In 2014, Amnesty International recorded and investigated human rights abuses in 160 countries and territories worldwide*.
While progress is being made in some areas, the frightening facts and figures below show that for many people the human rights situation is getting worse. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Claudia Medina Tamariz (c) Amnesty International
By Mariano Machain, Amnesty International’s campaigner on Mexico
I have seen Claudia Medina cry many times.
She cried when she told me about the torture, including sexual abuse, she suffered at the hands of Mexican marines in 2012.
She also cried when she explained what it is like to live with federal charges pending over her head, accused of being a member of a criminal gang, facing the risk of being arrested again at any time. Then once more when she told me about how her children were suffering.
But today is the first time I have seen her cry out of joy and relief.
SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By G. Flint Taylor, Founding Partner, People’s Law Office and Advisory Board Member of the Chicago Justice Torture Memorials
In the early morning of November 2, 1983, Darrell Cannon was taken from his home by a battery of now notorious white Chicago police detectives to a remote area on the far southside of Chicago where he was interrogated about the murder of a drug dealer… When Cannon persisted in denials, the detectives forced him into the back seat of their car, pulled down his pants, and repeatedly shocked him on his genitals with an electric cattle prod.
The physical and mental scars that the victims like Darrell Cannon carry will never be healed, but with this reparations ordinance, at least they will finally begin the path to closure. Instead, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and several other Chicago Alderpeople will not support the reparations efforts.
Please click here to read and share the full article so that Darrell Cannon’s story, and the stories of the other torture survivors, can be heard.
Anyone arrested on suspicion of criminal activity in the Philippines risks being tortured or ill-treated in police custody. Many victims are children and almost all are from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Nerve Macaspac, Country Specialist for the Philippines, Amnesty International USA
Torture not only remains prevalent in the country but has also become a form of entertainment for its police.
In January 2014, Amnesty International revealed the discovery of a secret torture cell in a police intelligence facility in Laguna, Philippines. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
During tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama touched on issues of national security, criminal justice reform, immigration policy and women’s health, all of which involve human rights.
It is important to promote awareness of these issues as part of the US national conversation. But as always, the proof is in the pudding. So how do President Obama’s words stack up against actions?
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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
This blog is part of a series on human rights in the State of the Union address. The United States has an obligation to pursue policies that ensure respect for human rights at home and around the world. Follow along and join the conversation using #SOTUrights.
Dear Mr. President,
I call on you to use your State of the Union address to recommit to human rights standards in the criminal justice system, especially as it affects communities of color in the U.S.
The demand for an inclusive dialogue on race and policing has taken center stage following the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, Ezell Ford and Tamir Rice and the lack of accountability for the police officers responsible. Community members and leaders are calling for a comprehensive examination of police procedures and practices which directly or indirectly facilitate hostile interactions between police and the communities they are entrusted to protect. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Zack Michaelson
Our nation is currently in a debate about how to handle gross abuses of power by those tasked with defending us. In past weeks, we have learned more about the vast conspiracy of torture operated by the CIA, perpetrated on more than one hundred people. We have witnessed a run of recent incidents involving police using what appears to be unwarranted lethal force. The police violence around the country has also appeared to get inadequate investigation and accountability, angering many. These coincident events derive from shared issues, and now is the time for action for those who defend human rights.
SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
[UPDATE: The Nigerian presidential elections have been postponed to March 28, 2015.]
In the Nigerian presidential elections on February 15th, and after a year of conflict spurred by attacks by the armed group Boko Haram, one would expect security issues to be the top topic of debate. However, in his New Years address to the nation, President Goodluck Jonathan, the incumbent in the election, placed little emphasis on the severity of the violence in the northern regions of the country. Instead, he devoted a majority of the speech to his commitment to the oil industry and other topics of infrastructure and development. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Yesterday, gunmen attacked the Paris office of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo. In Peshawar last month, at least 142 people—including 132 children—were killed by Taliban militants at a military-run school. These are just two of scores of attacks by armed individuals and groups that have occurred over the last year. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
On December 8, 2014, the Department of Justice released its revised “Guidance on the Use of Race” by law enforcement officials. Just in time for Human Rights Day (and you thought the feds only cared about the Constitution).
The revised guidance expanded the classes protected from discriminatory policing from just race and ethnicity to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin and religion. It not only covers federal law enforcement officers performing federal law enforcement activities, including those related to national security and intelligence, but also local and state law enforcement officers who are participating in federal law enforcement task forces. While not providing a private right of action, it does require each agency to collect data on complaints made under the guidelines. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST