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Torture

    July 20, 2017
    Detainees subjected to severe beatings, agonising stress positions and drownings, with some tortured to death Widespread torture at 20 sites, including four military bases, two facilities run by intelligence services, a private residence and a school Calls for US and other international partners to investigate their military personnel’s possible knowledge of torture at one base

    Hundreds of people in Cameroon accused of supporting Boko Haram, often without evidence, are being brutally tortured by security forces, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.

    Using dozens of testimonies, corroborated with satellite imagery, photographic and video evidence, the report ‘Cameroon’s secret torture chambers: human rights violations and war crimes in the fight against Boko Haram’ documents 101 cases of incommunicado detention and torture between 2013 and 2017, at over 20 different sites.

    July 17, 2017
    Verdict Awaited for Sahrawis Charged in Fatal 2010 Clashes   The Moroccan judicial authorities should ensure that upcoming verdicts in a mass trial are not based on confessions or statements implicating other defendants obtained under torture or other ill-treatment during police interrogations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today.  
    July 10, 2017
      Following reports in Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper that security forces in the Russian republic of Chechnya killed 27 people on the night of 26 January 2017, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia, said:   “These allegations come from a credible source and as horrendous as they are, appear totally plausible for Chechnya, where the authorities enjoy complete impunity for human rights violations.   “Amnesty International has documented the practice of extrajudicial executions in Chechnya and elsewhere in the North Caucasus for many years, and these allegations are consistent with our past findings. They must be investigated immediately, and if proven to be true, all perpetrators must be brought to justice.   “In addition, a full and thorough investigation needs to  be carried out into allegations of the secret imprisonment and torture and other ill-treatment of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya in April.  
    June 09, 2017

    The Russian authorities must immediately release Chechen torture survivor Murad Amriev, and under no circumstances place his life at further risk by handing him over to the Chechen authorities, Amnesty International said today.

    Having tried to flee to Belarus earlier this week, Murad Amriev was arrested and unlawfully handed back to Russian police officers early this morning. He is currently in custody in an unknown location in Russia, stoking fears about his fate.

    “The story of Murad Amriev reads like a thriller, but it is real and his life is at stake. He was ‘handed over’ to the Russian authorities early this morning in what amounts to an unlawful rendition after he attempted to seek asylum in Belarus. Under no circumstances should the federal authorities of Russia deliver him into the hands of Chechen law enforcement officers, which could put him at risk of torture or death,” said Heather McGill, Russia Researcher at Amnesty International.

    May 02, 2017

    The Tunisian government must demonstrate its commitment to human rights by accepting recommendations on combating torture, ending discrimination and protecting women and girls from sexual and gender based violence, said Amnesty International.

    The Tunisian government received recommendations from more than 50 states at the country’s third Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council today.

    Tunisia has made some progress on opening up political and civil space and some legislative reforms have been introduced, the security sector has remained largely unchanged and in recent years there has been a resurgence of violations committed with impunity,” said Heba Morayef, North Africa Research Director at Amnesty International.

    April 28, 2017

    Following today’s suspension of more than a dozen police officers and the announcement of an internal investigation into revelations that 12 people were detained illegally in a cramped “secret jail cell” in Manila on drugs-related charges, Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

    April 27, 2017

    Mexico’s new General Law on Torture is a welcome step forward to tackle the country´s human rights crisis. Authorities must now ensure all those responsible for these heinous crimes under international law face justice, Amnesty International said today.

    Mexican Congress today finally passed the General Law on Torture which was promised over two years ago by the Mexican president after a national public outcry following massive human rights violations in the case of 43 disappeared students. The Mexican Senate today approved a final version which had been debated by both chambers of Congress.

    “Unless the Mexican authorities make a real effort to ensure all those responsible for the thousands of cases of torture reported every year across the country are brought to justice, this law will be nothing but words on paper. We must not allow this to continue to be the case,” said Tania Reneaum, Director at Amnesty International Mexico.

    Torture is a widespread practice in Mexico. People are routinely tortured in an attempt to force them to sign false “confessions”.

    April 26, 2017

    A call for appeals to improve the General Law on Torture was sent to the Urgent Action Network on January 16th 2017.

    On 19 April the lower house of Mexican congress approved their version of the General Law on Torture and sent it back to the Senate for final approval before it becomes law. This final version is an improvement of the earlier draft, and all of the four regressive articles Amnesty International was concerned about have been improved upon.

     

    A General Law on Torture was drafted during 2015 and 2016 and presented in the Senate due to pressure from civil society given the widespread problem of torture in Mexico. This law will replace the existing federal and state laws on the issue and apply nationwide.

    April 04, 2017

    Governments around the world go through many efforts to cover a veil of secrecy upon their cruel practices of torture. Ammar al Baluchi's story shows the ways in which the US has tried to cover their brutal, extensive use of torture.

     

    Ammar al Baluchi faces charges, including the death penalty, for an alleged role in the 9/11 attacks.

    In April 2003, Ammar was abducted and taken into US custody in Pakistan. For the next three years, the CIA subjected him to enforced disappearance, moving him to different CIA-operated "black sites". Throughout this time, Ammar was brutally tortured by CIA authorities as part of their interrogation program. Acts of torture that he was forced to endure include: water torture similar to water boarding; continuous high volume music; extreme sleep deprivation; forced nudity, and beatings that have resulted in a painful traumatic brain injury.

     

    March 01, 2017

    Panel discussion at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 3 March

    Governments must close loopholes in international trade law that allow the sale and export of equipment used to torture detainees, Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation will urge at a panel event at the UN Human Rights Council on 3 March.

    Every year law enforcement officials in many countries around the world use abusive equipment – such as electric shock devices, spiked batons, and leg irons – to subject detainees to torture and other forms of ill-treatment. In addition, equipment with a legitimate law enforcement use, like ordinary handcuffs, tear gas or Tasers, are routinely and systematically abused.

    “After years of campaigning by Amnesty International and Omega, the European Union did the right thing by introducing robust restrictions on the sale, brokering and promotion of tools of torture,” said Patrick Wilcken, Researcher on Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International.

    February 03, 2017

    Following the Trump administration’s appointment of Gina Haspel as Deputy Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “Reports that Gina Haspel directed the alleged CIA ‘black site’ in Thailand, at a time when detainees held there were subjected to torture and enforced disappearance, as well as a possible role in the destruction of evidence of such crimes under international law, raise extremely serious concerns.”

    “This announcement comes on the heels of President Trump’s recent vocal support for torture, and means all indicators are flashing red.

    “These allegations are serious and must be subject to close scrutiny. No one should be appointed to a position where they could interfere in the investigation of or facilitate the concealment crimes under international law.

    “With all the Trump administration’s talk of ‘extreme vetting’, they must not fail to vet public officials for their ability to uphold the US constitution and international law.

    January 31, 2017

    The Honourable Ralph Goodale

    Minister of Public Safety

    269 Laurier Avenue West

    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8

     

    January 30, 2017

    Dear Minister Goodale,

    We are writing to you about the urgent need for Canada to revise the Ministerial Directives on torture issued by the previous government to conform to the unconditional ban on torture in international law.

    Doing so now would send an important signal to Canadians and to the international community that Canada will under no circumstances use information from a foreign country that was likely obtained under torture, or share information that could likely lead to an individual being tortured.

    As you know, in 2011 the government introduced a ministerial directive that allows, under exceptional circumstances, for information garnered under torture by a foreign country to be transmitted to and used by Canadian security agencies. The same directive also provided guidelines for instances when Canadian agencies could share information with countries that are know to engage in human rights abuses, even if doing so would likely result in torture.

    December 08, 2016

    The Sri Lankan authorities must take decisive action to stop torture and other ill-treatment, investigate complaints, and hold perpetrators accountable, Amnesty International said today following the publication of the concluding observations by the UN Committee against Torture on Sri Lanka.

    “If the Sri Lankan authorities are serious about breaking with the harrowing legacy of the country’s decades-long conflict, it must end impunity for torture and other acts of ill-treatment,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director.

    “Sri Lanka has taken important and positive steps. However, we also share the UN Committee against Torture’s alarm over Sri Lanka’s failure to prevent these crimes by the security forces and their concern that torture and other ill-treatment continue to take place. Impunity persists for perpetrators, as well as for those who have committed enforced disappearances, and deaths in custody and the use of coerced confessions continue to be reported.”

    Lingering shadow of the conflict

    December 04, 2016

    Released 21:01 GMT 4 December 2016

    Under the military’s dominance, the Pacific island nation of Fiji has seen an ingrained culture of torture take root among its security forces, a new Amnesty International report says today.

    Famed for white-sand beaches and sweeping views of turquoise water, Fiji is known as a holiday destination. But over a decade since the 2006 coup, the military remains in control of key institutions, including the police, with a militarization of the justice system that allows torture and other ill-treatment to go unpunished.

    The new Amnesty International report, Beating Justice: How Fiji’s Security Forces Get Away with Torture details how uniformed officials on Fiji’s islands have inflicted severe beatings, rape and other sexual violence, attacks by police dogs, shootings and other forms of torture and ill-treatment or punishment in violation international law.

    November 01, 2016

    Russian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Ildar Dadin, a peaceful street protester convicted for participation in “unauthorized” assemblies, and investigate his allegations of torture, Amnesty International said today. Ildar Dadin’s letter from prison was published by Meduza online newspaper on Tuesday.

    “Ildar Dadin’s allegations of beatings, humiliation and rape threats are shocking, but unfortunately they are just the latest in a string of credible reports indicating that torture and other ill treatment are being widely used in the Russian penal system with impunity, with the aim of silencing any form of dissent,” said Sergei Nikitin, Director of Amnesty International Russia.

    “We are urging Russian authorities to end the pattern of impunity for torture and other ill treatment and investigate Ildar Dadin’s appalling allegations. They must also immediately and unconditionally release Ildar Dadin, and provide him with full remedy for the injustice done to him. No one should be in jail for peacefully expressing their opinion.”

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