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    August 03, 2017

    The Nicaraguan government must stop placing business before the future of the country and its people, Amnesty International said in a new report today looking at a secretive deal that will lead to the construction of a canal and other side projects that will affect the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people and might leave many homeless.

    Danger: Rights for sale. The Interoceanic Grand Canal project in Nicaragua and the erosion of human rights reveals how the obscure legal framework that led to the concession of the project, without genuine consultation with all affected communities, violates a catalogue of national and international standards on human rights and might lead to the forced eviction of hundreds of families. It also accuses authorities of harassing and persecuting anyone who dares to voice an opinion against the deal.

    “Authorities in Nicaragua have secretly sold the country’s future to the highest bidder and put thousands of people at risk of losing everything,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    June 02, 2015

    Full implementation of the recommendations released today by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission is essential to provide justice for residential schools survivors and their communities and to ensure that Canada lives up to its international human rights obligations.

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established as part of a legal settlement with survivors of the government-funded and church-run Indian Residential Schools. For over a century, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forcibly taken from their families and communities to attend these schools. The Commission estimates than more than 6,000 children died in these schools while countless others endured hardship, deprivation and abuse.

    February 23, 2015

    The Amnesty International Report 2014/15 documents the state of human rights during 2013/14.

    Human rights defenders, often themselves living in precarious situations, battled to break through the walls of silence and secrecy to challenge abusers. Through the courts, in the streets and online, they fought for their right to freedom of expression, their right to freedom from discrimination and their right to justice. Some paid a heavy price. In many countries, they faced vilification, imprisonment or violence. While governments paid lip service to their commitment to human rights, they continued to use national security and concerns about public security to justify violating those rights.

    March 13, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT 14 March 2014

    Almost half a million people have been forced from their homes over the last year as violence intensified in war-torn Darfur, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

    The deliberate targeting of civilians accompanied by looting, rape and murder are documented in the Amnesty International report, “We can’t endure any more”: attacks against civilians in Central Darfur. It includes first-hand testimony from the recent wave of victims of Darfur’s 11-year conflict.

    “Deliberate attacks in civilian areas with the intent of killing and injuring people is a war crime and demonstrates a disregard for the most basic principles of international humanitarian law,” said Michelle Kagari, East Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    The report documents how fighting between two tribes in Central Darfur, the Salamat and the Misseriya, have left whole communities homeless and scores either dead or injured.  Amnesty International found that civilians were deliberately targeted by both sides.

    March 09, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT 10 March 2014

    A new report by Amnesty International reveals that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been carried out on Palestinian and Syrian civilians in Yarmouk, on the outskirts of Damascus, which is under brutal siege by Syrian government forces.

    The report, Squeezing the life out of Yarmouk: War crimes against besieged civilians, published ahead of the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria, highlights the deaths of nearly 200 individuals since the siege was tightened in July 2013 and access to crucial food and medical supplies was cut off. According to Amnesty International’s research, 128 of those who have died starved to death in the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that has emerged.

    “Life in Yarmouk has grown increasingly unbearable for desperate civilians who find themselves starving and trapped in a downward cycle of suffering with no means of escape,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

    “Civilians of Yarmouk are being treated like pawns in a deadly game in which they have no control.”

    March 07, 2014

    On 5 March, 100 men who identified themselves as the Crimean Self Defence League forced some 40 women to end their peaceful protest in Crimea’s capital, Simferopol.© VOLODYMYR PETROV/AFP/Getty Images

    With journalists, activists and peaceful protestors facing increasing harassment and intimidation in Crimea, there is an urgent need for a strong international monitoring mission in Ukraine, said Amnesty International.

    It is calling for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to urgently establish a strong international monitoring mission in the country.

    “Attempting to monitor the human rights situation in Crimea has become a near impossible task. Self-styled Crimean self-defence groups are harassing pro-Ukrainian protestors, journalists and human rights monitors with complete impunity,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International.

    March 05, 2014

    The health and lives of millions of people across the globe are being threatened by government failures to guarantee their sexual and reproductive rights, Amnesty International said today  in advance of International Women’s Day, which will be celebrated throughout the world on 8 March.

    March 03, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT 4 March 2014

    The UN Security Council’s relaxing of the international arms embargo on Somalia last year appears to have contributed to a rise in insecurity and human rights abuses that has resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths each month, Amnesty International said as it called for a robust embargo to be restored.

    In March 2013, the 21-year-old arms embargo on Somalia was partially lifted by the UN Security Council for one year, allowing the Somali government to import small arms and light weapons but not larger weapons and munitions. The Security Council is due to review this embargo by 6 March 2014 and the government has requested the embargo to be lifted.

    “The facts speak for themselves – security for Somalia’s people remains extremely volatile, and the ongoing flow of arms into the country is fanning the flames of armed violence and grave human rights abuses against civilians,” said Michelle Kagari, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    February 26, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT 27 February 2014

    Israel’s security forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing scores of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

    The report, Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank, describes mounting bloodshed and human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) as a result of the Israeli forces’ use of unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force against Palestinians since January 2011.

    In all cases examined by Amnesty International, Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers did not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life. In some, there is evidence that they were victims of wilful killings, which would amount to war crimes.

    February 21, 2014

    The decision of a Haitian court to allow investigations to continue into crimes against humanity committed during the rule of “president-for-life” Jean-Claude Duvalier is a major boost for the victims in their long quest for truth and justice, Amnesty International said.

    “This much-needed green light to continue the investigations is a victory for the victims of torture, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations committed under the rule of Duvalier and their relatives,” said Javier Zúñiga, Special Advisor for Amnesty International.

    “It also bolsters hopes for a new Haiti, founded upon the rule of law and equality of justice for all.”

    The Court of Appeal in the capital Port-au-Prince on Thursday reversed a January 2012 ruling by an investigative judge. The earlier decision stated that Duvalier could not be charged with crimes against humanity filed by victims of alleged forced disappearances and torture during his rule from 1971-1986 because the time for the prosecution of those offences had elapsed.

    February 18, 2014

    Released Midnight GMT 18 February 2014

    Widespread intimidation, the abuse of human rights and the withdrawal of services are forcing Somali refugees out of Kenya said Amnesty International in a report published today.

    “The environment in Kenya is now so hostile that some refugees feel they have no option but to return to Somalia where the ongoing conflict in parts of the country continues to destroy lives. This is tantamount to forced return” said Sarah Jackson, Deputy Regional Director at Amnesty International.

    Amnesty International’s report “No Place Like Home” reveals how life for Somali refugees has been made unbearable. People are denied access to registration, meaning they are illegally staying in Kenya, and are actively targeted by the police with indiscriminate arrests.

    Abdi, 28, said “Here, in Kenya, it’s like a prison. At night we can’t leave the house, in the day we might be arrested. It is not currently safe in Somalia, we hear of killings and murder, but the situation here is very desperate… so instead of being here, let me go back.”

    February 12, 2014

    Released Midnight 11 February  2014 GMT

    International peacekeepers have failed to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Muslim civilians in the western part of the Central African Republic, Amnesty International said in a report issued today.

    To protect the country’s remaining Muslim communities, international peacekeeping forces must break the control of anti-balaka militias and station sufficient troops in towns where Muslims are threatened.

    “Anti-balaka militias are carrying out violent attacks in an effort to ethnically cleanse Muslims in the Central African Republic,” said Joanne Mariner, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International.

    “The result is a Muslim exodus of historic proportions.”

    Amnesty International criticized the international community’s tepid response to the crisis, noting that international peacekeeping troops have been reluctant to challenge anti-balaka militias, and slow to protect the threatened Muslim minority.

    February 10, 2014

    The authorities in California must introduce radical changes to the cruel conditions of the state’s solitary confinement units, said Amnesty International.

    Tomorrow, 11 February, a representative of the human rights organization will give an oral submission before the California Assembly Public Safety Committee. It is currently considering a series of reforms to its Security Housing Units (SHUs), proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    “The authorities in California have an historic opportunity to end the inhumane conditions of detention of the hundreds of prisoners held in isolation across the state,” said Tessa Murphy, USA campaigner at Amnesty International.

    Most of the inmates are held in isolation units in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison.

    They are confined to their windowless cells for at least 22 hours a day. Exercise is limited to one 90-minute session a week, alone, in a bare, concrete yard, with 20 foot high walls and only a patch of sky visible through a partially meshed plastic roof.

    January 22, 2014
    The Egyptian authorities have tightened the noose on freedom of expression and assembly© REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghan

    Posted at 0001 GMT 23 January 2014

    The Egyptian authorities are using every resource at their disposal to quash dissent and trample on human rights, said Amnesty International in a damning new report published ahead of the third anniversary of the “25 January Revolution”.

    The briefing entitled Roadmap to repression: No end in sight to human rights violations, paints a bleak picture of the state of rights and liberties in Egypt since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

    January 21, 2014

    World leaders at the Geneva II peace conference on Syria must demand full access to investigate allegations that 11,000 people have been tortured and killed while in detention in the country and monitor conditions in detention, said Amnesty International.

    A report by former war crimes prosecutors and forensic experts is based on documents and thousands of still images of what appear to be the bodies of dead prisoners. The material was smuggled out of the country by a defected military police photographer. The photographs cover the period from the start of the uprising in 2011 until August 2013.

    “The Geneva II peace conference must treat this as an absolute priority. Concrete steps must be taken to respond to the scale of the horrific human rights situation in detention centres and the country in general,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

    “World leaders must demand that the Commission of Inquiry and other human rights bodies be granted immediate access to all places of detention – formal and informal – in Syria.

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