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  • Justice Systems

New legislation threatens judicial independence in Egypt

A new law passed by parliament last night, granting the President the power to appoint the most senior members within the justice system, could further undermine the independence of the judiciary in Egypt, Amnesty International said today. If ratified by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the law would grant him powers to select the heads of judicial bodies, including the heads of the Court of Cassation, the State Council, the Administrative Prosecution Authority and the State Lawsuits Authority.

Date:
27 April 2017
  • News
  • Afghanistan
  • Refugees

Afghanistan: Civilian casualties show how unsafe it is for refugees to be returned

Attacks on civilians in the first three months of this year and the inability of the Afghan government to ensure their adequate protection show that Afghanistan remains an unsafe country for refugees to be returned to, Amnesty International said today. “At a time when civilian casualties remain high, with women and children suffering the worst of the violence, it is reckless of governments to claim that Afghanistan is safe for refugees to return,” said Horia Mosadiq, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Researcher.

Date:
27 April 2017
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Demonstrations

Hong Kong: Nine arrested in authorities’ retaliatory campaign against pro-democracy activists

The arrest of nine Hong Kong pro-democracy activists is the latest sign the authorities are intent on punishing dissenting voices about the future political status of the city, Amnesty International said. Police arrested the nine people involved in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement on Thursday morning. They are reported to face charges of public disorder and unlawful assembly for their involvement in a largely peaceful protest last November against a central government ruling on Hong Kong’s Basic Law.

Date:
27 April 2017
  • News
  • Russian Federation
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Russian authorities ban Khodorkovsky’s organization Open Russia as ‘undesirable’

Three NGOs founded by the former Russian prisoner of conscience and ardent Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his allies were designated as “undesirable” by Russia's Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday, just the latest in a longstanding crackdown on civil society, Amnesty International said. The decree effectively bans the UK-registered Open Russia and its sister organisation Open Russia Civic Movement and outlaws any association with them.

Date:
26 April 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Mexico: New torture law, glimmer of hope that must translate into justice

Mexico’s new General Law on Torture is a welcome step forward to tackle the country´s human rights crisis. Authorities must now ensure all those responsible for these heinous crimes under international law face justice, Amnesty International said today. Mexican Congress today finally passed the General Law on Torture which was promised over two years ago by the Mexican president after a national public outcry following massive human rights violations in the case of 43 disappeared students.

Date:
26 April 2017
  • News
  • Nigeria
  • Armed Groups

Nigeria: Osai Ojigho joins Amnesty International Nigeria as new Country Director

Amnesty International is pleased to announce that human rights lawyer Osai Ojigho joins the organization as Country Director in the Nigeria national office. The appointment underscores Amnesty International’s commitment to Africa’s most populous country, and ensures a strong presence in order to challenge suspected perpetrators of human rights abuses more effectively – including armed groups like Boko Haram, multinational corporations and the Nigerian authorities.

Date:
26 April 2017
  • News
  • Zambia
  • Unlawful Detention

Zambia: Drop trumped-up treason charges against opposition leader and release him immediately

Zambian authorities must drop trumped-up treason charges against main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and his five employees and release them unconditionally, Amnesty International said today ahead of his bail hearing. The six were arrested on 11 April after they allegedly failed to give way to a Presidential convoy. They claim they were beaten, teargassed and pepper sprayed on their genitals by the police.

Date:
26 April 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Venezuela: Increase in ‘witch-hunt’ of dissidents amidst political crisis

Venezuelan authorities are using the justice system to illegally increase persecution and punishment of those who think differently, says Amnesty International in a new report published today amidst an increase in protests around the country which have resulted in several deaths and hundreds of people injured and imprisoned. Silenced By Force: Politically-Motivated Arbitrary Detentions in Venezuela provides details on a catalogue of illegal actions on the part of the Venezuelan authorities to repress freedom of expression.

Date:
26 April 2017
  • News
  • Bahrain
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Bahrain: 32 dissidents rounded up within days in clampdown ahead of UN human rights session

Bahrain’s authorities have dramatically escalated their crackdown against perceived critics with 32 people summoned for questioning by the Public Prosecution within the past five days and charges brought against the majority of them, said Amnesty International, less than a week ahead of the country’s UN human rights review session in Geneva on 1 May. Those summoned include human rights defenders, political activists, lawyers, a journalist and relatives of victims of human rights violations, raising fears that they are being targeted as part of a deliberate attempt to stop them – and deter others - from criticizing Bahrain ahead of and during its upcoming review at the UN Human Rights Council.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Hope within prison walls: A letter from imprisoned Korean labour leader Han Sang-gyun

A leading labour union figure in South Korea, Han Sang-gyun, president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is currently serving a three-year prison term after a South Korean court last year convicted him for his role as an organizer of a number of largely peaceful protests. His conviction and sentencing, reduced from five to three years on appeal after hearings to which Amnesty International sent observers, underlined the authorities’ intolerance of the right to peaceful assembly.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Maternal Health and Reproductive Rights

Honduras: Historic opportunity to decriminalize abortion

Ahead of a debate in the Honduran congress today over the country’s criminalization of abortion, Amnesty International’s Americas Director Erika Guevara-Rosas said: “By criminalizing abortion, the Honduran Penal Code is incompatible with human rights standards and must be modified without delay. ” “Preventing women from exercising their human rights by stopping them from being able to make decisions over their own bodies only puts their health and lives in danger.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • News
  • Philippines
  • Unlawful Killings

ASEAN Summit: Leaders must take a stand against Philippines bloodshed

With mounting evidence of government involvement in thousands of extrajudicial executions in Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, Amnesty International is calling on regional leaders to take a stand against possible crimes against humanity as they meet at the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila this week. “While they meet in their comfortable surroundings, ASEAN leaders should spare a thought for the thousands of people who have been killed as part of Duterte’s brutal crackdown.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • News
  • Nepal
  • Slums and the Right to Housing

Nepal: Two years on, the government continues to fail marginalised earthquake survivors

Two years today after a large earthquake shook Nepal, destroying more than half a million homes and damaging a quarter million more, the government is failing marginalised earthquake survivors, breaching both the Constitution and international human rights law, Amnesty International said today in a new report. Lashed by rains through two monsoon seasons, and left shivering in the cold during two winters, delays and the way reconstruction efforts are being rolled out has forced thousands of earthquake survivors to languish in temporary shelters predominantly made of zinc sheets and tarpaulin, the promise of their homes being rebuilt broken.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

USA: 100 ways Trump has threatened human rights in first 100 days

As the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration come to a close, Amnesty International has compiled a list of 100 ways the Trump administration has tried to threaten human rights in the USA and around the world – sometimes succeeding, and sometimes being blocked by a powerful and growing resistance movement. “These first 100 days show how dangerous Trump’s agenda is, and they’re also a roadmap for how to stop it and protect human rights in the USA and around the world,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • News
  • Bangladesh
  • Discrimination

One year after the murders of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy

“I might not come any longer. I’m afraid. You had to flee from one place to another out of fear of being slaughtered by the extremists. If something like that happens again, I don’t have the strength or ability to do things like you. ” I have received many messages like this from fellow LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) activists in Bangladesh over the past year. On 25 April 2016, Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were killed mercilessly by extremists for promoting LGBT rights in Bangladesh – nothing has been the same since.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • News
  • Yemen
  • Armed Conflict

Yemen: Mounting fears for civilian safety as Hodeidah offensive looms

Reports Saudi Arabia-led coalition is gearing up for major military offensive Key port city of Hodeidah is a major entry point for humanitarian aid UN donor conference under way in Geneva Fears are growing for the safety of civilians in the strategic western port city of Hodeidah amid reports that a major offensive by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition is due to get under way soon, said Amnesty International as UN states meet at a donor conference in Geneva on 25 April.

Date:
25 April 2017