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  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Armed Conflict

No justice for eastern Ukraine’s victims of torture

Alexandra showed me her fingernails and sighed in despair, “See, they don’t grow. I used to have long nails, but they broke them to the roots. ” Her damaged fingers are among the many injuries reminding her of the time she spent in detention. As the war raged in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatist forces and Ukrainian army, 55-year-old Alexandra stayed in her home village of Pervomayskoe, just 20 kilometres from Donetsk, the capital of the so-called DNR (the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic).

Date:
27 May 2016
  • News
  • South Sudan
  • Unlawful Detention

South Sudan: Dozens of detainees at risk of death in shipping containers

Dozens of detainees held in dire conditions in poorly ventilated metal shipping containers, fed only once or twice a week and given insufficient drinking water are at risk of death, warned Amnesty International today. According to information obtained by the organisation, these conditions have apparently resulted in the deaths of multiple detainees at the Gorom detention site, located about 20km south of the capital Juba.

Date:
27 May 2016
  • News
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Death Penalty

Saudi Arabia: Surge in executions continues as death toll approaches 100

Saudi Arabia will have put to death more than 100 people in the first six months of this year if it continues to carry out executions at its current pace, said Amnesty International today. At least 94 people have been executed so far this year, higher than at the same point last year. At least 158 people were put to death in Saudi Arabia in 2015, the highest recorded figure in the country since 1995. “Executions in Saudi Arabia have been surging dramatically for two years now and this appalling trend shows no sign of slowing,” said James Lynch, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

Date:
27 May 2016
  • News
  • India
  • Discrimination

Strength in Numbers: Sex Worker Collectives in India

Bharati Dey, 52 years old, from Kolkata, India, is a former sex worker and now heads the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (Durbar). This collective of 75,000 sex workers from across the West Bengal region was founded in 1995 and is managed by sex workers and their children. Durbar, which means ‘unstoppable’ in Bengali, aims to strengthen sex workers’ rights through solidarity and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face.

Date:
27 May 2016
  • News
  • Jamaica
  • Discrimination

"I feel scared all the time." A Jamaican sex worker tells her story

‘Apple’ is a 38 year old street sex worker in Jamaica, she has been a sex worker for almost 12 years. She was arrested for the first time six weeks ago, and forced to sign a confession. Apple told Amnesty that the statement read on her behalf at the court hearing was “pure lies”. She described how she and the other female sex workers are regularly harassed and abused by a particular police officer who demands free sex in return for not arresting them.

Date:
27 May 2016
  • News
  • Africa
  • Discrimination

Out of the Shadows: Fighting for the Rights of Sex Workers

“Six police officers did sex to me one by one. They were armed with guns so I had to do it,” Mona, a mother of two in her late thirties told us, tears streaming down her cheeks. The gang rape took place in a public park in Papua New Guinea’s capital city Port Moresby in August 2012 and, while clearly extremely traumatized, Mona has never reported it. “It was so painful to me, but then I let it go,” Mona sighs.

Date:
26 May 2016
  • News
  • Uganda
  • Discrimination

"We are not criminals; We are people" A Ugandan sex worker tells her story

Bad Black, is a 25-year old, HIV positive trans woman in Uganda. She is a street sex worker in the capital city, Kampala. Bad Black has been arrested over 20 times and has suffered horrific sexual abuse and violence at the hands of police officers and other inmates in jail. She can’t stop doing sex work, she says, because she has no other way of making money. "Most trans women in Uganda are sex workers because they cannot be employed anywhere.

Date:
26 May 2016
  • News
  • Norway
  • Women's Rights

Amnesty International publishes policy and research on protection of sex workers’ rights

“If a customer is bad you need to manage it yourself to the end. You only call the police if you think you are going to die. If you call the police, you lose everything. ” --Sex worker in Norway Amnesty International is today publishing its policy on protecting sex workers from human rights violations and abuses, along with four research reports on these issues in Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Norway and Argentina.

Date:
26 May 2016
  • News
  • Azerbaijan
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Azerbaijan: Journalist Khadija Ismayilova free but conviction must be quashed

The release of Khadija Ismayilova by Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court is a welcome step but she will not have obtained justice until her conviction is quashed, said Amnesty International. Khadija Ismayilova was sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment at a trial in September 2015 under trumped-up charges of embezzlement, illegal entrepreneurship, tax evasion and abuse of office. The Supreme Court today reduced her sentence to a suspended term of three and a half years, after it reversed two of the initial four charges against her.

Date:
25 May 2016
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Killings and Disappearances

EU: Halt arms transfers to Egypt to stop fuelling killings and torture

Almost half of European Union (EU) member states have flouted an EU-wide suspension on arms transfers to Egypt, risking complicity in a wave of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture, Amnesty International said today. Despite the suspension imposed after hundreds of protesters were killed in a show of grossly excessive force by security forces in August 2013, 12 out of 28 EU member states have remained among Egypt’s main suppliers of arms and policing equipment.

Date:
25 May 2016
  • News
  • Refugees

Look refugees in the eye: Powerful video experiment breaks down barriers

A poignant new video experiment breaking down barriers between recently-arrived refugees and Europeans will be launched globally by Amnesty International tomorrow, 25 May 2016. The video, Look Beyond Borders, is based on a theory that four minutes of uninterrupted eye contact increases intimacy. Amnesty International Poland and Polish ad agency DDB&Tribal applied the theory, developed by psychologist Arthur Aron in 1997, to the refugee crisis, sitting refugees from Syria and Somalia opposite people from Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland and the UK, with overwhelmingly positive results.

Date:
24 May 2016
  • News

Upholding the Norms that Protect Humanity

This speech was delivered at the World Humanitarian Summit on 24 May 2016 by Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen: When thinking of how best to use my time here today, one option I seriously considered was to observe a three minute silence to mourn the demise of international norms and humanitarian law. These are arguably the darkest times since the formation of the United Nations.

Date:
24 May 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Viet Nam: Shameful wave of arrests of activists as Obama visits

Vietnamese authorities must end their crackdown on peaceful protesters and release all prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International said today. As Viet Nam hosts US President Barack Obama on a three-day visit, the authorities have pressed ahead with their assault on the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly by arresting six peaceful activists and orchestrating a campaign of intimidation and harassment against dozens more.

Date:
23 May 2016
  • News
  • Guinea
  • Death Penalty

Guinea: New law could abolish death penalty but repressive provisions remain

Several draft laws currently under examination by Guinean parliamentarians propose major improvements to human rights, particularly the abolition of the death penalty and the criminalization of torture. However, a group of 30 non-governmental organizations, including Amnesty International, have today highlighted the fact that these laws still contain repressive and discriminatory provisions. Thirty organizations have today published a legal analysis of the draft laws on the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Military Justice Code, the Civil Code and Cybersecurity, all currently being considered by the National Assembly.

Date:
23 May 2016
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Armed Conflict

Yemen: Children among civilians killed and maimed in cluster bomb ‘minefields’

16 new civilian casualties, including nine children, documented in aftermath of Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s cluster bomb use Internally displaced people returning home to de facto ‘minefields’ Use of US, UK and Brazilian-made cluster munitions documented Urgent need for international demining assistance Children and their families returning home in northern Yemen after a year of conflict are at grave risk of serious injury and death from thousands of unexploded cluster bomb submunitions, Amnesty International said, following a 10-day research trip to Sa’da, Hajjah, and Sana’a governorates.

Date:
23 May 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Bangladesh Prominent elderly journalist suffering ill-treatment in jail

The Bangladeshi authorities’ treatment of a prominent 81-year-old journalist, who has been held in solitary confinement for several weeks and denied medical care for chronic and life threatening health conditions, is an act of cruelty, Amnesty International said today. Shafik Rehman, editor of the monthly Mouchake Dhil magazine, was arrested on 16 April suspected of being involved in a plot to assassinate Sajib Wazed Joy, the son of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Date:
21 May 2016