http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report_abstract en Iraq: Evidence of spiralling sectarian killings and abductions http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-evidence-spiralling-sectarian-killings-and-abductions-2014-07-14 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Iraq: Evidence of spiralling sectarian killings and abductions </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">14 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>A new briefing by Amnesty International sheds light on a growing pattern of sectarian killings and abductions by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) since the group seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city, and other parts of north-western Iraq last month.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE14/007/2014/en"><em>Northern Iraq: Civilians in the line of fire</em></a>, published today, contains harrowing accounts from displaced civilians who fled areas seized by ISIS, fearing for their lives after their relatives were abducted and killed by the group, and amid increasing danger from Iraqi government air strikes.</p> <p>“Once again beleaguered civilians in Iraq find themselves trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence from all sides. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in terror of abductions and killings by ISIS and air strikes by government forces, as all sides are showing utter disregard for international humanitarian law,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser who has just returned from northern Iraq.</p> <p>Abductions have taken place in every town and village that has fallen under ISIS control. Many of those taken are still missing, others were found dead.</p> <p>Amnesty International interviewed relatives of an 18-year-old man from Gogjali, east of Mosul, and his 44-year old uncle who were abducted at an ISIS checkpoint on 20 June and later murdered. The boy’s mother found their mutilated bodies two days later. &nbsp;She showed Amnesty International photographs of the bodies; their heads had been smashed with heavy objects and their hands were cuffed behind their backs. One had had his throat cut and his body was partially burned. The family, from the Shi’a Shabak community, fled Gogjali immediately after.</p> <p>“Such atrocious assaults on civilians have sent a clear message to non-Sunni communities that they are not safe in areas controlled by ISIS,” said Donatella Rovera.</p> <p>“Abduction and killings of captives seem to be among the key tools used by the group to crush opponents and intimidate civilians.”</p> <p>Amnesty International has also documented a series of incidents where individuals were deliberately killed after having been captured by ISIS.</p> <p>In one case, three Shi’a policemen were summarily killed by ISIS after being captured at a police station in Mosul. On 27 June 2014 ISIS members also killed three Shi’a men they had captured in the Shabak village of Tobgha Ziyara and dumped their bodies in a nearby wadi (dry riverbed), relatives of the men told Amnesty International. According to residents, the village had been left unprotected since the withdrawal of the Iraqi army from the area on 10 June. &nbsp;</p> <p>“ISIS is continuing to overrun villages in northern Iraq that were left unprotected since the Iraqi army left a month ago. They are also terrorizing the non-Sunni population across the country, provoking mass displacement as people flee for their lives,” said Donatella Rovera.</p> <p>The latest conflict takes place against a backdrop of long-standing sectarian tensions and violence between Sunni and Shi’a Iraqis.</p> <p>ISIS is not the only side that has committed war crimes. Amnesty International has gathered evidence to show more than 100 Sunni detainees were killed in cold blood by government forces and Shi’a militias in vengeful attacks before withdrawing from the cities of Tal ‘Afar, Mosul and Ba’quba as ISIS advanced. One woman described to Amnesty International the horrific injuries on the body of a relative, who was among the detainees killed in a Tal ‘Afar jail: “He had been shot several times in the head and chest; the body was covered in blood but you couldn’t tell whose blood it was as the bodies were one on top of the other.”</p> <p>Indiscriminate artillery shelling and air strikes by government forces against ISIS controlled areas have also killed and injured dozens of civilians and spurred many to flee fearing for their lives. Air and artillery strikes by Iraqi forces have intensified in recent weeks increasing the danger to civilians.</p> <p>“All sides have committed war crimes and gross abuses of human rights in spiral vicious cycle of intensifying violence in Iraq. The safety of civilians is paramount. All sides must end the killing of captives, treat detainees humanely and refrain from carrying out indiscriminate attacks, including use of artillery shelling and unguided air bombings in densely populated areas,” said Donatella Rovera.</p> <p>The conflict in northern Iraq has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, who have fled to neighbouring Kurdish areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Recently the KRG has restricted access to the areas under its control to non-Kurdish Iraqis fleeing the violence. Amnesty International reiterates its call on the KRG to allow access to those fleeing the conflict.</p> <div id="h5" style="width:640px; height:640px;"> <iframe src='https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/common/html5/dist/h5.html?setup={"assets":"https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/slideshow5865/slideshow.json","config":"https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/common/html5/dist/config.json","title":"Northern%20Iraq:%20Civilians%20in%20the%20line%20of%20fire%09","displayTime":5,"onExternalSite":"on","type":"photoEssay","rtlText":"off"}'<br /> style="border:0; display: block; width:100%; height:100%;"<br /> allowfullscreen frameborder="0"><br /> </iframe> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A new briefing sheds light on a growing pattern of sectarian killings and abductions by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham since the group seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city, and other parts of north-western Iraq last month.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196303_Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_Sham_flag_in_Mosul_1.jpg?1405095500" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48355">ISIS</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-ai-index-number"> <div class="field-label">Amnesty International Index Number:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> MDE14/007/2014 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Iraq </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Iraq</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="36.375301">36° 22' 31.0836" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="44.472656">44° 28' 21.5616" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Once again beleaguered civilians in Iraq find themselves trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence from all sides. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in terror of abductions and killings by ISIS and air strikes by government forces, as all sides are showing utter disregard for international humanitarian law. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser who has just returned from northern Iraq. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>He had been shot several times in the head and chest; the body was covered in blood but you couldn&#039;t tell whose blood it was as the bodies were one on top of the other. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Relative of a detainees killed in a Tal ‘Afar jail. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE14/007/2014/en">Northern Iraq: Civilians in the line of fire</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Read the report </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-kurdish-authorities-must-not-block-passage-civilians-fleeing-fighting-2014-07-02">Iraq: Kurdish authorities must not block passage of civilians fleeing fighting</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 2 July 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-yezidis-captured-isis-amid-mounting-sectarian-attacks-2014-07-01">Iraq: Yezidis captured by ISIS amid mounting sectarian attacks</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 1 July 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-testimonies-point-dozens-revenge-killings-sunni-detainees-2014-06-27">Iraq: Testimonies point to dozens of revenge killings of Sunni detainees </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 27 June 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-protection-civilians-must-be-priority-amid-mosul-unrest-2014-06-11">Iraq: Civilians must be protected following insurgents’ takeover of Mosul</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 11 June 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Extrajudicial Executions And Other Unlawful Killings Iraq Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:27:22 +0000 Amnesty International 48356 at http://www.amnesty.org Iraq: Evidence of spiralling sectarian killings and abductions http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-evidence-spiralling-sectarian-killings-and-abductions-2014-07-14 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Iraq: Evidence of spiralling sectarian killings and abductions </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">14 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>A new briefing by Amnesty International sheds light on a growing pattern of sectarian killings and abductions by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) since the group seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city, and other parts of north-western Iraq last month.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE14/007/2014/en"><em>Northern Iraq: Civilians in the line of fire</em></a>, published today, contains harrowing accounts from displaced civilians who fled areas seized by ISIS, fearing for their lives after their relatives were abducted and killed by the group, and amid increasing danger from Iraqi government air strikes.</p> <p>“Once again beleaguered civilians in Iraq find themselves trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence from all sides. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in terror of abductions and killings by ISIS and air strikes by government forces, as all sides are showing utter disregard for international humanitarian law,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser who has just returned from northern Iraq.</p> <p>Abductions have taken place in every town and village that has fallen under ISIS control. Many of those taken are still missing, others were found dead.</p> <p>Amnesty International interviewed relatives of an 18-year-old man from Gogjali, east of Mosul, and his 44-year old uncle who were abducted at an ISIS checkpoint on 20 June and later murdered. The boy’s mother found their mutilated bodies two days later. &nbsp;She showed Amnesty International photographs of the bodies; their heads had been smashed with heavy objects and their hands were cuffed behind their backs. One had had his throat cut and his body was partially burned. The family, from the Shi’a Shabak community, fled Gogjali immediately after.</p> <p>“Such atrocious assaults on civilians have sent a clear message to non-Sunni communities that they are not safe in areas controlled by ISIS,” said Donatella Rovera.</p> <p>“Abduction and killings of captives seem to be among the key tools used by the group to crush opponents and intimidate civilians.”</p> <p>Amnesty International has also documented a series of incidents where individuals were deliberately killed after having been captured by ISIS.</p> <p>In one case, three Shi’a policemen were summarily killed by ISIS after being captured at a police station in Mosul. On 27 June 2014 ISIS members also killed three Shi’a men they had captured in the Shabak village of Tobgha Ziyara and dumped their bodies in a nearby wadi (dry riverbed), relatives of the men told Amnesty International. According to residents, the village had been left unprotected since the withdrawal of the Iraqi army from the area on 10 June. &nbsp;</p> <p>“ISIS is continuing to overrun villages in northern Iraq that were left unprotected since the Iraqi army left a month ago. They are also terrorizing the non-Sunni population across the country, provoking mass displacement as people flee for their lives,” said Donatella Rovera.</p> <p>The latest conflict takes place against a backdrop of long-standing sectarian tensions and violence between Sunni and Shi’a Iraqis.</p> <p>ISIS is not the only side that has committed war crimes. Amnesty International has gathered evidence to show more than 100 Sunni detainees were killed in cold blood by government forces and Shi’a militias in vengeful attacks before withdrawing from the cities of Tal ‘Afar, Mosul and Ba’quba as ISIS advanced. One woman described to Amnesty International the horrific injuries on the body of a relative, who was among the detainees killed in a Tal ‘Afar jail: “He had been shot several times in the head and chest; the body was covered in blood but you couldn’t tell whose blood it was as the bodies were one on top of the other.”</p> <p>Indiscriminate artillery shelling and air strikes by government forces against ISIS controlled areas have also killed and injured dozens of civilians and spurred many to flee fearing for their lives. Air and artillery strikes by Iraqi forces have intensified in recent weeks increasing the danger to civilians.</p> <p>“All sides have committed war crimes and gross abuses of human rights in spiral vicious cycle of intensifying violence in Iraq. The safety of civilians is paramount. All sides must end the killing of captives, treat detainees humanely and refrain from carrying out indiscriminate attacks, including use of artillery shelling and unguided air bombings in densely populated areas,” said Donatella Rovera.</p> <p>The conflict in northern Iraq has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, who have fled to neighbouring Kurdish areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Recently the KRG has restricted access to the areas under its control to non-Kurdish Iraqis fleeing the violence. Amnesty International reiterates its call on the KRG to allow access to those fleeing the conflict.</p> <div id="h5" style="width:640px; height:640px;"> <iframe src='https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/common/html5/dist/h5.html?setup={"assets":"https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/slideshow5865/slideshow.json","config":"https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/common/html5/dist/config.json","title":"Northern%20Iraq:%20Civilians%20in%20the%20line%20of%20fire%09","displayTime":5,"onExternalSite":"on","type":"photoEssay","rtlText":"off"}'<br /> style="border:0; display: block; width:100%; height:100%;"<br /> allowfullscreen frameborder="0"><br /> </iframe> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A new briefing sheds light on a growing pattern of sectarian killings and abductions by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham since the group seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city, and other parts of north-western Iraq last month.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196303_Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_Sham_flag_in_Mosul_1.jpg?1405095500" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48355">ISIS</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-ai-index-number"> <div class="field-label">Amnesty International Index Number:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> MDE14/007/2014 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Iraq </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Iraq</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="36.375301">36° 22' 31.0836" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="44.472656">44° 28' 21.5616" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Once again beleaguered civilians in Iraq find themselves trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence from all sides. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in terror of abductions and killings by ISIS and air strikes by government forces, as all sides are showing utter disregard for international humanitarian law. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser who has just returned from northern Iraq. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>He had been shot several times in the head and chest; the body was covered in blood but you couldn&#039;t tell whose blood it was as the bodies were one on top of the other. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Relative of a detainees killed in a Tal ‘Afar jail. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE14/007/2014/en">Northern Iraq: Civilians in the line of fire</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Read the report </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-kurdish-authorities-must-not-block-passage-civilians-fleeing-fighting-2014-07-02">Iraq: Kurdish authorities must not block passage of civilians fleeing fighting</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 2 July 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-yezidis-captured-isis-amid-mounting-sectarian-attacks-2014-07-01">Iraq: Yezidis captured by ISIS amid mounting sectarian attacks</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 1 July 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-testimonies-point-dozens-revenge-killings-sunni-detainees-2014-06-27">Iraq: Testimonies point to dozens of revenge killings of Sunni detainees </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 27 June 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-protection-civilians-must-be-priority-amid-mosul-unrest-2014-06-11">Iraq: Civilians must be protected following insurgents’ takeover of Mosul</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 11 June 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Extrajudicial Executions And Other Unlawful Killings Iraq Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:27:22 +0000 Amnesty International 48356 at http://www.amnesty.org Russia: Conviction against activist released from psychiatric unit must be overturned http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/mikhail-kosenko-released-2014-07-11 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Russia: Conviction against activist released from psychiatric unit must be overturned </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The conviction against a peaceful Russian activist who was released from a closed psychiatric institution today must be overturned, Amnesty International said.</p><p><span>Mikhail Kosenko was arrested after he took part in a protest in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in May 2012 and placed in custody a month later.</span></p><p><span>“Mikhail Kosenko’s participation in the demonstration at Bolotnaya, and false accusations that he used violence, have been used as evidence against him which led to his incarceration. Kosenko’s only ‘crime’ was publicly expressing his believes. This is reminiscent of the Soviet-era tactics when the authorities used psychiatric treatment to silence dissenting voices,” said Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International's Moscow Office Director.</span></p><p><span>“The fact that Mikhail Kosenko’s conviction has not been overturned means he could be locked up again for any transgression, real or fabricated.”</span></p><p><span>Amnesty International believes there were no grounds for charging or prosecuting Mikhail Kosenko for taking part in “mass riots” and using violence against police officers. The accusations, and the ensuing investigation and court hearing, were politically motivated.</span></p><p><span>He was a peaceful protestor and Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience.</span></p><p><span>During the hearing, the judge refused to consider some of the strong evidence in Kosenko’s favour and dismissed the rest as unreliable.</span></p><p><span>In March 2014, Moscow City Court upheld the conviction and sentenced Kosenko to compulsory psychiatric treatment in a closed institution for an indefinite period.</span></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The conviction against a peaceful Russian activist who was released from a closed psychiatric institution today must be overturned, Amnesty International said.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/174220_Mikhail_Kosenko_0.jpg?1405079912" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48336">Russia</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Russia </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Russia</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="58.435183">58° 26' 6.6588" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="53.793064">53° 47' 35.0304" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Mikhail Kosenko’s participation in the demonstration at Bolotnaya, and false accusations that he used violence, have been used as evidence against him which led to his incarceration. Kosenko’s only ‘crime’ was publicly expressing his believes. This is reminiscent of the Soviet-era tactics when the authorities used psychiatric treatment to silence dissenting voices. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International&#039;s Moscow Office Director. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russia-force-activist-psychiatric-institution-after-quashing-appeal-2014-03-25">Russia to detain activist in psychiatric institution after quashing appeal</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 25 March 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/russia-psychiatric-incarceration-verdict-coming-review-2014-03-12">Russia: Psychiatric incarceration verdict coming up for review</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Press release, 12 March 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russia-guilty-verdict-bolotnaya-case-injustice-its-most-obvious-2014-02-21">Russia: Guilty verdict in Bolotnaya case - injustice at its most obvious</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 21 February 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR46/055/2013/en"> Russia: Anatomy of injustice: The Bolotnaya square trial</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Report, 10 December 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russia-abhorrent-use-punitive-psychiatry-silence-dissent-2013-10-08"> Russia: Abhorrent use of punitive psychiatry to silence dissent</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 8 October 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Activists Freedom Of Expression Russian Federation Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:00:53 +0000 Amnesty International 48338 at http://www.amnesty.org Israel/Gaza: UN must impose arms embargo and mandate an international investigation as civilian death toll rises http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israelgaza-un-must-impose-arms-embargo-and-mandate-international-investigation-civilian-death-t <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Israel/Gaza: UN must impose arms embargo and mandate an international investigation </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International is calling for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides amidst ongoing Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip and continuing volleys of indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Since Israel launched Operation “Protective Edge” in the early morning of 8 July, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, most of them civilians who were not directly participating in hostilities. This includes at least 24 children and 16 women as of Friday morning. More than 600 people have been wounded, many of them seriously. More than 340 homes in Gaza have been completely destroyed or left uninhabitable and at least five health facilities and three ambulances have been damaged. In Israel, at least 20 people have been wounded by rocket attacks and property has been damaged.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“As the violence intensifies there is an urgent need for the UN to mandate an international independent fact-finding mission to Gaza and Israel to investigate violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict. This is the first crucial step towards ensuring that those who have committed war crimes or other serious violations can be held accountable,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The international community must not repeat previous mistakes, standing by and watching the devastating consequences for civilians of both sides failing to abide by and enforce the laws of war. Swift UN action is needed as lives hang in the balance.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International is also calling on the UN to immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups with the aim of preventing further serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by the parties to the conflict. Pending such an embargo, all states must immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions to the parties, which have failed to properly investigate violations committed in previous conflicts or bring those responsible to justice.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Israeli air strikes have targeted civilian homes in Gaza on the basis that they are the family homes of “Hamas operatives”, according to statements by the Israeli military, destroying the homes after warning the families to leave. However, in several such cases no evidence has emerged to indicate that the alleged “Hamas operatives” were inside the homes at the time of the attack, that the homes were being used to store munitions, or otherwise were being used for military purposes.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Unless the Israeli authorities can provide specific information to show how a home is being used to make an effective contribution to military actions, deliberately attacking civilian homes constitutes a war crime and also amounts to collective punishment against the families,” said Philip Luther.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In other cases, civilians have been killed in Israeli air strikes on or next to their homes. In the first three days of the military operation, Israeli air strikes on or adjacent to houses killed at least 32 civilians, including multiple members of the Karawa’, al-Hajj, Hamad, al-Nawasra, and Malaka families; at least two of the houses were reportedly attacked without warning.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Other civilian homes have been hit using the “knock on the roof” procedure, in which Israeli forces fire a small missile at the home as a “warning”, before firing another missile which destroys the home. In some but not all cases, families receive telephone calls from the Israeli military in advance.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“There is no way that firing a missile at a civilian home can constitute an effective ‘warning’. Amnesty International has documented cases of civilians killed or injured by such missiles in previous Israeli military operations on the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Nine civilians, including two children, were also killed on Wednesday night in an Israeli air strike on a café on the beach near Khan Younis, where dozens of people had gathered to watch a World Cup match.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Meanwhile, Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip have fired more than 600 indiscriminate rockets at Israel, including at major Israeli cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and Hadera, placing millions of people at risk. A Hamas spokesperson has stated that all Israelis are legitimate targets.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Firing indiscriminate rockets, which cannot be aimed accurately at military targets, is a war crime, as is deliberately targeting civilians,” said Philip Luther.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“There can be no excuse for either side failing to protect civilians, including journalists, medics and humanitarian workers, or civilian facilities.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International is also calling on Israel and Egypt to ensure that sufficient amounts of medical and humanitarian supplies are allowed into Gaza, and for both countries to facilitate the exit of anyone in need of urgent medical treatment. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Hospitals in Gaza are struggling to function with a growing influx of wounded civilians and depleted medical supplies as well as fuel and electricity shortages, largely due to Israel’s strict blockade of the Gaza Strip for the last seven years.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Background&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Under international humanitarian law, parties to an armed conflict must distinguish between military targets and civilians and civilian objects, and direct attacks only at the former. Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks are prohibited. The parties must take necessary precautions during attacks to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects. They also must take all feasible precautions to protect civilians under their control from the effects of attacks.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Amnesty&nbsp;International&nbsp;is calling for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides amidst ongoing Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip and continuing volleys of indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/197086_MIDEAST_ISRAEL_PALESTINIAN_AIRSTRIKES (1).jpg?1405097219" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48359">Israel/Gaza conflict</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Israel</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="31.447235">31° 26' 50.046" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="34.409180">34° 24' 33.048" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>As the violence intensifies there is an urgent need for the UN to mandate an international independent fact-finding mission to Gaza and Israel to investigate violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict. This is the first crucial step towards ensuring that those who have committed war crimes or other serious violations can be held accountable.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Fri, 11/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israelgaza-all-sides-must-protect-civilians-conflict-escalates-2014-07-08">Israel/Gaza: All sides must protect civilians as conflict escalates</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 8 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israel-collective-punishment-will-not-bring-justice-murdered-teens-2014-07-01">Israel: Collective punishment will not bring the justice that murdered teens deserve</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 1 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/013/2014/en">Abducted Israeli teens must be released, Israel must cease collective punishment of Palestinians</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Public statement, 17 June 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories Military, Security And Police Equipment United Nations Arms control and human rights Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:50:15 +0000 Amnesty International 48360 at http://www.amnesty.org Kenya: Refugees appeal against forced relocation to camps http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/kenya-refugees-appeal-against-forced-relocation-camps-2014-07-11 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Kenya: Refugees appeal against forced relocation to camps </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>Refugees in Nairobi are appealing against a controversial ruling that would force thousands of Somalis from their homes to live in squalid overcrowded camps in north Kenya, Amnesty International said today.</p><p><span>“This outrageous ruling affects the entire refugee population of Nairobi. Using the pretext of protecting national security, the Kenyan authorities have cracked down on refugees, effectively destroying any form of stability they may have managed to build after seeking refuge in Kenya,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Africa.</span></p><p><span>“Thousands of people’s lives have been destroyed. Tens of thousands more are at serious risk.”</span></p><p><span>The Somali refugees are appealing against a 30 June ruling made by High Court Judge Justice Majanja that stated that the relocation of refugees from urban centres is constitutional.</span></p><p><span>This High Court decision directly contradicts the previous ruling by Justice Majanja of July 2013. Then, he found that forcibly relocating refugees to camps would violate their human rights, dignity and freedom of movement, and would risk indirectly forcing them back to Somalia.</span></p><p><span>He also said in the earlier decision that the state had not proved the move would help protect the country’s national security. Despite the fact that the government has still not demonstrated that forced encampment policies improve national security, Justice Majanja was silent on this key point in the current judgement.</span></p><p><span>“It is hard to comprehend how this turnaround has come about. Justice Majanja has found the current directive to be constitutional when refugee rights are so clearly violated by its very nature. Refugees have already suffered extreme abuse as a result of the directive,” said Michelle Kagari.</span></p><p><span>“The judgement has given the Kenyan government a green-light to continue its outright abuse and blanket punishment of refugees.”</span></p><p><span>The original order, that all refugees should go to camps, was issued by Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, Joseph Ole Lenku on 26 March.</span></p><p><span>Shortly after, thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers were rounded up and subjected to arbitrary arrest, harassment, extortion and ill-treatment.</span></p><p><span>Thousands have been forcibly relocated to the camps, while hundreds of others have been expelled to Somalia, a country experiencing an ongoing conflict and where security is deteriorating. More than 300 children have been separated from their families as a result, people’s livelihoods have been disrupted and children are no longer going to school.</span></p><p><span>Forced encampment contravenes Kenya’s obligations under international law.</span></p><p><span>The Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps were already overcrowded and insecure before over 5,000 people, mostly Somalis, were relocated there following Ole Lenku’s order. No provisions were made for the tens of thousands of people expected to follow. Food is scarce, access to education and health services are extremely strained, and there is little space for people to find shelter.</span></p><p><span>With tens of thousands of people flooding over the border from the raging conflict in South Sudan, people in the refugee camps are facing a looming humanitarian crisis, which is partly of the government’s making.</span></p><p><span>Hussein Mohamed Haji, Chairman of the Eastleigh Community Association,told Amnesty International that the decision to force the Somali community into the camps was a devastating blow:</span></p><p><span>“In 2006, we were welcomed in Kenya and given alien cards. We were told by immigration that the only thing we could not do in Kenya was to vote or be voted for. We opened banks, we started businesses and some of us bought property. How can we go to the camps, and how can we run our businesses if we are forced to the camps? We just don’t know what do to.”</span></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Refugees in Nairobi are appealing against a controversial ruling that would force thousands of Somalis from their homes to live in squalid overcrowded camps in north Kenya.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/195954_A_family_of_Somali_refugee_sit_outside_t.jpg?1405001957" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48305">Kenya</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Kenya </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Kenya</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="1.271311">1° 16' 16.7196" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="40.783251">40° 46' 59.7036" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>This outrageous ruling affects the entire refugee population of Nairobi. Using the pretext of protecting national security, the Kenyan authorities have cracked down on refugees, effectively destroying any form of stability they may have managed to build after seeking refuge in Kenya. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Africa. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/kenya-somalis-scapegoated-counter-terror-crackdown-2014-05-26">Kenya: Somalis scapegoated in counter-terror crackdown</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 27 May 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR52/003/2014/en">Somalis are scapegoats in Kenya&#039;s counter-terror crackdown</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Report, 27 May 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Kenya Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:23:02 +0000 Amnesty International 48306 at http://www.amnesty.org Russia: Conviction against activist released from psychiatric unit must be overturned http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/mikhail-kosenko-released-2014-07-11 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Russia: Conviction against activist released from psychiatric unit must be overturned </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The conviction against a peaceful Russian activist who was released from a closed psychiatric institution today must be overturned, Amnesty International said.</p><p><span>Mikhail Kosenko was arrested after he took part in a protest in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in May 2012 and placed in custody a month later.</span></p><p><span>“Mikhail Kosenko’s participation in the demonstration at Bolotnaya, and false accusations that he used violence, have been used as evidence against him which led to his incarceration. Kosenko’s only ‘crime’ was publicly expressing his believes. This is reminiscent of the Soviet-era tactics when the authorities used psychiatric treatment to silence dissenting voices,” said Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International's Moscow Office Director.</span></p><p><span>“The fact that Mikhail Kosenko’s conviction has not been overturned means he could be locked up again for any transgression, real or fabricated.”</span></p><p><span>Amnesty International believes there were no grounds for charging or prosecuting Mikhail Kosenko for taking part in “mass riots” and using violence against police officers. The accusations, and the ensuing investigation and court hearing, were politically motivated.</span></p><p><span>He was a peaceful protestor and Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience.</span></p><p><span>During the hearing, the judge refused to consider some of the strong evidence in Kosenko’s favour and dismissed the rest as unreliable.</span></p><p><span>In March 2014, Moscow City Court upheld the conviction and sentenced Kosenko to compulsory psychiatric treatment in a closed institution for an indefinite period.</span></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The conviction against a peaceful Russian activist who was released from a closed psychiatric institution today must be overturned, Amnesty International said.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/174220_Mikhail_Kosenko_0.jpg?1405079912" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48336">Russia</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Russia </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Russia</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="58.435183">58° 26' 6.6588" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="53.793064">53° 47' 35.0304" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Mikhail Kosenko’s participation in the demonstration at Bolotnaya, and false accusations that he used violence, have been used as evidence against him which led to his incarceration. Kosenko’s only ‘crime’ was publicly expressing his believes. This is reminiscent of the Soviet-era tactics when the authorities used psychiatric treatment to silence dissenting voices. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International&#039;s Moscow Office Director. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russia-force-activist-psychiatric-institution-after-quashing-appeal-2014-03-25">Russia to detain activist in psychiatric institution after quashing appeal</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 25 March 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/russia-psychiatric-incarceration-verdict-coming-review-2014-03-12">Russia: Psychiatric incarceration verdict coming up for review</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Press release, 12 March 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russia-guilty-verdict-bolotnaya-case-injustice-its-most-obvious-2014-02-21">Russia: Guilty verdict in Bolotnaya case - injustice at its most obvious</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 21 February 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR46/055/2013/en"> Russia: Anatomy of injustice: The Bolotnaya square trial</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Report, 10 December 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russia-abhorrent-use-punitive-psychiatry-silence-dissent-2013-10-08"> Russia: Abhorrent use of punitive psychiatry to silence dissent</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 8 October 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Activists Freedom Of Expression Russian Federation Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:00:53 +0000 Amnesty International 48338 at http://www.amnesty.org He said 'Pray now, I’m going to kill you' and then he slit my neck with the knife http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/he-said-pray-now-i-m-going-kill-you-and-then-he-slit-my-neck-knife-2014-07-11 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> He said &#039;Pray now, I’m going to kill you&#039; and then he slit my neck </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the morning of 27 May, Hanna was sitting in her flat in eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, when there was a knock on the door. As her boyfriend Feodor lifted the latch, seven armed men wearing balaclavas and camouflaged fatigues barged through. They said they were from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), the pro-Russian separatist group which had recently seized power in the city.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This was the start of a terrifying six-day ordeal for the 30-year-old pro-Ukrainian activist. She had been involved in demonstrations providing medical help and first aid to protesters injured in clashes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As the gunmen searched Hanna’s flat, she knew she was in trouble when they found a Ukrainian flag and pro-Kyiv leaflets. She and Feodor were marched down the stairs, blind-folded and bundled into a waiting car. They were taken to the Department for Crime Control for questioning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hanna describes how, held in a small basement, a middle aged man led the interrogation. She was accused of being a member of a far right group. They looked for tattoos of the numbers 38 or 39 associated with fascist groups</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“There were crazy assumptions… the situation was dreadful. How can a person can be held for groundless accusations? It’s like the world was inside out.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hanna says that she was questioned about the EuroMaydan protests, about her participation and asked for details of journalists and civil society activists. The consequences of refusing to cooperate were dire.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“They said ‘you are going to tell us everything – unless you do this you are not going to be freed. And even if you do, you are not necessarily getting out from here’.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Small, slightly built and quietly spoken, Hanna nervously recounted her story to us in a shabby medical storeroom on the ground floor of the local hospital in Kyiv. She fled to the city after her release and now helps out distributing medical supplies and helping others escaping the violence in eastern Ukraine. The shelves are stacked with medical supplies - drugs and bandages – all donated to help those, like her, arriving with injuries from torture suffered at the hands of armed groups in eastern Ukraine.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we asked what happened to her, she looks to the floor with a sense of disbelief. She told us that after half an hour of questioning, her interrogator turned to violence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“My face was smashed – he punched me in the face with his fist, he was trying to beat me everywhere, I was covering myself with my hands… I was huddled in the corner, curled up in a ball with my hands around my knees. He was angry that I was trying to protect myself. He went out and came back with a knife.”&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hanna showed us the scars on her neck, arms and legs where she was sliced with the blade: there is a stab wound in her knee, her right index finger is still heavily bandaged in a plastic splint. She describes how, as she was trying to protect herself, the blade sliced off the skin of her finger, “peeling it like an orange”.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I was in shock, so I didn’t feel any pain, but you look at these cuts and you think that it’s not you. It was sick. Your own countrymen interrogating you with such cruelty. I was lost, I was so worried, I thought it was the end… I thought I might be killed… At the end of the interrogation [he said] “Pray now – I’m going to kill you”, and then he slit [the back of] my neck with the knife.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Not only did Hanna have to endure the agony of the violent beating, but she says her interrogator was intent on humiliating her too, trying to crush her spirit. He made her write a pro-Russian slogan on the wall, in her own blood.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“He said: write with your blood on the wall ‘I love Donbass’, and if you can’t do this, if you run out of blood, I will shoot you. So I had this open wound with skin flapping off, I took the blood from the wound and wrote with my left hand on the wall… When someone points a gun at you and says I’m going to kill you – and there’s nothing you can do – you think it’s going to happen.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hanna says her torturous ordeal stopped following an order from higher up the chain of command. She was held for a further six days before being sent to the city of Dnipropetrovsk as part of a “prisoner exchange”. Prior to leaving she was allowed to call her parents.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I wanted just to be back home, just to get back to life as normal and to imagine that this was just a nightmare… I was very upset because I hadn’t seen my family. They let us call, so I rang them and told them that I was alive, and that I was leaving…. Obviously I wanted to go home, but I couldn’t.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hanna has still not seen her parents. She is trying to rebuild her life anew, but her future, just like Ukraine’s, is far from certain.</p> <p><em><strong>WARNING:&nbsp;The following video includes images of cuts and injuries obtained from beatings and torture.</strong></em></p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" width="700" height="418"><param name="movie" value="https://adam.amnesty.org/tools/jwplayer/player.swf" /><param name="flashvars" value="file=https://adam.amnesty.org/images/assets/196901-197000/196968/Ukraine_Torture_09072014_for_ADAM-p.mp4&amp;image=https://adam.amnesty.org/images/assets/196901-197000/196968/Ukraine_Torture_09072014_for_ADAM-l-m.jpg&amp;backcolor=000000&amp;frontcolor=EEEEEE&amp;lightcolor=FFFFFF&amp;screencolor=000000&amp;autostart=false&amp;stretching=uniform&amp;provider=video&amp;duration=287" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="scale" value="default" /><param name="bgcolor" value="111111" /><!--[if !IE]>--><!--[if !IE]>--><object data="https://adam.amnesty.org/tools/jwplayer/player.swf?file=https://adam.amnesty.org/images/assets/196901-197000/196968/Ukraine_Torture_09072014_for_ADAM-p.mp4&amp;image=https://adam.amnesty.org/images/assets/196901-197000/196968/Ukraine_Torture_09072014_for_ADAM-l-m.jpg&amp;backcolor=000000&amp;frontcolor=EEEEEE&amp;lightcolor=FFFFFF&amp;screencolor=000000&amp;autostart=false&amp;stretching=uniform&amp;provider=video&amp;duration=287" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="700" height="418"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="scale" value="default" /><param name="bgcolor" value="111111" /><!--<![endif]--><!--<![endif]--><p>Your browser does not have the necessary plugin to display this content.</p><!--[if !IE]>--><!--[if !IE]>--></object><!--<![endif]--><!--<![endif]--></object></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Hanna, a pro-Ukrainian activist, describes how she was abducted and tortured by members of a separatist armed group in Donetsk.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196980_Hanna_-_torture_survivor_in_Ukraine (1).jpg?1404916694" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48282">Hanna - Ukrainian torture survivor 2</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/en/node/48278">Hanna - torture survivor in Ukraine</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> StopTorture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Ukraine</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="47.545759">47° 32' 44.7324" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="31.750488">31° 45' 1.7568" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>My face was smashed – he punched me in the face with his fist, he was trying to beat me everywhere, I was covering myself with my hands… I was huddled in the corner, curled up in a ball with my hands around my knees. He was angry that I was trying to protect myself. He went out and came back with a knife.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hanna, a 30-year-old pro-Ukrainian activist from Donetsk </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ukraine-mounting-evidence-abduction-and-torture-2014-07-11">Ukraine: Mounting evidence of abduction and torture</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 11 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/they-made-no-secret-it-they-were-going-kill-me-2014-07-11">‘They made no secret of it; they were going to kill me’</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Feature, 11 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/stoptorture">Stop Torture</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Global campaign </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Activists Disappearances And Abductions Stop Torture Torture And Ill-treatment Ukraine Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:42:48 +0000 Amnesty International 48281 at http://www.amnesty.org Israel/Gaza: UN must impose arms embargo and mandate an international investigation as civilian death toll rises http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israelgaza-un-must-impose-arms-embargo-and-mandate-international-investigation-civilian-death-t <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Israel/Gaza: UN must impose arms embargo and mandate an international investigation </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International is calling for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides amidst ongoing Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip and continuing volleys of indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Since Israel launched Operation “Protective Edge” in the early morning of 8 July, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, most of them civilians who were not directly participating in hostilities. This includes at least 24 children and 16 women as of Friday morning. More than 600 people have been wounded, many of them seriously. More than 340 homes in Gaza have been completely destroyed or left uninhabitable and at least five health facilities and three ambulances have been damaged. In Israel, at least 20 people have been wounded by rocket attacks and property has been damaged.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“As the violence intensifies there is an urgent need for the UN to mandate an international independent fact-finding mission to Gaza and Israel to investigate violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict. This is the first crucial step towards ensuring that those who have committed war crimes or other serious violations can be held accountable,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The international community must not repeat previous mistakes, standing by and watching the devastating consequences for civilians of both sides failing to abide by and enforce the laws of war. Swift UN action is needed as lives hang in the balance.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International is also calling on the UN to immediately impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups with the aim of preventing further serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by the parties to the conflict. Pending such an embargo, all states must immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions to the parties, which have failed to properly investigate violations committed in previous conflicts or bring those responsible to justice.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Israeli air strikes have targeted civilian homes in Gaza on the basis that they are the family homes of “Hamas operatives”, according to statements by the Israeli military, destroying the homes after warning the families to leave. However, in several such cases no evidence has emerged to indicate that the alleged “Hamas operatives” were inside the homes at the time of the attack, that the homes were being used to store munitions, or otherwise were being used for military purposes.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Unless the Israeli authorities can provide specific information to show how a home is being used to make an effective contribution to military actions, deliberately attacking civilian homes constitutes a war crime and also amounts to collective punishment against the families,” said Philip Luther.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In other cases, civilians have been killed in Israeli air strikes on or next to their homes. In the first three days of the military operation, Israeli air strikes on or adjacent to houses killed at least 32 civilians, including multiple members of the Karawa’, al-Hajj, Hamad, al-Nawasra, and Malaka families; at least two of the houses were reportedly attacked without warning.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Other civilian homes have been hit using the “knock on the roof” procedure, in which Israeli forces fire a small missile at the home as a “warning”, before firing another missile which destroys the home. In some but not all cases, families receive telephone calls from the Israeli military in advance.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“There is no way that firing a missile at a civilian home can constitute an effective ‘warning’. Amnesty International has documented cases of civilians killed or injured by such missiles in previous Israeli military operations on the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Nine civilians, including two children, were also killed on Wednesday night in an Israeli air strike on a café on the beach near Khan Younis, where dozens of people had gathered to watch a World Cup match.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Meanwhile, Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip have fired more than 600 indiscriminate rockets at Israel, including at major Israeli cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and Hadera, placing millions of people at risk. A Hamas spokesperson has stated that all Israelis are legitimate targets.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Firing indiscriminate rockets, which cannot be aimed accurately at military targets, is a war crime, as is deliberately targeting civilians,” said Philip Luther.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“There can be no excuse for either side failing to protect civilians, including journalists, medics and humanitarian workers, or civilian facilities.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International is also calling on Israel and Egypt to ensure that sufficient amounts of medical and humanitarian supplies are allowed into Gaza, and for both countries to facilitate the exit of anyone in need of urgent medical treatment. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Hospitals in Gaza are struggling to function with a growing influx of wounded civilians and depleted medical supplies as well as fuel and electricity shortages, largely due to Israel’s strict blockade of the Gaza Strip for the last seven years.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Background&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Under international humanitarian law, parties to an armed conflict must distinguish between military targets and civilians and civilian objects, and direct attacks only at the former. Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks are prohibited. The parties must take necessary precautions during attacks to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects. They also must take all feasible precautions to protect civilians under their control from the effects of attacks.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Amnesty&nbsp;International&nbsp;is calling for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides amidst ongoing Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip and continuing volleys of indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/197086_MIDEAST_ISRAEL_PALESTINIAN_AIRSTRIKES (1).jpg?1405097219" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48359">Israel/Gaza conflict</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Israel</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="31.447235">31° 26' 50.046" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="34.409180">34° 24' 33.048" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>As the violence intensifies there is an urgent need for the UN to mandate an international independent fact-finding mission to Gaza and Israel to investigate violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict. This is the first crucial step towards ensuring that those who have committed war crimes or other serious violations can be held accountable.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Fri, 11/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israelgaza-all-sides-must-protect-civilians-conflict-escalates-2014-07-08">Israel/Gaza: All sides must protect civilians as conflict escalates</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 8 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israel-collective-punishment-will-not-bring-justice-murdered-teens-2014-07-01">Israel: Collective punishment will not bring the justice that murdered teens deserve</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 1 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/013/2014/en">Abducted Israeli teens must be released, Israel must cease collective punishment of Palestinians</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Public statement, 17 June 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories Military, Security And Police Equipment United Nations Arms control and human rights Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:50:15 +0000 Amnesty International 48360 at http://www.amnesty.org Ukraine: Mounting evidence of abduction and torture http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ukraine-mounting-evidence-abduction-and-torture-2014-07-11 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Ukraine: Mounting evidence of abduction and torture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amnesty International has gathered graphic and compelling evidence of savage beatings and other torture meted out against activists, protesters and journalists in eastern Ukraine over the last three months.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A new briefing, <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR50/034/2014/en/c8e25fcd-c791-4edb-ac3f-6b1a1ce12977/eur500342014en.pdf"><em>Abductions and Torture in Eastern Ukraine</em></a>, details the findings of a research trip to Kyiv and south-eastern Ukraine in recent weeks. It documents allegations of abduction and torture perpetrated by separatist armed groups and pro-Kyiv forces.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“With hundreds abducted over the last three months, the time has come to take stock of what has happened, and stop this abhorrent ongoing practice,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Europe and Central Asia.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The bulk of the abductions are being perpetrated by armed separatists, with the victims often subjected to stomach-turning beatings and torture. There is also evidence of a smaller number of abuses by pro-Kyiv forces.”&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are no comprehensive or reliable figures on the number of abductions, but the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior has reported nearly 500 cases between April and June 2014. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission for Ukraine has recorded 222 cases of abduction in the last three months.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Amnesty International also met with various ad-hoc self-help groups which have been collating details on the escalating number of abductions. The research team has been provided with a list of more than 100 civilians who have been held captive. Allegations of torture have been made in the majority of cases.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Abductions have taken place across eastern Ukraine, in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Those targeted include not only police, the military and local officials, but also journalists, politicians, activists, members of electoral commissions and businesspeople.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Now that pro-Kyiv forces are re-establishing control over Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and various other places in eastern Ukraine new captives are being released almost daily with an increasing number of disturbing cases emerging. It is time that these are meticulously documented with perpetrators brought to justice with victims awarded compensation,” said Denis Krivosheev.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Targeting of pro-Ukrainian activists&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/he-said-pray-now-i-m-going-kill-you-and-then-he-slit-my-neck-knife-2014-07-11">Hanna, a pro-Ukrainian activist</a>, told Amnesty International how she was abducted by armed men in the eastern city of Donetsk on 27 May. She was held for six days before being released in a prisoner exchange. She described to Amnesty International how she was violently interrogated.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“My face was smashed, he punched me in the face with his fist, he was trying to beat me everywhere, I was covering myself with my hands… I was huddled in the corner, curled up in a ball with my hands around my knees. He was angry that I was trying to protect myself. He went out and came back with a knife.”&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hanna showed us the scars on her neck, arms and legs where she was sliced with the blade: there is a stab wound in her knee, her right index finger is still heavily bandaged in a plastic splint.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She also described how her interrogator made her write a separatist slogan on the wall, in her own blood.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Held for ransom&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>While most abductions appear to have a “political” motivation there is clear evidence that abduction and torture is being used by armed groups to exert fear and control over local populations. People have also being abducted for ransom.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/they-made-no-secret-it-they-were-going-kill-me-2014-07-11">Sasha, a 19-year-old pro-Ukrainian activist</a>, fled to Kyiv after he was abducted by separatists at gunpoint in Luhansk. He said he was beaten repeatedly for 24 hours.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“They beat me with their fists, a chair, anything they could find. They stubbed out cigarettes on my leg and electrocuted me. It went on for so long, I couldn’t feel anything anymore, I just passed out,” he told Amnesty International.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He was finally released after his father paid a US$60,000 ransom.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Abuses by pro-Kyiv forces&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>While the vast majority of allegations of abduction and torture are levelled against separatist pro-Russian groups, pro-Kyiv forces, including self-defence groups, have also been implicated in the ill-treatment of captives.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Amnesty International’s research team travelled from Kyiv to the <a href="http://livewire.amnesty.org/2014/06/28/ukraines-mariupol-suspicion-mistrust-and-a-fear-of-whats-to-come/">south-eastern sea port of Mariupol </a>which has “changed hands” twice in the last two months.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On 13 June Ukrainian forces took back control of the city from an armed group calling itself the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>One local government official in Mariupol, who wished to remain anonymous, told Amnesty International how they heard a captive separatist fighter wailing in pain at the hands of pro-Kyiv forces who were seemingly trying to extract information about the separatists.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a separate case, a 16-year-old boy Vladislav Aleksandrovich was abducted after he posted video footage of earlier law enforcement operations in Mariupol on 25 June 2014.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a video published after his release on 27 June, Vladislav can be seen sitting behind a masked man in a camouflaged uniform. The man has a hand on Vladislav’s head and is threatening him and “all others” who put Ukraine’s unity in danger with reprisals.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a subsequent video interview, Vladislav claims that he was tortured, hit with rifle butts in his back, punched and forced to write a “statement to the people of Ukraine”, and shout pro-Ukrainian nationalist slogans.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“In Mariupol police and military were nowhere to be seen during our visit. There was a complete vacuum of authority and security, with fear of reprisals, abduction and torture permeating amongst the people,” said Denis Krivosheev.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“It is reprehensible that we are seeing an escalation in abduction and torture in Ukraine. All those engaged in this armed conflict must immediately and unconditionally release any captives who are still being held unlawfully, and ensure that until their release they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.”&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Amnesty International is calling on the Ukrainian government to create a single and regularly updated register of incidents of reported abductions, and thoroughly and impartially investigate every allegation of abusive use of force, ill-treatment and torture.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>WARNING:&nbsp;The following video includes images of cuts and injuries obtained from beatings and torture.</strong></em></p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" width="700" height="418"><param name="movie" value="https://adam.amnesty.org/tools/jwplayer/player.swf" /><param name="flashvars" 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src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196962_Sasha_-_torture_survivor_in_Ukraine (1).jpg?1404836116" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48254">Sasha - Ukraine torture survivor</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-ai-index-number"> <div class="field-label">Amnesty International Index Number:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> EUR50/034/2014 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> StopTorture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Ukraine</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="46.821865">46° 49' 18.714" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="35.288086">35° 17' 17.1096" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>With hundreds abducted over the last three months, the time has come to take stock of what has happened, and stop this abhorrent ongoing practice. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Europe and Central Asia </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tue, 08/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR50/034/2014/en/c8e25fcd-c791-4edb-ac3f-6b1a1ce12977/eur500342014en.pdf">Abductions and Torture in Eastern Ukraine</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Read the full briefing </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/they-made-no-secret-it-they-were-going-kill-me-2014-07-11">‘They made no secret of it; they were going to kill me’</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Feature, 11 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/he-said-pray-now-i-m-going-kill-you-and-then-he-slit-my-neck-knife-2014-07-11">He said &#039;Pray now, I’m going to kill you&#039; and then he slit my neck with the knife</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Feature, 11 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://livewire.amnesty.org/2014/06/28/ukraines-mariupol-suspicion-mistrust-and-a-fear-of-whats-to-come/">Ukraine’s Mariupol – suspicion, mistrust and a fear of what’s to come</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Blog, 28 June 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/stoptorture">Stop Torture</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Global campaign </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Disappearances And Abductions Stop Torture Torture And Ill-treatment Ukraine Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:10:28 +0000 Amnesty International 48253 at http://www.amnesty.org ‘They made no secret of it; they were going to kill me’ http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/they-made-no-secret-it-they-were-going-kill-me-2014-07-11 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ‘They made no secret of it; they were going to kill me’ </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The skin across Sasha’s forehead and around his eyes is slightly yellow and there is a recent scab on his temple. He is healing well.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ten days before our meeting, the 19-year-old was barely recognizable: the skin on his face stretched tight, swollen and bruised. Abducted and tortured, Sasha believes he is lucky to be alive.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After the city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine came under control of separatist armed groups in April 2014, he was an obvious target.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sasha was part of a “self-defence team” which came together to protect pro-Ukrainian activists during clashes with anti-Kyiv counter-protesters in Luhansk’s streets. There were hardly any police officers present, and those who were there did nothing to protect the demonstrators.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He proudly shows us a photo on his mobile phone of a young man wearing a balaclava on the “frontline” of the protests. “That’s me,” he boasts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is undoubtedly the reason he was targeted.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sasha believes another member of the self-defence group turned him in. He called Sasha, saying he had just returned from Kyiv and had some news he needed to discuss. Sasha agreed to meet outside the block of flats where he lived, at around 8pm that evening. But when he arrived, his friend was not there. Instead, a group of armed men leapt out from parked cars, shooting in the air and yelling at Sasha to lie on the ground.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“First of all I tried to run away, it was a shock,” he says. “I didn’t understand what was happening and I didn’t know who these people were. I started to run but they shot near my legs. I lay on the ground because there was no-where to run. Then they started to hit me in the head with guns. They kicked and punched me, cuffed me and took me to the car.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some of the men searched Sasha’s flat, while he remained in the car where he was repeatedly punched and kicked until they returned. From there he was blindfolded and taken to the Ukrainian Security Service building, which the armed group had taken over. In a room on the second floor, he was questioned about his role in the protests. His captors demanded the addresses of other activists and details about the Ukrainian military. They even accused him of being in the pay of America.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“There were a lot of people, first of all they started to punch me. They punched me in the face… on my arms and legs. They made no secret of it; they told me that they were going to kill me. After half hour, 40 minutes – you stop feeling the pain. I started to lose myself, I lost consciousness,” he tells us.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sasha says when he passed out he was dumped in a basement. Every time he regained consciousness, he was taken upstairs for questioning again. Each time, the severity of the torture increased.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He describes how he was beaten with anything they could find, including a chair, flayed with plastic hoses and choked. He describes how they attached cables to his wrists and electrocuted him. Then he shows us a deep scab on his inner thigh. There is a hole the size of a fingertip.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“They took the cigarettes, they were stubbing cigarettes in my leg, and then [they] stubbed another cigarette in that hole... How can do this to other people? It’s not normal,” he implores as he points to the healing wound.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sasha says he was tortured repeatedly for 24 hours, and taken to the second floor room around a dozen times. Finally he was dumped again in the basement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I was lying in the basement when the door opened and one guy put a gun to my head and said to go straight to the corridor – and don’t say anything. While I was walking through the corridor, the armed people who were there, they told me ‘goodbye – they are going to kill you’,” he says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I thought only one [thing]: I’m dying for nothing. I’m not dying like a hero of Ukraine, I’m not dying for something I did – I’m dying for nothing.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But they didn’t shoot Sasha. Through the family’s network of friends his father made contact with his abductors. Within three hours he had to raise US$60,000 to save his son.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sasha was driven to a disused building in a park. He was told to sit on a window ledge and not to move or he would be shot by a sniper. It was there that his father found him. He eased his son into the car and drove immediately to the railway station. There he put Sasha, still wearing his blood-stained clothes, into a compartment on a train bound for Kyiv and said goodbye.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sasha now shares a room with his mother on the outskirts of the capital in a run-down apartment block. He is desperate to find work, not only to pay the rent, but to pay back the family and friends who raised his ransom.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Now I’m living in another city. I lost everything, I lost my flat, I lost my car, every single thing I had. I have to find a job, all I have is my passport in my pocket. I need money to pay for this flat and I need to pay money to the people in Luhansk who gave money to my family. Sixty thousand dollars!” he says with an air of desperation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is nothing that can justify the beatings and other torture Sasha endured following his abduction. What is saddening, is not just his material loss, but the steeling effect his ordeal has had on his resolve. There is anger in his eyes when we ask him of his future.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I will go back to Luhansk - and continue the war,” he says.</p> <p><em><strong>WARNING:&nbsp;The following video includes images of cuts and injuries obtained from beatings and torture.</strong></em></p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" width="700" height="418"><param name="movie" value="https://adam.amnesty.org/tools/jwplayer/player.swf" /><param name="flashvars" value="file=https://adam.amnesty.org/images/assets/196901-197000/196968/Ukraine_Torture_09072014_for_ADAM-p.mp4&amp;image=https://adam.amnesty.org/images/assets/196901-197000/196968/Ukraine_Torture_09072014_for_ADAM-l-m.jpg&amp;backcolor=000000&amp;frontcolor=EEEEEE&amp;lightcolor=FFFFFF&amp;screencolor=000000&amp;autostart=false&amp;stretching=uniform&amp;provider=video&amp;duration=287" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="scale" value="default" /><param name="bgcolor" value="111111" /><!--[if !IE]>--><!--[if !IE]>--><object data="https://adam.amnesty.org/tools/jwplayer/player.swf?file=https://adam.amnesty.org/images/assets/196901-197000/196968/Ukraine_Torture_09072014_for_ADAM-p.mp4&amp;image=https://adam.amnesty.org/images/assets/196901-197000/196968/Ukraine_Torture_09072014_for_ADAM-l-m.jpg&amp;backcolor=000000&amp;frontcolor=EEEEEE&amp;lightcolor=FFFFFF&amp;screencolor=000000&amp;autostart=false&amp;stretching=uniform&amp;provider=video&amp;duration=287" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="700" height="418"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="scale" value="default" /><param name="bgcolor" value="111111" /><!--<![endif]--><!--<![endif]--><p>Your browser does not have the necessary plugin to display this content.</p><!--[if !IE]>--><!--[if !IE]>--></object><!--<![endif]--><!--<![endif]--></object></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><span>Sasha, a 19-year-old pro-Ukrainian activist, was abducted by separatists at gunpoint in Luhansk and beaten repeatedly for 24 hours.</span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196987_Sasha_-_torture_survivor_in_Ukraine (1).jpg?1404917678" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48283">Sasha - Ukrainian torture survivor </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> StopTorture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Ukraine</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="48.543524">48° 32' 36.6864" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="34.804688">34° 48' 16.8768" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>There were a lot of people, first of all they started to punch me. They punched me in the face… on my arms and legs. They made no secret of it; they told me that they were going to kill me. After half hour, 40 minutes – you stop feeling the pain. I started to lose myself, I lost consciousness.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sasha, a 19-year-old pro-Ukrainian activist </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ukraine-mounting-evidence-abduction-and-torture-2014-07-11">Ukraine: Mounting evidence of abduction and torture</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 11 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/he-said-pray-now-i-m-going-kill-you-and-then-he-slit-my-neck-knife-2014-07-11">He said &#039;Pray now, I’m going to kill you&#039; and then he slit my neck with the knife</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Feature, 11 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/stoptorture">Stop Torture</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Global campaign </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Activists Disappearances And Abductions Stop Torture Torture And Ill-treatment Ukraine Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:58:55 +0000 Amnesty International 48285 at http://www.amnesty.org UK rushes through invasive surveillance laws as intelligence agencies go on trial http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/uk-rushes-through-invasive-surveillance-laws-intelligence-agencies-go-trial-2014-07-11 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> UK rushes through invasive surveillance laws </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">11 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amnesty International and <a href="https://www.privacyinternational.org/">Privacy International </a>have accused the UK government of trying to rush through legislation in an attempt to deflect from a landmark hearing starting Monday, challenging the validity of UK spy agencies’ justification for mass surveillance of British citizens’ social media use. <br /><br />“The UK government is manipulating national laws to ensure it can continue to flout international ones,” said Michael Bochenek, Senior Director for Law and Policy at Amnesty International. <br /><br />“Clearly Number 10 would rather move the goalposts than play by the rules.” <br /><br />Just two working days before the start of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal hearing, UK Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the government is fast-tracking a new bill regulating internet surveillance, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. She claimed the draft law will ‘put beyond doubt the application of our laws on interception’. <br /><br />The previous law, the EU Data Retention Directive, was struck down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) three months ago, but authorities have waited until the last possible minute to rush through legislation and bypass proper scrutiny of the bill. <br /><br />The draft law will technically comply with the Court of Justice’s instruction not to use the old one, but fails to address the reasons the Court struck down the law in the first place. <br /><br />Monday’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal will be the first time the UK’s intelligence services have to account for their mass surveillance activities in open court. It is part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by rights groups Privacy International, Liberty, Amnesty International and others. It seeks to establish the extent to which the UK government has been monitoring their online activity. <br /><br />“The timing of this legislation could not be more audacious,” said Carly Nyst, Legal Director of Privacy International.<br /><br />“It’s shameful that the government should be pursuing a further expansion of its surveillance state at a time when the already extensive powers of the British security services are being challenged in the courts and in the public domain.” <br /><br />At the hearing the groups will challenge the government’s assertion that it is entitled to indiscriminately intercept web searches or communications between British residents, as long as they are using a service provider based outside the UK. <br /><br />“For the first time, UK intelligence agencies will have to answer for their activities and defend their indefensible policy for mass surveillance,” Michael Bochenek said. <br /><br />“Even as the Tribunal will be hearing submissions, the government is rushing through a new law in an attempt to curtail the much-needed debate on protecting privacy.” <br /><br />One year on from the <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/usa-revelations-about-government-surveillance-raise-red-flags-2013-06-07">Edward Snowden revelations</a>, the UK government continues to refuse to confirm or deny whether it is spying on the human rights groups or how it uses the mass surveillance powers it claims to have. But information from other states, notably the USA, strongly implicates the UK. <br /><br />“Make no mistake about it – both the current policy and the new bill give the government carte blanche for massive and disproportionate invasion of privacy,” said Carly Nyst. <br /><br />The new Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill has been introduced with cross-party support, suggesting a series of backroom deals were reached. <br /><br />“It appears that agreements are being carved out behind closed doors, minimising debate in the Commons and adding a sinister character to the government’s actions.” <br /><br />Snowden’s allegations have exposed clear gaps in the UK legal framework, highlighting the rubber-stamping of warrants for blanket surveillance and the lack of a clear process for obtaining information from the USA’s National Security Agency. <br /><br />“Monday’s hearing needs to kick start a full and frank debate about how to better balance security needs with privacy rights,” said Michael Bochenek. <br /><br />“Certainly, the UK needs new and clearer laws on how its intelligence agencies carry out surveillance, but those laws must put at their core the right to freely receive and impart information without interference.”&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Amnesty International and Privacy International have accused the UK government of trying to rush through legislation in an attempt to deflect from a landmark hearing starting Monday, challenging the validity of UK spy agencies’ justification for mass surveillance of British citizens’ social media use.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/197068_Emergency_Phone_And_Internet_Data_Storage_Law_Announced (1).jpg?1405079422" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48334"> Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">United Kingdom</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="52.488969">52° 29' 20.2884" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="-1.032715">1° 1' 57.774" W</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> <div class="location map-link">See map: <a href="http://maps.google.co.uk?q=%2C+%2C+%2C+uk">Google Maps</a></div></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>The UK government is manipulating national laws to ensure it can continue to flout international ones. Clearly Number 10 would rather move the goalposts than play by the rules.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Michael Bochenek, Senior Director for Law and Policy at Amnesty International </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Fri, 11/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>The timing of this legislation could not be more audacious. It’s shameful that the government should be pursuing a further expansion of its surveillance state at a time when the already extensive powers of the British security services are being challenged in the courts and in the public domain.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Carly Nyst, Legal Director of Privacy International </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Fri, 11/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/uk-intelligence-forced-reveal-secret-policy-mass-surveillance-residents-facebook-and-google-use">UK intelligence forced to reveal secret policy for mass surveillance of residents’ Facebook and Google use</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 17 June 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/new-global-coalition-urges-governments-keep-surveillance-technologies-check-2014-04-04">New global coalition urges governments to keep surveillance technologies in check</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 4 April 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/amnesty-international-brings-claim-against-uk-over-gchq-surveillance">Amnesty International brings claim against UK over GCHQ surveillance</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Amnesty International UK Press release, 9 December 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Law Enforcement UK Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:53:49 +0000 Amnesty International 48335 at http://www.amnesty.org Myanmar: Media workers imprisoned in crackdown on free expression http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/myanmar-five-media-workers-sentenced-2014-07-10 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Myanmar: Media workers imprisoned in crackdown on free expression </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">10 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The sentencing of five media workers in Myanmar each to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for “disclosing state secrets” makes today a dark day for freedom of expression in the country, Amnesty International said.</p><p>A court in the town of Pakokku today handed down the sentences to four reporters and the CEO of the Unity newspaper – Lu Maw Naing, Yarzar Oo, Paing Thet Kyaw, Sithu Soe and Tint San.</p><p>They were arrested between 31 January and 1 February 2014 and charged with violating the Official Secrets Act, after Unity published an article about an alleged chemical weapons factory in Magwe region.</p><p>“This is a very dark day for freedom of expression in Myanmar. These five media workers have done nothing but cover a story that is in the public interest,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.</p><p>“Amnesty International considers all five men to be prisoners of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.”</p><p>“Today’s sentences expose the government’s promises to improve the human rights situation in the country as hollow ones. They reflect a wider crackdown on free media since the beginning of the year, despite government assurances that such practices would end.”</p><p>“The authorities are continuing to rely on draconian laws to silence dissenting views or fair reporting, just like the previous military government did. The authorities must scrap or amend all legislation that unlawfully restricts the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”</p><p>Despite promises by President Thein Sein last year that Myanmar would have no more prisoners of conscience by the end of 2013, arrests and imprisonment of peaceful activists and human rights defenders have continued.</p><p>Amnesty International is particularly concerned about the arrest and detention of journalists and other media workers. On 8 July 2014, three editors from the Bi Mon Te Nay journal were reportedly detained after publishing an article the previous day claiming that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and some ethnic leaders had been appointed as an interim government.</p><p>Other new prisoners of conscience include land rights and environmental activists. Many have been sentenced under a range of laws that place far-reaching restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly – including the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law and Section 505(b) of Myanmar’s Penal Code.</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The sentencing of five media workers in Myanmar each to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for “disclosing state secrets” makes today a dark day for freedom of expression in the country.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196995_MYANMAR-ASEAN-DIPLOMACY.jpg?1404991059" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48300">Myanmar</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Myanmar </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Myanmar</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="17.446179">17° 26' 46.2444" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="95.537609">95° 32' 15.3924" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>This is a very dark day for freedom of expression in Myanmar. These five media workers have done nothing but cover a story that is in the public interest. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/myanmar">Myanmar</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Read more about human rights in Myanmar. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Freedom Of Expression Myanmar Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:19:23 +0000 Amnesty International 48301 at http://www.amnesty.org Ethiopia: End the onslaught on dissent as arrests continue http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ethiopia-end-onslaught-dissent-arrests-continue-2014-07-10 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Ethiopia: End the onslaught on dissent as arrests continue </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">10 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p><p>The Ethiopian authorities must halt their continuing onslaught on dissent, Amnesty International said today, after the arrest of four more opposition party members this week, who are believed to be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>All four were arrested on 8 July in the capital Addis Ababa and the northern city of Mekele on “terror” accusations: a charge commonly used as a pretext to put dissenters behind bars in Ethiopia.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“These latest detentions add to Ethiopia’s ever-increasing number of journalists, opposition members, activists and other dissenting voices locked up for alleged ‘terrorism’ offences,” said Claire Beston, Amnesty International’s Ethiopia Researcher.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“In the run-up to next year’s general election, the fear is that this number will continue to grow as the government continues its onslaught on dissent. Everyone who has been arrested because of their peaceful expression of dissenting opinions, their blogging activities, membership of a legally-registered political opposition party or participation in peaceful protests must be immediately and unconditionally released.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Latest arrests and torture concerns</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Those arrested on 8 July are: Abraha Desta of the Arena Tigray party, who is also a lecturer at Mekele University; Habtamu Ayalew and Daniel Shebeshi, both members of the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) party and Yeshewas Asefa of the Blue Party.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Abraha Desta is believed to be detained in Mekele, in the northern region of Tigray, while the other three have been taken to the Maikelawi federal police detention centre in Addis Ababa.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Blue Party and UDJ members say they tried to visit the men in Maikelawi on 9 July but were not permitted access and were told they could not have contact until the police investigation was concluded.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>It is commonplace for detainees in Maikelawi to be denied access to legal representatives and family members in the initial stages of detention. This can last for as long as two or three months and is in violation of Ethiopian and international law. This incommunicado detention significantly increases the risk of detainees being subjected to torture. Political detainees in Maikelawi are frequently subjected to torture during interrogation.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Illegal transfer from Yemen</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Also on 8 July, state-run Ethiopian Television (ETV) confirmed that an opposition leader who had disappeared on 24 June in Yemen was being detained in Addis Ababa. <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR25/003/2014/en">Andargachew Tsige</a>, Secretary General of the outlawed Ginbot 7 movement, was illegally transferred from Yemen, and his precise whereabouts in the Ethiopian capital have still not been disclosed. A British national of Ethiopian origin, he continues to be denied access to consular or legal representatives or relatives.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In the broadcast, ETV (the country’s only TV channel) showed footage of Andargachew Tsige looking haggard and exhausted saying his arrest was a blessing in disguise and he just wanted to rest. His wife told Amnesty International that she did not understand what the footage or the message was intended to mean.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>There are a number of precedents of the authorities taking footage of defendants in terrorism trials and broadcasting it on ETV. In each case, this violated the individuals’ right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Andargachew Tsige has already been tried on three separate occasions in absentia and sentenced to death as well as life imprisonment.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The same broadcast announced that other opposition leaders had been arrested, based on their contact with Ginbot 7 and Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) – a satellite TV channel broadcast in exile and which the Ethiopian authorities called the “official media of Ginbot 7”. Details of the arrests emerged subsequently.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Ethiopia has previously used alleged contact with Ginbot 7 and ESAT as a reason to imprison and thereby silence other dissenting voices on allegations of terrorism. In 2011, the Ethiopian authorities banned Ginbot 7 as a terrorist organization.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Journalists and bloggers held under Anti-Terrorism Law</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Six bloggers from the group Zone 9 and three journalists are also among those detained under the Anti-Terrorism Law in Maikelawi. All nine have been detained without charge since their arrest on 25 and 26 April 2014 for alleged terrorism offences. The deeply flawed Anti-Terrorism Law allows for up to four months’ detention without charge – one of the longest remand periods in the world.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>On 9 July, six of the detainees were granted access to visitors for the first time since their arrest two and half months ago. They reported they had been moved from the underground cells in Maikelawi where political detainees are regularly held in the early stages of their detention to a different part of the prison which detainees jokingly call “Sheraton”.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>All six said that they have been forced to sign confessions of their alleged crimes. Three had previously complained in court remand hearings that they had been tortured. The court took no action on the allegations.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The remaining Zone 9 members, Abel Wabela and Mahlet Fantahun, and journalist Edom Kasaye, continue to be detained incommunicado.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The Ethiopian government’s record on respecting the rights of detainees is alarming to say the least,” said Claire Beston.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“All detainees must be granted immediate access to lawyers and family members, must be charged with a recognizable offence or immediately released, and the Ethiopian government must ensure that no-one is ever subjected to torture.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Ethiopian authorities must halt their continuing onslaught on dissent, Amnesty International said today, after the arrest of four more opposition party members this week, who are believed to be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/197016_ETHIOPIA-PROTEST (1).jpg?1405005866" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48313">Ethiopia opposition</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>These latest detentions add to Ethiopia’s ever-increasing number of journalists, opposition members, activists and other dissenting voices locked up for alleged ‘terrorism’ offences </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Claire Beston, Amnesty International’s Ethiopia Researcher </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thu, 10/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR25/003/2014/en">Ethiopian activist at risk of torture: Andargachew Tsige</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Urgent action, 4 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR25/002/2014/en">Ethiopia: Authorities must provide justice for scores of protesters killed, injured and arrested in Oromia</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Public statement, 13 May 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/ethiopia-multiple-arrests-major-crackdown-government-critics-2014-04-26">Ethiopia: Multiple arrests in major crackdown on government critics</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Press release, 26 April 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Activists Detention Ethiopia Freedom Of Expression Stop Torture Torture And Ill-treatment Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:26:55 +0000 Amnesty International 48314 at http://www.amnesty.org CAR: Perpetrators of atrocities must have nowhere to hide from justice http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/car-perpetrators-atrocities-must-have-nowhere-hide-justice-2014-07-10 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CAR: Perpetrators of atrocities must have nowhere to hide from justice </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">10 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The identities of some of those suspected of ordering or committing the atrocities that have been taking place in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been made public today by Amnesty International, with a call for justice to be delivered to the people of the beleaguered nation.</p><p>The report, <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR19/006/2014/en/04291c70-7427-4d9e-b1b0-4bc639e50bd3/afr190062014en.pdf"><em>Central African Republic: Time for Accountability</em></a>, documents crimes under international law perpetrated across the CAR in 2013 and 2014, and calls for the investigation, prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators. It names members and allies of the anti-balaka and Séléka armed groups suspected of involvement in serious human rights abuses, outlining their roles and establishing their possible criminal responsibilities.</p><p>“If the Central African Republic is to recover from the killing spree that has taken place since December 2013, it is imperative that those who masterminded, committed or participated in war crimes, crimes against humanity and serious human rights abuses are brought to account,” said Christian Mukosa, Amnesty International’s Central African Republic researcher.</p><p>“Those responsible for leaving hundreds of thousands of innocent people with nowhere to hide from their murderous violence must be given nowhere to hide from justice. Only by ending impunity can the cycle of violence that has gripped CAR be stemmed.”</p><p><em>Time for Accountability</em> documents first-hand accounts from victims and witnesses of crimes under international law and gross human rights violations committed during the conflict that has left thousands killed, forced almost a million people to flee their homes and driven CAR to the brink of a humanitarian disaster.</p><p>The report identifies a number of high-profile leaders for their roles in the atrocities. These include ex-Presidents François Bozizé and Michel Djotodia, anti-balaka coordinators, including Levy Yakété and Séléka commanders, including Noureddine Adam.</p><p>Most attacks in CAR are conducted openly, with the perpetrators showing no fear of sanction and in some cases being well-known to their victims and the authorities.</p><p>Eye-witness testimonies documented by Amnesty International reveal the role of Séléka commanders, including Colonel Bishara, Colonel Aba Tom and Colonel Yussuf Hamad, in leading attacks in Bangui.</p><p>One witness told how Colonel Yussuf Hamad led a group of Séléka searching a hospital for anti-balaka fighters. “He threatened to kill everyone in the hospital if we didn’t show them the anti-balaka,” said a witness who told Amnesty International how a man was taken away from the hospital by Colonel Yussuf Hamad and later found dead nearby.</p><p>Anti-balaka commanders identified in the report include Richard Bejouane, Colonel Dieudonné and Colonel “12 puissance”. These men are so confident about the impunity they enjoy that they have often talked openly about their role in human rights abuses and made public statements inciting violence.</p><p>Whilst most of the suspects identified by Amnesty International’s research are living openly in CAR, some are staying in other countries including Chad and France.</p><p>“No country should provide safe haven to individuals suspected of committing or supporting war crimes and crimes against humanity in CAR. They have an obligation to investigate the allegations and, if the evidence is sufficient, to prosecute or extradite the suspects so they can face justice,” said Christian Mukosa.</p><p>The lack of investigation or justice in CAR for past atrocities has contributed to the absence of an effective and independent justice system and the inability of the security forces to protect victims, witnesses, members of the judiciary or the wider population from violence or retaliatory attacks. Lack of secure detention facilities has meant that, even when arrested, those suspected of committing crimes under international law and human rights abuses frequently escape.</p><p>The presence of international peacekeepers has failed to put an end to the violence. Peacekeeping forces, including Chadian soldiers, have even been involved in serious human rights violations. The most serious incident occurred on 29 March when Chadian soldiers opened fire on civilians in a Bangui market and, according to the United Nations, killed at least 30 people and injured 300. The fight against impunity must extend to the investigation of suspected human rights abuses by the soldiers and officers of the Chadian national army in this and other incidents in CAR.</p><p>Amnesty International is calling for urgent action at local, regional and international levels to rebuild the country’s judicial and law enforcement system. Evidence of human rights abuses must be preserved and witnesses and survivors must be identified and protected.</p><p>The Special Investigations Cell set-up by the CAR transitional authorities to conduct investigations into crimes committed in the country should be strengthened and expanded beyond the capital Bangui. The UN’s commission of inquiry into human rights abuses should also be reinforced.</p><p>Amnesty International has also called on the authorities to consider whether a hybrid court composed of national and international experts could be created to try crimes under international law and help strengthen the national justice system. This court would not prevent cases being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has opened a preliminary examination of the situation.</p><p>“The establishment of the Special Investigation Cell, the UN commission of inquiry and the fact that the ICC has already opened a preliminary examination on the situation in the country send a clear message that impunity will not be tolerated. But there is much more that needs to be done to ensure effective accountability,” said Christian Mukosa.</p><p>“Justice for crimes committed in CAR can only be achieved by a coordinated effort of the international community supported by clear political will from the CAR transitional authorities. The net is closing in on those responsible for human rights abuses. Their names and whereabouts are known. Their crimes are being documented. And they will face justice.”</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The identities of some of those suspected of ordering or committing the atrocities that have been taking place in the Central African Republic have been made public in a new report today.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/188497_PHOTOS_TAKEN_BY_AI_STAFF_ON_MISSION_TO_C.A (1).jpg?1404905275" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48260">CAR</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-ai-index-number"> <div class="field-label">Amnesty International Index Number:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> AFR19/006/2014 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CAR </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Central African Republic</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="8.254983">8° 15' 17.9388" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="18.984375">18° 59' 3.75" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>If the Central African Republic is to recover from the killing spree that has taken place since December 2013, it is imperative that those who masterminded, committed or participated in war crimes, crimes against humanity and serious human rights abuses are brought to account. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christian Mukosa, Amnesty International’s Central African Republic researcher. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR19/006/2014/en">Central African Republic: Time for Accountability</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Read the Report. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/qa-central-african-republic-s-human-rights-crisis-2014-04-09">Q&amp;A: The Central African Republic’s human rights crisis </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Feature, 9 April 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Central African Republic Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:32:42 +0000 Amnesty International 48261 at http://www.amnesty.org Italy: Many children among dozens left homeless by forced eviction in Rome http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/italy-many-children-among-dozens-left-homeless-forced-eviction-rome-2014-07-09 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Italy: Many children among dozens left homeless by forced eviction in Rome </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">09 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p><p>The forced eviction of 39 people – 11 of them young children, including several babies – from a Roma settlement in a Rome suburb this morning is a blatant violation of international human rights law and standards that has left numerous families homeless, Amnesty International said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>At around 7:30AM, local police and municipal authorities moved in on the makeshift camp of shacks and tents in the park of Val D’ala, in the Italian capital’s north-eastern suburbs. They quickly razed the settlement with bulldozers, leaving the dozens of Romanian Roma living there with no place to go.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Today’s shocking demolition in Val D’ala is an eviction in violation of international human rights standards – leaving these people homeless and destitute. There was no formal advance notice of eviction or consultation with the community, and no suitable alternative housing has been offered,” said Matteo de Bellis, Amnesty International’s Italy Campaigner, who is currently with the community as they seek redress from municipal authorities.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The only mention of alternative housing was an offer from the municipal authorities to house just the women and children in a local shelter – which Amnesty International understands is already full to capacity.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>When pressed by Amnesty International, local authorities were unable to produce a formal justification for the eviction, which they attempted to justify based on environmental grounds and concern for the local community.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The local authorities are simply passing the buck. We will stand firm with the forcibly evicted community and <a href="http://www.21luglio.org/">local NGOs</a> until the authorities provide real answers and alternative housing for the families they have made homeless. Long-term solutions are needed to ensure forced evictions like this are not repeated,” said Matteo de Bellis.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The forced eviction of 39 people – 11 of them young children, including several babies – from a Roma settlement in a Rome suburb this morning is a blatant violation of international human rights law and standards that has left numerous families homeless, Amnesty International said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196969_Forced_eviction_of_Roma_community_in_Val_D_ala_Rome. (1).jpg?1404909567" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48267">Roma eviction in Val D&#039;ala</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Italy</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="41.949718">41° 56' 58.9848" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="12.561150">12° 33' 40.14" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Today’s shocking demolition in Val D’ala is an eviction in violation of international human rights standards – leaving these people homeless and destitute. There was no formal advance notice of eviction or consultation with the community, and no suitable alternative housing has been offered.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Matteo de Bellis, Amnesty International’s Italy Campaigner </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wed, 09/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/italy-roma-segregation-camps-blight-city-rome-2013-10-30">Italy: Roma segregation camps – a blight on the City of Rome</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 30 October 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR30/008/2013/en">Italy: Double standards: Italy’s housing policies discriminate against Roma</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Report, 30 October 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/roma">Roma: Demanding equality and human rights</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Campaign page </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Children Demand Dignity Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Forced Eviction Italy Roma Rights Demand Dignity Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:41:22 +0000 Amnesty International 48268 at http://www.amnesty.org EU migration policies put lives and rights at risk http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/eu-migration-policies-put-lives-and-rights-risk-2014-07-09 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> EU migration policies put lives and rights at risk </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">09 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>In their determination to seal off their borders, the European Union and its member states are putting the lives and rights of refugees and migrants at risk, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.</p><p><a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR05/001/2014/en"><em>The human cost of Fortress Europe: Human rights violations against migrants and refugees at Europe’s borders</em></a>, shows how EU migration policies and border control practices are preventing refugees from accessing asylum in the EU and putting their lives at risk in the course of increasingly perilous journeys.</p><p>“The effectiveness of EU measures to stem the flow of irregular migrants and refugees is, at best, questionable. Meanwhile, the cost in human lives and misery is incalculable and is being paid by some of the world’s most vulnerable people,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.</p><p><strong>Border control</strong></p><p>The EU is funding its migration policy to the tune of billions of Euros. Millions of Euros are spent each year by member states on fences, sophisticated surveillance systems and patrolling their borders.</p><p>In a revealing indicator of relative priorities, the EU spent nearly €2 billion protecting its external borders between 2007 and 2013, but only €700 million on improving the situation for asylum-seekers and refugees within the EU over the same period.</p><p>The EU and member states are also cooperating with and funding neighbouring countries, such as Turkey, Morocco and Libya, to create a buffer zone around the EU in an effort to stop migrants and refugees before they even reach Europe’s borders. At the same time they are turning a blind eye to the human rights abuses migrants and refugees are suffering in these countries.</p><p>“EU countries are basically paying neighbouring countries to police their borders for them. &nbsp;The problem is that many of these countries are frequently incapable of guaranteeing the rights of refugees and migrants that are trapped there. Many end up destitute, exploited, harassed and unable to access asylum,” said John Dalhuisen.</p><p>“EU member states cannot divest themselves of their human rights obligations towards those seeking to enter their territory by outsourcing their migration control to third countries. Such cooperation needs to stop.”</p><p><strong>Illegal “push-backs”</strong></p><p>Refugees and migrants that do make it to Europe’s borders risk being pushed straight back across them. Amnesty International has documented push-backs by border guards in Bulgaria and, in particular, Greece, where the practice is widespread. Push-backs are unlawful, deny people the right to seek asylum, typically involve violence and at times even endanger lives.</p><p>Push-backs do not only take place at EU’s south eastern borders. In February 2014, Spanish Civil Guard opened fire with rubber projectiles, blanks and tear gas against about 250 migrants and refugees swimming from Morocco along the beach towards Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in North Africa. Fourteen people lost their lives. Twenty-three people who managed to reach the beach were immediately returned, apparently without access to any formal asylum procedure.</p><p>“According to the UN Refugee Agency there are more displaced people today than at any time since the end of the Second World War. Shockingly, the European Union’s response to this humanitarian crisis has been to add to it,” said John Dalhuisen.</p><p>“Almost half of those trying to enter the EU irregularly flee from conflict or persecution in countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Somalia. Refugees must be provided with more ways to enter the EU safely and legally so that they are not forced to embark on perilous journeys in the first place.”</p><p><strong>Lives lost at sea&nbsp;</strong></p><p>In the face of ever greater obstacles to reaching Europe by land, refugees and migrants are increasingly taking the more dangerous sea routes to Greece and Italy. Every year hundreds of people die trying to reach Europe’s shores.</p><p>Following the tragedies off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, where more than 400 people lost their lives in 2013, Italy launched a search and rescue initiative called “Operation Mare Nostrum.” It has rescued more than 50,000 people since its launch in October 2013.</p><p>But it is not enough. In the first six months of 2014 alone, more than 200 people lost their lives in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas; hundreds more are missing feared dead. Many of those who perished were clearly escaping violence and persecution.</p><p>“The responsibility for the deaths of those trying to reach the EU is a collective responsibility. Other EU member states can and must follow Italy’s lead and stop people drowning at sea by bolstering search and rescue efforts in the Mediterranean and the Aegean,” said John Dalhuisen.</p><p>“The human tragedies unfolding every day at Europe’s borders are neither inevitable, nor beyond the EU’s control. Many are of the EU’s making. EU member states must, at last, start putting people before borders.”</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In their determination to seal off their borders, the European Union and its member states are putting the lives and rights of refugees and migrants at risk, Amnesty International said in a new report today.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/193755_Newly_arrived_Syrian_refugees_after_crossing_the_border_into_Turkey_January_2014..jpg?1404820128" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48239">EU</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-onpagesummary"> <div class="field-label">At a Glance:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <ul><li>At the end of 2013, the countries hosting the largest numbers of refugees were: Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Kenya, Chad, Ethiopia, China and the USA.</li><li>Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in 2011, more than 2.8 million Syrians have fled their homes. By the end of April 2014 only 96,000 had reached Europe and sought asylum.</li><li>In 2013, 48 per cent of all irregular entrants and 63 per cent of all those arriving irregularly by sea to Europe came from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Somalia, countries torn by conflict and wide spread human rights abuses.</li><li>In just two weeks in October 2013, more than 400 people lost their lives in two shipwrecks off the coast of Lampedusa, an Italian island in the Mediterranean.</li></ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> SOSEurope </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>The effectiveness of EU measures to stem the flow of irregular migrants and refugees is, at best, questionable. Meanwhile, the cost in human lives and misery is incalculable and is being paid by some of the world’s most vulnerable people. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR05/001/2014/en">The human cost of Fortress Europe: Human rights violations against migrants and refugees at Europe’s borders</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Read the Report. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR05/003/2014/en">Fortress Europe </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Facts and figures </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Europe And Central Asia Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:51:46 +0000 Amnesty International 48241 at http://www.amnesty.org Q&A - Three years on, South Sudan is locked in a cycle of violence http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/qa-three-years-south-sudan-locked-cycle-violence-2014-07-08 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Q&amp;A - Three years on, South Sudan is locked in a cycle of violence </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">08 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>On 9 July, South Sudan will mark three years as an independent state. But the growing pains of the world’s newest country are evident as millions are trapped in a vicious cycle of violence. Amnesty International’s Elizabeth Ashamu Deng looks at some of the problems facing South Sudan today.</em></p><p><strong>What is the current human rights situation in South Sudan?</strong></p><p>The situation is catastrophic. Both government and opposition forces engaged in the fighting have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and other grave human rights violations and abuses.</p><p>Thousands of people, many of them civilians, have died over the past six months.</p><p>Women and girls have been raped or abducted and several of South Sudan’s largest towns are now deserted after homes and other civilian property have been destroyed.</p><p>There have also been attacks on medical facilities and places where civilians have sought protection, including churches and hospitals. Humanitarian agencies trying to reach those affected by the violence have faced intimidation and have had their equipment and supplies destroyed or looted.</p><p>Civilians from South Sudan’s two largest communities, the Dinka and the Nuer, as well as other groups like the Shilluk, have also been the targets of violence due to their ethnic identity and assumed political affiliations. Members of government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir, as well as army defectors and allied militias loyal to ex-Vice-President Dr Riek Machar have systematically targeted civilians based on ethnicity, resulting in a cycle of revenge killings.</p><p>More than one million people have been forced to leave their homes, becoming internally displaced within South Sudan, while nearly 400,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.</p><p><strong>What is happening in the country now? What are people saying?&nbsp;</strong></p><p>I was in Juba, South Sudan, in the two weeks leading up to Independence Day. We spoke with internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are sheltered within the two United Nations (UN) bases in Juba, many of whom fled to these bases in December after the conflict erupted. We also met with IDPs who have come to Juba from other parts of the country and are living in informal settlements.</p><p>Overwhelmingly, I was struck by the sadness of South Sudanese people as the country was preparing to mark three years of independence. People I met said they had little pride in their country. Hopes and dreams have been dashed by the current conflict. Many of those living on UN bases feel trapped, too afraid to circulate freely on the streets of the capital.</p><p>In meetings with government officials, we urged them to increase efforts to investigate abuses and bring those responsible to justice. Accountability is critical to improving public confidence in members of the security sector and as a deterrent to future abuses. We also called for members of the public to be able to engage in public debate about the country’s future without fear of reprisals.</p><p><strong>Has South Sudan’s human rights situation improved or deteriorated since independence?</strong></p><p>Prior to the conflict the situation was mixed.</p><p>On the positive side, South Sudan gave some early indications that it would abolish the death penalty. In December 2012, it voted in favour of a moratorium on capital punishment at the UN General Assembly. Prior to the conflict there were around 200 people sentenced to death in South Sudan; abolition would be a positive step.</p><p>Nevertheless, South Sudan has suffered from pervasive human rights concerns since independence, including the harassment of human rights activists and journalists, unlawful killings of civilians by the South Sudan Armed Forces (SPLA) and arbitrary detentions.</p><p>Since December 2013, the situation has gotten much worse. In addition to the widespread attacks on civilians, the UN has said that 4.9 million people across the country are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Some 3.7 million people are at high risk of food insecurity in the coming year due to fighting preventing farmers from working during planting season. South Sudan now faces the worst risk of famine in Africa since the mid-1980s.</p><p><strong>Why is this conflict happening?</strong></p><p>The conflict began as a political dispute within South Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) between President Kiir, and Dr Machar.</p><p>In early 2013, Machar, then Vice-President, openly declared his desire to challenge Kiir for the chairmanship of the SPLM and then run for the presidency in the 2015 general elections. That April, Kiir withdrew executive powers delegated to Machar and suspended the National Reconciliation Conference, an initiative chaired by Machar. Kiir also retired senior generals, replaced two state governors and, in July 2013, dismissed almost his entire cabinet, including Machar.</p><p>Machar, joined by senior members of the SPLM, denounced these decisions, accusing Kiir of corruption, paralyzing the SPLM party, forming a personal army and of unilateral decision-making influenced by “regional and ethnic lobbies”.</p><p>The splits in the SPLM leadership were evident at an internal meeting of its Political Bureau on 14 December 2013, the day before conflict broke out. At the meeting, Machar accused Kiir of offering no room for political dialogue and declared he and others would boycott a session scheduled for the following day.</p><p>After the session on 15 December, fighting broke out between soldiers of the Presidential Guard, quickly escalating into an armed confrontation in Juba between forces loyal to Kiir and Machar.Security forces split largely along ethnic lines, with many Dinka maintaining allegiance to the government, and many Nuer defecting to join the opposition, referred to as the SPLM/A in Opposition.</p><p>Both parties appeared to use ethnicity as an indicator of political allegiance, but as the conflict spread, and reprisal killings continued, ethnicity seemed to supersede politics as the primary motivation for killing. This has resulted in a cycle of revenge killings and has created deep rifts between communities.</p><p><strong>Who is responsible for the human rights violations and abuses in this conflict?</strong></p><p>Every side of the conflict bears some degree of responsibility.</p><p>Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, as well as the Human Rights Division of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have documented crimes committed by both government and opposition forces.</p><p>During the conflict, several large towns, such as Bor, Bentiu and Malakal, have alternated between control by government and non-government forces. Human rights monitors have found evidence that while under anti-government control, Dinka civilians were killed and fled in large numbers, while the same was true of Nuer civilians when government control was restored.</p><p><strong>Are you surprised this is happening? Did you expect independence to be a fresh start for human rights in South Sudan?&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Although South Sudan’s independence was widely celebrated, the new country already faced a range of problems. The armed forces were far from being an organized, trained, professional army, and were fractured by soldiers’ allegiances to former militia leaders.</p><p>South Sudan also had a weak justice system that failed to hold to account those responsible for human rights violations and abuses. Since South Sudan gained regional autonomy from Sudan in 2005, there have been clashes between the military and militia groups, and violence between various communities, resulting in large-scale displacement and thousands of civilian deaths. However, such violations and abuses have not been adequately investigated, and perpetrators have not been held to account. This leads individuals and groups affected to believe that the only way to ensure those responsible are punished and prevent future abuses is by taking the law into their own hands and engaging in reprisal attacks.</p><p>The current conflict in part stems from such problems and now shows little sign of abating. A number of agreements were made over the past few months. A cessation of hostilities agreement was signed on 23 January 2014 by representatives of the government and the opposition forces, which was renewed on 5 May, and followed by a 9 May agreement by Kiir and Machar “to resolve the conflict.” However, not only were these agreements ignored by both sides, but they also did not deter forces on either side from carrying out targeted violence against civilians.</p><p><strong>What is the way forward for South Sudan?</strong></p><p>The immediate priority is for both sides in the conflict to stop attacks on civilians.</p><p>Leaders on both sides must ensure that combatants responsible for violations and abuses are removed from the ranks and held accountable. Humanitarian agencies must be given unhindered access to all areas of South Sudan to help those in need.</p><p>Also, authorities in South Sudan must conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations into reports of unlawful killings, torture, and other ill-treatment and survivors must be provided with adequate reparations.</p><p>In addition, the international community should support the Commission of Inquiry, set up by the African Union earlier this year to investigate human rights violations and abuses committed during the conflict.</p><p>Justice is essential for human rights to become a reality in South Sudan. There must be no amnesties or political deals that would allow those found guilty of abuses to escape justice.</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>On 9 July, South Sudan will mark three years as an independent state. But the growing pains of the world’s newest country are evident as millions are trapped in a vicious cycle of violence. Here're some of the problems facing South Sudan today.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/191185_Taken_By_AI_Staff_on_Mission_to_South_Sudan.jpg?1404822107" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48245">South Sudan Q&amp;A</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-onpagesummary"> <div class="field-label">At a Glance:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Republic of South Sudan - Facts</p><p>•<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>Became an independent state on 9 July 2011</p><p>•<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>President: Salva Kiir Mayardit</p><p>•<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>Population: 7.5-9.7 million (UN estimate, 2006)</p><p>•<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>Area: 619,745 Sq Km&nbsp;</p><p>•<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>More than a million internally displaced people and nearly 400,000 effectively forced to leave the country.</p><p>•<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>4.9 million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.&nbsp;</p><p>•<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>3.7 million at high risk of food insecurity in the coming year.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> SouthSudan </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">United Kingdom</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="6.675520">6° 40' 31.872" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="34.453125">34° 27' 11.25" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> <div class="location map-link">See map: <a href="http://maps.google.co.uk?q=%2C+%2C+%2C+uk">Google Maps</a></div></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/south-sudan-independence-day-marred-ongoing-war-crimes-and-looming-famine-2014-07-08">South Sudan: Independence Day marred by ongoing war crimes and looming famine</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 8 July 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR65/003/2014/en">South Sudan: Nowhere safe: Civilians under attack in South Sudan</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Report, 8 May 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants South Sudan Torture And Ill-treatment Women Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:25:01 +0000 Amnesty International 48247 at http://www.amnesty.org Australia: Handover of Sri Lankan asylum seekers a dangerous precedent http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/australia-handover-sri-lankan-aslyum-seekers-dangerous-precedent-2014-07-08 <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">08 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The proposed handover of 153 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka's Navy would put Australia in blatant breach of international law and set a dangerous precedent, said Amnesty International.&nbsp;</p><p>A hearing at the High Court in Melbourne on Tuesday has put the transfer in doubt, after an application was brought on behalf of the asylum seekers that were recently intercepted by the Australian Navy on their way from India. &nbsp;On Sunday, Australia returned 41 aslyum seekers, that had tried to reach the country, to Sri Lanka's Navy.</p><p>“The decision that the whole High Court will hear the challenge reflects the gravity of the Australian government’s deeply concerning proposal to return asylum seekers to a country where their lives may be at serious risk,” said Amnesty International Australia’s Refugee Spokesperson Graeme McGregor.&nbsp;</p><p>“The Government’s temporary commitment they will not transfer the asylum seekers to Sri Lanka without giving 72 hours notice is a small step in the right direction, but the asylum seekers remain indefinitely held at sea, setting a dangerous precedent.</p><p>“Throughout this process, the Government has continually failed to provide even basic answers to the questions about the asylum seekers’ whereabouts and their safety.&nbsp;</p><p>“It’s taken a High Court challenge for the Government to even confirm the boat exists.</p><p>“There still remain many unanswered questions about the missing asylum seekers’ whereabouts.&nbsp;</p><p>“Amnesty International continues to have deep concerns about the shroud of secrecy imposed by the Government all under the guise of border security.”&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sri Lankans screened out at sea&nbsp;</strong></p><p>“Earlier this week, in an unprecedented move, the Government confirmed it had subjected 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to what it calls an ‘enhanced screening process’ via video link.&nbsp;</p><p>“This denied asylum seekers a fair and adequate chance for their refugee claims to be processed.&nbsp;</p><p>“Asking asylum seekers only four questions each before handing them back to Sri Lankan authorities runs an extremely high risk of returning genuine refugees to torture, persecution or death,” said McGregor.&nbsp;</p><p>“If the Australian government wants to address the loss of asylum seekers’ lives, it should not be returning them to a country where their lives may be in grave danger.</p><p>“Australia stands alone in failing to recognise the ongoing human rights violations taking place in Sri Lanka,” Graeme McGregor added.</p><p>All asylum seekers arriving by boat should be processed in Australia under a prompt, rigorous and fair Refugee Status Determination system. Amnesty International calls on the Government to immediately cease any policy to turn back asylum seeker boats.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sri Lanka’s ongoing human rights abuses&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Human rights organisations including Amnesty International and the Human Rights Law Centre have long documented the human rights abuses widely committed by the Sri Lankan authorities against those that publicly oppose it.&nbsp;</p><p>Despite the end of the 2009 conflict, the Sri Lankan Government has systematically and violently cracked down on its critics.&nbsp;</p><p>Sri Lankan asylum seekers have faced torture upon return to Sri Lanka from countries such as the UK. Torture has been reported in rehabilitation camps, by police and military personnel in the context of counter insurgency against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and also in the context of civil policing. All ethnic groups in Sri Lanka continue to face risks of torture in police custody, including sexual violence, where it is pervasive. In several known cases, Tamils who have been returned to Sri Lanka have faced arbitrary arrest and detention.</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The potential handover of 153 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka's Navy would put Australia in blatant breach of international law and set a dangerous precedent.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="3400" height="2246" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/sri lanka_1.jpg?1404814769" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48236">Sri Lanka asylum seekers returned on </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Australia</div> </div> <div class="map-link"> <div class="location map-link">See map: <a href="http://maps.google.com?q=%2C+%2C+%2C+%2C+au">Google Maps</a></div></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>The decision that the whole High Court will hear the challenge reflects the gravity of the Australian government’s deeply concerning proposal to return asylum seekers to a country where their lives may be at serious risk.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Graeme McGregor, Amnesty International Australia’s Refugee Spokesperson </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/sri-lanka-act-now-prevent-further-bloodshed-anti-muslim-violence-2014-06-17">Sri Lanka: Act now to prevent further bloodshed in anti-Muslim violence</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News, 1 May 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/australia-cambodia-scrap-asylum-seeker-deal-2014-05-01">Australia and Cambodia should scrap asylum seeker deal</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News, 29 April 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/nauru-s-refusal-access-detention-centre-another-attempt-hide-conditions-2014-04-29">Nauru’s refusal of access to detention centre another attempt to hide conditions</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News, 27 March 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/sri-lanka-un-human-rights-council-2014-03-27">UN investigation brings new hope for justice in Sri Lanka</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Australia Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:06:43 +0000 Amnesty International 48235 at http://www.amnesty.org Israel/Gaza: All sides must protect civilians as conflict escalates http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israelgaza-all-sides-must-protect-civilians-conflict-escalates-2014-07-08 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Israel/Gaza: All sides must protect civilians as conflict escalates </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">08 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, including the military wing of Hamas, to ensure that civilian lives are protected as the conflict between the two sides escalates. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“All sides to the conflict have an absolute obligation under international humanitarian law to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the intensifying hostilities,” said Philip Luther, Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Amnesty International urges the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas’ military wing and those overseeing it, to fully respect the laws of war. Israel must only carry out strikes on legitimate military targets and must exercise the utmost caution in the means and methods of attack, to minimize the risk to civilians and damage to civilian homes and infrastructure. Carrying out indiscriminate air strikes in densely populated areas or direct attacks on civilian homes will inevitably lead to the loss of civilian lives, in violation of international humanitarian law.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Israel launched a military offensive, Operation “Protective Edge”, overnight, striking at least 50 sites in the Gaza Strip, and carrying out dozens more air strikes since the morning. At least 50 people, including children, have reportedly been wounded in Gaza as a result of Israeli military operations today, according to medics. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have fired scores of indiscriminate rockets into southern Israel in recent days, and continued to do so on Tuesday.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>As of the morning of Tuesday 8 July, more than 240 indiscriminate rockets had been fired from Gaza into southern Israel since 12 June, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned the firing of indiscriminate rockets, which cannot be aimed accurately at military targets. Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility for firing dozens of indiscriminate rockets on Tuesday.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The firing of indiscriminate rockets by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza is a war crime that endangers civilians on both sides of the Gaza/Israel border. All indiscriminate rocket fire by these groups must cease immediately,” said Philip Luther.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The civilian populations of both Israel and Gaza have experienced far too much tragedy, unnecessary bloodshed and loss of life in recent years, with no accountability. Both sides have an abysmal track record of violating international human rights and humanitarian law during armed conflict.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups have repeatedly failed to hold perpetrators accountable for war crimes and other serious violations of international law committed during previous rounds of fighting, in particular during the Israeli military operations “Pillar of Defense” in November 2012 and “Cast Lead” in December 2008 until January 2009.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amid the renewed hostilities and in light of the continuing failure by both sides to provide accountability, Amnesty International is again calling for an international arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“All states should immediately suspend transfers of weapons, munitions and related equipment to Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza,” said Philip Luther.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“States must send a clear message that they will not facilitate further violations of international humanitarian law.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Background</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Mounting tensions over the killing of three Israeli teenagers and the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank have transformed into a full-blown conflict between Israel and armed groups in Gaza in recent days.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Under international humanitarian law, parties to an armed conflict must distinguish between military targets and civilians and civilian objects, and direct attacks only at the former. Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks are prohibited. The parties must take necessary precautions in attack to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects. They also must take all feasible precautions to protect civilians under their control from the effects of attacks.&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, including the military wing of Hamas, to ensure that civilian lives are protected as the conflict between the two sides escalates. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196947_PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA (1).jpg?1404828997" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48249">Gaza airstrikes</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Israel</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="31.487148">31° 29' 13.7328" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="34.438019">34° 26' 16.8684" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>All sides to the conflict have an absolute obligation under international humanitarian law to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the intensifying hostilities. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Philip Luther, Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tue, 08/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israel-collective-punishment-will-not-bring-justice-murdered-teens-2014-07-01">Israel: Collective punishment will not bring the justice that murdered teens deserve</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 1 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/year-deadly-israelgaza-conflict-nightmare-continues-2013-11-14">A year on from deadly Israel/Gaza conflict, the nightmare continues</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Feature, 14 November 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israelgaza-un-must-send-monitors-2012-11-19">Israel/Gaza conflict: UN must impose arms embargo, send international monitors immediately</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 19 November 2012 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/015/2009/en">Israel/Gaza: Operation &quot;Cast Lead&quot;: 22 days of death and destruction</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Report, 2 July 2009 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:17:27 +0000 Amnesty International 48250 at http://www.amnesty.org South Sudan: Independence Day marred by ongoing war crimes and looming famine http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/south-sudan-independence-day-marred-ongoing-war-crimes-and-looming-famine-2014-07-08 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> South Sudan: Independence Day marred by ongoing war crimes and looming famine </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">08 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p style="text-align: left;">New evidence is emerging of ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both government and opposition forces in South Sudan, Amnesty International said as the country marks its third Independence Day on 9 July. On a mission to Juba this month, the organization interviewed internally displaced people who described recent atrocities and an imminent humanitarian crisis.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Since the conflict began in December 2013, more than 1 million people have been displaced, with 400,000 fleeing to neighbouring countries. Around the country 3.9 million people face an alarming risk of food insecurity, as fears of an impending famine loom. &nbsp;More than 100,000 people are in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps at UN bases – some have been trapped in these compounds for months, afraid they will be attacked if they leave.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">One local human rights defender told Amnesty International: “What is there to celebrate when I don’t feel free?”</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">“Both sides in the conflict have demonstrated a near-total disregard for the laws of war, with civilians left paying the price,” said Michelle Kagari, Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Africa at Amnesty International.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">“All sides must immediately cease attacks on civilians. All states must suspend international arms transfers to South Sudan, until there are guarantees they will not be used to commit or facilitate serious abuses.”&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Even before the current conflict erupted, South Sudan was already awash with small arms, a legacy of decades of civil war. The wide availability of arms has fueled violent crime and intercommunal conflict, with a significant human toll. The government has made numerous attempts at civilian disarmament – these have been ineffective in improving security and have often been <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR65/005/2012/en">marred by violence themselves</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Since the internal armed conflict erupted in December, yet more arms have reportedly flowed into the country.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">South Sudanese government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and opposition forces under Dr Riek Machar have spectacularly failed to make good on promises to cease attacks on civilians, sexual violence, destruction of property and violence against children, and to facilitate humanitarian access and hold perpetrators accountable.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">A ceasefire – initially agreed on 23 January and renewed twice, on 5 and 9 May, has not been honoured by either side. Clashes continue in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile states. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">“The international community must pressure the South Sudanese authorities to bring to justice all those who have committed serious violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law during the conflict, or sadly there will be more Independence Days with little to celebrate,” said Michelle Kagari.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The South Sudanese authorities have so far made no concrete effort to deliver justice for the crimes against civilians committed during the conflict. The government has demonstrated a lack of commitment to conducting prompt, independent and thorough investigations with a view towards prosecuting perpetrators of abuses and violations.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Background</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Though triggered by a political dispute, South Sudan’s internal armed conflict has taken on a markedly ethnic dimension, with mainly Dinka members of government forces loyal to President Kiir, and mainly Nuer army defectors and their allied militias loyal to ex-Vice-President Machar. Both sides have been systematically targeting members of the other’s ethnic community. An Amnesty International report, <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/south-sudan-civilians-killed-and-raped-violence-spirals-and-famine-looms-2014-05-08"><em>Nowhere Safe: Civilians Under Attack in South Sudan</em></a>, based on field research undertaken in March 2014, documented cases in which Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk civilians have been targeted on the basis of their ethnicity and assumed political affiliations.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Crimes against humanity and war crimes have happened against a backdrop of pervasive human rights violations.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">A <a href="http://livewire.amnesty.org/2014/07/07/truth-and-debate-fall-victim-to-national-security-rhetoric-amid-south-sudans-crisis/">clampdown on freedom of expression</a> has added to the repressive and fearful climate. Members of civil society and journalists have been summoned and questioned by National Security Service officers about their activities and articles. In March, the Arabic language paper Almajhar Alsayasy was ordered to shut down because of articles critical of the government. Last week, National Security Service officers gave verbal orders to media outlets not to publish articles about federalism – a topic of wide public debate. On 2 July, National Security Service officers seized copies of the Juba Monitor, a daily paper. On 7 July, armed National Security Service officers confiscated 3,000 copies of The Citizen.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">On South Sudan’s first Independence Day President Kiir pledged that South Sudan would quickly accede to international conventions and abide by international law.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">After three years of independence, South Sudan has failed to complete the ratification process of core human rights treaties. The African Charter for Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were approved by parliament and have been awaiting presidential assent since before the conflict erupted. South Sudan is the only member state of the African Union that has not ratified the African Charter.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <div id="h5" style="width: 640px; height: 640px; text-align: left;"><iframe style="border: 0; display: block; width: 100%; height: 100%;" src="https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/common/html5/dist/h5.html?setup={&quot;assets&quot;:&quot;https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/slideshow5735/slideshow.json&quot;,&quot;config&quot;:&quot;https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/common/html5/dist/config.json&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;South Sudan conflict - March 2014&quot;,&quot;displayTime&quot;:5,&quot;onExternalSite&quot;:&quot;on&quot;,&quot;type&quot;:&quot;photoEssay&quot;,&quot;rtlText&quot;:&quot;off&quot;}" frameborder="0"> </iframe></div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>New evidence is emerging of ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both government and opposition forces in South Sudan, Amnesty International said as the country marks its third Independence Day.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196918_South_Sudan_IDPs (1).jpg?1404820125" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48240">South Sudan - Juba IDP camp</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-onpagesummary"> <div class="field-label">At a Glance:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <ul><li>Both sides to the conflict committing war crimes and crimes against humanity</li><li>More than 1 million internally displaced and 400,000 forced to flee the country</li><li>3.9 million people face an alarming risk of food insecurity as fears of famine loom</li><li>Arms flow into South Sudan as conflict continues&nbsp;</li></ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Sudan</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="10.049453">10° 2' 58.0308" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="30.520020">30° 31' 12.072" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Both sides in the conflict have demonstrated a near-total disregard for the laws of war, with civilians left paying the price. All sides must immediately cease attacks on civilians. All states must suspend international arms transfers to South Sudan, until there are guarantees they will not be used to commit or facilitate serious abuses.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Michelle Kagari, Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Africa at Amnesty International </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Tue, 08/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/qa-three-years-south-sudan-locked-cycle-violence-2014-07-08">Three years on, South Sudan is locked in a cycle of violence</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Q&amp;A, 8 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://livewire.amnesty.org/2014/07/07/truth-and-debate-fall-victim-to-national-security-rhetoric-amid-south-sudans-crisis/">Truth and debate fall victim to ‘national security’ rhetoric amid South Sudan’s crisis</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Blog, 7 July 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/south-sudan-civilians-killed-and-raped-violence-spirals-and-famine-looms-2014-05-08">South Sudan: Civilians killed and raped as ethnically-motivated violence spirals and famine looms</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 8 May 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR65/003/2014/en">Nowhere Safe: Civilians Under Attack in South Sudan</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Report, 8 May 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Impunity Military, Security And Police Equipment Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants South Sudan Arms control and human rights Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:52:54 +0000 Amnesty International 48242 at http://www.amnesty.org New anti-terror law used to imprison Saudi Arabian human rights activist http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/new-anti-terror-law-used-imprison-saudi-arabian-human-rights-activist-2014-07-07 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> New anti-terror law used to imprison Saudi Arabian human rights activist </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">07 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The sentencing of a prominent Saudi Arabian lawyer and human rights defender to 15 years in prison has dealt a fresh blow to peaceful activism and freedom of expression in the Kingdom, said Amnesty International.</p><p>The Specialized Criminal Court in Jeddah convicted Waleed Abu al-Khair of a string of “offences” including “inciting international organizations against the government” and “breaking allegiance to the ruler” among others. He will also be subject to a 15-year travel ban after his release.</p><p>He is the latest in a long list of human rights activists who have been harassed, intimidated and imprisoned by Saudi Arabia’s authorities in recent months.</p><p>Waleed Abu al-Khair has represented many victims of human rights violations. His former client Raif Badawi, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes in May for setting up an online forum for public debate.</p><p>During his sentencing, the judge invoked article 21 of Saudi Arabia’s repressive new anti-terrorism law in addition to the more commonly cited cyber-crime laws used to imprison activists.</p><p>“Waleed Abu al-Khair’s conviction on charges relating to national security is entirely unjustified and provides alarming evidence that the Kingdom’s new anti-terrorism law is going to be used to repress peaceful political dissent,” said Said Boumedouha Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.</p><p>“By sentencing a peaceful activist to 15 years in prison, Saudi Arabia’s authorities are sending a clear message that vocal critics of the authorities will be severely punished simply for speaking out. Waleed Abu al-Khair is a prisoner of conscience, he must be immediately and unconditionally released and his conviction and sentence must be quashed.”</p><p>The Specialized Criminal Court is a security and counter-terrorism related court whose rules and procedures remain secret and which activists claim is under the direct control of the Interior Ministry. Ahead of his sentencing Waleed Abu al-Khair stated that he considered the court illegitimate and the judge to be biased and would refuse to defend himself in court.</p><p>Waleed Abu al-Khair’s wife, Samar Badawi, told Amnesty International she was saddened when she first heard the news, but is very proud of her husband: “It is an unjust and oppressive court ruling and Waleed's position of refusing to recognize the legitimacy of this court and to appeal the decision are honourable,” she said.</p><p>“These are 15 years of shame on the Ministry of Interior Courts. I am honoured to be the wife of this free and noble defender. History will expose these masquerades against human rights defenders.”</p><p>Waleed Abu al-Khair has been detained since 15 April 2013. He has been moved between different prisons and is currently detained in Briman prison in the coastal city of Jeddah.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The sentencing of a prominent Saudi Arabian lawyer and human rights defender to 15 years in prison has dealt a fresh blow to peaceful activism and freedom of expression in the Kingdom.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="560" height="400" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/141903_Waleed_Abu_al-Khair_0.jpg?1404753112" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48216">Saudi Arabia</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> SaudiArabia </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Saudi Arabia</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="24.532132">24° 31' 55.6752" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="42.714844">42° 42' 53.4384" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Waleed Abu al-Khair’s conviction on charges relating to national security is entirely unjustified and provides alarming evidence that the Kingdom’s new anti-terrorism law is going to be used to repress peaceful political dissent. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Said Boumedouha Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE23/015/2014/en/4bfd51e5-4258-4376-abe7-2c8391f97028/mde230152014en.html">Saudi Arabia: prominent human rights activist and lawyer latest victim of state repression </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Public Statement, 7 July 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://livewire.amnesty.org/2014/05/15/even-from-prison-you-can-still-light-a-candle/comment-page-1/">‘Even from prison you can still light a candle’</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Blog, 15 May 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Activists Freedom Of Expression Saudi Arabia Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:14:24 +0000 Amnesty International 48217 at http://www.amnesty.org DR Congo: Returned ICC witnesses must not face death penalty or torture http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/dr-congo-returned-icc-witnesses-must-not-face-death-penalty-or-torture-2014-07-05 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> DR Congo: Returned ICC witnesses must not face death penalty or torture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">05 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p><p>The Congolese authorities and the International Criminal Court (ICC) must do everything in their power to ensure that three men due to be returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) this weekend do not face the death penalty, torture or other serious human rights violations, Amnesty International said today.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International believes the three former ICC witnesses face a real risk of persecution and reprisals in the DRC because of the testimony they submitted to the ICC accusing President Kabila of involvement in serious crimes.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Amnesty International has <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR35/001/2014/en">protested against the return of these detained witnesses</a> and calls on the ICC and the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure that all necessary protective measures are in place when they arrive in Kinshasa,” said Evie Francq, Amnesty International’s Researcher on the DRC.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The ICC has a duty to monitor the wellbeing of these men when they return home and to ensure the local authorities live up to their promises to protect the men from human rights violations. The Congolese justice system must cooperate,” said Evie Francq.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The three Congolese nationals - Floribert Ndjabu Ngabu, Sharif Manda Ndadza Dz’Na, and Pierre-Célestin Mbodina Iribi - were called to The Hague in 2011 as witnesses in the ICC prosecution of former Congolese militia leader Germain Katanga. They are expected to be taken into custody on their arrival in Kinshasa, having been held in prison in the DRC prior to their transfer to The Hague in connection with allegations of crimes under international law. They have been in ICC and Dutch custody since.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>They are due to be returned to Kinshasa on Sunday after the Dutch authorities rejected their request for asylum.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Congolese authorities and the International Criminal Court must do everything in their power to ensure that three men due to be returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo this weekend do not face the death penalty, torture or other serious human rights violations.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/188795_FILES_In_this_file_picture_taken_on_Ma-1.jpg?1404558638" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48205">Germain Katanga</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Congo (Kinshasa)</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="-4.368320">4° 22' 5.952" S</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="15.336914">15° 20' 12.8904" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>The ICC has a duty to monitor the wellbeing of these men when they return home and to ensure the local authorities live up to their promises to protect the men from human rights violations. The Congolese justice system must cooperate. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Evie Francq, Amnesty International’s Researcher on the DRC. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Sat, 05/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR35/001/2014/en">Netherlands: Do not return ICC witnesses at risk of death penalty, ill-treatment and unfair trials to the Democratic Republic of the Congo </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Public statement, 30 June 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Abolish the death penalty Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes Death Penalty Democratic Republic Of Congo Detention International Justice Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants Stop Torture Torture And Ill-treatment Trials And Legal Systems Sat, 05 Jul 2014 11:14:50 +0000 Amnesty International 48206 at http://www.amnesty.org India: Government must value migrant workers for more than the billions they send home http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/india-government-must-value-migrant-workers-more-billions-they-send-home-2014-07-04 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> India: Government must value migrant workers for more than the billions they send home </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">04 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The lack of effective regulation of visa brokers and rogue recruiting agents makes Indian migrant workers vulnerable to serious human rights abuses, said Amnesty International India today in a new report focusing on migrants from the Indian state of Kerala working in Saudi Arabia.</p><p>The report, <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA20/025/2014/en"><em>Exploited Dreams: Dispatches from Indian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia</em></a>, highlights cases of migrant workers from Kerala who were deceived about their jobs, wages and working conditions by Indian visa brokers and rogue recruiting agents. Many workers went on to face a range of abuses in Saudi Arabia, which at their worst included forced labour.</p><p>“Migrant workers send billions of dollars in remittances every year to India and sustain thousands of families. Yet Indian authorities continue to let them down when they are abused. It is time that migrant workers’ rights get the protection they deserve,” said G. Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive, Amnesty International India.</p><p>“Recent events in Iraq have been a harsh reminder of the risks that Indian migrant workers can face in the countries they work in,” said Ananthapadmanabhan.</p><p>“This report shows how the exploitation and deception of migrants can start much earlier, before they even leave home, at the hands of visa brokers and rogue recruiting agents.”</p><p>The report is based largely on interviews with Indian government officials, recruiting agents and migrants, many of whom returned to India after the enforcement of the Saudi government’s ‘Nitaqat’ programme (which aimed to increase employment of Saudi nationals in the private sector and clamp down on irregular workers).</p><p>Amnesty International India interviewed migrant workers deceived by visa brokers and recruiting agents, who ended up working in Saudi Arabia in jobs different from the ones they were promised. In some cases, they were not paid for several months or at all.</p><p>Migrant workers reported working regularly for between 15 to 18 hours without a day off, and without being compensated for overtime. Some were subjected to threats and beatings by their employers, had their passports and residency permits confiscated and were denied exit permits to return home.</p><p>Few sought any remedy after they returned home, or were aware of their rights under law or existing mechanisms for redress. Virtually nobody had attended any training programmes before they left India.</p><p>“Migrant workers are vulnerable because of individual acts of deception, but also because policies and laws that regulate their recruitment are poorly designed and implemented,” said Ananthapadmanabhan.&nbsp;</p><p>The Indian Emigration Act governs the recruitment of Indian migrant workers, including by mandating government certification for recruiting agents, and setting up Protector of Emigrants offices to regulate them.&nbsp;</p><p>However, Amnesty International India’s research found evidence of recruiting agents violating emigration laws and policies, including by failing to conduct due diligence to ensure that migrant workers are not deceived.&nbsp;</p><p>Further, visa brokers, who are used by most potential migrants, are both unregistered and unregulated, and function outside the law. Migrants’ reliance on brokers to facilitate the recruitment process often left them vulnerable to deception, exploitation and indebtedness.</p><p>Authorities like the Protector of Emigrants lacked the resources to effectively regulate recruitment of migrant workers, and rogue recruiters were rarely punished.&nbsp;</p><p>“Systemic violations need to be met with systemic changes. The government must draft a new emigration law that is consistent with international human rights standards and aligned with progressive emigration management systems,” said Ananthapadmanabhan. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>“Authorities in Kerala and in the central government must better regulate recruiting agents and brokers, expand pre-departure training programmes and improve access to remedy.”</p><p><strong>Recommendations to the government of India (see report for complete list)</strong></p><ul><li>Consider alternate regulatory measures to recognise and regulate visa brokers including:&nbsp;</li><li>Providing clear terms of reference by which visa brokers may be tied to recruiting agents.</li><li>Informing brokers about their legal obligations and the rights of migrant workers.</li><li>Issuing short-term and individual licenses to visa brokers to conduct recruitment in collaboration with recruiting agents and renewing licenses based on their record.</li><li>Emphasizing to recruiting agents that the onus is on them to conduct due diligence on the prospective work conditions promised by visa brokers tied to them.</li><li>Enforce greater regulation of recruiting agents by setting up a separate department under the Protector of Emigrants to conduct timely and surprise checks and reviews. Provide the department with the necessary logistical and financial support and assistance to undertake their duties.</li><li>Improve access to remedy by setting up a separate department with enforcement powers under the Protector of Emigrants to investigate complaints of exploitation or other abuses by recruiters. The department must provide access to legal aid, information, translation services and other assistance where necessary.</li><li>Expand the outreach of the pre-departure orientation and support programmes provided by the Government of India and the state of Kerala, including through the Overseas Workers Resource Centre, the Non Resident Keralite Affairs Department (NORKA) and the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC).</li></ul><p><strong>Recommendations to the government of Saudi Arabia</strong></p><ul><li>Sign and ratify without reservations the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.&nbsp;</li><li>Sign and ratify without reservations the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.</li><li>Fundamentally reform the kafala system and remove the requirement for migrant workers to obtain the permission of their employer to move jobs or leave the country.</li><li>Reform national labour laws to ensure that migrant workers have adequate protection against abuses by employers and the state.</li></ul><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The lack of effective regulation of visa brokers and rogue recruiting agents makes Indian migrant workers vulnerable to serious human rights abuses, said Amnesty International India today in a new report focusing on migrants from the Indian state of Kerala working in Saudi Arabia.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196781_SAUDI-ECONOMY-MIGRANTS-SOCIAL-HUMAN_RIGHTS.jpg?1404407370" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48189">AI India</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> India </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">India</div> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Migrant workers send billions of dollars in remittances every year to India and sustain thousands of families. Yet Indian authorities continue to let them down when they are abused. It is time that migrant workers’ rights get the protection they deserve. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> G. Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive, Amnesty International India. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA20/025/2014/en">Exploited Dreams: Dispatches from Indian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Read the Report </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Economic, Social and Cultural Rights India Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:10:57 +0000 Amnesty International 48190 at http://www.amnesty.org Ukraine Pride cancelled after police fail to guarantee protection http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ukraine-pride-cancelled-after-police-fail-guarantee-protection-2014-07-04 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Ukraine Pride cancelled after police fail to guarantee protection </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">04 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The failure of the Ukrainian authorities to guarantee protection for those taking part in the planned Pride march on 5 July sends all the wrong signals, said Amnesty International.</p><p>This year’s march has been cancelled after the police told the Organizing Committee that they could not secure the safety of participants in the face of expected far-right counter-demonstrators.</p><p>“The importance of the right to freedom of assembly was dramatically evidenced in the EuroMaydan protests. It’s hugely disappointing that only five months later, the peaceful enjoyment of this right is being selectively denied by the very authorities who profited from it. Only last week in a meeting with the Ministry of Internal Affairs we were assured that the event would be properly policed,” said John Dalhuisen, Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme at Amnesty International.</p><p>“They must ensure, without fail, that next year’s march is adequately policed to ensure the protection of all those wishing to take part.”</p><p>Kyiv’s Mayor, Vitali Klichko, succinctly summarised the official approach to the Pride when on 4 July he said this was not the time for such “entertainment events” in Ukraine.</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The failure of the Ukrainian authorities to guarantee protection for those taking part in the planned Pride march on 5 July sends all the wrong signals, said Amnesty International.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/176607_Gay_Pride_-_Kiev_Ukraine_2013.jpg?1404492173" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48202">Ukraine</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Ukraine </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Ukraine</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="46.891170">46° 53' 28.212" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="34.145508">34° 8' 43.8288" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>The importance of the right to freedom of assembly was dramatically evidenced in the EuroMaydan protests. It’s hugely disappointing that only five months later, the peaceful enjoyment of this right is being selectively denied by the very authorities who profited from it. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> John Dalhuisen, Director of Europe and Central Asia Programme at Amnesty International. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Only last week in a meeting with the Ministry of Internal Affairs we were assured that the event would be properly policed</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> John Dalhuisen, Director of Europe and Central Asia Programme at Amnesty International. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Freedom Of Expression Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Ukraine Fri, 04 Jul 2014 16:46:59 +0000 Amnesty International 48203 at http://www.amnesty.org Egypt: Rampant torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions signal catastrophic decline in human rights one year after ousting of Morsi http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/egypt-anniversary-morsi-ousting-2014-07-02 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Egypt: Catastrophic decline in human rights one year after ousting of Morsi </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">03 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>A surge in arbitrary arrests, detentions and harrowing incidents of torture and deaths in police custody recorded by Amnesty International provide strong evidence of the sharp deterioration in human rights in Egypt in the year since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.</p><p>Thousands of people have been detained, with figures varying. According to official estimates published by the Associated Press in March, at least 16,000 people have been detained over the past year as part of a sweeping crackdown against Mohamed Morsi’s supporters and other groups and activists that have expressed dissent.</p><p>According to WikiThawra, an initiative run by the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social rights, at least 80 people died in custody over the past year and more than 40,000 people were detained or indicted between July 2013 and mid-May 2014.</p><p>Reports of torture and enforced disappearances in police and military detention facilities are also widespread.</p><p>“Egypt’s notorious state security forces –currently known as National Security- are back and operating at full capacity, employing the same methods of torture and other ill-treatment used during the darkest hours of the Mubarak era,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.</p><p>“Despite repeated promises by current and former presidents to respect the rule of law, over the past year flagrant violations have continued at an astonishing rate, with security forces effectively granted a free rein to commit human rights violations with impunity.”</p><p><strong>Torture and other ill-treatment</strong></p><p>Amnesty International has gathered damning evidence indicating that torture is routine in police stations and unofficial places of detention, with members of the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters particularly targeted. It is carried out by both the Egyptian military and police including in premises belonging to the National Security Agency, in many cases with the objective of obtaining confessions or to force detainees to implicate others.</p><p>Among the methods of torture employed are techniques previously used by state security during Mubarak’s rule. These include the use of electric shocks, rape, handcuffing detainees and suspending them from open doors. Another hanging method, known as “the grill”, involves handcuffing the detainee’s hands and legs to an iron rod and suspending the rod between two opposite chairs until the detainee’s legs go numb. Security forces then start using electric shocks on the person’s legs.</p><p>One of the most shocking cases documented by Amnesty International was that of M.R.S , 23, a student arrested in February 2014 &nbsp;near Nasr City in Cairo. He said he was held for 47 days and was tortured and raped during his interrogation. He is currently out of prison but the case is still pending.</p><p>“They cut my shirt, blindfolded me with it and handcuffed me from behind…they beat me with batons all over my body, particularly on the chest, back and face…Then they put two wires in my left and right little fingers and gave me electric shocks four or five times,” he said.</p><p>He also gave a horrifying account of how he was sexually assaulted and raped.</p><p>“The national security officer caught my testicle and started to squeeze it… I was screaming from the pain and bent my legs to protect my testicles then he inserted his fingers in my anus… he was wearing something plastic on his fingers… he repeated this five times,” he said.</p><p>He also reported being beaten on the penis with a stick. He was then raped repeatedly by one or more security guards before being forced to sing a song in support of the Egyptian army “Teslam Al Ayadi”.</p><p>In another case, Mahmoud Mohamed Ahmed Hussein, an 18-year-old student, was arrested on his way home on the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising in El Mareg, Cairo at noon. He believes he was singled out for wearing a shirt bearing a logo of the “25 January Revolution” and a scarf with a slogan of the “Nation without Torture” campaign. He was blindfolded and forced into “confessing” to possessing explosives and belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood after hours of being beaten, subjected to electric shocks, including on the testicles, and being interrogated by national security officers. Mahmoud Mohamed Ahmed Hussein remains in prison.</p><p>“Day after day harrowing accounts of torture are emerging while the authorities flat out deny any abuse and go as far as labelling Egyptian prisons as hotels,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.</p><p>“If the Egyptian authorities wish to salvage any credibility, such horrendous practices must be stopped immediately.”</p><p><strong>Deaths in police custody</strong></p><p>At least 80 detainees have died in custody since 3 July 2013, according to WikiThawra.</p><p>“The death at the hands of the police of Khaled Said in 2010, a young man from Alexandria, was one of the driving forces behind Egypt’s uprising. It is tragic that four years after his killing, deaths in police custody in Egypt continue to occur on an alarming scale,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.</p><p>Ahmed Ibrahim was among four people who have died in Mattereya Police station since April 2014. He had been due for early release after serving most of a three-year prison term. After Ahmed Ibrahim’s transfer to Mattereya Police Station in preparation for his release, he repeatedly complained about his poor detention conditions and said he was having difficulty breathing due to poor ventilation in his overcrowded police cell. He was denied medical care.</p><p>In a phone call to his father at 1am on 15 June he pleaded for help saying: “I am dying, father”. His father tried to call an ambulance but later realised the request had to come from the police station in order for them to gain access to the cell. By the time he made it to the police station to ask about his son later on that morning, he was told he had died. Upon examining his son’s body he found blue bruises on the upper parts of his body and cuts on the neck suggesting he may have been tortured. The report of an initial post-mortem medical examination seen by Amnesty International stated there were blue bruises and cuts found on the body. Forensic doctors told Amnesty International that the reason for his death is still not clear.</p><p><strong>Arbitrary arrest and detention</strong></p><p>Amnesty International has spoken to dozens of former detainees and the families of detainees who were arbitrarily arrested and unlawfully held in complete deprivation of their rights. In many cases people were rounded up from the street or arrested after security forces entered their homes by force. Many were beaten upon arrest, unlawfully held for extended periods without charge, without being given the chance to challenge the lawfulness of their detention before a court or a prosecutor or being informed of the reason for their detention. Some have been held without charge or trial for nearly a year.</p><p>One detainee interviewed by Amnesty International said he had been detained for 96 days at Al Galaaa military camp in Al-Azouly Prison after security forces burst into his home to arrest him. He was not allowed to contact lawyers or families to inform them about his whereabouts. He was arbitrarily held in administrative detention for 11 years during Hosni Mubarak’s rule. He told Amnesty International: “Mubarak’s security forces at least knew who they were targeting but now they arrest people randomly.”</p><p>Hatem Mohie Eldin, a 17-year-old student in Alexandria, was arrested by the police randomly on 27 May in Alexandria as he returned home after school. Security forces beat him and held him for five days in an unknown location. He was not allowed to contact his family or lawyers and was not referred to the prosecution or a court during his detention. Hatem was released on 1 June after the security forces found he was not involved in violence or riots, he told Amnesty International.</p><p>In some cases, security forces seized family members or friends at random if the wanted person was not present. The friends and families would face trumped-up charges or accusations. The family of Salah and Adel, two brothers told Amnesty International they were beaten and arrested in August 2013 by security forces who were looking for the third brother of the men. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Unfair trials</strong></p><p>Egypt’s criminal justice system has suffered huge setbacks over the past year with several politically motivated verdicts being issued. A series of mass death sentences after grossly unfair trials against detainees accused of violence last August have exposed deep flaws in the criminal justice system. In many cases defendants were not brought to their trials and lawyers have repeatedly been barred from presenting their defence, or questioning witnesses.</p><p>Courts sentenced boys under the age of 18 to death in violation of Egypt’s obligations under domestic and international law, most notably the Convention on the Rights of the Child.</p><p>In other instances, defendants were sentenced to death after only one hearing and without giving lawyers an opportunity to present their defence or to examine witnesses.</p><p>According to information gathered by Amnesty International, since January 2014 Egypt’s criminal justice system has recommended the death penalty for 1,247 men, pending the Grand Mufti’s religious opinion, and upheld death sentences against 247 individuals. The decisions to sentence individuals to death came after grossly unfair trials.</p><p>Defence lawyers also told Amnesty International of instances where they were not allowed to attend investigations by prosecutors and stated that “confessions” extracted under torture had been used in judicial proceedings.</p><p>“Egypt’s criminal justice system has demonstrated that it is unable or unwilling to deliver justice with disastrous consequences,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.</p><p>“On every level Egypt is failing in terms of human rights, it is up to the new government led by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to turn the tide by launching independent, impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations and send a strong message that flouting human rights will not be tolerated and will no longer go unpunished.”</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A surge in arbitrary arrests, detentions and harrowing incidents of torture and deaths in police custody show a sharp deterioration in human rights in Egypt since President Morsi was ousted.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196726_EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST.jpg?1404320081" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48155">Egypt</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-onpagesummary"> <div class="field-label">At a Glance:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <ul><li>At least 16,000 detained and at least 80 deaths in custody recorded in past year</li><li>Torture and other ill-treatment in detention continues unabated</li><li>Fair trial standards routinely flouted</li></ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Egypt </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Egypt</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="27.843933">27° 50' 38.1588" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="28.125000">28° 7' 30" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>Egypt’s notorious state security forces –currently known as National Security- are back and operating at full capacity, employing the same methods of torture and other ill-treatment used during the darkest hours of the Mubarak era. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/egypt-dozens-disappeared-civilians-face-ongoing-torture-military-prison-2014-05-22">Egypt: Dozens of disappeared civilians face ongoing torture at military prison</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 22 May 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/egypt">Human rights in Egypt</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Read more </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Detention Egypt MENA unrest Torture And Ill-treatment Wed, 02 Jul 2014 16:55:27 +0000 Amnesty International 48156 at http://www.amnesty.org Thailand: First conviction of protester under military rule sets dangerous precedent http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/thailand-first-conviction-protester-under-military-rule-sets-dangerous-precedent-2014-07-03 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Thailand: First conviction of protester under military rule sets dangerous precedent </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">03 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p><span>Today’s guilty verdict in the case of a peaceful anti-coup protester in Thailand sets a dangerous precedent for freedom of assembly and contributes to the climate of fear under military rule, Amnesty International said.&nbsp;</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In the first protest-related verdict handed down since the <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/thailand-martial-law-must-not-become-blueprint-human-rights-violations-2014-05-20">military took power</a>, Pathumwan Municipal Courtin Thailand’s capital Bangkok today convicted Weerayuth Kongkanathan for violating martial law and a ban on gatherings of more than five people. He was sentenced to one month in prison suspended for a year, and ordered to pay a 3,000 Baht fine (USD$93).&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“Weerayuth has done nothing but peacefully exercise his right to demonstrate – he should never have been charged in the first place, and his conviction and sentence should be expunged,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“While it comes as a relief that Weerayuth has not been jailed today, the verdict sends an alarming message that peaceful protest is not tolerated in Thailand. This is likely to be the first in a series of planned trials of people who have voiced dissent against the army’s rule. We’re calling for it to be the last.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Weerayuth pleaded guilty, resulting in the judge handing down a more lenient sentence, but faces prison if he takes part in further peaceful demonstrations over the next year.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>He was first detained on 23 May 2014 for allegedly taking part in a peaceful protest in downtown Bangkok against the coup, a day after the military seized power and established the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to govern the country.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>After a week in police detention, Weerayuth was officially charged on 30 May at the Pathumwan Municipal Court for violating a new order prohibiting gatherings of more than five people.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The threat of imprisonment for peaceful protest is one of a number of measures contributing to a climate of fear in Thailand,” said Richard Bennett.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“The NCPO should lift the martial law restrictions on peaceful protests and freedom of expression, and the charges against all those arrested for the peaceful exercise of their human rights must be dropped.”&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Today’s guilty verdict in the case of a peaceful anti-coup protester in Thailand sets a dangerous precedent for freedom of assembly and contributes to the climate of fear under military rule, Amnesty International said.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/195949_Thailand_s_Military_Coup_Continues_As_Gen_Prayuth_Receives_Royal_Endorsement (1)_0.jpg?1404382612" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48167">Thai protest verdict</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Thailand</div> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>While it comes as a relief that Weerayuth has not been jailed today, the verdict sends an alarming message that peaceful protest is not tolerated in Thailand. This is likely to be the first in a series of planned trials of people who have voiced dissent against the army’s rule. We’re calling for it to be the last. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thu, 03/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/thailand-grim-outlook-human-rights-after-month-martial-law-2014-06-20">Thailand: Grim outlook for human rights after a month of martial law</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 20 June 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/thailand-deepening-repression-high-profile-activist-arrested-others-summoned-military-courts-20">Thailand: Deepening repression as high-profile activist arrested, others summoned by military courts</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 6 June 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/thailand-martial-law-must-not-become-blueprint-human-rights-violations-2014-05-20">Thailand: Martial Law must not become &#039;blueprint for human rights violations&#039;</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 20 May 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Activists Freedom Of Expression Thailand Trials And Legal Systems Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:17:52 +0000 Amnesty International 48169 at http://www.amnesty.org Zambia: Court acquits two men accused of having sex ‘against the order of nature’ http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/zambia-court-acquits-two-men-accused-having-sex-against-order-nature-2014-07-03 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Zambia: Court acquits two men accused of having sex ‘against the order of nature’ </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">03 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p><p>Today’s court decision to acquit two Zambian men accused of having consensual sex with each other because the case had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt is the right decision for the wrong reasons, Amnesty International said today.&nbsp;</p><p>“It is appalling that these men have spent over a year in prison awaiting trial charged with something which should not be a crime,” said Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International’s Zambia researcher.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“To imprison people on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation is unjust and a breach of international law. Amnesty International has always regarded these men to be prisoners of conscience.”&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>James Mwape and Philip Mubiana, were freed today after having been held for over a year after being charged with having sex “against the order of nature”. The judge said that the state had not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>“Freeing the two men is the right decision, but sadly it was reached for the wrong reasons. The Zambian authorities must fulfil their obligations to respect and protect all human rights and end the persecution of individuals on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Today’s court decision to acquit two Zambian men accused of having consensual sex with each other because the case had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt is the right decision for the wrong reasons, Amnesty International said today.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/180073_Zambian_men_facing_sodomy_charges (1)_0.jpg?1404397179" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48183">Zambia</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>It is appalling that these men have spent over a year in prison awaiting trial charged with something which should not be a crime </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International’s Zambia researcher </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Thu, 03/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/zambia-court-postpones-verdict-two-men-accused-having-gay-sex-2014-05-30">Zambia: Court postpones verdict on two men accused of having gay sex</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 30 May 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/zambia-end-state-sponsored-persecution-same-sex-trial-reaches-verdict-2014-02-21">Zambia: End state-sponsored persecution as same-sex trial reaches verdict</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story, 21 February 2014 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/rising-levels-homophobia-sub-saharan-africa-are-dangerous-and-must-be-tackled-2013-06-24">Rising levels of homophobia in sub-Saharan Africa are dangerous and must be tackled</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News story/report, 25 June 2013 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Prisoners Of Conscience Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Zambia Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:22:10 +0000 Amnesty International 48184 at http://www.amnesty.org Hong Kong: Mass arrests a disturbing sign for peaceful protest http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/hong-kong-mass-arrests-disturbing-sign-peaceful-protest-2014-07-02 <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Hong Kong authorities must release all those detained solely for peacefully protesting in pro-democracy demonstrations, said Amnesty International, after more than 500 people were arrested by police on Wednesday.</p><p>Police removed hundreds of peaceful demonstrators from the city’s business district in the early hours of Wednesday morning.&nbsp;</p><p>“This was not an illegal assembly; it was a peaceful and legitimate protest under international law. The police action was hasty and unnecessary and sets a disturbing precedent,” said Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.</p><p>Hundreds of protesters remain in detention, reportedly for holding an ‘illegal assembly’ and obstruction of a public place. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;“All those being held solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Mabel Au.&nbsp;</p><p>Amnesty International urges the authorities to ensure all those detained are given access to a lawyer of their choosing, after reports many lawyers had not been able to meet with their clients.&nbsp;</p><p>On Tuesday, more than half a million people took part in one of the largest pro-democracy marches in Hong Kong’s history, according to organizers. Hundreds continued the protest throughout the night before police moved in.&nbsp;</p><p>Under international law, protests do not require approval by the authorities, though advance notice can be requested.&nbsp;</p><p>“The dispersal of protests should only be taken as a last resort and it is questionable this was the case. The protesters said they would leave at 8am and those remaining at that time did so. The authorities must remember peaceful assembly is a legitimate and valid use of public space.”</p><p>Police reportedly also asked media to leave the demonstration site before the protesters were removed.</p><p>“The request for journalists to leave the protests was wrong and is another worrying sign of the Hong Kong authorities’ growing hostility to press freedom,” said Mabel Au.&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Hong Kong authorities must release all those detained solely for peacefully protesting in pro-democracy demonstrations, said Amnesty International, after more than 500 people were arrested by police on Wednesday.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196649_Hong_Kong_pro-democracy_march_01_July_2014 square.jpg?1404288068" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48129">HK protests </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> july1hk </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Hong Kong S.A.R., China</div> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>This was not an illegal assembly; it was a peaceful and legitimate protest under international law. The police action was hasty and unnecessary and sets a disturbing precedent.</blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date-popup"> <div class="field-label">Date:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">Wed, 02/07/2014</span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Freedom Of Expression Hong Kong Wed, 02 Jul 2014 08:01:57 +0000 Amnesty International 48130 at http://www.amnesty.org UAE: Government critics languish in prison a year after mass show trial http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/uae-government-critics-languish-prison-year-after-mass-show-trial-2014-07-02-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> UAE: Government critics languish in prison a year after mass show trial </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nine peaceful government critics are believed to be suffering ill-treatment in an Abu Dhabi prison a year after a grossly unfair trial led to their incarceration, Amnesty International said as it called for their immediate and unconditional release.</p> <p>“The only reason these nine individuals are behind bars is because they dared to call for peaceful democratic reform, which seems off-limits in the UAE. They are prisoners of conscience and they must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.</p> <p>“World leaders must not prioritize business interests over human rights, by ignoring serious violations in the UAE. They should use their influence with the authorities to ensure all prisoners of conscience are released and their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly are respected.”</p> <p>The nine men include human rights lawyers, teachers, students, a judge and other prominent figures in the UAE. They were convicted on 2 July 2013 as part of a series of mass trials against government critics in Abu Dhabi and were found guilty of "founding an organization with intent to overthrow the government".</p> <p>In all, 94 activists were tried by the Federal Supreme Court in an unprecedented event that has sparked a series of grossly unfair trials. Sixty-nine of the defendants were eventually sentenced in the proceedings (now widely known as the “UAE 94” trial) to between seven and 15 years’ imprisonment – eight of them in absentia.</p> <p>A few months later, 10 UAE nationals convicted in the original trial had new sentences imposed on them in a second mass trial.</p> <p>These trials were grossly unfair, with judges accepting as evidence “confessions” allegedly extracted under torture, defendants being denied access to lawyers and some reporting their signatures had been forged on “confession” papers.</p> <p>During trial proceedings, defendants described severe beatings; being suspended upside down; having their beard and chest hair and fingernails pulled out; exposure to continuous bright light during the day and night; being threatened with electric shocks, rape, and death; prolonged periods in solitary confinement; and denial of sleep for long periods.</p> <p>The court ignored their allegations and failed to order investigations into the reports of torture and other ill-treatment.</p> <p>Because the trials have been held in the Federal Supreme Court, none of the defendants have had the right to appeal their conviction, in flagrant violation of the UAE’s obligations under international human rights law.</p> <p>On 23 June 2014, nine foreign nationals were convicted after a third mass trial on terrorism and cybercrime charges. As with the previous trials, defendants complained they had been ill-treated during incommunicado pre-trial detention.</p> <p>The day after, on 24 June, a fourth mass trial of 17 individuals began. There is very little information about this trial at this stage but given the UAE’s recent record, Amnesty International is concerned that this latest trial will be characterized by a pattern of human rights violations similar to those that marred the previous mass trials.</p> <p>“The time has come for the UAE to match its enthusiasm for economic development with progress on human rights. Releasing the peaceful government critics from the ‘UAE 94’ trial and investigating all reports of torture and other ill-treatment in jail would be an important first step,” said Said Boumedouha.</p> <p>Background:</p> <p>The nine prisoners of conscience are: professor of constitutional law and prominent human rights lawyer Dr Mohammed al-Roken; prominent human rights lawyer Dr Mohammed al-Mansoori; former teacher Saleh Mohammed al-Dhufairi; teacher Hussain Ali al-Najjar al-Hammadi; university professor and former judge Ahmed al-Zaabi; founder of Ittihad University Sheikh Dr Sultan Kayed Mohammed Al-Qassimi; university students Khalifa al-Nuaimi and Abdulla al-Hajri; and Dr Ali Hussain al-Hammadi.</p> <p>In November 2013, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued its opinion, finding that the arrest and detention of the 61 individuals imprisoned resulted from the exercise of their right to freedom of opinion and expression and to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.</p> <p>The Working Group said that the UAE courts are not independent of the executive branch of government and that the defendants had been denied their right to a fair trial. It confirmed the arbitrary nature of the arrest and detention of the 61 prisoners and called on the UAE government to release them and provide them with adequate reparation.</p> <p>On 5 February 2014 and after a visit to the UAE, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Gabriela Knaul expressed concern that the UAE judiciary remains under the de facto control of the executive branch of government.</p> <p>She made a series of recommendations to the UAE government, including that it revise legislation to ensure the right of appeal in cases currently heard in first instance by the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court; establish an independent committee to investigate all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in detention; and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocols, as well as the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div id="h5" style="width: 640px; height: 700px;"><iframe style="border: 0; display: block; width: 100%; height: 100%;" src="https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/common/html5/dist/h5.html?setup={&quot;assets&quot;:&quot;https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/slideshow5841/slideshow.json&quot;,&quot;config&quot;:&quot;https://adam.amnesty.org/images/slideshows/common/html5/dist/config.json&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;Quashing%20dissent:%20Prisoners%20of%20Conscience%20silenced%20after%20show%20trial%20&quot;,&quot;displayTime&quot;:5,&quot;onExternalSite&quot;:&quot;on&quot;,&quot;type&quot;:&quot;photoEssay&quot;,&quot;rtlText&quot;:&quot;off&quot;}" frameborder="0"> </iframe></div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Nine peaceful government critics are believed to be suffering ill-treatment in an Abu Dhabi prison a year after a grossly unfair trial led to their incarceration, Amnesty International said as it called for their immediate and unconditional release.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196559_UAE.jpg?1404217698" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48110">UAE</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> UAE </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">United Arab Emirates</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="24.377121">24° 22' 37.6356" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="55.458984">55° 27' 32.3424" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>The only reason these nine individuals are behind bars is because they dared to call for peaceful democratic reform, which seems off-limits in the UAE. They are prisoners of conscience and they must be released immediately and unconditionally. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/uae-must-end-shameful-harassment-prisoners-families-2013-12-16">UAE must end ‘shameful’ harassment of prisoners’ families</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 17 December 2013. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/uae-critics-sentenced-2013-07-02">UAE: Grossly unfair trial of government critics</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 2 July 2013. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Activists Freedom Of Expression Prisoners Of Conscience UAE Tue, 01 Jul 2014 12:30:48 +0000 Amnesty International 48111 at http://www.amnesty.org Iraq: Yezidis captured by ISIS amid mounting sectarian attacks http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-yezidis-captured-isis-amid-mounting-sectarian-attacks-2014-07-01 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-headline"> <div class="field-label">Headline Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Iraq: Yezidis captured by ISIS amid mounting sectarian attacks </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-date field-field-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">01 July 2014</span> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amnesty International has spoken to recently released detainees from the Yezidi community who were captured by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Iraq, as well as to family members of those still held by the group.</p><p>At least 24 Iraqi border guards and soldiers were captured by ISIS last month in north western Iraq. Some were later released; the rest are being held by ISIS across the border in north eastern Syria. The captives are among scores of minorities who have been targeted in a spree of sectarian detentions and abductions carried out by ISIS in recent weeks. In a video issued by the group on 29 June entitled “The End of Sykes-Picot” the men are referred to as “devil worshippers.”</p><p>“A clear pattern is emerging whereby ISIS is deliberately targeting Iraq’s minorities as well as others suspected of opposing the group, singling them out for detention and abduction,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser currently in northern Iraq.</p><p>“Every day I meet families desperate to find their sons, husbands and brothers who have been taken by ISIS groups and whose fate and whereabouts are unknown. &nbsp;Most do not want the names of their missing relatives mentioned because they fear for their safety.”</p><p>Distraught family members of the Yezidi border guards and soldiers who are still held by ISIS told Amnesty International that they are desperately worried about their missing loved ones.</p><p>“We are simple people who have always lived in harmony with our Muslim brothers and neighbours. We appeal to the humanity of those who are holding our son to let him come to his children,” the parents of one of the missing men said.</p><p>ISIS has often killed those they detained, both civilians and army and security forces members.</p><p>“Killing detainees in custody is a war crime. &nbsp;ISIS fighters have in the past displayed an appalling disregard for basic humanity. Anyone who is detained must be treated humanely,” said Donatella Rovera.</p><p><a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-testimonies-point-dozens-revenge-killings-sunni-detainees-2014-06-27">The organization has also documented a string of abductions carried out by ISIS targeting minority communities, including Turkmen and Shabak Shi’a, Yezidi and Christians</a>. Sunni Muslims suspected of opposing ISIS have also been targeted. Some of those abducted in recent days have since been found dead.</p><p>On 30 June Amnesty International met a 16-year-old boy and a young man, both members of one of Iraq’s minorities, who had been released the previous day. They had spent 10 days in ISIS custody in Mosul and said that they were not subjected to ill-treatment but were encouraged to convert to Islam.</p><p>ISIS is not the only party responsible for killing captives in sectarian attacks. Amnesty International has documented mass extrajudicial execution of Sunni detainees by Iraqi government forces and Shi’a militias in recent weeks.</p><p>“The conflict in Iraq is rapidly descending into a vengeful and aggressive battle for survival amid mounting sectarian attacks, with parties on all sides unlawfully killing members of other communities,” said Donatella Rovera.</p><p>Amnesty International is calling on all parties to the conflict to treat detainees humanely at all times and to make clear to all those under their command that the killing of captives, torture, hostage-taking and other war crimes will not be tolerated.&nbsp;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-strapline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Amnesty International has spoken to recently released detainees from the Yezidi community who were captured by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Iraq, as well as to family members of those still held by the group.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-photo"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_photo" width="620" height="620" alt="" src="http://www.amnesty.org/sites/impact.amnesty.org/files/196303_Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_Sham_flag_in_Mosul_0.jpg?1404293712" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-medianode"> <div class="field-label">Media Node:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/en/node/48135">Iraq</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-twittertag"> <div class="field-label">Twitter Tag:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Iraq </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-location field-field-storylocation"> <div class="field-label">Story Location:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="location vcard"><div class="adr"> <span class="fn"></span> <div class="country-name">Iraq</div> <span class="geo"><abbr class="latitude" title="33.652351">33° 39' 8.4636" N</abbr>, <abbr class="longitude" title="45.043945">45° 2' 38.202" E</abbr></span> </div> <div class="map-link"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-quotestory"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-quote"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-quote-begin">&#8220;</div><blockquote>A clear pattern is emerging whereby ISIS is deliberately targeting Iraq’s minorities as well as others suspected of opposing the group, singling them out for detention and abduction. </blockquote><div class="field-quote-end">&#8221;</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-storyfullname"> <div class="field-label">Source:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser currently in northern Iraq. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-relatedlinks"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-testimonies-point-dozens-revenge-killings-sunni-detainees-2014-06-27">Iraq: Testimonies point to dozens of revenge killings of Sunni detainees </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 27 June 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-protection-civilians-must-be-priority-amid-mosul-unrest-2014-06-11">Iraq: Civilians must be protected following insurgents’ takeover of Mosul</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 11 June 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iraq-security-failures-raise-fears-election-violence-2014-04-29">Iraq: Security failures raise fears of election violence</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-url-description"> <div class="field-label">Description:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> News Story, 29 April 2014. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Armed Conflict Armed Groups Iraq Wed, 02 Jul 2014 09:39:03 +0000 Amnesty International 48137 at http://www.amnesty.org