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    July 19, 2016

    CLEVELAND, OH – Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) has deployed human rights observers to monitor protests at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH, this week and will do the same at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, next week. The following is a statement from Eric Ferrero, AIUSA’s Deputy Executive Director for Strategic Communications and Digital Initiatives, on the protests in Cleveland thus far:

    "Amnesty International USA's delegation of human rights observers monitored four protests today in Cleveland. The protests today appeared peaceful, with police fulfilling their duty to protect people's freedom to come together and voice their opinion. Amnesty International's independent, impartial human rights observers will monitor protests the rest of this week in Cleveland and next week in Philadelphia. Our goal is to help protect the human rights that all people have to protest peacefully."


    For media inquiries, please contact Jacob Kuehn in media relations

    613-744-7667, ext 236

    July 14, 2016

    Citing concerns about human rights violations at protests in the U.S. over the last couple of years, Amnesty International will deploy teams of human rights observers to both the Republic National Convention in Cleveland, OH, and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, to monitor any protests and law enforcement response.

    Amnesty International has a long history and depth of expertise monitoring protests and investigating police conduct. Since the organization’s founding 55 years ago, it has deployed researchers and independent human rights observers to a range of situations, including the Gezi Park protests in Turkey and in Egypt for  the Arab Spring protests. In the United States, AIUSA has recently monitored protests both in Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, MD, in the wake of police killings – documenting multiple violations of the human rights of protestors, journalists, and others. After additional killings by police in the U.S. in recent weeks, protesters and journalists have reported a range of human rights violations.

    July 08, 2016

    “Last night’s shootings are a devastating reminder that gun violence in the U.S. is a human rights crisis that impacts everyone.
    Our thoughts are with the victims and their families,” said Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA interim executive director.
    “Killings both by and of police demand justice. The right to life is universal and everyone – both civilians and officers alike – should be able live free from fear and feel safe in their communities."

    “We must remember that the public’s response to the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile
    and Jerry Williams have been overwhelmingly peaceful. Last night’s tragedy should not affect
    the ability and the safety of those who will continue to exercise their right to protest peacefully.
    We call on law enforcement officers to facilitate that right.”


    For further information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations

    416-363-9933 ext 332 Email:



    July 07, 2016

    “Once again another horrifying video has emerged that begs for answers, and once again we are calling for a thorough, impartial and independent investigation,” said Jamira Burley, campaign manager with Amnesty International USA. “The laws that govern when police can use lethal force in need to be reformed and they need to be reformed now. International law is clear that lethal force must only be used as a last resort against an imminent threat of death or serious injury. Philando Castile should not have had to fear for his life during a traffic stop. How many more wrenching videos do we need to see before there is real change?”  

    Amnesty International United States released a report last year finding that all 50 states fail to meet international standards for the use of lethal force. More on AIUSA’s work on this issue can be found here: ‪


    July 01, 2016

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Obama administration disclosed its assessment of the number of individuals killed by U.S. drone strikes since 2009. In response, Naureen Shah, Director of Amnesty International USA’s Security and Human Rights Program, issued the following statement:

    “Today’s disclosure is a crucial shift away from the Obama administration’s longstanding policy of concealing information about civilians killed in drone strikes. It is a vital step in dismantling the dangerous precedent of a global, secret killing program.

    “Amnesty International has consistently called on the United States government not only to be more transparent about its data and policy standards, but about it counts as a civilian. Without information on the administration’s definitions and legal standards for these strikes, any meaningful assessment of the numbers will be incomplete. This is not the end of the public conversation on U.S. drone strikes, but just the beginning.   

    May 23, 2016


    Following the verdict in the second of several trials related to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, Amnesty International USA called for widespread reform of laws governing the use of lethal force by police.

    “The courts are an important component of seeking accountability for the tragic death of Freddie Gray, but there is still a critical need to reform laws related to lethal force by police across the country,” said Jamira Burley, senior campaigner with Amnesty International USA.

    “Lives are at stake. All states must bring lethal force laws in line with international standards that require that such force should be used only as a last resort.”

    AIUSA also expressed concern for the protection of peaceful protesters following the verdict.

    April 12, 2016

    Amnesty International USA Release

    JACKSON, Ga. – The state of Georgia is scheduled to execute Kenneth Fults this evening at 7:00 p.m. despite concerns

    about Fults’ mental state, racial bias, and lack of adequate representation during his trial. Fults has an IQ of 74 and several jurors have said that his lawyer was sleeping during the proceedings.

    One juror signed a sworn statement eight years after the fact saying: 

    “I don’t know if he ever killed anybody, but that nigger got just what should have happened.

    Once he pled guilty, I knew I would vote for the death penalty because that’s what the nigger deserved.”

    “Mr. Fults’ death sentence is tainted by undeniable racism,” said James Clark, senior death penalty campaigner with Amnesty.

    “This case shows the fundamental flaws in the death penalty system. Georgia authorities must halt this execution immediately and end the death penalty once and for all.”

    Fults was convicted of murdering Cathy Bonds in her home in May 1997.


    March 21, 2016

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  22 March 2016

    Government attacks on the encryption of online communication threaten human rights around the world, warned Amnesty International in a briefing published today as tech giant Apple challenges the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in court over an order to provide software to bypass iPhone encryption.

    The briefing, Encryption: A Matter of Human Rights, which is Amnesty International’s first official stance on encryption and human rights, says that people everywhere should be able to encrypt their communications and personal data as an essential protection of their rights to privacy and free speech.

    “Encryption is a basic prerequisite for privacy and free speech in the digital age. Banning encryption is like banning envelopes and curtains. It takes away a basic tool for keeping your private life private,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Global Issues.

    February 22, 2016

    Amnesty International USA Statement

    WASHINGTON—Today, the last imprisoned member of the Angola 3, Albert Woodfox, was released after more than four decades in solitary confinement. In response, Jasmine Heiss, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International USA’s Individuals and Risk Campaign, issued the following statement:

    "After four decades of isolation, Albert Woodfox’s release is long overdue and undeniably just. Nothing will truly repair the cruel, inhuman and degrading solitary confinement that the state of Louisiana inflicted upon him. But this belated measure of justice, on Woodfox’s 69th birthday, is something he has been seeking for more than half his life. Amnesty International USA joins his supporters around the world in celebrating Woodfox and his legal team’s tireless pursuit of justice.  While the State of Louisiana did not release Woodfox’s fellow Angola 3 prisoner Herman Wallace until he was on death’s door, it has made a just and humane decision in ensuring Woodfox’s freedom.

    February 19, 2016

    Today, we celebrate the long-awaited release of Albert Woodfox, after more than four decades in solitary confinement! 

    Woodfox was the last imprisoned member of the Angola 3, 

    "After four decades of isolation, Albert Woodfox’s release is long overdue and undeniably just. Nothing will truly repair the cruel, inhuman and degrading solitary confinement that the state of Louisiana inflicted upon him. But this belated measure of justice, on Woodfox’s 69th birthday, is something he has been seeking for more than half his life," said Jasmine Heiss, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International USA’s Individuals and Risk Campaign.


    After four decades of isolation, Albert Woodfox’s release is long overdue and undeniably just.

    - Jasmine Heiss, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International USA’s Individuals and Risk Campaign


    February 02, 2016

    Edward Snowden faces up to 30 years in prison. Instead of investigating the abuses he brought to light, the US government is intent on making sure the next whistleblower remains silent. 

    In June 2013, National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor Edward Snowden exposed unlawful and wide-sweeping surveillance programs run by the NSA and the secret  “Five Eyes” alliance of the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These governments are intercepting, storing and analyzing the private information of people around world on a massive scale. 

    The revelations also confirmed that human rights organizations including Amnesty International have been under surveillance, placing our research and partnerships at risk.

    “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

    January 10, 2016

    Posted at 0001hrs 11 January 2016

    Guantánamo: The USA must turn its back on international symbol of injustice

    The US Congress’ obstruction to shutting the detention center at Guantánamo Bay risks placing the US alongside countries who consistently disregard internationally agreed standards of justice and human rights, said Amnesty International ahead of the 14th anniversary of the first transfers to the detention center.

    "Guantánamo remains open because politicians are exploiting the public’s genuine fear of terror attacks. Instead of identifying effective and legal measures to prevent attacks, members of Congress are busy playing politics with the lives of dozens of men who could die behind bars without ever facing a trial,” said Naureen Shah, Director of Amnesty International USA's Security and Human Rights Programme.

    October 15, 2015

    The US Congress must launch an immediate independent inquiry into the Obama administration’s drone strikes overseas, Amnesty International said following today’s publication of a series of files and documents disclosing long-standing secrets of the global killing program.

    “The Drone Papers”, leaked by an anonymous whistle-blower to the online media outlet The Intercept, reveal the startling human costs of armed drone use and highlight chronic flaws in the decision-making process behind the strikes carried out in multiple countries.

    “These documents raise serious concerns about whether the USA has systematically violated international law, including by classifying unidentified people as ‘combatants’ to justify their killings,” said Naureen Shah, Director, Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA.

    “This warrants an immediate congressional inquiry into why the Obama administration has kept this vital information secret, including the real identities of all those killed in this global killing programme.

    October 02, 2015

    Amnesty International U.S.A. Release 2 October 2015 10:00 am EDT 

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amnesty International is calling on a U.S. court to reconsider a decision protecting some of the world’s largest companies from having to tell consumers that they were unable to prove their products have not funded armed groups contributing to conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries.

    Section 1502 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires companies to publicly report whether their products contain certain minerals whose trade helps fuel violence in Central Africa. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted a rule to implement Section 1502. That rule requires companies to use specific language when describing their products that contain those minerals, saying that the products have “not been found to be DRC-conflict free.”

    September 02, 2015

    Work on Maher Arar’s case has been one of our most intensive campaigns for justice spanning well over a decade. Here are some of the highlights:


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