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Draconian amendments to Egyptian laws spell further disaster for human rights

A set of legislative amendments approved by the Egyptian parliament last week in the name of security will sanction mass arbitrary arrests, enable indefinite detention without charge or trial and will severely undermine fair trial guarantees, Amnesty International said in a statement published today. The amendments were rushed through parliament after last week’s deadly bombings of three Coptic churches in Egypt that left 44 people dead and more than 100 injured.

Date:
19 April 2017
  • News
  • Egypt
  • Terrorism

Egypt: Authorities must address sectarian violence, not abuse emergency powers

Emergency measures included in a declaration of a state of emergency by President Abdelfattah al-Sissi in the aftermath of three deplorable church bombings in Egypt will do little to resolve the root causes of sectarian attacks against Copts in Egypt and are likely to lead to a further deterioration in human rights, Amnesty International said today. The Islamic State armed group (IS) claimed responsibility for the synchronized bombings in Tanta and another two in Alexandria which targeted Palm Sunday church services and left at least 44 dead.

Date:
10 April 2017
  • Research
  • UN

Call for applications and proposed criteria for selection and appointment of a new UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

The Human Rights Council will appoint a new Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism at its 35th regular session in June 2017. Amnesty International, Alkarama Foundation, the Association for the Prevention of Torture, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Service for Human Rights and the World Organization against Torture, call on States, NGOs and others, including relevant professional networks, to use the checklist attached to identify eligible candidates for consideration for the upcoming vacancy.

Date:
17 March 2017
Ref:
IOR 40/5902/2017
  • News
  • Tunisia
  • Unlawful Detention

Tunisia: Abuses in the name of security threatening reforms

Tunisian security forces’ reliance on the brutal tactics of the past, including torture, arbitrary arrests, detentions and restrictions on travel of suspects as well as harassment of their family members, is threatening Tunisia’s road to reform, said Amnesty International in a new report published today. In response to a series of armed attacks since March 2015 which shook the country, the authorities have stepped up security measures, increasingly relying on emergency laws, many of which are inconsistent with human rights obligations.

Date:
10 February 2017
  • Research
  • United States of America
  • Detention

USA: Call for human rights vetting as Deputy CIA Director announced

On 2 February 2017, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) announced that President Donald Trump had selected Gina Haspel to be the new Deputy Director of CIA. The announcement noted that Gina Haspel joined the agency in 1985 and had held “numerous senior leadership positions at CIA”. Gina Haspel’s previous positions at the CIA during a time that crimes under international law are known to have been committed by the agency raise some serious concerns and questions.

Date:
3 February 2017
Ref:
AMR 51/5620/2017
  • Research
  • Algeria
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Suggested recommendations to States considered during the 27th session of the Universal Periodic Review, 1 – 12 May 2017

This document contains Amnesty International's suggested recommendations for 13 states - Algeria; Bahrain; Brazil; Finland; India; Indonesia; Morocco; Netherlands; Philippines; Poland; South Africa; Tunisia and United Kingdom - coming up for review in the 27th session of the UPR Working Group on 1-12 May 2017 aimed at addressing human rights challenges and improving respect for human rights in the states under review.

Date:
1 February 2017
Ref:
IOR 40/5941/2017
  • Research
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Terrorism

Egypt: Investigate potential extrajudicial execution of North Sinai men: Six of the men were in police custody at the time of their killing

The Egyptian judicial authorities must conduct an impartial, independent and thorough investigation into the killing of 10 men by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) on 13 January in al-Arish in the North Sinai governorate and bring those responsible to justice, Amnesty International said today. Six of the 10 men were in police custody at the time of their killing, having been held incommunicado for up to three months.

Date:
23 January 2017
Ref:
MDE 12/5534/2017
  • Research
  • Austria
  • EU

Europe: Dangerously disproportionate: The ever-expanding national security state in Europe - Executive Summary

Hundreds of people were killed and wounded in a spate of violent attacks in European Union (EU) states between January 2015 and December 2016. They were shot by armed men, blown up in suicide bomb attacks and deliberately run over as they walked in the street. These callous crimes did not just target individuals; they were also attacks on societies, on how people live and what people think. The need to protect people from such wanton violence is obvious and urgent.

Date:
17 January 2017
Ref:
EUR 01/5343/2017
  • Research
  • Austria
  • EU

Europe: Dangerously disproportionate: The ever-expanding national security state in Europe

Hundreds of people were killed and wounded in violent attacks in the European Union in 2015 and 2016. The need to protect people from such wanton violence is obvious and urgent. This report gives a bird’s eye view of the national security landscape and shows just how widespread and deep the “securitization” of Europe has become. It focuses on eight themes: states of emergency, principle of legality, right to privacy, freedom of expression, right to liberty, freedom of movement, stripping of nationality, and the prohibition on sending people to places where they risk torture.

Date:
17 January 2017
Ref:
EUR 01/5342/2017
  • Research
  • United States of America
  • Unlawful Detention

USA: Broken promises: Failure to close Guantánamo is part of a deeper human rights deficit

On 1 January 2017, the USA assumed its seat on the UN Human Rights Council. This is the third time during the Obama administration that the USA has been elected to the Council. Prior to each vote, the USA made many human rights pledges and commitments, including the promise that that it would meet its treaty obligations and participate in meaningful dialogue with the UN treaty bodies. Yet many such UN treaty body recommendations to the USA have remained outstanding for years, not least in the area of counter-terrorism detentions.

Date:
10 January 2017
Ref:
AMR 51/5433/2017
  • Research
  • United States of America
  • Unlawful Detention

United States of America: Guantánamo, a symptom of double standards on human rights

On 1 January 2017, the USA took a three-year seat on the UN Human Rights Council, after being voted onto this key UN human rights body by the General Assembly late last year. Ten days later – 11 January 2017 – sees the 15th anniversary of detentions at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, detentions that are entirely antithetical to the Universal Declaration, and indeed the USA’s human rights obligations.

Date:
10 January 2017
Ref:
AMR 51/5441/2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Armed Groups

Egypt: Bring to justice those behind deadliest church attack in years

Those responsible for this morning’s reprehensible bombing at a Coptic Christian church in Cairo should be brought to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty, said Amnesty International. At least 25 people were killed and many more injured in the bombing, which took place during Sunday worship at St Peter’s Coptic Orthodox Church, according to figures released by Egypt’s Health Ministry.

Date:
11 December 2016
  • Research
  • Indonesia
  • Detention

Indonesia: Open letter to the Chairperson of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia on the new proposal on counter-terrorism law revision

Amnesty International and the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) are writing to express our deep concerns about proposed amendments to the Law on Counter-Terrorism (No. 15/2003). The announcement of the proposal to amend the existing counter-terrorism law was made soon after the violent attack on Central Jakarta’s business district in January in which at least four members of the general population were killed and around 20 others injured.

Date:
5 December 2016
Ref:
ASA 21/5273/2016
  • Research
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Terrorism

Morocco: Convictions Based on Tainted ‘Confessions’ - Frenchmen Had Disavowed Statements Prepared in Arabic

Moroccan courts recently sentenced two French citizens in unrelated cases to prison based largely on “confessions” written in Arabic, which they cannot read, Human Rights Watch, FIDH (the International Federation for Human Rights), and Amnesty International said today. Both defendants repudiated the confessions once they learned their contents.

Date:
21 November 2016
Ref:
MDE 29/5189/2016