President Mohamed Morsi should release the findings of an official investigation he instigated into abuses against protesters without delay and ensure the armed forces are not above the law and are held accountable for abuses, Amnesty International said today.
Amnesty International is alarmed that statements by the authorities in response to part of the report being leaked effectively signal that impunity will continue for human rights violations by the army.
The organization has also expressed its dismay over apparent claims by Egypt’s Public Prosecutor that the full report contained no evidence of army abuse – despite the fact that leaked excerpts of the report clearly detail human rights violations by Egypt’s military.
Amnesty International and other groups have documented abuses by the Egyptian army since the beginning of the “25 January Revolution”.
President Morsi appointed a fact-finding committee in July 2012 and charged it with investigating abuses against protesters committed between the start of the uprising on 25 January 2011 and the end of military rule on 30 June 2012.
Amnesty International called on all parties to the Syrian armed conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and end attacks which target or indiscriminately kill and injure civilians after dozens were killed and injured in an explosion in a Damascus mosque on 21 March 2013.
Among those reported killed in the mosque was a prominent Sunni Muslim cleric Mohammad al-Bouti, a supporter of President Bashar al-Assad. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The official state news agency, SANA, stated that 49 people were killed when “a suicide terrorist…blew himself up while scholar Dr. Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Bouti was giving a religious lesson at al-Iman Mosque in al-Mazraa area”.
The head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Moaz al-Khatib, told the AFP news agency that “we categorically condemn the assassination”.
Amnesty International condemned the bombing and reminded the parties to the conflict that targeting civilians and places of worship are war crimes.
In a welcome move, the government of Maldives has added its voice to the mounting national and international concern about the sentence of flogging the Juvenile Court imposed on a girl of 15 last week.
The girl, who had been sexually abused, was sentenced on 26 February 2013 to 100 lashes and eight months’ house arrest on a charge of “fornication”. Amnesty International called on the government of Maldives to ensure the girl is not flogged and the punishment is removed from Maldivian law.
In its 28 February statement, the government has acknowledged that the girl should be treated as a victim and not an offender and “her rights should be fully protected”.
Amnesty International supports the government’s view that all cases of child abuse including sexual abuse should be viewed “through a human rights lens” based on the “best interest of the child”.
On 14 February 2013, Amnesty International Canada was granted leave to intervene in an important and precedent-setting corporate accountability case.
The case is being brought against Canadian company HudBay Minerals and its subsidiaries, involving allegations of gross human rights violations that took place in Guatemala in 2007 and 2009. Maya-Q’eqchi’ villagers from eastern Guatemala claim that security personnel employed by HudBay’s local subsidiary shot and killed school-teacher and anti-mining activist Adolfo Ich Chamán, shot and paralyzed youth German Chub Choc, and gang-raped 11 Maya-Q’eqchi’ women.
The defendant companies brought motions to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims, on the basis that a parent company can never owe a duty of care to those who may be murdered, harmed or raped by security personnel employed by the company’s subsidiary in a foreign country. Originally, the defendants had also claimed that these lawsuits could not be heard in Canada, but they recently and unexpectedly dropped this argument.
(Beirut, London, Paris, 13 February 2013) - The Iranian authorities should immediately release from arbitrary house arrest two former presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, author and political activist, and cease harassing or detaining without cause the couple’s two daughters and Mehdi Karroubi’s son, said the Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and six leading human rights bodies.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, International Federation for Human Rights, League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, and Reporters Without Borders co-signed today’s appeal.
Amnesty International condemns the bomb attack on the Embassy of the United States in Ankara. According to reports, the explosion occurred at around 1.10pm inside one of the entrances to the embassy. According to a statement made by the Turkish authorities, the bombing was carried out by a suicide bomber and resulted in the deaths of two persons, one of them an embassy security guard. A member of the public was also injured and is receiving treatment in hospital.
Any attacks of this kind which recklessly cause casualties among the general population or put them at risk demonstrate contempt for the fundamental principles of humanity.
As yet, no individual or group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. However, the authorities accused the Revolutionary People's Liberation Front (DHKP-C) an armed leftist group of carrying out the attack.
Amnesty International calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation and bring those responsible to justice in fair proceedings in line with international human rights standards.
Since its inception in 2002, the African Union (AU) has become a central player in Africa in the areas of conflict resolution, peace and security, international justice and the general promotion and protection of human rights.
On the eve of a meeting of AU Heads of State on 27 and 28 January in Addis Ababa, Amnesty International is urging the AU to give particular attention to the protection of human rights in conflict situations in Africa, including the protection of civilians in Mali, Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Mali: Since the beginning of the armed conflict in northern Mali in January 2012, Amnesty International has documented crimes under international law committed by all the parties to the conflict. Tuareg and Islamist armed opposition groups have committed human rights abuses, including torture and killings of captured Malian soldiers, rape of women and girls and recruitment of child soldiers.
Amnesty International is calling for the immediate and unconditional release, as well as respect for the lives and personal safety, of five mining workers taken hostage last Friday, reportedly by the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group.
The five workers, including two Peruvians, one Canadian and two Colombians, were taken captive in the northern department (province) of Bolívar.
Amnesty International condemns hostage-taking, which is a serious breach of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime.
The organization is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the five men and any other civilians being held by the parties to the Colombian armed conflict.
Amnesty International also calls on the authorities to identify those responsible for this and other cases of kidnapping and hostage-taking and ensure that they are brought to justice.
For further information, please contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations, 416-363-9933 ext 332 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Indigenous and human rights organizations stand in solidarity with Chief Theresa Spence in her appeal for full respect for Aboriginal and Treaty rights by the government of Canada. There is an urgent need for Canada to demonstrate genuine respect and long-term commitment, initiated by a meeting between First Nations’ leadership, the Prime Minister and the Governor General.
Take Action: Tell Prime Minister Harper that the Canadian government must uphold its legal and moral obligations to Indigenous peoples
Full honour and implementation of Indigenous peoples' Treaties are crucial to the evolution of Canada and the principle of federalism. Cooperative and harmonious relations cannot be achieved by devaluing Treaties or by unilateral government actions.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND ACCOUNTABLITY PROJECT
Amnesty International and Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have hailed last Friday’s ECOWAS Court of Justice ground-breaking judgment as a “key moment in holding governments and companies to account for pollution.”
In the case, SERAP v. Nigeria, the Court unanimously found the Nigerian government responsible for abuses by oil companies and makes it clear that the government must hold the companies and other perpetrators to account.
The Court also found that Nigeria violated articles 21 (on the right to natural wealth and resources) and 24 (on the right to a general satisfactory environment) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights by failing to protect the Niger Delta and its people from the operations of oil companies that have for many years devastated the region.
For the reasons described below, Amnesty International believes that the US authorities should release Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota Native American and leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), who has been imprisoned for 35 years. Having studied the case extensively over many years, Amnesty International remains seriously concerned about the fairness of proceedings leading to Leonard Peltier’s conviction and believes that political factors may have influenced the way in which the case was prosecuted.
Leonard Peltier was convicted of the murders of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on 26 June 1975. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in 1977. While Leonard Peltier admits having been present during the incident, he has always denied shooting the agents at point blank range as alleged by the prosecution at his trial. Leonard Peltier is now in his 35th year of imprisonment and has exhausted all legal appeals against his conviction.
Reacting to the announcement that the federal government has approved the takeover of the Canadian oil company Nexen Inc. by Chinese state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, members of the Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China expressed grave disappointment that serious and pressing human rights considerations do not appear to have played any significant role in the government’s decision.
“The government has concluded that the deal is of ‘net benefit’ to Canada,” said Cheuk Kwan of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China. “But there is no indication that concerns about CNOOC’s human rights record or, more broadly, the Chinese government’s own continuing and longstanding poor human rights record were taken into account in any meaningful way.”
ADVOCACY COUNCIL FOR THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION * AMNESTY INERNATIONAL * JUSTICE FOR IRAN * SHIRIN EBADI
In advance of Iran’s National Student Day on 6 December, Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and three human rights groups, Advocacy Council for the Right to Education (Council to Defend the Right to Education), Amnesty International and Justice for Iran join together to call on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, including students imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their conscientiously held beliefs.
The organizations urge the authorities to put an end to the campaign of repression against students’ peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
The Iranian authorities are urged to review all policies and practices relating to restrictions on individuals’ access to all forms of higher education to ensure that everyone has equal access to higher education, on the basis of capacity, without any form of discrimination on grounds of sex, religion, political opinion or other grounds.
Activist and former monk U Gambira was arrested in Yangon on Saturday 1 December 2012. He is reportedly facing charges of trespassing and criminal damage for removing the locks from several monasteries in February 2012, as well as for staying in a monastery without permission. These monasteries had been sealed by the authorities who believed that the resident monks had played an active role in Myanmar’s 2007 Saffron Revolution. This left the former residents, including U Gambira, with nowhere to stay when they were released in prisoner amnesties in late 2011 and early 2012. Other monks released in these amnesties were turned away from their former monasteries.
Reports indicate that U Gambira appeared before Myanmar’s committee of senior monks in February and the matter was resolved at the time. It is not clear why the authorities have decided to press charges against U Gambira more than nine months after the alleged offences occurred.