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Media advisories

    January 25, 2019

    WASHINGTON, DC – Amnesty International and the National Immigrant Justice Center are sending an international delegation of senior leadership to monitor the impact of US policy on asylum seekers and migrants traveling to the US-Mexico border. The delegation will be traveling from January 27 to 31. They will be meeting with Mexican and US authorities, documenting conditions at shelters in Tijuana for families and individuals whom the US had denied access to asylum protections, and meeting with non-governmental organizations directly working with asylum-seekers and migrants in El Paso.

    The delegation includes ; Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada ; Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA; Tania Reneaum, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico; Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland; Philippe Hensmans, director of Amnesty International Belgium; and John Peder Egenes, head of Amnesty International Norway. They will be joined by Mary Meg MacCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center.

    January 18, 2019
    Spokesperson available on the ground

    Ahead of tomorrow’s early release of Ahmed H, a Syrian man who was unfairly jailed for “complicity in an act of terror” during clashes with police at the Serbia-Hungary border in September 2015, Eda Seyhan, Amnesty International’s Europe Counter Terrorism Campaigner, said:

    “After spending three-and-a-half years behind bars, Ahmed will finally be reunited with his wife and two young daughters. His release is an overwhelming relief for the family, but the fact is he should never have been prosecuted, let alone convicted, for this offence in the first place.

    “The absurd charges against Ahmed were emblematic of the systematic scapegoating of refugees and migrants, and those seeking to defend them. His prosecution was a potent symbol of Prime Minister Orbán’s ‘illiberal democracy’. It had nothing to do with justice but was instead part of the Hungarian government’s draconian crackdown on human rights.  

    December 18, 2018

    States who have adopted the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) must honour their word and take immediate action to protect the human rights of migrants, Amnesty International said on International Migrants Day.

    The GCM, a global agreement to promote safe, orderly and regular migration, will be formally endorsed at the UN General Assembly tomorrow. Amnesty International made a number of recommendations to the draft text.

    “The Global Compact for Migration is a welcome step towards improving the way the international community responds to migration and, if properly implemented, it will ensure the rights of migrants are respected and protected. The adoption of the GCM shows that it is still possible for countries to cooperate to protect human rights,” said Perseo Quiroz, Senior Advocate for the Americas at Amnesty International.

    August 10, 2018

    In a memorandum delivered to President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador yesterday, Amnesty International presented findings and concerns regarding the human rights situation in Mexico, together with a series of specific recommendations, with the aim of contributing to the new government’s plans and actions to resolve the human rights crisis facing the country.

    “Mexico and the world are waiting to see whether this new government will take on the challenge of ending the severe human rights crisis in the country,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The change that Mexico needs requires the president-elect and his team to prioritise the human rights agenda in government decisions and to review the public policies and legislation that today pose a threat to the rights of all individuals.”

    June 06, 2018

    Today Amnesty International sent an open letter to the presidential candidates in Colombia’s run-off election to express its main concerns regarding human rights in the country and urge the candidates to strengthen their commitment to this issue.

    The organization believes that the country is at a historic juncture and that the next government's commitment to guaranteeing the rights of segments of the population that have historically been affected by violence and ensuring the sustainability of the process of building lasting peace will be crucial.

    Amnesty International considers it essential for the two remaining candidates in the 17 June elections to commit to: guaranteeing the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and Afro-Colombian communities; protecting human rights defenders; guaranteeing the rights of victims of the armed conflict to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition; and ensuring that the state as a whole dismantles any paramilitary structures that still exist despite the demobilization processes that began in 2005.

    May 04, 2018

    The Russian authorities must end violent crackdown on opposition protests scheduled for Saturday ahead of the fourth inauguration of Vladimir Putin as the President of the Russian Federation, Amnesty International said.

    Authorities in Moscow and more than 30 other cities across Russia have refused to permit demonstrations by supporters of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny planned for 5 May, two days before the inauguration.

    “The Russian authorities must learn from their past mistakes, when the repeated refusal to grant permission to hold protest rallies has been a patent violation of human rights,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International.

    “Similarly, the subsequent violent crackdowns by the police on peaceful demonstrations over the past year – in which hundreds of people have been arbitrarily detained – have shown the persistent failure by the authorities to respect and protect the rights to peaceful assembly and personal liberty.

    April 26, 2018

    On Thursday 26 April, Amnesty International raised a billboard at the San Ysidro Port of Entry (POE) on the US–Mexico border in Tijuana, with a message reminding US and Mexican authorities of their obligations to facilitate asylum claims and to respect the universal human right of all people to seek asylum in other countries. 

    The billboard also invites asylum seekers to report to Amnesty International if authorities turn them away or otherwise violate their human right to seek asylum.

    As hundreds of people who have traveled in caravan from Central America prepare to claim asylum over the weekend at the San Ysidro POE, an Amnesty International delegation will be on the ground to monitor the conduct of authorities in the reception and facilitation of their asylum claims. 

    April 19, 2018

    The Senegalese authorities must protect the right to peaceful protest and ensure the security forces refrain from using excessive force as anti-government demonstrations are planned today in the capital Dakar, Amnesty International said.

    Activists and opposition parties are due to hold a demonstration outside Parliament against proposed changes to the Electoral Code and Constitution that, if passed, would require all candidates standing in next year’s presidential election to collect the signatures of one per cent of the registered voters in seven regions of the country before being validated. The authorities announced that the protest had been unauthorized on several grounds including a 2011 decree banning all assemblies in the city centre areas.

    “Peaceful opposition protests in Senegal have previously been arbitrarily banned and met with unnecessary, excessive force by the police.

    The authorities must remember that peaceful protest and freedom of expression are human rights that must be respected,” said François Patuel, Amnesty International West Africa researcher. 

    April 13, 2018

    Regional leaders must prioritize the protection of human rights in their final declaration at the VIII Summit of the Americas and take immediate action to fulfil that commitment in their respective countries, Amnesty International said ahead of the summit in Lima, Peru, tomorrow.

    “From the discriminatory polices pushed by the Donald Trump administration to the violent repression of demonstrations in Honduras and Venezuela, the Americas has suffered an alarming pushback against human rights in the last years,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    “Confronted by the growing demonization of communities at risk and human rights defenders, regional leaders must take urgent action to protect the human rights of everyone. Failure to do so at this critical moment would put millions of lives in grave danger.”

    January 29, 2018

    More than one million people from 194 countries have demanded the release of Amnesty International’s Turkey Chair, Taner Kılıç and the dropping of charges against him and 10 other human rights defenders as their trial resumes in Istanbul on 31 January.

    The 11 face trumped up “terrorism” charges in what can only be described as a politically motivated prosecution aimed at silencing critical voices within Turkey. If convicted they could face jail terms of up to 15 years.

    “With overwhelming evidence of his innocence and none of any wrongdoing Taner’s release is long overdue. The fact that he has spent almost eight months behind bars speaks volumes about Turkey’s flawed justice system and the government’s ruthless pursuit of those who stand up for human rights,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe.

    “Today’s hearing offers yet another opportunity to end this glaring miscarriage of justice allowing this principled and passionate human rights defender to return to his family and resume his vital work. The court must acquit Taner and the other 10 human rights defenders and end this farce once and for all.”

    January 09, 2018

    The Myanmar authorities must immediately release two journalists from the Reuters news agency who have been arbitrarily detained for investigating military abuses in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Amnesty International said.

    The two journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, are due in court tomorrow. They had been investigating the recent military operations in Rakhine State when they were arrested on 12 December 2017.

    “Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo must be immediately and unconditionally released. They have done absolutely nothing but carrying out their legitimate work as journalists. This is clearly an attempt by the authorities to silence investigations into military violations and crimes against Rohingya in Rakhine State, and to scare other journalists away from doing the same,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

    December 11, 2017

    New virtual reality film Forced to Flee drives home dire situation of Rohingya refugees

    October 31, 2017

    As Horgan Government Weighs Fate of the Megaproject, Treaty 8 Indigenous First Nations, Human Rights and Environmental Groups Bring a Message That Canadians and the World Expect BC to Keep Its Promise to Uphold Indigenous Rights

    At 1:00 p.m. on November 2nd, representatives from Treaty 8 First Nations, human rights and environmental groups will present a literal “boat load” of petitions, postcards and solidarity messages urging the Provincial Government to protect the Peace River Valley. Across the country, more than 120,000 people have called for a halt to construction of the Site C dam. Their voices are joined by tens of thousands of solidarity messages from around the world.

    The megaproject would flood more 100 km stretch of the Peace River Valley and its tributaries. If construction proceeds, Treaty 8 First Nations would lose hunting grounds, burial sites and other areas vitally significant to their culture, heritage and sustenance.

    October 06, 2017

    Southeast Asian leaders must take urgent steps to address grave human rights violations against the Rohingya in Myanmar, Amnesty International said in a letter sent to the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today.

    The letter, signed by directors of 13 Amnesty International offices across the Asia-Pacific region, called for an emergency ASEAN summit to deal with the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.

    “ASEAN is failing to take a stand as one of its member states carries out a violent campaign of ethnic cleansing,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

    “Governments in the region must uphold the commitments to human rights enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, commitments which Myanmar’s military is showing clear contempt for as they perpetrate crimes against humanity against the Rohingya.”

    Since a Rohingya armed group attacked dozens of security force posts on 25 August 2017, Myanmar has engaged in an unlawful and brutal campaign of violence against the Rohingya.

    August 21, 2017

    Ahead of a planned resumption of executions in Florida on 24 August, 18 months after the last one, Amnesty International is issuing a paper on recent developments relating to the death penalty in the US state.

    “Death in Florida” outlines the state’s response to the January 2016 US Supreme Court decision that Florida’s capital sentencing law was unconstitutional, and the governor’s reaction to a prosecutor’s subsequent decision to reject the death penalty.

    When State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced that she would not seek the death penalty due to its demonstrable flaws, Governor Scott immediately responded by ordering her replacement with a different prosecutor more willing to engage in this lethal pursuit. So far the Governor has transferred 26 cases to his preferred prosecutor.

    Racial discrimination was one of the death penalty’s flaws – along with its costs, risks and failure as a deterrent – cited by State Attorney Ayala, the first African American to be elected to that position in Florida.

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