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Human Rights Abuses

    June 21, 2019
    Amnesty International examined incidents of unnecessary and excessive use of force during 12 June protest Restraint urged in policing of upcoming protests Police must be held to account for unlawful use of force

    Hong Kong police must end the unlawful use of force against peaceful protesters who have once again taken to the streets on Friday, Amnesty International said, as it published details of verified instances of unnecessary and excessive use of force by police on 12 June.

    Experts in policing and digital verification examined in detail footage of 14 incidents of apparent police violence. All verified incidents were filmed during the 12 June protest, which saw tens of thousands of people take part in a largely peaceful demonstration against the Hong Kong government’s proposed extradition bill.

    June 17, 2019

    Responding to the news of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s death in custody today Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

    "The news of Mohamed Morsi’s death in court today is deeply shocking and raises serious questions about his treatment in custody. The Egyptian authorities must immediately order an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his death, as well as his detention conditions and his ability to access medical care.  

    "Egyptian authorities had the responsibility to ensure that, as a detainee,he had access to proper medical care.

    May 28, 2019
    New abuses come after government order to “crush” armed group Military units responsible for past atrocities are committing war crimes, while deployment of additional units suggests involvement of senior generals International community is failing – ICC referral urgently needed

    Following a recent investigation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Amnesty International has gathered new evidence that the Myanmar military is committing war crimes and other human rights violations. The military operation is ongoing, raising the prospect of additional crimes being committed.

    The new report, “No one can protect us”: War crimes and abuses in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, details how the Myanmar military, also known as the Tatmadaw, have killed and injured civilians in indiscriminate attacks since January 2019. The Tatmadaw forces have also carried out extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances.

    May 28, 2019

    Algeria’s authorities must ensure the investigation into the death of protester Ramzi Yettou, 22, who was brutally beaten by police last month, is thorough, independent, impartial, and effective, said Amnesty International.

    The organization has gathered evidence including testimony from three eyewitnesses, a first-aid volunteer, two family members, two lawyers and a doctor which suggests Ramzi’s death on 19 April resulted from the injuries he sustained after being beaten by the police with baton sticks.

    According to the information available to Amnesty International, Ramzi was beaten on the head by police as he was about to head home after attending anti-government protests in central Algiers that were dispersed by security forces using teargas and water cannons on 12 April 2019.

    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 15, 2019

    In response to the discussion of proposed legislation in the Political Commission of El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly, which could have implications for access to justice for victims of the armed conflict, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

    “El Salvador’s legislators cannot turn their backs on the victims of crimes under international law and grave human rights violations committed during the armed conflict. The Salvadoran authorities are obliged to bring to justice anyone suspected of being responsible for the extrajudicial executions, torture and enforced disappearances that took place during the armed conflict. To do otherwise would risk becoming complicit in heinous crimes.”

    May 14, 2019
    Nabi Saleh demonstrations, 2013

    Palestinians living in the occupied territories cannot get to work or school, or see their friends and family without feeling the disruptive effect of Israel’s military rule. It restricts the ability to farm their land, attend a protest, improve their homes, raise families, travel for medical purposes, or access essential services such as electricity and clean water.

    A Palestinian prisoner’s experience is even more dire: they must not only withstand all the above, but also arbitrary detention from Israeli and Palestinian forces, cruel and unlawful treatment, the repression of fundamental human rights, and the ongoing unlawful detention of children.

    For both, life is made all the more insufferable by Israel’s ever-expanding settlement operation.

    April 15, 2019

    Indonesia’s next government must put human rights at the center of its policies after the serious abuses that have marred the country in recent years, Amnesty International said ahead of polling day on 17 April.

    With nearly 200 million registered voters expected to cast their ballots in Indonesia’s general elections, Amnesty International have published a Human Rights Agenda targeting 7,968 parliamentary candidates and the two presidential candidates.

    “Our agenda puts forward a concrete action plan that the next government and parliament must deliver to improve the human rights situation in Indonesia, after the deteriorating environment experienced by so many people in the past four and half years – especially minorities and other marginalized groups,” said Usman Hamid, Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director. “The next government has an opportunity to turn the tide and prevent Indonesia from squandering the vital human rights progress made since 1998.”

    April 09, 2019

    If the last couple weeks have shown us anything, it’s that now, more than ever, we need the human courage to stand up for what is right. We need the bravery to speak out, to support threatened communities, to build a society based on equality, compassion and unity.

    It’s been inspiring to see how many people have channelled their love and hope towards our grieving Muslim whānau these past weeks. New Zealanders have flatly rejected the Christchurch gunman’s hate-filled ideology. But as powerful as this national outpouring of solidarity has been, it’s not enough on its own.

    Christchurch did not happen in a vacuum. The atrocity was at least partly the result of a creeping normalisation of white supremacist ideology and the rise of openly Islamophobic world leaders, a devastating reminder that bigotry still simmers below the surface. If we’re serious about solidarity, we need to redouble our efforts to challenge racism and bigotry wherever we see them. Here are some steps you can take:

    Listen to people who experience racism

    March 27, 2019

    Responding to news that Russian security forces in occupied Crimea have conducted extensive searches and detained ethnic community Crimean Tatars, Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty International Ukraine’s Executive Director, said:

    “The crackdown on the Crimean Tatar community, whose members are regarded as disloyal to the de facto Russian authorities, has continued unabated for five years.

    “The Russian authorities will use any means to suppress any dissent, real or perceived, casting their net wide to target the Crimean Tatar community and silence dissenting voices. The latest crackdown is one of the biggest acts of brazen intimidation of the whole community in recent months.”

    According to the de facto Crimean Directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the law enforcement agents conducted searches and detentions to investigate the activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a religious group banned in Russia as “terrorist” but operating lawfully in Ukraine.

    Background

    March 22, 2019
    A Candelit Prayer is held outside the State Library of Victoria on March 16, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.

    When the global picture is this grim, it’s little wonder that many Muslims feel embattled. Especially when they are also being told that despite these tragic numbers, they are actually the aggressors.

    March 14, 2019

    Speaking to Amnesty is not a crime

    The prosecution of 11 women activists before a Criminal Court in Riyadh for their human rights work and contact with international organizations is an appalling escalation of the Saudi authorities’ crackdown on peaceful activism, Amnesty International said today.

    Some of the women were charged with promoting women’s rights and calling for the end of the male guardianship system. The women were also charged with contacting international organizations, foreign media and other activists, including their contact with Amnesty International

    “The charges against the activists are the latest example of the Saudi authorities abusing legislation and the justice system to silence peaceful activists and deter them from working on the human rights situation in the country. This trial is yet another stain on the Saudi authorities’ appalling human rights record, and shows how empty the government’s claims of reform really are,” said Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Campaigns Director.

    March 12, 2019

    President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government took some steps to improve the human rights situation in Mexico during the first 100 days of his administration but has yet to take the kind of emphatic action that would convince the country of his commitment to change, said Amnesty International today.

    “Mexico has a long and disturbing history of human rights violations. In recent years, the country has descended into a serious crisis. After decades of struggle by human rights organizations and victims’ groups, it would be a tragedy to miss this opportunity to change the country’s direction,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “President López Obrador must acknowledge and prioritize the major human rights challenges facing the country. Now is the time to take concrete action to achieve genuine change. Recognition of the work done by human rights defenders and organizations, as well as support for them, must be a priority for the president.”

    March 11, 2019

    The sentencing of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes in a new case against her is an outrageous injustice, said Amnesty International today. 

    The sentence, reported on her husband Reza Khandan’s Facebook page, brings her total sentence after two grossly unfair trials to 38 years in prison. In September 2016, she had been sentenced in her absence to five years in prison in a separate case.

    “It is absolutely shocking that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing nearly four decades in jail and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work, including her defence of women protesting against Iran’s degrading forced hijab (veiling) laws. Nasrin Sotoudeh must be released immediately and unconditionally and this obscene sentence quashed without delay,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.

    March 01, 2019

    A resolution on prisoner transfers adopted today by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) must be followed by concrete steps to ensure that human rights of prisoners are respected while they are in transit, Amnesty International said today. The organization has previously documented the appalling conditions in which prisoners in Russia are transferred, and called on the Russian authorities to implement the PACE recommendations immediately.

    “Prisoner transfers are often deliberately hidden from the public gaze, meaning people are subjected to appalling abuses without scrutiny. In Russia, where prisoners are often sent to remote locations to serve their sentences, people spend weeks or even months in cramped, windowless trains with no access to the outside world. While their families wonder where they are, prisoners suffer the miseries of infrequent toilet access, scant drinking water and severe overcrowding,” said Heather McGill, Researcher in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office of Amnesty International.  

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