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24 of your biggest moments in 2014

It’s been an incredible year for human rights. Here are just a few of our biggest moments – none of them would have been possible without the tireless work of Amnesty campaigners like you. 1. Together, we changed the rape law in Morocco The Moroccan parliament voted unanimously to change its rape law, so that rapists can no longer escape punishment by forcing their victims to marry them. It followed tireless campaigning for the family of Amina Filali (pictured), who killed herself in March 2012 after being forced by law to marry a man she said had raped her.

Date:
22 December 2014
  • News
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Impunity despite Philippines’ landmark Anti-Torture Act

When a man’s severed head turns up in Manila Bay with three gunshots through the cranium, one would reasonably expect the authorities to fast-track the investigation of such a grisly crime. But justice for the victim and the family, who identified the remains as Darius Evangelista in 2010, is now more than four years overdue. The reason – the killers appear to have been police officers themselves, shooting him in the head after they had tortured him.

Date:
4 December 2014
  • News
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Mexico at a crossroads: More than words needed to avoid lawlessness

When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto took office two years ago, he knew full well the job was a challenging one. Back in 2012, Mexico was already immersed in one of the worst security crisis in its history. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children across the country were caught up in a brutal war between powerful drug cartels and corrupt security forces. Little seems to have changed since then.

Date:
1 December 2014
  • News
  • Discrimination

Young and living with HIV in the Philippines

I was first diagnosed with HIV last August 2013 and have been undergoing treatment for almost nine months. I had sex once without using protection and that one instance completely changed my life. I was shocked when I found out – in complete denial, then suicidal. I could not imagine how my friends would react if they knew. But amidst all the fear and pain, the question that immediately came to my mind was: “My family? Do I need to tell them?” In the end, the first person I told was my mother.

Date:
1 December 2014
  • News
  • Business and Human Rights

Amnesty International launches Write for Rights, the largest human rights campaign of 2014

Millions of Amnesty International supporters from around the globe are set to take part in the world’s largest annual human rights campaign launching on 3 December. Write for Rights, a two-week-long campaign, is calling on activists to take action on behalf of 10 activists and two communities suffering brutal human rights abuses including arbitrary detention and torture. Activist from all corners of the world will be signing petitions, writing letters, organizing events and posting tweets calling for, amongst others: • The release of Chelsea Manning, the US whistler-blower who is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking classified government material to the website Wikileaks.

Date:
28 November 2014
  • News
  • Death Penalty

USA: Texas must halt ‘shameful’ execution of man with severe mental disability

The State of Texas should immediately halt its shameful plans to execute a man with severe mental illness, said Amnesty International with the scheduled execution now less than a week away.  Scott Panetti, a 56-year-old man whose mental illness predated and contributed to the 1992 double murder for which he was sent to death row, is scheduled to be executed in Texas soon after 6pm local time on 3 December.

Date:
28 November 2014
  • News

Hong Kong: Heavy-handed policing will only inflame protests

With thousands of pro-democracy protesters expected to take to Hong Kong’s streets again over the weekend, the city’s police chief must urgently stamp out any arbitrary and excessive use of force by police officers, Amnesty International said. The past two days have seen major police operations to disperse protesters from the Mong Kok area of the city marred by incidents of unjustifiable force against protesters, bystanders and media.

Date:
28 November 2014
  • News
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Egypt: End wave of home demolitions, forced evictions in Sinai amid media blackout

 The Egyptian authorities must halt the arbitrary demolition of hundreds of homes and mass forced evictions underway in Rafah, North Sinai in order to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip, Amnesty International said amid signs that the operation may be expanded.   “The scale of the forced evictions has been astonishing; the Egyptian authorities have thrown more than 1,000 families out of their homes in just a matter of days, flouting international and national law.

Date:
27 November 2014
  • News
  • Detention

Mexico: Drop overblown charges and free 11 held for protest over disappeared students

Mexico must drop overblown charges and urgently release 11 demonstrators who have been unfairly held in two remote high-security prisons after protesting at the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, said Amnesty International ahead of a crucial hearing on the case on Saturday. The organization is also calling for an immediate investigation into allegations that the police officers beat and threatened the protesters while in detention.

Date:
27 November 2014
  • News
  • Armed Conflict

Colombia’s land restitution process failing those forced off their land

Threats and killings coupled with the weak implementation of flawed legislation are scuppering the Colombian government’s promise to return millions of hectares of land illegally snatched from peasant farmers, Indigenous People and Afro-descendant communities, said Amnesty International today. In a new report A land title is not enough: Ensuring sustainable land restitution in Colombia, Amnesty International explores how the Victims and Land Restitution Law (Law 1448), implemented in 2012, is failing the vast majority of people whose lands were stolen.

Date:
27 November 2014
  • News
  • Armed Conflict

15 facts about Colombia’s land restitution process

In a new report A land title is not enough: Ensuring sustainable land restitution in Colombia, Amnesty International explores the weaknesses and failures in implementing a Colombian law designed to help return stolen land to some of the victims of the country’s long-running armed conflict.  Forced displacement 1.        Almost six million people have been forcibly displaced since 1985, most of them as a consequence of Colombia's internal armed conflict - that is nearly 13% of country's population - and means Colombia has one of the highest forced displacement levels in the world.

Date:
27 November 2014
  • News
  • Racial Discrimination

Égalité?: Traveller and holocaust survivor talks of violence at the hands of the French police

Exactly 74 years ago today, 15-year-old French Traveller, Raymond Gûreme, was arrested along with his parents and six siblings and taken to a detention camp in Linas-Monthléry in Nazi-occupied France. He went on to experience years of abuse at the hands of the Nazis for being a Traveller. Now, seven decades later, he lives like many Travellers on the margins of society with discrimination still part of his daily life.

Date:
27 November 2014
  • News
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Surviving Mexico’s torture epidemic

“I’ve been working for the drug cartels and helped place a car bomb that killed two police officers,” said Rogelio Amaya, looking straight at the camera lens. He appeared shaken, his body bruised. Within hours, a version of the video featuring Rogelio and four of his friends confessing to the crime plastered the TV screens of Ciudad Juárez, in northern Mexico along the border with the USA. The town is one of the most violent in the country, infamous for brutal clashes among competing drug cartels and law-enforcement officers.

Date:
26 November 2014
  • News
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Pakistan: Blasphemy sentence against private TV channel will have chilling effect on media freedom

The prison sentence for blasphemy handed down today by a court in Pakistan against four people including the owner of a major private TV channel and one of its star actresses will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and the media, Amnesty International said. The organization also noted serious concerns about the fairness of the trial. An anti-terrorism court (ATC) today sentenced in absentia Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, owner of Geo TV and its parent Jang Media Group, actress Veena Malik, her husband Asad Bashir and TV host Shaista Wahidi, to 26 years in prison each for airing a “contemptuous” programme.

Date:
26 November 2014
  • News
  • Discrimination

USA: Respect the right to peaceful demonstration in wake of Ferguson decision

 Law enforcement personnel in the US state of Missouri must not resort to excessive use of force as protesters take to the streets following the Grand Jury decision not to indict a police officer accused of shooting the teenager Michael Brown, said Amnesty International today. “There cannot be a repeat of the abuses that occurred during the policing of protests in August. The right to peaceful demonstration is a human right that must be protected vigilantly.

Date:
25 November 2014