced to death before military courts Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon killed nearly 500 people in the last year

    More than 1,000 people, many arrested arbitrarily, are being held in horrific conditions and dozens are dying from disease and malnutrition or have been tortured to death, as part of the Cameroonian government and security forces crackdown on Boko Haram, Amnesty International revealed in a new report published today.

    The report Right cause, wrong means: Human rights violated and justice denied in Cameroon’s fight against Boko Haram details how the military offensive against Boko Haram has resulted in widespread human rights violations against civilians in the Far North region of the country.

    July 12, 2016

    Egypt’s National Security Agency (NSA) is abducting, torturing and forcibly disappearing people in an effort to intimidate opponents and wipe out peaceful dissent, said Amnesty International in a damning new report published today which highlights an unprecedented spike in enforced disappearances since early 2015.

    Egypt: ‘Officially, you do not exist’: Disappeared and tortured in the name of counter-terrorism reveals a trend which has seen hundreds of students, political activists and protesters, including children as young as 14, vanish without trace at the hands of the state. On average three to four people per day are seized according to local NGOs, usually when heavily armed security forces led by NSA officers storm their homes. Many are held for months at a time and often kept blindfolded and handcuffed for the entire period.

    July 12, 2016

    The failure of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan to release 65-year old human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Azimjan Askarov is an egregious example of how Kyrgyzstan is failing to implement its international obligations, said Amnesty International.

    At an extraordinary review of his case that ended today the Supreme Court did not comply with the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee to release Azimjan Askarov. Instead, the Court cancelled his sentence and referred the case to Chui Regional Court for a new court review. The human rights defender will remain in detention pending his new trial.

    “It’s a missed opportunity for Kyrgyzstan to do the right thing by finally releasing a man who should never have been jailed in the first place. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court ignores Kyrgyzstan’s obligations under international human rights law,” said Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International, who attended the review on Monday.

    July 12, 2016

    In response to the emergence of photographs that purportedly show torture and other ill-treatment by security forces during an operation in Navosa, Fiji, Amnesty International said:

    “These deeply disturbing images should be immediately and independently investigated in a thorough and transparent manner. It is not enough for the police to investigate themselves, as the Police Commissioner has suggested. If any torture and other ill treatment is found to have taken place at the hands of Fijian security forces, the perpetrators must face accountability so that the country can begin to break with its grim track record on human rights violations,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

    The photographs in question show several Fijians with injuries, including bruises and lacerations to the head Some images show two people lying down with hands and legs tied together behind their backs with rope. In the background of some of these photos, military and police officers armed with guns can be seen.

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    July 12, 2016

    As a renewal of violence in South Sudan threatens to plunge the country back into full-scale civil war, Amnesty International has published a list of seven recommendations for the African Union, ahead of the 27th AU Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

    From rhetoric to action lays out concrete steps leaders should take to guide the continent towards a culture that respects human rights, including in countries in the region that continue to be rocked by armed conflict.

    “The latest horrific bloodshed in South Sudan demonstrates the urgent need for African leaders gathering in Kigali to take steps not only to resolve such conflicts but also to tackle their root causes,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director, Research and Advocacy, Amnesty International.

    July 11, 2016

    Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir must ensure that people injured in shootings by security forces have access to medical assistance, and medical professionals can carry out their work without interference, Amnesty International India said today.

    Security forces must use live ammunition only as a last resort to protect against a threat to life, and not use pellet-firing shotguns against protestors.

    At least 23 people, including two children, have been killed in firing by security forces during demonstrations following the killing of a leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, a banned armed group, on Friday. Over 200 have been injured.  A policeman was killed after his vehicle was pushed into a river by a mob in Anantnag district. The state police have reported attacks on police stations and other public property, and looting of weapons. It said that scores of policemen have been injured.

    Local newspapers have reported that injured people had been assaulted while on their way to or while being treated at hospitals.

    July 11, 2016

    A new report published by Amnesty International today casts a rare light on the torture and other harrowing treatment of prisoners of conscience locked up in Viet Nam’s secretive network of prisons and detention centres.

    Prisons within Prisons: Torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of conscience in Viet Nam details the ordeals endured by prisoners of conscience in one of the most closed countries in Asia, including prolonged periods of incommunicado detention and solitary confinement, enforced disappearances, the denial of medical treatment, and punitive prison transfers.

    “Viet Nam is a prolific jailer of prisoners of conscience; this report offers a rare glimpse at the horror that those prisoners face in detention,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

    “Viet Nam ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 2015. This in itself is not enough. In order to meet its human rights obligations, the authorities must introduce reforms in line with international law and ensure accountability for torture and ill treatment.”

    July 11, 2016

    South Sudan: Renewed clashes put civilians at risk, underline need for arms embargo

    Warring parties in South Sudan must take all possible measures to protect civilians, including thousands of internally displaced people currently sheltering at UN bases, said Amnesty International as fighting continued to threaten civilian areas in the capital, Juba, today.

    On 10 and 11 July, artillery shells landed in civilian neighbourhoods near Vice-President Riek Machar’s base in Jebel neighbourhood, injuring civilians and damaging their homes.

    Renewed clashes between rival armed forces since 7 July have left hundreds of people dead and others displaced. Many civilians have not left their homes in days and are running out of food and water. Others have fled to churches and to UN displacement sites, which have themselves come under artillery fire in recent days.

    July 07, 2016

    “Once again another horrifying video has emerged that begs for answers, and once again we are calling for a thorough, impartial and independent investigation,” said Jamira Burley, campaign manager with Amnesty International USA. “The laws that govern when police can use lethal force in need to be reformed and they need to be reformed now. International law is clear that lethal force must only be used as a last resort against an imminent threat of death or serious injury. Philando Castile should not have had to fear for his life during a traffic stop. How many more wrenching videos do we need to see before there is real change?”  

    Amnesty International United States released a report last year finding that all 50 states fail to meet international standards for the use of lethal force. More on AIUSA’s work on this issue can be found here: ‪http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/campaigns/lethal-force

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