The deteriorating human rights situation in Fiji after the military crackdown which began in April 2009 demands international action, particularly from China, now one of Fiji’s biggest foreign donors, Amnesty International said in a report released today.
Based on Amnesty International’s research in Fiji during the crackdown, the report, Fiji: Paradise Lost, documents a litany of repressive tactics used by the interim military government to stifle any protests and intimidate its critics. These include beatings, arbitrary arrests and detention, harassment of human rights defenders, and severe limitations on the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, opinion, and association.
“Security forces in Fiji have become increasingly menacing towards people who oppose the regime, including journalists and human rights defenders,” said Apolosi Bose, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher. “Fiji is now caught in a downward spiral of human rights violations and repression. Only concerted international pressure can break this cycle.”
Amnesty International has urged the Afghan government to free two writers accused of blasphemy, following the pardon of Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, convicted of distributing an article that questioned the role of women is Islam.
As a Court in Khartoum prepares to resume its trial of Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein for wearing trousers, Amnesty International called on the Sudanese government to withdraw the charges against her and repeal the law used to justify the flogging of women for wearing clothing deemed to be “indecent”.
President Barack Obama should take the first step towards dismantling the US embargo against Cuba by not renewing sanctions against the island under the Trading with the Enemy Act, Amnesty International said today as the 14 September deadline for the renewal of sanctions under the Act approaches.
The killing of 12 Indigenous Peoples in Colombia, including four children, is a consequence of the failure of the authorities to heed warnings that unless measures were taken to protect the community, more attacks would take place, said Amnesty International today.
As uncertainty surrounds the outcome of presidential elections in Afghanistan, civilians are at greater danger than at any time since the fall of the Taleban, Amnesty International warned today following a series of attacks on civilians by anti-government groups in Kandahar and today’s attack on a hospital clinic by a NATO helicopter.
The UN Security Council should establish an International Criminal tribunal with jurisdiction over all grave human rights violations surrounding Timor-Leste’s 1999 independence referendum and in the previous 24 years of Indonesian occupation, said Amnesty International in a report published today to mark the 10th anniversary of independence vote.
More than 200,000 civilians in central Mindanao are still vulnerable to abuses despite the recent ceasefire between the Philippine army and the insurgent Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), warns Amnesty International in a new report published today.
The report, Philippines: Shattered lives, beyond the 2008 – 2009 Mindanao armed conflict, details the risks that hundreds of thousands of people face as they are forced to live in camps or makeshift shelters, sometimes surrounded by a heavy military presence. Many of the displaced are still unable to return to their homes following the implementation of a ceasefire on 29 July 2009.
“The vulnerability and uncertainty which civilians in central Mindanao face makes it imperative that the government and the MILF put human rights at the top of their agenda during future peace talks, ” said Donna Guest, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Deputy Director.
Amnesty International is calling for the government of India to launch an independent investigation into allegations that an 11 year old girl was illegally detained by police in the state of Manipur to force her parents - suspected of links with local armed opposition groups to give themselves up.
Bidyarani Devi Salam was taken from her home by security forces on the morning of 14 August and held in police custody for five days. Her illegal detention triggered hundreds of protestors to take to the streets and call for her release.
Amnesty International today regretted the US Parole Commission’s decision not to grant Leonard Peltier parole despite concerns about the fairness of his 1977 conviction for murder. The organization called for the immediate release on parole of the activist, who is serving two consecutive life sentences and has spent more than 32 years in prison.