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  • News
  • Libya
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Amid new releases, government critic allowed to leave

The Libyan authorities have allowed political reform activist Idriss Boufayed to travel to Switzerland to seek medical treatment for cancer. An outspoken critic of Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi and former secretary general of the National Union of Reform organisation, Idriss Boufayed was released from prison on 10 October on humanitarian grounds, but required treatment not available in Libya. He left Libya on Thursday for Switzerland, where he had previously lived in exile.

Date:
15 December 2008
  • News
  • Japan
  • Women and Girls

Calls for Government of Japan to respond to resolutions calling for justice

December 13 is one year since the European Union (EU) passed a resolution calling "on the Japanese Government formally to acknowledge, apologise, and accept historical and legal responsibility, in a clear and unequivocal manner, for its Imperial Armed Forces' coercion of young women into sexual slavery. " Resolutions have now been adopted in six non-EU countries in addition to the EU, which represents all 27 EU member states.

Date:
13 December 2008
  • News

Spain prepares to extradite Chechen to torture risk in Russia

The Spanish authorities approved the extradition of Murad Gasayev to the Russian Federation, where he would be at great risk of torture, on Friday afternoon. Amnesty International has called for the proceedings to be halted immediately. "We hold the Spanish authorities responsible for the wellbeing of Murad Gasayev and urge them not to send him to a country where he is at a high risk of being tortured, and indeed claims he has already been tortured," said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.

Date:
12 December 2008
  • News
  • Brazil
  • Justice Systems

Brazil's Supreme Court upholds rights of Indigenous Peoples

A vote in Brazil’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the reservation of Raposa Serra do Sol on the frontier between Brazil and Guyana/Venezuela. The vote is seen as a victory for all Indigenous Peoples across Brazil. The Supreme Court's vote is a milestone in the thirty-year battle of the Makuxi, Wapixana, Ingarikó, Taurepang and Patamona indigenous peoples for the recognition of their constitutional right to their ancestral lands.

Date:
12 December 2008
  • News
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Fired Up for human rights in pictures

Hundreds of people around the world have taken part in actions to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. From Bangladesh to Burkina Faso, Australia to Austria and Paraguay to the Philippines, thousands of people lit candles, fires or flames as part of a mass demonstration in support of human rights. Amnesty International has been collecting photos of actions by groups and individuals, the images are displayed below.

Date:
12 December 2008
  • News
  • Greece
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Greek police use punitive violence against peaceful demonstrators

Police have been using unlawful and disproportionate force to control the anti-government demonstrations in Greece, according to eyewitness accounts. Members of Amnesty International in Greece have reported that officers involved in policing the riots engaged in punitive violence against peaceful demonstrators, rather than targeting those who were inciting violence and destroying property. In this context, the organization is concerned about the ill-treatment of two of its members, who were beaten with batons by the police.

Date:
11 December 2008
  • News
  • Justice Systems

Access to justice for all rights becomes a reality

The international community marked the 60th anniversary of the UDHR by adopting a historic instrument that secures access to justice for everyone whose economic, social and cultural rights are violated and who is denied a remedy at the national level. The UN General Assembly adopted, by consensus, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Wednesday and corrected historic imbalances.

Date:
11 December 2008
  • News
  • Viet Nam
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Time for a global response to global problems

by Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International Terrorists go on a rampage of senseless killing in Mumbai. Exhausted and terrified refugees pour into Uganda to escape the fighting in eastern Congo. Ten people are executed in Iran. Three hundred thousand civilians are displaced in northern Sri Lanka. Slowing rates of economic growth cast deep gloom around the world.   Not a particularly auspicious moment to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Date:
10 December 2008
  • News
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Thousands get Fired Up for human rights

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amnesty International is organizing a series of Fire Up! events around the world. The organization is mobilising its 2. 2 million members to recognize the historic moment when world leaders committed themselves to supporting and promoting human rights. From Bangladesh to Burkina Faso, Australia to Austria and Paraguay to the Philippines, thousands of people will light a candle, fire or flame as part of a mass demonstration in support of human rights.

Date:
10 December 2008
  • News
  • Zimbabwe
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Zimbabwe urged to end abductions of activists

Human rights groups have called on the Zimbabwe authorities to cease the persecution of human rights activists after five people were abducted in less than a week by groups with suspected government links. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Institute also urged the international and African community to take strong action to protect those who fight for human rights in Zimbabwe.

Date:
10 December 2008
  • News
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

World musicians celebrate UDHR's 60th anniversary

Stephen Marley, Angelique Kidjo and Hugh Masekela are just a few of the renowned musicians from around the world to take part in a musical project, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The song and video, The Price of Silence, also features the talents of Belgian singer Natacha Atlas (best known for her work with Transglobal Underground), American singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant (formerly of 10,000 Maniacs),  Chali 2na from hip-hop outfit Jurassic 5, French-Algerian musician Rachid Taha, Michael Franti (of American band Spearhead) and Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo.

Date:
10 December 2008
  • News
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Making human rights a reality

Around the world, in every region, in every country, there are people who work tirelessly to make human rights a reality. Without these people, who often put their life and liberty on the line, human rights would only be an abstract concept – something everyone has in principle or on paper, but not all have in reality. Who are these people defending human rights?  They include: grassroots community activists who protest against companies which destroy their local environment and livelihoods;  the surviving families of people who have been forcibly disappeared who demand answers and justice; people determined to bring to light the true scale of sexual violence against women, and who provide unconditional support to victims; doctors who distribute essential medicines against the will of the government; lawyers who defend human rights activists and provide legal support, often without fees; journalists who risk their lives to uncover corruption and human rights violations; trade unionists who campaign for workers' rights to live in dignity; people who work for human rights for their families, communities and wider society.

Date:
9 December 2008
  • News
  • Venezuela
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Human Rights Defender in Venezuela: José Luis Urbano

José Luis Urbano is the president of the Foundation for the Defence of the Right to Education (Asociación Pro-Defensa del Derecho a la Educación). The Foundation is a non-governmental organisation working to promote and defend the right to free education for all as it is enshrined in Venezuela’s Constitution. José Luis Urbano routinely travels to different regions of the country at the invitation of families who want to report irregularities in the school system.

Date:
9 December 2008
  • News
  • Thailand
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Human Rights Defender in Thailand: Somchai Homlaor

Somchai Homlaor has been a key figure in the defence of human rights in Thailand for 25 years, since his trial by fire during the birth of the nation’s modern human rights movement. In October 1973, while obtaining a law degree from prestigious Thammasat University, a young Somchai Homlaor was a leader in mass student-led protests – violently suppressed by the military government – demanding democracy and human rights.

Date:
9 December 2008
  • News
  • Egypt
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Human Rights Defender in Egypt: Ahmed Seif El-Islam

Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad, a 57-year-old Egyptian lawyer, recounted to Amnesty International how he was arrested and tortured by State Security Investigations (SSI) officers in 1983 for his involvement in the socialist movement. Ever since, Ahmed has dedicated his life to the fight against torture in Egypt. In 1989, soon after he was released after serving five years in prison, Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad involved himself in some of the most important human rights-related cases in the country.

Date:
9 December 2008