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US Supreme Court rules lethal injections constitutional

The US Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the state of Kentucky's lethal injection procedures are constitutional. The ruling is likely to be followed by moves in various US jurisdictions to resume executions. However, the ruling is unlikely to stop litigation on this issue, according to Amnesty International. Executions in the USA have been suspended since late September 2007 as states waited for the Supreme Court's decision.

Date:
18 April 2008
  • News
  • Iraq
  • Justice Systems

Iraq executions follow apparently unfair trials

Twenty-eight people have been executed in Iraq this week following what appear to have been hasty and unfair trials. Those executed were arrested in clashes that took place in the past three weeks. Amnesty International has said that, for them to be arrested, sentenced and executed within such a short period raises serious concerns about the trial process. The organization has called on the Iraqi authorities to disclose all relevant information about these trials, including whether those executed had access to legal representation or not.

Date:
18 April 2008
  • News
  • Zimbabwe
  • Justice Systems

Post-election violence increases in Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans had little to celebrate on Friday 18 April, the 28th anniversary of their country's independence. Since the country went to the polls on 29 March 2008, nearly three weeks ago, the results of the presidential vote have still not been announced and violent attacks on opposition supporters are increasing in number. Amnesty International has received confirmed reports of one death and over 240 people injured as a result of state-sponsored human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

Date:
18 April 2008
  • News
  • Croatia
  • Impunity

Amnesty International’s Secretary General to meet Solana, Pöttering and Rehn

The Secretary General of Amnesty International, Irene Khan, is in Brussels on Tuesday to meet top officials in the EU Council, Parliament and Commission. Irene Khan will address the role of the EU in ensuring accountability for war crimes in Croatia, following her High Level Mission to the country last week and ahead of accession talks scheduled for this month in Brussels. She will also highlight Amnesty International’s concerns about the implementation of human rights commitments in EU policies and institutions.

Date:
15 April 2008
  • News
  • Egypt
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Perversion of justice - 25 face jail in Egypt

An Egyptian military court sentenced 25 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood to jail on Tuesday - a verdict described by Amnesty International as a "perversion of justice". “This trial appeared to be politically motivated from the start, when President Mubarak sent the defendants for trial before a military court despite an earlier civilian court ruling that some of them should be released,” said Amnesty International.

Date:
15 April 2008
  • News
  • Iran
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Iranian trade unionist freed

A prominent trade unionist in Iran has been released from detention after serving a one-year prison sentence. Independent labour activist, Mahmoud Salehi, one of the co-founders of the Bakery Workers’ Trade Union in Saqez, was released on bail on Sunday 6 April, according to reports. Mahmoud Salehi has been the object of strong, unified international lobbying by international trade union and human rights’ organizations since 2007.

Date:
11 April 2008
  • News
  • Morocco/Western Sahara
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Royal pardon for Moroccan demonstrators

Eight men convicted of undermining the monarchy in Morocco last year have been released after they were pardoned by the King on Friday, 4 April. Nine others facing judicial proceedings based on the same charges also benefited from the Royal pardon. All of those pardoned were members of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights. Seven of them were arrested on 1 may 2007 for chanting slogans critical of the monarchy, five in Lksar Elkbir and two in Agadir.

Date:
11 April 2008
  • News
  • Zimbabwe
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Zimbabwe opposition under attack

Opposition parties in Zimbabwe have complained of violence against people perceived to be their supporters. There have been allegations of police and army involvement in some of the incidents in the post-election period. Amnesty International has received information about widespread incidents of post-election violence, suggesting the existence of coordinated retribution against known and suspected opposition supporters.

Date:
10 April 2008
  • News
  • Jordan
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

UK deportation policy questioned by court

The UK government's policy of "deportation with assurances" was called into question on Wednesday by decisions of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in two key cases. The cases are that of Abu Qatada, a Jordanian national, and that of two Libyan nationals, referred to for the purposes of legal proceedings in the UK as "DD" and "AS". The UK has been seeking for some years to deport a number of individuals whom it alleges pose a threat to national security.

Date:
9 April 2008
  • News
  • Zimbabwe
  • Justice Systems

Zimbabwe: Police urged to remain non-partisan

On 29 March 2008, Zimbabweans took part in a general election to elect members of the parliament, local councillors and a president.   According to results released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the main opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Morgan Tsvangirai, won 99 seats.   The ruling Zimbabwe African national Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU_PF) won 97 seats.

Date:
3 April 2008
  • News
  • Ethiopia
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Activists released from prison in Ethiopia

Two human rights activists have been released from prison in Ethiopia having been detained since November 2005. Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie were released on Friday after receiving a presidential pardon. The two signed a letter "acknowledging mistakes" committed in relation to the 2005 elections. It is not yet clear if the pardon is unconditional. Daniel Bekele is the policy manager of ActionAid in Ethiopia.

Date:
31 March 2008
  • News
  • Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • Discrimination

Unlawful homes for Israeli settlers, demolitions for Palestinians

Mobile homes for an illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) got the go-ahead within a week of Israeli bulldozers demolishing Palestinian homes and property in the area. It emerged last Wednesday (26 March) that Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has approved the transfer of five mobile homes to the Israeli settlement of Teneh Omarim in the region. Only the week before, Israeli army bulldozers demolished nine homes and two livestock enclosures in several Palestinian villages in the southern occupied West Bank.

Date:
31 March 2008
  • News
  • Iraq
  • Justice Systems

Truce reduces fighting in Iraq

Fighting in Basra between government forces and the Mahdi Army is reported to have ended following Moqtada al-Sadr's orders to his followers on Sunday to stop fighting Iraqi security forces. The Shi'a cleric also called on the government to stop arresting his followers and to release all those who have been recently detained. The government is reported to have agreed to stop arresting followers of the cleric and to allow Mahdi Army members to keep their weapons.

Date:
31 March 2008
  • News
  • Myanmar
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Imprisoned for giving water to monks

Three people in Myanmar were sentenced to prison for giving water to monks on the street. The three are among a wave of prison sentences handed down since the Myanmar authorities violently suppressed demonstrations six months ago. Amnesty International released details of the sentences on Monday after the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Friday criticising the human rights situation in the country.

Date:
31 March 2008