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    April 25, 2013

    By George Harvey, the action circle coordinator on LGBT issues in Toronto.

     

      Amnesty International joins human rights enthusiasts everywhere in applauding the recent decision by the governments of Uruguay, New Zealand, and France to legalize same sex marriage.

    Equal marriage is an important step for the LGBTQ community on the path towards equality, freedom from discrimination and the right to live with dignity.

    The path towards marriage equality has been a challenging one and the courageous and determined work of equal rights activists should be acknowledged.  LGBTQ individuals have faced many challenges, even within the activist community.  It is important to realize that the loving relationship between two individuals of the same gender is just as deserving of the legal and social recognition that comes with the term marriage as every other relationship.

    April 03, 2013

    Over 200 people, mostly Romanian Roma, were forcibly evicted this morning from an informal settlement in greater Paris in a move Amnesty International has labelled shameful and callous. 

    Police evicted around 230 people at 7:00 am from their huts and caravans in Ris-Orangis on the outskirts of Paris, citing public health and safety concerns. It is the latest in a resumed wave of forced evictions of Roma across France over the past few weeks.

    “Evicting hundreds of people without offering any adequate alternative housing or support is a shameful and callous action that totally ignores France’s international human rights obligations,” said Marek Marczyński, Europe and Central Asia Program Deputy Director.

    The community were given 24 hours notice to leave the site, despite the lack of adequate housing being offered. 

    According to reports, only 38 had previously been offered any assistance with accommodation or employment. Local activists reported that the only alternative emergency accommodation offered required families to be separated, which the residents refused to accept.

    January 10, 2013

    The investigation into the gunning down of three Kurdish women activists in Paris must be prompt and thorough, Amnesty International said.

    Sakine Cansýz, a founder of the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Fidan Dogan and Leyla Söylemez were found shot dead at the “Kurdistan Information Office” on the evening of 9 January.

    “There must be justice for these apparently political killings – no stone must be left unturned in the investigation by the French authorities,” said John Dalhuisen,Europe and Central Asia Program Director.

    “The Turkish authorities must cooperate fully in the investigation to bring those responsible to justice.”

    The killings come at time when the Government of Turkey and the PKK have begun peace negotiations.

    “Both sides must ensure that the killings do not derail negotiations aimed at ending the decades long conflict and ongoing human rights abuses,” said Dalhuisen.

    The investigation into the gunning down of three Kurdish women activists in Paris must be prompt and thorough, Amnesty International said.

    Sakine Cansýz, a founder of the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Fidan Dogan and Leyla Söylemez were found shot dead at the “Kurdistan Information Office” on the evening of 9 January.

    “There must be justice for these apparently political killings – no stone must be left unturned in the investigation by the French authorities,” said John Dalhuisen,Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.

    “The Turkish authorities must cooperate fully in the investigation to bring those responsible to justice.”

    The killings come at time when the Government of Turkey and the PKK have begun peace negotiations.

    “Both sides must ensure that the killings do not derail negotiations aimed at ending the decades long conflict and ongoing human rights abuses,” said Dalhuisen.

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