(London November 15, 2009) –The Obama administration should revise its detention policies in Afghanistan to make them consistent with international law, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, and Human Rights Watch said today.
President Obama must use his first official visit to China to urge the authorities to reverse the sharp rise in human rights violations in the country, Amnesty International has said.
The organisation reminded President Obama in an open letter that he has a responsibility to publicly push for an improvement in China’s poor human rights record during his scheduled visit to China next week.
Thousands of Chinese activists and human rights lawyers continue to face arbitrary detention, harassment and imprisonment following unfair trials while the authorities continue to execute more people than the rest of the world combined.
“The Chinese government has stepped up efforts to silence any internal criticism or challenge, despite the country’s massive economic growth. President Obama must take this opportunity to show that the US views human rights as a central plank of its relationship with China,” said Sam Zarifi,Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.
The Iranian authorities must halt the imminent execution of Sherko Moarefi, a Kurdish man convicted of “enmity against God” over his alleged membership of a proscribed Kurdish organization, Amnesty International said today.
The Bangladesh government must ensure justice for the victims of the
February 2009 BDR mutiny by ensuring that all suspects receive a fair
trial, Amnesty International said in a report released today.
Looking for Justice: Mutineers on trial in Bangladesh carries testimony
from family members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) accused of
participating in the mutiny. These reports suggest that scores,
possibly hundreds of BDR personnel had suffered torture, for possible
involvement in the mutiny. Nearly all were denied the opportunity to
seek the assistance of a lawyer for weeks or months.
The Ukraine authorities must immediately and unconditionally release
Belarusian musician and activist Igor Koktysh, detained for over two
years for the peaceful expression of his beliefs. Amnesty International considers Igor Koktysh to be a prisoner of conscience.
Chinese authorities must ensure all individuals charged with offences during July riots in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) receive a fair trial and do not face the death penalty, Amnesty International said today.
Amnesty International today expressed concern that the Nicaraguan Supreme Court continues to delay its judgment on the legality of new criminal laws on abortion which entered into force in 2008.
The Court was due to issue a judgment in May 2009 on the constitutionality of a complete ban on abortion, even when the life of the woman or girl is at risk and when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.
“As long as this total ban is in place, victims of rape and incest – some of them still children themselves – are compelled to bear children,” said Kerrie Howard
“Pregnant women and girls are being denied life saving medical treatment and medical professionals are criminalized for doing their jobs."
“The lives of many women and girls depend on the Court’s decision,” said Kerrie Howard
“We are very concerned at the lack of certainty and that the Court continues to delay its ruling.” Justice delayed is justice denied. Women are dying in Nicaragua because the Court has failed to uphold the human rights of women.
Since the ban was first put in place four United Nations treaty expert committees have informed the Nicaraguan government that such a ban places it in breach of its obligations to protect women and girl’s human rights.
The Kenyan government has failed to implement a fair and credible judicial process to try those accused of carrying out human rights violations, including possible crimes against humanity, during last year’s post-election violence, said Amnesty International.
Amnesty International voiced its dismay at the process following a statement issued yesterday by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that he will seek to open an investigation into post-election violence in Kenya.
“The Kenyan government has left the ICC no option but to open an investigation by its failure to do so itself,” said Godfrey Odongo, Amnesty International’s East Africa researcher.
“Kenya has failed to define the crimes against humanity committed by members of all parties during the elections last year as crimes under national law. By doing so, it has opened the door to an ICC investigation and prosecution.”