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    May 12, 2017

    The killing of an activist leading the search for her daughter and thousands of others in Tamaulipas, Mexico, reveals the danger which those searching for the more than 30,000 disappeared persons in the country face every day, said Amnesty International.

    Miriam Elizabeth Rodríguez Martínez was killed on the night of 10 May in the state of Tamaulipas in northern Mexico. Miriam was known for her work with groups searching for the disappeared, organizations made up primarily of relatives of victims of enforced disappearance and disappearance at the hands of non-state actors.

    May 23, 2017

    Responding to the terror attack at the Manchester Arena last night, Kerry Moscogiuri, Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International UK said:

    “Amnesty International condemns in the strongest terms this cowardly act that has taken the lives of so many innocent people.

    “The thoughts of everyone at Amnesty are with all those affected by this horrific attack on children, young people and parents enjoying a night out at a concert.

    “The response to this kind of attack must always be more love, just like we've seen from the people of Manchester coming together to offer lifts, tea and places to stay to concert-goers and those looking for their loved ones.

    “Politicians and the media must ensure their language and actions do not stoke hatred and division, and use all their influence to stress that we have more in common than that which divides us.”

    May 23, 2017

    A set of US laws which claim to promote maternal and infant health are in fact driving pregnant women away from vital health services, jeopardizing their wellbeing and violating their right to health, according to a new report published by Amnesty International today.

    Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA, highlights the impact of pregnancy criminalization laws, especially those which are used to arrest and prosecute women who use drugs based on a belief that they are harming their fetuses. Fear of these laws is deterring pregnant women from accessing healthcare, prenatal care and even drug treatment.

    “Across the USA, the heavy-handed policing of pregnant women’s behaviour is shattering patient trust in health services with devastating consequences. These laws put pregnant women in a double bind, forcing them to choose between risking their health and risking punishment,” said Carrie Eisert, Policy Adviser at Amnesty International, who authored the report.

    May 23, 2017

    The Indian Army’s decision to present an award to a soldier suspected of having a man tied to a moving military jeep in Jammu and Kashmir last month gives the impression that it condones human rights abuses, Amnesty International India said today.

    “Rewarding an officer who is under investigation for a human rights violation suggests that the Army seems to be willing to not just overlook, but actually valorise an act of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment amounting to torture,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.

    May 22, 2017

    The dismissal of more than 100,000 Turkish public sector workers is arbitrary and has had a catastrophic impact on their lives and livelihoods, a new report published by Amnesty International reveals.

    No end in sight: Purged public sector workers denied a future in Turkey finds that tens of thousands of people including doctors, police officers, teachers, academics and soldiers, branded as ‘terrorists’ and banned from public service, are now struggling to make ends meet.

    “The shockwaves of Turkey’s post-coup attempt crackdown continue to devastate the lives of a vast number of people who have not only lost their jobs but have had their professional and families lives shattered,” Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey.

    “Tainted as ‘terrorists’ and stripped of their livelihoods, a large swathe of people in Turkey are no longer able to continue in their careers and have had alternative employment opportunities blocked.”

    May 19, 2017

    As US President Donald Trump embarks on his first foreign visit to attend the Riyadh summit in Saudi Arabia, counter terrorism and security will dominate his discussions with Gulf and Arab state leaders. The President is also expected to unveil a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The glaring absence of human rights from Trump’s agenda will only embolden further violations in a region where governments flout the rights of their own people in the name of the fight against terror, and violate international humanitarian law in conflicts fueled on large part by US arms transfers, said Amnesty International.

    “Human rights are under continuous attack in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have been using counter terrorism as an excuse to ruthlessly crush and persecute critics, peaceful dissidents and human rights defenders,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

    May 17, 2017

    Amnesty International calls for investigation into ‘war crime’ leaks and stronger  whistleblower protection

    “It seems to me that transparency in government is a fundamental prerequisite to ensuring and protecting the freedom and dignity of all people.” – Chelsea Manning

    Chelsea Manning’s long overdue scheduled release from a US military prison today finally ends her punishment for exposing classified information, including of possible war crimes committed by the US military, Amnesty International said.

    May 16, 2017

    As US President Donald Trump prepares to host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the White House, Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director Margaret Huang said:

    “While these two leaders sit and congratulate each other in the White House, the damage is mounting from their spiralling assaults on human rights.

    “President Trump recently praised President Erdoğan for winning a referendum in which dissenting opinions were ruthlessly suppressed, and has been silent on Turkey’s alarming crackdown on the media, which has led to more than 120 journalists being jailed pending trial. This is a disturbing reflection of President Trump’s contempt for human rights – trampling the freedoms of journalists and protestors is no cause for celebration.

    “The world is watching - this meeting is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the way that President Trump and President Erdoğan are contributing to a global climate of toxic and dehumanizing politics, and the grave deterioration of the human rights situation in Turkey.”

    Background

    May 16, 2017

    The killing of a journalist in Mexico - the fifth such incident this year -highlights the alarming situation of freedom of expression in the country, said Amnesty International.

    Javier Valdez Cárdenas, founder of Río Doce media and reporter for La Jornada and El Noroeste, was shot dead a few metres away from his office in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa. Javier was known for his work covering organized crime and drug trafficking. In 2011, he received an international prize for press freedom from the Committee to Protect Journalists. This is the second assassination of a journalist from La Jornada in 2017.

    “Being a journalist in Mexico seems more like a death sentence than a profession. The continuing bloodshed that the authorities prefer to ignore has created a deep void that is damaging the right to freedom of expression in the country,” said Tania Reneaum, director of Amnesty International Mexico.

    May 15, 2017
    Amnesty International launches new global campaign to stop the wave of attacks against those defending human rights 281 people killed in 2016 for defending human rights, up from 156 in 2015 Human rights defenders facing unparalleled global assault amid demonizing rhetoric, clampdowns on civil society and rampant use of surveillance

    >>Act Now

    Community leaders, lawyers, journalists and other human rights defenders across the world are facing unprecedented levels of persecution, intimidation and violence, warned Amnesty International today as it launched a new global campaign demanding an end to the onslaught of attacks against brave individuals standing up to injustice.

    “What we are witnessing today is a full-frontal assault by governments, armed groups, corporations and others with power on the very right to defend human rights. Human rights defenders bear the brunt of this global attack,” said Salil Shetty, the Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    May 15, 2017

    Responding to the killing by Papua New Guinea security forces of 17 prisoners who escaped Buimo jail as part of a mass breakout, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Champa Patel, said:

    “The Papua New Guinea authorities must immediately order an independent and effective investigation into these killings. They must suspend any officers involved until the investigation is concluded, and hold suspected perpetrators to account through fair trials without recourse to the death penalty. It is alarming that the security forces’ first response was to use lethal force against unarmed people without any concern for their right to life.

    “Poor sanitary conditions, overcrowding, and long remand periods have sparked mass breakouts before. Prison reforms and accountability mechanisms are crucial to stop these incidents from happening again. Whatever the crime committed by inmates, they have the right to be treated humanely.”

     

    For further infurther information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 4416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    May 11, 2017

    In response to today’s detention of five LGBTI activists as they were trying to deliver a petition to the Office of Russia's Prosecutor General on Chechnya, Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, said:

    “While the activists were released shortly after their arrest, this knee-jerk detention follows a familiar pattern of the Russian authorities crushing activism, and is a multiple violation of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and liberty of person. It is aggravated by the fact that the detainees merely wanted to support gay men in Chechnya, one of the country’s most marginalized groups, and call for their protection.”

    “The LGBTI activists should be allowed to deliver their petition. And crucially, the authorities must respond to the petition itself and investigate the allegations of horrific human rights violations against gay people in Chechnya which have rightly sparked a global outcry.”

    May 12, 2017

    The Trump administration’s executive order on travel, scheduled for federal appeals court review on Monday, would harm both immigrants and US citizens if allowed to enter into effect, warns Amnesty International in a briefing paper released today.

    “President Trump’s travel ban order separated families and sent a message of bigotry and intolerance,” said Joanne Mariner, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International. “This harmful and discriminatory ban deserves the most probing judicial scrutiny.”

    The briefing paper, a joint initiative of Amnesty International and the CLEAR project (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) at CUNY School of Law, describes how the travel ban imposed by President Trump is contrary to international human rights law, violating treaties the US has committed to uphold. Based on interviews with more than 30 people affected by the ban, it includes a dozen case studies of the harms caused to individuals and families from Yemen, Iran, Sudan and elsewhere.

    May 12, 2017

    The Grand Finale of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv on 13 May is a key opportunity to shine a light on Ukraine’s outstanding human rights concerns, Amnesty International said.

    “Millions of people across the world will revel in this dazzling music event which is associated with the values of peace, democracy, tolerance and human rights solidarity. While Kyiv is preparing for its big event on Saturday, it is crucial to keep in mind the pressing human rights issues that are being swept under the carpet. The Ukrainian authorities have a chance to demonstrate to the world their commitment to addressing these issues and to act for positive change,” said Oksana Pokalchuk, Director of Amnesty International Ukraine.

    Amnesty International spokespeople are available for interview on the human rights situation in Ukraine, including:

    • Discrimination against LGBTIQ people across Ukraine. Despite the first-ever successful and violence-free Pride event in Kyiv last year, other parts of the country see ongoing discrimination and hate crimes.

    May 12, 2017

    Responding to the ongoing detention of Oğuz Güven, the web editor of the prominent Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet after he was taken into police custody this morning, Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey Researcher, said:

    “Since their crackdown on the media escalated dramatically following the coup attempt last July, the Turkish authorities have been relentless in their hounding of Cumhuriyet, which is now one of the country’s last remaining opposition newspapers. 12 Cumhuriyet staff members are currently held in prison pending trial, and Oğuz Güven’s detention is yet another demonstration of the authorities’ intent to stamp out independent journalism for good.

    “Reports that Oğuz Güven was apparently detained on the basis of a single headline reflect the terrifying new reality for journalists in Turkey, where one word out of place can get you locked up. His detention is another dark day for media in Turkey, which since last year, has held the disgraceful record for being the world’s biggest jailer of journalists.”

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