A Salvadorian mother lifts a portrait of her son near the Presidential House as part of a rally of relatives who lost their children during military operations in the last civil war (1980-1992) in San Salvador, El Salvador (Photo Credit: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images).
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.
Today, Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding released We Are America, a new song and music video supporting President Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo and urging Congress to help get the job done.
The video features cameos by Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe, Harry Belafonte and Savion Glover. The timing couldn’t be better as Senators will soon vote on legislation that would help close the detention facility. You can urge your two Senators to vote the right way here: www.amnestyusa.org/ndaa.
Norma Cruz has been struggling against gender-based violence in Guatemala for years at great personal risk to herself (Photo Credit: Amnesty International).
For social justice activists, the speed with which news now crosses the globe creates a tremendous opportunity to respond to human rights issues as they emerge. We can now find out about and alert the world to abuses almost as they happen, and people can act immediately to support human rights defenders and others on the front lines of crises.
However, the sheer number of people who struggle for the most basic human rights can be overwhelming. Although it is easy to get dismayed, we must stay heartened that we can make a difference in an individual’s life even from thousands of miles away.
In October 2012, Amnesty International met with activists and technologists from around the world in Nairobi, Kenya to explore the opportunities created and risks of using digital tools in human rights work (Photo Credit: Amnesty International).
By Tanya O’Carroll, Technology & Human Rights Project Officer and Danna Ingleton, Individuals & Communities at Risk Research & Policy Advisor
All over the world, individuals who speak up for and defend the rights of their communities often endure unspeakable acts of violence for doing so. At the Front Line Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) this month, we heard testimony from numerous HRDs who have been threatened, defamed, attacked, injured and tortured in retribution for their human rights activities. It quickly became clear that the key lesson of this gathering is to share what can best be described as survival strategies – behaviors, approaches and interventions that act as a counter balance.
One striking theme this year was in relation to how technology (phones, computers, cameras, social media, software, and the list goes on) has become deeply entwined with the work of defenders and the types of threats that they face. This post explores some of those stories and asks questions about how we can support a safer environment for HRDs in their use of tech.
In the Bouca area, approximately 485 structures—represented here by yellow dots—appear burned in imagery from November 2013. Image (c) DigitalGlobe 2013.
“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.
“Shell is being disingenuous about the devastation caused by its Niger Delta operations. This new evidence shows that Shell’s claims about the oil spills cannot be trusted,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.
Nadya had publically complained of threats she received from prison officials (Photo Credit: Maksim Blinov/AFP/Getty Images).
Pussy Riot member Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova is rumored to have been transferred to a prison colony in Siberia. But we can’t know for sure because Russian authorities refuse to disclose her whereabouts.
If these reports are true, transferring her to a prison colony thousands of miles from Moscow would make it impossible for her family and lawyers to see her. This would be a grave violation of her human rights and Russia’s own laws.
It was just after midnight on the East Coast when the first news story came out. I’d been sitting on another edge of another bed in another bland hotel room for a few hours by then, typing up notes from our tour stop in Madison and planning the next day’s action in Minneapolis. At least that’s what I’d meant to do. Really, I was waiting for this very moment. The new Amnesty International report on drone strikes in Pakistan had finally been released.
My Twitter feed was soon full of chatter about drones, and about the civilian deaths outlined in the report. I clicked over to the Amnesty website to open the report, and saw the face of Nabeela Bibi, the eight-year-old girl who had watched her 68-year-old grandmother, Mamana, blown to pieces while she was picking vegetables in the family fields. My cell phone buzzed and I looked down at a text message from my friend, a fellow activist who has been working on this issue for years.
Money is tight for everybody and the pool of available social housing in Rome is already hugely oversubscribed. Italy has a big housing problem and Rome is no different.
We are aware of this.
But there is no escaping – or justifying – the fact that Roma faces additional obstacles when trying to access adequate housing that do not have their origins in brute economic fact, but in something more elemental: prejudice.