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    May 17, 2017

    Amnesty International calls for investigation into ‘war crime’ leaks and stronger  whistleblower protection

    “It seems to me that transparency in government is a fundamental prerequisite to ensuring and protecting the freedom and dignity of all people.” – Chelsea Manning

    Chelsea Manning’s long overdue scheduled release from a US military prison today finally ends her punishment for exposing classified information, including of possible war crimes committed by the US military, Amnesty International said.

    May 16, 2017

    As US President Donald Trump prepares to host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the White House, Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director Margaret Huang said:

    “While these two leaders sit and congratulate each other in the White House, the damage is mounting from their spiralling assaults on human rights.

    “President Trump recently praised President Erdoğan for winning a referendum in which dissenting opinions were ruthlessly suppressed, and has been silent on Turkey’s alarming crackdown on the media, which has led to more than 120 journalists being jailed pending trial. This is a disturbing reflection of President Trump’s contempt for human rights – trampling the freedoms of journalists and protestors is no cause for celebration.

    “The world is watching - this meeting is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the way that President Trump and President Erdoğan are contributing to a global climate of toxic and dehumanizing politics, and the grave deterioration of the human rights situation in Turkey.”

    Background

    May 12, 2017

    The Trump administration’s executive order on travel, scheduled for federal appeals court review on Monday, would harm both immigrants and US citizens if allowed to enter into effect, warns Amnesty International in a briefing paper released today.

    “President Trump’s travel ban order separated families and sent a message of bigotry and intolerance,” said Joanne Mariner, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International. “This harmful and discriminatory ban deserves the most probing judicial scrutiny.”

    The briefing paper, a joint initiative of Amnesty International and the CLEAR project (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) at CUNY School of Law, describes how the travel ban imposed by President Trump is contrary to international human rights law, violating treaties the US has committed to uphold. Based on interviews with more than 30 people affected by the ban, it includes a dozen case studies of the harms caused to individuals and families from Yemen, Iran, Sudan and elsewhere.

    April 28, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Release

    The state of Arkansas executed Kenneth Williams tonight, ending a spate of eight scheduled executions that were set to take place over the past 10 days because the state’s supply of lethal injection drugs was set to expire. Four of the eight received stays of execution that extend beyond the drugs’ expiration date. Williams’ execution was preceded by those of Ledell Lee, Jack Jones and Marcel Williams.

    “While the rest of the country and the world moves away from the death penalty, Arkansas has shown just how committed it is to running in the wrong direction,” said James Clark, a senior campaigner at Amnesty International USA. “While it is too late for Kenneth Williams, Jack Jones, Marcel Williams, and Ledell Lee, it is not too late to commute the sentences of all of those remaining on death row. Whether the state kills one person or eight, the death penalty is unacceptable anywhere that values human rights. It is time to end the death penalty in the United States for good.”





     

     

    April 25, 2017

    “These first 100 days show how dangerous Trump’s agenda is, and they’re also a roadmap for how to stop it and protect human rights in the U.S. and around the world.”

    WASHINGTON – As the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration come to a close, Amnesty International has compiled a list of 100 ways the Trump administration has tried to threaten human rights in the U.S. and around the world – sometimes succeeding, and sometimes being blocked by a powerful and growing resistance movement.

    April 24, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Release

    NEW YORK – Arkansas executed Jack Jones today, the second of four prisoners scheduled to be executed before the state’s supply of lethal injections expires at the end of the month. Jones was sentenced to death despite the fact that the jury was not told of his serious mental disabilities. The execution of Marcel Williams, also scheduled for tonight, remained under appeal at the time of Jones’ death.

    “Tonight Arkansas continues its shameful backslide against prevailing trends away from the death penalty. The sentences of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are another heinous example of how the death penalty is applied to people with severe mental impairments and history of abuse. This conveyer belt of death must stop immediately by commuting the remaining sentences, and abolishing the death penalty once and for all.”

    April 21, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Release

    NEW YORK – Arkansas executed Ledell Lee today, the first of four prisoners scheduled to be executed before the state’s supply of lethal injections expires at the end of the month. This was the first execution in the state since 2005. Lee’s final appeals had requested DNA testing that could potentially prove his innocence, but those appeals were denied.

    A report released earlier this month by Amnesty International showed that for the first time since 2006, and only the second time since 1991, the U.S. is not among the world's five biggest executioners. The number of executions (20) in 2016 reached the lowest level recorded in any year since 1991. The number of executions has fallen every year since 2009, (except 2012, when it stayed the same).

    "Today is a shameful day for Arkansas, which is callously rushing the judicial process by treating human beings as though they have a sell-by date,” said James Clark, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International USA.

    April 21, 2017

    On 20 April, the Governor of Virginia commuted the death sentence of Ivan Teleguz, a Ukrainian national who was scheduled to be executed on 25 April and who has continued to maintain his innocence.

    Ivan Teleguz was sentenced to death for hiring Michael Hetrick to commit the murder of Stephanie Sipe in Harrisonburg, Virginia on July 23rd 2001. Michael Hetrick, Edwin Gilkes and Aleksey Safanov each received deals in exchange for testifying against Ivan Teleguz. Michael Hetrick avoided the death penalty, while Edwin Gilkes was given a deal that would allow his release in 2018. Edwin Gilkes testified that Ivan Teleguz was involved in another arranged murder in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. The prosecutor urged jurors to sentence him to death based on this evidence of a pattern of how he “solves problems” with arranged murder.

    April 17, 2017

    NEW YORK – The Supreme Court will not hear a case brought by more than two dozen families who have been ordered deported without having their full cases heard by an immigration judge. The families fled horrific violence and human rights abuses in Central America. Many of the families have been held for more than a year in immigration detention facilities, most recently in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The denial by the Supreme Court could result in the families being deported imminently.

    “These families cannot be sent back to certain danger. The United States has an international obligation to grant asylum seekers a fair hearing. They must not be deported, or detained any longer, and must have their full cases heard by an immigration judge,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Families fleeing danger who pose no threat to anyone else should not be treated like criminals. They deserve justice.”

     

    April 15, 2017

    NEW YORK – An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked six executions from taking place after the company that manufactured the drugs to be used in the executions filed a complaint that the drug was not meant to be used for lethal injection.

    A state Supreme Court judge had previously halted the execution of a seventh man earlier in the day, and an eighth execution was put on hold earlier. Arkansas had originally scheduled eight executions in the span of 10 days because their lethal injection supply was set to expire at the end of the month.

    “The people of the United States have spoken out against this horrific conveyer belt of death and we are relieved that the judge has temporarily stopped these executions. We continue to call on Governor Hutchinson to use his executive authority to permanently stop this assembly line of death,” said James Clark, senior campaigner with Amnesty International USA. “The fight will not be over until this cruel and inhumane punishment is abolished once and for all.”

    April 13, 2017

    The US state of Arkansas must halt the execution of eight death row prisoners, seven of whom are due to be killed in an 11-day period this month, Amnesty International said today, highlighting legal concerns and the fact that two of the men facing death have serious mental disabilities.

    Arkansas has not put anyone to death for more than a decade, but plans to execute two men per day on 17, 20 and 24 April, and one man on 27 April, because its supply of the controversial execution drug midazolam will expire at the end of the month.

    “The close scheduling of these executions is unprecedented in modern US history. Just four months after the USA recorded its lowest execution total for a quarter of a century, Arkansas is preparing to buck this positive trend in a shameful race to beat a drug expiration date,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    April 12, 2017
    ​​​​​​​Rawya Rageh,Crisis Response Senior Adviser with Amnesty International

    By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

    It is so important to understand the impact of President Trump’s travel ban.

    When the first Executive Order from the US President came into force in January, banning entry to the United States of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, a research team led by Amnesty's Crisis Response Senior Advisor Rawya Rageh (pictured above) was immediately sent to locations along the Canada-US border to investigate the impact of such a clearly discriminatory order.

    The story of Fatima* is not uncommon, and illustrates why Amnesty International must be there to defend the rights of individuals affected by the ban, and needs your help to campaign against the travel ban.  

    April 11, 2017

    An Amnesty International team recently returned from the US-Mexico border where they investigated how President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security threaten to affect thousands of people. 

    This is what they found.

    What did you find at the border? 

    We spent almost two weeks visiting towns and cities on both sides of the US-Mexico border, talking to migrants, asylum seekers, human rights activists and government officials. We travelled the entire length of the land border, something that no other international human rights organization has done since Trump took office. We knew this was essential to get a clear picture of what was happening in what has become one of the most talked-about places on earth. 

    We were surprised by what we found. 

    Most places were quiet – but the kind of edgy quiet before a big storm kicks in. Because President Trump’s executive orders are setting the scene for what could turn into a full-blown refugee crisis. 

    April 11, 2017

    By Madeleine Penman, Mexico Researcher at Amnesty International

    The sight of one of the most infamous borders on earth – roughly 1,000 kilometers of porous metal fence dividing lives, hopes and dreams between the USA and Mexico, is undoubtedly overwhelming, but not in the way we expected it to be.

    While it has been one of the most talked about issues since last year’s USA election campaign, the stretch of land that separates the USA and Mexico now lies eerily quiet.

    April 04, 2017

    Some of the world’s largest companies are selling food and cosmetics containing palm oil that is tainted by shocking human rights abuses, including forced and child labour. Corporate giants, such as Nestlé , Kellogg’s, Colgate, Unilever and Procter & Gamble are turning a blind eye to the exploitation of workers in their palm oil supply chain. These companies reassure their customers that they are using “sustainable” palm oil, yet Amnesty’s research reveals that the palm oil is anything but.

    These companies buy palm oil from plantations run by Wilmar in Indonesia. Amnesty has discovered severe labour abuses at Wilmar’s plantations, including unsafe working conditions, discrimination against women, unrealistic targets and penalties, and children doing hazardous work.

    Write a lettter:

    Contact the makers of Dove soap, KitKat chocolate bars, Knorr soup, Pantene shampoo, Gerber baby cereal, Colgate toothpaste, Palmolive dish soap and Magnum and Parlour ice cream and demand that they take responsibility for human rights abuses in their palm oil supply chain.

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