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    May 07, 2021

    Despite growing national and international condemnation, the militarized response and police repression of mostly peaceful demonstrations continues in different cities across Colombia. Police have used force indiscriminately and disproportionately, and there are alarming reports of sexual violence and disappearances, Amnesty International denounced today. Enforced disappearance and sexual violence perpetrated by authorities are crimes under international law that any state should investigate and prosecute.

    “The Colombian authorities must guarantee the right to peaceful assembly and refrain from stigmatizing and repressing the demonstrations that have been taking place across the country since 28 April. Guaranteeing peaceful demonstrators’ right to life and their safety must be central to the authorities’ response, in accordance with international human rights standards,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    May 06, 2021

    As the European Court of Human Rights considers a landmark case on climate change brought by six young people from Portugal against 33 European countries, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations and academics have intervened in the case today. They have provided the Court with legal arguments on how government climate policies must protect the rights of people outside their borders.

    The Court will decide on whether it agrees to proceed with the case filed not only against Portugal, where the applicants live, but also 32 other countries - which comprise of EU members as well as Norway, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, UK and Ukraine.

    “The climate crisis does not respect borders and our laws and policies must reflect this. To ensure justice for people most affected by heatwaves, drought and forest fires – particularly children – states must be required to tackle climate change and its impacts at home and abroad,” said Ashfaq Khalfan, Amnesty’s Law and Policy Director.

    “Governments can no longer act as if people outside their borders do not matter when they design their climate policies.”

    May 05, 2021

    Responding to the Facebook Oversight Board voting today to uphold Donald Trump’s ban from the platform after his account was suspended four months ago for inciting violence and stating that Facebook must reassess the penalty because it imposed it “indefinitely”, Michael Kleinman, the Director of the Silicon Valley Initiative at Amnesty International USA said:

    “Donald Trump repeatedly encouraged violence and disorder by his supporters affecting journalists, activists, faith communities and others using his social media platform. While the Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s January 7 decision to restrict Trump’s access to Facebook and Instagram, it criticized the ‘standardless’ and open-ended nature of the suspension.

    May 05, 2021
    Amnesty International joins call for #NotOneBulletMore with over 200 organizations

    The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) must immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Myanmar to bring an end to the mass killing of largely peaceful protestors by the Myanmar security forces, said Amnesty International today in a joint call with over 200 civil society organizations.

    “Mere condemnation by the international community has had no effect. It is time for the UN Security Council to use its unique powers to impose a comprehensive global arms embargo in order to try and end the military’s killing spree,” said Lawrence Moss, Senior UN Advocate for Amnesty International.

    Since the 1 February coup, at least 769 protestors have reportedly been unlawfully killed by the military, and thousands more arbitrarily detained, including the country’s elected civilian leadership, human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and other critics of the military coup.

    May 04, 2021
    G7 governments still refusing to waive intellectual property on Covid-19 vaccines, despite widespread public support People’s Vaccine Alliance calls for G7 leaders to support a vaccine patent waiver at today’s foreign and development ministers meeting in London.

    A supermajority of people in G7 countries believe that governments should ensure pharmaceutical companies share the formulas and technology to their vaccines, according to new polling from the People’s Vaccine Alliance.

    The public believes that pharmaceutical companies should be fairly compensated for developing vaccines, but should be prevented from holding a monopoly on the jabs.

    It comes as G7 foreign and development ministers meet in London, the group’s first in-person meeting in two years, and the general council of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meets today online, while India’s death toll climbs.

    May 04, 2021

    Colombian authorities must end the repression of demonstrations, cease the militarization of cities and ensure that respect for and guarantee of human rights are at the center of any public policy proposal, including tax reforms, Amnesty International said today, after publishing audiovisual evidence, verified by its Digital Verification Corps, of excessive and unnecessary use of force by the security forces tasked with controlling protests.

    “The Colombian authorities must promptly, independently and impartially investigate all allegations of excessive and unnecessary use of force against demonstrators, which has resulted in dozens of people being killed and injured, arbitrary detentions, acts of torture and sexual violence, and reports of people disappearing. They must also respect freedom of expression and the press, and ensure that journalists can cover the news in safety,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    May 04, 2021

    African and other world leaders must urgently speak out and do more to stem the ferocious tide of human rights and international humanitarian law violations in the armed conflict that has now raged for six months in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Amnesty International said today.

    Since the fighting broke out on 4 November 2020, thousands of civilians have been killed, hundreds of thousands of people have been internally displaced within Tigray, and 63,000 refugees have fled to Sudan. Amnesty International and other organizations have documented a string of serious human rights violations that include war crimes and likely crimes against humanity. There are also numerous credible reports of women and girls being subjected to sexual violence, including gang rape by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers.

    April 30, 2021

    Responding to news that Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers have detained Ivan Pavlov, a human rights lawyer defending the Anti-Corruption Foundation founded by Aleksei Navalny, Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director, said: 

    “Lawyers are the last line of defence against the government’s growing crackdown on human rights, and now the authorities are going after one of the country’s most courageous lawyers. They accused him of disclosing information about cases they are arbitrarily treating as a state secret. This is a travesty of justice. The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Ivan Pavlov from arbitrary detention. 

    April 29, 2021

    Responding to the news that the Supreme Court of Appeal in Malawi has ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, said:

    “We welcome the judgement of the Supreme Court of Appeal declaring the death penalty unconstitutional in Malawi. This is a vital victory against the death penalty and strengthens the right to life in the country.

    The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and it has no place in this world. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life and an assault on human rights.

    While the news from Malawi is positive, the death penalty remains in place in the majority of countries across sub-Saharan Africa. Governments need to take action to ensure the region gets rid of the death penalty once and for all. 

    It’s time the death penalty was consigned to history. With partners around the world, Amnesty International will continue its global campaign against the death penalty until it is abolished completely everywhere.”

    April 28, 2021

    A Russian court will tomorrow deliver its verdict in the case against activist Andrei Borovikov, who faces three years in prison if convicted of “distributing pornography” for sharing a video by the German rock band Rammstein.  

    Andrei Borovikov was formerly the coordinator of Aleksei Navalny’s regional headquarters in Arkhangelsk, northwestern Russia. In 2014, he shared the music video for Rammstein’s song Pussy on the Russian social network VKontakte. More than six years later in September 2020, the authorities charged him with “production and distribution of pornography”. The prosecution has requested a three-year sentence in a high security penal colony if Andrei Borovikov is found guilty by the Lomonosovsky District Court.  

    “The case against Andrei Borovikov is utterly absurd. It is blatantly obvious that he is being punished solely for his activism, not his musical taste,” said Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director. 

    April 28, 2021

    Responding to the news that Moscow police have detained several activists and journalists identified using facial recognition technology as attendees of the peaceful rally in support of Aleksei Navalny on 21 April, Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director, said: 

    “This is a new and extremely disturbing turn of events. Never before have the police been able to cast their net so widely to identify and target peaceful protesters using facial recognition technology. The police detained not only those who had joined the protests but also at least three journalists who were simply reporting on the rally. 

    “Previously the protesters’ main risk was being beaten and arbitrarily detained by police at a rally. As of now, avoiding this fate does not mean that you can feel safe – the repressive state knows who you are and can come for you at any point. The risk of attempting to exercise your right to freedom of peaceful assembly has never been so high in Russia. 

    April 27, 2021

    Hundreds of Syrian refugees whose residency permits have been revoked by the Danish authorities could face torture, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention if forced back, said Amnesty International.

    At least 380 refugees, including children, have been informed by the Danish Immigration Service that they will have to return to Syria after Denmark deemed Damascus and its surrounding area safe for return. Their temporary protection status, and therefore residence permits, have been revoked. Many of them are still waiting for their case to be finally decided in appeal.

    Amnesty International understands that 39 people have received a final decision on their case and are at risk of being deported as soon as Denmark re-establishes diplomatic ties with the Syrian regime.

    “Having escaped a warzone, at least 39 refugees who have had their final decision, are now facing the stark prospect of ‘voluntarily’ returning to Syria or being taken to return centres to await deportation. The destiny of hundreds more is still unknown,” said Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Nils Muižnieks.

    April 26, 2021

    Responding to the news that the Moscow City Prosecutor’s Office has suspended the activities of Aleksei Navalny’s regional offices until the court rules whether they should be banned as “extremist” alongside two other organizations created by Navalny, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Director, said: 

    “The audacity and scale of this cynical attack are unprecedented, effectively suppressing the rights to freedom of expression and association of thousands. If and when the decision is taken to outlaw the targeted organizations, Navalny’s supporters, who are effectively the largest political opposition group in the country, could face criminal prosecution for any legitimate political activism or human rights work. 

    “Dozens of employees of Navalny's headquarters working across 34 Russian regions and hundreds of thousands of Internet users who have shared Navalny’s groups’ materials on social networks, are potential targets for severe reprisals.  

    April 23, 2021

    OTTAWA – Amnesty International is thrilled to announce the winners of the 26th annual Amnesty International Media Awards in Canada. These awards recognize outstanding human rights reporting by journalists in Canada and Canadian journalists abroad.

    April 22, 2021

    Today, on Earth Day, Amnesty International launched its “A Letter from the World” campaign to demand that Colombian authorities immediately take effective measures to guarantee the safety of environmental defender Jani Silva.

    Last year, as part of Amnesty’s global campaign Write for Rights, the planet’s largest human rights event, more than 415,363 people from dozens of countries around the world took action calling for the protection of Jani Silva, who is at risk of being killed for defending the Amazon and the rights of more than 1,200 people living in the Perla Amazonian Farming Reserve Area in Putumayo.

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