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Torture

    August 18, 2016

    Responding to reports that at least six people, including four police officers, were killed and scores wounded when two car bombs exploded in eastern Turkey, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher Andrew Gardner said:

    “Today’s car bombings are the latest in a series of reckless and brutal attacks in eastern Turkey which have claimed the lives of members of the public, including children.”

    “Those responsible for these crimes show a contempt for the right to life and must be brought to justice.” 

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    For media inquiries, please contact Jacob Kuehn // 613-744-7667, ext 236 // email: jkuehn@amnesty.ca 

     

    August 17, 2016

    The horrifying experiences of detainees subjected to rampant torture and other ill-treatment in Syrian prisons are laid bare in a damning new report published by Amnesty International today which estimates that 17,723 people have died in custody in Syria since the crisis began in March 2011 – an average rate of more than 300 deaths each week.

    ‘It breaks the human’: Torture, disease and death in Syria’s prisons documents crimes against humanity committed by government forces. It retraces the experiences of thousands of detainees through the cases of 65 torture survivors who described appalling abuse and inhuman conditions in security branches operated by Syrian intelligence agencies and in Saydnaya Military Prison, on the outskirts of Damascus. Most said they had witnessed prisoners dying in custody and some described being held in cells alongside dead bodies.

    August 12, 2016

    The UN Committee against Torture (CAT) issued a wake-up call to Burundi today, said Amnesty International after the Committee flagged an increase in the use of torture and other ill-treatment since the beginning of the country’s current crisis in April 2015.

    In its concluding observations following a special report submitted at CAT’s request, the Committee’s 10 independent international experts expressed deep concern over hundreds of cases of torture alleged to have taken place in recent months in both official and unofficial places of detention.

    “The spike in torture cases we have seen in Burundi since the onset of the crisis is extremely alarming and must be urgently addressed by the Burundian government,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s East Africa Deputy Regional Director.

    The Committee made strong recommendations including conducting prompt, efficient and impartial investigations into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment and ensuring that all those responsible are prosecuted and sentenced taking into account the grave nature of the offence.

    July 14, 2016
    Up to eight people dying each month as a result of desperately overcrowded conditions in Maroua Prison More than 100 people, including women, sentenced to death before military courts Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon killed nearly 500 people in the last year

    More than 1,000 people, many arrested arbitrarily, are being held in horrific conditions and dozens are dying from disease and malnutrition or have been tortured to death, as part of the Cameroonian government and security forces crackdown on Boko Haram, Amnesty International revealed in a new report published today.

    The report Right cause, wrong means: Human rights violated and justice denied in Cameroon’s fight against Boko Haram details how the military offensive against Boko Haram has resulted in widespread human rights violations against civilians in the Far North region of the country.

    July 13, 2016

    It may seem like just one letter, just one petition signature, or just one day tabling at a farmer’s market. But when every signature, every conversation, and every  action are added together we accomplish extraordinary things we transform lives. And that’s just what we did through Amnesty's Stop Torture and My Body My Rights campaigns.

    Over the past two years we campaigned for Canada to join a key torture prevention treaty, we took action to support torture survivors in Mexico as they seek justice, and we called on countries around the world to end the secrecy in detention centres which allows torture to take place. We raised awareness of sexual and reproductive health rights issues, helped secure the release of women in El Salvador imprisoned for having pregnancy-related complications, and successfully helped to change laws on early and forced marriage in Burkina Faso.

    July 12, 2016

    In response to the emergence of photographs that purportedly show torture and other ill-treatment by security forces during an operation in Navosa, Fiji, Amnesty International said:

    “These deeply disturbing images should be immediately and independently investigated in a thorough and transparent manner. It is not enough for the police to investigate themselves, as the Police Commissioner has suggested. If any torture and other ill treatment is found to have taken place at the hands of Fijian security forces, the perpetrators must face accountability so that the country can begin to break with its grim track record on human rights violations,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

    The photographs in question show several Fijians with injuries, including bruises and lacerations to the head Some images show two people lying down with hands and legs tied together behind their backs with rope. In the background of some of these photos, military and police officers armed with guns can be seen.

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    July 06, 2016

    The Irish authorities’ planned deportation to Jordan of a man deemed a national security threat would place him at real risk of torture and other serious human rights violations, and is a worrying sign of backsliding on the absolute ban on torture, said Amnesty International today.

    The High Court of Dublin cleared the way for Irish authorities to deport a Jordanian man of Palestinian origin (who cannot be identified for legal reasons) in a hearing on 4 July. The man was notified in 2015 that Irish authorities considered him a national security threat on the basis of an allegation that he had been involved in organizing and facilitating travel of people intending to join the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS).

    July 04, 2016

    Armed groups operating in Aleppo, Idleb and surrounding areas in the north of Syria have carried out a chilling wave of abductions, torture and summary killings, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today.

    The briefing ‘Torture was my punishment’: Abductions, torture and summary killings under armed group rule in Aleppo and Idleb, Syria offers a rare glimpse of what life is really like in areas under the control of armed opposition groups. Some of them are believed to have the support of governments such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the USA despite evidence that they are committing violations of international humanitarian law (the laws of war). It also sheds light on the administrative and quasi-judicial institutions set up by armed groups to govern in these areas.

    June 28, 2016

    An unprecedented Amnesty International investigation of 100 women arrested in Mexico reveals that they are routinely sexually abused by the security forces who want to secure confessions and boost figures in an attempt to show that they are tackling rampant organized crime.

    Read report - Surviving Death: Police and Military Torture of Women Mexico
      Take action - Demand Justice for torture survivor Miriam Lopez

    All of the 100 women held in federal prisons who reported torture or other ill-treatment to Amnesty International said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or psychological abuse during their arrest and interrogation by municipal, state or federal police officers or members of the Army and Navy. Seventy-two said they were sexually abused during their arrest or in the hours that followed. Thirty-three reported being raped.

    June 23, 2016
    Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada's Secetary-General, documents the Mexico Defensoras Delegation's visit to Ottawa on the eve of the Three Amigos summit. They came with an urgent message for Prime Minister Trudeau, President Peña Nieto and President Obama: Don't sweep Mexico's grave human rights crisis under the carpet!    The Mexico Defensoras Delegation are: Claudia Medina Tamariz- Breaking the Silence about Sexual Torture, Rompiendo el Silencio Brenda Rangel Ortiz - Justice for the Disappeared, Desaparecidos Justicia CA Marta Sanchez - Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano Pilar Arrese Alcaca - Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre, Centro Prodh   DAY 1
    June 08, 2016

    Signed by many human rights experts, parliamentarians and other eminent Canadians, an Open Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was just released by the Rideau Institute, further to their earlier report, entitled: Torture of Afghan Detainees: Canada’s Alleged Complicity and the Need for a Public Inquiry, (Omar Sabry, September, 2015, Rideau Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives publishers).                  

    This Open Letter comes just days before the Government of Canada must formally respond in writing to e-70 (Afghanistan), an electronic petition to Parliament calling on the Government of Canada “to establish an independent judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the facts with respect to policies, practices, legal and other opinions, decisions, and conduct of Canadian government actors, including Ministers and senior officials, concerning Afghan detainees throughout Canada's involvements in Afghanistan from 2001”.

    June 08, 2016

    Iraqi authorities must rein in all forces participating in the recapture of Falluja said Amnesty International today, amid reports that men and boys fleeing the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) had been tortured and otherwise ill-treated by government-backed militias and at least three had died as a result of torture.

    Amnesty International has spoken to victims who described the torture and other ill-treatment meted out to them in detention and who claim to have witnessed killings.

    “Civilians risking their lives to escape from IS atrocities must be protected and given the humanitarian aid they desperately need. Instead it seems that some are having to run the gauntlet of being subjected to further abuse and reprisal attacks,” said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    May 04, 2016

    A woman who was tortured for 15 hours to confess to a crime and has been languishing in prison for nearly four years must be released without delay, said Amnesty International ahead of a key decision on the case.

    Yecenia Armenta Graciano was arrested in July 2012 by local police officers in the northern state of Sinaloa. She was raped, asphyxiated and hung from her feet upside down until she was forced to confess to murdering her husband. The only direct evidence presented against her was the statement obtained under torture. She has been in prison since then.

    The Sinaloa Attorney General has a deadline of 5 May to inform the judge in charge of the case whether he thinks Yecenia should be convicted or acquitted. This is the same authority responsible for the torture of Yecenia.

    “Yecenia is one of thousands of victims of Mexico’s wicked judicial system, one that all too often relies on confessions extracted under torture and other ill-treatment to sentence people,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International. 

    May 04, 2016

    Pakistani authorities must carry out an independent, thorough and transparent inquiry into the torture and death of political activist Aftab Ahmad while he was in the custody of the Rangers, a paramilitary force under the command of the Pakistan Army, Amnesty International said today.

    The call comes after the Director-General of the Rangers, Maj. Gen. Bilal Akber, admitted that Aftab Ahmad was tortured in custody and ordered an internal investigation into the circumstances of his death.
    “It will not suffice for the Rangers to investigate themselves. A series of contradictory statements by the paramilitary force in the hours since the news of Aftab Ahmad’s death emerged point to attempts to mislead the public and resist accountability,” said Jameen Kaur, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for South Asia.

    “The chilling revelation that Aftab Ahmad was tortured and died in the Rangers’ custody must result in an independent, efficient and transparent investigation.”

    May 03, 2016

    The convictions of three Filipino nationals on charges of espionage were yesterday upheld by Qatar’s Court of Cassation. The Court upheld one life term and two sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment.

    James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle and North Africa programme, said:

    “The court’s decision to uphold the convictions of these three men, after an unfair trial in which the authorities totally failed to investigate credible allegations of torture, is the latest demonstration of the deep flaws in Qatar’s criminal justice system, particularly as regards its treatment of migrant workers”.

    “The authorities should immediately announce a full investigation into these men’s torture allegations and review the way these trials have been conducted. All torture-tainted evidence must be excluded.”

    “This case speaks volumes about the sincerity of the government’s stated commitment to extend justice to migrant workers.”

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