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  • Unlawful Detention

Sudan: Arrest of leading human rights activist underscores crackdown on dissent

The arrest of award-winning Sudanese human rights activist Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam is further proof of the government’s intolerance of independent voices, said Amnesty International after his employer confirmed today that state agents arrested him in Khartoum on 7 December. He was arrested by National Intelligence Security Service agents at the University of Khartoum, where he works as an engineering professor, and taken to an undisclosed location, where he is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Date:
8 December 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

EU: Pressure on Greece for Dublin returns is ‘hypocritical’

European Commission pressure on Greece to improve conditions so that Dublin transfers to Greece can resume is hypocritical, as one of the main reasons why conditions for refugees in Greece - particularly on the islands - are so dire, is the EU’s deal with Turkey, said Amnesty International. The reaction comes in response to an announcement today by the European Commission that EU member states will be able to return migrants to Greece from mid-March.

Date:
8 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Unlawful Detention

Gambia: Another 11 peaceful protesters released on bail

Following a decision by the Appeal Court this morning to release on bail a further 11 opposition supporters arrested in Banjul for participating in a peaceful gathering in April, Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher said: "The release on bail of these 11 individuals means that all those arrested in April and May’s peaceful protests are now free and able to return home to their families – which is exactly where they should be as they committed no crime.

Date:
8 December 2016
  • News
  • Egypt
  • Unlawful Detention

Egypt: Free journalist detained for over three years for taking photos

Egyptian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release photojournalist Mohammed Abu Zeid, popularly known as Shawkan, who has spent more than three years in detention and whose court hearing takes place on Saturday 10 December, Amnesty International said today. The authorities must also drop all charges against him. “Mohammed Abu Zeid was simply doing his job when he was arrested, taking photographs of the violent dispersal by security forces of a sit-in at the Rabaa al-Adaweya Square in Cairo in 2013 that led to horrific mass killings.

Date:
8 December 2016
  • News
  • Egypt
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Egypt: Prominent women’s rights activist arrested in worrying escalation

The arrest today of Azza Soliman, the founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance, an NGO which works to prevent violence against women, is a clear sign that Egyptian authorities are intensifying the crackdown on human rights activists, said Amnesty International. Police officers arrived at Azza Soliman’s home this morning, presented an arrest warrant and took her to Masr el Gedida police station on the outskirts of Cairo, before taking her to an investigative judge’s office in New Cairo for questioning.

Date:
7 December 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Slums and the Right to Housing

Mongolia: Thousands at risk of homelessness due to authorities’ urban redevelopment failings

The Mongolian authorities’ are failing residents of Ulaanbaatar with an urban redevelopment process that is putting thousands of people at risk of forced eviction and homelessness, Amnesty International said in a report published today. The 55-page policy briefing, Falling Short: The Right to Adequate Housing in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia highlights the plight of residents in Mongolia’s capital and reviews an urban redevelopment agenda that is marred by a lack of information on eviction, compensation and resettlement.

Date:
7 December 2016
  • News
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Death Penalty

Saudi Arabia: Mass death sentences in ‘spy trial’ a travesty of justice

The condemning of 15 people to death by the Specialized Criminal Court today after a grossly unfair trial is a travesty of justice and a serious violation of human rights, said Amnesty International. The men were among 32 people arrested across Saudi Arabia in 2013 and 2014 who were accused of spying for Iran. Fifteen others were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to 25 years and two were acquitted.

Date:
6 December 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Turkey: Curfews and crackdown force hundreds of thousands of Kurds from their homes

Tens of thousands of residents of the UNESCO world heritage site of Sur are among an estimated half a million people forced out of their homes as a result of a brutal crackdown by Turkish authorities over the past year which may amount to collective punishment, said Amnesty International in a new report. As the suppression of opposition Kurdish voices by the Turkish government intensifies, the report Displaced and dispossessed: Sur residents’ right to return home, reveals the desperate plight of families forced out of the historical centre of Diyarbakir as a result of intensive security operations towards the end of last year and an ongoing round-the-clock curfew.

Date:
6 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Unlawful Detention

Gambia: Opposition leader released on bail

Following the release on bail of opposition leader Ousainou Darboe and 18 other peaceful protestors this afternoon by an Appeal Court in Gambia, Sabrina Mahtani Amnesty International’s West Africa Anglophone Researcher said: "The release of Ousainou Darboe and the 18 other peaceful protestors on bail is a big moment for them and their families, and we hope that this positive step indicates that they will be fully acquitted in due course.

Date:
5 December 2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Censorship and Free Speech

GCC summit: Systematic clampdown on freedom of expression in Gulf

The appalling human rights records of states in the Gulf must not be swept under the carpet when member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) gather in the Bahraini capital, Manama, this week (6-7 December) for their annual summit, said Amnesty International today. Human rights will be notably absent from the agenda at the annual meeting when the six GCC states - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - come together to discuss trade and security cooperation, with no mention of the widespread crackdown witnessed across the region on the grounds of security.

Date:
5 December 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Killings and Disappearances

Fiji: A darker side of paradise

Under the military’s dominance, the Pacific island nation of Fiji has seen an ingrained culture of torture take root among its security forces, a new Amnesty International report says today. Famed for white-sand beaches and sweeping views of turquoise water, Fiji is known as a holiday destination. But a decade after the 2006 coup, the military remains in control of key institutions, including the police, with a militarization of the justice system that allows torture and other ill-treatment to go unpunished.

Date:
4 December 2016
  • News
  • Gambia
  • Prisoners of Conscience

Gambia: Championing human rights and justice for all must be a priority

In response to announcement that President Yayah Jammeh has accepted his defeat following the presidential election, Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s Researcher for West and Central Africa currently in Gambia said: “For many years the people of Gambia have suffered numerous abuses, including horrific human rights violations and oppression. ” "The last two weeks have shown how much Gambians of all parties value free speech.

Date:
2 December 2016
  • News
  • United States of America
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Ai Weiwei joins call on Obama to pardon Snowden

World-renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is joining forces with Amnesty International to mobilize hundreds of thousands of supporters around the world to inundate the White House with messages in support of Edward Snowden, as part of the world’s biggest human rights campaign, launched today. The Write for Rights campaign, from 2-16 December, is also taking on 10 other human rights cases, including a jailed Egyptian photojournalist “Shawkan” at risk of execution, Azerbaijani activists tortured after graffitiing a statue, and an Indonesian teacher imprisoned for the simple act of waving a flag.

Date:
2 December 2016
  • News
  • Syria
  • UN

UN: Inaction on Syria is not an option

Ahead of an urgent declaration being issued today by more than 200 civil society groups from around the world, urging the UN General Assembly to take action regarding the war in Syria, Sherine Tadros, Head of Amnesty International’s UN Office, said: “It is becoming clearer every day that the UN Security Council has failed the Syrian people. There have been almost half a million deaths, and each one is a stark rebuke of the Security Council, the supposed guardian of international peace and security, which has allowed a political deadlock to stand in the way of saving lives.

Date:
1 December 2016
  • News
  • Ethiopia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Ethiopia: Arrest of opposition leader an outrageous assault on freedom of expression

Reacting to news of the arrest of Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Michelle Kagari said: “The arrest of Merera Gudina is an outrageous assault on the right to freedom of expression and should sound alarm bells for anyone with an interest in ending the deadly protests that have rocked Ethiopia over the past year.

Date:
1 December 2016
  • News
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Saudi Arabia increases ruthless sentence in unfair trial of human rights defender to 11 years

Saudi Arabian human rights defender, Issa al-Hamid, who received a nine year prison term for his work promoting human rights, had his sentence increased today to 11 years in prison, followed by a travel ban of equal duration as well as a fine of 100,000 Saudi Riyals (around 27,000 US Dollars) following an appeal. Responding to today’s court ruling by the counter-terror court in Riyadh, Samah Hadid, Deputy Director for Campaigns at Amnesty International’s Beirut regional office said: “Today’s ruling by the Saudi Arabian counter-terror court is yet another demonstration of the authorities’ continuous ruthless and relentless crackdown on human rights defenders.

Date:
1 December 2016