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    June 24, 2016

    Responding to the UK’s referendum vote in favour of leaving the EU, Kate Allen Amnesty’s UK Director, said:

    “People will want reassurance that their rights will be safeguarded and the government has a duty to publicly commit to protecting those rights.

    “Whether the UK is a member of the EU or not, it remains beholden to an international human rights system, whose norms it should continue to uphold and whose mechanisms it should continue to respect.

    “Even as it negotiates its exit, the UK government should be looking to preserve the strong rights protections that originated in EU law – particularly in areas such as non-discrimination, the right to privacy and worker’s rights.

    “The Brexit debate was sadly contaminated by unpleasant xenophobic undertones: wherever it is that the UK is now heading, these sentiments and this kind of politics should have no place.

    “The challenge now, is to focus on what unites us rather than what divides us and universal human rights are central to that.”

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    May 10, 2016

    Amnesty International supports efforts by the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign to seek the disclosure of all government documents relevant to the case and calls on the Criminal Cases Review Commission to give serious consideration to referring the conviction of Des Warren for appeal.

    Dennis (Des) Warren (1937-2004), was a construction worker and prominent trade union activist in the United Kingdom, who was imprisoned for charges arising from the 1972 building workers strike. Des Warren was arrested and charged in 1973, and eventually convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment for conspiracy to intimidate and unlawful assembly.

    March 02, 2016

    Amnesty International UK Release

    Shell’s failure to maintain and protect pipelines may leave it liable to a raft of compensation claims from dozens of Niger Delta communities, said Amnesty International today as London law firm Leigh Day announced two more lawsuits against Royal Dutch Shell.

    The latest cases were filed today on behalf of two communities in the Niger Delta who have been affected by oil pollution, Bille and Ogale.

    In its investor briefing, Shell’s growing liabilities in the Niger Delta: Lessons from the Bodo court case, Amnesty International warns Shell’s investors that failures in the way the oil giant inspects and reports on oil spills could mask the scale of potential financial liability arising for Shell.

    March 01, 2016

    Amnesty International UK Release

    “It beggars belief that the government is blundering on with its snooping power-grab completely disregarding the concerns being raised from all sides.” – Kate Allen

    Responding to the surprise publication of the government’s Investigatory Powers Bill today, Kate Allen Amnesty International UK’s Director, said:

    “It beggars belief that the government is blundering on with its snooping power-grab completely disregarding the concerns being raised from all sides including no fewer than three of its own parliamentary committees, every privacy group in the country, the UN and tech firms like Apple.

    “It’s like adding extra storeys to a burning building.

    “Even the USA is rolling back its surveillance systems because of concerns over people’s right to privacy.

    “These surveillance measures go too far, too fast. Basic protections are simply not there, including proper independent judicial oversight - the very least required.

    December 16, 2015
    Joint Release Amnesty International UK, Saferworld, Control Arms Released 00:01GMT THURSDAY 17 DECEMBER 2015   PhilippeSands QC and others submit damning legal opinion commissioned by Amnesty International UK and Saferworld   “The UK has fuelled this appalling conflict through reckless arms sales which break its own laws and the global Arms Trade Treaty it once championed” – Kate Allen, Amnesty UK Director   The UK Government is breaking national, EU and international law and policy by supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia in the context of its military intervention and bombing campaign in Yemen according to an analysis by eminent international law experts commissioned by Amnesty International UK and Saferworld, both members of the Control Arms coalition.  
    October 30, 2015

    Amnesty International UK RELEASE

    Fresh call for judge-led inquiry into wider UK torture allegations

    Amnesty International has welcomed reports that the former UK resident Shaker Aamer is set to be returned to the UK imminently after his long-delayed release from the US military base at Guantánamo.

    Aamer, 46, who is the last of the UK nationals and residents held at the notorious detention centre, is being returned to Britain without ever being charged or put on trial during his 13-and-a-half-year incarceration at Guantánamo.

    September 09, 2015

    Amnesty International UK Release
     
     ‘David Cameron should be direct with Benjamin Netanyahu, telling him that Gaza’s suffering is unacceptable and must end now’ - Allan Hogarth
     
    Amnesty International is calling on UK ministers to urge Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lift the blockade on Gaza when the Israeli leader makes a state visit to Britain this week. 
     
    Mr Netanyahu, who is set to meet David Cameron, other senior politicians and diplomats during his two-day visit beginning today, has defended the eight-year-long blockade of Gaza on the grounds that it prevents weapons being smuggled into the Palestinian territory. However, the crippling blockade includes bans - or severe restrictions - on the import and export of fuel, food, building materials and other essential goods into Gaza.
     

    August 30, 2015

    An Amnesty International UK Release

    “It is completely proper that that journalists should cover this important story. The decision to detain the journalists was wrong, while the allegation of assisting Islamic state is unsubstantiated, outrageous and bizarre.”

    Three journalists working for VICE News who have been detained in Turkey, should be released immediately unless the authorities can demonstrate credible evidence of criminal acts, said Amnesty International.

    Two UK-based journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury and a third journalist were detained by anti-terrorism police officers on Thursday night in the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakır in south-east Turkey.

    VICE news told Amnesty that the detentions took place while the journalists were filming clashes between police and pro- Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) youths taking place in the city.

    Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey Researcher, said:

    “This is yet another example of the Turkish authorities suppressing the reporting of stories that are embarrassing to them. They should release the journalists immediately.

    July 23, 2015

    • Government refuses to investigate commodities giant Trafigura
    • Authorities lack tools and resources to take action
    • New laws and better resources needed to tackle corporate crime

    In a startling admission UK authorities have informed Amnesty International that they do not have the tools, resources or expertise to investigate whether the multinational commodities giant Trafigura conspired to dump toxic waste in Côte d’Ivoire.

    The statement came after Amnesty International presented a legal brief and 5,000 page dossier to UK authorities containing a raft of evidence that Trafigura’s London-based staff may have intentionally orchestrated the dumping of the waste in Côte d’Ivoire’s capital Abidjan in August 2006.

    After the dumping more than 100,000 people sought medical attention. Côte d’Ivoire authorities reported at least 15 deaths.

    “The fact that the UK authorities do not have the tools, expertise or resources to investigate the case is truly shocking. This is tantamount to giving multinational companies carte

    July 10, 2015

    Anmesty's letter warns surveillance will have ‘chilling effect’ on human rights organizations.

    The UK should hold an independent judge-led inquiry into surveillance of human rights organizations by UK security services, Amnesty International said today in a letter sent to Prime Minister David Cameron.

    The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which oversees surveillance matters in the UK, informed Amnesty International last week that the UK has been intercepting, accessing and storing its communications, but is yet to provide an explanation as to why.

    "The Prime Minister needs to explain why the UK government is subjecting law-abiding human rights organizations to surveillance. This revelation makes it vividly clear that mass surveillance has gone too far. We must finally have proper checks and balances," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary-General.

    July 03, 2015

    By Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Deputy Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International. Follow Sherif on Twitter @sherifea

    Just after 4pm yesterday, Amnesty International received an email from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which hears cases related to UK intelligence agencies. The message was brief but it dropped a bombshell.

    It said there had been a mistake in the tribunal’s judgment 10 days earlier in a case brought by 10 human rights organizations against the UK’s mass surveillance programmes. Contrary to the original ruling, our communications at Amnesty International had, in fact, been under illegal surveillance by GCHQ, the UK’s signals intelligence agency. Incredibly, the initial judgment had named the wrong organization – the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights – and it took 10 days to correct the astonishing mix-up.

    July 01, 2015

    In a shocking revelation, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today notified Amnesty International that UK government agencies had spied on the organization by intercepting, accessing and storing its communications.

    In an email sent today, the Tribunal informed Amnesty International its 22 June ruling had mistakenly identified one of two NGOs which it found had been subjected to unlawful surveillance by the UK government. Today’s communication makes clear that it was actually Amnesty International Ltd, and not the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) that was spied on in addition to the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa.

    The NGOs were among 10 organizations that launched a legal challenge against suspected unlawful mass surveillance of their work by the UK’s spy agencies.

    May 14, 2015

    Amnesty International UK

    Released 12.00HRS BST (GMT+1) THURSDAY 14 MAY 2015

    In response to a survey from a coalition of leading NGOs, sports organisations and trade unions, only one of the four candidates for the FIFA presidency has set out a plan to address human rights, labour rights and corruption issues if successful in their bid for the top job at world football’s governing body.

    The Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA) sent a questionnaire to the candidates - Sepp Blatter, Luis Figo, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein and Michael van Praag - last month. It asked specific questions about abuses linked to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and about the FIFA reform process. The FIFA presidential election takes place on 29 May in Zurich.

    All four candidates responded to the survey, the first time they have been asked to answer for human rights and transparency crises around World Cups and in FIFA’s wider work. Only Michael van Praag made a detailed, personal pledge to address the issues raised by the SRA.

    February 06, 2015

    Amnesty International UK Release

    ‘This is an historic victory in the age-old battle for the right to privacy and free expression’ – Rachel Logan

    Amnesty International and others won an historic victory today as the legal body that oversees the practices of the UK secret services acknowledged that the USA and the UK’s intelligence sharing on communications surveillance violated human rights law.

    Today’s ruling was handed down by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which has jurisdiction over the practices of GCHQ, MI5 and MI6. The Tribunal said that until now, the UK government’s procedures' for “receiving, storing and transmitting by UK authorities of private communications of individuals located in the UK, which have been obtained by US authorities” violated international human rights standards.

    “This is an historic victory in the age-old battle for the right to privacy and free expression,” said Rachel Logan, Amnesty UK’s legal programme director.

    January 30, 2015

    The UK authorities must respond urgently to a statement today by a former Bush Administration staffer that interrogations of CIA detainees took place on the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, Amnesty International said.

    Lawrence Wilkerson the Chief of Staff to the former US Secretary of State Colin Powell told Vice News that after leaving office in 2005, intelligence sources had informed him that Diego Garcia had been used as a site “where people were temporarily housed and interrogated from time to time."

    "The UK has consistently evaded the question of Diego Garcia. This new information must finally trigger a truthful response from the UK authorities. Was Diego Garcia used for detention and interrogation by the USA? And if so, who will be held to account for those patently illegal practices?," said Julia Hall, Amnesty International's expert on counter-terrorism and human rights.

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