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    July 08, 2020

    Reacting to the Russian and Chinese veto of a UN Security Council draft Resolution that would have renewed the provision of cross-border humanitarian aid to civilians in Syria, Sherine Tadros, Amnesty International’s Head of UN Office, said:

    “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of ensuring the crossing points, delivering vital aid, stay open. For millions of Syrians, it is the difference between having food to eat and starving. For hospitals, it is about having enough supplies to save lives. That’s why Russia and China’s abuse of the veto power is despicable and dangerous.”

    There have been months of negotiations between Security Council members over which crossing points into Syria should remain open for the delivery of humanitarian aid and other key services, including health and education. The UN cross-border delivery mechanism, set up in 2014 and renewed ever since, is due to expire in just three days, on 10 July. If that happens it will severely impact the ability to deliver aid to millions of Syrians in time.

    July 06, 2020

    We Need a Ban on Police Street Checks!

    “Indigenous people continue to experience institutionalized discrimination in the justice system and a disproportionately high level of interaction with police, which is furthered by the practice of street checks. In an era of reconciliation, this is simply unacceptable.”

    – Chief Don Tom, Vice President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs

    We are urgently calling on the Vancouver Police Board and the Province of BC to immediately ban police street checks.

    The BC Civil Liberties Association, Black Lives Matter-Vancouver, Hogan’s Alley Society, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and WISH Drop-In Society are releasing an open letter, co-signed by 68 organizations, including Amnesty International, as well as a petition for an immediate municipal and provincial ban on police street checks.

    Sign the petition to the Province of BC, Vancouver Police Board, and Vancouver City Council calling for an immediate ban on street checks:

    July 03, 2020

    Following a majority court ruling to convict Taner Kılıç for ‘membership of the Fethullah Gülen terrorist organization’ and to convict Özlem Dalkıran, İdil Eser and Günal Kurşun for ‘assisting the Fethullah Gülenterrorist organization’, Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher who observed the hearing said: 

    “Today, we have borne witness to a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions. This verdict is a crushing blow not only for Taner, Özlem, İdil and Günal and their families but for everyone who believes in justice, and human rights activism in Turkey and beyond.

    “The decision of the court is staggering. During 12 court hearings, each and every allegation has been comprehensively exposed as a baseless slur. The court’s verdict defies logic and exposes this three-year trial as the politically motivated attempt to silence independent voices it was from day one.”  

    June 30, 2020

    The Israeli authorities must immediately abandon plans to further “annex” territory in the occupied West Bank which breach international laws and exacerbate decades of systematic human rights violations against Palestinians, Amnesty International said on the day the Israeli cabinet is due to begin its deliberations on the plans. 

    Amnesty International is also calling on the international community to take firm action against the “annexation” proposals and illegal Israeli settlements in occupied territory. 

    “International law is crystal clear on this matter – annexation is unlawful. Israel’s continued pursuit of this policy further illustrates its cynical disregard for international law. Such policies do not change the legal status of the territory under international law and its inhabitants as occupied nor remove Israel’s responsibilities as the occupying power – rather it points to the ‘law of the jungle’ which should not have a place in our world today,” said Saleh Higazi, deputy regional director for Amnesty Middle East and North Africa.

    June 30, 2020

    Today an international group of 142 scientists, community groups and NGOs from 24 countries published a set of 16 guidelines for the safer storage of mine waste. The guidelines aim to protect communities, workers and the environment from the risks posed by thousands of mine waste storage facilities, which are failing more frequently and with more severe outcomes.

    Safety First: Guidelines for Responsible Mine Tailings Management states that the ultimate goal of tailings management must be zero harm to people and the environment and zero tolerance for human fatalities. Last year’s tragic dam collapse in Brazil killed 270 people and destroyed the town of Brumadinho, and came on the heels of tailings dam failures at the Mount Polley mine in Canada and the Samarco mine in Brazil, among others. Across the world, communities in the shadow of large tailings dams live in a state of perpetual fear.

    June 30, 2020

    Responding to today’s passing of a national security law for Hong Kong by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, the head of Amnesty International’s China Team, Joshua Rosenzweig, said:

    “The passing of the national security law is a painful moment for the people of Hong Kong and represents the greatest threat to human rights in the city’s recent history. From now on, China will have the power to impose its own laws on any criminal suspect it chooses.

    “The speed and secrecy with which China has pushed through this legislation intensifies the fear that Beijing has calculatingly created a weapon of repression to be used against government critics, including people who are merely expressing their views or protesting peacefully.

    “The fact that the Chinese authorities have now passed this law without the people of Hong Kong being able to see it tells you a lot about their intentions. Their aim is to govern Hong Kong through fear from this point forward.

    June 26, 2020

    This weekend’s Pride celebrations are a chance to celebrate and promote the rights of LGBTI people at a time when their rights are under increased threat, Amnesty International said today.

    The organization warned that existing inequalities have been entrenched by months of lockdown measures, exposing LGBTI people to terrifying levels of discrimination, stigma, hostility and violence. 

    “This Pride weekend, LGBTI people, activists and allies around the world will show that even a global pandemic cannot stop them from demanding the rights which many governments continue to deny them,” said Nadia Rahman, Researcher and Policy Advisor in Amnesty International’s Gender, Sexuality and Identity Team.

    “While virtual celebrations are a moment of hope in difficult times, countless LGBTI people will be spending Pride trapped in hostile or dangerous lockdown situations where their sexualities or identities are not accepted. 

    June 25, 2020

    As Israel steps up construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), in brazen defiance of international law, Amnesty International is calling on TripAdvisor to urgently remove its listings in settlements and send a clear message that it will no longer contribute to human rights violations.

    With a sharp increase in settlement expansion underway, and persistent attacks on Palestinians and their properties by some Israeli settlers, it is more important than ever that companies do not further legitimize settlements by doing business in them.

    Amnesty International today submitted a petition to TripAdvisor’s CEO Stephen Kaufer, signed by more than 300,000 people from around the world, calling on the company to pull out of illegal settlements. The company has not responded to Amnesty International’s requests for comment.

    June 25, 2020

    Within weeks of lockdown measures shuttering businesses across Canada, the federal government announced broad-reaching emergency income supports. But three months later, and even after government extended existing emergency income supports, many sex workers remain out of work and ineligible to receive emergency income supports, and all are working in precarious conditions.

    “Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups of people in Canada,” said Jenn Clamen, National Coordinator of the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform. “Sex workers and other marginalized groups should be at the heart of the government’s pandemic response, but instead, continue to be ignored. Sex workers’ rights to health, safety, and dignity need to be protected in the context of a pandemic, so that they, too, can support themselves and their families.”

    June 23, 2020

    Egyptian security forces today whisked away human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience Sanaa Seif from outside the Public Prosecutor’s office in New Cairo, where she was waiting to file a complaint after suffering a violent assault. 

    Sanaa Seif was taken to the office in Cairo of the Supreme State Security Prosecution, a branch of the Public Prosecution specialized in investigating national security threats. Family and supporters gathered outside the office subsequently learnt that prosecutors had questioned her over the charges of “disseminating false news”, “inciting terrorist crimes” and “misuse of social media.”

    Sanaa Seif’s brother, activist Alaa Abdel Fatah, has been in arbitrary detention since September 2019. On 22 June, Sanaa Seif, her mother and sister were waiting outside the Tora Prison Complex to receive a letter from him when they were beaten and robbed by a group of women armed with sticks, in full view of security forces. 

    June 23, 2020
    Amnesty International identifies and maps out police violence nationwide since 26 May Almost 500 videos and photographs of incidents analyzed 125 incidents in 40 states highlight where police used force on peaceful protesters, journalists and bystanders New campaign calls for wide-ranging police reform

    Police forces across the USA committed widespread and egregious human rights violations against people protesting the unlawful killings of Black people and calling for police reform, Amnesty International said today, as it launched an interactive map of incidents of police violence and a new campaign calling for systemic changes in policing.

    June 22, 2020

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Sixties Scoop Network launches innovative mapping project for 60s Scoop survivors 

    (Ottawa/Unceded Algonquin Territory –  June 22 2020) This morning, the Sixties Scoop Network (formerly the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network) launched a ground-breaking interactive map to visualize the displacement of Sixties Scoop survivors and share their stories. 

    June 18, 2020

    Lagos/London/Brussels/Amsterdam, 18 June 2020 – Nearly 10 years after a clean-up was urged for areas polluted by Shell and other oil companies in the Niger Delta, work has begun on only 11% of planned sites while vast areas remain heavily contaminated, according to a new investigation by four NGOs.

    In 2011 the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report documenting the devastating impact of the oil industry in Ogoniland, and set out urgent recommendations for clean-up. But the new investigation highlights that “emergency measures” proposed by UNEP have not been properly implemented and that the billion-dollar clean-up project launched by the Nigerian government in 2016 has been ineffective. 

    June 17, 2020

    Earlier today, Canada lost its bid to be elected to a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council. Despite this loss, Canada can and must still advance its global goals through its Feminist Foreign Policy.

    Canada must play a constructive global role through continuing to support efforts to advance gender equality and the rights of women, girls and gender-diverse people across all areas of its foreign policy. 

    June 17, 2020

    Amnesty International is calling on Canada to urgently intervene to secure the release from prison of Yasser Albaz, a Canadian citizen who has been arbitrarily detained by Egypt since February 2019. Amnesty International is calling on Egyptian authorities to release Yasser Albaz immediately, as the organization considers his ongoing detention to be arbitrary based on information received from his family, including the absence of formal charges and judicial oversight of pre-trial detention. 

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