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    January 06, 2020

    In response to a masked mob attacking at least 26 students and teachers in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the Executive Director of Amnesty International India, Avinash Kumar said:

    “The violence unleashed on the students inside the JNU campus is shocking. For the Delhi police to tolerate such a violent attack that has resulted in grave injuries is even worse and shows a shameful disregard for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It is alarming to note the ease with which the mob entered a ‘secured’ university space and were able to mete out such violence. Various media reports and students have alleged that the police stood witness to the attack and refused to control and arrest the mob. They have also alleged that ambulances were blocked from entering the campus.”

    January 06, 2020

    Responding to Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo’s call on the government to review its anti-drug strategy, including by ending violent police operations, Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia, said:

    “Vice President Robredo gave a damning insider account of the government’s murderous approach to the drug problem. This is yet more proof that the Duterte administration should address the problem through drug rehabilitation programs rooted in communities – not through a brutal policy of extrajudicial killings.

    “Robredo’s assessment gives credence to what Amnesty International and others have said time and again: the government’s ‘war on drugs’ is a war on the poor, marked by human rights violations and rampant impunity for the police and other high ranking officials. Another approach is possible, one based on respect for human rights, human life and human dignity, which addresses the social conditions that give rise to illegal drug use and trade.

    December 23, 2019

    Responding to a Saudi Arabian court’s sentencing of five people to death and three others to prison for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said:

    “This verdict is a whitewash which brings neither justice nor the truth for Jamal Khashoggi and his loved ones. The trial has been closed to the public and to independent monitors, with no information available as to how the investigation was carried out.

    “The verdict fails to address the Saudi authorities’ involvement in this devastating crime or clarify the location of Jamal Khashoggi’s remains.

    “Saudi Arabia’s courts routinely deny defendants access to lawyers and condemn people to death following grossly unfair trials. Given the lack of transparency from the Saudi authorities, and in the absence of an independent judiciary, only an international, independent and impartial investigation can serve justice for Jamal Khashoggi.”

    Background

    December 18, 2019

    Spokespersons available for media interviews

    One year after protests broke out in Sudan leading to the ouster President Omar al Bashir on 11 April 2019, the new transitional authorities must to live up to the hopes and expectations of the Sudanese people, Amnesty International said today.

    “A year after the Sudanese people took to the streets to protest a spike in food prices ultimately ending three decades of the Al-Bashir regime, they can celebrate that their collective action brought an end to suffocating repression and revived hopes for a better Sudan,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    “The transitional authorities must honour the commitments they made to restore the rule of law and protect human rights. The Sudanese people deserve nothing less.”

    The Sudanese people’s hopes now lie squarely with the transitional authorities headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, and backed by the Transitional Constitutional Charter, which enshrines the country’s most comprehensive Bill of Rights yet. 

    December 18, 2019

    By Nicholas Bequelin, Regional Director at Amnesty International

    Mesut Ozil’s social media post about the political situation in Xinjiang has prompted an angry response from the Chinese authorities. The Arsenal footballer’s accusation that China is persecuting the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority has been dismissed by Beijing as “fake news”. Meanwhile, a Gunners match was pulled from the state TV schedule and Chinese football fans have reportedly burned Arsenal shirts in protest at the player’s comments.

    Amnesty International has extensively documented the situation in Xinjiang over the past several years. We have interviewed more than 400 people outside of China whose relatives in Xinjiang are still missing, as well as individuals who said they were tortured while in detention camps there. We also collected satellite photos of the camps and analysed official Chinese documents that detail the mass-internment programme. This is what is really happening:

    December 13, 2019
    Thousands arrested including children as young as 15 Detainees subjected to enforced disappearance and torture At least 304 people killed according to credible sources

    Iran’s authorities are carrying out a vicious crackdown following the outbreak of nationwide protests on 15 November, arresting thousands of protesters as well as journalists, human rights defenders and students to stop them from speaking out about Iran’s ruthless repression, said Amnesty International today.

    The organization has carried out interviews with dozens of people inside Iran who described how, in the days and weeks during and following the protests, the Iranian authorities have held detainees incommunicado and subjected them to enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment.

    At least 304 people were killed and thousands were injured between 15 and 18 November as authorities crushed protests using lethal force, according to credible reports compiled by the organization. The Iranian authorities have refused to announce a figure for those killed.

    December 13, 2019

    As negotiations come to a close at the UN Climate Summit in Madrid (COP 25 – the meeting of States that are party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), Chiara Liguori, Amnesty International Policy Adviser on Climate Crisis said:

    “From Mozambique to Philippines, people have lost their lives, their homes and their livelihoods to disasters caused or exacerbated by the climate crisis, despite their countries’ minimal contributions to it. Meanwhile, wealthy industrialized countries that have benefitted economically for over a century from growing emissions - while suffering far less from its ill-effects - are content to be global freeloaders, with the costs being borne by developing countries.

    “It is not too late for industrialised countries to do the decent thing and contribute their fair share to upholding the rights to life, to food and other human rights of people most affected by climate impacts.  They must agree to the establishment of an effective and fair international finance mechanism to provide new and additional funding to affected people in developing countries.

    December 12, 2019

    Responding to news that the regional Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice has today rejected a ban imposed by Sierra Leone’s government preventing pregnant girls from sitting exams and attending mainstream school, Marta Colomer, Amnesty International West and Central Africa Acting Deputy Director Campaigns said:

    “Today’s ruling is a landmark moment for the thousands of girls who have been excluded from school, and whose right to access education without discrimination has been violated for the past four years because of this inherently discriminatory ban. 

    “It is also a glimmer of hope for all those girls who if pregnant in the future will not be punished by being forced to leave school and not being able to sit exams.

    “This also delivers a clear message to other African governments who have similar bans, such as Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea, or may be contemplating them, that they should follow this ground-breaking ruling and take steps to allow pregnant girls access to education in line with their own human rights obligations.

    December 12, 2019

    With just a few hours left for states to reach agreements at the 2019 UN climate negotiations at the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Amnesty International calls on negotiators to finally listen to people’s demands and put human rights considerations at the centre of their decisions. If they fail to do so, they will set the stage for decades of human rights abuses for which they will be responsible.

    COMMIT TO urgent and human rights compliant climate action

    December 11, 2019

    TORONTO – There is not much to laugh at in the world these days, but Comics Without Borders is partnering with Amnesty International to shine a light in the darkness many of us are feeling.

    Eight talented comedians will provide a night of levity on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. West, starting at 7:30 p.m.

    Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, will also be attending the event to give a short talk at the VIP reception and the onset of the show.

    These comedians are available for interviews in advance (either in-studio or by phone):

    Nour Hadidi, a Jordanian-born, Toronto-based comedian who has been featured on CBC, FLARE Magazine, and Just for Laughs. The Toronto Star named her one of the four comedians to watch in 2016.

    Frank Spadone, a Toronto-based comedian who has frequented the top comedy clubs in the city and across Canada.

    Leonard Chan, who won the Absolute Comedy Prove You're a Comic contest in 2016 and the Comedy Brawl in 2018, beating over 400 comics.

    December 11, 2019

    Amnesty International is launching an updated version of its Citizen Evidence Lab website, bringing together cutting-edge open-source and other digital investigation tools which have revolutionized how evidence of serious human rights violations and other crimes are gathered and preserved.

    Investigations facilitated by the pioneering Citizen Evidence Lab website have already helped expose human rights violations Cameroon, war crimes in Syria and chemical weapons attacks in Sudan.

    The upgraded site provides a space for human rights researchers, investigators, students and journalists to explore and share investigative techniques in human rights. It enables them to take better advantage of the digital data-streams critical for modern fact-finding, while also leading the fight against mis- and disinformation campaigns.

    December 11, 2019

    Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Citizen Yasser Ahmed Albaz has been arbitrarily detained by Egyptian authorities for 10 months without charge in very difficult prison conditions. Today Yasser’s family was joined by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Amnesty International and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) to call for Minister François-Philippe Champagne to secure Yasser’s release and reunite him with his family during his trip and bring Yasser home with him.

    Minister Champagne will be in Egypt to attend the inaugural Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa on December 11 and 12, 2019.

    December 11, 2019

    Responding to the statement made by Aung San Suu Kyi at the International Court of Justice in The Hague today, Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s Regional Director, said:

    “Aung San Suu Kyi tried to downplay the severity of the crimes committed against the Rohingya population. In fact, she wouldn’t even refer to them by name or acknowledge the scale of the abuses. Such denials are deliberate,  deceitful and dangerous.

    “The exodus of more than three quarters of a million people from their homes and country was nothing but the result of an orchestrated campaign of murder, rape and terror. To suggest that the military ‘did not distinguish clearly enough between fighters and civilians’ defies belief. Likewise, the suggestion that Myanmar authorities can currently and independently investigate and prosecute those suspected of crimes under international law is nothing but a fantasy, in particular in the case of senior military perpetrators who have enjoyed decades of total impunity.

    December 10, 2019
    ‘Rohingya Right of Reply’ public event on 11 December 2019

    Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s State Counsellor and de facto head of state, is leading Myanmar’s delegation to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, to respond to a case alleging that Myanmar has breached its obligations under the UN Genocide Convention. The case was filed by The Gambia on 11 November 2019.

    On Wednesday, 11 December 2019, Myanmar will respond to The Gambia's allegations in court for the first time.

    The first public hearings will take place between 10-12 December. The Gambia has asked the ICJ to order Myanmar to take ‘provisional measures’ ‘to protect the rights of the Rohingya group’ and prevent all acts that amount to or contribute to the crime of genocide against the community, pending formal hearings on the case.

    Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s Regional Director, said:

    December 09, 2019
    Climate change was the most commonly cited among most important issues facing the world, in a survey of more than 10,000 young people, including Canadians Young people living inside a “failed system”, warns Amnesty International Leaders will face a “growing legitimacy crisis” unless they protect rights of young people

    Climate change is one of the most important issues facing the world, according to a major new survey of young people from around the world, including Canada, published by Amnesty International today to mark Human Rights Day.

    With the findings published as governments meet in Spain for the UN Climate Change Conference, the organization warns that world leaders’ failure to address the climate change crisis has left them out of step with young people.

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