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    July 25, 2019

    At 19 years of age, Abdul Aziz Muhamat made the impossible decision to leave his family in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2013. He is one of the hundreds and thousands of people who have been displaced by the conflict. Fearing for his life, Aziz flew to Indonesia where he was promised safe passage to Australia by a smuggler but instead he was transferred to a detention centre on Manus Island.

    July 22, 2019

    In 2010, Google, the largest search engine in the world, made a promise not to support China’s censorship of the internet. But in 2018 it was revealed that Google was preparing to break its promise.

    Google started working on a secretive program to re-launch its search engine in China code-named “Google Dragonfly”. People using Google in China would be blocked from accessing banned websites like Wikipedia and Facebook. Content from search terms like ‘human rights’ would be banned. The Chinese government would also be able to spy on Google’s users – and this is a government that routinely sends people to prison for simply sharing their views online.

    To raise attention about the issue, Amnesty produced a couple of spoof videos that were widely circulated online. To increase pressure on Google to “drop Dragonfly”, we launched a global petition and Amnesty volunteers held demonstrations outside of Google’s offices around the world - including in Toronto.

    Even many of Google’s employees were appalled by the Google Dragonfly project and spoke out against it.

    July 12, 2019

    After many years of hard campaigning, Canada has joined the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)!

    Amnesty International’s efforts to establish an international treaty to regulate the arms trade date back to the early-1990s. The ATT entered into force on 24 December 2014, and so far 130 countries around the world have signed the treaty.

    June 07, 2019

    At the end of April 2019, Urgent Action writers in Canada and around the world mobilized to protect Cristina Palabay. She is the Secretary General of a human rights alliance called Karapatan and she had just been told her name is on a death list. Supporters of Amnesty jumped into action and so far, she is safe. Read further for her message!

    June 01, 2019

    Think a keyboard can stop torture?

    Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action on May 24 to protect 44 adults and 3 children. The group had been scooped during police raids after a violent clash between security forces and the armed PKK. In custody at the police’s anti-terrorism branch in Urfa province, the detainees sustained head injuries and cuts and bruises from repeated kicks and punches. Hours after our appeals began arriving in Turkey, the torture stopped. Police began treating the detainees with more respect and the detainees felt more secure.

    Children were among 22 individuals who have now been released. Others have been transferred to prison where further ill-treatment is unlikely. Amnesty International has sent a letter to the Minister of Justice to call for a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment experienced by the detainees.

    Learn more about the Urgent Action Network here.

     

    May 16, 2019

    Aasia Bibi, who experienced discrimination in Pakistan, has relocated to Canada. Merzoug Touati from Algeria is free! Members of the Urgent Action Network in Toronto participated in an action for World Press Freedom Day, and more...

    May 08, 2019

    “I want to thank everyone who helped us in prison, and everyone around the world who called for our release. I can’t wait to get back to the news room now.”

    Those are the words of Wa Lone as he left prison on May 7, 2019. He and his colleague Kyaw Soe Oo, both Reuters journalists, received a presidential pardon after serving over 500 days of a seven-year prison term.

    March 08, 2019

    The final numbers are in...

    If you participated in Write for Rights 2018 in December, your messages are among 54,928 from Canada that fed into an international total of 5,796,150.

    February 05, 2019

    In the space of two hours last November, Amnesty acquired the passionate support of eight youths. It was through their Human Rights class at Centennial College in Scarborough last November that the students participated in Write for Rights 2018. “They ignored my suggestion of writing just three sentences to describe who they are, what their concern is, and what action they request,” noted Marilyn McKim. “They wrote long, engaged and personal letters to the authorities.” Read about their experience as described by student Loni Welch.

    January 15, 2019

    Philosophy student, chess player and Mexican human rights defender Enrique Guerrero spent the last five years in jail, without trial, facing the possibility of 45 more years behind bars. Today, he is FREE! You can read the chilling account of the nightmare he lived through knowing that he is starting the new year in the arms of his family.

    January 15, 2019

    On December 17, 121 of the United Nations’ 193 member states supported a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. Amnesty International’s lead expert, Chiara Sangiorgio, said “A death penalty-free world is closer than ever. This vote sends yet another important signal that more and more countries are willing to take steps to end this cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment once and for all.”

    January 15, 2019

    Canadian Huseyin Celil is about to turn 50 in a Chinese prison. His “crime” was being a human rights activist, peacefully supporting the religious and political rights of the Uighur people who are a minority group. 

    Amnesty supporters in Belleville, Yellowknife, Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton, Vancouver, Oakville and Niagara-on-the-Lake are sending cards to greet him on March 1. Huseyin is far from his family in Burlington and has many more years to serve, so the birthday is not likely to be joyous and the challenge is how to avoid using “Happy Birthday!”

    “We do hope that the cards will help to brighten Huseyin's day a little,” said Marianne Chapelle, a member of the Belleville/Quinte group. The groups also hope that the extra attention on his special day will move the authorities to finally release Huseyin so he can return to his wife and four sons. For more on Huseyin, visit https://bit.ly/2D36l8K

     

    January 14, 2019

    A Vietnamese blogger was going to be featured in our Write for Rights cases in 2018. Instead, she was released in October and is now living safely in the USA. Authorities arrested Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh (also known by her blogging pseudonym, Mẹ Nấm, which translates as Mother Mushroom) on October 10, 2016 for speaking her mind online.

    She was cut off from the outside world until June 20, 2017. Nine days later, she was handed a 10-year prison sentence, having been convicted of “conducting propaganda against the state” under Article 88 of the Penal Code. Mother Mushroom co-founded the independent Vietnamese Bloggers Network in December 2013. She advocated for human rights and justice for more than 10 years before her arrest, enduring harassment and interrogation for her peaceful activities.

    We wish her well as she establishes a new life in exile but one in which she is free to speak her mind.

    August 20, 2018

    Responding to the news that human rights defender Tep Vanny has been released from prison following a royal pardon after more than 700 days in detention, Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Global Operations, said:

    “After more than two years of being unjustly detained for her peaceful activism, the news that Tep Vanny is once again reunited with her family is a cause for great celebration.

    “However, her release is long overdue. Tep Vanny has endured a catalogue of injustice - from baseless, politically-motivated charges to unfair trials – and should never have been imprisoned in the first place.

    “As well as allowing Tep Vanny to resume her activism without fear of further reprisals, Cambodia’s authorities must quash all convictions against her and halt any investigations into any other pending charges. Additionally, the many other human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience still languishing behind bars in the country must also be immediately and unconditionally released.”

    Background

    August 15, 2018

    We are thrilled to announce that our colleague, Taner Kılıç, Honorary Chair of Amnesty Turkey, has been released from jail today after over 432 days in prison.

    “We are overjoyed at this news. It has taken us more than a year of campaigning and struggle to get here, but it appears that Taner will finally be freed." Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s new Secretary General.

    Millions of people worldwide have taken action on this case, which has no doubt pressured the authorities, helping to secure Taner’s release.

    Thank you to all of those who sent messages of solidarity for Taner as part of Write for Rights 2017!

    In Canada and thanks to the support of people like you, we have spoken up for Taner:

    February 2018. Solidarity action after Taner’s release and re-arrest.

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