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  • Discrimination

Taiwan moves closer to marriage equality after milestone court ruling

A landmark ruling by Taiwan’s highest court means it is close to becoming the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, Amnesty International said. On Wednesday, judges in Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s current marriage law is unconstitutional as it discriminates against same-sex couples. The judges have given lawmakers two years to amend or enact relevant laws. “The judges have today said yes to marriage equality.

Date:
24 May 2017
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • LGBT Rights

South Korea: Soldier convicted in outrageous military gay witch-hunt

South Korea’s military must immediately end a bigoted hunt to root out gay personnel, Amnesty International said, after a serving soldier was convicted of having a same-sex relationship. The soldier, whose identity remains anonymous, was given a six month prison sentence suspended for one year at a military trial on Wednesday. The soldier fell down when the judgment was delivered and was taken to hospital.

Date:
24 May 2017
  • News
  • Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • Prisoners of Conscience

Israel: Release Palestinian prisoner of conscience detained without charge or trial

The Israeli authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Ahmed Qatamesh, a 67-year-old Palestinian academic, writer and political analyst who has been arbitrarily detained under a three month administrative detention order, said Amnesty International. Ahmed Qatamesh was seized during a pre-dawn raid on his home on 14 May 2017. Three days later a military commander signed an administrative order to detain him for three months despite the fact that he has not been charged with a criminal offence.

Date:
24 May 2017
  • News

Iraq: US military admits failures to monitor over $1 billion worth of arms transfers

The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified Department of Defense (DoD) audit, obtained by Amnesty International following Freedom of Information requests. The government audit, from September 2016, reveals that the DoD “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location”of a vast amount of equipment pouring into Kuwait and Iraq to provision the Iraqi Army.

Date:
24 May 2017
  • News
  • Tajikistan
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Tajikistani lawyers harassed, intimidated and imprisoned

Tajikistani authorities have dealt a major blow to the legal profession through political manipulation of the criminal justice system and repressive legislation, Amnesty International said today ahead of the country’s National Lawyer Day. A new briefing reveals a raft of repressive government tactics used to intimidate, silence and crush lawyers in the country, punishing them for the legitimate exercise of their professional duty.

Date:
24 May 2017
  • News
  • Cameroon
  • Armed Conflict

Cameroon: Thousands worldwide demand release of students jailed for sharing Boko Haram joke

More than 300,000 letters and petitions from people around the world have been sent to Cameroonian President Paul Biya calling on him to release three students each sentenced to 10 years in prison by a military court for sharing a joke by SMS about Boko Haram, Amnesty International revealed today. As part of the organization’s annual Write for Rights campaign 2016, over 310,000 actions were taken from people across the globe asking that Fomusoh Ivo Feh and his friends, Afuh Nivelle Nfor and Azah Levis Gob, be immediately released.

Date:
23 May 2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Detention

Bahrain: At least one dead and hundreds injured as government violently cracks down on opposition

The Bahraini security forces used excessive force against protesters in the village of Duraz, the majority of whom were peaceful, as part of an ongoing crack down on the village which has been under siege by the authorities for 11 months, according to evidence uncovered by Amnesty International. At least one person has been killed and hundreds injured as security forces fired birdshot from shotguns and teargas against protesters.

Date:
23 May 2017
  • News
  • Americas
  • Discrimination

What does it take to solve a statelessness crisis?

Three years ago today, authorities in the Dominican Republic passed a law seeking to address a statelessness crisis that has effectively stripped thousands of people off their Dominican nationality and with it,  denied them a range of human rights. The crisis exploded in 2013, after a ruling by the Dominican Republic’s top Court that retroactively applied to anyone born after 1929 to undocumented foreign parents.

Date:
23 May 2017
  • News
  • Vatican
  • Refugees

Vatican: President Trump should heed Pope Francis’ call to “build bridges, not walls”

Ahead of the meeting between Pope Francis and President Trump in the Vatican tomorrow, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe said: “Pope Francis has spoken forcefully in favour of freedom and justice and need to build bridges rather than walls. President Trump would do well to heed this advice. ” “The Pope has also warned against the rise of populism and the importance of opening our hearts and borders to refugees fleeing war and conflict.

Date:
23 May 2017
  • News
  • Indonesia
  • LGBT Rights

Indonesia: Caning of gay men an outrageous act of cruelty

Responding to news that two men have been caned 83 times each for having sex with each other in Indonesia’s Aceh province, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict, said: “This sickening spectacle, carried out in front of more than a thousand jeering spectators, is an act of utmost cruelty. These two men had their privacy forcefully invaded when they were ambushed inside their own home, and their ‘punishment’ today was designed to humiliate as well as physically injure them.

Date:
23 May 2017
  • News
  • United States of America
  • Women and Girls

USA Health of pregnant women being jeopardized by punitive laws

A set of US laws which claim to promote maternal and infant health are in fact driving pregnant women away from vital health services, jeopardizing their wellbeing and violating their right to health, according to a new report published by Amnesty International today. Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA, highlights the impact of pregnancy criminalization laws, especially those which are used to arrest and prosecute women who use drugs based on a belief that they are harming their fetuses.

Date:
23 May 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

Greece: People displaced by imminent closure of refugee camps must get safe and adequate housing

Greek authorities must ensure that refugees and migrants expected to start being evacuated from three Elliniko camps tomorrow, are provided with safe, adequate, alternative housing, said Amnesty International. “Whilst no one will mourn the closure of these uninhabitable, unsafe camps, the failure to provide people living there with information about their imminent removal has only served to increase their fears and anxieties,” said Monica Costa Riba, Amnesty International’s Regional Campaigner.

Date:
22 May 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Turkey: “Professional annihilation” of 100,000 public sector workers in post-coup attempt purge

The dismissal of more than 100,000 Turkish public sector workers is arbitrary and has had a catastrophic impact on their lives and livelihoods, a new report published by Amnesty International reveals. No end in sight: Purged public sector workers denied a future in Turkey finds that tens of thousands of people including doctors, police officers, teachers, academics and soldiers, branded as ‘terrorists’ and banned from public service, are now struggling to make ends meet.

Date:
22 May 2017
  • News
  • Angola
  • Detention

Angola: Authorities must tolerate critical views amid pre-election protests

Authorities in Angola must uphold people’s rights to exercise their freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, Amnesty International said ahead of a planned protest against the imprisonment of seven activists. “In recent years, Angolan authorities have frequently used the police to suppress public protests. Demonstrators are often arrested, imprisoned and even ‘disappeared’ for expressing themselves,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

Date:
19 May 2017
  • News
  • Saudi Arabia

Trump’s first international tour raises red flags for human rights in Middle East

As President Donald Trump embarks on his first foreign tour this weekend, the irony of his decision to make his first stop in Saudi Arabia, home to some of Islam’s holiest sites, will not be lost on many. Within weeks of coming to power, President Trump provoked global outrage with his blatantly discriminatory ban on people from six majority-Muslim countries entering the USA. Yet this weekend he is joining a summit in Riyadh attended by dozens of leaders from across the Muslim world, where it is reported he will give a speech laying out his vision on how to tackle Islamic extremism.

Date:
19 May 2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Armed Conflict

Saudi Arabia: Trump visit risks giving green light to violations of human rights

As US President Donald Trump embarks on his first foreign visit to attend the Riyadh summit in Saudi Arabia, counter terrorism and security will dominate his discussions with Gulf and Arab state leaders. The President is also expected to unveil a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The glaring absence of human rights from Trump’s agenda will only embolden further violations in a region where governments flout the rights of their own people in the name of the fight against terror, and violate international humanitarian law in conflicts fueled on large part by US arms transfers, said Amnesty International.

Date:
19 May 2017