By Robyn Shepherd, Deputy Press Secretary, AIUSA
When you watch the Olympics this week, you will see plenty of Postcard Rio in between events. You’ll see the stunning natural beauty of the mountains that shoot dramatically up from the sugar sands of the coast. You’ll see people strolling the tiled seaside sidewalks in Copacabana. You’ll see shots of carefree Cariocas – residents of Rio – dancing to samba music or perusing colorful marketplaces.
Were those postcard camera views to pan out just a bit more, you would see a fence dividing the tennis and aquatics complexes from what looks like a weedy patch of ground on a lagoon dotted with a few homes – some intact, some gouged apart by bulldozers. The gleaming Olympic media center literally throws a shadow over the area. Welcome to the once-thriving community of Vila Autodrómo. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Image
By Alex Roche, writer and campaigner
Imagine that one day your brother is at home with his two sons. Police enter his house, beat him and take him away, handcuffed. Imagine that later that day, he is taken to hospital, already dead, with gunshot wounds to his chest and stomach.
Now imagine that five years later another brother of yours is shot several times in the head and killed by the police, in the presence of your nephew. The following year, yet a third brother of yours is shot and killed, after having been threatened earlier that day by a policeman.
Hard to imagine, right? Well, this is not all. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
By Ali Albassam, Security with Human Rights volunteer
Newt Gingrich recently proposed that American Muslims be tested and questioned on their religious beliefs—and face deportation.
Gingrich told Fox News:
“The first step is you have to ask them the questions. The second step is you have to monitor what they’re doing on the Internet. The third step is, let me be very clear, you have to monitor the mosques.”
Gingrich’s comments are the latest in this trend: After horrific terrorism attacks, pundits take to cable news to offer discriminatory, anti-Muslim proposals and rhetoric. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Credit: Trak Producciones
by Magdalena Medley, Thematic Specialist – Women’s Human Rights Co-Group at Amnesty International USA
On June 3, 2016, Argentinians took to the streets for a second time to tell their government “ni una menos” – meaning “not even one less (woman)” – demanding an end to femicide and increasing levels of violence against women in the country.
In 2015, when the first Ni Una Menos demonstration took place in my homeland of Argentina, I covered it from New York City. I wanted to be a part of this important time in my country’s history, even if only from overseas. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Pride march, June 2001, Mexico City. JORGE UZON/AFP/Getty Images
By Jesús Canchola Sánchez
June 25 marks the 38th Pride march in Mexico City.
“It is the most important space for the LGBT movement each year. It is a space of dissidence and celebration. It represents for many the only opportunity to express their sexual orientations and gender identities openly. It also allows for people of different faiths, socio-economic backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, ages, and skin color within the community to converge. Without a doubt, it’s a space to feel like you belong,” stated Carlos López López from the Diversity Commission of the Legislative Assembly in Mexico City (la Comisión de la Diversidad de la Asamblea Legsilativa del Distrito Federal). SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Nicole van Huyssteen, Women’s Human Rights Thematic Specialist
Can you imagine not eating or drinking to avoid being watched by men as you shower or use the bathroom? Or being too frightened to sleep because of unwanted advances from single men sleeping in the same crowded spaces at night? These are some of the daily realities faced by many refugee women as they travel alone or with young children in tow as they try to reach places of safety for themselves and their families. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
The relief is visible as Ghias Aljundi (left, in yellow) welcomes his family after 18 years apart in Lesvos, Greece, December 2015. © Private
On World Refugee Day, we talk to Ghias Aljundi, who fled to the UK from Syria 18 years ago. He is one of thousands volunteering to help refugees arriving in Greece since last year. But he’d never expected that one day he’d rescue his own family from a rubber boat. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Kathy Peltier, Daughter of Leonard Peltier
Today, fathers across the U.S. will be celebrated, spending time with their loved ones and enjoying time with their children.
But for me, Father’s Day is an empty day.
My father is , a prominent member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). His name is synonymous with the struggle for Native rights and he has been behind bars for over 40 years—my whole life.
With my father’s health failing, it would mean everything to me if he’d get to spend a little of his life with me—even a week with him would be incredible.
Help bring my father home: Tell President Obama to grant Leonard Peltier clemency. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with husband Richard and their daughter Gabriella.
By Kaitlyn O’Shaughnessy
At any one time, there are around 10 million people in prison worldwide. Of these, an estimated 3.2 million haven’t yet had a trial. International human rights law prohibits arbitrary detention—detention that occurs for no legitimate reason or without legal process—and requires fair and independent public hearings to determine rights and obligations related to criminal charges.
Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines every individual’s right to be free from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile, while Article 10 enshrines an individual’s right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal when faced with criminal charges.
A recent uptick in arrests of dual nationals by Iranian authorities serves as a reminder that constant vigilance is required to ensure freedom from arbitrary detention and fair trial rights are respected worldwide. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis
By Giorgos Kosmopoulos, Amnesty International
LESVOS, Greece – Shirin, an Afghan journalist, was once shot at by the Taliban. After fleeing near-fatal attacks in her country in the hope of finding safety in Europe, she now lives in constant fear in a transit refugee camp in Greece. She is, in fact, just one of many women who have fled harm and persecution, only to face new fears of sexual harassment and violence in the camps on the Greek islands.
“We are treated like animals. I’d rather be shot again than endure these conditions,” Shirin, not her real name, told Amnesty International at the Kara Tepe camp on the island of Lesvos.
It was 18 months ago that the Taliban shot at Shirin’s car. Initially, she fled to Kabul, where she found another journalism job, this time behind the camera. “It’s very dangerous for a woman journalist in Afghanistan,” she said. She continued to receive threats over the phone, and eventually it became too much. She left Afghanistan for Europe. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST