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Public statements

    September 21, 2018

    Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Canada

    Amnesty International is disappointed that Canada’s response to its UPR, while containing welcome commitments, does not commit to substantial advances and primarily confirms initiatives already underway.

    Canada reiterates that a protocol and stakeholder engagement strategy are being developed to coordinate implementation of international human rights obligations across federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions, but offers no concrete plans or timeline to ensure these urgent reforms advance.[1]

    Treaty ratification commitments appear to have weakened from previous announcements about moving to accede to the Optional Protocols to the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This response states there is no decision yet regarding accession.[2]

    August 09, 2018

    Responding to the nomination of Michelle Bachelet as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Isha Dyfan, Director of International Advocacy at Amnesty International, said:

    “Michelle Bachelet’s nomination comes at a tumultuous time for the human rights community. As we approach the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the freedoms enshrined within it are under sustained threat around the world. 

    “Brutal and protracted conflicts are raging in many countries, while a rising tide of authoritarianism is undermining the human rights standards many have long taken for granted. It will take a strong and principled leader, willing to speak truth to power and ready to mobilize resources and political will, to defend our rights in this challenging climate.

    “We look forward to cooperating with Michelle Bachelet to advance the broad human rights agenda of her office, including strengthening the OHCHR itself upon the General Assembly confirmation.

    May 22, 2018

    I am here today, a free man, after a nightmare of imprisonment in Ethiopia that stole from me, my wife and my family, more than 11 years of my life.

    April 14, 2018

    Responding to the commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the abduction of 276 school girls in Chibok, Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria said:

    “What happened in Chibok should have served as a wake-up call to the Nigerian government. Yet four years on, thousands more women and girls have been taken from their homes and forced to live in captivity, in events largely unnoticed and unreported by media.

    “The time is long overdue for the government to deliver meaningful action on behalf of all the victims of Boko Haram’s crimes. This starts by doing more to secure the release of the hundreds still being held, including the remaining Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi girl still in captivity.

    “Far more support must also be provided for past victims. For the families of those still missing, the government should open a register for abducted people, ensuring that the tens of thousands of people living in displacement camps get the opportunity to register their loved ones.”

     

     

    March 20, 2018

    Amnesty International condemns the murder of Javier Bernardo Cuero Ortíz, son of Bernardo Cuero Bravo, on 19 March 2018 in the city of Tumaco, southern Colombia. His brother Silvio Dubán Ortíz was also killed during the events.

    Javier Bernardo and his family were sitting outside of a relative's store, when two unidentified individuals approached them on a motorcycle and fired directly at them, killing them both and wounding one more person. Amnesty International has received reports that the murderers aimed directly at Cuero's relatives, a sign that it was a planned event and that the rest of the family could still be at risk.

    The murder of Javier Bernardo took place just nine months after the murder of his father Bernardo Cuero, human rights defender and victims’ leader of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES) in June 2017. The murders occurred just weeks after the trial hearing set to press charges against the perpetrators of the crime, and there is evidence regarding the intellectual perpetrators of this crime.

    January 19, 2018

    Ahead of massive popular mobilization and protests announced to take place as of 20 January, Amnesty International calls on the Honduran authorities to respect and protect the right to peaceful assembly life and physical integrity of protestors. The opposition has called for a week of protests at national level to reject the investiture ceremony scheduled to take place on 27 January.

    “The excessive use of force that led to fatal victims and serious injuries since 29 November, is unacceptable and should not be repeated. Honduran authorities have the responsibility to protect people’s lives and rights; security forces must refrain from using firearms to control or disperse crowds. People must be allowed to exercise their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    The use of force is an exception only for cases where non-violent measures are ineffective in preventing violence or other lawbreaking, and authorities must ensure it is strictly proportionate to the harm it seeks to prevent.

    January 17, 2018

    Ronal David Barillas Díaz, a community leader and human rights defender was killed on the morning of 9 January in Taxisco, Santa Rosa, Guatemala. His attackers got out of a vehicle, walked to the newspaper and food stall where he worked and shot him at least six times, before fleeing the scene.

    Amnesty International utterly condemns this attack and urges the Guatemalan authorities to initiate a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the death of the human rights defender and to put in place, without delay, a comprehensive public policy for the protection of human rights defenders in the country.

    December 28, 2017

    Reacting to the deadly attack on Afghan Voice, a news agency, that has killed at least 40 people and wounded 30 others, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, Biraj Patnaik, said:

    “This gruesome attack underscores the dangers faced by Afghan civilians. In one of the deadliest years on record, journalists and other civilians continue to be ruthlessly targeted by armed groups. With the Afghan capital hit once again, no one can credibly claim that Kabul safe. The European governments who insist on this dangerous fiction by forcibly returning Afghans are putting their lives in danger.”

     

    December 05, 2017

    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a consensus international human rights instrument elaborating standards for the survival, dignity, security and well-being of Indigenous peoples of the world. Today, MP Romeo Saganash’s private members bill on implementation of the UN Declaration, Bill C-262, will begin debate at second reading in Parliament.

    Our Nations and organizations have been deeply involved in the development, promotion and implementation of the UN Declaration. As Grand Chief Abel Bosum of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee (northern Quebec) underlines, “We are firmly convinced of the Declaration’s vital importance for achieving justice, reconciliation, healing and peace.”

    November 03, 2017

    PUBLIC STATEMENT

    3 November 2017

    Amnesty International is deeply disappointed in yesterday’s Supreme Court of Canada decision dismissing an appeal by the Ktunaxa Nation in British Columbia, who sought to protect their religious practices and beliefs.

    “We are surprised by the majority of the Supreme Court’s narrow interpretation of religious freedom,” said Craig Benjamin, Amnesty International Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “As we argued in our submission to the Court, Amnesty International believes it would be discriminatory if the protection of religious freedoms in Canada failed to meaningfully protect spaces in nature that are sacred according to Indigenous peoples’ spiritual beliefs and customs.”

    November 01, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Release

     

    NEW YORK— After President Trump said he would consider sending the man accused of yesterday’s attack in New York City, Sayfullo Saipov, to Guantánamo, Amnesty International USA Security with Human Rights Director, Daphne Eviatar, issued the following statement:

    “It would be a grave mistake to send Sayfullo Saipov to Guantánamo. He’s a criminal suspect and should be treated as such by the U.S. justice system. Guantánamo has become an international symbol of torture, rendition and indefinite detention without charge or trial – it must be closed, not expanded.”

    This statement can be found online at: https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/25018/

    October 14, 2017

    Amnesty International Canada (francophone branch)

    Centre for Sustainable Development

    Montreal, 14 October 2017

     

    We deeply regret that a major accident has occurred this morning before the launch of an activity scheduled at the Centre for Sustainable Development.

    A member of the team from Decalade, the company in charge of the activity, has lost his life.

    Our thoughts are with his family, to whom we offer our sincere condolences.

    A police investigation is underway. We are committed to providing all necessary support to our colleagues and other people who were present.

    Amnesty International Canada (francophone branch)

    Centre for Sustainable Development

    September 12, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Statement

    NEW YORK – Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily uphold the refugee ban, Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA senior director of campaigns, released the following statement:

    “The Supreme Court today has dealt yet another devastating blow to vulnerable people who were on the cusp of obtaining safety for themselves and their families. They continue to be subjected to unimaginable violence and fear while their lives are in limbo. This ban is inherently cruel and no part of it should be allowed to stand.”

    CONTACT: media@aiusa.org

     

     

    September 06, 2017

    Amnesty International welcomes the initiative of the Canadian government, and non-governmental partners Rainbow Railroad and Russian LGBT Network, which has brought dozens of gay men from the semi-autonomous Russian republic of Chechnya to Canada as government-assisted refugees. This unique government and civil society partnership comes in response to a coordinated campaign against men in Chechnya who are believed to be gay.

    In early April, the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that over a hundred of men believed to be gay had been recently abducted, sent to undisclosed detention centres, tortured and otherwise ill-treated, and forced to disclose other LGBTI individuals known to them. Chechen officials have also supported ``honour killings`` of gay men by their families. Amnesty International documented the practice of extrajudicial executions of gay men in Chechnya and elsewhere in the region earlier this year.

    September 05, 2017
      Prime Minister Narendra Modi should use his official visit to Myanmar to urge authorities there to take urgent steps to protect civilians in violence-hit Rakhine State and lift restrictions on international humanitarian aid to Rakhine, Amnesty International India said today. Thousands of people, mainly Rohingya, are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign in Rakhine.

    “Prime Minister Modi needs to tell Myanmar’s leadership that they are not doing enough to protect all communities in the state, whether it is stopping military abuses targeting the Rohingya or restricting crucial humanitarian access for people in need,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.

    “As a historic friend of Myanmar, India can play an important role in defusing tensions and saving civilian lives. Prime Minister Modi must urge the Myanmar authorities to address the long-standing and systematic discrimination against Rohingya and other Muslims in Rakhine State, which has left people trapped in a cycle of violence and deprivation.”

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