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CAR: Strengthen peacekeepers to prevent renewed violence

Civilians in Central African Republic (CAR) remain at risk of deadly violence and instability unless serious weaknesses in the United Nation’s peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, are urgently addressed, Amnesty International said in a new report published today. With a new president to be elected in less than a week, Amnesty’s report Mandated to protect, equipped to succeed? Strengthening peacekeeping in Central African Republic analyses   how major gaps in personnel and equipment resulted in UN peacekeepers failure to prevent and contain a serious outbreak of violence in Bangui in September 2015 that led to the death of over 75 people, including many civilians.

Date:
8 February 2016
  • Research
  • Central African Republic
  • Armed Groups

Central African Republic: Mandated to protect, equipped to succeed? Strengthening peacekeeping in Central African Republic

Amnesty International is concerned that MINUSCA is not adequately equipped to fully deliver the mandate provided by the UN Security Council, including to protect civilians, and that these weaknesses must be addressed, including when the UN Security Council considers renewal of the Mission’s mandate in April 2016. These gaps were once again cruelly exposed on 26 September 2015 in a three-day surge of violence in Bangui that led to the deaths of at least 75 people, mostly civilians, the displacement of over 42,000 others, the rape of at least a dozen women in one district on the first day alone and the escape of more than 500 detainees from Bangui’s main prison.

Date:
8 February 2016
Author:
Amnesty International
Ref:
AFR 19/3263/2016
  • News
  • Iraq
  • Armed Conflict

Iraq: Authorities turn blind eye to Shi’a militia vicious reprisal killings

The Iraqi authorities’ failure to protect Sunni civilians from a wave of reprisal attacks by Shi’a militia last month is another example of widespread impunity for what are clearly war crimes, said Amnesty International today. Abductions, killings and burning of homes and property of the Sunni community in and around the city of Muqdadiya started on 11 January after appalling bomb attacks that killed at least 27 civilians, carried out by the armed group calling itself Islamic State.

Date:
5 February 2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Turkey: Authorities must ensure safe passage for Syrians fleeing Aleppo attacks

Tens of thousands of people displaced by joint Russian and Syrian government attacks in the north of Syria must be allowed to cross the border to safety in Turkey, Amnesty International said today amid reports that thousands of people are waiting at border gates that remain closed. Reports suggest that between 40,000 and 70,000 people are on the move after fleeing heavy fighting near the city of Aleppo.

Date:
5 February 2016
  • News
  • China
  • Censorship and Free Speech

China: Authorities’ revelations on detained Hong Kong booksellers “smoke and mirrors”

The Chinese authorities are showing total contempt for due process and the rule of law in the case of five detained Hong Kong booksellers, Amnesty International said, after police in Guangdong in southern China confirmed that three of the men missing since last October are in their custody and being investigated. Guangdong police confirmed late on Thursday that Lui Por, Cheung Chi-ping and Lam Wing-kee are suspected of “illegal activity”.

Date:
5 February 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Discrimination

Haiti, we have a problem …

Less than a week from now, on 7 February, a new President should take office in Haiti. But there is a problem: Haiti does not have a new president. Relations between President Michel Martelly’s party, Tèt Kale, and the opposition were tense during most of the Martelly’s tenure. But they reached unprecedented levels after the first round of presidential elections on 25 October. As a consequence, the runoff, initially set for 27 December, was postponed twice and now there isn’t even a new date on the books.

Date:
5 February 2016
  • Research
  • Iraq
  • Killings and Disappearances

Iraq: Militia war crimes in Muqdadiya highlight authorities’ persistent failures to hold them to account

The Iraqi authorities must investigate the killings and abduction of Sunni men and the destruction of homes and property of Sunni communities by Shi’a militias in retaliation for bomb attacks against a café in Diyala province, and bring those responsible to justice, Amnesty International said today.

Date:
5 February 2016
Author:
Amnesty International
Ref:
MDE 14/3396/2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • Refugees

'Now turn pledges into action’ - NGO verdict on Supporting Syria donors’ conference

An international coalition of over 30 non-governmental organisations today welcomed the ambition demonstrated at the ‘Supporting Syria And the Region’ donor conference in London to increase the scale and scope of the humanitarian response to the Syria crisis, but said that overall pledges for 2016 fell more than $3 billion short of what was urgently needed. The NGOs, including Amnesty International, Oxfam, Sawa Aid and Development, and Islamic Relief, applauded the generosity of some donors while encouraging others also to pledge their fair share.

Date:
4 February 2016
  • News
  • France
  • Justice Systems

France: Disproportionate emergency measures leave hundreds traumatized

Heavy-handed emergency measures, including late night house raids and assigned residence orders, have trampled on the rights of hundreds of men, women and children, leaving them traumatized and stigmatized, according to a new briefing released by Amnesty International today ahead of Friday’s French Parliamentary debate on entrenching emergency measures in the constitution. Upturned lives: The disproportionate impact of France's state of emergency details how, since the state of emergency was declared shortly after the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks, more than 3,242 house searches have been conducted and more than 400 assigned residence orders imposed.

Date:
4 February 2016
  • News
  • Sierra Leone
  • Right to Health

Sierra Leone: Sign Bill Allowing Safe Abortions

Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, should sign into law a bill that would increase women’s access to safe and legal abortion, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today in a letter they and five Sierra Leonean rights groups sent to President Koroma. In December 2015, the Sierra Leonean parliament overwhelmingly passed the Safe Abortion Act 2015, which would permit access to abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, after which it would be permitted until week 24 in cases of rape, incest, or health risk to the fetus or the woman or girl.

Date:
4 February 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Discrimination

Dominican Republic’s absurd laws shatter star boxer’s promising career

When Adonis Peguero Louis won the pre-selection test to join the Dominican Republic’s national boxing team, the young man’s future played before him. As if watching a film, he saw himself headlining fights across the country, travelling to arenas in cities he had only visited through the small TV screen that rests in the corner of his crammed living room, coming face-to-face with his childhood heroes.

Date:
4 February 2016
  • Research
  • France
  • Terrorism

France: Upturned lives: The disproportionate impact of France’s state of emergency

This briefing details how, since the state of emergency was declared shortly after the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks, French authorities have implemented emergency counter-terrorism measures, including house searches without warrant, assigned residence orders and the closure of mosques and businesses. More than 3,242 house searches have been conducted and over 400 assigned residence orders imposed. The briefing is based on interviews with about 60 people subjected to the disproportionate impact of these measures.

Date:
4 February 2016
Author:
Amnesty International
Ref:
EUR 21/3364/2016