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    April 24, 2015

    (Bangui) – The Central African Republic's National Transitional Council has taken decisive action for justice for the victims of atrocities by adopting a law to establish a Special Criminal Court within the national justice system, 23 Central African and international human rights organizations said today.

    The draft law, which the government sent to the transitional parliament on February 6, 2015, was adopted by an overwhelming majority on April 22 during a plenary session. The special court will investigate and prosecute those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic since 2003.

    “By approving the Special Criminal Court, National Transition Council members said that ‘enough is enough’ with impunity and showed that they firmly stand on the side of justice for the victims who lost their lives or suffered atrocities,” said the human rights organizations. “There is no time to lose for the government and its international partners to ensure that the Special Criminal Court is up and running as soon as possible.”

    April 13, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs BST 14 April 2015

    At least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since the start of 2014 and many have been forced into sexual slavery and trained to fight, said Amnesty International on the first anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok school girls.

    February 02, 2015

    An Amnesty International researcher on the ground in eastern Ukraine has gathered gruesome evidence of civilian deaths and casualties inflicted by both sides in the bloody conflict in the towns of Donestk and Debaltseve over the last few days.

    The evidence was collected on the spot in the immediate aftermath of shelling and includes interviews with eyewitnesses and casualties in hospital.

    The reported violations include an attack on a humanitarian aid line, a market place in Donestk and indiscriminate shelling of homes and streets in Debaltseve.

    “This evidence reveals the horror of the bloodshed suffered by civilians, who are being killed and injured because both sides are firing unguided rockets and mortars in heavily populated areas. Such attacks are a violation of international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International.

    January 29, 2015

    The protection of civilians must be central to today’s discussions at the African Union summit on how to tackle the growing threat of Boko Haram, said Amnesty International.

    The situation in north-east Nigeria, including the possibility of the deployment of a regional force against Boko Haram, is expected to be part of the AU’s Peace and Security Council talks this evening, and Amnesty International is calling for African leaders to ensure that the protection of civilian in north east Nigeria is at the top of the agenda.
    “In the face of Boko Haram’s bloody onslaught the protection of civilians is the key priority. Ultimately it is the responsibility of Nigeria’s authorities to take all feasible measures to protect the civilian population including by assisting with an evacuation of those who wish to flee and transporting them to safer areas,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director.  

    January 18, 2015

    The impending transfer of Dominic Ongwen, alleged former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a step towards justice for the victims who have suffered brutality at the hands of the LRA for more than two decades, said Amnesty International today.

    “This is a significant development in the pursuit for justice. The LRA abducted, killed and mutilated thousands in Uganda and committed atrocities, including the use of child soldiers and sexual slavery,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa.

    “It’s been almost a decade since arrest warrants were issued against LRA leaders. The impending transfer of Dominic Ongwen to The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes finally paves the way for survivors of LRA atrocities in northern Uganda to see justice done.”

    January 14, 2015

    Satellite images released by Amnesty International today provide indisputable and shocking evidence of the scale of last week’s attack on the towns of Baga and Doron Baga by Boko Haram militants. 

    Before and after images of two neighbouring towns, Baga (160 kilometres from Maiduguri) and Doron Baga (also known as Doro Gowon, 2.5 km from Baga), taken on 2 and 7 January show the devastating effect of the attacks which left over 3,700 structures damaged or completely destroyed. Other nearby towns and villages were also attacked over this period. 

    December 24, 2014

    The series of attacks, allegedly by armed groups, on unarmed civilians in Assam that has led to the death of at least 50 people and serious injuries to several others is highly condemnable and shows contempt for human lives. Authorities must step up security for civilians and bring the perpetrators to justice.

    The Assam Police said the killings started at Sonitpur district in northern Assam where more than 23 people were killed on 23 December. Several others were killed and injured in Kokrajhar districts as well. Authorities have blamed members of the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB-S) for the attacks.

    The men, women and children killed and injured in these attacks were mostly members of the Adivasi community who traditionally work in the tea gardens of the region.

    This region has witnessed several incidents of violence in the past. In July 2012, clashes broke out between Bodo and Muslim communities, killing over 75 people and displacing thousands from their homes. In May 2014, at least 27 civilians were killed in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts in attacks authorities blamed on NDFB-S. 

    November 18, 2014

    A key UN vote has sent a clear message to the North Korean government that those responsible for crimes against humanity must face justice, Amnesty International said.

    On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly Third Committee in New York passed a resolution condemning North Korea for systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations, including crimes against humanity, that continue to be committed in the country.

    Nicole Bjerler, Amnesty International’s representative at the UN in New York commented:

    “UN Member States have today sent an unequivocal message to the North Korean government that those responsible for crimes against humanity in the country must face justice.

    “This is a landmark resolution in which the international community makes clear it stands with the victims of human rights violations in North Korea, where the gravity and nature of the abuses are without parallel in the modern world.

    November 18, 2014

    United Nations member states should vote in favor of a landmark resolution on the human rights situation in North Korea which seeks to advance justice for crimes against humanity, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights said today. The General Assembly will consider the resolution, which has been cosponsored by more than 50 UN members, in its third committee on November 18, 2014.

    September 02, 2014

    Released 3 September 00:01 BST

    The brutal suppression of protest in Sudan must end, and members of the security forces responsible for killing, injuring, and torturing protesters must be held to account, said Amnesty International and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) in a report published today.

    The report, Excessive and deadly: The use of force, detention and torture against protesters in Sudan documents allegations of human rights violations committed by the security forces against mostly peaceful protesters over the past two years. It reveals a disturbing pattern of arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and excessive use of force, including the use of live ammunition resulting in scores of deaths and injuries. It also reveals a widespread state of impunity in which those allegedly responsible for these violations are not held to account.

    “The violent crackdown on dissent has meant that people expressing genuine grievances at government repression and economic austerity measures are met with batons, beatings and bullets,” said Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher.

    August 22, 2014

    The Iraqi authorities must properly investigate the unlawful killing of dozens of worshippers at a Sunni mosque north-east of the capital Baghdad today, Amnesty International said.

    About 70 people are believed to have been killed and dozens injured by a suicide bomb at a mosque in Diyala province during Friday prayers, amid conflicting reports about who was responsible for the attack.

    “The Iraqi authorities must launch an urgent and independent investigation into this massacre and bring those responsible to justice. Any resulting prosecutions must be conducted fairly and without resort to the death penalty,” said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

    “Once again, civilians in Iraq are bearing the brunt of the conflict. All warring parties must do more to ensure they are protected.”
    Some reports have said Shia militias carried out the attack, while the Iraqi military said the Sunni jihadist group Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) is responsible.

     

    August 07, 2014

    Today’s decision convicting two of Cambodia’s most senior former Khmer Rouge officials for crimes against humanity at the country’s UN-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is an important step towards justice, Amnesty International said.

    Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director Rupert Abbott said: “This long-awaitedruling is an important step towards justice for the victims of the Khmer Rouge period and highlights the importance of addressing impunity.”

    “But the earlier refusal of senior Cambodian government officials to give evidence, as well as allegations of political interference in other ECCC cases, is troubling and raises concerns around the fairness of the proceedings and respect for victims’ right to hear the full truth regarding the alleged crimes.” 

    “Fair and effective trials are crucial if the ECCC is to leave a lasting legacy which strengthens Cambodia’s very fragile judicial system and contributes towards ending the deep culture of impunity.

    July 23, 2014

    The Honourable John Baird
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    125 Sussex Drive
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0G2

    22 July, 2014

    Dear Minister Baird,

    Amnesty International has repeatedly spoken out about widespread violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights standards since the most recent crisis in Gaza and Israel erupted on 8 July.   We are writing this Open Letter to you, on behalf of more than 80,000 Amnesty International members across Canada, with an urgent request that the Canadian government similarly speak out and insist that these rapidly mounting violations – by both sides of this conflict – must end immediately. 

    We have of course noted the frequent comments made by the Prime Minister, you personally and other members of the government, criticizing Hamas for the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel.  Amnesty International has similarly consistently condemned those actions, underscoring that such actions constitute violations of international humanitarian law.

    June 05, 2014

    Amnesty International has obtained details of a horrific raid in which 15 civilians, including seven children, were summarily killed on 29 May in a village in northern Syria raising fears of further attacks against residents in the area. 

    The killings in the village of al-Tleiliye in al Hassake governorate are believed to have been carried out by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Arab farming families were targeted, apparently for their perceived support of a Kurdish armed group, the YPG (People’s Protection Unit) or because they were mistaken for Yezidi Kurds. 

    The killings took place shortly after clashes escalated between ISIS and YPG forces in the nearby villages of Tal Khanzeer and al-Rawiya.

    “These cold-blooded killings serve as a bitter reminder of how complete impunity for the war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria is fuelling brutality and inhumanity,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International. 

    May 30, 2014

    Tuesday June 3, 2014, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

    10:00 am – Press Conference, Charles Lynch Room, Centre Block
    10:30 am – Commemoration Reception, Room 505 Victoria Building, 140 Wellington Street

    On the 25th anniversary of the brutal crackdown of student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, three Canadians will present their first-hand accounts of the events in the square that night at a 10:00 am press conference at Charles Lynch hosted by David Sweet, MP on Parliament Hill.  They will be introduced by Cheuk Kwan, Chair, Toronto Association for Democracy in China and will bear witness to a massacre that the Chinese government is anxious to erase from our memory.

    Ms. Liane Lee 李蘭菊, representative of the Hong Kong Federation of Students in 1989
    Mr. Yuguo Chen 陳育國, lecturer in political science at Beijing University in 1989
    The Hon. Jim Munson, CTV Beijing Bureau Chief in 1989

    The press conference will be followed by a 10:30 am commemoration reception hosted by the Hon. Consiglio Di Nino at 505 Victoria Building. They will be joined by:

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