Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

news

    July 13, 2018

    Amnesty International welcomes legislative efforts in Ireland to prohibit certain economic activities with illegal settlements in territories deemed occupied under international law, such as the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    Business activities in or with illegal settlements, such as the trade in settlement goods and services, contribute to the economy of these settlements and therefore to their viability, development and expansion. States that promote or allow these activities are at least implicitly conferring recognition to an illegal situation and assisting in its maintenance, therefore acting against their international obligations not to recognise as lawful and not to assist in an illegal situation (the establishment of settlements by an occupying power in occupied territory).

    This is why Amnesty International is calling on states to ban the import of goods from Israel’s illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to prohibit companies domiciled in their territory from operating in Israel’s settlements or trading in Israeli settlements’ goods and services.

    July 12, 2018

    An investigation by Amnesty International experts has gathered credible evidence that it was Cameroonian soldiers depicted in a video carrying out the horrific extrajudicial executions of two women and two young children. While an investigation has now been announced, the Ministry of Communication earlier dismissed video footage of the killings as “fake news”.

    Extensive analysis of the weapons, dialogue and uniforms that feature in the video, paired with digital verification techniques and testimonies taken from the ground, all strongly suggest that the perpetrators of the executions are Cameroonian soldiers.

    “The Cameroonian authorities’ initial claim that this shocking video is fake simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. We can provide credible evidence to the contrary. Given the gravity of these horrific acts – the cold blooded and calculated slaughter of women and young children – these hasty and dismissive denials cast serious doubt over whether any investigation will be genuine,” said Samira Daoud, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s West Africa office.

    July 11, 2018

    The government of Sudan has intensified its attempts to silence Matar Younis Ali Hussein, a visually impaired religious teacher who faces the death penalty for nothing more than criticising the government’s repression in Darfur and standing up for human rights, said Amnesty International ahead of a court hearing on 12 July.

    Matar Younis, aged 48, could face the death penalty or life imprisonment if found guilty of trumped up charges of allegedly ‘waging war against the State’ and ‘undermining the constitutional system’. He has also been charged with ‘espionage’.

    “The Sudanese authorities have continuously shown contempt for the human rights of the people of Darfur. Matar Younis has been one of the few voices for victims in Darfur who has consistently, fearlessly and publicly asked the government to change its harmful policies and protect the displaced people of Darfur. He should not be criminalized for standing up for human rights,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    July 11, 2018

    The public flogging on Tuesday in Iran of a young man convicted of consuming alcohol when he was just 14 or 15 years old over a decade ago highlights the inhumanity of a justice system that legalizes brutality, said Amnesty International today.

    “The circumstances of this case are absolutely shocking, representing another horrific example of the Iranian authorities’ warped priorities. No one, regardless of age, should be subjected to flogging; that a child was prosecuted for consuming alcohol and sentenced to 80 lashes beggars belief,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    “The Iranian authorities’ prolific use of corporal punishment, including on children, demonstrates a shocking disregard for basic humanity. They should immediately abolish all forms of such punishment, which in Iran includes amputation and blinding as well as flogging.”

    July 11, 2018

    Amnesty International is deeply concerned by recent backlash against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Malaysia by several politicians, including the Minister of Religious Affairs, as well as threats against a prominent LGBTI activist. Amnesty International calls on the new government to condemn recent attacks against LGBTI people in Malaysia, adopt policies to protect LGBTI people from discrimination and ensure full enjoyment of their rights.

    Last week, Minister for Religious Affairs Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said that even though he has pledged to listen to the views of LGBTI people in the country, this should not be construed as overt support for LGBTI people.

    A member of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), a conservative opposition party, then said that LGBTI people “infringe on society’s rights and the norms of humanity”, while the Deputy Head of Government in Kelantan State stated that “gays and lesbians” are “bigger issues” for the country, compared to a recent case of child marriage that was widely condemned both domestically and abroad.

    July 11, 2018

    Amnesty International Canada, PEN Canada and the Toronto Association for Democracy in China welcome news of Liu Xia’s release from China and commemorate the work of Liu Xiaobo on the first anniversary of his death on July 13, 2017.

    Liu Xia, a poet and artist, has suffered from depression since being placed under house arrest in 2010, after her late husband Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. During that time, she has been surveilled relentlessly, and effectively detained since the death of Liu Xiaobo on July 13, 2017.

    “This is what international pressure can do for human rights,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. “Thanks to tens of thousands of people who spoke up as part of the ‘Free Liu Xia’ campaign, she has at long last been freed and is now safely in Germany.”

    Liu Xiaobo was a writer, literary critic, human rights activist, and co-author of Charter 08, a manifesto calling for political reform in China. He was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to eleven years' imprisonment. 

    July 10, 2018

    Colombia faces a grave human rights crisis as a result of repeated targeted killings of human rights defenders, while the authorities look on unperturbed, Amnesty International said today.

    The violence is relentless in the regions of Antioquia, Cauca, Chocó and Nariño, despite repeated complaints from local communities. According to the Ombudsman’s Office of Colombia, a state body, the murder of a human rights defender is reported every three days. Those worst affected are community, Indigenous or Afro-descendant leaders and those who defend the rights of the victims of the armed conflict.

    “The silent complicity of the Colombian authorities cannot continue. The killing of those who defend human rights is causing renewed suffering in the country and destroying the social fabric of communities that have historically borne the brunt of the armed conflict and are now at greater risk due to the resurgence of paramilitary groups,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    July 10, 2018

    The repressive actions of the Nicaraguan government have reached deplorable levels, Amnesty International said today, after one of the bloodiest weekends since the repression of protests began almost three months ago.

    “Heavily armed pro-government groups remain at large, accompanied by police forces, committing joint attacks against the civilian population,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    “The message sent by the highest ranking Nicaraguan authorities is that they are willing to do anything to silence the voices of those who demonstrate against this violent repression. This situation is extremely serious and deserves strong condemnation from the international community.”

    At least 17 people were killed in Matagalpa, Jinotepe and Diriamba during the weekend, most of them by police and pro-government armed groups. In addition, the arbitrary detention of dozens of people was reported.

    July 10, 2018

    Responding to reports that artist Liu Xia, widow of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, has left China and is traveling to Germany, Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International, commented:

    “It is wonderful news that Liu Xia is finally free and that her persecution and illegal detention at the hands of the Chinese authorities has come to an end, nearly one year since Liu Xiaobo’s untimely and undignified death.

    “Liu Xia never gave up on her wrongfully imprisoned late husband, and for this she was cruelly punished. The Chinese authorities tried to silence her, but she stood tall for human rights. However, after eight years under illegal house arrest her health is a cause for genuine concern.

    “Now, the harassment of Liu Xia’s family who remain in China must end too. It would be most callous of the Chinese authorities to use Liu Xia’s relatives to put pressure on Liu Xia to prevent her from speaking out in the future.”

    Background

    July 09, 2018

    Responding to today’s decision by a Yangon court to formally charge Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, with breaching the country’s Official Secrets Act, Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Response, said:

    “This is a black day for press freedom in Myanmar. The court’s decision to proceed with this farcical, politically motivated case has deeply troubling and far-reaching implications for independent journalism in the country.

    “In their investigations of military operations in Rakhine State, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were simply doing what journalists are meant to do – expose the truth and hold the powerful to account. Charging them under this draconian law – even after widespread national and international condemnation – is a clear sign that the authorities are intent on silencing critical voices. It also serves notice to other journalists working in the country that speaking out comes with serious consequences.

    July 09, 2018

    Ahead of tomorrow’s appeal hearing for three Vietnamese human rights defenders - Vu Quang Thuan, Nguyen Van Dien and Tran Hoang Phuc - who were sentenced to up to eight years in prison in January on charges of “anti-state propaganda” in relation to posts they made on social media, Amnesty International's Senior Director of Global Operations Minar Pimple said:

    “Vu Quang Thuan, Nguyen Van Dien and Tran Hoang Phuc are victims of the Vietnamese government’s shameful crackdown on all forms of dissent. They have been targeted purely for their peaceful activism.

    “These three men have committed no crime; they have merely used social media to express opinions that the authorities do not like – namely by supporting the protection of human rights and social justice in the country.  

    “Viet Nam’s long-running use of repressive laws to prosecute and punish peaceful activists must end. As a start, Hanoi’s High Court must tomorrow quash all charges against these men and release them.”

    Background

    July 05, 2018

    Mexico’s Federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) must not charge the seven human rights defenders who are being investigated for the offence of “obstructing the execution of a public work” in the town of Cuetzalan unless there is strong evidence against them, Amnesty International said today.

    “It is crucial that the PGR ensure that the investigation is not based on unfounded or unreliable evidence as reprisal for their work to defend human rights and that it guarantees their right to a fair trial in accordance with international standards,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “It is essential that the Mexican authorities do not misuse the criminal justice system to harass and silence human rights defenders and use this as a way to obstruct their legitimate work to defend the land, territory and environment.”

    July 05, 2018

    Israel’s forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes and settling of Israeli civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes, Amnesty International said as it continues to monitor the fast-changing situation on the ground in the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar.

    This morning Israeli security forces closed off the areas surrounding the Khan al-Ahmar community in preparation for the demolition of the entire village, including schools, farmland, a mosque and the homes of all families living in the village.

    “Going ahead with the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is not only profoundly cruel; it would also amount to forcible transfer, which is a war crime. Israel must be held to account for such grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is a standard it has set for itself and demanded of other nations. The international community also has a responsibility to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions. The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar must be stopped,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International

    July 05, 2018

    As the UN Security Council meets today to review measures aimed at bringing long-overdue peace and stability to South Sudan, Amnesty International is reiterating its longstanding call for the imposition of a comprehensive arms embargo to cut off the supply of weapons being used to kill, maim and destroy the lives of the South Sudanese people.

    “The people of South Sudan have suffered gross human rights violations and war crimes for more than four years now and the world has done very little to end them. The UN Security Council must step up and take a leadership role in ending these atrocities by stopping the flow of arms into South Sudan,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    Amnesty International urges the Security Council and the international community, including manufacturers and suppliers of arms, to take decisive steps to end the mass atrocity crimes in South Sudan by drying up its supply of weapons.

    July 05, 2018

    Amnesty International calls for “zero-tolerance” on child migration detention

    With hundreds of traumatized children still trapped in detention centres in the USA as a result of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, Amnesty International is calling on world leaders to take action by including a commitment to end child migration detention in the text of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM), which enters the final stage of negotiations next week.

    “The appalling scenes in the USA have illustrated why an international commitment to ending child migration detention is so desperately needed – these negotiations could not have come at a more crucial time,” said Perseo Quiroz, Amnesty International’s Senior Americas Advocate.

    “Many world leaders have expressed their outrage at the Trump administration’s recent horrendous treatment of children whose parents have arrived in the USA irregularly. Now is the time to channel that outrage into concrete action.

    Pages

    Subscribe to news
    rights