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CAR: Strengthen peacekeepers to prevent renewed violence

Civilians in Central African Republic (CAR) remain at risk of deadly violence and instability unless serious weaknesses in the United Nation’s peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, are urgently addressed, Amnesty International said in a new report published today. With a new president to be elected in less than a week, Amnesty’s report Mandated to protect, equipped to succeed? Strengthening peacekeeping in Central African Republic analyses   how major gaps in personnel and equipment resulted in UN peacekeepers failure to prevent and contain a serious outbreak of violence in Bangui in September 2015 that led to the death of over 75 people, including many civilians.

Date:
8 February 2016
  • News
  • Iraq
  • Armed Conflict

Iraq: Authorities turn blind eye to Shi’a militia vicious reprisal killings

The Iraqi authorities’ failure to protect Sunni civilians from a wave of reprisal attacks by Shi’a militia last month is another example of widespread impunity for what are clearly war crimes, said Amnesty International today. Abductions, killings and burning of homes and property of the Sunni community in and around the city of Muqdadiya started on 11 January after appalling bomb attacks that killed at least 27 civilians, carried out by the armed group calling itself Islamic State.

Date:
5 February 2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Turkey: Authorities must ensure safe passage for Syrians fleeing Aleppo attacks

Tens of thousands of people displaced by joint Russian and Syrian government attacks in the north of Syria must be allowed to cross the border to safety in Turkey, Amnesty International said today amid reports that thousands of people are waiting at border gates that remain closed. Reports suggest that between 40,000 and 70,000 people are on the move after fleeing heavy fighting near the city of Aleppo.

Date:
5 February 2016
  • News
  • China
  • Censorship and Free Speech

China: Authorities’ revelations on detained Hong Kong booksellers “smoke and mirrors”

The Chinese authorities are showing total contempt for due process and the rule of law in the case of five detained Hong Kong booksellers, Amnesty International said, after police in Guangdong in southern China confirmed that three of the men missing since last October are in their custody and being investigated. Guangdong police confirmed late on Thursday that Lui Por, Cheung Chi-ping and Lam Wing-kee are suspected of “illegal activity”.

Date:
5 February 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Discrimination

Haiti, we have a problem …

Less than a week from now, on 7 February, a new President should take office in Haiti. But there is a problem: Haiti does not have a new president. Relations between President Michel Martelly’s party, Tèt Kale, and the opposition were tense during most of the Martelly’s tenure. But they reached unprecedented levels after the first round of presidential elections on 25 October. As a consequence, the runoff, initially set for 27 December, was postponed twice and now there isn’t even a new date on the books.

Date:
5 February 2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • Refugees

'Now turn pledges into action’ - NGO verdict on Supporting Syria donors’ conference

An international coalition of over 30 non-governmental organisations today welcomed the ambition demonstrated at the ‘Supporting Syria And the Region’ donor conference in London to increase the scale and scope of the humanitarian response to the Syria crisis, but said that overall pledges for 2016 fell more than $3 billion short of what was urgently needed. The NGOs, including Amnesty International, Oxfam, Sawa Aid and Development, and Islamic Relief, applauded the generosity of some donors while encouraging others also to pledge their fair share.

Date:
4 February 2016
  • News
  • France
  • Justice Systems

France: Disproportionate emergency measures leave hundreds traumatized

Heavy-handed emergency measures, including late night house raids and assigned residence orders, have trampled on the rights of hundreds of men, women and children, leaving them traumatized and stigmatized, according to a new briefing released by Amnesty International today ahead of Friday’s French Parliamentary debate on entrenching emergency measures in the constitution. Upturned lives: The disproportionate impact of France's state of emergency details how, since the state of emergency was declared shortly after the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks, more than 3,242 house searches have been conducted and more than 400 assigned residence orders imposed.

Date:
4 February 2016
  • News
  • Sierra Leone
  • Right to Health

Sierra Leone: Sign Bill Allowing Safe Abortions

Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, should sign into law a bill that would increase women’s access to safe and legal abortion, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today in a letter they and five Sierra Leonean rights groups sent to President Koroma. In December 2015, the Sierra Leonean parliament overwhelmingly passed the Safe Abortion Act 2015, which would permit access to abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, after which it would be permitted until week 24 in cases of rape, incest, or health risk to the fetus or the woman or girl.

Date:
4 February 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Discrimination

Dominican Republic’s absurd laws shatter star boxer’s promising career

When Adonis Peguero Louis won the pre-selection test to join the Dominican Republic’s national boxing team, the young man’s future played before him. As if watching a film, he saw himself headlining fights across the country, travelling to arenas in cities he had only visited through the small TV screen that rests in the corner of his crammed living room, coming face-to-face with his childhood heroes.

Date:
4 February 2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • Refugees

Syria's refugee crisis in numbers

Refugees in the region More than 4. 5 million refugees from Syria are in just five countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt: Turkey hosts 2. 5 million refugees from Syria, more than any other country worldwide Lebanon hosts approximately 1. 1 million refugees from Syria which amounts to around one in five people in the country Jordan hosts approximately 635,324 refugees from Syria, which amounts to about 10% of the population Iraq where 3.

Date:
3 February 2016
  • News
  • Malawi
  • Killings and Disappearances

Malawi: Ritual murders of people with albinism must end

The killing of a woman with albinism in Malawi highlights the government’s shocking failure to protect the right to life and personal security of this vulnerable minority, said Amnesty International. The mutilated body of Eunice Phiri, a 53-year-old woman with albinism, was found on 28 January in the Kasungu National Park. Her arms had been cut off – a practice common with ritual murders where people with albinism are killed for their body parts which are sold for use in witchcraft.

Date:
3 February 2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • Refugees

World leaders in London must deliver transformational new deal for Syrian refugees and host countries

World leaders in London this week for a high-level conference on Syria must commit to an ambitious and transformational new multi-billion dollar deal for Syrian refugees and the countries hosting them in the region, a global coalition of more than ninety humanitarian and human rights groups said today. The coalition, including organisations such as the Malala Fund, Oxfam and Amnesty International, said that to be a success, the conference - co-hosted by the UK, Germany, Norway, Kuwait and the UN - must deliver a bold new plan for Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them.

Date:
3 February 2016
  • News
  • Lebanon
  • Refugees

Lebanon: Refugee women from Syria face heightened risk of exploitation and sexual harassment

Shortfalls in international assistance and discriminatory policies imposed by the Lebanese authorities are creating conditions that facilitate the exploitation and abuse of women refugees in Lebanon, said Amnesty International in a new report published ahead of the Syria Donors Conference in London on 4 February. The report, ‘I want a safe place’: Refugee women from Syria uprooted and unprotected in Lebanon, highlights how the Lebanese government’s refusal to renew residency permits for refugees and a shortage of international funding, leaves refugee women in a precarious position, and puts them at risk of exploitation by people in positions of power including landlords, employers and even the police.

Date:
2 February 2016
  • News
  • Congo
  • Unlawful Detention

Congo-Brazzaville: Authorities must release opposition leader detained for 2 months

Authorities in Congo-Brazzaville must immediately and unconditionally release an opposition leader arrested and detained for over two months simply for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, Amnesty International said today. Paulin Makaya, President of “Unis pour le Congo” (UPC), was arrested on 23 November 2015 while reporting for questioning at the office of the Public Prosecutor.

Date:
1 February 2016
  • News
  • Africa
  • Unlawful Killings

Nigeria: Reinstatement of army general implicated in mass murder makes mockery of commitments to end war crimes

The reinstatement of a senior Nigerian military general implicated in the mass murder of hundreds of detainees underlines the monumental failure of the government to stamp out impunity for war crimes at the highest level, said Amnesty International. Last June, Amnesty International named Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, along with eight other senior commanders, calling for an investigation into their possible criminal responsibility for war crimes including the deaths of more than 8,000 of detainees.

Date:
1 February 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Justice Systems

Spain: 10,000 kilometres and 80 years for justice

When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Félix Llorente lived and worked on the railways in the Castilian town of Medina del Campo. His great-niece, Anaïs Huerta, is a filmmaker who now lives in Mexico. On 28 July 1936, Félix was detained by the authorities and brought to Medina del Campo jail, “for his record and activities”. On 15 August that year he was taken out of the jail, supposedly to be transferred to another prison, and disappeared.

Date:
29 January 2016