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    June 11, 2018

    Responding to reports that Ethiopia’s notorious Liyu police unit committed another round of unlawful killings, that may amount to extrajudicial executions, claiming at least 14 lives over the weekend, Amnesty International issued a fresh call for the government to immediately disband this police unit.

    “The Liyu police unit must not be allowed to continue operating above the law, carrying out unlawful killings and destroying lives with impunity. This appalling loss of life must be investigated immediately and the killings brought to an end,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    Members of the unit, which was set up by the Somali state as a counter-terrorism special force, attacked three localities - Qobbo Bikka, Ulanula and Walensu - in Chinaksen district, Oromia on 8 June, killing three people and wounding another three.

    Liyu police officers returned the next day and continued their attack on the three localities and then attacked two more - Darbiga and Gololcha - killing seven people and wounding 17.

    June 08, 2018

    The near total denial of human rights in North Korea should not be ignored at next Tuesday’s historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Chairman Kim Jong-un, Amnesty International said.

    Arnold Fang, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International, commented:

    “Millions of people in North Korea continue to be denied their human rights, with up to 120,000 held in prison camps where they are at risk of torture, forced labour and executions. It would be deeply disappointing if the catastrophic human rights situation in North Korea is completely overlooked as diplomatic relations continue to thaw.”

    Last month, Amnesty International wrote to President Trump to outline the widespread, gross and systematic human rights violations in North Korea and highlight key areas to press Chairman Kim Jong-un on. These include:

    Prison Camps

    June 08, 2018

    In response to a decision by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to pull 71 staff out of Yemen due to ongoing insecurity, threats and blocks to their work, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, said:

    “It is an unquestionably bleak moment when humanitarian workers, who are in Yemen to save lives, are themselves forced to flee in fear for their own lives. Yemeni civilians caught up in war and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises have just lost a precious lifeline.

    “The ICRC has served victims of armed conflict and violence in Yemen for more than five decades, but its activities have been repeatedly ‘blocked, threatened and directly targeted.’ This is a violation of international humanitarian law. In fact, deliberate attacks on humanitarian relief personnel amount to war crimes.

    June 08, 2018

    The Ethiopian government must intervene to protect thousands of ethnic Amharas who are on the verge of displacement due to violent attacks on their homes by ethnically-motivated youth groups in Oromia Regional State, Amnesty International said.

    Oromo youth groups this week surrounded Amhara homes, beating residents, and looting property in the Siyo District of Qellem Wollega Zone, Oromia State. At least 20 Amharas have been killed in such attacks since October 2017 but residents say the authorities have done nothing to stop them.

    “The Ethiopian government must take action to prevent these brutal attacks on the Amhara community, who have been targeted due to their ethnicity and now face being made homeless,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    An estimated 1,400 Amhara families remain in the besieged Siyo District, but residents told Amnesty International they would soon be forced to flee their homes of more than three decades after being repeatedly targeted by the Qerro and Folle Oromo youth groups.

    June 08, 2018

    Following the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s decision to acquit Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, the former Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Solomon Sacco, Head of the International Justice team at Amnesty International, said:

    “The decision to acquit Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is an important reminder that international justice is only possible if all suspects receive stringently fair trials before an independent and impartial judiciary.

    “While the Appeals Chamber has held that Mr Bemba was entitled to an acquittal, the decision will be felt as a huge blow for the many victims of the ‘war against women’ waged in the Central African Republic (CAR) through a horrifying campaign of rape and sexual violence.

    “The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC and judicial authorities in CAR must learn from this decision and redouble their efforts to investigate and prosecute alleged perpetrators of crimes under international law, with full respect for their rights to a fair trial.

    June 08, 2018

    Responding to reports that Russian aircraft carried out an attack in Idlib province last night, killing at least 44 people, Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “This outrageous attack, the deadliest in Idlib so far this year, targeted the village of Zardana overnight while people were breaking the Ramadan fast. Among those killed were at least six children, and the death toll is expected to rise as the wounded succumb to their injuries. Deliberately attacking civilians violates international humanitarian law and is a war crime.

    “We are deeply troubled by reports that this was a ‘double-tap’ strike, in which aircraft follow up on an initial attack with a second strike which generally hits rescue workers and others coming to the aid of casualties. These cruel attacks have happened time and again in Syria, and demonstrate utter disregard for the lives of civilians and for fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.

    June 08, 2018

    Quebec City, June 7, 2018 – On the eve of the G7 Summit in Quebec, Amnesty International Canada Francophone Branch (AICF) and the Quebec Civil Liberties Union (QCLU, known in French as the Ligue des droits et libertés) have issued a progress report on their mission to monitor respect for civil liberties at this event. The two organizations announced this mission on April 18, 2018 and have obtained certain assurances from the authorities since then, but remain concerned about a number of issues.

    Discussions with Quebec government officials

    June 07, 2018
     Amnesty International calls for swift action to protect villagers from killings At least 37 people have been killed in the past two weeks

    The Mozambican authorities must take immediate steps to end a killing spree in the Cabo Delgado Province, which has seen at least 37 people brutally killed by a group known as ‘Al-Shabab’ in the past two weeks, Amnesty International said today. The organization said that an increasing number of people are fleeing their homes in fear of the group, which has no known link to the Somalian armed group of the same name.

    The latest attack took place last night in Namaculo village in Quissanga district. Witnesses told Amnesty International that around 10 people were hacked to death and an unspecified number of houses were burned when attackers raided the village at dawn. The village is now empty as residents have fled their homes to seek safety. A village attacked on 5 June, Naunde Village in the south of Macomia district, is also reported to be empty.

    June 07, 2018
    The Nigerian military is increasingly resorting to threats, intimidation and smears to discredit Amnesty International’s work documenting the human rights violations it has committed, Amnesty International said today. On 24 May 2018 the organization released a report, “They Betrayed Us”, which documented the prevalence of sexual violence against starving women and girls detained in satellite camps under the control of Nigerian soldiers and militia. The Nigerian military responded by organizing smear campaigns and issuing threats to “take action against Amnesty International”.  
    June 05, 2018

    Ottawa, June 5, 2018 – Amnesty International is alarmed at the government of Canada’s failure to act on a recommendation by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ to establish a national task force to review and reopen cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.

    At a press conference today responding to recommendations in the Inquiry’s Interim Report and request for an extension, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett said it was premature for a national task force to be struck before the National Inquiry’s final report is issued on April 30, 2019.

    June 05, 2018

    In a response to the “Draft Declaration of Support for the People of Nicaragua” presented by the permanent missions of the United States and Nicaragua, to be discussed and voted at the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said the following:

    “The OAS member states must not turn their backs on the Nicaraguan people in their hour of need. President Ortega’s government has not shown the slightest inclination of ending its systematic policy of violent repression that has already claimed more than 100 lives in under two months, with the toll rising every day. If the countries of the region ignore the government’s responsibility for these atrocities, they will be complicit in the continued slaughter of protesters and civilians.

    June 05, 2018

    Three South Korean police officers were spared jail time despite being convicted on Tuesday of neglect of duty in connection with the death of Baek Nam-gi, a farmer who sustained fatal injuries after being hit by a water cannon during a protest in 2015. The sentences demonstrate the need to amend laws in order to better protect the public from reckless police actions that may take the lives of protesters, Amnesty International said.

    "Baek Nam-gi's tragic and completely avoidable death underscores why South Koreans deserve both laws and policing that fully safeguard their human right of peaceful assembly without subjecting them to unnecessary physical risks," said Arnold Fang, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International

    On Tuesday, Seoul District Court fined Shin Yoon-gyoon, former chief of Seoul's fourth riot battalion, 10,000,000 Korean Won (approx. US$9,300). Two officers who operated the water cannon truck, Choi and Han, were fined 7,000,000 Won (US$6,500) and handed eight-month suspended prison sentences.

    June 05, 2018

    Responding to the news that Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights activist in Bahrain, has had his appeal against his conviction for peacefully expressing his opinions online upheld, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said:

    “The Bahraini Court of Appeal has missed a vital opportunity to do the right thing and set Nabeel Rajab free.

    “His ongoing detention is further proof of the Bahraini authorities’ relentless determination to squash the right to freedom of expression and silence any peaceful criticism.

    “It is absolutely outrageous that he has to spend another single day behind bars solely for expressing his opinion online.

    “The authorities must immediately release Nabeel Rajab and drop all charges against him.”

    June 05, 2018
    Amnesty International carried out field investigations in the destroyed city US-led Coalition fired vast number of imprecise explosive weapons in populated civilian areas Even Coalition precision bombs took a horrendous toll on civilians Hundreds of civilians killed and then ‘Islamic State’ fighters allowed to leave

    From amid the rubble of Raqqa, civilians are asking why US-led Coalition forces destroyed the city, killing hundreds of civilians in the process of “liberating” them from the armed group calling itself “Islamic State” (IS), Amnesty International said in a new report ahead of the offensive’s anniversary.

    Amnesty International researchers visited 42 Coalition air strike sites across the ruined city and interviewed 112 civilian residents who had survived the carnage and lost loved ones.

    June 01, 2018

    State officials were complicit in recent mob attacks against the Ahmadiyya religious minority in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, that left six homes destroyed and forced dozens to flee their villages, Amnesty International Indonesia said today.

    The finding comes after the organization interviewed Ahmadis living in the affected neighborhoods of Montongtangi and Gerengeng. They described how state officials including police tried to force them to “return to the true teaching of Islam”, warning they would otherwise be killed. The Ahmadiyya are a religious group who consider themselves Muslims. However, Indonesian law and majority of Muslims in Indonesia do not recognize them as part of Islam.

    “This is a clear example of the state being party to discrimination and violence against a religious minority. For refusing to give up their beliefs, people saw their homes destroyed and their possessions looted,” said Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid.

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