Israel/OPT: Deporting Salah Hammouri would constitute a war crime  

On Sunday 4 December, the Israeli authorities plan to deport French-Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hammouri, who has also had his Jerusalem residency status revoked.  Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, said:  “Salah Hammouri has already spent nine months in administrative detention without charge or trial this year, in retaliation for his tireless campaigning for an end to Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians. These latest plans are not only a shameless attempt to hinder Salah’s human rights work, they are also an expression of the Israeli authorities’ chilling long-term policy aim of reducing the…

EU: New business sustainability law risks being undermined by glaring human rights loopholes 

The exclusion of banks and financial institutions, as well as waivers for companies that sell high-risk security equipment and surveillance technologies, undermine a proposed new European Union law governing human rights and businesses, Amnesty International said. The legislation, the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, for which Member States agreed a Council position today, seeks to compel EU businesses to respect human rights and the environment but looks set to fall far short of meeting this objective. “Member States want to exclude the use of companies’ products from their obligations to tackle human rights and environmental harm which means that…

Belarus: Whereabouts of prisoner of conscience Mariya Kalesnikava must be disclosed amid reports of hospitalization

Responding to reports that imprisoned opposition figure Mariya Kalesnikava has been rushed to intensive care from her ‘punishment cell’ to undergo surgery, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers, said: “The Belarusian authorities must immediately disclose all information regarding Maryia Kalesnikava’s condition, whether her life is in danger, and her whereabouts. The secrecy that surrounds prisoners in Belarus is unacceptable. This situation once again demonstrates what a cruel and impenetrable system Aliaksandr Lukashenka has built in his efforts to punish those who dare to dissent or challenge his rule.” “Lukashenka’s government will not achieve its aim…

Syria: Families of ‘disappeared’ deserve answers

United Nations member countries should establish an international, independent entity to track and identify those missing and disappeared since the start of the Syria crisis in 2011, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The Syrian conflict has been marked by prolonged arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, and forced disappearance at the hands of all parties to the conflict. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed the mechanism in a landmark report published in August 2022 on how to bolster efforts to address the thousands of detained and disappeared and provide support to their families. “The practice of “disappearing” people…

Qatar: Ongoing debate over migrant worker deaths exposes need for truth and compensation

Responding to comments made by the Secretary General of the Qatar World Cup Supreme Committee, Hassan Al Thawadi, about migrant worker deaths during an interview with Piers Morgan, and a subsequent clarification of those comments issued by the Supreme Committee, Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice, said:   “The continued debate around the number of workers who have died in the preparation of the World Cup exposes the stark reality that so many bereaved families are still waiting for truth and justice.      “Over the last decade, thousands of workers have returned home in coffins, with no explanation given to their loved ones. Qatar’s extreme heat and gruelling working conditions are likely to have contributed to hundreds of…

Israel/OPT: Solidarity with Palestinians means ending all support for apartheid

On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Amnesty International reiterates its call for global action to end the system of apartheid which Israeli authorities enforce against Palestinians with impunity. This system has become increasingly violent and oppressive over the past year – in the West Bank, Israeli forces have killed 127 Palestinians since January and injured hundreds more, and there has also been a surge in assaults and violence against Palestinians by state-backed settlers. Israeli authorities have ramped up their use of administrative detention to hold Palestinians without charge or trial, and intensified their attacks on Palestinian…

Serbia: Social Card law could harm marginalized members of society – legal opinion 

Serbia’s Social Card law is an intrusive surveillance system that could harm the most marginalized members of society, including Roma communities, Amnesty International said today, as it submits a legal opinion as part of a review of the constitutionality of the law.  The law, which entered into force on 1 March 2022, authorizes the establishment of a centralized government database that processes 130 categories of personal data from those applying for social security support to assess their eligibility. The Serbian authorities say the procedure allows for a fairer distribution of funds for the socially disadvantaged, yet in reality it is…

China: Government must not detain peaceful protesters as unprecedented demonstrations break out across the country

Responding to widespread protests unprecedented in recent years, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director Hana Young said: “The tragedy of the Urumqi fire has inspired remarkable bravery across China. Peaceful protesters are holding blank pieces of paper, chanting slogans, and engaging in many forms of creative dissent. It is virtually impossible for people in China to protest peacefully without facing harassment and prosecution. Authorities have shown zero tolerance to opposition especially in the last 10 years under President Xi, but this has not stopped the protests.” “Instead of penalising the people, the government should listen to their calls. Authorities must let people express…

Afghanistan: Taliban’s cruel return to hardline practices with public floggings must be halted immediately

Responding to the public flogging of three women and 11 men on Wednesday on the orders of a Taliban court on charges of theft and moral crimes in Logar province of Afghanistan, Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner, said: “The public flogging of women and men is a cruel and shocking return to out-and-out hardline practices by the Taliban. It violates the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under international law and should not be carried out under any circumstances. The public flogging of women and men is a cruel and shocking return to out-and-out hardline practices by…

Iran: Landmark UN fact-finding mission marks long-awaited turning point in tackling systematic impunity

Responding to today’s announcement that the UN Human Rights Council has passed a landmark resolution to establish a fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations in Iran related to the protests that began on 16 September 2022, especially with respect to women and children, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:  “This important and long overdue step shows that the cries of people in Iran for justice have finally been heard. We hope the establishment of this fact-finding mission marks a fundamental shift in the international community’s approach to tackling the crisis of systematic impunity that has long fueled crimes…

Ethiopia: Survivors of sexual violence deserve justice and accountability

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Amnesty International is reiterating its call to mediators in the ongoing peace process on Ethiopia to prioritise justice for survivors, including survivors of sexual violence in the two-year conflict. The African Union must pressure the Ethiopian government to ensure justice for victims and survivors of violations especially sexual violence Flavia Mwangovya, Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes Region. “The African Union must urgently pressure the Ethiopian government to fully cooperate…

South Korea: Supreme Court ruling on legal gender recognition an important step forward for transgender rights

Today’s South Korean Supreme Court decision that having children of minor age should not immediately be the reason to refuse to recognize the legal gender of transgender persons is an important step forward for human rights, Amnesty International said. “This decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for more recognition of transgender rights, but there is still a long way to go given the high level of discrimination and stigmatization LGBTI people face in South Korean society,” said Jihyun Yoon, Director of Amnesty International Korea. In coming to this decision – and partially overturning its previous decision from 2011…

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