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    July 08, 2019
    Extrajudicial executions by police remain rampant Scale of abuses reaches the threshold of crimes against humanity

    The wave of police killings triggered by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous anti-drugs campaign continues to rage on, destroying lives and devastating communities, a report by Amnesty International reveals today. The UN must immediately open an investigation into gross human rights violations and possible crimes against humanity committed as part of the “war on drugs.”

    The new report, ‘They just kill’: Ongoing extrajudicial executions and other violations in the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs,’ shows police operating with total impunity as they murder people from poor neighbourhoods whose names appear on manufactured “drug watch lists” established outside of any legal process.

    July 05, 2019

    The government of President Juan Orlando Hernández has embarked on a policy of repression against those who protest in the streets to demand his resignation and accountability for the actions of authorities. The use of military forces to control demonstrations across the country has had a deeply concerning toll on human rights, said Amnesty International upon presenting the findings of a field investigation. 

    “President Juan Orlando Hernández’s (JOH) message is very clear: shouting ‘JOH out’ and demanding change can be very costly. At least six people have died in the context of protests and dozens have been injured, many of them by firearms fired by security forces since the beginning of this wave of demonstrations,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International. 

    July 03, 2019

    The International Criminal Court must order an urgent investigation into an abhorrent attack on the Tajoura immigration detention centre in eastern Tripoli, Libya, in which at least 40 refugees and migrants were killed and more than 80 injured, said Amnesty International.

    “This deadly attack which struck a detention centre where at least 600 refugees and migrants were trapped in detention with no means of escape, and whose location was known to all warring parties, must be independently investigated as a war crime. The International Criminal Court should immediately investigate the possibility that this was a direct attack on civilians,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    July 02, 2019

    The Egyptian authorities are attempting to normalize human rights violations by passing a series of laws to “legalize” their escalating crackdown on freedom of expression, association and assembly, said Amnesty International, six years since recently deceased former President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power on 3 July 2013.

    The organization has today published a damning overview of human rights in Egypt since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s ascent to power, which has been submitted to the UN Human Rights Council ahead of Egypt’s upcoming periodic review of its human rights record in November.

    July 02, 2019

    Since 2018, the US government has conducted an unlawful and discriminatory campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment, and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the US–Mexico border, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.

    ‘Saving lives is not a crime’: Politically motivated legal harassment of migrant human rights defenders by the USA reveals how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have increasingly misused the criminal justice system to deter activists, lawyers, journalists, and humanitarian volunteers from challenging – or simply documenting – the systematic human rights violations that US authorities have committed against migrants and asylum seekers.

    June 27, 2019

    Spiked batons, stun belts and leg irons are among the gruesome tools of torture which should be banned outright, Amnesty International said today, ahead of a crucial vote on a torture trade resolution at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on June 28th.

    “Every year governments attend and host international trade fairs where they can browse stalls selling horrifying torture devices - this secretive trade has gone unregulated for far too long. Torturers around the world have benefited from loose regulations which allow them to access all the latest technologies in inflicting pain and fear,” said Ara Marcen Naval, Deputy Director for Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International.

    Adopting the resolution would be a first step towards creating international laws to ban the trade in equipment which has no other purpose than torture. It would also be a chance to tighten regulations on equipment like batons and tear gas, which are regularly misused to crush peaceful protests. 

    June 27, 2019

    Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena must immediately halt his plans to execute four prisoners, Amnesty International said today.

    Amnesty International is shocked by President Sirisena’s announcement that he has signed the execution warrants of four death row prisoners convicted of drug-related crimes, and that they will be hanged in “the near future.”

    While the President has confirmed signing the death warrants, no names have been revealed and no details have been shared about any scheduled executions or information on the cases. The lack of transparency makes it impossible to ascertain whether these prisoners have exhausted clemency appeals or if all safeguards were followed in their conviction or sentencing. There is also no confirmation that the four prisoners, or their families, have been alerted to their imminent execution.

    The executions would be the first time Sri Lanka has implemented the death penalty since 1976.

    June 25, 2019

    Amnesty International has joined a legal case brought by two non-governmental organizations, Equality Now and WAVES, to challenge the Sierra Leonean government’s ban on pregnant girls attending mainstream schools and sitting exams, the organization said today.

    The announcement was made ahead of a hearing at the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice on 27 June 2019, where the case was initially filed in May 2018.

    “We at Amnesty International believe this ban clearly conflicts with the right to education without discrimination, according to international and regional standards,” said Lucy Claridge, Director of Strategic Litigation at Amnesty International.

    “Courts from South Africa, Zimbabwe to Colombia have already found that such bans violate the rights of women and girls to be treated equally and to receive education. This case represents the first time that a regional court in Africa has considered the issue. It therefore has the potential to impact the situation of pregnant girls outside of Sierra Leone and even beyond the ECOWAS community.”

    June 25, 2019

    Sri Lanka’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, must immediately halt his plans to resume executions for at least 13 prisoners convicted of drug-related crimes, Amnesty International said today.

    Amnesty International is alarmed to learn from media reports that preparations are underway to execute death row prisoners as part of the so-called National Drug Eradication Week, from June 21 – July 1, 2019. The executions would be the first time Sri Lanka has implemented the death penalty since 1976.

    “We are dismayed by these reports that will see Sri Lanka surrender its positive record on the death penalty. Executions will not rid Sri Lanka of drug-related crime. They represent the failure to build a humane society where the protection of life is valued. The last thing that Sri Lanka needs right now is more death in the name of vengeance,” said Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International.

    June 25, 2019

    El Salvador’s new government must promote and implement transformative human rights changes that fulfill the nation’s international commitments, said Amnesty International today in a meeting with President Nayib Bukele, who repeatedly vowed to respect human rights.

    “We met with President Nayib Bukele to express to him our concerns about the grave human rights situation in El Salvador. We hope that his government will address these great challenges with determination and adopt without delay the changes the country needs to make human rights a reality,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    June 19, 2019

    AI USA Release

    Ten candidates in the 2020 presidential race – including the president– responded to  a questionnaire on human rights issues provided by Amnesty International USA. The candidates submitted responses on a range of domestic and international human rights issues including refugees and asylum-seekers, gun violence, lethal force by police, arms sales, LGBTI equality, women’s rights, free expression, and national security.

    June 17, 2019

    Responding to the news that Murtaja Qureiris, the young man from Saudi Arabia arrested at the age of 13, will not face execution and has been sentenced to 12 years in prison instead, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said:

    “The news that Murtaja Qureiris will not face execution is a huge relief for him and his family, but it is utterly outrageous that the Saudi Arabian authorities were seeking the death penalty for someone arrested under the age of 13 in the first place. Use of the death penalty against people under 18 at the time of the crime is a flagrant violation of international law.

    “While the Saudi authorities have spared Murtaja Qureiris’ life in this case, the law in Saudi Arabia still allows people arrested for crimes committed when they were children to be sentenced to death where the crimes are punishable by death under Shari’a (Islamic law).

    May 28, 2019
    New abuses come after government order to “crush” armed group Military units responsible for past atrocities are committing war crimes, while deployment of additional units suggests involvement of senior generals International community is failing – ICC referral urgently needed

    Following a recent investigation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Amnesty International has gathered new evidence that the Myanmar military is committing war crimes and other human rights violations. The military operation is ongoing, raising the prospect of additional crimes being committed.

    The new report, “No one can protect us”: War crimes and abuses in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, details how the Myanmar military, also known as the Tatmadaw, have killed and injured civilians in indiscriminate attacks since January 2019. The Tatmadaw forces have also carried out extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances.

    May 22, 2019

    The Mexican Congress is preparing to approve a package of laws on public security that are contrary to international law and that would put at risk the human rights of the population and undermine the security strategy of the new government, Amnesty International said today.

    “If Congress passes this legislation, the National Guard will become an all-powerful security force, without independent scrutiny and with dangerous powers, such as the authority to detain migrants and to use force against public demonstrations it does not deem to be legitimate,” said Tania Reneaum, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico.

    On Tuesday, 21 May, the Mexican Senate approved four laws on security as part of a legislative arrangement to create a new National Guard supported by the federal government. Although the new laws contain some positive measures on human rights protection, they also include a series of challenges and serious flaws that could lead to an increase in abuses in a country that has been plagued for more than a decade by security crises and human rights violations.

    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.

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