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Public statements

    July 18, 2013

    The reintroduction of the regulation on the transmission of infectious diseases by the Greek Health Minister puts vulnerable groups including sex workers, HIV positive individuals and drug-injecting users at risk of further discrimination and stigmatization. Amnesty International calls on the Greek authorities to immediately overturn the new regulation and to end these discriminatory practices, which violate European and International human rights obligations.
    The regulation by Greece’s new Health Minister, Adonis Georgiadis, comes after Thessaloniki police escalated arbitrary ID checks of transgender women in late May this year.

    June 27, 2013

    Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the ongoing clampdown in Russia against civil society. The organization strongly condemns the use of the “Foreign Agents Law” to prosecute and hold personally liable the leaders of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that refuse to be labelled in a manner that creates a negative public image of their work in the eyes of the Russian society.  

    The “Foreign Agents Law” requires all organizations that receive foreign funding and engage in loosely defined "political activities" to register as “foreign agents” and to subject themselves to additional and burdensome checks and audits and mark all of their publications and websites with this label, which implies "spy" and "enemy". Amnesty International has previously expressed concern that this legislation, in its entirety, negatively affects the rights to freedom of expression and association.

    June 24, 2013

    Amnesty International is deeply concerned that for the second year in a row, the Canadian government’s required report to Parliament about human rights and the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) fails to contain any analysis about human rights realities in Colombia.

    The Canadian government report fails to acknowledge widespread, grave human rights violations in Colombia – including ongoing threats and deadly attacks on trade unionists and community leaders seeking the return of stolen lands, as well as Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendent communities and rural farmers living in areas coveted for their natural resources.

    Notably, the report also excludes any information about Canadian investment in Colombia in the mining and oil and gas sectors.

    June 14, 2013

    Today the UN Human Rights Council adopted its annual resolution on violence against women, with a special focus on sexual violence. Canada has chaired negotiations on this resolution for nearly 20 years, and its leadership has been lauded for progressively strengthening this important resolution.

    The resolution, formerly known as UN Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/23/L.28 on “Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women: preventing and responding to rape and other forms of sexual violence,” was adopted in Geneva by 89 states.

    It is a welcome addition to the body of UN documents recognizing the need to address the issue of sexual violence, and it includes strong language condemning marital rape and early and enforced marriage.

    May 27, 2013

    Amnesty International and the organizers of KyivPride 2013 welcome the cooperation and protection provided by the Ukrainian police during Saturday’s first ever successful LGBTI Pride March in Ukraine. The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ recognition and fulfillment of their obligation to protect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly for LGBTI people is an important step in combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Ukraine.

    However, both Amnesty International and the KyivPride organizers remain concerned that the Kyiv City Council chose to ban the Pride March from the city centre, forcing organizers to change to an alternative location at the last moment and curtailing participant’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly. Amnesty International and the Kyiv Pride organizing committee urge the authorities not to impose such limitations on events where LGBTI people seek to peacefully express their views in future.

    May 08, 2013
    In advance of the Annual General Meeting of Tahoe Resources to be held on 9 May, 2013 in Vancouver, Amnesty International urges the company to acknowledge mounting human rights concerns associated with its Escobal Silver Mine project in Guatemala.  Amnesty International further calls on the company’s investors to recognize the impact on human rights of the Escobal project and, in turn, insist that the company take immediate corrective action consistent with international human rights standards.
    April 16, 2013

    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.

    March 22, 2013

    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.

    March 06, 2013

    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”.

    February 27, 2013

    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.

    February 13, 2013

    (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.

    February 01, 2013

    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.

    January 26, 2013

    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.

    January 22, 2013

    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: bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    January 02, 2013

    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. 

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