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Yemen Baha’i community faces persecution at hands of Huthi-Saleh authorities

More than 20 Baha’i men and women are at risk of immediate arrest by Huthi-Saleh authorities in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a, said Amnesty International. “Huthi-Saleh authorities must immediately stop persecuting members of the Baha’i community in Sana’a,” said Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut regional office. “The detention of Baha’is on account of their faith appears to be part of a wider crackdown on minorities by the Huthi-Saleh authorities, and is making entire families live in fear for their safety and the safety of their loved ones – not to mention that they are a clear violation of Yemen’s obligations under international law”.

Date:
28 April 2017
  • News
  • Somalia
  • Death Penalty

Somalia: Halt execution spree of children in Puntland

The authorities in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region must immediately halt plans to execute two boys sentenced to death by a military tribunal in February for their alleged role in the armed group Al-Shabaab’s killing of three senior administration officials, said Amnesty International. The organization has learnt that Muhamed Yasin Abdi, 17, and Daud Saied Sahal, 15, could be put to death at any moment after five other boys -– all aged between 14 and 17 – were executed on 8 April for the killings.

Date:
28 April 2017
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Detention

Philippines ‘war on drugs’: Credible and impartial investigations needed after ‘secret jail cell’ revealed

Following today’s suspension of more than a dozen police officers and the announcement of an internal investigation into revelations that 12 people were detained illegally in a cramped “secret jail cell” in Manila on drugs-related charges, Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:“This is an alarming reminder of the depth of the human rights crisis sparked by President Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’.

Date:
28 April 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Killings and Disappearances

Mexico: Senate’s approval of new law on enforced disappearances is a step forward which must be finalized soon

A bill on enforced disappearances approved today by the Mexican Senate could represent a step forward in the fight to tackle the country’s human rights crisis. Now all that is needed for the bill to become law is the approval of the Chamber of Deputies. “The definitive approval of the bill on enforced disappearances is crucial in order to begin to seriously address the nightmare which thousands of families face, searching for their loved ones in the face of serious risks and carrying out work which is the responsibility of the authorities”, said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Date:
27 April 2017
  • News
  • Egypt
  • 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
  • Gambia
  • Impunity

Gambia: Progress in first 100 days of Barrow government requires major reform to break with brutal past

• 100 days into President Barrow’s rule, Amnesty International presents a human rights agenda for the country  • Commitment to International Criminal Court and release of political prisoners welcomed as major progress • Amnesty calls for repeal of repressive laws, reform of security forces, accountability for past human rights violations and abuses and abolition of the death penalty The Gambian authorities can make a decisive break from the country’s brutal past by repealing repressive laws, reforming the security services and ensuring accountability for past serious violations of human rights, Amnesty International said today as Gambian President Adama Barrow marks 100 days in office.

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