Belarus: Free student jailed for 6.5 years for reposting criticism of Ukraine war and Lukashenka

Reacting to the news that a court in Belarus sentenced Danuta Pyarednya, a 20 year- old student from Mahiliou, to 6.5 years in jail for reposting a message criticizing the war in Ukraine and the role of Belarus’ ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka in it, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “The Belarusian authorities are increasingly clamping down on all dissent and continuing to support Russia in its aggression against Ukraine. Danuta Pyarednya and all persons in Belarus jailed for peacefully expressing their opinions and speaking out against the war must be released immediately and all…

Chile: Amnesty International launches ‘Aprobar es Humano’ (Approving is Human) campaign, says new Constitution enables progress towards better quality of life

For years, Amnesty International has said that Chile needs a new Constitution because the current one, which was imposed during the regime of Augusto Pinochet, has shown that it does not contribute to reducing the inequalities, precariousness and abuses experienced by the vast majority of the population. On the contrary, the current text hinders the changes needed to achieve a fairer Chile. Therefore, and in the certainty that the new Constitution will better guarantee human rights, the organization is today launching its “Aprobar es Humano” (Approving is Human) campaign. “In September we will have two options before us that will…

China: Families of Xinjiang detainees speak out as they await long-overdue UN report

Almost 50 new detainees added to Amnesty International campaign on arbitrary detention, bringing total to 120 Family members describe injustice and horror of prolonged separation UN High Commissioner yet to release report on situation despite recent Xinjiang visit Amnesty International today published heartbreaking new testimony from relatives of 48 ethnic Uyghur and Kazakh people detained in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, as it reiterated its call for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take action. The outgoing High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, has yet to release a long-awaited report on serious human rights violations in Xinjiang, and has repeatedly…

Tunisia: New draft constitution undermines independence of Judiciary and weakens human rights safeguards

A new draft constitution issued by the Tunisian authorities on 30 June, after an obscure and fast-tracked drafting process, undermines institutional guarantees for human rights, including by further diminishing the independence of judiciary, Amnesty International said today. President Kais Saied announced a referendum on the new draft on 25 July. The draft constitution does not offer Tunisia’s judiciary the necessary safeguards to operate with full independence and impartiality and removes oversight mechanisms used to hold the authorities to account. It contains worrying provisions that would give leeway to authorities to interpret rights in restrictive ways in the name of Islam.…

Zimbabwe: Allow legal representatives access to opposition politicians while in detention 

Amnesty International Zimbabwe has been following closely the case of  Job Sikhala, chairman of Citizens Coalition for Change, and Godfrey Sithole, MP for Chitungwiza North, both of whom are facing charges of inciting violence after attending the funeral of Moreblessing Ali. The two remain in detention and have been denied bail by the magistrate court. Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa, said: The continued detention of Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole and the denial of their lawyers access is an absolute travesty of justice Muleya Mwananyanda, Deputy Director for Southern Africa “The continued detention of Job Sikhala…

Syria: Non-renewal of last aid corridor risks humanitarian catastrophe for millions

The United Nations Security Council members must extend the cross-border resolution that allows the UN to deliver aid to at least 4 million residents and internally displaced people (IDPs) in north-west Syria before it expires on 10 July, Amnesty International said today. In a new report, ‘Unbearable living conditions’: Inadequate access to economic and social rights in displacement camps in north-west Syria, Amnesty International details how, as a consequence of the Syrian government’s denial or obstruction of displaced people’s access to economic and social rights, IDPs living in dire conditions in camps are extremely vulnerable and entirely dependent on international…

South Sudan: Fulfil past Universal Periodic Review commitment to develop a human rights agenda and action plan

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) today, Amnesty International welcomed South Sudan’s support for 210 out of 246 recommendations made during its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The organization regrets, however, that the country has not implemented its commitment from its previous review in 2016 to develop a human rights agenda and action plan. It is evident from this third UPR that South Sudan is still struggling to respect, protect and fulfil its human rights Sarah Jackson, Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes “It is evident from this third UPR that South…

Uzbekistan: End use of unlawful force against Karakalpakstan protesters

Responding to reports of use of unlawful force in Nukus, which left at least 18 protesters dead following a demonstration against a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would strip away Karakalpakstan’s autonomy within Uzbekistan, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Director, said: “The images we saw last weekend on social media, which showed brutally injured protesters and what looks like blood on the streets, were truly shocking. The authorities must urgently disclose exactly what happened in Nukus, order an impartial, independent and thorough investigation into the use of force against protesters, and ensure those responsible face…

The ICC at 20: Double standards have no place in international justice

As the International Criminal Court (ICC) marks its twentieth anniversary, Amnesty International has warned that the court’s legitimacy risks being eroded by an increasingly selective approach to justice. The organization highlighted several recent decisions and practices which appear to demonstrate double standards and a willingness to be influenced by powerful states. For example, in 2020 the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) decided not to investigate war crimes by UK forces in Iraq, despite its own finding that these crimes had been committed. This was followed by a decision in 2021 to deprioritize an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan by…

Hong Kong: New leader John Lee must change course to halt collapse of city’s freedoms

Former security chief replaces Carrie Lam as chief executive on 1 July Lee has announced plans to introduce more repressive laws in the city Chinese President Xi to mark 25th anniversary of UK handover in Hong Kong UN reviews Hong Kong’s human rights performance this week Hong Kong’s new chief executive John Lee must fundamentally shift his approach to prevent the city sinking further into human rights meltdown, Amnesty International said ahead of Lee’s inauguration in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday. The former Hong Kong security chief, who oversaw the police crackdown on the 2019 mass…

Biden Reportedly Cuts Deal With Mitch McConnell to Nominate Anti-Abortion Judge

President Joe Biden has reportedly struck a deal with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to nominate an anti-abortion lawyer to a lifetime federal judgeship in Kentucky, news that comes less than a week after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortion. According to Louisville’s Courier-Journal, Biden has agreed to nominate Republican attorney Chad Meredith once there’s a federal court vacancy in Kentucky, where abortion was outlawed immediately following the high court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Friday. In exchange, McConnell (R-Ky.) has purportedly agreed not to obstruct the president’s future judicial nominations…

The glare of Pride can alienate those facing ongoing violence and oppression

Pride isn’t a celebration for everyone. For those LGBTQ+ people living alongside the threat of violence, attending an event is an act of extraordinary bravery. Nadia Rahman is a policy advisory and researcher in Amnesty International’s  Gender, Sexuality and Identity team. For this piece, she spoke to Mehlab Jameel, an activist for the rights of trans people, about the diverse ways people experience Pride. Pride started as a protest movement, and it remains one today. It is an acknowledgement and a rejection of the inequalities which continue to be imposed on people with diverse sexualities and genders worldwide. Same-sex conduct…

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