The majority of human rights abuses documented by Amnesty International are linked to guns. We’ve long recognized that their widespread availability creates a climate of fear and intensifies violence – involving countless numbers of people who have been tortured, killed, injured, raped and forced to flee from their homes.
Last week’s mining disaster in Turkey represented more than simply an industrial accident, but raised very real human rights concerns. The government’s response in the last week, however, have only heightened these concerns.
All lawful efforts must be made to locate the kidnapped girls and secure their safe release and the perpetrators of the attack must be brought to justice in an impartial court of law.
Sounds simple enough. But unlike the plot of an episode of an action drama, the reality on the ground is much more complex.
By Nate Smith, Chairperson – Military, Security and Police Transfers Co-Group, Amnesty International USA
When a government violates human rights on a mass scale – jailing opposition activists and journalists on trumped up charges, arresting hundreds of protesters at once, passing draconian laws to suppress public opinion – they should be held accountable. It’s not always a clear-cut or simple task for the international community, but we must identify some simple dos and don’ts.
Do: Provide support for human rights and government accountability.
Don’t: Sell advanced, highly lethal killing machines to a government engaged in a crackdown on personal freedoms.
Earlier this month, voters in Afghanistan cast their ballots in what is arguably the most crucial election in the history of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.The elections represent much more than the appointment of a president. For Afghanistan, which is nearing the end of a critical security transition, it signals the beginning of a new era.
The protection and promotion of human rights, especially those of women and girls, are critical to bringing security and stability to Afghanistan. Despite the challenging situation for women’s human rights in Afghanistan, women have worked hard to regain and advance their rights since the Taliban regime was ousted in late 2001.
By Horia Mosadiq, Amnesty International Afghanistan Researcher
As soon as I told my family I was planning to return to Afghanistan at this time of year, they started to worry. Every year around now – Nowruz, when Afghans celebrate the New Year – the Taliban spring offensive starts.
This year, the added element of upcoming presidential elections on April 5 has heightened fears of attacks. My husband tried to convince me to postpone my visit, but I had already made my decision to return to finish the research I started last year with my colleague Joanne Mariner.
When I landed in Kabul, I heard from different people how the security situation has deteriorated – the driver on the way to my hotel, the shopkeepers, civil society workers and human rights defenders. The biggest worry was that the Taliban are increasingly targeting civilians.
Ali Ismail Korkmaz was among those killed during the Gezi protests in Turkey last June. He would have celebrated his twentieth birthday today. Today, let’s work to ensure that his family sees justice done.
Korkmaz was savagely beaten on June 2, 2013 during the Gezi Protests. In a statement to authorities before he died, Korkmaz he described the attack:
A National Tragedy
Once again, Turkish streets are filled with voices of protest. And once again, those voices are choked with tear gas and buffeted by water cannon. The scenes on television and social media seem terribly similar to those which shocked the world during the Gezi protests this past June.
In fact, the immediate catalyst for these protests is directly tied to the terrible costs of police repression during the Gezi protests.
This post was originally published in The Hill under the title: “Call An Occupation An Occupation.”
In his speech on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said much of what one might have expected at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. But what was most telling was the one word he didn’t utter: occupation.
It wasn’t just Netanyahu who steered clear of the word. So too did U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in his comments the night before. It is this act of repeated omission that adds so much confusion to the simple question of what concerned Americans must do to advance human rights in the region.
As a major supplier of arms and military aid to Israel, the U.S. government is not just a convener of “peace talks” and negotiations. It is also a major investor in the status quo, a state of affairs in which millions of Palestinian civilians face the risk of brutal violence from Israeli security forces simply for peacefully exercising their human rights. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
The Syrian uprising started three years ago this week, sparked by the image of some 300 school children in Deraa being dragged to one of Syria’s dark prisons for the “crime” of writing graffiti calling for freedom.
The uprising hasn’t turned out as the people hoped. Three years later, starving people are braving government sniper fire to forage for leaves and berries to feed their families.
A new report from Amnesty International released Monday tells how an uprising that began with the detention of children has become one where starvation is being used as a weapon of war.