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    Arms supplied by the world’s major powers are among those contributing to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and blighting the livelihoods of millions of people every year, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published just days before final negotiations on a global Arms Trade Treaty open at the United Nations.

    Between them, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA – are responsible for over half of the almost US$100 billion total annual global trade in conventional weapons.

    The same five states will be pivotal to finalizing an effective Arms Trade Treaty with strong human rights protections at the conference taking place at the UN from 18-28 March.

    All this week in the run-up to that historic meeting, Amnesty International activists and supporters are holding a “Global Week of Action” to call on world leaders to adopt an effective Arms Trade Treaty with strong human rights protections.

    Thousands of people are being held in Mozambique’s prisons despite not having been found guilty of a crime, Amnesty International said in a report released today, which exposes how many inmates are arrested on spurious grounds and held for years without access to a lawyer.

    The report Locking up my rights: Arbitrary arrest, detention and treatment of detainees in Mozambique describes how people from poor social groups are particularly at risk of being locked up for months, sometimes years, in squalid, overcrowded cells without having committed a crime.

    The report – which is a collaboration between Amnesty International and the Mozambique Human Rights League – also shows how, in the majority of cases, these economically disadvantaged individuals are not informed of their rights or are unable to understand them; cannot afford an attorney and are therefore almost invariably represented by unqualified individuals or poorly qualified attorneys; and are rarely granted freedom whilst awaiting trial.

    Thousands of people are being held in Mozambique’s prisons despite not having been found guilty of a crime, Amnesty International said in a report released today, which exposes how many inmates are arrested on spurious grounds and held for years without access to a lawyer.

    The report Locking up my rights: Arbitrary arrest, detention and treatment of detainees in Mozambique describes how people from poor social groups are particularly at risk of being locked up for months, sometimes years, in squalid, overcrowded cells without having committed a crime.

    The report – which is a collaboration between Amnesty International and the Mozambique Human Rights League – also shows how, in the majority of cases, these economically disadvantaged individuals are not informed of their rights or are unable to understand them; cannot afford an attorney and are therefore almost invariably represented by unqualified individuals or poorly qualified attorneys; and are rarely granted freedom whilst awaiting trial.

    Amnesty International’s Moscow office is currently being inspected by prosecutors and tax inspectors – part of the wave of inspections of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) across Russia in recent weeks. Three other prominent Russian NGOs are also being inspected today: Public Verdict Foundation, For Human Rights Movement and Agency for Social Information. The stated version of the inspections was to check compliance with Russian legislation on NGOs.

    Amnesty International, along with other NGOs, has repeatedly condemned the new legislation imposing increasing restrictions on NGOs and expressed its fears that the NGO laws would be used to harass and seek closure of those highlighting abuses and critical of the government.

    Amnesty International is also concerned that the recent wave of inspections has been carried out in such a way as to deliberately stigmatise and discredit NGOs in the eyes of the public.

    Amnesty International is confident that all its activities comply with Russian legislation. The organization expresses regret that its time and that of the inspectors involved is not employed in a more useful manner.

    El Salvador must finally deliver justice for a brutal massacre that took place three decades ago, Amnesty International urged today in an open letter to President Mauricio Funes, as families across the country are set to mark the annual Day of the Dead religious festival.

    More than 200 men, women and children were killed by an elite army unit at the El Calabozo massacre in the northern San Vicente region on 22 August, 1982. Three decades later, the Salvadoran authorities have yet to acknowledge the horrific murders or bring to justice those responsible.

    In the open letter, Amnesty International urges the President to publicly recognize state responsibility for the massacre, bring those responsible to justice, and ensure the survivors and families receive reparation. The letter echoes the demands of survivors and the Salvadoran NGO Centro para la Promoción de los Derechos Humanos “Madeleine Lagadec” who work alongside them.

    Thousands of people are being held in Mozambique’s prisons despite not having been found guilty of a crime, Amnesty International said in a report released today, which exposes how many inmates are arrested on spurious grounds and held for years without access to a lawyer.

    The report Locking up my rights: Arbitrary arrest, detention and treatment of detainees in Mozambique describes how people from poor social groups are particularly at risk of being locked up for months, sometimes years, in squalid, overcrowded cells without having committed a crime.

    The report – which is a collaboration between Amnesty International and the Mozambique Human Rights League – also shows how, in the majority of cases, these economically disadvantaged individuals are not informed of their rights or are unable to understand them; cannot afford an attorney and are therefore almost invariably represented by unqualified individuals or poorly qualified attorneys; and are rarely granted freedom whilst awaiting trial.

    Israel’s new government must drop a proposed law that would lead to mass forced evictions of Bedouin people and instead pursue legislation to protect Bedouin housing rights, Amnesty International said, as the Ministerial Committee on Legislation is due to consider the proposal on Sunday.

    The draft “Law for Regularizing Bedouin Habitation in the Negev - 2012”, approved by the previous government, threatens at least 30,000 Bedouin in the country’s southern Negev/Naqab desert with forced eviction from their communities, which have never been officially recognized by the Israeli government.

    “Forcibly evicting tens of thousands of Bedouin from communities where they have lived for generations cannot be justified in the name of economic development or any other reason – Israel’s new leaders must have the courage to venture where previous governments have ignored human rights standards,” said Ann Harrison, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

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