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    July 20, 2016

    Amnesty International has deployed human rights observers to monitor protests at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH, this week and will do the same at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, next week. The following is a statement from Eric Ferrero, Amnesty International USA’s Deputy Executive Director for Strategic Communications and Digital Initiatives, following the second day of the convention:



    "On the second day of observing protests in Cleveland, Amnesty International USA’s delegation noted a heavy police presence that sometimes outnumbered protesters. For the most part, police helped ensure that peaceful protesters representing a range of views could exercise their right to free expression. One protest in the late afternoon grew tense, and police issued a dispersal order. Our observers are gathering more information on that situation. We will continue to monitor protests throughout the week to ensure that everyone’s human rights are protected.”

    July 20, 2016

    As the sweeping crackdown in Turkey following a failed coup continues, Amnesty International fears that purges are being extended to censor media houses and journalists, including those critical of government policy.

    “We are witnessing a crackdown of exceptional proportions in Turkey at the moment. While it is understandable, and legitimate, that the government wishes to investigate and punish those responsible for this bloody coup attempt, they must abide by the rule of law and respect freedom of expression,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher.

    “Turkey’s people are still reeling from the shocking events of the weekend and it is vital that press freedom and the unhindered circulation of information are protected, rather than stiffled.”

    July 19, 2016

    Released  20 July 2016 00:01 GMT

    The Myanmar government must immediately order the relocation of a sulphuric acid factory built dangerously close to a village, which is continuing to operate despite grave concerns over its health and environmental impact, said Amnesty International today.

    Residents of Kankone village told Amnesty International on a recent research mission to Myanmar that they are suffering from strong-smelling factory emissions that are causing respiratory, skin and eye problems.

    The emissions, the residents said, have also damaged crops in the area. Soil samples examined by a government department and an environmental NGO in 2013 revealed high levels of sulphates in the soil. The test results, while limited, are a cause for serious concern about the factory and its impacts.

    July 19, 2016

    The Pakistani authorities must end impunity for so-called ‘honour’ killings and other violence against women, Amnesty International said today. “The tragic killing of Qandeel Baloch, at the hands of her brother, has highlighted the need for urgent action to protect women and men from crimes that are justified as a defence of family honour.”

    Amnesty International welcomes the decision of the Punjab authorities to register Qandeel Baloch’s murder as a crime against the state, and refuse her family the legal right to grant their son clemency. 

    “This needs to become the rule rather than the exception. Pakistan needs to undertake structural reforms that end impunity for so-called ‘honour’ killings,  including by passing legislation that removes the option of clemency for such killings without resorting to the death penalty as a punishment,” said Champa Patel.

    Qandeel Baloch's brother has confessed to strangling his sister to death during her sleep on 15 July, triggering global outrage.

    July 19, 2016

    US-led coalition forces carrying out airstrikes in Syria must redouble efforts to prevent civilian deaths and investigate possible violations of international humanitarian law, Amnesty International urged amid growing reports that scores of men, women and children were killed in their homes in al-Tukhar village, near Manbij, on 18 July.

    Since June, more than 100 civilians are reported to have been killed in suspected coalition attacks on the Manbij area of northern Syria, which has been controlled by the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS).

    “The bombing of al-Tukhar may have resulted in the largest loss of civilian life by coalition operations in Syria. There must be a prompt, independent and transparent investigation to determine what happened, who was responsible, and how to avoid further needles loss of civilian life. Anyone responsible for violations of international humanitarian law must be brought to justice and victims and their families should receive full reparation,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, interim Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

    July 18, 2016

    Human rights in Turkey are in peril following a bloody coup attempt on Friday 15 July, which resulted in the deaths of at least 208 people and almost 8,000 arrests, Amnesty International said today. Several government officials have suggested reinstating the death penalty as punishment for those found responsible for the failed coup, and the organization is now investigating reports that detainees in Ankara and Istanbul have been subjected to a series of abuses, including ill-treatment in custody and being denied access to lawyers.

    “The sheer number of arrests and suspensions since Friday is alarming and we are monitoring the situation very closely. The coup attempt unleashed appalling violence and those responsible for unlawful killings and other human rights abuses must be brought to justice, but cracking down on dissent and threatening to bring back the death penalty are not justice,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia.

    July 18, 2016

    Authorities must investigate the gruesome attack on Saturday on a woman with albinism and bring those suspected of the crime to justice, Amnesty International said today following the latest in a series of such attacks.

    According to media reports, unidentified men targeted 51-year-old woman in Chitipa District in the northern region, chopping off her right hand with a machete after forcing their way into her home in the early hours of 16 July 2016.

    “The authorities’ inaction puts people with albinism in Malawi at constant risk of violent attack,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

    “Just last month, the Malawian authorities assured Amnesty International that they are stepping up their efforts to prevent and punish these superstition-based attacks. It is time to go beyond words and to take effective measures to protect this vulnerable group.”

    Background

    July 18, 2016

    As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, begins his four-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo today, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Michelle Kagari said:

    “We are witnessing a crackdown of dissenting voices in the DRC ahead of elections supposed to be held in November. Arrests of activists and harassment of civil society are becoming commonplace.”

    “The High Commissioner’s visit should mark a turning point away from this repression. He should call on the authorities to honour their international obligations to uphold human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”

    Amnesty International requests that the High Commissioner makes the following calls on the DRC authorities:

    July 18, 2016

    Iran’s authorities are callously toying with the lives of prisoners of conscience and other political prisoners by denying them adequate medical care, putting them at grave risk of death, permanent disability or other irreversible damage to their health, according to a new report by Amnesty International published today.

    The report, Health taken hostage: Cruel denial of medical care in Iran’s prisons, provides a grim snapshot of health care in the country’s prisons. It presents strong evidence that the judiciary, in particular the Office of the Prosecutor, and prison administrations deliberately prevent access to adequate medical care, in many cases as an intentional act of cruelty intended to intimidate, punish or humiliate political prisoners, or to extract forced “confessions” or statements of “repentance” from them.

    July 16, 2016

    Following yesterday's attempted coup by elements of the Turkish armed forces, Amnesty International's Director for Europe John Dalhuisen said:

      "Upholding human rights and the rule of law is the job of elected governments. The coup plotters in Turkey forgot this; it is crucial that President Erdogan and the authorities do not.   "Investigations and accountability should now begin, but this is no time for further rights regression in Turkey. Fair trials must be ensured and there must be no return to the death penalty in the country, which would deliver justice for no-one."
    July 15, 2016

    In response to the Ugandan police beating hundreds of supporters of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party in the capital Kampala, Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “Amnesty International is appalled by the deliberate and senseless beating of unarmed opposition supporters, the latest episode in the now all too familiar and systematic pattern of police brutality in Uganda. The beating of people gathering peacefully is cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under international law, which Uganda must respect. In severe cases it may even amount to torture.”

    “The relevant authorities must immediately order an independent, impartial, efficient and transparent investigation into these incidents. Where sufficient, admissible evidence points to responsibility of individuals, including command responsibility, such persons must be prosecuted in fair trials.”

    The Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, was quoted in the Ugandan press today as saying the beatings were justified “because when you are beaten, you don’t die.”

    July 15, 2016

    Amnesty International utterly condemns the despicable attack in Nice last night, which has left over 80 dead and many more injured. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which President Hollande has described as being of a “terrorist nature”.

    Amnesty International’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen said: “We are all deeply shocked by the appalling attack in Nice last night.  We grieve with those who lost loved ones, and stand united with those opposing terror with freedom, fairness and the respect for human rights.” 

    July 14, 2016

    Citing concerns about human rights violations at protests in the U.S. over the last couple of years, Amnesty International will deploy teams of human rights observers to both the Republic National Convention in Cleveland, OH, and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, to monitor any protests and law enforcement response.

    Amnesty International has a long history and depth of expertise monitoring protests and investigating police conduct. Since the organization’s founding 55 years ago, it has deployed researchers and independent human rights observers to a range of situations, including the Gezi Park protests in Turkey and in Egypt for  the Arab Spring protests. In the United States, AIUSA has recently monitored protests both in Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, MD, in the wake of police killings – documenting multiple violations of the human rights of protestors, journalists, and others. After additional killings by police in the U.S. in recent weeks, protesters and journalists have reported a range of human rights violations.

    July 14, 2016

    A decision by El Salvador’s Supreme Court to declare the country’s Amnesty Law unconstitutional is a historic and long awaited step forward for justice, Amnesty International said.

    “Today is an historic day for human rights in El Salvador. By turning its back on a law that has done nothing but let criminals get away with serious human rights violations for decades, the country is finally dealing with its tragic past,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “El Salvador must waste no time and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility for the tens of thousands of unlawful killings and enforced disappearances that were committed during the internal armed conflict to justice. Victims should not be made to wait for justice, truth and reparation for a second longer.”

    According to a UN Truth Commission, more than 75,000 people were tortured, unlawfully killed and forcibly disappeared during the internal armed conflict in El Salvador between 1980 and 1992.

    The Salvadorian army was responsible for a number of massacres in villages accused of supporting guerrilla groups.

    July 14, 2016
    Up to eight people dying each month as a result of desperately overcrowded conditions in Maroua Prison More than 100 people, including women, sentenced to death before military courts Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon killed nearly 500 people in the last year

    More than 1,000 people, many arrested arbitrarily, are being held in horrific conditions and dozens are dying from disease and malnutrition or have been tortured to death, as part of the Cameroonian government and security forces crackdown on Boko Haram, Amnesty International revealed in a new report published today.

    The report Right cause, wrong means: Human rights violated and justice denied in Cameroon’s fight against Boko Haram details how the military offensive against Boko Haram has resulted in widespread human rights violations against civilians in the Far North region of the country.

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