Amnesty International USA deployed a team of human rights observers to Ferguson, Missouri to monitor protests and law enforcement response in the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. While it is not possible to make sweeping conclusions still this early in a fluid situation, here is what we know has happened so far in Ferguson:
By Cindy Ko and Adotei Akwei
It is time for the Obama administration to ensure implementation of standardized sexual assault policies aimed at helping ensure that Indigenous survivors of sexual violence can access medical treatment and support services. Indigenous women face disproportionately high levels of rape and sexual violence.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) compiled statistics that show over one in three Native American and Alaska Native women will be raped during their lifetimes. They are also 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the USA in general.
Watch this powerful conversation between activists and leaders from Ferguson, St. Louis, and beyond about next steps for the movement for human rights and accountability. The 4 recorded live streams below were recorded by individuals who have been streaming from the ground since the protests began. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Gerry Carolina, Northeast Regional representative for the National Youth Action Committee, and coordinator of Amnesty International, Mount Holyoke College
It’s been 2 months since the death of Michael Brown, and even in the face of heavy-handed tactics by the police, peaceful protesters continue to march.
The community of Ferguson has called for a Weekend of Resistance from October 10-13, and Amnesty International Mount Holyoke College is answering in solidarity. 7 of us are driving from Western Massachusetts to Missouri this week, and our mission is to mobilize students to action, raise awareness, and build bridges between our students and the community of Ferguson. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Great news to end the year! The last three Uighurs have been released from Guantanamo, to Slovakia!
Amnesty activists have campaigned for many, many years to resolve the cases of the 22 Uighurs who have been held at Guantanamo.
The transfer of the last three Uighurs is a milestone in the process of closing the detention facility. There are now 155 detainees at Guantanamo, 76 of those are cleared for transfer. 11 detainees were transferred in 2013.
The trial against former Guatemalan leader General José Efraín Rios Montt for genocide during his time in office has restarted. Here are 10 reasons that show why the Central American country’s dark past is still relevant today.
1. Guatemala is located in Central America, bordering Mexico. Around half of its population is indigenous, including many Maya peoples. The country is one of the most unequal in the region - with high rates of illiteracy, infant mortality and malnutrition, particularly in the countryside. Organized crime and violence are also widespread.
2. Between 1960 and 1996, Guatemala was immersed in a bloody internal armed conflict that pitted the army against guerrilla groups. More than 200,000 men, women and children were murdered or disappeared during this 36-year-long war, most of them were indigenous.
After weeks of intense negotiations at the UN Conference, including a bitter roadblock put up by Iran, Syria and North Korea, a final treaty was adopted! The treaty prohibits arms transfers that would be used to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. We are now closer than ever to the golden rule we’ve been advocating for more than ten years: “Governments must prevent arms transfers where there is a substantial risk that they will be used to commit serious violations of human rights.”
More importantly, we’re closer than ever to winning the fight that’s been 20 years in the making! While this is a big win, there is still a lot of work to do. The treaty is adopted but “asleep” – it needs to be signed and ratified by 50 countries before it will enter into force. Amnesty International USA will demand that the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress take this important stand for human rights by signing and then ratifying this landmark treaty.
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By Aida V. Nieto, Bill Archer Fellow for Amnesty International USA
On November 5th, the United States appeared before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to review its human rights record. As a follow up, a Town Hall was held for activists and nongovernmental groups to ask questions and offer their criticism and recommendations regarding the U.S.’s human rights record. During this meeting a topic that continued to come up throughout the ninety-minute discussion was the lack of human rights protection in programs designed to enforce federal immigration law.
Programs such as the controversial 287 (g) agreement and Secure Communities, a measure recently making headlines were widely criticized as they have proven to provide a venue for racial profiling. After the public exposure of the lack of human rights protections for immigrants and people of color in the United States, I hope that people and the government realized that immigration is a human rights issue, not a political issue.