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    May 17, 2019

    A contemptible amendment to Iran’s code of criminal procedure could effectively strip detainees who are facing punishments such as the death penalty, life imprisonment and amputation, of the right to access a lawyer while they are under investigation, said Amnesty International.

    An analysis of the bill published by the organization today details how, if passed, the amended law would permit the prosecution to immediately deprive individuals arrested on “national security” and certain other serious criminal charges of access to a lawyer for 20 days, which could be extended to cover the whole investigation phase. In Iran, those charged with “national security” offences include human rights defenders, journalists and political dissidents targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights.

    May 17, 2019

    The first known death of a child detained by Mexican migration authorities under the current presidential administration is a sickening tragedy that demands answers from a government that promised to be more humane to migrants and refugees, said Amnesty International today.

    “At a time when children are dying in United States migration custody on the other side of the border, President López Obrador’s government is overseeing a crackdown on migrants and refugees that is resulting in the careless treatment of human lives. This suggests an alarming parallel with the current approach of the Trump government,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    On 16 May, Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) announced that a 10-year-old Guatemalan girl died in hospital, where she was transferred after arriving at Mexico City’s migration detention centre in the company of her mother two days earlier, complaining of a sore throat. INM had brought her back from the northern border state of Chihuahua via bus, a trip of nearly 20 hours.

    May 10, 2019

    Reacting to the news that a Pride march organized by students at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara has been violently broken up by police and 25 students arrested, Fotis Filippou, Campaigns Director for Europe at Amnesty International, said:

    “It is heartbreaking to hear that today’s Pride march, which should have been a celebration of love and solidarity, was so violently broken up by police using pepper spray, plastic bullets and tear gas, and that at least 25 people have reportedly been unlawfully detained. Reports of excessive use of force by the police must be urgently investigated.”

    “Amnesty International condemns the police intervention to break up this celebration of pride on the METU campus today. It is a dark day when university authorities call the police to silence students who are simply demanding their rights to dignity and equality.

    All those detained by police must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

    May 07, 2019
    Illegal land seizures and logging on the rise in Indigenous territories in Brazil’s Amazon  Recent reductions in government monitoring aggravate the risk of conflict Looming dry season set to intensify pressure on traditional lands 

    There is an imminent risk of violent clashes in Brazil’s Amazon region unless the government protects Indigenous peoples’ traditional lands from increasing illegal land seizures and logging by armed intruders, Amnesty International warned today.

    Amnesty International recently visited three different Indigenous territories in northern Brazil where illegal intruders had begun or expanded efforts to seize land and/or cut down trees. Indigenous leaders told the organization that they had received death threats for defending their traditional lands. They also fear new intrusions in the dry season (May/June to October/November) when easier physical access to forests facilitates clearance and burning.

    May 02, 2019

    At least four people have been killed, more than 200 injured and 205 arrested during state repression of protests across Venezuela since 30 April, Amnesty International has confirmed.

    “The security forces under the command of Nicolás Maduro and the armed civilian groups that support him insist on repressing the protests by people demanding a way out of the serious political and human rights crisis that has plagued the country for several years,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The crimes under international law that they are committing add further weight to the already bulging dossier to be investigated under international justice systems. Maduro must put an immediate end to his policy of repression.”

    Amnesty International has been documenting the grave human rights violations and crimes under international law that have taken place in Venezuela since the crisis worsened in January 2019. The organization has documented extrajudicial executions, unlawful use of lethal force, arbitrary mass arrests and ill-treatment of people who speak out against Maduro’s government.

    April 09, 2019

    In response to the “follow-up” meeting between the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu and the Minister of Police Bheki Cele with Heads of the Diplomatic Missions represented in South Africa “to find a lasting solution” to xenophobic attacks in the country, Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa, said:

    criminal justice failures and populist rhetoric are some of the reasons behind the latest round of xenophobic violence against refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in South Africa.

    “For many years, South African authorities have largely failed to address past outbreaks of xenophobic crimes that have been seen in the country since at least 2008, including bringing those suspected to be responsible to justice.

    “Political leaders must stop making discriminatory and inflammatory remarks about migrants and foreign nationals especially during their election campaigns ahead of the polls.

    March 26, 2019

    Responding to reports that at least seven people were injured after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

    “Amnesty International condemns the rocket attack from Gaza that hit a home in central Israel wounding Israeli civilians.

    “Attacks on civilians, and indiscriminate attacks, are never justified and a serious violation of international humanitarian law. The threats from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond with further military action are also deeply worrying.

    “Israel has repeatedly displayed a chilling disregard for civilian life and carried out wide-scale deadly attacks in densely-populated civilian areas of Gaza in violation of international humanitarian law.

    “There must be no repeat of the unlawful attacks that killed and injured thousands of civilians in Gaza, destroyed homes and devastated infrastructure during conflicts in previous years.

    “We are calling on Hamas, Israel and all parties involved in the conflict to respect international humanitarian law.”

    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.”

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