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Crimes Against Humanity

    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.

    November 12, 2015

    The killing of a 28-year-old Palestinian man by Israeli forces during a raid on al-Ahli hospital in Hebron in the early hours of Thursday morning may amount to an extrajudicial execution, Amnesty International said today.

    Eyewitnesses report that a large group of Israeli soldiers and police entered the hospital at 2.43am disguised as Palestinian civilians, with some wearing keffiyehs and fake beards and another being pushed in a wheelchair dressed as a pregnant woman. According to two witnesses Amnesty International spoke to, they entered a room on the third floor of the hospital where 20-year-old Azzam Azmi Shalaldah was a patient, to arrest him on suspicion of stabbing an Israeli civilian on 25 October.

    When they entered the room where the patient was in bed, they immediately shot his cousin, Abdullah Azzam Shalaldah, at least three times, including in the head and upper body.

    October 03, 2015

    Fires burn in the MSF emergency trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, after it was hit and partially destroyed by missiles 03 October 2015. Photo: MSF

    The bombing of a Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan today is a deplorable loss of life that must be urgently and impartially investigated, Amnesty International said.

    The MSF surgical hospital in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan was this morning hit by repeated airstrikes, killing at least nine staff members and an unknown number of patients. Many are still unaccounted for. It is unclear who was responsible for the bombing, although the US military has admitted that a US airstrike “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility”. MSF informed all parties earlier this week of the GPS coordinates of its hospital.

    September 29, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  30 September 2015

    Indonesian authorities are abandoning millions of victims and their family members who suffered through one of the worst mass killings in modern times, Amnesty International said on the 50th anniversary of the events that triggered the government-led atrocities of 1965 and 1966.

    “Five decades is far too long to wait for justice for one of the worst mass killings of our era. Across Indonesia, victims of the 1965 and 1966 events and their family members have been left to fend for themselves, while those suspected of criminal responsibility walk free,” said Papang Hidayat, Amnesty International’s Indonesia Researcher.

    “Indonesian authorities must put an end to this injustice once and for all. Today’s anniversary must be the starting point for a new era where crimes of the past are no longer swept under the carpet.”

    In the wake of a failed coup attempt on 30 September 1965, the Indonesian military – led by Major General Suharto – launched a systematic attack against suspected communists and a range of other leftists.

    September 28, 2015

      
    The new wave of violence which has left dozens of civilians dead and at least 100 injured highlights the fragility of the reconciliation process and the urgent need for enhanced protection of civilians, disarmament and an end to impunity in Central African Republic, Amnesty International said today. 

    Clashes erupted over the weekend in the capital Bangui and have continued today.  

    “The deadly violence in the capital illustrates that CAR remains in a very fragile state and that immediate action must be taken to enhance the capacity of UN peacekeepers to detect and respond effectively to such incidents before escalation of attacks on civilians,” said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International regional director for West and Central Africa. 

    “Small arms have been used by all sides to the conflict to attack civilians. The disarmament of all civilians and armed groups therefore needs to be speeded up to prevent all sides to the conflict using these weapons to commit further crimes under international law, including war crimes.”  

    August 25, 2015

    A Guatemalan court’s decision to try former Guatemalan President Efraín Ríos Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity through a lawyer and behind closed doors opens a new avenue for justice but highlights the deep flaws of the country’s justice system, which has so far failed to bring justice to his victims, said Amnesty International.

    The conditions of his trial were decided due to the 89-year-old former president’s fragile health, according to news reports. The trial is due to start in January 2016.

    “Today’s ruling clearly shows that when justice is delayed for so long, there is a very high risk that those responsible for crimes such as mass killings and disappearances will be able to get away with it,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “If authorities in Guatemala would have dealt with the shocking catalogue of crimes committed under Ríos Montt’s rule as they should have, instead of repeatedly delaying the process, the country would not find itself in this situation.”

    July 20, 2015

    The bombing occurred at around 12 midday in Suruç, a town on Turkey’s border with Syria and close to the predominantly Kurdish city of Kobani / Ayn Al-Arab in Syria.

    According to a statement from the Turkish authorities shortly after the blast, 27 people had been killed and close to 100 people were receiving treatment for injuries, some of them life threatening.

    Amnesty International condemns the bombing, which appears to have been carried out in a way that maximises the number of civilian casualties. Such attacks show contempt for the right to life and breach the most basic principles of international law. No individual or group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

    The bombing appears to have targeted the Amara Cultural Centre in the centre of Suruç. At the time of the bombing, young people from Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) who had come to Suruç on the way to provide humanitarian aid in Kobani, were making a press statement. 

    July 18, 2015

    The opening on Monday of the trial against former Chadian President, Hissene Habré, in Senegal will put an end to 25 years of impunity and give hope to the tens of thousands of victims of human rights violations and crimes under international law committed under his watch, Amnesty International said.

    Habré is being tried by the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar on charges of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes committed while he was in power between 1982 and 1990. This is the first time a court in one African state will try the former leader of another African state.

    “The trial against Hissène Habré is a major milestone for justice in Chad and in Africa. For many victims, this day will mark the end of a 25-year-long wait,” said Gaëtan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s West Africa researcher, who worked on Chad during Habré’s presidency.

    July 08, 2015

    Russia’s veto of a UN Security Council resolution on the Srebrenica genocide is an affront to the families of the victims of the massacre and will hinder attempts at reconciliation between the communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Amnesty International.

    “The massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995 revealed the tragic flaws in the UN’s response to the Bosnian war. Twenty years on, the UN Security Council’s failure to recognise the killings as genocide is an insult to the memory of the dead,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia.

    “This resolution was about much more than just recognizing Srebrenica as a genocide. It was also about the acknowledging the urgent need to provide justice to the victims and long-term support to survivors, including survivors of sexual violence, and clarifying the fate and whereabouts of the over 8,000 still missing from the war.”

    July 01, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  2 July 2015

    New research and weapons analysis by Amnesty International in Yemen bring into sharp focus the high price civilians continue to pay amid the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition’s airstrikes all over the country and demonstrate a failure to abide by the requirements of international humanitarian law.

    Amnesty International researchers investigated eight airstrikes in different parts of the country, including multiple strikes in the capital, Sana’a, on 12 and 13 June and in Tai’z on 16 June. In total, the eight incidents killed 54 civilians (27 children, 16 women and 11 men) including a one-day-old infant, and injured 55, (19 children, 19 women and 17 men).

    June 24, 2015

    By Netsanet Belay, Africa Director, Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. Follow Netsanet on Twitter @NetsanetDBelay

    As the International Criminal Court (ICC) opens its Assembly of States Parties – the periodic gathering of all the countries who have ratified the Court’s statute – in The Hague today, it does so with a bloody nose.

    The Court was yet again met with contempt this month by South Africa’s failure to cooperate with its arrest warrants for one of its longest running fugitives, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.

    On 15 June, South Africa’s government failed to obey an order from its own high court to prevent al-Bashir from leaving the country. The order had been made while the court decided whether to compel the government to fulfil its international and constitutional obligations to uphold two ICC warrants for the arrest of Sudanese President al-Bashir. The Sudanese leader, who was visiting Johannesburg for an African Union Summit, faces seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as three counts of genocide in Darfur.

    June 15, 2015

    The South African governments shocking failure to heed to its own court order and arrest Bashir is a betrayal to the hundreds of thousands of victims who were killed during the Darfur conflict, Amnesty International said today. 

    The North Gauteng High Court ruled this afternoon that the South African government’s failure to detain Sudan President Omar al-Bashir was inconsistent with the Constitution and that the government should have arrested him upon his arrival in the country pending a formal request from the ICC. 

    However, he was apparently allowed to leave this morning despite an interim order that he be prevented his departure. 

    “South Africa’s role was clear from the day president Omar Al-Bashir touched down in the country – he should have been arrested and handed over to the ICC to face trial for the war crimes he is alleged to have committed,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa. 

    June 13, 2015

    South Africa must immediately arrest Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal (ICC), Amnesty International has said today. Omar Al-Bashir, who is on the wanted list of the court, is reportedly on his way to South Africa to attend the 25th AU Summit currently underway in Johannesburg.

    “Al-Bashir is a fugitive from justice. If the government of President Zuma fails to arrest him, it would have done nothing, save to give succour to a leader who is accused of being complicit in the killing, maiming, torture of hundreds of thousands of people in a conflict that has blighted the lives of millions and destroyed the hopes and aspirations of an entire generation,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa.

    May 04, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs BST 5 May 2015

    Sheer terror and unbearable suffering has forced many civilians in Aleppo to eke out an existence underground to escape the relentless aerial bombardment of opposition-held areas by government forces, according to a new report published by Amnesty International today.

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