This is why the beheading of reporter James Foley is so important to anyone concerned about human rights in the region. It’s important not just because, as Amnesty International says, it is “a war crime,” but because Syria right now by most standards is now the most dangerous place in the world for journalists.
By Rachel O’Leary, Amnesty Interntional USA Acting Deputy Executive Director for Membership Mobilization
On August 9, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year old, was shot dead by a six-year veteran of the Ferguson police force. The next day, the community organized protests condemning the actions of the police and demanding to know the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael. Those actions continue still, a week later.
The day after the shooting, I sent a text to my colleague at 3:30 AM. It read, “We need to go to Ferguson.” Later that week, I was on a plane, leading the Amnesty International USA human rights delegation to Ferguson, Missouri.
By Muhammed Malik, Amnesty International USA Member
Today, people across the country attended vigils and solidarity actions to mourn the victims of police brutality, a problem that has gripped this nation for far too long.
A few days ago, a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri confronted Michael Brown – a teenager who was full of promise and who had his whole life ahead of him. There are conflicting reports about what happened next, but the end result was the officer shooting the unarmed Brown.
By Alice Dahle, Co-chair, Amnesty International USA Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group
Twenty years ago, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to protect women who face domestic and sexual violence, dating violence and stalking through legal and social services. Amnesty International has actively campaigned for this legislation and its re-authorization throughout its history. Last year, we celebrated passage of a stronger, more inclusive version of VAWA with new provisions added to protect Indigenous women, immigrant women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) survivors of violence and survivors of human trafficking.
We were excited to learn that the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing today entitled VAWA Next Steps: Protecting Women from Gun Violence. With well-founded concern about gun violence in our country, the Committee’s recognition of the relevance of VAWA to violence against women is timely and much appreciated.
Interview with a human rights fieldworker in Gaza
This morning as I brushed my teeth I could hear the familiar buzzing of a drone circling above our building. I ignored the sound. Drones circle overhead all the time – you never know whether it’s just for surveillance or an impending missile launch.
The uncertainty makes you feel helpless. What can anyone do?
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.