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Saudi Arabia: Trump visit risks giving green light to violations of human rights

As US President Donald Trump embarks on his first foreign visit to attend the Riyadh summit in Saudi Arabia, counter terrorism and security will dominate his discussions with Gulf and Arab state leaders. The President is also expected to unveil a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The glaring absence of human rights from Trump’s agenda will only embolden further violations in a region where governments flout the rights of their own people in the name of the fight against terror, and violate international humanitarian law in conflicts fueled on large part by US arms transfers, said Amnesty International.

Date:
19 May 2017
  • News
  • Armed Conflict

The world faces a historic opportunity to ban nuclear weapons

Nuclear weapons are once again high on the international agenda, and experts note that the risk of a nuclear detonation is the highest since the Cold War. As global tensions, uncertainty and risks of conflict rise amongst nuclear-armed states, nuclear weapons are treated as sabres to rattle, further heightening the risks of intentional or inadvertent use. Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created.

Date:
24 March 2017
  • News
  • Yemen
  • Armed Conflict

Yemen: Saudi Arabia-led coalition uses banned Brazilian cluster munitions on residential areas

Amnesty International has corroborated new evidence the Saudi Arabia-led coalition recently fired Brazilian-manufactured rockets containing banned cluster munitions striking three residential areas and surrounding farmland in the middle of Sa’da city, injuring two civilians and causing material damage. The attack, which took place at 10. 30pm on 15 February 2017, is the third confirmed use of Brazilian-manufactured cluster munitions documented by Amnesty International in the last 16 months.

Date:
9 March 2017
  • Research
  • Arms Trade

Ending the trade in “tools of torture”: Five key principles

Every year in countries around the world, law enforcement officials subject detainees to torture and other forms of ill-treatment using a variety of equipment and techniques. Some equipment - such as body worn electric shock devices - is inherently abusive, while other equipment, like ordinary handcuffs, can have a legitimate role in law enforcement, but is systematically abused. To end this trade in “tools of torture” and prevent torture and other ill-treatment, Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation are calling on all States to incorporate in their legal and administrative frameworks five principles.

Date:
3 March 2017
Ref:
ACT 10/5756/2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Armed Conflict

Iraq: End irresponsible arms transfers fuelling militia war crimes

Militias allied to the Iraqi government have access to arms from at least 17 countries Recent arms transfers have fuelled enforced disappearances, abductions, torture, summary killings, and deliberate destruction of civilian property Iraq is the world’s sixth-largest importer of heavy weaponry Paramilitary militias nominally operating as part of the Iraqi armed forces in the fight against the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) are using arms from Iraqi military stockpiles, provided by the USA, Europe, Russia and Iran, to commit war crimes, revenge attacks and other atrocities said Amnesty International in a new report today.

Date:
5 January 2017
  • Research
  • Iraq
  • Armed Conflict

Iraq: Turning a blind eye: The arming of the Popular Mobilization Units

Proliferation of arms and ammunition to militias across Iraq has had devastating impacts on civilians, dragging the country into a spiral of insecurity and instability. In the context of the conflict against IS, militias operating under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have extrajudicially executed, tortured and abducted thousands of men and boys. The PMU continue to use a wide range of arms and ammunition to commit or facilitate serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law with impunity.

Date:
5 January 2017
Ref:
MDE 14/5386/2017
  • 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
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Armed Conflict

Saudi Arabia: Immediately abandon all use of cluster munitions

Saudi Arabia should immediately abandon all use of cluster munitions, destroy its stockpile and accede to the international Convention on Cluster Munitions, Amnesty International said after the Kingdom’s surprise admission today that it used the inherently indiscriminate weapon in Yemen. General Ahmed al-Asiri, the spokesperson for the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition, stated today that it would cease use of UK-made BL-755 cluster munitions, confirming Amnesty International’s finding that this type had been used since at least December 2015.

Date:
19 December 2016
  • News
  • Arms Trade

UN: Landmark vote on nuclear weapons is a win for common sense and humanity

Following the UN General Assembly’s vote to adopt a landmark resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons, Patrick Wilcken, Researcher on Arms Control, Security, Trade and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said: “This historic decision is a vote for common sense and humanity. It brings us a step closer to a world free from the horrors of nuclear weapons, the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created.

Date:
28 October 2016
  • News
  • Yemen
  • Armed Conflict

Yemen's horror exposes the deadly hypocrisy of arms exporters like the UK and the USA

By Rasha Mohamed, Yemen Researcher at Amnesty International and Rasha Abdul Rahim, Arms Control Campaigner at Amnesty International The airstrike on Abs Rural Hospital in Yemen's Hajjah governorate on 15 August was the fourth attack on a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in 10 months. That didn't lessen the shock. Sixteen-year-old ambulance driver Ayman Issa Bakri was among the 10 dead. He had been working there since MSF began supporting the hospital in the summer of 2015.

Date:
26 August 2016
  • News
  • Armed Conflict

Killer Facts: The scale of the global arms trade

Transfers of heavy conventional weapons The top 10 exporters of conventional arms (excluding small arms/ light weapons – SALW) 2010-15 USA                     US$55. 006 billion Russia                  US$42. 404 billion China                   US$9. 943 billion Germany              US$ 9. 467 billion France                 US$ 8. 932 billion UK                       US$ 7. 627 billion Spain                   US$ 5.

Date:
22 August 2016
  • News
  • Armed Conflict

UN: Zero tolerance for states who flout Arms Trade Treaty obligations

States Parties still engaging in unscrupulous arms transfers, putting lives and human rights at risk More than a quarter of States Parties are yet to meet the treaty’s reporting obligations Some States Parties opting to reject public scrutiny of their arms transfers States must ensure the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) lives up to its promise to save lives and protect human rights from the devastating effects of the international arms trade by taking concrete, transparent steps towards more effective implementation, Amnesty International said today.

Date:
22 August 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Killings and Disappearances

Brazil: Daily shootouts and alarming rise in police killings puts Olympic legacy at risk

A shocking 103% percent increase in police killings in Rio de Janeiro between April and June of 2016 and 2015 has shattered any chance of a positive legacy to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, said Amnesty International three days before the opening ceremony. According to the Institute for Public Security of the State of Rio de Janeiro, police in the city killed 49 people in June 2016, 40 in May and 35 in April – more than one every single day.

Date:
2 August 2016
  • Research
  • Africa
  • Armed Conflict

South Sudan: Joint Letter to the UN Security Council to impose an immediate arms embargo

As human rights, humanitarian, and peacebuilding organizations, we call on the UN Security Council to impose an immediate arms embargo on South Sudan. The Transitional Government of National Unity, led by President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Machar, is failing to uphold its responsibility to protect populations in South Sudan from mass atrocities. The UN Security Council must act now to protect civilians.

Date:
22 July 2016
Ref:
AFR 65/4505/2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Armed Conflict

UK: Amnesty International's Response to Chilcot Report on Iraq war

In response to today’s publication of the Iraq Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot’s much-awaited report on the UK’s involvement in the 2003 Iraq war, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International said: “In the lead-up to the invasion, Amnesty International urged that the potentially grave consequences of military action be carefully assessed. And on the eve of the US-led invasion we urged full respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Date:
6 July 2016
  • News
  • Egypt
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

The world must not look on in silence as Egyptian media and civil society get steamrolled

This Saturday, three top journalists go on trial in Egypt. For the country’s independent media and civil society, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s the international community whose credibility is now on the line. Press Syndicate head Yahia Galash and board members Khaled Elbalshy and Gamal Abd el-Reheem are facing trial by a court system which has already jailed thousands of the government’s critics and political opponents.

Date:
1 July 2016