Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Human Rights Abuses

    March 14, 2014

    International human rights monitors must immediately be deployed across Ukraine following reports of increasing violence and disappearances ahead of Sunday’s impromptu referendum that could lead to the secession of the southern Crimea region, said Amnesty International.

    “Parts of the country are on edge and spilling over into violence. With the referendum scheduled in two days’ time, there is no time to lose,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Director.

    “Amidst heightened tensions in the country and the now fatal violence between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian groups, the need for a strong human rights monitoring mission with unimpeded access to all parts of Ukraine, including Crimea, is critical.”
     
    Amnesty International’s call comes after at least one protester was killed amid violent clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian protesters in the eastern city of Donetsk and news of further disappearances of activists in Crimea itself.

    March 13, 2014

    The death toll of at least 25 after a month of massive public demonstrations for and against the government in Venezuela will keep rising unless all sides commit to human rights, Amnesty International said following three new deaths on Wednesday.

    A policeman, a student and a third man died yesterday in separate incidents in Valencia, the country’s third-largest city, 170km west of Caracas.

    “In such a polarized political context the bloodshed will only continue unless the government and its supporters, as well as the various political opposition groups commit to fully respecting human rights,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Director of Amnesty International Americas Program.

    “Specifically, all parties should roundly condemn any acts of violence against political opponents. The authorities must do their utmost to prevent these attacks and to ensure that anyone responsible for such acts is brought to justice.”

    President Nicolás Maduro has told his supporters that after a meeting of his Security Cabinet today he will announce “extraordinary measures” aimed at putting an end to the ongoing protests.

    March 11, 2014

    The Sudanese security forces must immediately stop the use of excessive and unlawful force against protesters, Amnesty International said today, after a student died of gunshot wounds sustained during a demonstration at the University of Khartoum.

    Ali Abaker Mussa Idris, a third-year economics student, died in hospital after security forces used tear gas and opened fire with live ammunition to disperse a protest he was taking part in at the university this afternoon. Another student has been severely injured, and a further 110 students were reportedly arrested at the protest, which was against a recent surge in violence in Darfur that has left an estimated 50,000 people displaced.

    “Credible accounts by eyewitnesses at the University of Khartoum protest point to police and Sudanese intelligence (NISS) officers using tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the protesters. The authorities must rein in the security forces and prevent them from using such excessive force in violation of international law and standards,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International.

    March 06, 2014

    Presidential candidates must champion, not sideline, human rights, Amnesty International said today in an agenda for change aimed at candidates campaigning ahead of the 5 April vote.

    “There have been undeniable human rights improvements in Afghanistan over the past decade, but the situation is still bleak for millions across the country. Conflict-related violations and appalling levels of violence against women and girls are just two of the issues that must top the agenda for the next administration,” said Horia Mosadiq, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Researcher.

    “Candidates cannot afford to treat human rights as a second-string issue. Any more trading away of rights in Afghanistan for short-term gain will move the country backwards rather than forwards after 2014,”

    Almost complete impunity for past human rights abuses and war crimes persists in Afghanistan. Many of those now running for president or vice-president are facing serious allegations of complicity in such crimes.

    February 28, 2014

    Members of the UN Security Council, including France, the US and UK must throw their full weight behind proposals to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), said Amnesty International.

    The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to present his assessment report on the possible transformation of the African-led peacekeeping force in CAR into a UN peacekeeping mission before 5 March.

    “It is urgent that the Security Council authorizes this UN peacekeeping operation. They must be given a robust mandate to protect civilians,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director Research and Advocacy.

    Amnesty International’s successive missions to CAR have revealed how the African led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) is under-resourced and ill equipped.  Its poor coordination with French troops (Sangari’s) has failed to end the killings of civilians and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community from large parts of the country.

    “Current efforts to tackle the crisis are far from adequate and the new UN mission must have the capability to tackle this crisis,” said Belay.

    February 26, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT 27 February 2014

    Israel’s security forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing scores of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

    The report, Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank, describes mounting bloodshed and human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) as a result of the Israeli forces’ use of unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force against Palestinians since January 2011.

    In all cases examined by Amnesty International, Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers did not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life. In some, there is evidence that they were victims of wilful killings, which would amount to war crimes.

    February 26, 2014
    Ukraine's Berkut riot police were responsible for many instances of use of excessive force amid the recent protests. © Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

    All those responsible for the deaths of more than 100 people killed during the anti-government protests in Ukraine must be brought to justice, said Amnesty International today.

    The call comes as plans were announced to disband the riot police unit that were allegedly responsible for the excessive force used against protesters.

    “Moves to disband the riot police must not be used to allow the perpetrators of crimes off the hook. The Ukrainian authorities must not shirk their responsibility,” said Heather McGill, Amnesty International’s Ukraine researcher.

    “Each and every allegation must be investigated promptly, effectively and independently and any police officers found to be responsible must face criminal prosecution.”

    February 25, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT  26 February 2014

    The Sri Lankan government’s targeting of critics persists at alarming levels, with more surveillance and harassment reported ahead of next month’s UN Human Rights Council (HRC) session, Amnesty International said in a new briefing today.

    Suppressing calls for justice, examines the Sri Lankan authorities’ intolerance of dissent and its attacks on critics over the past six months, either directly or through proxies that range from security forces to supporters of Buddhist-nationalist groups and even immigration officials.

    “The pattern of harassment, surveillance and attacks against those opposing the Sri Lankan authorities is deeply disturbing and shows no sign of letting up,” said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia- Pacific Director.

    “Repression usually intensifies whenever Sri Lanka’s human rights situation is in focus internationally, something we are already seeing ahead of the UN Human Rights Council next month.”

    February 20, 2014

    The shooting of protesters, which is contributing to the spiralling death toll in Kyiv, is deeply troubling and must prompt a swift response to bring all those responsible to justice, Amnesty International urged.

    According to the Ministry of Health, at least 35 people have been killed as a result of the rapid escalation in violence in the past 48 hours, especially in the area around Kyiv’s Maidan Square. The violence has been carried out by some protesters as well as security forces. The Ministry of Interior has separately reported that 20 police officers have died.  

    There is growing evidence from across Ukraine of vigilante groups colluding with the police and reports they may have been responsible for some of the shootings. A number of protesters, medical personnel and journalists clearly not posing a threat to riot police, have been fired on from a distance.   

    February 18, 2014

    At a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, delivered a memorandum demanding an urgent list of actions to combat entrenched impunity and serious human rights violations.  

    The meeting focussed on widespread torture, the large number of disappearances, abuses against migrants and refugees, attacks on journalists and human rights defenders, and violence faced by women and indigenous persons.

    “While Mexico is an increasingly important actor on the world stage, not only in economic terms but in the field of human rights, it is failing to deliver at home. I told the President that he must demonstrate he is serious about ensuring human rights not just internationally but for all inside the country as well,” said Salil Shetty.

    “The President has the power to address Mexico’s worrying human rights situation. He should take urgent and concrete steps to ensure full respect for human rights for every individual in the country.”

    February 10, 2014

    The authorities in California must introduce radical changes to the cruel conditions of the state’s solitary confinement units, said Amnesty International.

    Tomorrow, 11 February, a representative of the human rights organization will give an oral submission before the California Assembly Public Safety Committee. It is currently considering a series of reforms to its Security Housing Units (SHUs), proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    “The authorities in California have an historic opportunity to end the inhumane conditions of detention of the hundreds of prisoners held in isolation across the state,” said Tessa Murphy, USA campaigner at Amnesty International.

    Most of the inmates are held in isolation units in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison.

    They are confined to their windowless cells for at least 22 hours a day. Exercise is limited to one 90-minute session a week, alone, in a bare, concrete yard, with 20 foot high walls and only a patch of sky visible through a partially meshed plastic roof.

    January 30, 2014

     

    FACTSHEET

    What:  336,412 people from 112 countries have signed an Amnesty International’s petition in the course of three months calling on the Russian President Vladimir Putin to repeal repressive legislation aiming to emasculate civil society, restrict legitimate protest and silence criticism.

    Amnesty International members and supporters from Australia, Japan and New Zealand to Canada, Puerto Rico and USA signed the petition, with Holland alone collecting more than 100,000 signatures.

    January 28, 2014

    The African Union (AU) Heads of State meeting starting tomorrow must address the growing crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR). They must ensure they complete the full and rapid deployment of peacekeepers to protect civilians in rural areas at risk of imminent attack.

    Over the last week Amnesty International has gathered first-hand information of large scale slaughter of both Christian and Muslim civilians in the North-West CAR. The presence of international peacekeepers in these areas is essential to help prevent further atrocities, particularly as rival militias converge on this region. 

    “There is a real danger of further escalation of what is already a human disaster. The peacekeeping forces have had an effect where they are deployed, but there are large swathes of the North West where there is a notable absence. Here towns have been attacked and there is a real risk of further atrocities.” said Amnesty International’s senior crisis adviser Donatella Rovera who is currently in the region. 

    January 27, 2014

    The Bahraini authorities must immediately investigate the death in custody of a 19-year-old boy who was shot in the head by security forces, said Amnesty International.

    “Bahrain’s authorities must come clean and open a full, independent investigation to establish the truth about the death of Fadel Abbas. Those responsible for his death must be held to account,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    “The conflicting information that has emerged over the version of events that led to his death makes such an investigation even more urgent.”

    Fadel Abbas was wounded when security forces tried to arrest him and others as they went to visit a recently released prisoner in the village of Markh.
     
    The Interior Ministry said in a statement on 26 January that Fadel Abbas had died of his wounds after he was shot on 8 January when he “purposefully” drove a car into members of the security forces as he attempted to escape arrest for smuggling arms and explosives. The Ministry said its forces had acted in self-defence.  

    January 26, 2014

    Christian and Muslim civilians in Baoro and Bossemptle in the north-west of the Central African Republic are in imminent danger of attack due to the very strong presence of anti-balaka militias in towns where international peacekeepers are nowhere to be seen, according to an Amnesty International delegation in the region today.

    Armed clashes between anti-balaka militias and remnants of the ex-Seleka forces and their supporters over the last week have resulted in civilian fatalities and casualties, as well as the burning of hundreds of homes. 

    “There is a huge risk of a major human tragedy because of the complete absence of any peacekeeping force. The situation in this part of the Central African Republic is very volatile and the international peacekeeping effort is vital to protect the thousands of civilians from both communities,” said Amnesty International’s senior crisis adviser Donatella Rovera who is currently in the region.  

    Pages

    Subscribe to Human Rights Abuses