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    August 02, 2019

    Saudi Arabia must follow up on crucial reforms announced today to address women’s rights by ending its persecution of women’s rights defenders and immediately and unconditionally releasing those who are currently detained for their peaceful activism, said Amnesty International.

    Saudi Arabian newspapers announced major reforms to several laws easing some of the major restrictions which are imposed on women as part of the country’s repressive male guardianship system. The reforms will allow women the right to obtain a passport that should make it possible for them to travel without the permission of a male guardian. They also give women equal rights to lead household and some family-related matters.

    “The reforms announced today are a significant but long overdue step forward for women’s rights. These changes are a clear testament to the tireless campaigning of women’s rights activists who have battled against rampant discrimination in Saudi Arabia for decades,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director. 

    July 12, 2019

    Responding to the announcement of thousands of raids planned for Sunday by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Charanya Krishnaswami, the Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA said:

    "This announcement is an extension of President Trump’s relentless hostility to immigrants. It serves to encourage hate and discrimination toward immigrants and communities of color, creating a climate of fear for many people including those fearing racial profiling.

    "While it’s also concerning that we don’t know anything about what these plans will look like, it’s not unreasonable to be concerned that people facing deportation will not have adequate time or legal resources to protect themselves. Thousands of mixed-status families could be impacted, with U.S. citizen children at risk of being separated from their parents or guardians. A lack of due process in initial hearings could lead to the deportation of families and children who never had a meaningful chance to apply for relief, including asylum."

    July 12, 2019

    Release, Evacuate Detained Refugees and Migrants

    European Union foreign ministers gathering in Brussels on 15 July 2019, should issue a clear call to Libyan authorities to close their migrant detention centres, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) said today. The EU ministers should make a commitment on behalf of EU states to facilitate the evacuation of detainees to safe places, including outside of Libya and to EU member states.

    “Expressions of outrage over dire conditions and dangers to detainees amid fighting in Tripoli ring hollow without urgent life-saving measures to get people out of harm’s way,” said Judith Sunderland, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “EU governments should offer concrete support to Libyan authorities to close all migrant detention centres and take immediate action to help evacuate those most vulnerable and at risk.”

    July 12, 2019

    This week, a group of 22 countries issued a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council expressing concern over the arbitrary detention, surveillance and other violations against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

    The statement calls on China to provide “meaningful access to Xinjiang for independent international observers, including for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights”.

    The record number of states standing up to China at the Council on their human rights record shows the mounting international concern over the mass detention of Uyghurs and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang.

    The countries that signed the statement include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    July 11, 2019

    Responding to the UN Human Rights Council voting in favour of a resolution to monitor and report on the critical human rights situation in the Philippines – including unlawful killings in the context of the “war on drugs” – Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia said:

    “This vote provides hope for thousands of bereaved families in the Philippines, and countless more Filipinos bravely challenging the Duterte administration’s murderous ‘war on drugs’. It’s a crucial step towards justice and accountability.

    “The Philippines has failed to hold those responsible to account at home. The Human Rights Council resolution sends a clear message that the international community will not look the other way as extrajudicial executions and other serious violations continue to be committed with impunity.

    July 11, 2019

    Ottawa, July 11, 2019 –Today all fourteen civil society and labour union representatives of the government’s Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct Abroad (Advisory Body) tendered their resignations. The unanimous decision to resign is due to the erosion of civil society and labour unions’ trust and confidence in the government’s commitment to international corporate accountability.

    The resigning Advisory Body members and alternate members represented: Above Ground; Amnesty International Canada; L'Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale; Canadian Council for International Cooperation; Canadian Labour Congress; Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability; Development and Peace-Caritas Canada; Inter Pares; Mining Watch Canada; United Steelworkers Union and World Vision Canada.

    July 10, 2019

    In response to the arbitrary arrest on allegations of fraud of two of the key figures involved in organizing post-election demonstrations in Malawi, Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa said: 

    “These charges are a ploy to harass and intimidate the two activists and force them to end the ongoing post-election demonstrations.

    “Malawian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release them and stop clamping down on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

    “Organizing and participating in peaceful protests is not a crime. Authorities must stop targeting dissenting voices and using politically motivated charges to suppress differing views. The rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association must be fully respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled in Malawi.”

    Background

    July 10, 2019

    The Egyptian authorities’ growing trend of re-imprisoning people who have been arbitrarily detained, instead of complying with court orders to release them is an alarming signal of how decayed the country’s justice system has become, said Amnesty International.

    The organization has documented the cases of five individuals, where the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) bypassed court orders to release them from arbitrary detention by imprisoning them in new cases based on fabricated charges, in a bid to keep them behind bars indefinitely.

    “The Egyptian authorities’ practice of re-ordering the detention of detainees on blatantly fabricated charges just as they are about to be released is an alarming trend that illustrates the extent of Egypt’s decayed justice system,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International.

    “This unlawful practice has seen detainees who were already detained on spurious grounds trapped in the ‘revolving doors’ of Egypt’s arbitrary detention system, as part of deliberate ploy to prolong their detention.” 

    July 09, 2019

    Responding to the decision by the Supreme Court of Indonesia to clear a teenager sentenced to prison for terminating a pregnancy resulting from a sexual assault, Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director Usman Hamid said:

    “This is a landmark ruling for women in Indonesia. This teenager is not a criminal. She is the one who suffered a sexual assault –  and did nothing other than claim her rights over her body. It beggars belief that the courts tried to impose this reckless, vicious and absurd sentence on a teenage victim of sexual violence. She should not have spent a single day in detention.

    “We welcome the Supreme Court’s ruling. It must send a message to law enforcement agencies and public prosecutors across the country that their role is to protect victims of rape, not aggravate their suffering.

    July 09, 2019

    Spokespersons available to take media interviews

    Following today’s International Criminal Court (ICC) conviction of Bosco Ntaganda, former leader of a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa welcomed the conviction, saying:

    “We can only hope that today’s verdict provides some consolation to those affected by the grotesque crimes perpetrated by Ntaganda and paves the way for his victims and their families to finally obtain a measure of justice and reparations.”

    “Every day of the seven years that Ntaganda freely roamed the streets of Goma after the International Criminal Court issued his arrest warrant increased the torment that the victims and their families had to endure - to the shame of DRC authorities and the international community.

    “But today, the 2,123 victims in the case can at last begin the process of reparations for all the harm inflicted upon them by Ntaganda.”

    Background

    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 05, 2019

    (Victoria/Vancouver, B.C., July 4, 2019) - As Taseko Mines once again attempts to force its way with an injunction to start drilling in Tŝilhqot’in ancestral territory at Fish Lake (Teztan Biny) without the consent of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation, a broad network of citizens, experts, and environmental organizations are calling for urgent reform of BC’s outdated mining laws. 

    The new network, launched in May 2019, is urging the B.C. government to reform the Mineral Tenure Act to respect no-go zones and decisions by local residents and First Nations, in line with best practices and international law.

    Need for Reforms

    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

    Spokespersons available to take media interviews

    Following reports that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army has deployed hundreds of soldiers to forcibly remove an estimated 10,000 artisanal miners from the Tenke Fungurume mines in Lualaba Province to the south of the country from 2 July, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Sarah Jackson said:

    “Given the long history of excessive use of force by the Congolese army and its lack of appropriate training in managing public order, the DRC government must immediately withdraw its armed forces from the mines to avert unlawful killings. These artisanal miners are merely trying to eke out a living and sending in the army against them would be completely irresponsible.”

    Background

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