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    October 10, 2018

    Prisoners under sentence of death must be treated with humanity and dignity and held in conditions that meet international human rights law and standards, said Amnesty International on World Day Against the Death Penalty  today,10 October.

    The organization is launching a new campaign to pressure five countries, Belarus, Ghana, Iran, Japan and Malaysia, to put an end to inhumane conditions of detention for prisoners sentenced to death and move towards full abolition of the death penalty.

    “No matter what crime they may have committed, no one should be forced to endure inhumane conditions of detention. Yet in many cases, prisoners under sentence of death are kept in strict isolation, lack access to necessary medications and live with constant anxiety from the threat of execution,” said Stephen Cockburn, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Global Issues Programme.

    “The fact that some governments notify prisoners and their relatives a few days or, in some cases, a few moments before their execution is cruel.

    October 09, 2018
    Amnesty warns that most carbon removal options will also likely violate human rights

    With countless people worldwide already suffering the catastrophic effects of floods, heatwaves and droughts aggravated by climate change, governments must commit to much more ambitious emissions reduction targets to limit the global average temperature increase, or bear responsibility for loss of life and other human rights violations and abuses on an unprecedented scale, Amnesty International said today.

    A new study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released today, shows that keeping global warming below 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels could still curb the worst human rights impacts of climate change. If emissions continue at their present rate, we are predicted to exceed 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052, and hit 3°C by the end of this century.

    October 09, 2018

    Responding to news that the Senate voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA's Director of Security with Human Rights said:

    “Kavanaugh’s confirmation is devastating as unresolved questions remain about his human rights record, including in relation to the U.S. government’s use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, such as during the CIA detention program, and as a truly thorough, impartial and transparent investigation of sexual assault allegations has not occurred."

    “The vote should have never gone forward in the first place. The fact that the FBI did not even speak to those who said they were assaulted and the short amount of time given to the investigation suggests that it was not thorough.

    “States have an obligation under international human rights law to address gender-based violence and so there must still be a thorough investigation into the allegations of sexual assault.”

    October 09, 2018

    Responding to the convictions of activist Jolovan Wham and opposition politician John Tan by the High Court on charges of "scandalising the judiciary", Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International's Singapore Researcher said:

    “Jolovan Wham and John Tan criticised the Singapore courts for not being sufficiently independent. Such criticism falls squarely within their rights to freedom of expression and should not be criminalised. This first prosecution under the Administration of Justice Act is exactly the type of politically motivated use of the law which observers warned against.

    “This is a very concerning escalation in authorities’ crackdown on freedom of expression and other human rights – even by this government’s standards. These convictions should be quashed immediately.”

    Background

    October 09, 2018

    The Sudanese authorities are yet to bring to justice a single person for the killing of at least 185 people who were shot either in the head, chest or back by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the police during the country’s infamous September 2013 protests on the high cost of living, Amnesty International said today in a statement to the UN Human Rights Committee.

    “Without a single conviction five years on, it is clear that the investigations have either been woefully inadequate, or there is a cover-up to protect the officers deployed to quell the protests. This points to deeply ingrained impunity in Sudan,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    The government claims it established three State Commissions of Inquiry to investigate the September 2013 protest killings, but the findings have not been made public, and no one suspected to be responsible has been brought to justice for the killings.

    October 07, 2018

    Responding to a revolt in the Blue House National Security Service (NSS) detention facility in South Sudan’s capital Juba overnight, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes said:

    “South Sudanese authorities should urgently de-escalate the situation at the notorious Blue House detention facility, where prolonged incommunicado detention, torture and deaths in custody are rife.

    “Independent observers should be able to monitor any intervention by authorities to help prevent the use of excessive force or other human rights violations. Any use of force must be a last resort and in strict compliance with international law. The right to life and personal security of everyone, including prison guards and bystanders, must be respected.

    “The Blue House revolt points to deep problems within South Sudan’s justice system. President Salva Kiir should keep his promise to release detainees unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal offence. Concerted action is needed to improve the dire conditions in detention.”

    October 07, 2018

    Responding to reports alleging that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside his country’s Consulate in Istanbul, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said:

    “Reports that a team flew in from Saudi Arabia expressly to carry out a ‘planned murder’ in the Consulate are cause for extreme alarm after Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance since entering the building on 2 October.

    “If true, this would be an abysmal new low. Such an assassination within the grounds of the Consulate, which is territory under Saudi Arabian jurisdiction, would amount to an extrajudicial execution. This case sends a shockwave among Saudi Arabian human rights defenders and dissidents everywhere, eroding any notion of seeking safe haven abroad.

    October 05, 2018

    Responding to a European Parliament resolution condemning the harassment, persecution and detention of prominent human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in May 2018 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director, said:

    “The European Parliament has sent a strong message which should propel the international community to step up pressure on the UAE authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Ahmed Mansoor and other prisoners of conscience. Ahmed Mansoor has been ruthlessly persecuted for exercising his right to freedom of expression, and his unlawful imprisonment is a chilling warning about the dire state of human rights in the UAE.

    “We are particularly concerned about the UAE authorities’ refusal to make details about his case public. It’s only now that we know Ahmed Mansoor has appealed his unlawful conviction and sentencing for the social media posts he made, and that he is allegedly being held in al-Sadr prison in Abu Dhabi. The authorities must ensure transparency over his appeal and about his whereabouts.

    October 05, 2018

    As European governments continue to endanger lives by forcibly sending people back to deadly conditions in Afghanistan, Amnesty International is mobilizing across the continent from 6-10 October in a series of events to demand that Europe’s politicians keep Afghans safe.

    Events will include a stunt action outside the European Parliament (EP) on 10 October, when Members of the European Parliament and officials from the EU Commission meet to discuss the return of Afghans from Europe. Hundreds of red kites – symbolising the danger faced by Afghans when forced to return to Afghanistan – will be placed in front of the EP as a reminder to Europe’s politicians of their duty to protect Afghans. 

    “By forcing increasing numbers of people to return to Afghanistan over the past two years, Europe’s governments have put tens of thousands of lives at immediate risk. Afghanistan is not a safe place. To claim otherwise is a denial of the wholesale bloodshed being seen on the ground,” said Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s Regional Campaigner from the South Asia Regional Office.

    October 05, 2018

    Responding to the conviction and sentencing of Ban Samphy to seven months in prison and a five-month suspended sentence on charges of “insulting the king” for sharing a Facebook post, Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Global Operations, said:

    “Ban Samphy is behind bars for expressing himself – all he did was click a ‘share’ button for a post that included nothing but peaceful criticism. He should be released immediately and unconditionally, and his sentence must be overturned.

    “This is a brazenly political verdict. Earlier this year, Hun Sen’s administration devised this ‘lese majeste’ provision to the Criminal Code to muzzle peaceful criticism, as this first conviction shows. This legislation must be repealed.”

    Background

    Ban Samphy, a 70-year-old barber and former minor opposition official from Siem Reap, was jailed for sharing a Facebook post that criticized Prime Minister Hun Sen and what the post called the "fake king" over a dam project.

    October 05, 2018

    Responding to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi Arabian journalist whose whereabouts remain unknown since he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul this past Tuesday, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director, said:

    “The Saudi authorities must immediately disclose the evidence supporting their claim that Jamal Khashoggi left the consulate last Tuesday, otherwise their claims are utterly baseless and only exacerbate suspicions that they are indeed detaining him in what would amount to an enforced disappearance. If that is indeed the case, they must immediately release him, and the Turkish authorities must ensure he is not forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia.

    “Khashoggi went into self-exile in September 2017, amidst an ongoing wave of arrests of human rights defenders, clerics, economists, bloggers – and practically any person daring to criticise the authorities. If returned to Saudi Arabia, Jamal Khashoggi would be in serious danger given the pattern of flagrantly unfair trials that have been leading to long prison sentences and even the death penalty.

    October 05, 2018

    In response to news that Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yezidi human rights activist Nadia Murad have jointly won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said:

    “Warmest congratulations to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for this recognition of their courageous work standing up for the victims of sexual violence in conflict. They are beacons of hope in a world where rape and other forms of sexual violence continue to be a frequent and horrific feature of wartime attacks, often used to brutalize, silence and spread fear.

    “We understand Denis Mukwege was in surgery when the announcement was made, which is testament to his unshakeable dedication to treating women and girls in his hospital. Under his compassionate care, thousands of survivors of rape and sexual violence in eastern DRC have overcome their physical injuries. Despite facing an assassination attempt and attacks against his family, Denis Mukwege continues to campaign tirelessly against sexual violence in conflict. He is a remarkable champion of human rights.

    October 05, 2018

    Responding to the prison sentences of between eight and 15 years handed to five peaceful protestors by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City today, Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Global Operations, said:

    “Luu Van Vinh is a construction worker and member of a small group interested in the environment, as well as democracy and human rights. Today, he and his co-defendants were found guilty of ‘activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration.’ They have already spent almost two years in prison awaiting trial. This cruel and senseless ruling is clearly aimed at stifling people’s right to speak their mind. They should immediately and unconditionally be released.

    “Thirteen people have been placed behind bars in only the past five weeks for ‘crimes’ such as blogging, using Facebook and other peaceful pursuits. This is a deeply concerning escalation. These convictions and jail sentences should all be voided immediately, as should those of over one hundred other prisoners of conscience languishing in Viet Nam’s jails.

    October 04, 2018
     Amnesty Secretary General Kumi Naidoo in Lesvos as situation on islands reaches crisis point Refugee women raise their voices for change and set out ten demands for European leaders

    Female refugees and asylum seekers are coming together to fight against horrific abuses, including sexual violence, and to demand a better life in Europe, Amnesty International reveals in a new report published today.

    I want to decide my future: Uprooted women in Greece speak out, reveals the perilous journeys made by women and girls and the terrible conditions and dangers they face when they finally arrive on the Greek islands or mainland. It also highlights the tremendous resilience and strength these women have shown in overcoming adversity.

    “The abject failure of European governments to open safe and legal routes to refugees fleeing war is putting women and girls at increased risk of harrowing abuses,” said Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    October 04, 2018
    Presidential election in Cameroon on Sunday 7 October 123 civilians killed by Boko Haram so far this year in Far North region where 230,000 people are internally displaced More than 400 people killed in Anglophone regions this year

    Cameroon’s next government must urgently tackle human rights crises in which hundreds of civilians have been killed this year alone and thousands internally displaced amid violence by security forces, Boko Haram and armed separatists in the country’s Far North and Anglophone regions, Amnesty International said ahead of Sunday’s presidential election.

    “Whoever wins the election cannot ignore the perilous situation for people living in the Far North and Anglophone regions and must prioritize their protection,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International Deputy regional director for West and Central Africa.

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