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Crimes Against Humanity

    April 11, 2018

    Following a decision by the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunal to overturn in part its original acquittal of Serbian Radical Party leader, Vojislav Seselj, and sentence him to 10 years on three counts of crimes against humanity, including persecution, deportation, and other inhumane acts in Serbia, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Gauri van Gulik, said:

    “Today’s decision is a welcome development which delivers long-delayed justice to thousands of victims of the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Despite the fact that the Appeals Chamber cleared Vojislav Seselj of other war crime crimes, it is significant that it found there was indeed a ‘widespread or systematic attack against the non-Serbian civilian population in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.’”

    “It is now vital that the national courts step up their efforts to bring remaining perpetrators to justice. More than 20 years after the war, thousands of war crimes cases remain unresolved and pending before national courts across the region, denying victims and their families a final chance to see justice.”

     

    January 25, 2018
    The hearing due to be held tomorrow morning, 26 January, is a historic opportunity for Peru to put an end to the impunity created by President Kuczynski's decision to grant Alberto Fujimori grace, thereby violating the right of the victims of the Pativilca massacre to truth, justice and reparation, Amnesty International said today.   On 26 January Court B of the National Criminal Court will rule on the application of the grace granted to Alberto Fujimori in relation to the proceedings brought against him for the murder of six campesinos (peasant farmers) in the town of Pativilca on 29 January 1992, considered crimes against humanity. If applied, the grace would put an end to the criminal proceedings against him, perpetuating impunity and preventing the truth from being uncovered.   "The decision the judges make affects not only the rights of the victims, but the right of all Peruvians to know the truth about the crimes against humanity that occurred in Pativilca", said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
    January 10, 2018

    Following today’s admission by Myanmar’s military that security forces and villagers summarily killed 10 captured Rohingya people and buried them in a mass grave outside Inn Din, a village in Maungdaw, Rakhine State, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

    “This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army’s policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing. However, it is only the tip of the iceberg and warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed amid the ethnic cleansing campaign that has forced out more than 655,000 Rohingya from Rakhine State since last August.

    “It is appalling that soldiers have attempted to justify extrajudicial executions by saying they were needed as reinforcements elsewhere and did not know what to do with the men. Such behaviour shows a contempt for human life which is simply beyond comprehension.

    November 20, 2017
    Rohingya segregated and abused in “open air prison” Two-year investigation reveals root causes of current Rakhine State crisis System of discrimination amounts to the crime against humanity of apartheid

    The Rohingya people in Myanmar are trapped in a vicious system of state-sponsored, institutionalised discrimination that amounts to apartheid, said Amnesty International today as it publishes a major new analysis into the root causes of the current crisis in Rakhine State.

    “Caged without a roof” puts into context the recent wave of violence in Myanmar, when the security forces killed Rohingya people, torched whole villages to the ground, and drove more than 600,000 to flee across the border into Bangladesh.

    July 24, 2017
      Responding to a bombing near a vegetable market in Lahore that has claimed the lives of at least 11 people, Amnesty International's Pakistan campaigner, Nadia Rahman, said:   "This is a horrific attack that was targeted at ordinary people and has caused an appalling loss of life. The authorities must immediately order an independent and effective investigation. The victims of the bombing deserve justice. The perpetrators must be held accountable in line with international human rights standards."
    May 31, 2017

    Responding to today’s bombing in Kabul that has claimed the lives of 80 people and injured at least 350, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Researcher Horia Mosadiq said:

    “The bombing in Kabul is a horrific act of violence and a heartbreaking reminder of the toll that Afghan civilians continue to pay in a conflict where armed groups deliberately target them and the government fails to protect them.

    “There must be an immediate, impartial and effective investigation that delivers justice to the victims. Civilians must never be targeted under any circumstances.

    “Today’s tragedy shows that the conflict in Afghanistan is not winding down but dangerously widening, in a way that should alarm the international community.

    “The International Criminal Court must make good on its promise to investigate war crimes in the country and hold the perpetrators accountable.”

    April 21, 2016

              ·         Hundreds shot, beaten and burned alive
             ·         Satellite pictures reveal site of possible mass grave

    Mass slaughter of hundreds of men, women and children by soldiers in Zaria and the attempted cover-up of this crime demonstrates an utter contempt for human life and accountability, said Amnesty International as it publishes evidence gathered on the ground revealing how the Nigerian military burned people alive, razed buildings and dumped victims’ bodies in mass graves.

    The report, Unearthing the truth: Unlawful killings and mass cover-up in Zaria, contains shocking eyewitness testimony of large-scale unlawful killings by the Nigerian military and exposes a crude attempt by the authorities to destroy and conceal evidence.

    March 22, 2016

    Today’s attacks in Brussels show an utter contempt for human life, Amnesty International said as it condemned them in the strongest possible terms.

    “To deliberately target civilian lives is, and always will be, inexcusable. Those responsible for these attacks must be brought to justice. All our thoughts are with the victims of the recent attacks and their families,” said Philippe Hensmans, Managing Director of Amnesty International Belgium-Francophone Section and Han Verleyen, Acting Director of Amnesty International Belgium-Flemish Section.

    Amnesty International is calling on the Belgian authorities to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation so that those responsible for these acts are brought to justice.

     

    For further information contact John Tackaberry, Media Relations
    (613)744-7667 #236  jtackaberry@amnesty.ca
     

     

    February 09, 2016

    The Huthi armed group and forces allied to it are endangering the lives of thousands of civilians in the southern city of Ta’iz by blocking the entry of crucial medical supplies and food over the past three months, in blatant violation of international humanitarian law, said Amnesty International.

    Testimony gathered by the organization from 22 residents and medical staff living in Yemen’s third largest city paints an alarming picture of civilian suffering and hardship. Most of the city’s hospitals have shut down and the few that remain open are on the verge of collapse due to a lack of supplies. One resident’s new-born baby died hours after he was born because of severe oxygen shortages at the city’s hospitals.

    “The Huthi forces appear to be deliberately barring the entry of civilian goods, including vital medical supplies and food, fuelling a humanitarian crisis with devastating consequences for residents of Ta’iz,” said James Lynch, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    January 28, 2016

    Myanmar should immediately repeal or amend a new law passed today which could grant former presidents blanket immunity for human rights violations and crimes under international law, said Amnesty International.  

    Myanmar’s outgoing Parliament today voted to pass the Former Presidents Security Law. The original draft had rung alarm bells as it granted former presidents immunity from prosecutions for undefined “actions” committed during their time in office.

    However, it now appears that the proviso “in accordance with the laws” has been added to the final version passed today. While an improvement, the law could still be interpreted as granting immunity to former presidents; including for crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under international law.

    “This law has been rushed through parliament with minimal debate before the new government takes office, raising concerns that the outgoing government is determined to protect its ranks from any form of prosecution.” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International Interim Director South East Asia and Pacific Office.

    January 28, 2016

    The Turkish authorities are failing to respond to the desperate pleas of more than 20 injured residents sheltering for six days in the basement of a building that has been under fire and heavy shelling in the south-east town of Cizre, said Amnesty International today.

    “This is a desperate situation: injured individuals, some of whom are apparently bleeding heavily, are at grave risk of dying if they do not urgently receive medical care,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey.

    An estimated 23 people are stranded in a building’s basement in the town of Cizre, Şırnak province, where they sought shelter on 23 January amid ongoing clashes between the army and the armed individuals affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Amnesty International has spoken to one of the people in the basement who said that four people had already died and a further 12 were seriously injured, while the building continued to be hit by shells. Communications have since been cut but it is believed that six people have now died.

    January 19, 2016

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT 20 January 2016

    Peshmerga forces from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdish militias in northern Iraq have bulldozed, blown up and burned down thousands of homes in an apparent effort to uproot Arab communities in revenge for their perceived support for the so-called Islamic State (IS), said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

    The report, Banished and dispossessed: Forced displacement and deliberate destruction in northern Iraq, is based on field investigation in 13 villages and towns and testimony gathered from more than 100 eyewitnesses and victims of forced displacement. It is corroborated by satellite imagery revealing evidence of widespread destruction carried out by Peshmerga forces, or in some cases Yezidi militias and Kurdish armed groups from Syria and Turkey operating in coordination with the Peshmerga.

    January 19, 2016

    It is with great sadness that Amnesty International has learned of the tragic death of photographer Leila Alaoui and driver Mahamadi Ouédraogo, as a result of the Al Qaeda attack in Ougadougou on Friday.

    Leila was shot twice, in the leg and thorax, but was quickly taken to hospital and was initially in a stable condition following an operation. A medical evacuation was being prepared when she suffered a fatal heart attack.

    Leila was a talented French-Moroccan photographer who we had sent to Burkina Faso to carry out a photographic assignment focusing on women's rights.

    Mahamadi was killed in his car. A father of four, he was a great friend to Amnesty International having accompanied staff and consultants on missions in the country since 2008. Our thoughts are with his wife, children and family. He will be sorely missed.

    Amnesty International's absolute priority is to ensure the best possible support for Mahamadi and Leila's families. The organization’s representatives are at the hospital liaising with her family, doctors and all necessary officials.

    January 14, 2016

    A series of bomb blasts and shootings that rocked Jakarta this morning have killed at least seven people, five of whom were suspected attackers. The armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has reportedly claimed responsibility.

    In response to the attacks Josef Benedict, Amnesty International Southeast Asia and Pacific Deputy Campaigns Director, said:

    “Today’s attack shows an utter disregard for the right to life. This is sadly not the first time Indonesians have seen their loved ones killed in horrific attacks by extremist groups who use bloodshed to further their despicable aims.

    "The Indonesian authorities must conduct a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into the attack and ensure that all those involved in planning and carrying out this attack are brought to justice in fair trials without the recourse to the death penalty.

    November 19, 2015

    Boko Haram must end its campaign of senseless killings and the Nigerian authorities must bring those responsible to justice, said Amnesty International in the wake of the latest bomb attacks which killed dozens and injured more than 180 people.

    At least 32 people are reported to have been killed by a bomb blast in the north eastern Nigerian city of Yola on Tuesday 17 November while at least 14 people died following a double suicide bomb attack by two female suicide bombers in a market in the city of Kano on Wednesday 18 November. While Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for all these attacks, Amnesty International believes, based on analysis of the pattern of attacks as well as information gathered from witnesses and human rights defenders, that the bombings fit the group’s methods and targets.

    “These shocking acts of brutality cannot be permitted to continue with impunity. How much longer must people in Nigeria be forced to live in fear as such heinous attacks are committed against them?” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Research and Advocacy Director.

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