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Landmark ICC verdict against Al-Mahdi must be first step to broader justice in Mali conflict

Today’s International Criminal Court (ICC) conviction of Ahmad Al Faqi Al-Mahdi, a senior member of the Ansar Eddine armed group, must be the first step towards broader accountability for all crimes committed during Mali’s 2012 conflict, Amnesty International said. The ICC sentenced Al-Mahdi to nine years imprisonment for intentionally directing attacks against religious buildings and historical monuments in the northern town of Timbuktu between June and July 2012.

Date:
27 September 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

Hungary: Appalling treatment of asylum-seekers a deliberate populist ploy

Asylum-seekers – including unaccompanied children – are suffering violent abuse, illegal push backs and unlawful detention at the hands of Hungary’s authorities and a system blatantly designed to deter them, Amnesty International has revealed in a new report. Stranded hope: Hungary’s sustained attack on the rights of refugees and migrants, published against the backdrop of the toxic referendum campaign on refugee quotas, finds hundreds of asylum-seekers are left waiting for months in degrading conditions.

Date:
27 September 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Armed Conflict

Colombia: Historic peace deal must ensure justice and an end to human rights abuses

The success of an historic peace deal between the Colombian government and the country’s largest guerilla group, which was officially signed today in Cartagena, rests on the Colombian authorities’ ability to ensure truth, justice and reparation for the millions of victims of the more than 50 year-long conflict, said Amnesty International. The peace agreement will still need to be ratified via a plebiscite, to be held on 2 October.

Date:
26 September 2016
  • News
  • Jordan
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Killing of Jordanian journalist a deplorable attack on freedom of expression

The shooting to death of a prominent journalist outside a court in Amman yesterday is an alarming attack on freedom of expression, said Amnesty International. Nahed Hattar was in court to face charges of “offending religion” and “inflaming religious feelings” under the country’s strict blasphemy laws, after he shared a satirical cartoon deemed to be offensive to Islam. His family warned he had received a number of death threats since his arrest in August.

Date:
26 September 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Killings and Disappearances

Two years on, Peña Nieto cannot brush off Ayotzinapa stain

There are certain events that mark a turning point in a country. The way a government decides to handle them defines the way they will go down in the history books. This week marks two years since 43 students from a rural school in southern Mexico were forcibly disappeared after a brutal confrontation with security forces. The unresolved tragedy has become such a stain for the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto that it is now shorthand for the Mexican authorities’ reckless approach to human rights in the country – where those responsible for crimes such as torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances are rarely brought before the courts.

Date:
26 September 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Azerbaijan: Assaults on freedom of expression mar constitutional referendum

Threats, arrests and prosecutions of those who have voiced criticism of the proposed amendments to the Constitution have been a defining feature of the authorities’ campaign ahead of the referendum scheduled in Azerbaijan on 26 September, Amnesty International said ahead of the vote. “The referendum has been accompanied by arrests and intimidation from the beginning. Those who have attempted to criticise and campaign against these proposals have faced assaults and harassment by the authorities,”said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International.

Date:
23 September 2016
  • News
  • Sudan
  • Unlawful Killings

Sudan: No justice for protester killings

(Nairobi, September 22, 2016) – Sudanese authorities have yet to provide justice to victims of a violent crackdown on anti-austerity protesters in Khartoum in September 2013, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. “Although it seems like Sudan has succeeded in sweeping the horrific violence of September 2013 under the carpet, victims’ families still demand justice,” said Mosaad Mohamed Ali, Executive director at ACJPS “The UN Human Rights Council, currently holding a session on Sudan, should press Sudan to hold those responsible to account for the appalling bloodshed on the streets of Khartoum and other towns, and provide meaningful justice to victims of killings, assaults and other abuses.

Date:
22 September 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Refugees

Refugee Crisis: ‘Leaders’ Summit’ fails to show leadership on refugees

The outcome of President Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in New York marks a small step forward but falls far short of what is needed to address the global refugee crisis, said Amnesty International today. Leaders at the summit increased commitments on resettlement, humanitarian funding, refugee education and access to work. The pledges – which pale in comparison to what is needed – come after the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants ended in abject failure earlier this week.

Date:
21 September 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Mexico: Two years on, inaction on Ayotzinapa exposes Peña Nieto’s true colours

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s cynical response to the enforced disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero two years ago illustrates the Mexican government’s ongoing reckless approach to human rights, Amnesty International said. “The Ayotzinapa tragedy has exposed how President Peña Nieto’s administration will stop at nothing to cover up human rights violations taking place under their watch in Mexico,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Date:
21 September 2016
  • News
  • Africa
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Nigeria: Special police squad ‘get rich’ torturing detainees and demanding bribes in exchange for freedom

A Nigerian police unit set up to combat violent crime has instead been systematically torturing detainees in its custody as a means of extracting confessions and lucrative bribes, Amnesty International said in a report published on 21 September 2016. In Nigeria: You have signed your death warrant, former detainees told Amnesty International they had been subjected to horrific torture methods, including hanging, starvation, beatings, shootings and mock executions, at the hands of corrupt officers from the feared Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Date:
21 September 2016
  • News
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Unlawful Killings

DRC: Authorities must not fan the flames of unrest with violence

The authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) must show restraint in their handling of protests to ensure that they do not inflame tensions in the country, and conduct thorough, prompt, impartial and transparent investigations into killings and violence that took place at opposition rallies in Kinshasa yesterday, Amnesty International said today. The government has said 17 people, including three police officers, were killed at rallies held to demand that the electoral commission announce the date of the next presidential election, while the opposition parties put the death toll at more than 50 protesters.

Date:
20 September 2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • International Organizations

Syria: ‘Horrific’ attack on UN aid convoy is a flagrant violation of international law

Last night’s attack on a UN/Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid convoy, intended for 78,000 people in Aleppo, is a flagrant violation of the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, Amnesty International said. Witnesses in Syria have told the organization that the convoy, along with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent warehouse where it had docked, were bombed intensively for two hours on Monday evening, heightening the suspicion that Syrian government forces deliberately targeted the relief operation.

Date:
20 September 2016
  • News
  • Thailand
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Thailand: Another human rights activist is unjustly targeted

Reacting to the Bangkok South Criminal Court’s guilty verdict against Andy Hall, a British migrant rights worker, Amnesty International said: “Today’s verdict is an appalling end to a trial that never should have started. Thailand needs to take seriously its obligation to protect human rights activists rather than allowing its legal system to be hijacked by companies seeking to silence those exposing abusive practices,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s Senior Research Adviser for South East Asia and the Pacific.

Date:
20 September 2016
  • News
  • United States of America
  • Internet and Social Media

Pardon Snowden: A Response to the Washington Post

Joshua Franco (@joshyrama) is a Researcher/Advisor on Technology and Human Rights   Three years ago, when Edward Snowden was first revealed to be the source of news reports about unlawful mass surveillance programs by the US government, he said, “I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing. ” Now, three years later, in the midst of a campaign by the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others to pardon Snowden, that risk appears to be greater than ever.

Date:
19 September 2016
  • News
  • Yemen
  • Armed Conflict

Yemen: Evidence indicates US-made bomb was used in attack on MSF hospital

States – including the USA and UK – must immediately stop supplying weapons that could be used in the Yemen conflict, Amnesty International said, as it confirmed that a US-made bomb was used in the air strike on a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital on 15 August which killed 11 people and injured 19 others. According to independent weapons experts consulted by the organization who assessed photographs of a bomb fin taken by a journalist at the site, a US-made precision-guided Paveway-series aerial bomb was used in the attack.

Date:
19 September 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Women and Girls

A dangerous backward step for women and girls in Poland

Pregnant at 11, a girl raped by her own father, will have no choice but to give birth. Equally, a woman at high risk of dying in childbirth or of carrying a dead baby, will not be able to seek a termination. This will be the impact of new legislation due to be debated on in the Polish parliament later this week which, if passed, would usher in an almost complete ban on abortion. On Sunday in Warsaw, London and other cities, protesters will gather for a global day of action opposing the amendment to Poland’s law.

Date:
19 September 2016