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    November 23, 2020

    The conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is on the brink of a deadly escalation after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) 72 hours to surrender before the military begins an assault on Tigray’s capital Mekelle. Amnesty International is calling on all parties to the conflict to prioritize the protection of civilians, and to grant access to human rights monitors and humanitarian organizations.

    “The conflict in the Tigray region has already claimed hundreds of civilian lives, left many more injured, and forced thousands into refugee camps in neighbouring Sudan. As Ethiopian federal troops begin preparations to encircle Mekelle, Amnesty International reminds all parties that deliberately attacking civilians and civilian objects is prohibited under international humanitarian law, and constitutes war crimes. Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks are also prohibited,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

    November 20, 2020
    Amnesty International highlights Germain Rukuki’s case in its flagship annual letter-writing campaign

    The Burundian authorities must overturn human rights defender Germain Rukuki’s conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International said today as it launched its annual letter-writing human rights campaign, Write for Rights.

    “Germain Rukuki has been behind bars for more than three years on trumped-up charges. During this period, he has not seen his family or held his youngest son who was born after his arrest. Rukuki is paying the price for his dedication to human rights in a country where the government and ruling party remain intolerant of any form of dissent,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

    November 20, 2020

    We, members of the Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China, represent groups across the country who are deeply concerned by systemic and unrelenting violations of human rights by the Government of China. We are also deeply troubled by the longstanding and worsening efforts, carried out by individuals and organizations that are led, backed or encouraged by the Chinese government, to harass and intimidate human rights defenders from our communities here in Canada. We reiterate our calls for the Canadian government to prioritize concern for human rights in our relationship with China. 

    We welcome the recent statement by Prime Minister Trudeau calling attention to the intensification of intimidation and harassment, here in Canada, by agents and proxies of the Chinese government, in an effort to silence and intimidate voices raised against wholesale intimidation, cultural genocide, linguistic suppression and curtailing the freedom of conscience and religion. 

    November 20, 2020

    Authorities in Egypt must end their vicious reprisal campaign against the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and immediately and unconditionally release three senior staff members arrested arbitrarily, said Amnesty International today.

    The crackdown took place after the group held a human rights briefing with 13 Western diplomats. Gasser Abdel-Razek, EIPR’s Executive Director and a veteran human rights defender, is the third senior staff member to be detained in just five days.

    Amnesty International calls on countries whose representatives attended the meeting on 3 November, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany, to break their silence and publicly demand Egypt release these human rights defenders and end its brutal repression of the human rights community.

    November 20, 2020

    Through the immediate verification of audiovisual evidence, Amnesty International has confirmed the veracity of material showing the excessive and unnecessary use of force by the National Police in the demonstrations related to the political crisis that has gripped Peru.

    “The videos that Amnesty International has digitally verified are strong evidence of the violence that the police are using against the population they should be protecting,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    According to the information received, more than 15 people have been injured, at least three of them seriously wounded by firearms, since 10 November 2020, mostly in the massive protests that took place yesterday in several cities across the country.

    Amnesty International has also received reports of arbitrary arrests by National Police officers in civilian clothes who refused to identify themselves, and of ill-treatment by the security forces.

    November 20, 2020

    The Bangladeshi authorities must abandon plans to relocate more than 100 Rohingya families to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal which has not yet been declared safe for human habitation by the United Nations and where many refugees are still reluctant to relocate, said Amnesty International. 

    According to local media reports, the Bangladeshi government has completed preparations to relocate 300 to 400 Rohingya refugees to the silt island of Bhashan Char this month on a “voluntary basis”. Rohingya refugees, interviewed by Amnesty International this month, said that government officials in charge of refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar have coerced them into registering for relocation. 

    Amnesty International has obtained a partial list of the Rohingya families identified for relocation to Bhashan Char, where more than 300 Rohingya refugees are already living in poor conditions.  

    November 19, 2020

    Amnesty International today launches the world’s biggest human rights campaign, Write for Rights, calling on governments to put right injustices against individuals who are detained or persecuted in countries across the globe, and to lead by example in building a fairer post-COVID-19 world. 

    “Devastating though it has been, the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought out the best in people. We have witnessed countless acts of compassion and solidarity as people come together in their communities to help those most in need. Sadly, many governments have pursued the opposite course, detaining and persecuting people who stand up for human rights,” said Julie Verhaar, Acting Secretary General of Amnesty International. 

    November 19, 2020

    Tell King Salman to free Nassima al-Sada

    G20 leaders attending this weekend’s virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia must take the Saudi authorities to task for their shameless hypocrisy on women’s rights, Amnesty International said today. Women’s empowerment features prominently on Saudi Arabia’s G20 Agenda, despite the fact the activists who spearheaded campaigns for women’s rights are languishing in jail or facing trial. 

    Amnesty International is urging G20 leaders to join the call for the immediate and unconditional release of Loujain al-Hathloul, Nassima al-Sada, Samar Badawi, Nouf Abdulaziz and Maya’a al-Zahrani, who were arrested in 2018 for their human rights work.

    November 18, 2020

    As the U.S. tops 250,000 deaths from COVID-19 today and President Trump continues to reject cooperation with President-Elect Biden’s team on the pandemic, Amnesty International USA Interim Executive Director Bob Goodfellow issued the below statement: 

    “The COVID-19 pandemic is a human rights crisis on an unprecedented scale. The U.S. government’s response to the pandemic has laid bare systemic disparities that have long undermined our human rights, including those to life and health, to and at work, to social security, and to be free from discrimination. From the very beginning, this crisis has affected everyone, but some have been hit much harder than others. Communities of color, frontline and low-wage workers, people with disabilities, older people, people who are undocumented, and those of us facing economic hardship are yet again dying and suffering in far greater numbers. 

    November 16, 2020

    The Iranian authorities deliberately shut down the internet during nationwide protests in November 2019, hiding the true scale of unlawful killings by security forces, Amnesty International said today (16 November).

    On the anniversary of the deadliest day of the protests, Amnesty International is launching a new microsite, A web of impunity: The killings Iran’s internet shutdown hid, documenting how the lethal crackdown that left at least 304 people dead was hidden from the world.

    “When news of the deadly crackdown began to emerge from Iran last November, the world was shocked by the brutal violence of the security forces. The authorities deliberately blocked internet access inside Iran, hiding the true extent of the horrendous human rights violations that they were carrying out across the country,” said Diana Eltahawy, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    November 13, 2020

    The Pakistani authorities must immediately disclose the whereabouts of Idris Khattak and lift the veil of secrecy surrounding his case, said Amnesty International, on the first anniversary of the prominent human rights defender’s enforced disappearance. 

    Idris Khattak, who has worked extensively to tackle enforced disappearance, including with Amnesty International, has not been seen or heard from since being abducted while on his way home from Islamabad to Peshawar on 13 November 2019. On 16 June 2020, more than six months after his disappearance and following a public campaign by his family, the Pakistani Ministry of Defence confirmed that Idris Khattak was in their custody and had been charged with treason under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) – a charge punishable by death. They also stated he would be tried in a military court. 

    November 12, 2020

    Following the conclusion of a meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for human rights, 26 of the civil society groups that took part in a discussion session with ministers during the meeting condemned the obstructive attitude of some governments and expressed disappointment that, overall, governments continue to fall far short of advancing the collaborative agenda that is so sorely needed to ensure consistent and effective implementation of the country’s international human rights obligations.

    The meeting, two consecutive half-days over the course of November 9 and 10, marks only the third time in the past 32 years that ministers from across the country have come together to discuss human rights protection in Canada. Previous meetings were held in 1988 and 2017. This sporadic political attention to an intergovernmental human rights agenda in Canada is disgraceful and has long been a source of serious concern among civil society groups, Indigenous organizations, United Nations human rights bodies and parliamentary committees.

    November 12, 2020

    Nearly eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Syrian government is failing to adequately protect its health workers, still lacks a robust response to the spread of the disease, and is refusing to provide transparent and consistent information about the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, Amnesty International said today.

    Relatives of COVID-19 patients, medical professionals and humanitarian workers have told Amnesty International that public hospitals have been forced to turn patients away due to a lack of beds, oxygen tanks and ventilators. In desperation, some residents have been forced to rent oxygen tanks and ventilators at exorbitant fees. Thousands of lives, including those of health workers, continue to be at risk with no transparent and effective information, or testing.

    November 12, 2020

    Spokespersons available to take media interviews

    Amnesty International can today confirm the that scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death in Mai-Kadra (May Cadera) town in the South West Zone of Ethiopia’s Tigray Region on the night of 9 November.

    The organization’s Crisis Evidence Lab has examined and digitally verified gruesome photographs and videos of bodies strewn across the town or being carried away on stretchers. It confirmed the images were recent and using satellite imagery, geolocated them to Mai-Kadra in western Tigray state (14.071008, 36.564681).

    “We have confirmed the massacre of a very large number of civilians, who appear to have been day labourers in no way involved in the ongoing military offensive. This is a horrific tragedy whose true extent only time will tell as communication in Tigray remains shut down,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

    November 10, 2020

    In EA’s FIFA 2021 updated game, the best-selling football jersey from Irish club Bohemian FC has gone global, in partnership with Amnesty International.

    The away-game jersey features the iconic image of a family fleeing, with the words ‘Refugees Welcome’. It also features the famous ‘Love Football, Hate Racism’ slogan.

    Amnesty International Ireland launched its partnership with Bohemian FC in early 2020, which captured media headlines and went viral on social media. The jersey also went on to become a best-seller, with people ordering it from over 40 countries around the world, from China to the British Virgin Islands.

    Now Amnesty International branches around the world are joining in to support the jersey’s launch in EA Games’ updated FIFIA 2021. FIFA 2021 is played by more than 45 million people, giving the local club in Dublin Ireland a truly global audience.

    Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, called on gamers around the world to embrace the message.

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