This is what protecting human rights looks like: responding to resounding national and international outcry, including the voices of Afghan women and Amnesty activists around the world, early this week Afghan President Karzai blocked a new discriminatory law that would have denied justice to women and girls subjected to domestic violence, rape, and forced or child marriage.
NOTE: This blog has been updated due to changing circumstances on the ground.
By James Mutti, India Country Specialist, Amnesty International USA
The riots that killed over 50 people and engulfed the northern Indian district of Muzaffarnagar in August and September of 2013 have been over for months.
But for tens of thousands of mostly Muslim refugees forced from their homes in the violence, the injustice continues today. Those guilty of murder, rape, arson and other violent crimes continue to walk free, and dozens of young children have frozen to death in squalid, make-shift refugee camps.
Amina Filali committed suicide by swallowing rat poison in March 2012. She was 16 years old. Her desperate act showed the depth of her pain and despair: she must have felt that nobody was there to help her.
We soon learned that Amina had been raped in her small Moroccan town, by a man she was then forced to marry. Imagine being married to your rapist, to be forced to see that person all the time – it would be devastating.
He married her because Moroccan law allows rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victim, if she is aged under 18.
By Susanna Flood, Director of Media at Amnesty International
Her voice began to choke and then the tears began to flow down her face as she calmly and steadily recounted the long list of names of all the women and children killed in her village when the anti-balaka struck a week ago.
Sitting in a darkened hospital ward at the Hôpital Communautaire, she gracefully removed her headscarf and revealed the stitches laced across her scalp where the machete had struck. Alongside her was her four-year-old daughter with a matching wound on her head, also the victim of machete attacks.
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 Natalia Taylor Bowdoin, Amnesty USA Country Specialist on the Central African Republic
If we were warned that a disaster, including the mass slaughter of civilians, was brewing, wouldn’t most of us want to do whatever we could to stop it? Or would we rather live with the knowledge that, despite all our promises to never see another human tragedy on a grand scale, the global community let it happen again?
That is the question before world leaders this week as the United Nations Security Council decides on intervention options in the Central African Republic (CAR), a country at the heart of Africa that has been largely ignored by the world for decades, yet a country whose people now are crying out for assistance from unconscionable acts of violence. But will the world respond this time?
To get to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, Syrian women and girls had to face a gauntlet of deadly violence including extortion, trafficking and abuse. Once in the camps, they expected to find safety.
What they found, according to Amnesty International researchers, was more danger and the threat of gender violence.
A majority of the 2.9 million Syrian refugees are women and children. Having fled violence, and often surviving a treacherous journey across the Syrian desert, these refugees sought safety and shelter in the camps. More than 120,000 of them made their way to the Za’atri camp, making it the largest refugee camp in Jordan.
The recent attack on the human rights defenders (HRDs) of Pro-Búsqueda brings back painful memories of wartime abuses in El Salvador.
November 16 marked the 24th anniversary of the murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her teenage daughter at the Central American University (UCA) in 1989. This brutal attack shocked the world, creating pressure for the Salvadoran government to finally negotiate an end to the war.
Just two days before this anniversary, however, Salvadorans were given a horrible reminder of the type of wartime atrocities that they had hoped were behind them.
On Wednesday I will testify on behalf of Amnesty International USA before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on gender-based violence. I’ll use the opportunity to talk about how gender-based violence affects everyone but also how it disproportionately affects women and girls.
I’ll tell Congress that violence against women takes many forms, including rape, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, child and forced marriage and acid attacks, to name a few. It’s a global human rights crisis that exacerbates instability and insecurity around the world.
“These new images offer a glimpse of physical scarring to homes and civic life visible from space, but the true scale of the human impact of the crisis cannot be captured by satellite.” – Aster van Kregten, Deputy Africa Program Director at Amnesty International.
Expert analysis of new satellite imagery we have obtained from the Central African Republic (CAR) reveals the shocking aftermath of recent human rights abuses amid spiraling violence by armed groups and security forces.
The images – some less than a week old – include evidence of 485 homes being torched in Bouca as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) massing near the town of Bossangoa as people flee the ongoing violence.