Iran: “Protester killings must be urgently investigated by international accountability mechanism” says Amnesty chief

Amnesty International’s ongoing investigations into the crackdown on popular protests in Iran have revealed widespread patterns of unlawful use of force and ruthless violence by security forces. These include use of live ammunitions, birdshot and other metal pellets, heavy beatings of protesters and gender-based violence, including sexual violence against women. Responding to the increasingly brutal crackdown under the cover of deliberate ongoing internet and mobile disruptions, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: “We see the images of Iranian people from across the country bravely standing up to security forces, of women cutting off their hair and setting their scarves…

Russia/Ukraine: Illegitimate results of sham ‘referenda’ must not enable illegal annexation of occupied areas

Responding to Russia’s announcement of the “results” of the so-called “referenda” in the Ukrainian territories it occupies in the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “There is no legitimacy whatsoever in the results of these sham “referenda” announced by the Russian authorities. It is absurd that the Russian authorities would think these so-called votes, which took place at gunpoint in the presence of Russian soldiers and their proxies, are in any way credible. The whole exercise, which is illegal under international law, is nothing more than another…

Lesotho: Authorities must tackle police brutality, torture and unlawful killings before and after election

Lesotho’s authorities and incoming government must address unresolved cases of police brutality, torture and unlawful killings and ensure accountability for these human rights crimes beyond the electioneering period for the 7 October vote, Amnesty International said today. A dangerous pattern of human rights violations, including torture, unlawful killings, and excessive use of force by members of the security forces in Lesotho has been a common feature of the past five years Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International's Director for East and Southern Africa “A dangerous pattern of human rights violations, including torture, unlawful killings, and excessive use of force by members of…

DRC: Stop using prolonged state of siege as excuse to crush protests

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) authorities must guarantee the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression, Amnesty International said today on the second day of a new wave of demonstrations in the eastern DRC against the UN peacekeeping force, the ongoing state of siege, and the resurgence of the Movement of March 23 (M23) armed group. Since imposing the state of siege in May 2021, demanding accountability from the DRC authorities in the two affected provinces has become particularly risky Muleya Mwananyanda, Director for East and Southern Africa Authorities have threatened to crush the latest protest in…

Russia: Activist allegedly beaten and raped for reciting anti-war poem online

Reacting to the news that Russian poet and activist Artyom Kamardin was detained and subjected to torture, including gruesome sexual violence, by law enforcement officers after posting his recital of an anti-war poem online, Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Russia Director, said: “The details of Artyom Kamardin’s arrest and torture are horrific even against the abysmal human rights standards of today’s Russia. It seems that Russian law enforcement officers believe they have complete impunity for all sorts of human rights violations against people who oppose Russia’s war in Ukraine. The world must not look away but rather remind the Russian leadership:…

Guinea:  Act now to ensure greater support and assistance for survivors of sexual violence 

Victims of sexual violence in Guinea face social stigmatization, a lack of accessible medical care and serious barriers to justice, said Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) today in a new report ‘Shame must change sides, ensuring rights and justice for victims of sexual violence in Guinea’.   Based on interviews with survivors of rape, administrative, judicial, traditional, and religious authorities, health care professionals, diplomats, civil society representatives, the report analyses the numerous obstacles to effective care for victims of rape, forensic examination, psychological support, and access to justice in Guinea. For many survivors, justice remains…

Saudi Arabia: Nearly 100,000 join Amnesty’s petition to end travel bans against activists

As Amnesty International closes its ‘#LetThemFly’ petition, which saw nearly 100,000 people around the world call on the Saudi Arabian authorities to lift all travel bans imposed on human rights defenders and activists for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, Diana Semaan, Amnesty International’s Acting Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “The Saudi Arabian authorities have been handing down arbitrary travel bans as part of prison sentences on those who dare to express any form of peaceful dissent, criticism of the government or support for human rights. These unlawful travel bans seriously undermine activists’…

Iran: World must take meaningful action against bloody crackdown as death toll rises

The bravery of protesters facing a spiralling deadly response by the Iranian security forces over the past days after the death of Mahsa Amini reveals the extent of outrage in Iran over abusive compulsory veiling laws, unlawful killings, and widespread repression, Amnesty International said today. Evidence gathered by the organization from the past two nights of fresh violence in 20 cities and 10 provinces across Iran points to a harrowing pattern of Iranian security forces deliberately and unlawfully firing live ammunition at protesters. With the death toll reaching at least 30 people, four of them children, the organization reiterated its…

Russia/Ukraine: So-called referenda in the occupied territories are in blatant breach of international law

Reacting to news that “voting” has begun in the Russian-occupied areas of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions in Ukraine on whether to join the Russian Federation, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “These so-called ‘referenda’ are a ruse for Russia to illegally annex occupied Ukrainian territory, which would be another escalation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and further evidence of the Kremlin’s profound disregard for international law and the rights of people in the territories under its occupation. The Fourth Geneva Convention expressly prohibits annexation of occupied territory and…

Viet Nam: Imprisoned activist ‘beaten and shackled’ 

Viet Nam’s government must immediately investigate allegations that prison authorities beat and shackled an activist serving an eight-year prison sentence, Amnesty International said today. “Being beaten, placed in solitary confinement and shackled for days on end amounts to torture or other ill-treatment. Authorities in Viet Nam must urgently investigate these allegations and any perpetrators must be held accountable,” said Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns.  Being beaten, placed in solitary confinement and shackled for days on end amounts to torture or other ill-treatment. Ming Yu Hah, Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns Activist Trinh Ba Tu was…

Russia: More than 1,300 protesters detained after Putin’s partial military draft

Responding to the detention of at least 1,386 peaceful protesters who took part in rallies across Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s call to mobilize additional troops to fight in Ukraine, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “As President Vladimir Putin seeks to boost the dwindling supply of troops for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, thousands of Russians across the country have peacefully marched on the streets protesting against mobilization and the war. They are raising their voices even amid the stifling of their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and as new…

Cambodia: Verdict against former Khmer Rouge head of state upheld as tribunal nears end

Responding to the Appeals decision by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) to uphold the guilty verdicts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, against former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns Ming Yu Hah said:  “For all its well-documented flaws, the Khmer Rouge tribunal has shown that those responsible for crimes under international law can and will be held responsible. Today’s ruling should serve as another reminder that accountability for the most serious crimes has no expiration date.  “The tribunal has served as…

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