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  • Myanmar
  • Discrimination

Kofi Annan to head Commission on Rakhine state

The establishment of a high-level commission headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is a welcome step towards addressing the human rights situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, Amnesty International said today. “Today’s announcement is a sign that Myanmar’s authorities are taking the situation in Rakhine state seriously. But it will only have been a worthwhile exercise if it paves the way for the realization of human rights for all people in the state,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

Date:
24 August 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Children

After escaping war, what awaits Syrian children in Europe?

The horrific situation facing Syria’s children, graphically captured by the haunting image of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, shocked and bloodied in the back of an ambulance after being pulled from the rubble of his home, makes it easy to understand why parents would take their children on the desperate, arduous journey to Europe. But if a child like Omran were to survive the trip and reach Europe’s shores, their ordeal would be far from over.

Date:
22 August 2016
  • News
  • Iraq
  • Death Penalty

Iraq: Executions will not eliminate security threats

The execution of 36 men in Iraq yesterday marks an alarming rise in the authorities’ use of the death penalty in response to the dramatic security threats the country is facing, said Amnesty International today. The men were convicted over the killing of 1,700 military cadets at Speicher military camp near Trikrit in June 2014, after a deeply-flawed mass trial which lasted only a few hours, and relied on “confessions” extracted under torture.

Date:
22 August 2016
  • News
  • Mali
  • Armed Groups

Mali: ICC trial over destruction of cultural property in Timbuktu shows need for broader accountability

In response to the opening today of the trial of Ahmad Al-Fadi Al-Mahdi, an alleged senior member of the Ansar Eddine armed group, for attacks on mosques and mausoleums in Timbuktu in 2012, Amnesty International’s Senior Legal Advisor Erica Bussey said: “Attacks against religious and historical monuments violate cultural rights and can cause significant harm to the local and sometimes broader communities.

Date:
22 August 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Killings and Disappearances

Brazil: Rio’s Olympic legacy shattered with no let-up in killings by police

The legacy of the Rio 2016 Olympics has been shattered with at least eight people killed in police operations in the city during the Games and peaceful protests heavily repressed, Amnesty International said. “Brazil has lost the most important medal at play during Rio 2016: the chance to become a champion on human rights,” said Atila Roque, Executive Director at Amnesty International Brazil. “The Brazilian authorities missed a golden opportunity to follow on their promises to implement public security policies to make Rio a safe city for all.

Date:
22 August 2016
  • News
  • Armed Conflict

Killer Facts: The scale of the global arms trade

Transfers of heavy conventional weapons The top 10 exporters of conventional arms (excluding small arms/ light weapons – SALW) 2010-15 USA                     US$55. 006 billion Russia                  US$42. 404 billion China                   US$9. 943 billion Germany              US$ 9. 467 billion France                 US$ 8. 932 billion UK                       US$ 7. 627 billion Spain                   US$ 5.

Date:
22 August 2016
  • News
  • Armed Conflict

UN: Zero tolerance for states who flout Arms Trade Treaty obligations

States Parties still engaging in unscrupulous arms transfers, putting lives and human rights at risk More than a quarter of States Parties are yet to meet the treaty’s reporting obligations Some States Parties opting to reject public scrutiny of their arms transfers States must ensure the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) lives up to its promise to save lives and protect human rights from the devastating effects of the international arms trade by taking concrete, transparent steps towards more effective implementation, Amnesty International said today.

Date:
22 August 2016
  • News
  • India
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Human rights do not stand in the way of India’s ambitions

“Our democracy,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned soon after coming to office, “will not sustain if we can’t guarantee freedom of speech and expression. ” Importantly, it should be noted, that it is not just the freedom to voice conformist views – it is also the freedom to express views that are unpopular, critical, or even offensive. This is why the Indian constitution guarantees freedom of expression, and why it has signed up to a number of international human rights treaties.

Date:
20 August 2016
  • News
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Business and Human Rights

Ten years after toxic waste dumping, victims in the dark

A small health centre sits at the edge of Djibi, a village of 4,500 people on the outskirts of the bustling city of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Through the open-ended corridor that runs down the middle of the building you can see two of the many sites around Abidjan where, exactly ten years ago, truck after truck dumped over 540,000 litres of toxic waste unloaded from a ship at the nearby port. The toxic waste was made by multinational oil trader Trafigura.

Date:
19 August 2016
  • News
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Business and Human Rights

Côte d’Ivoire: Trafigura unrepentant 10 years after toxic waste dump

Commodities giant Trafigura must come clean over the contents of toxic waste dumped in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire ten years ago, said Amnesty International today. Trafigura has never disclosed exactly what was in the 540,000 plus litres of toxic waste dumped at 18 sites in Abidjan on 19 August 2006. More than 100,000 people sought medical attention after the dumping for a whole range of symptoms including dizziness, vomiting and breathing problems, and authorities reported 15 deaths.

Date:
19 August 2016
  • News
  • Iraq
  • Armed Conflict

Iraqis who fled IS rule face harrowing future

The humanitarian crisis in Iraq is described as “one of the largest, most complex and volatile” in the world by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Yet even this description doesn’t capture the magnitude of suffering endured by civilians caught-up in the cycle of violence and impunity. Over the past two weeks, a research team from Amnesty International on the ground in Iraq has spoken to hundreds of internally displaced people (IDPs), who are among some 3.

Date:
19 August 2016
  • News
  • India
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Space for civil society and dissent is shrinking: Amnesty International India Executive Director

This is a Q&A that the Hindustan Times conducted with Aakar Patel, Amnesty International India's Executive Director Police filed an FIR under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including section 124A - sedition, against Amnesty International India on Monday for alleged raising of “anti-India” slogans at an event held by the organisation in Bengaluru. The alleged sloganeering at the event --- held to highlight human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir – earned the ire of right-wing students group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Date:
19 August 2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • Armed Conflict

Harrowing accounts of torture, inhuman conditions and mass deaths in Syria's prisons

For journalists seeking broadcast quality AV material including B-roll please click here The horrifying experiences of detainees subjected to rampant torture and other ill-treatment in Syrian prisons are laid bare in a damning new report published by Amnesty International today which estimates that 17,723 people have died in custody in Syria since the crisis began in March 2011 – an average rate of more than 300 deaths each month.

Date:
18 August 2016
  • News
  • Russian Federation
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Russia declares two more non-profits as undesirable

The Russian General Prosecutor’s Office Thursday designated two more US–based organizations as “undesirable” under a draconian law adopted last year, as it continued to turn the screw on Russian civil society and cut off potential avenues of foreign funding. The International Republican Institute (IRI), a Washington-based non-profit group funded by the US Congress, and the New York-based Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) are just the latest in a list of organizations to be blacklisted in this way.

Date:
18 August 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Refugees

Australia: Official documents reveal serious incidents of abuse in Queensland juvenile detention centres

Australia must establish independent bodies to investigate child abuse in its detention facilities across the country, Amnesty International said today after it obtained more than 1,000 pages of government documents revealing abuses in two more centres. The documents -- obtained by Amnesty International through a Freedom of Information request – showed a number of serious incidents, including where staff at the centres in the state of Queensland put child detainees in solitary confinement, deployed a security dog where a child was threatening suicide, caused bone fractures as a result of restraint and control techniques, and conducted partial strip searches using humiliating methods.

Date:
18 August 2016
  • News
  • South Sudan
  • Armed Conflict

South Sudan: One year since peace deal, justice still elusive for victims

Renewed violence underscores the urgency of bringing to account those responsible for crimes under international law committed during South Sudan’s armed conflict, said Amnesty International and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) today, a year on from a faltering peace agreement. The peace accord was signed on 17 August 2015 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. It requires the African Union (AU) to set up a hybrid court for South Sudan to investigate and prosecute individuals suspected of committing genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity since the conflict began in December 2013.

Date:
17 August 2016