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  • Death Penalty

Africa must move away from the death penalty

Last week, Amnesty International published its report on the global use of the death penalty for 2016. The report indicates that at least 1,032 people were executed in 23 countries. Excluding China, which executed more people than the rest of the world combined, 87% of all executions took place in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. In recent years, Sub-Saharan Africa has stood out as a beacon of hope and positive progress on the abolition of the death penalty.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • Research
  • Africa
  • International Organizations

Africa: Counting gains, filling gaps: strengthening African Union’s response to human rights violations committed in conflict situations

The scale of atrocities in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa has prompted the African Union Peace and Security Council to recognize the intimate link between peace and security and human rights. It has begun to take measures to address human rights violations that lead to and/or committed in conflict situations. This report examines the extent to which the respect, promotion, and protection of human rights is integrated into the peace and security processes of the African Union.

Date:
20 April 2017
Ref:
AFR 01/6047/2017
  • Campaigns
  • Africa
  • Detention

Zambia: Detained opposition leader accused of treason: Hakainde Hichilema

Leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr Hakainde Hichilema was arrested on 10 April. He has been charged with treason over allegations of obstructing the Presidential motorcade as it was on the way to a traditional ceremony held in the Western Province on 8 April. Treason is a non-bail able offense punishable by death in Zambia. Hakainde Hichilema is being detained at Lilayi Police Camp, a police training school outside Lusaka.

Date:
14 April 2017
Ref:
AFR 63/6061/2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Armed Conflict

Jordan: Arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and surrender him to the ICC

Jordan must immediately arrest Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, said Amnesty International today as the Sudanese leader arrived in Amman for the Arab League Summit. “As a signatory to the Rome Statute that set up the ICC, Jordan is obligated to arrest Omar Al-Bashir and hand him over to the court,” said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for Research at Amnesty International’s regional office in Beirut.

Date:
29 March 2017
  • Research
  • Africa
  • Armed Conflict

South Sudan: Open Letter from Secretary-General Salil Shetty to President Salva Kiir on prolonged detentions, enforced disappearances, and reported deaths while in government custody

Since the start of South Sudan’s ongoing conflict in December 2013, the National Security Service (NSS) and the Military Intelligence Directorate have carried out hundreds of arbitrary arrests, prolonged detentions and enforced disappearances of individuals perceived as government opponents. Detainees are held without charge or being presented in court, they are often subjected to torture or other ill treatment, are regularly denied access to their family members, and are not provided with adequate medical care.

Date:
28 March 2017
Ref:
AFR 65/5970/2017
  • Research
  • Africa
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Burundi: Amnesty International’s Oral Statement to the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (27 February – 24 March 2017)

From the start of the current crisis, the Government of Burundi has stifled the work of independent media and civil society, although, despite major restrictions on their work, NGOs continue to document and report serious human rights violations in the country. Since this Council discussed Burundi in September 2016, more restrictive measures have been imposed, including the closure of several human rights organizations and introduction of new controls on the work of NGOs.

Date:
13 March 2017
Ref:
AFR 16/5863/2017
  • Research
  • South Africa
  • International Justice

South Africa: Submission on the Proposed Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Repeal Bill

In these submissions, Amnesty International highlights the many reasons why South Africa’s continued membership in the Rome Statute system is critical, particularly at a time when the International Criminal Court needs it the most. The submissions also address some of the reasons that the Government of South Africa has provided for its withdrawal from the Rome Statute, and outlines alternatives the Government could have pursued in order to remedy its concerns instead of immediately taking the drastic measure of withdrawal.

Date:
8 March 2017
Ref:
AFR 01/5844/2017
  • Research
  • Africa
  • Armed Conflict

South Sudan: Renewing the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan and addressing the need for accountability for past and on-going crimes under international law and human rights violations

We, the undersigned South Sudanese, regional and international non-governmental organisations, write to urge your delegation to renew and strengthen the mandate and capacity of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan (the Commission) to address the continued lack of accountability for severe, widespread and on-going crimes under international law and human rights violations and abuses, many of which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, during the upcoming 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UN HRC).

Date:
23 February 2017
Ref:
AFR 65/5774/2017
  • Research
  • Africa
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Burundi: Amnesty International’s Written Statement to the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (27 February – 24 March 2017)

In recent months the Government of Burundi has imposed further restrictions on civil society, on top of an already severe clampdown since the beginning of the crisis in April 2015. Amnesty International shares the concerns raised by a group of UN Special Procedures on 6 February in this regard.

Date:
14 February 2017
Ref:
AFR 16/5678/2017
  • News
  • Africa
  • Business and Human Rights

UK: Shell ruling gives green light for corporations to profit from abuses overseas

A UK High Court ruling that two Niger Delta communities devastated by oil spills cannot have their claims against Shell heard in the UK could rob them of justice and allow UK multinationals to commit abuses overseas with impunity, Amnesty International said today. The High Court ruled today that Royal Dutch Shell cannot be held responsible for the actions of its Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd.

Date:
26 January 2017
  • News
  • Africa
  • International Organizations

New African Union head must stand up for human rights

The next head of the African Union (AU) Commission must place human rights at the centre of the organization’s operations, said Amnesty International as leaders of the 54-member body prepare to elect a new chairperson at a summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. “The incoming chairperson must make the promotion and protection of human rights not just a convenient afterthought, but an essential and sustainable element of the African Union’s conflict prevention strategy.

Date:
23 January 2017
  • Research
  • Africa
  • Armed Conflict

Human rights priorities for the new African Union Commission chairperson

The election of a new chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) is scheduled to take place during the 28th African Union Summit (22-31 January 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). In this statement, Amnesty International outlines six human rights issues that the organization believes should be the priorities of the new chairperson upon taking up the mantle of leadership.

Date:
23 January 2017
Ref:
AFR 01/5511/2017
  • News
  • Africa
  • Detention

Gambia: State of Emergency no license for repression

Soldiers Arbitrarily Detained as Political Crisis Deepens President Yahya Jammeh’s declared state of emergency in Gambia provides no justification for a crackdown on peaceful dissent around the January 19, 2017 deadline for the new government to take office, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. Since 15 January, security forces loyal to President Jammeh have arbitrarily detained at least five officers and enlisted men suspected of opposing Jammeh’s bid to remain in office.

Date:
18 January 2017
  • Research
  • Sudan
  • Unlawful Detention

Sudan: ‘Uninvestigated, unpunished’: human rights violations against Darfuri students in Sudan

This report documents human rights violations experienced by students from Darfur in Sudan since 2014. These violations include: suppression of freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly; arbitrary arrests; torture and other ill-treatment in detention; and unlawful killings. Since the conflict started in Darfur in 2003, the police and the security services have arbitrarily arrested and detained at least 10,000 students from Darfur.

Date:
18 January 2017
Ref:
AFR 54/4848/2017