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    April 16, 2021

    Responding to reports that South Korean steel giant POSCO will end the steel venture its Myanmar subsidiary shares with military-owned conglomerate MEHL, Amnesty International’s Business and Human Rights Researcher Montse Ferrer said: 

    “POSCO’s decision to cut this tie is the latest blow to Myanmar’s military, which continues to impose its rule through murder and heinous human rights violations. Since staging a coup in February, the military has reportedly killed around 700 people, including dozens of children.  

    “Given the scale of POSCO’s operations in Myanmar, this announcement is a major step forward. It increases the military authorities’ isolation, and adds to the growing pressure on other companies to end their business links with MEHL.  

    April 16, 2021

    Responding to the sentencing of 10 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to between eight and 18 months in prison for taking part in two “unauthorized” protests in August 2019, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director Yamini Mishra said:

    “The wrongful prosecution, conviction and sentencing of these 10 activists underlines the Hong Kong government’s intention to eliminate all political opposition in the city.

    “Having arrested the majority of Hong Kong’s most prominent dissidents using the repressive national security law, the authorities are now mopping up remaining peaceful critics under the pretext of bogus charges related to the 2019 protests.

    “These convictions are a violation of international law, which states that participating in and organizing peaceful assemblies does not require prior permission by the state. Nor does failure to notify the authorities about an assembly make it unlawful to take part in it. The prosecution’s case against these activists is simply not tenable.

    April 15, 2021

    The Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International and The Canadian Council of Churches responded with disappointment to the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision overturning the lower court’s ruling that the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is unconstitutional.

    Although it allowed the government’s appeal, the Court pointed to potential shortcomings in the review process for the Safe Third Country Agreement. The evidence is overwhelming that the US is unsafe for many refugees – yet Canada’s review process has not led the government to revoke its  designation of the US as a safe third country. We call on the government to recognize that the US is not safe and suspend the Agreement.

    April 13, 2021

    Responding to the April 11 fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by a police officer in Minnesota, Kristina Roth, Senior Advocate for Criminal Justice Programs at Amnesty International USA, said: 

    “The Amnesty movement is saddened that yet another Black father, son and partner was taken from his family as a result of the actions of police. 

    “Daunte Wright was reportedly pulled over on the pretextual grounds of having expired registration and having an air freshener dangling from his rearview mirror, neither warranting what escalated into a fatal encounter. Last year Black and Latino Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario suffered a violent traffic stop in Windsor, Virginia. Officers claimed to have not seen his paper license plate on his new car in the rear window. These incidents speak to a common denominator and remind us of systemic failures of policing, resulting in disparate enforcement on people of color, particularly Black people. Plain and simple, armed law enforcement should be taken out of the equation of traffic enforcement.

    April 06, 2021
    Pandemic lays bare massive systemic inequality worldwide with ethnic minorities, health workers, and women among the most severely impacted Report finds COVID-19 weaponized by leaders to ramp up their assault on human rights New Secretary General Agnès Callamard calls for a re-think and reset of broken systems in order to genuinely build back better

    The global pandemic has exposed the terrible legacy of deliberately divisive and destructive policies that have perpetuated inequality, discrimination and oppression and paved the way for the devastation wrought by COVID-19, Amnesty International said in its annual report published today.

    Amnesty International Report 2020/21: The State of the World’s Human Rights covers 149 countries and delivers a comprehensive analysis of human rights trends globally in 2020.

    March 30, 2021

    Responding to reports that at least 91 people, including a five-year-old boy, were killed by Myanmar security forces across the country on 27 March in its ongoing brutal crackdown on protesters, Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said: 

    “This is just the latest example of the military authorities’ determination to kill their way out of nationwide resistance to the coup. These abhorrent killings again show the generals’ brazen disregard for the inadequate pressure applied so far by the international community.

    “This comes a day after the military announced that further protests would be met with shots to the head. 

    “The cost of international inaction is being counted in bodies, including children shot dead in their homes. Amid the horrifying death toll is a nation of over 50 million held hostage, subjected to arbitrary arrest and sweeping surveillance, living in fear of death and torture.  

    March 29, 2021

    Amnesty International announced today the appointment of Dr. Agnès Callamard, a leading international human rights expert, as its new Secretary General, effective immediately. 

    Dr. Callamard joins the world’s largest non-governmental human rights organization, having recently been the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. In that role, she led ground-breaking investigations including into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    As Secretary General, Dr. Callamard will be the Chief Executive of Amnesty’s International Secretariat and the principal spokesperson of the global Amnesty movement, which has some 10 million supporters, and offices in more than 70 countries.

    March 25, 2021

    Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 25 March 2021 :

    Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada on the Government of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA) confirms the constitutionality of the federal carbon pricing backstop. 

    March 25, 2021

    Governments across Latin America and the Caribbean must prioritize high risk groups for COVID-19 vaccination and ensure complete transparency in the design and implementation of their vaccination plans and their dealings with pharmaceutical companies, said Amnesty International in a new report released today. Vaccines in the Americas: Ten Human Rights Musts to ensure health for all examines the vaccination rollout in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and outlines 10 key recommendations for governments and companies.

    “The commencement of vaccination against COVID-19 has brought hope to a region that was already experiencing multiple human rights crises, many of which have since been exacerbated by the pandemic. A year on from the beginning of lockdowns in Latin America and the Caribbean, governments must use vaccination as an opportunity to bridge inequalities, not widen them,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    March 24, 2021

    Responding to the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption, today, of a resolution calling for equitable, affordable, timely and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines, Amnesty International’s Health Advisor, Tamaryn Nelson, said:

    “This resolution is yet another urgent reminder that vaccine access is a basic human right that every single person is entitled to. The resolution rightly calls for increased international cooperation, and expresses serious concern over the global disparity in access to COVID-19 vaccines. It emphasizes the urgent need for states to fulfil the right to health and the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, which includes access to vaccines.

    “States must cooperate to ensure vaccines are developed and manufactured in sufficient supply, and distributed in a timely and equitable manner around the globe. Businesses, especially the pharmaceutical industry, must live up to their human rights responsibilities and make every effort to ensure that vaccines are affordable and accessible to the maximum number of people worldwide.

    March 24, 2021

    Statements made by the Belarusian authorities ahead of demonstrations planned for 25 March (Freedom Day) raise serious concerns that the police response will yet again be marked by severe violence, Amnesty International said today, as it called for international action to protect the rights of peaceful protesters. 

    As many journalists who document police crackdowns in Belarus have been imprisoned, Amnesty International is calling on diplomatic representatives in the country to monitor the protests and live-stream events, using their diplomatic immunity to expose expected police violence. The organization also calls on all businesses operating in Belarus to conduct urgent human rights due diligence to ensure they do not cause or contribute to human rights violations in the country. 

    March 24, 2021

    Responding to the adoption of a resolution on Myanmar by consensus at the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International’s Representative to the UN in Geneva, Hilary Power, said: 

    “Speaking with one voice today, the UN Human Rights Council has sent a clear and unequivocal message to the Myanmar military that they must halt their violations, and to businesses with ties to military-owned companies in Myanmar that they must end those partnerships immediately. 

    “UN member states have tasked the UN human rights office to investigate the economic interests and business ties of the Myanmar military, and report back to the Human Rights Council with a comprehensive report and recommendations.  

    “Now it remains for the UN Security Council to move beyond statements of concern, and take the long-overdue action needed to halt violations and hold perpetrators to account.  

    March 22, 2021

    Responding to a statement by the Turkish government justifying their proposal to pull out of a convention to combat and prevent domestic violence against women by claiming it is being used to ‘normalize homosexuality’ which is ‘incompatible with Turkey’s social and family values’, Amnesty International’s Senior Europe Adviser, Esther Major, said:

    “The spurious and dangerous rationale put forward by the Turkish authorities for withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention by attempting to connect this appalling decision with LGBTI community adds insult to injury.

    “Rather than attacking LGBTI people and withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention, the government should instead re-double efforts to ensure LGBTI people, women and children are protected from violence and abuse. This treaty is more important now than ever with COVID-19 measures, such as lockdowns, leading to a spike in reports of violence against women and girls.

    March 22, 2021

    One year after enacting a measure to ban refugee claimants from crossing into Canada from the US in response to COVID-19, Amnesty International is disappointed that Canada continues to violate its international legal obligations by successively renewing anti-refugee measures. Canada’s Order in Council adopting the measure is contrary to the international obligation of non-refoulement, which prohibits states from transferring individuals to a place where they would be at real risk of serious human rights violations.

    On March 20, 2020, Canada adopted a general ban on entering Canada from the United States for the purpose of seeking asylum. The federal government subsequently introduced some limited exceptions to the general ban, including for US citizens, stateless persons and minor refugee claimants. In October 2020, Canada opened the border to broad categories of citizens, permanent residents, students, workers, and professional athletes, but continued to exclude refugee claimants entering from the US – a policy that remains in place to date.

    March 12, 2021

    Responding to the calls by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on the Turkish government to implement binding European Court of Human Rights judgments and release human rights defender, Osman Kavala and politician Selahattin Demirtaş, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Nils Muižnieks said:

    “Osman Kavala and Selahattin Demirtaş have been arbitrarily and unjustly deprived of their liberty for years, despite the binding Court decisions that they be released.

    “Their continued detention makes a mockery of President Erdoğan’s government’s attempts to whitewash systemic human rights abuses by unveiling a meaningless Human Rights Action Plan last week.

    “This action plan and Turkey’s generic platitudes cannot hide the reality: the ongoing imprisonment of these two men, and scores of others, for simply exercising their rights shows that in Turkey, freedom of expression is ruthlessly punished.

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