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    August 20, 2019

    Reacting to reports that Planned Parenthood will withdraw from Title X, the federal family planning program, rather than comply with a new Trump administration rule that restricts what health providers can say about abortion, Tarah Demant, director of the Gender, Sexuality and Identity Program at Amnesty International USA said:

    “The Trump administration's restrictions on Title X trample on sexual and reproductive rights, putting the lives of all pregnant people at significant risk, especially low-income women. Over four million people in the United States who depend on health care will be impacted because of these cruel policies aimed at Planned Parenthood.

    “The only people who should be making decisions about their pregnancies are those who are pregnant or can become pregnant. Any and all policies by a government should support and respect a pregnant persons’ reproductive autonomy and basic human rights - any policies that refuse to do that are illegitimate and unlawful.” 

    Background:

    August 07, 2019

    Amnesty International today issued a travel warning calling for possible travelers and visitors to the United States to exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the country due to rampant gun violence, which has become so prevalent in the United States that it amounts to a human rights crisis. It aims to hold up a mirror to the U.S. using the model of the United States Department of State’s travel advice for U.S. travelers to other countries.

    July 25, 2019

    The US government has announced it plans to resume federal executions for the first time since 2003. Five people have been identified as the first to be subject to this new lethal injection protocol. In response, Amnesty International USA executive director Margaret Huang issued this statement:

    “The Trump administration’s decision to restart federal executions after a 16-year hiatus is outrageous. It is the latest indication of this administration’s disdain for human rights."

    “The death penalty is the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment. It is a system flawed beyond repair and the federal government should not proceed with any executions. The use of the death penalty is out of step with both national and international trends. 21 states in the USA, and over half the countries around the world have already determined the death penalty disrespects human rights and has no place in their laws. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and will continue to fight to end this inhuman practice.”

    July 18, 2019

    Responding to reports that some in the Trump Administration are considering lowering the number of refugees to be admitted through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to zero for the coming fiscal year, Ryan Mace, the grassroots advocacy and refugee specialist for Amnesty International USA, said:

    “The United States used to be a leader in providing refuge to those in need, all around the world. We can’t say that anymore. It is beyond shameful and a new low, even for this administration, to even consider accepting no refugees to the U.S. 

    “People are in need all over the world - families, children, human beings with unique stories and lives on hold. Zero will never be an acceptable number for any country let alone a country with so many resources and people willing to welcome new neighbors looking to rebuild their lives in peace and safety.

    “We call on every member of Congress and their community to speak out for those seeking safety and welcome refugees into their neighborhoods, schools, houses of worship, and homes.” 

    July 17, 2019

    Amnesty International is calling afresh on the Government of Canada to immediately suspend the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), in light of a new US Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security rule that will bar people from claiming refugee protection in the US, if they cross the southern land border and fail to apply for protection in a transit country. The new rule makes it unambiguously clear that the US refugee protection system in no way adequately guarantees the rights of those seeking to make claims in that country.

    July 16, 2019

    Responding to President Trump’s toxic tweets accusing four Democrat Congresswomen of hating the United States and suggesting they go back to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, said:

    “As President of the United States, Trump has demonized minority groups, whipped up hatred, fear and sowed division. Trump’s ugly targeting of these Congresswomen exposes the racism and xenophobia at the heart of his despicable policies – from imposing a travel ban on people travelling from Muslim majority countries to separating children from their parents at the Mexican border to denying the rights of people seeking asylum. His words prove that xenophobia, rather than the safety of the people of the United States, motivates these policies.

    July 15, 2019

    WASHINGTON, DC – The US government published a new interim rule that would prevent anyone at the US southern border who has traveled through another country on the way to the United States from seeking asylum here. This new rule would prevent anyone other than people from Mexico or Canada from seeking asylum in the United States.

    In response, Amnesty International USA advocacy director for the Americas Charanya Krishnaswami issued the following statement:

    “This rule is an outrageous violation of our obligation to protect families and individuals seeking safety. Once again, the Trump administration has shown the lengths it will go to deny people protection.

    “As US State Department reporting makes clear, people cannot access protection in the countries they commonly transit through on the way to the United States. Families and individuals who have fled violence and persecution could be turned away at our doors and left vulnerable to grave harm, all as a result of the administration’s agenda of fear and hate.

    July 12, 2019

    Responding to the announcement of thousands of raids planned for Sunday by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Charanya Krishnaswami, the Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA said:

    "This announcement is an extension of President Trump’s relentless hostility to immigrants. It serves to encourage hate and discrimination toward immigrants and communities of color, creating a climate of fear for many people including those fearing racial profiling.

    "While it’s also concerning that we don’t know anything about what these plans will look like, it’s not unreasonable to be concerned that people facing deportation will not have adequate time or legal resources to protect themselves. Thousands of mixed-status families could be impacted, with U.S. citizen children at risk of being separated from their parents or guardians. A lack of due process in initial hearings could lead to the deportation of families and children who never had a meaningful chance to apply for relief, including asylum."

    July 02, 2019

    Since 2018, the US government has conducted an unlawful and discriminatory campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment, and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the US–Mexico border, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.

    ‘Saving lives is not a crime’: Politically motivated legal harassment of migrant human rights defenders by the USA reveals how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have increasingly misused the criminal justice system to deter activists, lawyers, journalists, and humanitarian volunteers from challenging – or simply documenting – the systematic human rights violations that US authorities have committed against migrants and asylum seekers.

    June 19, 2019

    AI USA Release

    Ten candidates in the 2020 presidential race – including the president– responded to  a questionnaire on human rights issues provided by Amnesty International USA. The candidates submitted responses on a range of domestic and international human rights issues including refugees and asylum-seekers, gun violence, lethal force by police, arms sales, LGBTI equality, women’s rights, free expression, and national security.

    June 17, 2019

    When President Trump signed what has become known as the Muslim ban during his first week in office, he set into motion a series of events that continue to leave families in uncertainty and danger to this day, according to a new report by Amnesty International USA. In some cases, these families were cleared to come to the United States in late 2016 and early 2017, only to be stranded in countries where they face restrictive policies, increasingly hostile environments, and often lack the same rights as permanent residents or citizens.

    The new report, “The Mountain is in Front of Us and the Sea is Behind Us,” is based on nearly 50 interviews conducted by AIUSA with refugees currently living in Lebanon and Jordan. The report describes the desperate circumstances faced by families who continue to be locked in an impossible limbo because of discriminatory U.S. policies as they try to seek a safe new life and permanent home.

    May 31, 2019

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA

    Reacting to news that the New Hampshire legislature has voted to repeal the death penalty, Kristina Roth, Senior Program Officer at Amnesty International USA stated:

    “We welcome this outstanding news. With this vote, New Hampshire will become the 21st state to have abandoned the death penalty. This inhumane practice is the ultimate irrevocable punishment and denial of human rights. It does not deter crime and disproportionately impacts communities of color. This system is fundamentally broken and must end once and for all.”

    Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally.

    For more information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    May 31, 2019

    AI USA Release

    The Trump administration is reportedly considering barring anyone who transits through a third country from seeking asylum at the US southern border. Such a policy would effectively block anyone other than Mexicans and Canadians from seeking asylum in the United States. In response, Charanya Krishnaswami, Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA, made the following statement:

    “Seeking asylum is a human right, full stop.  This latest policy is a disgusting example of the lengths the Trump administration will go to deny people protection. Instead of taking sensible steps to fix this crisis of their own making, they choose to further their agenda of hate and fear against mothers, fathers, children, and anyone else who has been forced to flee their homes and who have no other way to seek safety. To effectively close the border to Central Americans and the vast majority of people seeking asylum not only violates human rights obligations, but is also fundamentally cruel.”

    Background:

    May 24, 2019

    Amnesty International USA Release

    Responding to reports that President Trump will attempt to exploit loopholes to continue sending arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE without Congressional approval, Philippe Nassif, the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA said:

    “The Trump administration must stop supplying arms to the Saudi-led coalition, which has repeatedly committed horrific violations in Yemen, some amounting to war crimes, devastating the lives of thousands.

    “This administration has made clear its desire to sell more weapons without concern for human rights. We know arms manufactured in the United States have been used in deadly strikes against civilians. U.S. munitions have been found in the remains of bombed homes, hospitals and hotels throughout Yemen’s devastating war, killing almost 7,000 people.”

    May 22, 2019

    The U.S. Department of Justice should immediately drop all criminal charges against humanitarian volunteer Dr. Scott Warren, and stop criminalizing humanitarian aid, Amnesty International said today.

    “The U.S. government is legally required to prevent the arbitrary deaths of migrants and asylum seekers in border areas. Yet instead, authorities have willfully destroyed humanitarian aid provisions in deadly desert terrain and are criminally prosecuting humanitarian volunteers in order to deter them from saving lives,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International. 

    The U.S. government is prosecuting Dr. Warren for allegedly “harbouring” two undocumented migrants by providing them with humanitarian aid in the form of food, water, and clean clothing, in the desert town of Ajo, Arizona, where he lives. If convicted on all three criminal charges against him, Dr. Warren could face up to 20 years in prison. His felony trial is scheduled to begin on 29 May.

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