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    July 17, 2019

    Amnesty International is calling afresh on the Government of Canada to immediately suspend the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), in light of a new US Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security rule that will bar people from claiming refugee protection in the US, if they cross the southern land border and fail to apply for protection in a transit country. The new rule makes it unambiguously clear that the US refugee protection system in no way adequately guarantees the rights of those seeking to make claims in that country.

    July 16, 2019

    Responding to President Trump’s toxic tweets accusing four Democrat Congresswomen of hating the United States and suggesting they go back to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, said:

    “As President of the United States, Trump has demonized minority groups, whipped up hatred, fear and sowed division. Trump’s ugly targeting of these Congresswomen exposes the racism and xenophobia at the heart of his despicable policies – from imposing a travel ban on people travelling from Muslim majority countries to separating children from their parents at the Mexican border to denying the rights of people seeking asylum. His words prove that xenophobia, rather than the safety of the people of the United States, motivates these policies.

    July 15, 2019

    WASHINGTON, DC – The US government published a new interim rule that would prevent anyone at the US southern border who has traveled through another country on the way to the United States from seeking asylum here. This new rule would prevent anyone other than people from Mexico or Canada from seeking asylum in the United States.

    In response, Amnesty International USA advocacy director for the Americas Charanya Krishnaswami issued the following statement:

    “This rule is an outrageous violation of our obligation to protect families and individuals seeking safety. Once again, the Trump administration has shown the lengths it will go to deny people protection.

    “As US State Department reporting makes clear, people cannot access protection in the countries they commonly transit through on the way to the United States. Families and individuals who have fled violence and persecution could be turned away at our doors and left vulnerable to grave harm, all as a result of the administration’s agenda of fear and hate.

    July 12, 2019

    Responding to the announcement of thousands of raids planned for Sunday by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Charanya Krishnaswami, the Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA said:

    "This announcement is an extension of President Trump’s relentless hostility to immigrants. It serves to encourage hate and discrimination toward immigrants and communities of color, creating a climate of fear for many people including those fearing racial profiling.

    "While it’s also concerning that we don’t know anything about what these plans will look like, it’s not unreasonable to be concerned that people facing deportation will not have adequate time or legal resources to protect themselves. Thousands of mixed-status families could be impacted, with U.S. citizen children at risk of being separated from their parents or guardians. A lack of due process in initial hearings could lead to the deportation of families and children who never had a meaningful chance to apply for relief, including asylum."

    July 02, 2019

    Since 2018, the US government has conducted an unlawful and discriminatory campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment, and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the US–Mexico border, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.

    ‘Saving lives is not a crime’: Politically motivated legal harassment of migrant human rights defenders by the USA reveals how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have increasingly misused the criminal justice system to deter activists, lawyers, journalists, and humanitarian volunteers from challenging – or simply documenting – the systematic human rights violations that US authorities have committed against migrants and asylum seekers.

    June 19, 2019

    AI USA Release

    Ten candidates in the 2020 presidential race – including the president– responded to  a questionnaire on human rights issues provided by Amnesty International USA. The candidates submitted responses on a range of domestic and international human rights issues including refugees and asylum-seekers, gun violence, lethal force by police, arms sales, LGBTI equality, women’s rights, free expression, and national security.

    June 17, 2019

    When President Trump signed what has become known as the Muslim ban during his first week in office, he set into motion a series of events that continue to leave families in uncertainty and danger to this day, according to a new report by Amnesty International USA. In some cases, these families were cleared to come to the United States in late 2016 and early 2017, only to be stranded in countries where they face restrictive policies, increasingly hostile environments, and often lack the same rights as permanent residents or citizens.

    The new report, “The Mountain is in Front of Us and the Sea is Behind Us,” is based on nearly 50 interviews conducted by AIUSA with refugees currently living in Lebanon and Jordan. The report describes the desperate circumstances faced by families who continue to be locked in an impossible limbo because of discriminatory U.S. policies as they try to seek a safe new life and permanent home.

    May 31, 2019

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA

    Reacting to news that the New Hampshire legislature has voted to repeal the death penalty, Kristina Roth, Senior Program Officer at Amnesty International USA stated:

    “We welcome this outstanding news. With this vote, New Hampshire will become the 21st state to have abandoned the death penalty. This inhumane practice is the ultimate irrevocable punishment and denial of human rights. It does not deter crime and disproportionately impacts communities of color. This system is fundamentally broken and must end once and for all.”

    Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally.

    For more information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    May 31, 2019

    AI USA Release

    The Trump administration is reportedly considering barring anyone who transits through a third country from seeking asylum at the US southern border. Such a policy would effectively block anyone other than Mexicans and Canadians from seeking asylum in the United States. In response, Charanya Krishnaswami, Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA, made the following statement:

    “Seeking asylum is a human right, full stop.  This latest policy is a disgusting example of the lengths the Trump administration will go to deny people protection. Instead of taking sensible steps to fix this crisis of their own making, they choose to further their agenda of hate and fear against mothers, fathers, children, and anyone else who has been forced to flee their homes and who have no other way to seek safety. To effectively close the border to Central Americans and the vast majority of people seeking asylum not only violates human rights obligations, but is also fundamentally cruel.”

    Background:

    May 24, 2019

    Amnesty International USA Release

    Responding to reports that President Trump will attempt to exploit loopholes to continue sending arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE without Congressional approval, Philippe Nassif, the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA said:

    “The Trump administration must stop supplying arms to the Saudi-led coalition, which has repeatedly committed horrific violations in Yemen, some amounting to war crimes, devastating the lives of thousands.

    “This administration has made clear its desire to sell more weapons without concern for human rights. We know arms manufactured in the United States have been used in deadly strikes against civilians. U.S. munitions have been found in the remains of bombed homes, hospitals and hotels throughout Yemen’s devastating war, killing almost 7,000 people.”

    May 22, 2019

    The U.S. Department of Justice should immediately drop all criminal charges against humanitarian volunteer Dr. Scott Warren, and stop criminalizing humanitarian aid, Amnesty International said today.

    “The U.S. government is legally required to prevent the arbitrary deaths of migrants and asylum seekers in border areas. Yet instead, authorities have willfully destroyed humanitarian aid provisions in deadly desert terrain and are criminally prosecuting humanitarian volunteers in order to deter them from saving lives,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International. 

    The U.S. government is prosecuting Dr. Warren for allegedly “harbouring” two undocumented migrants by providing them with humanitarian aid in the form of food, water, and clean clothing, in the desert town of Ajo, Arizona, where he lives. If convicted on all three criminal charges against him, Dr. Warren could face up to 20 years in prison. His felony trial is scheduled to begin on 29 May.

    May 15, 2019

    Responding to the Alabama Senate approving a measure on Tuesday that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state, Tarah Demant, the Director of the Gender, Sexuality and Identity Program at Amnesty International USA, said:

    "Alabama’s vote is the latest in a string of abortion bans specifically designed to strip people’s reproductive rights away. These bans will be deadly, endanger pregnant people’s lives, and criminalize doctors and health care providers for simply doing their jobs and providing care.

    "These bans reinforce violence against women by victimizing survivors of rape and sexual violence twofold by denying their right to access abortion. They are a gross and dangerous turn back to a dark history where women risked their lives to access their sexual and reproductive rights."

    May 01, 2019

    Following the announcement of Julian Assange’s arrest, and request for extradition to the United States, Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Research in Europe, said:

    “Amnesty International calls on the UK to refuse to extradite or send in any other manner Julian Assange to the USA where there is a very real risk that he could face human rights violations, including detention conditions that would violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment and an unfair trial due to his work with Wikileaks.

    “We are aware of allegations of rape and other sexual violence against Julian Assange, which should be properly investigated in a way that respects the rights of both the complainants and the accused and be brought to justice if there is sufficient evidence against him. If the Swedish government decides to pursue an extradition of Mr. Assange from the UK, they must also uphold the principle of non-refoulement and  not extradite or otherwise send him on to the USA.

    April 17, 2019

    Following the attorney general’s decision that individuals who seek asylum after crossing between ports of entry and pass their initial credible fear test will not be eligible for bond and could be detained indefinitely if not released on humanitarian parole, Charanya Krishnaswami, Americas advocacy director for Amnesty International USA, made the following statement:

    “Seeking asylum is a human right, not a crime, and families forced to flee for their lives shouldn’t be treated like criminals. This appalling decision could also force parents to decide to either be locked up with their children indefinitely, or relinquish custody of them for the duration of their approval process, which could take months or years. This is both a heartless punishment against vulnerable people, and a potential back-door way for the administration to  separate families. This decision must be reversed.”  

    April 12, 2019

    In response to President Trump’s transgender military ban going into effect, Tarah Demant, director of the gender, sexuality, and identity program at Amnesty International USA, made the following statement:

    “The ban on transgender service members is a shameful step backward. The Trump Administration seems committed to creating policies that are based on bigotry and discrimination. Regarding transgender people in particular, President Trump has stripped away protections for students, employees, and now those serving in the military. The Trump administration is sending a dangerous message globally that the United States is ready and willing to blatantly disregard the human rights of thousands of people.”

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