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  • Turkey
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Children’s choir director still wanted for terrorist propaganda

The director of a children’s choir is still wanted by the Turkish authorities after she and members of her choir were accused of spreading propaganda for an outlawed separatist group. An arrest warrant was issued for director Duygu Ozge Bayar after the Diyarbakir Yenisehir Municipality Children’s Choir sang the Kurdish language anthem Ey Raqip (Hey Enemy) at a world music festival in San Francisco in October 2007.

Date:
18 July 2008
  • News
  • Colombia
  • International Organizations

ICC in difficulty ten years after the Rome Statute

Thursday 17 July marks the tenth anniversary of the Rome Statute, the treaty that led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Set up in 2002, the ICC is mandated to investigate and prosecute crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, when national authorities are unable, or unwilling to do so. Lauded as one of the most ambitious steps by the international community in recent history, the ICC has made significant progress in its investigations.

Date:
17 July 2008
  • News
  • China
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Olympics promises for human rights – the China Debate

Amnesty International has launched a new website for people to have their say about the human rights situation in China in the countdown to the Beijing Olympics. When bidding for the Games, the Chinese authorities made commitments that hosting the Games would help improve human rights. Amnesty International has asked people to let them know whether you think they have fulfilled their promise. The China Debate, launched on Thursday, aims to encourage an open, constructive and balanced discussion about human rights in China and the legacy the Beijing Olympics will leave behind.

Date:
17 July 2008
  • News
  • Japan
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Japan must respect rights of detained Greenpeace activists

Amnesty International has expressed its deep concern to the prime minister of Japan about the detention of two Greenpeace activists, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, who have been charged with theft and trespass. Amnesty International said: “These two must be allowed to challenge their detention before an independent and impartial court in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness.

Date:
15 July 2008
  • News
  • Children

Omar Khadr must be immediately repatriated to Canada

Reacting to today’s release of a video publicly showing Canadian citizen Omar Khadr being questioned at the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Amnesty International called for Khadr to be repatriated to Canada immediately. The video is the first of a detainee being questioned in Guantanamo and shows Khadr being interrogated by Canadian officials in 2003 when he was just sixteen years old. While he is not shown being directly ill-treated, he is shown crying, calling out for help repeatedly and showing his wounds to the officials.

Date:
15 July 2008
  • News
  • Italy
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Fifteen officials found guilty of abusing Genoa G8 protesters

Amnesty International welcomes the fact that the Italian magistrates have held individuals accountable for the brutalities that occurred in the Bolzaneto detention facility in Genoa, Italy. "This is a good first step towards accountability for the human rights abuses that occurred during the G8 summit in Genoa, but more needs to be done to ensure that the whole truth emerges and that those responsible are held fully accountable for their actions" Amnesty International said.

Date:
15 July 2008
  • News
  • Iraq
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

UK Ministry of Defence agrees to compensate Iraqi torture victims

The family of an Iraqi hotel receptionist who died after being tortured over a period of 36 hours while detained by UK troops in Basra, Iraq, will be paid compensation by the UK Ministry of Defence. Almost £3 million will be paid in recognition of the grave human rights violations to which he, and others detained at the same time as him, were subjected by members of the UK armed forces. Baha Mousa, a 26-year-old father of two, died in September 2003.

Date:
14 July 2008
  • News

Thousands join human art petition

A global day of action on Saturday 12 July used human aerial art to call on the Chinese authorities to ensure a positive human rights legacy for the Beijing Olympics. Thousands of Amnesty International supporters from around the world teamed up with Circle Up Now, to create large images on the ground which are only fully visible from above. From Delhi to Bamako and Asunción, thousands of people in over twenty locations joined together to form words such as "Freedom", "Dignity" and "Justice" representing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which turns 60 on 10 December 2008.

Date:
12 July 2008
  • News
  • China

Thousands to call for positive Beijing Olympics legacy in global aerial art events

On the eve of the anniversary of Beijing being granted the 2008 Olympics, thousands of Amnesty International supporters in over 20 locations across the world will team up on 12 July 2008 with Circle Up Now. Together they will create visual representations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), as a reminder to the Chinese authorities of their human rights promises. Event will be held on (organized chronologically according to GMT time): USA, WASHINGTON DC When: Friday 11 July 12:00pm (16:00 GMT) Where: 600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Date:
9 July 2008
  • News
  • China

An open letter to the President of the People’s Republic of China

Hu Jintao President of the People’s Republic of China The State Council General Office 2 Fuyoujie Xichengqu Beijingshi 100017 People's Republic of China 1 July 2008 AI Index: ASA 17/087/2008 Ref. : TG ASA 17/2008. 015 Your Excellency With one month remaining until the much-anticipated start of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, I ask you to take five steps toward the “development of human rights” pledged by the Beijing Olympics Bid Committee in 2001.

Date:
9 July 2008
  • News
  • Tunisia
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Human rights abuses in Tunisia continue despite denial

A former prisoner and alleged torture victim, whose case was cited in Amnesty International's recent report on human rights abuses in Tunisia, has been re-arrested. In what appears to be reprisal by the Tunisian authorities, Ziad Fakraoui was taken from his family home in Tunis on 25 June 2008, two days after the report’s publication. Two Tunisian defence lawyers have also been subjected to harassment by Tunisian police and security forces after they spoke at a Paris press conference to launch the report.

Date:
8 July 2008
  • News

EU return directive affects dignity and security of irregular migrants

We believe that the text approved on Wednesday 18 June by the European Parliament does not guarantee the return of irregular migrants in safety and dignity. On the contrary, an excessive period of detention of up to one and a half years as well as an EU-wide re-entry ban for those forcibly returned, risks lowering existing standards in the Member States and sets an extremely bad example to other regions in the world.

Date:
4 July 2008
  • News
  • Sri Lanka
  • Justice Systems

Stronger witness protection needed to ensure accountability for war crimes

Amnesty International yesterday expressed disappointment at the deportation from the UK of Sri Lankan national Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, known as Karuna, who is alleged to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka. He was deported following his conviction on immigration charges. "The deportation of Karuna now means that the investigation by the UK authorities into these allegations has come to an end.

Date:
4 July 2008
  • News
  • Colombia
  • Killings and Disappearances

Ingrid Betancourt freed

Amnesty International has welcomed the news that on 2 July former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt at last gained her freedom after more than six years in captivity at the hands of the guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Ingrid Betancourt, kidnapped in 2002, was freed along with three US contractors, kidnapped by the FARC in 2003, as well as 11 members of the Colombian security forces held captive by the guerrilla group.

Date:
4 July 2008
  • News
  • Zimbabwe
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Violence and coercion mark Zimbabwe's election

Voting in Zimbabwe on Friday has been marked by a campaign of state violence and intimidation in the run up to the presidential election. Amnesty International has said that it is deeply disturbed by the campaign that is part of a deliberate strategy by the Zimbabwean government to ensure that Robert Mugabe wins the election. The decision to hold the vote came despite calls by the international community to postpone the election until the security situation in Zimbabwe had improved.

Date:
27 June 2008