Google should halt plans to establish a cloud region in Saudi Arabia: Joint statement by human rights and digital privacy rights organizations

The undersigned human rights and digital rights organizations urge Google to immediately halt its plan to establish a new Google Cloud region in Saudi Arabia until the company can publicly demonstrate how it will mitigate adverse human rights impacts. Source / Read More: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde23/4185/2021/en/

Sierra Leone: "They are forgetting about us": The Long-term mental health impact of war and ebola in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leoneans have experienced multiple and cumulative traumatic exposures in recent decades, including most significantly the 1991-2002 civil war and the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic. This report examines the long-term mental health impact of these crises on people who have experienced related trauma as well as the barriers facing them, together with the wider population, in accessing quality mental health and psychosocial support. Like many other low-income countries that have gone through conflict and crises, mental health services in Sierra Leone are nowhere near the level needed to meet people’s needs and fulfil their rights. The government has yet to make…

Sierra Leone: Government and donors must prioritize mental health to address legacy of war and Ebola epidemic – new report

Survivors of traumatic experiences and others in need of support in Sierra Leone are being failed by the severe lack of available mental health services years after the country’s brutal civil war and devastating Ebola epidemic, Amnesty International warned in a new report published today. In ‘They Are Forgetting About Us’: The long-term mental health impact of war and Ebola in Sierra Leone, survivors reveal how they continue to struggle with a range of symptoms of distress, including lasting grief. However, mental health services in the country fall far short of meeting people’s needs, due to multiple significant barriers. These…

Afghanistan: Afghan women’s rights on the verge of roll back as international forces withdraw and peace talks in stalemate

Amnesty International is gravely concerned that the current peace talks with the Taliban, alongside the proposed unconditional withdrawal of US forces, offer no confidence that the government of Afghanistan is committed to protect the gains seen over the last twenty years in enjoyment of the human rights of all people in Afghanistan – specifically given the ongoing wars and political instability. In particular, the current composition of the delegations of both the Taliban, with zero women representation, and the government of Afghanistan, with limited women participation, at the Doha peace talks, raise concerns about the commitment to respect, protect and…

Belarus: “We baptise you in the name of Saint Alyaksandr Lukashenka and the riot police”

Students and teachers across Belarus started the academic year on 1 September 2020 in a country that had been radically transformed by events over the summer. They were at the heart of the peaceful protests and started the new term with marches across the country and other manifestations of dissent, including picketing, wearing the colours of the ‘opposition’, singing protest songs and reading poems. For those participating in the peaceful protest movement, the cost has been high. On 27 October, Alyaksandr Lukashenka called for universities to dismiss them.1 It was an explicit instruction to academic institutions to intimidate and prevent…

Cuba: Amnesty International names Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara of the San Isidro Movement a prisoner of conscience

Amnesty International named Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, a member of the San Isidro Movement, a group of artists and activists, as a prisoner of conscience today and urged President Miguel Díaz Canel Bermúdez and other Cuban authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally. On 2 May 2021 state security officials took Luis Manuel from his home, the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement, where he was carrying out a hunger strike reportedly in protest over his artwork being confiscated from his home. According to information from the NGO Cubalex and state media, he was taken to the emergency ward of…

Sierra Leone: Announcement at the UN to abolish the death penalty is a welcome development

Amnesty International today welcomes Sierra Leonean authorities’ announcement at the UN to abolish the death penalty. Responding to international community’s calls, on 12 May 2021 in Geneva, during Sierra Leone’s United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the Deputy Justice Minister announced the commitment of President Julius Maada Bio’s cabinet to fully abolish the death penalty. Source / Read More: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr51/4154/2021/en/

Tunisia: The tragic truth about domestic violence

Refka was a 26-year-old woman, mother to a young boy, who had been shot dead by her husband earlier that day. Just two days earlier, on 7 May, fearing for her life, she had gone to the police and the prosecutor to report the abuse she had been suffering at the hands of her husband. While the police registered her complaint and transferred it to the judiciary, her abusive husband was not immediately arrested despite the serious injuries he had inflicted on her. The prosecutor also failed to order any measures to protect her from further violence despite the blatant…

U.K. accused of subjecting survivors to long periods of solitary confinement

Trigger warning: this story includes references to self-harm and suicide. The Home Office, the interior ministry of the U.K. government, has been accused of placing hundreds of trafficking and torture survivors in indefinite solitary confinement. According to new testimony, many detained survivors of trafficking and torture are forced into solitary confinement for more than 23 hours a day—sometimes for up to a year. The brutal and psychologically devastating practice is in violation of international standards for prisoners’ rights laid out by the United Nations, according to the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (Bid). According to Bid’s legal manager, Araniya Kogulathas,…

Madagascar: Urgent humanitarian intervention needed as millions face hunger due to devastating famine

With more than a million people facing hunger due to the devastating famine currently ravaging southern Madagascar, donors, foreign governments and regional leaders must ramp up aid efforts to avert a potential human rights crisis, said Amnesty International. As the country experiences its worst drought in 40 years, two United Nations agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) last week issued an urgent warning to draw international attention to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Southern Madagascar. “The rights of more than a million people are currently threatened in Southern Madagascar, with thousands at risk…

Rise in forced underage marriages in Lebanon

Last month, we shared a story on the increased risk of forced labor facing migrant workers in Lebanon due to the current financial crisis the country is going through. The economic crash has also affected aid to the country which was already limited to begin with but is now severely curtailed by high inflation rates. Now, aid groups in Lebanon are sounding the alarm over a trend they have observed during the course of the pandemic: an increasing number of girls being forced to marry. Forced underage marriage is a high risk in Lebanon, particularly in refugee communities. In Lebanon,…

Burundi : Une fois de plus, le droit à un procès équitable du défenseur des droits humains Germain Rukuki est bafoué

Nous, les organisations soussignées, exprimons notre consternation quant au fait que la Cour d’appel burundaise de Ntahangwa n’a pas encore annoncé un verdict dans l’affaire du défenseur des droits humains M. Germain Rukuki. Selon les statuts juridiques, ce verdict devait être rendu dans les 30 jours suivant l’audience d’appel, soit avant le 24 avril 2021. S’ajoutant aux nombreuses irrégularités qui ont caractérisé la procédure judiciaire dans cette affaire depuis l’arrestation de M. Rukuki en 2017, ce retard indu aggrave encore la violation du droit de M. Rukuki à un procès équitable et à une procédure régulière. Source / Read More:…

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