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New African Union head must stand up for human rights

The next head of the African Union (AU) Commission must place human rights at the centre of the organization’s operations, said Amnesty International as leaders of the 54-member body prepare to elect a new chairperson at a summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. “The incoming chairperson must make the promotion and protection of human rights not just a convenient afterthought, but an essential and sustainable element of the African Union’s conflict prevention strategy.

Date:
23 January 2017
  • News
  • Bahrain
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Bahrain: Postponement of Nabeel Rajab’s trial for sixth time is blatant harassment

In response to the news today that the Bahraini authorities have postponed the verdict in the case of prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, Samah Hadid, Deputy Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International’s Regional office in Beirut said:   “The Bahraini authorities must stop playing games with Nabeel Rajab’s freedom. He has been arrested and released repeatedly over the past five years and has been banned from leaving the country.

Date:
23 January 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Children

Refugees in Serbia left out in the cold

In a corner of a cavernous abandoned warehouse in Belgrade, 11-year-old Ahmed is huddled around a small fire with four other boys. They are boiling potatoes, a meager meal that is likely to be the only food that they will eat today. Outside, the city is blanketed in snow. Despite the morning sunshine that streams though the glassless windows, forming translucent beams in the smoke-filled air, the temperature outside is minus ten degrees.

Date:
23 January 2017
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Gambia: Response to the departure of Yahya Jammeh

Following the departure of Gambia’s former leader, Yahya Jammeh, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, Steve Cockburn said: "After 22 years of fear, Gambians now have a unique opportunity to become a model for human rights in West Africa, in which no one need to be afraid to stand up or speak out. We hope the international community will support the new government and the Gambian people in this journey.

Date:
22 January 2017
  • News
  • Sri Lanka
  • Killings and Disappearances

Sri Lanka: Amnesty International hosts “Memory and Justice” – day of activities and poetry book launch

Amnesty International will be hosting a day of activities around the theme of “Memory and Justice” in Colombo on 24 January 2016 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. The day of activities will be a platform for a series of workshops and art exhibits. Amnesty International will also be launching Silenced Shadows, the published collection of winning entries from the human rights organization’s October 2015 poetry competition on the theme of enforced disappearances.

Date:
21 January 2017
  • Campaigns
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Killings and Disappearances

Man Missing During East Aleppo Evacuation

The fate and whereabouts of Abdulhadi Kamel remain unknown. He was last seen being driven away in an ambulance on 16 December 2016 after being injured by Syrian government forces who intercepted the evacuation convoy in which he was leaving east Aleppo. Abdulhadi Kamel, 26, went missing in western Aleppo on 16 December 2016, during the evacuation of civilians from eastern Aleppo. A close relative was in the convoy with Abdulhadi Kamel when Syrian government forces stopped the car and asked the men to step out.

Date:
20 January 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Business and Human Rights

USA: People must stand up to Trump’s anti-rights rhetoric

On the day of the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty said: "We are facing what could turn into a major roll-back on hard-fought freedoms both in the USA and across the world. " "It is up to each one of us to fight President Trump’s spiteful rhetoric of discrimination, hate and xenophobia. Amnesty will resist injustice every step of the way.

Date:
20 January 2017
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Gambia: Adama Barrow must not forget his big promises

As Adama Barrow is scheduled to be inaugurated in Senegal this afternoon, Sabrina Mahtani Amnesty International’s West Africa Anglophone Researcher said: "Today’s inauguration ceremony of Adama Barrow is a moment to remember the risks currently faced by Gambians, and also gives an opportunity to reflect on hopes for the future”. “We must not forget the big promises Adama Barrow has made to free political prisoners, remove repressive laws, and bring Gambia back to the International Criminal Court”.

Date:
19 January 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Jamaica’s deadly police: ‘We live in constant fear’

The strength of the sun shining down on the colourful Orange Street in downtown Kingston announces lunchtime is approaching. A group of young men chat on the pavement while reggae music floats out of a small radio in a corner. Three women catch up on the morning’s events in a small but busy hair salon. Next to them, a young man vigorously cleans a stove ahead of the lunch rush. Daquan Jakson, 19, is in charge of a small restaurant that prepares lunch for many who live and work in this bustling quarter of Jamaica’s capital.

Date:
19 January 2017
  • News
  • Africa
  • Detention

Gambia: State of Emergency no license for repression

Soldiers Arbitrarily Detained as Political Crisis Deepens President Yahya Jammeh’s declared state of emergency in Gambia provides no justification for a crackdown on peaceful dissent around the January 19, 2017 deadline for the new government to take office, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. Since 15 January, security forces loyal to President Jammeh have arbitrarily detained at least five officers and enlisted men suspected of opposing Jammeh’s bid to remain in office.

Date:
18 January 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Discrimination

Beware the march of draconian counter-terrorism laws in Europe

“Our lives have been turned upside down,” says Nadia, holding her two young daughters close. “I try to be both mother and father to my children but it is very hard. We miss Ahmed and we are scared for him. ” Ahmed has not set foot in their Cyprus home for nearly a year-and-a-half. Instead he is languishing in a Hungarian jail having been sentenced to 10 years in jail on absurd and far-fetched “terrorism” charges.

Date:
18 January 2017
  • News
  • Bahrain
  • Death Penalty

Bahrain: Human rights on the brink of crisis

Bahraini authorities must immediately commute the death sentences of two men at imminent risk of execution, Amnesty International said today, and warned that the harsh response to protests against three executions carried out by firing squad on 15 January risks plunging the country into a human rights crisis. Amnesty International is urging Bahrain’s authorities to immediately commute the death sentences of Mohamad Ramadhan and Husain Ali’ Moosa, who were sentenced to death in December 2014 following a bombing in the village of al-Deir that killed a police officer in February of that year.

Date:
18 January 2017
  • News
  • Iran
  • Justice Systems

Iran: Wave of floggings, amputations and other vicious punishments

Iran’s persistent use of cruel and inhuman punishments, including floggings, amputations and forced blinding over the past year, exposes the authorities’ utterly brutal sense of justice, said Amnesty International. Hundreds are routinely flogged in Iran each year, sometimes in public. In the most recent flogging case recorded by Amnesty International, a journalist was lashed 40 times in Najaf Abad, Esfahan Province, on 5 January after a court found him guilty of inaccurately reporting the number of motorcycles confiscated by police in the city.

Date:
18 January 2017
  • News
  • Sudan
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Sudan must end politically-motivated attacks on Darfuri students

The Sudanese government must end politically-motivated and sometimes deadly attacks on Darfuri students at universities across the country, said Amnesty International today as it released a report covering a wave of attacks spanning three years. “Dozens of students have been killed, injured and expelled from universities since 2014 for organizing around and speaking out against human rights violations in Darfur,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Date:
18 January 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

EU: Orwellian counter-terrorism laws stripping rights under guise of defending them

Sweeping new laws are driving Europe into a deep and dangerous state of permanent securitization, Amnesty International said on the publication of a comprehensive human rights analysis of counter-terrorism measures across 14 EU member states. Dangerously disproportionate: The ever-expanding national security state in Europe reveals how a deluge of laws and amendments passed with break-neck speed, is undermining fundamental freedoms and dismantling hard-won human rights protections.

Date:
17 January 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Detention

USA: Commutation for Chelsea Manning, long overdue positive step for human rights

Organization Demands Full Investigation into Information Exposed and Stronger Protections for Whistleblowers With less than a week left in his term, President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning today. Manning had been serving a 35-year sentence in a maximum security prison after releasing information that pointed to potential crimes under international law and human rights violations by the U.

Date:
17 January 2017