Children play in a polluted landscape containing years of toxic waste and various chemical byproducts from the Union Carbide leak on December 2, 1987. The site has never been properly cleaned up and it continues to poison the residents of Bhopal (Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images).
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.
This article originally appeared on The Hill’s Congress Blog. Edith Garwood, Amnesty International USA’s Country Specialist on Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and the Palestinian Authority contributed to this piece.
Despite talk of a peace process, the Israeli army has ordered the eviction of some 1,000 Palestinians – men, women and children – from their homes in the occupied West Bank. Why? Because the military wants to turn eight Palestinian villages into a “firing zone” for military training. Even as President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry speak in favor of a peace agreement, the U.S.-subsidized Israeli military is subjecting Palestinians to ongoing human rights abuses.
When I shut the classroom door, the only sound left was the buzzing of the dim fluorescent lights overhead. We could no longer hear the theater students practicing their monologues in the hallway, or the voices of the Amnesty members in the classroom next door frantically flipping through the report on drones in Pakistan as they made signs for our action the next day. “You’re sure you have time for this?” I asked Sahare, as I slid into the desk and took out my phone to record her message.
“Yes, of course,” Sahare said. Her sad eyes held mine, unwavering. “I need to do this as a tribute to my grandmother. Without her inspiration, I wouldn’t be here.”
“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.
The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner works to identify the corpses of the hundreds of men and women who perish each year in the Arizona desert (Photo Credit: www.marcsilver.net).
A scar, a tattoo, broken bone, a toothbrush kept in a small bag, a set of teeth.
These are some of the clues anthropologist Robin Reineke looks out for every time she is faced with a set of human remains of one of the hundreds of people who die every year while attempting to cross the Arizona desert.
Participants attends the 2009 Athens Gay Pride on June 13, 2009 (Photo Credit: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images).
The United States Senate is poised to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”), critical legislation that will help end employment discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Imagine being fired from your job not because of your qualification but simply because of who you are or who you love. For millions of people in the United States, this is the scary reality.
In Egypt, many Syrian refugees face growing anti-Syrian sentiment among the populace and open hostility from Egyptian armed forces. Hundreds have been detained, and at least 66 have been deported back to Syria where they face arrest, violating international law.
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.
ByNaureen Shah, Advocacy Advisor at Amnesty International USA
A year ago almost to the day, on October 24, 2012, a U.S. drone strike killed a 68-year-old woman named Mamana Bibi. She was gathering vegetables in her family’s large, mostly vacant fields in north Waziristan, Pakistan. We don’t know whom the U.S. intended to target, but it is hard to imagine that a policy that allows the killing of this grandmother, who was blown to pieces before the eyes of her young grandchildren, is anything but a catastrophic failure on the part of the U.S. government.
The latest revelation from documents leaked by Edward Snowden, reported in the Washington Post, suggests the NSA cast a “surveillance blanket” over parts of northern Pakistan, feeding enormous amounts of data to the CIA’s secret lethal drone program. Even if the NSA didn’t pick up chatter after the killing of this grandmother, the U.S. government claims that it conducts post-strike assessments of who is killed. It knew, or should have known, that something went wrong.
By Mustafa Qadri, Pakistan Research at Amnesty International
It was a sunny October afternoon last year when Mamana Bibi was blown to pieces before her grandchildren’s very eyes. The family matriarch, Mamana Bibi was picking vegetables in the family fields in northwestern Pakistan when a remotely piloted aircraft – or “drone” – used by the United States fired a missile directly toward her, killing Mamana instantly. A second volley of missiles was fired a few minutes later, injuring some of the children who ventured out to where their grandmother had been struck.
Almost a year to the day, the Bibi family’s lives have been torn apart. In a number of in-depth interviews over the last eight months, the family recounted to me how they sold ancestral lands to pay for their injured relatives’ steep medical bills. Mamana’s grief-stricken elderly husband, a respected retired local headmaster, rarely leaves the house. Their grandchildren, including 8-year-old Nabeela, now live in constant fear of the drones, which seem ever present in the skies.