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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
  • News
  • Africa
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

As world prepares for Trump, leaders at Davos must reject politics of fear and division

As political and business leaders gather at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, the heads of six of the world’s largest campaigning organizations have called on them to immediately and urgently repudiate narratives of fear, division and blame, and recommit themselves to working together towards a free, just, sustainable and equitable world. In a joint statement released days before Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States, the leaders of Amnesty International, Avaaz, Greenpeace International, International Trade Union Confederation, Oxfam International, and Transparency International have strongly condemned the new climate of permissiveness for hate crimes and discrimination which has arisen in numerous countries.

Date:
16 January 2017
  • Research
  • Africa
  • Death Penalty

Living in limbo: Benin's last death row prisoners

In the last three decades Benin has made important progress on the abolition of the death penalty. Despite the remarkable progress made by Benin on the abolition of the death penalty 14 people are languishing on death row with an uncertain future. Benin is committed not to execute them yet it has not commuted their death sentences. The uncertainty that hangs over the 14 death row prisoners needs to be resolved urgently through the commutation of their death sentences.

Date:
16 January 2017
Ref:
ACT 50/4980/2017
  • News
  • Africa
  • Armed Conflict

South Sudan: Arms embargo, sanctions fail at UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council’s failure to approve a 23 December, 2016, resolution that would have imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan and placed a travel ban and asset freeze on three senior South Sudanese leaders was deeply disappointing, seven non-governmental groups said today. The measure failed to gain the nine votes needed to pass, with seven in favour and eight abstentions. “South Sudanese civilians had a reasonable expectation that the Security Council would make good on its long-standing threat to impose an arms embargo and extend sanctions to some of the senior leaders who have been responsible for grave human rights abuses,” said John Prendergast, founding director at the Enough Project.

Date:
23 December 2016
  • News
  • Africa
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Uganda: the journey of a survivor of police brutality

12 January 2015 started like any other day for cameraman Andrew Lwanga. He did his usual 45 minute morning run and then went to Wavah Broadcasting Services (WBS)’ news room for the 7 am morning editorial meeting. During the editorial meeting, he was assigned covering an unemployment protest by youth demanding jobs. While he was covering the protest on Namirembe Road in Kampala, Uganda, a police officer hit him with a baton on his shoulders and head, behind his ears, until he fell down.

Date:
9 December 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Americas
  • Internet and Social Media

Five ways technology will shape the future of politics, society and human rights

Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp. Young people, activists and protest movements using the internet and mobiles. These are the images that usually come to mind when technology is discussed as a catalyst of social change. This was only the beginning: in the next 10–20 years, emerging technologies will fundamentally change societies; it will be nothing short of revolutionary. The internet and mobiles have forever changed how people communicate, spread information and organize.

Date:
6 December 2016