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  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

A radical change is needed to failing EU migration policy

As world refugee day was being marked around the globe came the all too familiar news that at least 120 people had drowned off the coast of Libya. Their deaths bring the total number of people who have died whilst attempting to cross the central Mediterranean to more than 1,800 since the start of the year. Against this grim backdrop, European leaders meet today in Brussels and discuss migration. Each leader will no doubt lament these latest deaths.

Date:
22 June 2017
  • Research
  • Switzerland
  • Refugees

Switzerland: Better safeguards needed to protect human rights. Amnesty International submission for the UN Universal Periodic Review, 28th session of the UPR Working Group, November 2017

Amnesty International is concerned about proposed changes to the Constitution which could undermine respect for human rights, the lack of a provision in the Criminal Code to expressly prohibit torture, and the absence of a national human rights institution. The organization also raises concerns about protection of the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers, domestic violence, discrimination against LBGTI persons, the ban on full face veil, and weaknesses in the implementation of UPR and other UN recommendations.

Date:
16 June 2017
Ref:
EUR 43/6505/2017
  • Campaigns
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Hungary: Further information: President approves law targeting NGOs

President Janos Ader has signed a law targeting Hungarian NGOs which receive funding from abroad, on the grounds that they may represent “foreign interests. Once the law takes effect, it will be a new tool to discredit and intimidate NGOs and undermine their capacity to protect human rights and provide valuable services to Hungarian people.

Date:
16 June 2017
Ref:
EUR 27/6533/2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Hungary: Appeal Court orders retrial of man convicted of ‘terrorism’ for throwing stones

Hungary: Appeal Court orders retrial of man convicted of ‘terrorism’ for throwing stones Following a decision by a Hungarian appeal court to order a retrial in the case against Ahmed H, a Syrian man sentenced to 10 years in prison for committing an “act of terror” during clashes with border guards at the Serbia-Hungary border, Todor Gardos, Amnesty International’s Hungary researcher said: “This is an important step on the path to justice for a man whose absurd conviction was based on the blatant misuse of terrorism provisions.

Date:
15 June 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Hungary: We will not be intimidated

“Even though I’d braced myself for the news, today’s result still sent a jolt through me like electricity,” , director of Amnesty International Hungary, told me yestderday. “Hard won freedoms will be lost and the vital work done by NGO’s to create a freer and fairer society will be seriously hampered by Orbán’s bullying politics. ” As director of an organization that will itself be affected by the new NGO law was passed yesterday, she should know.

Date:
14 June 2017
  • Research
  • Belarus
  • Death Penalty

Belarus: The Human Rights Council must renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus

Amnesty International deplores the sharp rise in death sentences and executions in Belarus and the continued violation of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression. The detention of hundreds of peaceful protestors across the country in March and April this year, with multiple reports of excessive use of police force, was extreme even by Belarusian standards. In such a context, it is imperative that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus is extended and that the Belarusian authorities grant full access to the country.

Date:
14 June 2017
Ref:
EUR 49/6512/2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Hungary: NGO law a vicious and calculated assault on civil society

The passing of a law stigmatising non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive foreign funding is the latest in an escalating crackdown on critical voices and will hamper critically important work by civil society groups, said Amnesty international. The Law on the transparency of organizations funded from abroad will force NGOs receiving more than 24,000 EUR direct or indirect funding from abroad to re-register as “civic organization funded from abroad” and to put this pejorative label on every publication.

Date:
13 June 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

European award for refugee and migrant solidarity campaign by Oxfam and Amnesty International

A touring exhibition by Oxfam and Amnesty International promoting solidarity with refugees and other migrants has received a prestigious European Excellence Award in Brussels today. The “Museum without a Home”, which showcases items donated by Greeks to migrants, was awarded the best European NGO campaign in 2016. Responding to the news, Nicola Bay, Country Director of Oxfam in Greece said: “This award is a strong message that Europe needs immediate and sustainable solutions in dealing with migration.

Date:
1 June 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

France: Unchecked clampdown on protests under guise of fighting terrorism

Powers designed to combat terrorism have been repeatedly misused to curb peaceful protest, a new report from Amnesty International has found. A right not a threat: Disproportionate restrictions on demonstrations under the State of Emergency in France reveals that hundreds of unjustified measures restricting freedom of movement and the right to peaceful assembly have been issued under the guise of countering terrorism.

Date:
31 May 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Georgia/Azerbaijan: Exiled Azerbaijani journalist at risk of torture after cross-border abduction

An Azerbaijani investigative journalist who vanished yesterday evening from Tbilisi, Georgia, is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment after resurfacing today in custody across the border in Baku, Azerbaijan after what he described to his lawyer as a harrowing cross-border abduction, Amnesty International said. Afgan Mukhtarli, whose wife reported him missing yesterday evening (29 May), is now known to be in the custody of the Investigative Unit of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan, according to local activists and his lawyer.

Date:
30 May 2017
  • Research
  • Greece
  • Refugees

Greece: Adequate housing for Elliniko residents

On 23 May, Amnesty International was informed by the Greek Ministry for Migration Policy that a registration process has begun in the Elliniko refugee camps in order to determine the specific housing needs of each resident ahead of the closure of the camps. This is a highly necessary and welcome step from the Greek authorities. Amnesty International hopes that the information collected during the registration exercise will lead to individuals and families being offered housing that is adequate to their needs.

Date:
24 May 2017
Ref:
EUR 25/6338/2017
  • 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
  • Research
  • Poland
  • Refugees

Poland: Rule of Law and Human Rights Concerns in Poland Update, May 2017

This document provides updates on the main concerns in relation to the rule of law and human rights in Poland. It focuses on the independence of judiciary, freedom of assembly and the situation of asylum-seekers and migrants. It reflects Amnesty International’s assessment of the amendments of the Law on the National Council of Judiciary, the Law on Assemblies and the amendment of the Asylum Law. This document provides further evidence of the deterioration of the Rule of Law and human rights situation in Poland.

Date:
12 May 2017
Ref:
EUR 37/6227/2017
  • Research
  • Russian Federation
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Russian Federation: Ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses is an assault on Freedom of Assembly and Conscience

On 20 April the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation banned Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia on the grounds that they are an extremist organization. This means that the Administrative Centre and all 395 regional organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are subject to liquidation, and their property can now be seized by the state. Those who continue to manifest their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses including participating in worship, leading religious activities, recruiting others or fundraising despite the ban will be liable to criminal prosecution and can face imprisonment for up to 12 years.

Date:
11 May 2017
Ref:
EUR 46/6229/2017
  • Research
  • Netherlands
  • Refugees

Netherlands: Submission to the United Nations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights: 61st Session, 29 May – 23 June 2017

From 29 May to 23 June 2017, the United Nations (UN) Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the Committee) will review the sixth periodic report of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the Netherlands) during its 61st session. In this submission Amnesty International particularly highlights its concerns regarding the right to an adequate standard of living for undocumented migrants in the Netherlands.

Date:
9 May 2017
Ref:
EUR 35/6150/2017