freedom of expression
Responding to news that the Turkish authorities have issued detention orders against four human rights defenders released on bail on Tuesday, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe said:
“With this cruel and retrograde step, Turkey has underlined its growing reputation as an indiscriminate jailer of civil society activists and a stranger to the rule of law.”
One of the four, Nalan Erkem was detained from her house in Istanbul last night. A second, İlknur Üstün was detained from her home in Ankara today.
“These four people should never have been detained in the first place. Having already endured twelve days behind bars, they are forced to relive the ordeal yet again. Instead of dropping the baseless investigation, the Turkish authorities have raised their absurdity to fresh heights,” said John Dalhuisen.
The four human rights defenders will now join their six co-suspects behind bars, including the director of Amnesty International Turkey.
· Press conference and analysis of absurd charges - 1pm London
The remanding of six human rights defenders in pre-trial custody is an appalling affront to justice and a new low in Turkey’s post-coup crackdown, said Amnesty International.
Amnesty International Turkey’s Director, Idil Eser who was among those remanded in custody, was detained alongside nine other human rights defenders on 5 July whilst attending a routine workshop. Four of them were released on bail in the early hours of this morning but are still under investigation. All ten are suspected of ‘committing crime in the name of a terrorist organization without being a member'. The six who were remanded in custody join Amnesty International Turkey’s Chair, Taner Kiliç, behind bars.
“Turkish prosecutors have had 12 days to establish the obvious: that these ten activists are innocent. The decision to proceed shows that truth and justice have become total strangers in Turkey,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty.
Hong Kong’s political leaders must show they are prepared to fiercely resist pressure from President Xi Jinping to further erode human rights in the city, Amnesty International said, as the Chinese President arrived to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.
“Hong Kong’s political leaders need to step up and show they won’t bend to Beijing’s pressure. They must be prepared to defend the city’s cherished human rights and freedoms and the rule of law that were guaranteed as part of the handover deal,” said Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.
Carrie Lam, who will be sworn in as Hong Kong’s new chief executive this weekend, has so far shown no appetite to stand up to Beijing when it comes to human rights.
There are reports banners critical of the Chinese government will be removed by police during President’s Xi visit to avoid causing “embarrassment”.
The Egyptian authorities have shifted their onslaught against media freedom to the digital sphere, blocking access to more than 40 news sites without justification in recent weeks, in an attempt to eliminate the country’s last remaining spaces for criticism and free expression, said Amnesty International.
I was arrested, tortured and imprisoned when I was just 16 years old. I was sentenced to death.
Police officers beat me with machetes and batons. The pain I went through was unimaginable.
This May, my execution was halted and I walked free. Your Write for Rights letters saved my life. Thank you.
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By Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada's Secretary General. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexNeve Amnesty
Amnesty International has reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel regarding Public Diplomacy Cooperation ( MOU) which was concluded between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries on 18 January, 2015.
On 10 February 2015 Malaysia’s Federal Court, the highest court in the country, upheld the decision of an appeal court to overturn opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal on long-standing ‘sodomy’ charges, which date back to 2008, and sentenced him to five years in prison.
Amnesty International believes this is a deplorable judgment, and the latest chapter in the Malaysian authorities’ relentless attempts to silence government critics. This oppressive ruling will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the country. The ‘sodomy’ charges against Anwar Ibrahim have always been politically motivated, and he should be released immediately.
Anwar Ibrahim is a prisoner of conscience – jailed solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. Anwar Ibrahim stated that he is innocent of the charge; that it is the result of a political conspiracy to stop his political career - and that he will never surrender.
Opposition politicians, human rights activists, lawyers, students, academics and journalists are at risk of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment in Malaysia after an alarming rise in the use of the draconian Sedition Act in recent weeks. The law is being used to target individuals for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression
Since the beginning of August, at least eight people have been charged and are at risk of imprisonment for making so-called “seditious” statements under Malaysia’s Sedition Act. This includes five opposition politicians, a journalist and an academic who have been charged under Article 4 of the Sedition Act which criminalizes the use of seditious words and publications. Amnesty International is aware of at least 15 people charged or placed under investigation under the Act.