The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the U.S. administration is reviewing Israeli requests for weapons and munitions. The article stated that White House and State Department officials were “increasingly disturbed” that Israel “was using artillery instead of more precision-guided munitions in densely populated areas.”
This past week, Israel has been carrying out air strikes and other military operations that have resulted in scores of deaths and injuries, most of them civilians not directly participating in hostilities.
The U.S., as the largest foreign supplier of weapons, munitions, police equipment and devices, as well as training and techniques to Israel, bears a particular responsibility for the deployment of the weapons it provides.
Amnesty International is calling for a U.N.-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides amidst ongoing Israeli air strikes on Gaza and continuing volleys of indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel. Amnesty is also calling for a UN-imposed comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Bangladesh, which left more than 1,100 workers dead and many more injured. The disaster has become the most shocking recent example of business-related human rights abuse, and the images of dead workers in the debris of the collapsed factory have become powerful symbols of the pursuit of profit at the expense of people.
The Rana Plaza building housed numerous garment factories supplying international clothing companies. Over the past year, there have been various initiatives to provide compensation to the victims, involving government, global brands, and the International Labor Organization (ILO). However, these efforts have so far proved insufficient, and survivors continue to suffer and struggle to support themselves and their families.
By Joe Westby, Amnesty International Corporate Campaigner and Onyekachi Okoro, Media for Justice Program, Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD)
“People are dying silently. The oil companies bring sickness to our communities,” a man from a polluted community in Nigeria’s Bayelsa state told us.
But when it comes to oil spills in the Niger Delta, it’s not what you’ve suffered or what you know; it’s what you can prove.
This simple fact has hampered communities from obtaining justice, even when their lives have been turned upside down by pollution. Because the oil companies have significant control over determining vital data about oil spills, the affected communities lack reliable and impartial information, meaning they can’t effectively tell their side of the story.
By Ludmila Gordon, Amnesty USA Russia Country Specialist, Eurasia Cogroup Co-Chair
Amnesty International is happy to share the great news of the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia’s most prominent political prisoner who spent over 10 years behind bars.
On December 19, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly announced at the annual news conference that he decided to pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky after he received a petition from Khodorkovsky asking to be pardoned due to family reasons. Shortly after, Khodorkovsky was released from a prison colony in the Karelia region of northwestern Russia and immediately flown to Germany.
By Joe Westby, Corporate Campaigner at Amnesty International Online
This week marked the 29th anniversary of one of the world’s worst-ever industrial disasters: the infamous gas leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India that, on the night of December 2-3, 1984, killed thousands. Many more have been left to suffer since then, given the abject failure by both the Indian government and the companies involved to provide survivors and their families with an adequate remedy and justice.
By James Mutti, India Country Specialist, Amnesty International USA
This week marks the 29th anniversary of the world’s deadliest industrial disaster – the 1984 gas leak at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India. If you’re not familiar with the disaster and Amnesty’s recent campaigning concerning Bhopal, read Amnesty USA’s recent blog posts here, here and here.
The gas leak, and the continuing contamination of local soil and water that killed 25,000 people and injured or sickened over 100,000, is indeed horrifying. Much remains to be done to ensure that those responsible for so much human suffering are held accountable and that those whose lives have been so unfairly devastated by the disaster receive justice. At the same time, the strength and determination of Bhopal’s survivors is truly inspiring and has led to a number of important victories.
I had no time to myself – I worked long hours from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. with no rest day. My employers didn’t allow me to leave the house without someone accompanying me. When it was bed time, I had to wait for everyone to sleep because I slept in the family bathroom.
This 30-year-old woman from Tulungagung told Amnesty International her story in 2012.
In an extensive new report, filled with heartbreaking testimony about exploitative recruitment, physical and sexual violence, lack of food, excessive hours and restrictions on religious practices, Amnesty International examines the experiences of Indonesian domestic migrant workers trafficked to Hong Kong.
By Conor Fortune, News Writer
“Everything Was Hopeless.”
This is how Rahul summed up his first stint as a migrant worker in Qatar when he recently spoke to Amnesty International.
Stuck thousands of miles from his native India in a land where he couldn’t speak the language, he faced the worst predicament of his working life.
Egyptian lawyer Abdel Nasser Ahmed Mohamed Alsayed still struggles to live with the memories of the day he was forced out of his house in Old Cairo.
It was March 2009. Riot police showed up, beat him and threw his belongings out the window. Lorries then took his furniture, books and everything he worked hard for to ‘October 6 City’ and dumped them on the street.
The Egyptian authorities gave Abdel Nasser a small flat, 45 kilometres outside Old Cairo, but he never got a contract, so he now faces being evicted again.