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    March 21, 2019

    Reliable reports that independent journalist and former prisoner of conscience Truong Duy Nhat is being detained in Viet Nam raise major questions about his safety and the circumstances of his disappearance in Thailand in late January, Amnesty International said today.

    “It has been nearly two months since Truong Duy Nhat disappeared from a Bangkok shopping centre, shortly after submitting an asylum claim and following growing harassment by Vietnamese police. Reports that Nhat is now in a Hanoi prison are extremely worrying, and we are calling on the Vietnamese authorities to confirm whether he is in their custody and disclose his whereabouts at once,” said Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Adviser.

    March 21, 2019

    Responding to the decision by the Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanisms for Criminal Tribunals to increase Radovan Karadžić’s sentence to life imprisonment for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, Amnesty International’s Europe Deputy Director, Massimo Moratti, said:

    “Today’s decision, upholding Radovan Karadžić’s conviction on genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, sends out a powerful message to the world. There can no longer be a shred of doubt that he is guilty of the most serious crimes under international law carried out on European soil since the Second World War.

    “This verdict demonstrates that war criminals cannot hide from justice and that impunity will not be tolerated. It also offers a measure of justice for Karadžić’s victims, who have waited more than 24 years for this day.

    March 20, 2019
    Amnesty International delegation to attend trial of organization’s Turkey honorary chair, Taner Kılıç, and the Istanbul 10, including former Amnesty Turkey director Idil Eser 

    Almost two years after they were first arrested, two prominent figures from Amnesty International Turkey and nine other human rights defenders must be acquitted of the absurd charges they still face, said Amnesty International ahead of their trial which resumes tomorrow in Istanbul. 

    Taner Kılıç, Amnesty Turkey’s Honorary Chair, and İdil Eser, the organization’s former Turkey Director, are being tried alongside nine other activists on baseless allegations of “membership of a terrorist organisation”.  

    March 12, 2019

    President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government took some steps to improve the human rights situation in Mexico during the first 100 days of his administration but has yet to take the kind of emphatic action that would convince the country of his commitment to change, said Amnesty International today.

    “Mexico has a long and disturbing history of human rights violations. In recent years, the country has descended into a serious crisis. After decades of struggle by human rights organizations and victims’ groups, it would be a tragedy to miss this opportunity to change the country’s direction,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “President López Obrador must acknowledge and prioritize the major human rights challenges facing the country. Now is the time to take concrete action to achieve genuine change. Recognition of the work done by human rights defenders and organizations, as well as support for them, must be a priority for the president.”

    February 22, 2019

    Drop Politically Motivated Charges against Leila de Lima

    (Manila, February 22, 2019) -- The Philippine government should drop the politically-motivated charges against Senator Leila de Lima, a prominent critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s abusive “war on drugs,” Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and FORUM-ASIA said today. De Lima has been arbitrarily detained inside the headquarters of the Philippine National Police since February 24, 2017, in violation of her constitutional rights as a sitting senator and in contravention of international human rights law.

    The arbitrary detention and mistreatment of Senator de Lima is emblematic of the deteriorating situation for all human rights defenders in the Philippines, the organizations said.

    February 19, 2019

    In response to reports of several deaths during recent days in the context of anti-corruption protests that began earlier this month in Haiti, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

    “The situation in Haiti is a recipe for disaster, with a stream of reported fatalities during the ongoing protests, hospitals running out of supplies, and people unable to access essential services in the poorest country in the Americas.”

    “The Haitian authorities must not only ensure that people are able to peacefully protest and guarantee the life and physical integrity of those who choose to demonstrate, but also give full consideration to the grievances sparking the protests and meaningfully address the underlying causes of the political and economic crisis.”

    Since 2018, Haiti has seen regular protests demanding transparency in relation to the use of Petrocaribe funds. According to the World Bank, Haiti remains the poorest country in the Americas, with 59% of the population living below the national poverty line, and 24% below the national extreme poverty line.

    February 19, 2019

    Individuals born with sex characteristics that vary from female or male “norms” face barriers to accessing appropriate healthcare, risking lifelong physical and psychological damage, Amnesty International said today. In a new report, “No Shame in Diversity”, the organization uses case studies in Iceland to show how the lack of rights-based healthcare protocols mean that people born with variations of sex characteristics – who sometimes describe themselves as ‘intersex’ - face stigma and discrimination and are often subjected to harmful surgery. 

    A Bill that could help stop this – the Bill on Act on Sexual and Gender Autonomy – is expected to come before the Icelandic Parliament at the end of February but it lacks essential protections for children. In particular, it includes no provisions to end “normalising” non-emergency, invasive and irreversible surgeries on children born with variations of sex characteristics.

    December 31, 2018

    Responding to the news that Bahrain’s Court of Cassation has upheld the conviction of Nabeel Rajab, one of Bahrain’s most prominent human rights defenders, based on views he expressed on Twitter, Lynn Maalouf Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said:

    “Today’s shameful verdict is a travesty of justice. The decision to uphold Nabeel Rajab’s conviction and five-year sentence simply for posting tweets expressing his opinions, exposes Bahrain’s justice system as a complete farce. His treatment by the Bahraini authorities is completely unacceptable. 

    “Nabeel Rajab is a prisoner of conscience. It is utterly outrageous that he has already spent two years behind bars – including nine agonizing months in solitary confinement, amounting to torture. Instead of prolonging his suffering and condemning him to several more years in prison the Bahraini authorities should quash his conviction and sentence and release him immediately and unconditionally.”

    Background:

    December 05, 2018

    Colombia’s Constitutional Court must urgently analyze the recent sentence delivered by a local judge in Apartadó against Germán Graciano Posso, the legal representative of the San José de Apartadó Peace Community, and must above all guarantee the rights of victims of grave human rights violations, Amnesty International said today.

    Germán Graciano, a renowned human rights defender, is facing charges brought by the Colombian army’s 17th Brigade. The charges were brought against him because he has denounced both nationally and internationally the presence of paramilitary groups in his community’s territory as well as the inaction of the Colombian state, which has neither investigated effectively nor taken adequate measures to protect his community.

    November 06, 2018
    High level delegation to attend trial of Amnesty’s Turkey chair, Taner Kılıç, and the Istanbul 10 

    Almost a year-and-a-half after they were first arrested, and still facing absurd charges, Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair, former Director and nine other human rights defenders must be acquitted, said Amnesty International as their trial resumes tomorrow in Istanbul. 

    Taner Kılıç, Amnesty Turkey’s Honorary Chair, and İdil Eser, the organisation’s former Turkey Director, are being tried alongside nine other human rights defenders on baseless allegations of ‘membership of a terrorist organisation’.  

    September 24, 2018

    Responding to news that the Panama Maritime Authority revoked the registration of the search and rescue ship, Aquarius, operated by SOS Mediterranée and Médecins Sans Frontières, reportedly after pressure from the Italian government, Elisa di Pieri Amnesty International’s Europe Researcher said:

    “After closing its ports and seizing NGO ships, it now appears that Italian authorities have resorted to even more underhand tactics to curtail the life-saving work of NGO search and rescue ships in the central Mediterranean.

    “If it is confirmed that Panama’s decision to revoke the registration of the Aquarius was made as a result of pressure brought to bear by the Italian government, this would be a new low in Italy’s crackdown against those saving lives at sea.

    “The Aquarius has reportedly rescued more than 30,000 people over a period of more than two years. Deliberately depleting resources for saving lives in the central Mediterranean will expose thousands of people to the risk of a watery grave.

    September 12, 2018

    Amnesty International today condemned the Ontario government’s tabling of legislation, Bill 31, The Efficient Local Government Act, which invokes the “notwithstanding clause” in section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    “No government in Canada should take the contemptuous step of disregard for the Charter of Rights that the notwithstanding clause offers them,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. “To do so in a case involving the fundamental freedom of expression in a context in which core principles around elections and the underpinnings of our democracy are at stake is particularly disgraceful. This invocation of section 33 by Premier Ford’s government should be withdrawn immediately. Questions about the interpretation and application of the Charter should be pursued through appeals and left to judges to determine.”

    August 17, 2018

    In response to reports indicating that some 3,600 Indigenous people from 14 communities find themselves trapped in the middle of clashes between armed groups in the department of Chocó, in northwestern Colombia, which could lead to mass displacement, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “This is not the first mass forced displacement in Colombia this year which has specifically affected Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendant communities in Chocó. This is a crime under international law and one of the most serious human rights violations in the context of the armed conflict still taking place in the region”.

    “Food shortages, lack of access to basic services and the escalation of the violence leave the affected communities in a state of vulnerability with an unacceptable lack of protection. The national, departmental and municipal authorities must take immediate and comprehensive action to guarantee their human rights in the face of this situation”.

    August 16, 2018

    Amnesty’s first ever South African Secretary General sets out his vision for the direction of the world’s largest human rights organisation as he starts his tenure visiting Johannesburg

    The human rights movement needs to be bigger, bolder and more inclusive if it is to tackle the challenges that people face today, said seasoned activist Kumi Naidoo as he officially started his role as Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    “Our world is facing complex problems that can only be tackled if we break away from old ideas that human rights are about some forms of injustice that people face, but not others. The patterns of oppression that we’re living through are interconnected,” said Kumi Naidoo.

    “You cannot talk about the climate change crisis without recognising that it is also an inequality and race issue; you can’t address sexual discrimination without recognising that it is bound up in the economic exclusion of women; and you can’t ignore the fact that people’s civil and political rights are often suppressed exactly when they are trying to demand basic economic justice.” 

    August 16, 2018

    Yemen’s Huthi armed group must reveal the fate and whereabouts of an activist abducted by two of its militants in apparent retaliation for his human rights work, Amnesty International said.

    Kamal al-Shawish, a field research assistant with Mwatana Organization for Human Rights in the city of Hodeidah, was seized on the street by two Huthi armed men on Tuesday. He was blindfolded and taken to an unknown location. His whereabouts remain unknown.

    The activist had documented human rights violations against civilians in Hodeidah prior to his arrest.

    “The worrying abduction of Kamal al-Shawish seems to be part of a sinister pattern of harassment and repression of human rights work in Yemen, committed by all sides to the conflict,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Research for the Middle East and North Africa.

    “The Huthi armed group must reveal his fate and whereabouts and ensure he is protected from the kind of torture and ill-treatment that has been inflicted on others in its custody. Kamal al-Shawish should be released immediately.”

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