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USA

    June 19, 2018

    Following the announcement that the United States will leave the United Nations Human Rights Council, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

    “Once again President Trump is showing his complete disregard for the fundamental rights and freedoms the US claims to uphold. While the Human Rights Council is by no means perfect and its membership is frequently under scrutiny, it remains an important force for accountability and justice.

    “The US should urgently reverse this decision, which places it squarely on the wrong side of history. It is wilfully choosing to undermine the human rights of all people everywhere, and their struggles for justice.”

     

    For more information please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter 416-363-99333 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    June 18, 2018

    The sickening images of children cruelly separated from their parents and held in cages as a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ policy of ‘zero-tolerance’ will leave an indelible stain on the reputation of the USA, said Amnesty International today.

    “This is a spectacularly cruel policy, where frightened children are being ripped from their parent’s arms and taken to overflowing detention centres, which are effectively cages. This is nothing short of torture. The severe mental suffering that officials have intentionally inflicted on these families for coercive purposes, means that these acts meet the definitions of torture under both US and international law,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas Director.

    June 12, 2018

    Amnesty International USA  Release

    CONTACT: Nidya Sarria, media@aiusa.org

    WASHINGTON – According to President Trump, human rights were discussed during the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Francisco Bencosme, advocacy manager for Asia Pacific at Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:

    “While we welcome news that President Trump raised human rights at the summit, Amnesty International urges the U.S. government to continue to push for urgent reforms in North Korea. Human rights should not be a footnote in any engagement with Kim Jong Un, but rather a crucial component in negotiations between the two countries.

    June 12, 2018

    WASHINGTON, DC — Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a major decision today that will impact people seeking safety. It will have far-ranging implications, devastating the ability of people fleeing persecution inflicted by non-governmental actors to pursue their cases in the United States. This includes people fleeing domestic or gang violence.  

    Denise Bell, researcher for refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA, issued this statement:

    “From the beginning, this administration has made it clear that it intends to close our borders to people fleeing persecution. This heartless decision takes the constant, ongoing attacks on asylum seekers a step further by specifically targeting people seeking safety from domestic or gang violence.

    “In what world does the United States turn its back on people who have suffered persecution, trauma and extreme distress from domestic or gang violence? Families seeking safety deserve our compassion. Instead, Attorney General Sessions is slamming the door on those trying to rebuild their lives.

    June 12, 2018
    Alejandra standing in the rain with umbrella

    Photo: Amnesty USA

    Case update: Alejandra's request for asylum was denied on Friday, June 15, and an immigration judge ordered her to be removed from the USA. Also on  June 15, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) denied Alejandra’s new request for humanitarian parole, despite her apparently deteriorating health and urgent need of adequate care. On June 19, ICE responded to Amnesty International that Alejandra “is receiving adequate and appropriate medical care”. According to her lawyer, however, Alejandra has still not had her health situation correctly diagnosed, and is not consistently or correctly being treated. 

    June 08, 2018

    The near total denial of human rights in North Korea should not be ignored at next Tuesday’s historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Chairman Kim Jong-un, Amnesty International said.

    Arnold Fang, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International, commented:

    “Millions of people in North Korea continue to be denied their human rights, with up to 120,000 held in prison camps where they are at risk of torture, forced labour and executions. It would be deeply disappointing if the catastrophic human rights situation in North Korea is completely overlooked as diplomatic relations continue to thaw.”

    Last month, Amnesty International wrote to President Trump to outline the widespread, gross and systematic human rights violations in North Korea and highlight key areas to press Chairman Kim Jong-un on. These include:

    Prison Camps

    May 26, 2018

    A group of Amnesty volunteers will deliver a big box of letters to Microsoft Canada's headquarters at the end of May.

    Help them fill the box with letters to Microsoft! Continue reading for more information. 

    Amnesty is concerned about the strong possibility that there is child labour in Microsoft’s supply chain. Amnesty researchers have discovered that cobalt, a metal used in the rechargeable batteries of portable electronics such as laptops, tablets and cell phones, is being mined by children and adults under hazardous condvolunitions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    Amnesty researchers traced the cobalt supply chain and determined that the cobalt is very likely used in batteries in products sold by Microsoft, Samsung, Apple and others. We urged these companies, and others, to investigate their cobalt supply chains, publish the names of their smelters, and address any human rights issues, in accordance with international business and human rights guidelines.

    May 09, 2018

    In advance of today’s hearing before the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Gina Haspel’s nomination to Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Amnesty is calling on the Committee to vote No.

    “Ever since President Trump nominated Gina Haspel to become CIA Director, we have called for her nomination to be withdrawn pending proper investigation and declassification of her alleged role in the CIA’s program of torture and enforced disappearances. No such investigation has been initiated or conducted, so as things stand, the nomination should not proceed. Simple as that.” said Daphne Eviatar, Director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA.

    “A nomination hearing is not the place to establish the truth about the nominee’s alleged role in crimes under international law. Senators should block this nomination.”

    May 09, 2018

    WASHINGTON – Three U.S. citizens – Kim Dong-chul, Kim Hak-song, and Kim Sang-duk –have been recently released by North Korea after spending months behind bars without a fair trial. Francisco Bencosme, advocacy manager for Asia Pacific at Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:

    “While we welcome the release of three individuals, we remain concerned over the fate of up to 120,000 North Koreans who remain confined in political prison camps. No one should languish behind bars without being given a fair trial. President Trump and his administration must urge North Korea to respect freedom of expression and other human rights at every opportunity, including the possible upcoming summit.”

     

    Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

    April 26, 2018

    An AI USA Press Release

     

    Ahead of the April 30 deadline for the Defense Department to comment on President Trump’s January order to allow the prison at Guantanamo Bay to remain open, Daphne Eviatar, Director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA stated:

    “Each day that this administration keeps the prison at Guantanamo open is an affront to human life. The unlawful detentions of those currently there must not be permitted to continue. No more prisoners should be transferred there, all those cleared for transfer should be transferred out immediately, and those remaining should either have their day in federal court, or be released.

    “The detainees are aging, many are sick and some are suffering from both the mental and physical effects of US torture, after being detained indefinitely for well over a decade, with no clear end in sight.

    "Secretary Mattis may not have the power to eliminate this stain on U.S. history , but he can and must recommend that the shameful practice of indefinite detention at Guantanamo cease.”

     

    April 26, 2018

    On Thursday 26 April, Amnesty International raised a billboard at the San Ysidro Port of Entry (POE) on the US–Mexico border in Tijuana, with a message reminding US and Mexican authorities of their obligations to facilitate asylum claims and to respect the universal human right of all people to seek asylum in other countries. 

    The billboard also invites asylum seekers to report to Amnesty International if authorities turn them away or otherwise violate their human right to seek asylum.

    As hundreds of people who have traveled in caravan from Central America prepare to claim asylum over the weekend at the San Ysidro POE, an Amnesty International delegation will be on the ground to monitor the conduct of authorities in the reception and facilitation of their asylum claims. 

    April 21, 2018

    (AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS) - Athlete and inspiring activist Colin Kaepernick has been honoured with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018, the human rights organization announced today.

    The award was officially presented at a ceremony in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 21 April 2018, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of Amnesty International’s national section in the country.

    “The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick. He is an athlete who is now widely recognised for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    “Just like the Ambassadors of Conscience before him, Colin Kaepernick chooses to speak out and inspire others despite the professional and personal risks. When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice. Colin Kaepernick’s commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of vitriol it has attracted from those in power.”

    April 17, 2018

    In response to Senator Corker’s proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF) intended to replace the 2001 and 2002 authorizations, Daphne Eviatar, director of Security with Human Rights for Amnesty International USA, made the following statement:

    “Since 2001, the U.S. has been operating as if the world is a permanent battlefield, at the costs of thousands of lives, including large numbers of civilians. Despite this, President Trump has reportedly expanded authority for air strikes outside of war zones, and expressed shockingly callous disregard for civilian casualties. The last thing President Trump needs is a renewed open-ended authorization that gives him a blank check to perpetuate endless war, which is exactly what this proposed bill represents.

    April 10, 2018
    Don't Let Children Grow Up in Jail

    Kids and their parents are stuck in what are known as “baby jails.” Their so-called crime? Fleeing violence and dreaming of safety in the United States.

    Every year, tens of thousands of people come to the U.S. southern border seeking safety. They are trying to escape horrific violence and persecution, and going there to ask for asylum, a form of protection recognized under U.S. and international law.

    The Problem

    April 04, 2018
    Human Rights are my pride - Amnesty flag

    Download PDF of UA 65/18 USA

    65 USA.pdf

    Sadat I. fled homophobic attacks from a criminal group in Ghana and has been held in US immigration detention since requesting asylum there in January 2016. US authorities are seeking to forcibly return Sadat to Ghana, where he faces human rights violations by police and the groups he fled. Sadat must immediately be released on parole pending the resolution of his asylum claim, and under no circumstances be deported to Ghana.

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