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  • News

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
  • News
  • Angola
  • Justice Systems

Angola: Release of activist after a successful appeal an overdue triumph for justice

Today’s release of human rights defender, José Marcos Mavungo, after the Angola Supreme Tribunal upheld his appeal against a six year sentence is a long overdue triumph for justice, said Amnesty International. He has served over a year in prison following his arrest on 14 March 2015. He was convicted on 14 September for ‘rebellion’ for his involvement in organizing a peaceful demonstration. Amnesty International considered him a prisoner of conscience.

Date:
20 May 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

EU-Turkey deal: Greek decision highlights fundamental flaws

A Syrian national who arrived on the Greek island of Lesvos has won an appeal against a decision that would have led to his forcible return to Turkey, underscoring the fundamental flaws in the migration deal agreed in March between the European Union and Turkey, Amnesty International said. In the first such decision Amnesty International has seen since the deal, an appeals committee in Athens overturned an initial decision considering Turkey a safe third country on the grounds that Turkey does not afford refugees the full protection required under the Refugee Convention.

Date:
20 May 2016
  • News
  • Kazakhstan
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Kazakhstan: Release activists arrested in disturbing crackdown over Land Code protest

The Kazakhstani authorities must immediately and unconditionally release almost three dozen activists after dramatic wave of arrests, apparently aimed at blocking peaceful demonstrations from going ahead this weekend, Amnesty International said. At least 34 activists have been arrested across the country over the past three days, many of them for the “crime” of publicly stating their intention to participate in the peaceful protests, planned for 21 May, or for posting information about them on Facebook and other social media.

Date:
20 May 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

El Salvador: Release of woman jailed after miscarriage, a victory for human rights

A court's decision today to release a woman who spent four years in jail in El Salvador for miscarrying her pregnancy is a great victory for human rights, said Amnesty International. María Teresa Rivera, 33, was jailed in 2011 and sentenced to 40 years in prison for “aggravated homicide” after having a miscarriage. "The release of María Teresa is yet another step towards justice in a country where women are treated as mere second class citizens," said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Date:
20 May 2016
  • News
  • Refugees

Refugees Welcome Survey 2016 - The Results

Refugees Welcome Index The Refugees Welcome Index ranks 27 countries across all continents based on people’s willingness to let refugees live in their countries, towns, neighbourhoods and homes. Refugees Welcome Survey The Refugees Welcome Index is based on a global survey of more than 27,000 people carried out by the internationally renowned strategy consultancy GlobeScan. The survey asked people: how closely would you personally accept people fleeing war or persecution?     Access to asylum & government action to help refugees The Refugees Welcome Survey also asked two other questions about access to asylum and current refugee policies.

Date:
19 May 2016
  • News
  • Iran
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Iran: 16-year-sentence against critically ill human rights defender signals all-out repression

The shocking 16-year prison sentence against prominent human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, who has several serious, chronic illnesses, represents an all-out attack on human rights defenders in Iran, and demonstrates how Iran’s abusive criminal justice system is used as a tool of repression, said Amnesty International. Narges Mohammadi, a distinguished human rights defender, a supporter of the anti-death penalty campaign Legam (Step by Step to Abolish the Death Penalty) and vice president of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders in Iran, was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran which convicted her of several trumped-up national security related offences in connection with her human rights work.

Date:
19 May 2016
  • News
  • Egypt
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Egypt steps up vicious onslaught against NGOs with arrest of minority rights defender

Prominent Egyptian human rights defender, Mina Thabet, Director of the Minority and Religious Groups Department at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), was arrested today as the government escalates its assault on Egypt’s NGO community. He was seized during a raid on his home in Cairo in the early hours of this morning by members of the Egyptian National Security Agency, who ill-treated him and his family members and refused to disclose his place of detention.

Date:
19 May 2016
  • News
  • Germany
  • Refugees

Refugees Welcome Index shows government refugee policies out of touch with public opinion

China, Germany, UK top index measuring public acceptance of refugees; Russia bottom Globally, 1 in 10 would let refugees stay in their home, 3 in 10 in their neighbourhood Call on World Humanitarian Summit to back “Global Compact” for helping refugees The vast majority of people (80%) would welcome refugees with open arms, with many even prepared to take them into their own homes, according to a global survey commissioned by Amnesty International.

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

Yemen: Spree of arbitrary arrests, disappearances and torture by Huthi forces

The Huthi armed group, supported by state security forces, has carried out a wave of arrests of its opponents, arbitrarily seizing critics at gunpoint and subjecting some to enforced disappearance as part of a chilling campaign to quash dissent in areas of Yemen under its control, said Amnesty International in a new report published today. Where is my father? Detention and disappearance in Huthi-controlled Yemen, which is based on 60 cases of detention examined in detail by the organization, reveals a pattern of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances in Sana’a, Ibb, Ta’iz and Hodeidah between December 2014 and March 2016.

Date:
18 May 2016