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    August 24, 2018

    A day before the informal ‘Gymnich’ meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers in Vienna, women human rights defenders from El Salvador, Poland, Indonesia, Kenya, Austria, Syria and Russia will meet EU representatives to demand greater protection and support for their work amid increasing attacks on fellow activists.

    Speaking ahead of the 29 August event, which will take place from 13:00 to 18:15, at the Haus der Europäischen Union, Wipplingerstrasse 35, 1010 Vienna, Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Program Director, Human Rights Defenders at Amnesty International, said:

    “From Afghanistan to Egypt and from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Brazil, women human rights defenders often suffer horrific reprisals when fighting for justice and rights. Far too often these courageous women, who work for positive change, face threats, beatings, imprisonment and even death. It is our duty to stand in solidarity with them.”

    July 24, 2018

    Responding to proposals by the European Commission to create ‘controlled centres’ for processing people rescued in the Mediterranean as well as disembarkation platforms in third countries, Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Director of Campaigns for Europe, said:

    “These proposals are a blueprint for a dangerous expansion of the European policies that are resulting in untold suffering and human rights violations in the Mediterranean. Attempts to push migrants out of sight are neither workable nor conscionable.

    “Like the ‘hotspots’ set up in Greece and Italy, ‘controlled centres’ will do nothing to ensure a more orderly management of arrivals but instead risk exposing women, men and children to human rights violations.

    “A stark illustration of the consequences of policies which prioritize border protection over human life is being played out now off the shores of Tunis, where 40 people have been stranded in searing heat and with dwindling supplies for almost two weeks.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    March 17, 2017

    The EU-Turkey deal which has resulted in the suffering of thousands of refugees and migrants is a stain on the collective conscience of Europe, said Amnesty International on the first anniversary of the agreement.

    The deal aimed at returning asylum-seekers back to Turkey on the premise that Turkey is safe for them, has failed on its own terms but left thousands exposed to squalid and unsafe conditions on Greek islands

    “Today marks a dark day in the history of refugee protection: one in which Europe’s leaders attempted to buy themselves out of their international obligations, heedless of the cost in human misery,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe.

    “A year ago, the Greek islands were transformed into de facto holding pens, as Europe’s shores went from being sites of sanctuary into places of peril. One year on, thousands remain stranded in a dangerous, desperate and seemingly endless limbo.”

    October 03, 2016

    The European Parliament should vote in favour of measures strengthening the European Union’s landmark regulation combatting the trade in equipment that can be used to torture, ill-treat or execute people, said Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation (Omega).

    Final amendments to the torture trade Regulation (EC) 1236/2005 accepted by the EU Council will be debated and voted on by the full European Parliament plenary on Tuesday 4 October.

    “The global market is rife with sinister equipment like leg chains and spiked batons which can easily be turned into tools of torture. Introducing tighter EU restrictions on the sale, brokering and promotion of these devices will bring us a step closer to eradicating this shameful trade,” said Ara Marcen Naval, Advocate Advisor for Arms Control, Security Trade and Human Rights at Amnesty International.

    “For too long companies have been able to profit from human suffering. This vote is an opportunity for the EU to send the message that it will not tolerate torture.”

    March 22, 2016

    Today’s attacks in Brussels show an utter contempt for human life, Amnesty International said as it condemned them in the strongest possible terms.

    “To deliberately target civilian lives is, and always will be, inexcusable. Those responsible for these attacks must be brought to justice. All our thoughts are with the victims of the recent attacks and their families,” said Philippe Hensmans, Managing Director of Amnesty International Belgium-Francophone Section and Han Verleyen, Acting Director of Amnesty International Belgium-Flemish Section.

    Amnesty International is calling on the Belgian authorities to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation so that those responsible for these acts are brought to justice.


    For further information contact John Tackaberry, Media Relations
    (613)744-7667 #236


    September 13, 2015

    Brussels: Released  00.01 GMT 14 September 2015

    As European Union (EU) Home Affairs ministers meet in Brussels to discuss an EU response to the global refugee crisis, Amnesty International is demanding an overhaul of the EU’s asylum system to ensure safe passage to the EU for people in need of protection and to end the suffering of those who do eventually make it to the Union. Ministers will discuss a raft of proposals released by the European Commission on 9 September, which dangerously miss the mark when it comes to protecting vulnerable people at the borders and within the EU and to solving the humanitarian crisis.

    “Once again European political representatives are taking centre stage talking about the need to address the refugee crisis. But the real European crisis is one of leadership and Europe´s failure to radically reform its collapsing asylum system, with dire consequences for vulnerable people who need safety and sanctuary. There has been enough talk. Now is time for real action. The world is watching.” said Iverna McGowan, Acting Director of Amnesty International´s European Institutions Office.

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