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Canada

    September 05, 2019

    Following poet and activist Rita Wong’s release from prison on September 3, 2019, Amnesty International reiterates its call on the BC government and all governments across the country to take deliberate action to avoid unjustified criminalization of protest.

    In particular, the organization again expressed concern about the use of criminal contempt prosecutions against individuals accused with defying the court injunction against protests connected with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.  

    September 04, 2019

    October 2019 marks 15 years since Amnesty International released our “Stolen Sisters” report, and much has happened during this time.

    In 2004, our report was ground breaking and helped to shine a light on a little known Canadian human rights crisis, and it promoted solutions identified by the Native Women’s Association of Canada and other Indigenous partners. Years of campaigning led by Indigenous women resulted in government finally calling an inquiry to investigate the scope and scale of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit persons, and to identify solutions to end the violence. In June, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issued its final report, including 231 Calls for Justice.

    August 30, 2019

    This week, new legislation entered in force overhauling the federal government’s system to assess and approve large-scale resource development projects like mines and dams. How does the new legislation affect human rights?

    August 23, 2019
    Black people in Toronto are 20 times more likely to be shot dead by the police.

    It has long been recognized that the Canadian justice system is fraught with racism that disproportionately impacts Black people and communities across the country, resulting in racial profiling, harsher sentencing, mistreatment in prison, denial of services, and other injustices which can be compounded for people with intersecting identities (e.g. Black Muslims, Black LGBTQ2S folks, etc.)The way that racism is institutionalized in the justice system, as well as in broader society, is connected to Canada’s long, sordid legacy of perpetrating anti-Black racism throughout history with enslavement, exclusionary immigration, and more. 

    August 22, 2019
    Spokespeople available for interviews

    With the threat of returns to Myanmar once again looming over Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Amnesty International warned that Rakhine State remains unsafe while those responsible for atrocities continue to evade justice. Action from the Canadian government is urged as the needs of refugees pivot from shorter-term humanitarian response, to sustained human rights protections.

    This Sunday marks two years since the Myanmar military launched operations in Rakhine State which forced more than 740,000 Rohingya women, men and children to flee their homes and villages. The brutal campaign was marked by widespread atrocities, which a UN investigation team has said amount to crimes against humanity and likely genocide.

    August 20, 2019

    Because of persistently high levels of gender-based violence, because women are still being sterilized without their consent, because of the gender wage gap and lack of economic security for women and non-binary people… we need all candidates in the October federal election to discuss women’s rights and gender equality issues.

    In 2015, Amnesty International was part of a coalition that advocated for such a debate. But not all parties were willing to participate in a debate on issues directly impacting half of Canada’s population. In fact, the last federal leader’s debate on women’s rights and gender equality issues was 35 years ago!

    When you engage with federal election candidates in your riding, let them know what gender equality is not yet a reality and we demand that the issues impacting women and non-binary people in Canada be directly addressed in the federal election campaign.

    August 19, 2019

    15 August 2019

    The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
    Minister of Health
    The Honourable James Carr 
    Minister of International Trade Diversification
    The Honourable David Lametti
    Minister of Justice and Attorney-General

    Re: Kattenburg v. Canada (Attorney General) – Israeli settlement products – Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement

    Dear Ministers Petitpas Taylor, Carr and Lametti:

    We write with an urgent request that the Canadian government not appeal the recent, important Federal Court decision – in Kattenburg v. Canada (Attorney General) – that goods imported into Canada from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must not be identified as “Products of Israel.” The ruling provides important human rights safeguards which we call on the government to accept and respect.

    August 14, 2019

    Amnesty International welcomes the federal government’s decision to cover the legal aid funding cuts to services for refugees and immigrants that were announced by the Government of Ontario in April 2019. A total of $25.7 million will be allocated to Ontario, as well as $1.16 million to British Columbia, and $20,000 to Manitoba. Legal aid allows newcomers and refugees to exercise their legal rights and help navigate extremely complex areas of the law, where they would not otherwise have the financial means to hire legal counsel.

    “This announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Justice David Lametti and Parliamentary Secretary Arif Virani is most welcome, and comes at a time when the immigration and refugee system – particularly in Ontario – is facing a real access to justice crisis,” said Justin Mohammed, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner. “Such legal proceedings often have serious consequences on the lives of those involved, and can even entail questions of life and death. Nobody should face such high-stakes legal proceedings without access to legal counsel.”

    August 13, 2019

    The climate crisis is not ‘just’ an environmental issue – it is also one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. Climate change impacts the rights to life, health, food, water, housing and more, and disproportionately affects those who are already vulnerable, disadvantaged or facing discrimination.

    August 12, 2019

    Amnesty International, PEN Canada and Toronto Association for Democracy in China are pleased to announce the unveiling of the Liu Xiaobo Empty Chair Memorial on:

    Date:               Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 2 p.m.

    Location:        Amnesty International, 312 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa

    Speakers:

    Setsuko Thurlow, recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons;

    Wang Juntao, political activist and friend of Liu during the 1989 pro-democracy movement;

    Ti‑Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Binzhang, political prisoner and founder of Chinese pro-democracy movement overseas;

    Senator Con Di Nino

    Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

    Richard Stursberg, Chair, PEN Canada

    Winnie Ng, Chair, Toronto Association for Democracy in China

    August 08, 2019

    Amnesty International is proudly supporting a new project, Operation #NotForgotten, which will sponsor up to 200 refugees living on the isolated Nauru and Manus Islands. 

    The campaign is an initiative of Canada Caring Society and MOSAIC, which are working with partners in Australia to raise $3.3 million to bring 200 refugees to Canada. Hassan Al Kontar, an advocate and Syrian refugee who lived in the Kuala Lumpur airport for seven months and was detained in a Malaysian detention centre for two months, is also leading this project. Since moving to Vancouver, BC last year, Al Kontar has wished to help other refugees resettle in Canada.

    “For years, refugees and asylum seekers have been detained in desperate and inhumane conditions in Australia’s cruel offshore detention policy,” said Justin Mohammed, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner with Amnesty International Canada. “This resettlement project will finally offer hope to those who have essentially been living in open air prisons, with little freedom to move and a lack of appropriate healthcare.”

    August 07, 2019

    After learning that Saeed Malekpour has returned to Canada following close to 11 years of unjust and unlawful imprisonment in Iran, Amnesty International Canada Secretary General Alex Neve said:

    “We are relieved and delighted to learn of Saeed Malekpour’s safe return to Canada after more than a decade in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. Saeed’s resilient spirit in the face of torture, psychological abuse, forced confessions and unjust imprisonment has been truly remarkable.  His return home is testament as well to the courage and dedication of his sister, Maryam Malekpour, who diligently worked to shed light on his situation and tirelessly led the campaign for his freedom. Amnesty International Canada extends a warm welcome home to Saeed and wishes him and Maryam well in their long-awaited reunion.”

    Alex Neve further said:

    August 06, 2019

    A coalition of 12 Canadian civil society organizations (CSO) has written an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, expressing their concern that Canada has yet to complete its review of exports of Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The review was announced over nine months ago, but the outcome has yet to be announced.

    The CSO coalition calls on all states, including Canada, to cease the sale or transfer of weapons to any government where there is risk that those weapons might be used in the conflict in Yemen. This conflict continues deteriorate, including ongoing attacks against the civilian population and grave violations of the rights of children.

    August 06, 2019

    VANCOUVER, B.C. – On the 5th anniversary of the Mount Polley Mine disaster, a delegation lead by Amnesty International will travel to Mitchell Bay on Quesnel Lake to deliver hundreds of messages of solidarity from all over Canada to people affected by the 2014 mining disaster. 

    Starting on Aug. 1, the delegation will follow the salmon’s migratory route from the Pacific Ocean, up the Fraser River and to Quesnel Lake, known as an ‘incubator’ for returning salmon. They’ll make several stops along the way, taking photos of the “solidarity salmon” messages and those travelling with the caravan.  

    “These solidarity messages show that Canadians have been watching the devastating aftermath of the Mount Polley Mine disaster – which is still ongoing,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. “We at Amnesty International are also throwing our support behind Indigenous peoples and those living near Quesnel Lake who have been harmed by the contamination stemming from the mining disaster.”  

    July 29, 2019

    OTTAWA (29 July 2019) - Reacting to the release on 26 July 2019 of the report of the External Review of the Extradition of Hassan Diab from Canada to France, Justin Mohammed, Amnesty International Canada’s Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner made the following statement:

    “On behalf of Amnesty International, I would like to express our sincere disappointment with this latest outcome in Hassan Diab’s long and arduous journey in seeking answers and justice for the human rights abuses that he has faced. Unfortunately, the report of former Ontario Deputy Attorney General Murray Segal does not provide meaningful answers to the key questions that would allow Canada to ensure that such a travesty of justice is never reproduced.

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