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Iraq: More than 1,000 detained in shocking conditions at Anbar counter-terrorism centres

More than 1,000 detainees, including some as young as 15, are being held without charge in horrendous conditions at makeshift holding centres in Anbar governorate, west of Baghdad, said Amnesty International today. A delegation led by the organization’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, gained access on 30 April to a centre run by Anbar’s counter-terrorism agency (Mukafahat al-Irhab) in Ameriyat al-Fallujah, where 683 male detainees are held without charge.

Date:
3 May 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Killings and Disappearances

Honduras: Lack of transparency in handling of Indigenous leader’s murder puts enquiry in jeopardy

The arrest of four suspects in the murder of human rights defender Berta Cáceres in Honduras raise a number of questions on how the investigation is being handled, said Amnesty International today after Berta’s relatives claimed authorities have kept them in the dark regarding any developments in the case. “The blatant lack of transparency in the investigation into Berta Cáceres’ tragic murder, including the fact that her family has been systematically kept in the dark regarding any developments and the refusal to question high ranking officials is putting the whole investigation in jeopardy,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Date:
2 May 2016
  • News
  • Africa
  • Killings and Disappearances

Chad: Light must be shed on the fate of missing people

The Chadian authorities must clarify the fate of several members of the security and defense forces presumed “missing” after apparently voting against the party in power, and order an independent inquiry into the ill-treatment suffered by others, Amnesty International and the Chadian Human Rights League (LTDH) today declared. According to media reports, more than 40 members of the defense and security forces have been missing since 9 April, the day of the presidential election.

Date:
29 April 2016
  • News
  • Africa
  • Justice Systems

Lesotho: Court ruling to allow ongoing detention of soldiers raises further questions about fair trial

A court ruling that allows the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) to continue to keep 16 soldiers detained raises further serious concerns about their ability to have a fair trial, Amnesty International said today, following a decision announced by the Lesotho Court of Appeal. The Appeals Court turned down a request by the soldiers to be placed under “open arrest”, a form of military bail, after they challenged their ongoing detention under “closed arrest” since May and June 2015.

Date:
29 April 2016
  • News
  • North Korea
  • Detention

North Korea: U.S. Citizen Hard Labour Sentence Shrouded in Secrecy

The government of North Korea must immediately disclose all details in the court case of U. S. citizen Kim Dong-chul, who was sentenced to 10 years’ hard labour for “spying,” in what appears to be yet another politically motivated decision, said Amnesty International today. Kim, a 62-year-old who was born in South Korea, is the latest foreigner to be sentenced to hard labour. “The timing of this sentence, amid increasing international tension, calls into question the motivation behind the proceedings.

Date:
29 April 2016
  • News
  • South Sudan
  • Armed Conflict

South Sudan unity government a chance to ensure justice for possible war crimes

On Wednesday, South Sudan’s rebel leader, Riek Machar was sworn in as first vice president. Yesterday, the new cabinet, which includes former rebels and members of the opposition, was sworn in. The formation of a transitional government of national unity is a big step forward for a nation ravaged by more than two years of armed conflict. But if a lasting peace is to be found, it will need to be built on the foundation of justice, truth and reparation.

Date:
29 April 2016
  • News
  • Australia
  • Refugees

Australia: Refugee death highlights fatal flaws in offshore processing

The death of another refugee in an Australian-run detention centre on Nauru demonstrates the fatal flaws of a system that must be brought to an end, Amnesty International said today. “The desperate actions of this refugee underscore the perilous circumstances found in offshore processing centres run by the Australian government. As Amnesty International has been stressing for several years now, the current system is cruel, inhuman and needs to end,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s Senior Research Adviser for South East Asia and the Pacific.

Date:
29 April 2016
  • News
  • China
  • Censorship and Free Speech

China: Scrap Foreign NGO law aimed at choking civil society

The Chinese government must scrap a new law aimed at further smothering civil society, Amnesty International said today. China’s National People’s Congress adopted on 28 April a fundamentally flawed law governing Foreign NGOs and their domestic partners. The new law will have severe consequences for freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, which are already sharply curtailed under existing laws and policies.

Date:
28 April 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Thailand: Release Facebook commenters now

Thailand’s military government is brazenly seeking to shut down debate ahead of a referendum on a draft constitution, Amnesty International said today. At least a dozen Facebook commenters have been detained or charged on 27 April under a draconian new Order issued by the head of the military government. The arrests come after they commented on the controversial draft of a new constitution Thailand’s military government is seeking to impose.

Date:
27 April 2016
  • News
  • Austria
  • Refugees

Austria: Parliament must overturn proposal to deny refugee protection to thousands

The Austrian National Council must reject changes to its asylum law that would curtail access to protection for thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers and breach its obligations under international law, said Amnesty International ahead of today’s vote. The proposed ‘special measures’ would fast-track procedures, effectively giving police and border guards sweeping powers to arrest, detain and swiftly return or forcibly deport asylum-seekers.

Date:
27 April 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Killings and Disappearances

Trigger-happy: Rio’s security forces show their true colours ahead of Olympics

The taxi from Rio’s international airport skirts around the edge of a sprawling favela, where rust-coloured breeze block houses line narrow alleyways, blue plastic water tanks perch on roofs and laundry dances in the breeze under corrugated iron sheets to protect it from the frequent downpours that turn the city’s streets into fast flowing rivers. Children dart in and out of buildings, while vultures scavenge in rubbish piled up along the banks of a river.

Date:
27 April 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Brazil: Surge in killings by police sparks fear in favelas ahead of Rio Olympics

Residents in many of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas are living in terror after at least 11 people have been killed in police shootings since the beginning of the month, Amnesty International warned ahead of the 100-day countdown to the Olympic Games. In the city of Rio alone, at least 307 people were killed by the police last year, accounting for one in every five homicides in the city. Meanwhile the authorities have failed to hold those responsible to account and have increasingly taken a hard-line approach against mainly peaceful street protests.

Date:
27 April 2016
  • News
  • Egypt
  • Unlawful Detention

Egypt: Mass arrests in ‘ruthlessly efficient’ bid to block peaceful protest

Security forces arbitrarily arrested hundreds of people in response to planned protests in Egypt yesterday, said Amnesty International, after large numbers of security forces deployed to prevent demonstrators from gathering in Cairo and elsewhere. The Front of Defence for Egyptian Protesters (FDEP) early this morning told Amnesty International that they knew of at least 238 people, including foreign nationals, activists and journalists, who were arrested on 25 April across Egypt.

Date:
26 April 2016
  • News
  • Mexico
  • Killings and Disappearances

Las sillas vacías de Ayotzinapa

Las tres sillas vacías en medio de la sala lo decían todo. En cada una, el nombre de cada funcionario del alto nivel del gobierno Mexicano encargado de velar por los derechos humanos en el país: Eber Omar Betanzos Torres, Roberto Campa Cifrián y Miguel Ruiz Cabañas Izquierdo. Los tres habían sido invitados por el Grupo Interdisciplinario de Expertos Independientes (GIEI) a la presentación el pasado 24 de abril de su informe final sobre la desaparición forzada de 43 estudiantes de la escuela normal de Ayotzinapa en Septiembre de 2014.

Date:
26 April 2016
  • News
  • Morocco/Western Sahara
  • Discrimination

UN must monitor human rights in Western Sahara and Sahrawi refugee camps

Human rights monitoring by the UN must be at the forefront of discussions this week over the future of its presence in Western Sahara and Sahrawi refugee camps, Amnesty International said today, amid increased restrictions on journalists, peacekeepers and peaceful activists. The Security Council is due to vote on extending the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) on Thursday, 28 April.

Date:
26 April 2016
  • News
  • Burundi
  • Armed Groups

Burundi: One year on, Burundians pay the price of entrenched human rights crisis

One year on from the start of the Burundi crisis, the human rights situation in the country continues to deteriorate and accountability for horrific acts of violence remains elusive, Amnesty International said today. The decision by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a preliminary examination underlines the gravity of the situation. Burundi has been in a political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to stand for a third term in office last April, which many saw as unconstitutional.

Date:
26 April 2016