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    January 29, 2020
    New report reviews human rights in 25 Asian and Pacific states and territories during 2019 Young protesters take to streets in response to increasing repression Detentions, arrests and deaths as authorities clamp down on dissent with excessive force But protests vital in helping secure landmark human rights wins

    A wave of youth-led protests across Asia is defying escalating repression and a continent-wide crackdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Amnesty International said today as it published its annual report on human rights in the region.

    ‘Human Rights in Asia-Pacific: A review of 2019’, which includes a detailed analysis of human rights developments in 25 countries and territories, describes how a new generation of activists are fighting back against brutal crackdowns on dissent, poisonous social media operations and widespread political censorship.

    January 28, 2020

    The Trump administration’s dismal package of proposals to violate international law and further strip Palestinians of their rights is a handbook for more suffering and abuses in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Amnesty International said today.

    The organization urged the international community to reject measures contravening international law that are set out in President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”. These include a formal extension of Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the vast majority of the illegal settlements in the rest of the occupied West Bank in exchange for land currently inside Israel.

    January 28, 2020

    The Bangladesh government has announced it will offer schooling and skills training opportunities to Rohingya refugee children, two and a half years after they were forced to flee crimes against humanity in Myanmar.

    Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have been campaigning for the nearly half a million Rohingya children in Bangladesh’s refugee camps to be allowed to enjoy their right to quality education, warning of the costs of a ‘lost generation’.

    “This is an important and very positive commitment by the Bangladeshi government, allowing children to access schooling and chase their dreams for the future. They have lost two academic years already and cannot afford to lose any more time outside a classroom,” said Saad Hammadi, South Asia Campaigner at Amnesty International.

    January 27, 2020
    Amnesty spokespeople in court and available for interview

    Ahead of tomorrow’s third hearing in the trial of civil society leader Osman Kavala and 15 others on trumped up charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the government’, Amnesty International’s Turkey Campaigner, Milena Buyum said:

    “This prosecution is a shameful attempt to silence independent civil society and part of a wider ongoing crackdown on rights defenders.

    Osman Kavala should not have spent a single minute behind bars let alone more than two years in pre-trial detention.

    “He, and 15 others, are facing spurious accusations devoid of any evidence that they were involved in any criminal activity, let alone conspiring to overthrow the government.”

    “He must be immediately and unconditionally released from jail and the charges against him and the 15 other civil society figures dropped.

    “A month after the European Court of Human Rights called on Turkey to release Osman Kavala immediately, every passing day he spends behind bars further compounds the violation of his rights.

    January 24, 2020

    Wednesday, January 29 marks one year since the Trump administration implemented an unprecedented program disingenuously titled the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” under which the U.S. government forcibly returns people to Mexico while they ask for asylum in the U.S. 

    January 21, 2020

    Decision makers attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this week must transform our economic system away from fossil fuels by the end of the decade to prevent climate chaos, Amnesty International and other human rights groups as well as key environment, labour and social justice groups said in a statement.

    The activist leaders are calling for every government and business leader attending Davos to declare a climate emergency within their sphere of influence and to end fossil fuel use and exploration. Governments must redistribute fossil fuel subsidies to social protection and responsibly produced renewable energy and put a meaningful price on emissions to make polluting industries pay.

    “The climate emergency is the burning issue at Davos. Climate change threatens the rights of hundreds of millions of people to water, food, and health. Leaders at Davos can support human rights or they can support fossil fuels - they cannot do both,” said Clare Algar, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Research Advocacy and Policy.

    January 21, 2020

    In a ground-breaking asylum case, a UN human rights body has ruled that governments must take into account the human rights violations caused by the climate crisis when considering deportation of asylum seekers, said Amnesty International today. 

    Ioane Teitiota, a man from the Pacific nation of Kiribati, brought a case against the government of New Zealand at the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) in February 2016 after authorities denied his claim of asylum as a ‘climate refugee.’ He was deported from New Zealand to Kiribati in September 2015. The HRC delivered its decision on the case earlier this month. 

    “The decision sets a global precedent,” said Kate Schuetze, Pacific Researcher at Amnesty International. “It says a state will be in breach of its human rights obligations if it returns someone to a country where – due to the climate crisis – their life is at risk, or in danger of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment triggered.”    

    January 17, 2020

    • Amnesty International expert attending hearing and available for interviews

    The two psychologists responsible for designing and implementing the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” will testify in pre-trial hearings in the September 11 case at Guantánamo Bay next week. Amnesty International experts will be there to observe their testimony.

    The contract psychologists, James E. Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, are responsible for developing interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, confinement in small boxes, beatings, and sleep deprivation, which amounted to torture. Many detainees suffered such abuse in secret sites around the globe, including in Europe, with the complicity of a number of European governments. Julia Hall, Amnesty International’s leading expert on counter-terrorism, who will be attending the hearings, said:

    “The perverse ‘work’ of these psychologists has dramatically set back the global fight against torture. The interrogation methods they championed have had a rippling effect around the world.

    January 16, 2020

    Ahead of President Xi Jinping’s two-day state visit to Myanmar, which begins on Friday 17 January 2020, Amnesty International’s Regional Director, Nicholas Bequelin, said:

    “President Xi’s government has expressed its desire to help solve the situation in Rakhine State. While this is welcome in principle, the reality is that China’s engagement has failed to yield positive results for the people of Myanmar.

    “China must stop using its position in the UN Security Council to shield Myanmar’s senior generals from accountability. This has only emboldened the military’s relentless campaign of human rights violations and war crimes against ethnic minorities across the country.

    “Almost a million Rohingya languish in refugee camps in Bangladesh while 600,000 still in Myanmar continue to live under appalling conditions of apartheid. If it fails to pressure Myanmar to ensure justice and restore Rohingya’s rights, China’s efforts to resolve the situation will remain ineffective – and counter-productive.

    January 16, 2020

    The Lebanese Internal Security Forces, including anti-riot police, used excessive and unlawful force against protesters on the nights of 14 and 15 January, subjecting scores of protesters to brutal beatings and carrying out waves of arbitrary arrests of many peaceful protesters after two nights of clashes with a minority of protesters. Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Research, said:

    “What we have witnessed in the past couple of days is an alarming attack on freedom of assembly and expression. Security forces brutally beat protesters, dragging them on the street into the police station, verbally and physically abusing them; they also fired significant amounts of tear gas in residential areas.

    “Acts by a minority of protesters who vandalized banks or threw stones is never a justification for such excessive use of force and sweeping arrests by law enforcement. We are also alarmed that over the past two days security forces attacked at least eight photojournalists and cameramen, threatening and beating them, and also destroying their equipment.

    January 16, 2020

    Responding to a decision by Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday to close the doors of the hearing of a legal action seeking to revoke the export licence of spyware firm NSO Group, Danna Ingleton, Deputy Director of Amnesty Tech, said:

    “Israel’s Ministry of Defence has once again sought to avoid the full glare of public scrutiny. NSO Group’s chilling spyware has put the lives of human rights activists around the world in danger. There remains a clear public interest for this case to be heard in open court and we remain hopeful that information about the hearing will be shared with the public.

    “The cosy complicity between governments and the shadowy surveillance industry has to end.  We will continue to make every effort to ensure NSO Group’s invasive products can no longer be used to commit human rights abuses around the world.”

    Gil Naveh, spokesperson for Amnesty International Israel, added:

    January 16, 2020

    Spokespersons available to take media interviews

    Responding to the announcement that the Saudi Arabian human rights organization Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Dutch human rights award, the Geuzenpenning, Amnesty International Netherlands director Dagmar Oudshoorn said:

    “This award recognizes the important work done by ACPRA members like Mohammed al-Qahtani, Abdullah al-Hamid and Mohammed al-Bajadi who have been in jail for years. This is a strong call from the Netherlands to release all of ACPRA's founders and members from prison.”

    “While Saudi Arabia has recently invested in expensive PR campaigns to improve its image, the continued detention of ACPRA members is one of the most telling examples of the true face of the Saudi authorities and its appalling human rights record.”

    “This prestigious award is a reminder for the Dutch government and others to do everything within their power to ensure the release of all imprisoned human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia.”

    January 14, 2020

    The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
    Prime Minister of Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    The Honourable John Horgan
    Premier of British Columbia
    Victoria, BC

    The Honourable Jason Kenney
    Premier of Alberta
    Edmonton, Alberta

    January 13, 2020

    Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Premiers Horgan and Kenney,

    January 13, 2020

    The UK Government is deliberately and destructively preventing child refugees from being with their families, Amnesty International UK, Refugee Council and Save the Children said in a new report today.

    The 38-page report - Without My Family - shows how the UK Government’s refugee family reunion rules - which block child refugees in the UK from being reunited with their families - are at odds with national law and a flagrant breach of international law, causing irreversible harm to children in this country.

    January 13, 2020

    The global C20 civil society forum hosted this year by Saudi Arabia is a farcical attempt by the new G20 hosts to whitewash their dire human rights record, Amnesty International said.

    The organization has released a joint statement, along with Transparency International and Civicus, explaining why it will not be engaging in this year’s C20 process, a cycle of preparatory meetings leading up to the annual G20 summit, which started yesterday with a three-day “kick-off meeting”.

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