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    April 20, 2021
    Egypt tripled number of yearly executions China pursued the death penalty to crack down on offences related to Covid-19 prevention efforts Former US administration executed staggering 10 people in less than six months in 2020 Lowest number of executions recorded in a decade for third consecutive year

    The unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic were not enough to deter 18 countries from carrying out executions in 2020, Amnesty International said today in its annual global review of the death penalty. While there was an overall trend of decline, some countries pursued or even increased the number of executions carried out, indicating a chilling disregard for human life at a time when the world’s attention focused on protecting people from a deadly virus.

    April 20, 2021

    In response to Derek Chauvin being found guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) released the following statement: 

    “Today a jury held Derek Chauvin accountable for actions emblematic of a broken policing system. No one should expect an encounter with law enforcement to end in death. And yet for George Floyd — and far too many others — that’s exactly what happened. Officers using excessive force, whatever the result, must be brought to justice. That’s what happened in the Minneapolis courtroom today,” said Paul O’Brien, Executive Director of AIUSA. 

    “In addition to our human rights to equal protection of law, security, and life, we have a right to be free from discrimination when interacting with law enforcement. This outcome is not enough, because George Floyd’s tragic death made all too clear the systemic failures of policing in the U.S. and that Black and brown communities bear the brunt of police violence. The truth is that Derek Chauvin being held accountable for killing George Floyd is the exception — not the rule.” 

    April 19, 2021

    Responding to reports that Aleksei Navalny has been transferred from the penal colony where he is unlawfully imprisoned to a medical ward at another prison, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: 

    “Aleksei Navalny’s health has deteriorated rapidly during his time in detention. He is now on hunger strike as the Russian authorities have been denying him an examination by independent doctors of his choice. The transfer of Navalny to another penal colony and the latest official statements appear to suggest that the authorities intend to start force-feeding him as a way to break his hunger strike and further punish him.”  

    April 16, 2021

    Responding to reports that South Korean steel giant POSCO will end the steel venture its Myanmar subsidiary shares with military-owned conglomerate MEHL, Amnesty International’s Business and Human Rights Researcher Montse Ferrer said: 

    “POSCO’s decision to cut this tie is the latest blow to Myanmar’s military, which continues to impose its rule through murder and heinous human rights violations. Since staging a coup in February, the military has reportedly killed around 700 people, including dozens of children.  

    “Given the scale of POSCO’s operations in Myanmar, this announcement is a major step forward. It increases the military authorities’ isolation, and adds to the growing pressure on other companies to end their business links with MEHL.  

    April 16, 2021

    Responding to the sentencing of 10 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to between eight and 18 months in prison for taking part in two “unauthorized” protests in August 2019, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director Yamini Mishra said:

    “The wrongful prosecution, conviction and sentencing of these 10 activists underlines the Hong Kong government’s intention to eliminate all political opposition in the city.

    “Having arrested the majority of Hong Kong’s most prominent dissidents using the repressive national security law, the authorities are now mopping up remaining peaceful critics under the pretext of bogus charges related to the 2019 protests.

    “These convictions are a violation of international law, which states that participating in and organizing peaceful assemblies does not require prior permission by the state. Nor does failure to notify the authorities about an assembly make it unlawful to take part in it. The prosecution’s case against these activists is simply not tenable.

    April 15, 2021

    The Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International and The Canadian Council of Churches responded with disappointment to the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision overturning the lower court’s ruling that the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is unconstitutional.

    Although it allowed the government’s appeal, the Court pointed to potential shortcomings in the review process for the Safe Third Country Agreement. The evidence is overwhelming that the US is unsafe for many refugees – yet Canada’s review process has not led the government to revoke its  designation of the US as a safe third country. We call on the government to recognize that the US is not safe and suspend the Agreement.

    April 13, 2021

    Responding to the April 11 fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by a police officer in Minnesota, Kristina Roth, Senior Advocate for Criminal Justice Programs at Amnesty International USA, said: 

    “The Amnesty movement is saddened that yet another Black father, son and partner was taken from his family as a result of the actions of police. 

    “Daunte Wright was reportedly pulled over on the pretextual grounds of having expired registration and having an air freshener dangling from his rearview mirror, neither warranting what escalated into a fatal encounter. Last year Black and Latino Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario suffered a violent traffic stop in Windsor, Virginia. Officers claimed to have not seen his paper license plate on his new car in the rear window. These incidents speak to a common denominator and remind us of systemic failures of policing, resulting in disparate enforcement on people of color, particularly Black people. Plain and simple, armed law enforcement should be taken out of the equation of traffic enforcement.

    April 08, 2021

    Amnesty International Canadian Section (English-Speaking) (AICES) respects the privacy of its employees’ personal information and will therefore not make any public comment on human resource matters.

    As human rights advocates, it is unacceptable that Amnesty supporters across our entire movement — from our governance, members, to our staff and volunteers have experienced or witnessed racism at AICES.

    It takes incredible courage to share these difficult experiences and we thank these individuals for coming forward. We take their accounts seriously and unreservedly apologize to all of our colleagues across our organization who have or continue to experience harm and pain. Our mission is to prevent and address racism and discrimination wherever it manifests.

    These issues are not new, and the Board takes full responsibility for our collective failure to hold ourselves accountable. There is more we could have done to address the different layers of individual, systemic and structural instances of racism.  

    April 06, 2021
    Pandemic lays bare massive systemic inequality worldwide with ethnic minorities, health workers, and women among the most severely impacted Report finds COVID-19 weaponized by leaders to ramp up their assault on human rights New Secretary General Agnès Callamard calls for a re-think and reset of broken systems in order to genuinely build back better

    The global pandemic has exposed the terrible legacy of deliberately divisive and destructive policies that have perpetuated inequality, discrimination and oppression and paved the way for the devastation wrought by COVID-19, Amnesty International said in its annual report published today.

    Amnesty International Report 2020/21: The State of the World’s Human Rights covers 149 countries and delivers a comprehensive analysis of human rights trends globally in 2020.

    March 30, 2021

    Responding to reports that at least 91 people, including a five-year-old boy, were killed by Myanmar security forces across the country on 27 March in its ongoing brutal crackdown on protesters, Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said: 

    “This is just the latest example of the military authorities’ determination to kill their way out of nationwide resistance to the coup. These abhorrent killings again show the generals’ brazen disregard for the inadequate pressure applied so far by the international community.

    “This comes a day after the military announced that further protests would be met with shots to the head. 

    “The cost of international inaction is being counted in bodies, including children shot dead in their homes. Amid the horrifying death toll is a nation of over 50 million held hostage, subjected to arbitrary arrest and sweeping surveillance, living in fear of death and torture.  

    March 29, 2021

    Amnesty International announced today the appointment of Dr. Agnès Callamard, a leading international human rights expert, as its new Secretary General, effective immediately. 

    Dr. Callamard joins the world’s largest non-governmental human rights organization, having recently been the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. In that role, she led ground-breaking investigations including into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    As Secretary General, Dr. Callamard will be the Chief Executive of Amnesty’s International Secretariat and the principal spokesperson of the global Amnesty movement, which has some 10 million supporters, and offices in more than 70 countries.

    March 25, 2021

    Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 25 March 2021 :

    Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada on the Government of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA) confirms the constitutionality of the federal carbon pricing backstop. 

    March 25, 2021

    Governments across Latin America and the Caribbean must prioritize high risk groups for COVID-19 vaccination and ensure complete transparency in the design and implementation of their vaccination plans and their dealings with pharmaceutical companies, said Amnesty International in a new report released today. Vaccines in the Americas: Ten Human Rights Musts to ensure health for all examines the vaccination rollout in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and outlines 10 key recommendations for governments and companies.

    “The commencement of vaccination against COVID-19 has brought hope to a region that was already experiencing multiple human rights crises, many of which have since been exacerbated by the pandemic. A year on from the beginning of lockdowns in Latin America and the Caribbean, governments must use vaccination as an opportunity to bridge inequalities, not widen them,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    March 24, 2021

    Responding to the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption, today, of a resolution calling for equitable, affordable, timely and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines, Amnesty International’s Health Advisor, Tamaryn Nelson, said:

    “This resolution is yet another urgent reminder that vaccine access is a basic human right that every single person is entitled to. The resolution rightly calls for increased international cooperation, and expresses serious concern over the global disparity in access to COVID-19 vaccines. It emphasizes the urgent need for states to fulfil the right to health and the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, which includes access to vaccines.

    “States must cooperate to ensure vaccines are developed and manufactured in sufficient supply, and distributed in a timely and equitable manner around the globe. Businesses, especially the pharmaceutical industry, must live up to their human rights responsibilities and make every effort to ensure that vaccines are affordable and accessible to the maximum number of people worldwide.

    March 24, 2021

    Statements made by the Belarusian authorities ahead of demonstrations planned for 25 March (Freedom Day) raise serious concerns that the police response will yet again be marked by severe violence, Amnesty International said today, as it called for international action to protect the rights of peaceful protesters. 

    As many journalists who document police crackdowns in Belarus have been imprisoned, Amnesty International is calling on diplomatic representatives in the country to monitor the protests and live-stream events, using their diplomatic immunity to expose expected police violence. The organization also calls on all businesses operating in Belarus to conduct urgent human rights due diligence to ensure they do not cause or contribute to human rights violations in the country. 

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