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    January 24, 2021

    Prison officials in Egypt are subjecting prisoners of conscience and others held for political reasons to torture, cruel and inhuman conditions of detention and are deliberately denying them health care to punish dissent, Amnesty International said in a new damning report today highlighting how prison authorities’ callousness has led or contributed to deaths in custody and irreparable harm to prisoners’ health.

    The report, “What do I care if you die?” Negligence and denial of heath care in the Egyptian prisons released on the 10th anniversary of the start of Egypt’s 2011 uprising, paints a grim picture of the human rights crisis in Egyptian prisons, which president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government has packed with brave men and women who were at the forefront of the struggle for social and political justice. It also shows how prison authorities have failed to protect prisoners from the COVID-19 pandemic and regularly discriminate against prisoners from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

    January 22, 2021

    Today is an historic milestone in the campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons, Amnesty International said, as the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) enters into force. The treaty makes it illegal under international law to develop, test, possess, host, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons, and has been adopted by two-thirds of UN member states. 

    None of the world’s nuclear powers have signed the treaty, and Amnesty International is urging these states and others to join the movement to eliminate the most inhumane and destructive weapons ever created.  

    “Until now, nuclear weapons have been the only weapons of mass destruction not subject to a global ban treaty, despite the catastrophic harm they inflict. Today’s momentous change in international law - the result of decades of campaigning by civil society - brings us one step closer to abolishing the nuclear threat for good,” said Verity Coyle, Amnesty International's Senior Advisor on Military, Security and Policing.

    January 21, 2021

    Amnesty International Australia today welcomed the further release of refugees from the Park Hotel, Alternative Place of Detention (APOD), in Melbourne, but said the release showed the policy was arbitrary and cruel. Amnesty redoubled its call for the release of a further 14 people who remain in detention and all those arbitrarily detained.

    Among those released is Mostafa “Moz” Azimitabar, a courageous voice of the #GameOver campaign, who was Medevac’d to Australia at the end of 2019 for urgent medical care and has been in detention ever since.

    “This is the most beautiful moment of my life… after 2,737 days locked up in detention – I am free.

    “Thank you to all of the amazing people who helped me to stay strong.

    “If I am able to obtain my freedom, there should be the opportunity for the others seeking asylum to have their freedom as well. Until all of us are free, none of us are truly free.”

    January 20, 2021

    The Ugandan authorities must immediately lift the police and military siege of opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi’s home and release him and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi. This is an arbitrary detention, said Amnesty International as the post-election blockade entered its 7th day.

    Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, was declared runner-up by the Electoral Commission in last week’s presidential election, with 34.8% of the vote, behind President Yoweri Museveni, who it said got 58.6%. Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) party have alleged fraud.

    “Robert Kyagulanyi and his wife, Barbara Kyagulanyi, are being held under house arrest without being presented before a judge and for a non-cognizable offence. This is also having an impact on his ability to challenge the presidential election results, in what appears to be a ploy to prevent the NUP from going to court in time,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

    January 19, 2021

    Democratic Republic of Congo’s authorities must immediately and unconditionally release 10 youth activists who are facing malicious charges solely for participating in a peaceful protest to demand the protection of civilians in Beni Town, Amnesty International said today ahead of their sentencing by a military court on 20 January.

    Eight of the 10 activists, belonging to the youth movement, Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA), were arrested in Beni on 19 December after they staged a protest to denounce what they see as the UN peacekeeping force’s failure to protect civilians in the area. Two other activists, also belonging to LUCHA, were arrested in Beni on 7 January, during a peaceful protest against a new taxation on motorcycle taxis.

    “The arrests and subsequent prosecutions of these youth activists for merely asking for the protection of civilians in Beni is a travesty and amounts to persecution. This persecution contravenes the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    January 19, 2021

    Responding to the record prison sentence handed to Anchan P. by a Thai court today after conviction for lèse majesté and computer-related crimes,  Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director, Yamini Mishra, said:

    “This shocking case is yet another serious assault on Thailand’s vanishing space for freedom of expression.  

    “The fast-rising number of individuals facing charges and being detained under the lèse majesté law demonstrates the Thai authorities’ relentless drive to silence dissent. Today’s extreme sentence is a case in point, and shows why this law is inconsistent with international human rights law.

    “Defamation should never incur a criminal conviction in the first place, let alone an extremely long jail sentence like today’s.

    January 18, 2021

    Reacting to news that prominent Russian opposition activist Aleksei Navalny has been remanded in custody for 30 days, following an unprecedented court “hearing” at the police station where he has been held since being arrested on arrival from Berlin, Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director, said: 

    “Today's ‘hearing’ makes a mockery of ​​justice. Not only did the authorities shamelessly bring a judge to the police station to rule on Aleksei Navalny’s detention, but they also denied him access to his lawyer until the last possible moment. No independent media or member of the public was present to witness this farcical ‘hearing’, but to give the illusion of a transparent process, the ‘courtroom’ was packed with representatives of the pro-government press.” 

    January 18, 2021

    Russian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release prominent Kremlin critic, Aleksei Navalny, detained minutes after he arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport from Berlin, Amnesty International said today. Navalny had been recovering in the German capital after being poisoned in Siberia in August. 

    “Aleksei Navalny’s arrest is further evidence that Russian authorities are seeking to silence him. His detention only highlights the need to investigate his allegations that he was poisoned by state agents acting on orders from the highest levels,” said Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director. 

    “The Russian authorities have waged a relentless campaign against Navalny. While he was recovering in Germany, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service demanded that he immediately present himself to a probation officer or face prison for violating a non-custodial criminal sentence, which was based on politically motivated charges. He has now been arrested on trumped-up charges of fraud.” 

    January 15, 2021

    OTTAWA – Canadian journalists have an extra week to submit their stories to Amnesty International’s Media Awards in Canada, the human rights organization announced today.

    The English-speaking branch of Amnesty International’s Canadian section will now accept submissions up to 11:59 p.m. EST on Jan. 22, 2021.

    These awards honour outstanding reporting on human rights issues by journalists in Canada and Canadian journalists abroad, while also increasing awareness and understanding of human rights issues for all in Canada.

    If you are a Canadian journalist or working as a journalist in Canada, we invite you to review the judging criteria below and submit your 2020 human rights stories with the link provided. We look forward to hearing from you.

    All entries must be published or broadcast in Canada between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020. Unfortunately, we can only accept English submissions at this time.

    For more information, please contact: Lucy Scholey, Media Relations, Amnesty International Canada, 613-853-2142,

    January 13, 2021

    Ten years after Tunisia’s Revolution, which sparked a wave of uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, victims are still struggling to obtain justice and reparations for grave human rights violations committed during the revolution, between 17 December 2010 and 14 January 2011, said Amnesty International today in a detailed statement.

    Successive Tunisian governments have failed to prioritize accountability for human rights violations committed by security forces. Impunity for acts of torture and other ill-treatment or excessive use of force of the past has contributed to a never-ending cycle of violations.

    Since May 2018, at least 10 trials relating to the violent repression of the revolution were initiated before the Specialized Criminal Chambers created by the Transitional Justice law to address crimes of the past – but no verdict has been handed down. Former and current Ministry of Interior officials have refused to respond to court summons to appear.

    January 13, 2021
    Field investigators visited dozens of strike sites in Azerbaijan and Armenia Evidence refutes both sides’ denials they launched indiscriminate strikes, including with cluster munitions Other weapons used include ballistic missiles and volleys of notoriously imprecise rockets and artillery


    The Armenian and Azerbaijani forces’ repeated use of notoriously inaccurate and indiscriminate weapons – including cluster munitions and explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated civilian areas – violated international humanitarian law and killed scores of civilians, injured hundreds and destroyed homes and key infrastructure in the recent conflict, Amnesty International said today.

    January 13, 2021

    In response to the events of last week and in anticipation of more gatherings by white supremacists ahead of the inauguration, Amnesty International USA has sent a letter to 3,500 United States mayors and governors calling on them to protect people from armed groups and to denounce white supremacy.

    January 13, 2021

    Responding to the acquittal today of MP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan and four others in the 2005 assassination of Tamil MP Joseph Pararajasingham, following an announcement by the Attorney General’s Office that it would be dropping the charges against the suspects, David Griffiths, Director of the Office of the Secretary General at Amnesty International, said: 

    “The collapse of this case marks yet another sorry milestone in the Sri Lankan authorities’ continued failure to ensure justice for crimes committed during the armed conflict. The Attorney General’s Office has not indicated any interest in re-opening the investigation into the murder.

    “Those aligned with the state must not continue to enjoy impunity for historic abuses. Without accountability, Sri Lanka will never be able to turn the page on this dark chapter. The authorities must immediately launch a new thorough, effective and impartial criminal investigation and bring those responsible for Joseph Pararajasingham’s murder to justice.  

    January 13, 2021

    Responding to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) shutting down access to social media services in the run up to the 14 January general election, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty Iinternational's Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said: 

    “Amid concerns over threatening rhetoric from high-ranking government officials, use of violence and an escalating crackdown on political opposition, human rights defenders, activists, journalists and civil society actors, it is alarming that the Ugandan authorities have suspended social media networks including Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp and restricted people’s right to freedom of expression and access to information. 

    January 11, 2021

    Approximately 2,500 people, including 900 residents of temporary camp Lipa, remain without basic shelter in perilously cold conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina as authorities fail to provide adequate accommodation to migrants and asylum-seekers, and EU agencies continue to support short-term solutions.

    In a statement issued today, leading human rights organizations, Amnesty International, Jesuit Refugee Service Europe, Médecins du Monde Belgique and Refugee Rights Europe have called for immediate humanitarian support to address the current emergency as well as durable institutional solutions to meet the needs of people transiting through the country.

    “Accommodation is available to house most of the people currently sleeping rough in bitterly cold temperatures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. What is lacking is the political will to make that happen. The authorities at all levels must immediately provide suitable shelter and assistance to those in need,” said Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.


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