Two ways we can change the world

Real opportunities to change the world don’t come around very often. Then suddenly, two come along at once.

In April, government officials will meet to discuss our private lives. Their distant decisions could translate into harsh realities – see our WIRE features from Nepal and Argentina. By joining our My Body My Rights campaign, you can be one of millions pushing for positive changes worldwide.

Right now, we also have a unique chance to support migrants and refugees risking everything to reach Europe. People shouldn’t have to die at sea, be locked up for years or violently turned back. Our S.O.S. Europe campaign asks EU governments to treat people fairly and with dignity. Their voices aren’t always heard, but they still have human rights. We’ll stand with them to make sure that fact is never forgotten.

Read about this and much more in WIRE, our global campaigning magazine.

Posted in Argentina, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Death Penalty, Demand Dignity, India, LGBT Rights, Maternal Mortality and Reproductive Rights, Maternal Mortality and Reproductive Rights, Mongolia, Nepal, Refugees, Russian Federation, Syria, Unfair Trials, Women, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The #IzmirTwitterCase: Ludicrous and baseless, yet set to continue

By Andrew GardnerAmnesty International’s Turkey researcher

I was in court on Monday 21 April to hear first hand the ludicrous decision to continue the trial of 29 young women and men in what has been coined the ‘Twitter trial’.

The prosecution – based solely on tweets about the Gezi Park protests last summer – is an attack on the right to share information and opinions via social media. A trial that should have never have been started is now set to continue into a third hearing, scheduled for 14 July. Continue reading

Posted in Censorship and Free Speech, Internet and Social Media, Turkey, Uncategorized, Unfair Trials | Tagged | Leave a comment

Life in limbo for Dominicans of Haitian descent

Franklin Jaque José was born in the Dominican Republic of Haitian migrants in 1984. He is being denied access to his Dominican identity documents since 2012, leaving him effectively stateless. © Amnesty International

By Robin Guittard, Caribbean team Campaigner at Amnesty International

“I don’t feel free,” Franklin Jaque José told me. “You’re in a circle where they get you trapped.”

Franklin is just one of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent who face significant legal barriers that prevent them from going about their day-to-day lives. Over the last decade, Franklin says he has not been able to continue his education, has had to leave school, and is now being denied access to formal jobs. Continue reading

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Lessons from beyond the mass grave

 800,000 people perished during the Rwanda Genocide 20 years ago ©PHIL MOORE/AFP/Getty Images


800,000 people perished during the Rwanda Genocide 20 years ago ©PHIL MOORE/AFP/Getty Images

By Salil Shetty, Secretary General at Amnesty International.

It was a haunting discovery: A terrified 11-year-old girl cowering in the corner of a ransacked house three days after her village had been attacked in a horrific act of ethnic cleansing. Her parents had also been killed and in the streets outside dogs fed on the decomposing bodies of her neighbours.

This scene, witnessed by Amnesty International researchers, may be reminiscent of one that occurred during the Rwanda genocide. But this girl was a Muslim, not a Tutsi. The village was in the Central African Republic not in Rwanda. And this happened in February, not 20 years ago. Continue reading

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Turkey Twitter trial

By Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International Turkey researcher

On Monday 21 April, I will be in a courtroom in Izmir, observing the second hearing in the ‘Twitter case’ against 29 men and women who are being accused of ‘inciting the public to break the law’. Their crime? Sending out tweets during the first few days of the Gezi Park protests last June. If found guilty, they could face up to 3 years in prison.

During the protests that began in Istanbul’s Gezi Park and Taksim Square and quickly spread around the country in June 2013, social media played a central role, allowing protestors to share information on where police were breaking up the protests or to request medical support or information on individuals whose whereabouts were unclear. With the mainstream media failing to report the events, social media platforms also allowed the public to find out what was going on in the streets. Continue reading

Posted in Censorship and Free Speech, Internet and Social Media, Turkey, Uncategorized | Tagged | 12 Comments

‘The true worth of our presence’ – Syrian lawyers risk detention and death in the name of justice

Syrian lawyer Khalil Ma’touq has been in detention for more than a year and a half © Amnesty International.

Syrian lawyer Khalil Ma’touq has been in detention for more than a year and a half © Amnesty International.

By a Damascus-based human rights lawyer *

Being a human rights lawyer in Syria has never been easy. We have always been vulnerable to prosecution or at risk of arrest by the authorities. Over the past few years, however, the situation has become increasingly unbearable.

Human rights lawyers have become a continuous target. The authorities have waged a campaign to intimidate them and have expelled several from the lawyers’ union. Many have been arrested or died as a result of torture in prison. Continue reading

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