Miles de apátridas: la vergüenza de República Dominicana

Batey Samana Larga de Gonzalo en la Provincia Monte Plata, República Dominicana.

Batey Samana Larga de Gonzalo en la Provincia Monte Plata, República Dominicana.

Por Erika Guevara Rosas, directora para las Américas de Amnistía Internacional.

Las declaraciones del ex-presidente de la República Dominicana, Leonel Fernández, en un artículo publicado el 19 de noviembre en El País, son un reflejo de la negligencia del gobierno dominicano de enfrentar la histórica discriminación y violaciones a los derechos humanos de un grupo importante de ciudadanas y ciudadanos.

En sus declaraciones, el ex-presidente intenta justificar lo injustificable, afirmando que: “en la República Dominicana no hay apatridia ni discriminación”. ¿Qué ocurre entonces con las miles de personas que ahora mismo están en esta situación?

No es nuevo que los gobiernos intenten justificar las violaciones de derechos humanos, pero la intencional ceguera de las autoridades dominicanas es un juego que se vuelve cada día más peligroso. Negar que exista discriminación en la República Dominicana es absurdo y exime al gobierno de asumir sus responsabilidades internacionales de protección de los derechos humanos. Continue reading

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Open letter to Putin – 148 NGOs slam ‘foreign agents’ law

The offices of the NGO HRC Memorial in Moscow were vandalized with graffiti “Foreign agent. Love USA”. © Yulia Orlova/HRC Memorial

By Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director

It’s common knowledge that some members of the Soviet secret services came to work for the KGB after watching films about Soviet secret agents and enemy spies. Some openly admitted it.

In these films, Soviets were seen as scouts while foreigners were always portrayed as spies. For years, government censorship barred the foreign James Bond films from the Soviet screen, but the 90s era of videocassette recorders brought these in too. The spy, James Bond, was known by his codename – Agent 007. Despite his eye-catching appearance, all compatriots were convinced – he was not one of them.

As the years went by, fans of spy films moved on from the KGB to other positions, but it seems like the image of the foreign enemy agent has lingered in their memories. And, who knows, maybe this led to the idea that if you call someone you need to discredit an “agent”, the unpleasant associations would then do the trick. Russian people do not like “agents”. Continue reading

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Write a letter, change a life

In this issue of WIRE you’ll meet 12 very different people and communities. What they all have in common is that there is a real opportunity, right now, to make a positive difference in their lives.

This December, for the 12th year in a row, women, men and children all over the world will come together – in community centres, on street corners, at home and online – to do one very simple thing: write letters.

Our messages – more than 2.3 million in 2013 – have a particular kind of power. Imagine spending days, months, years thinking the world has forgotten you. Then suddenly, thousands of letters arrive: tangible proof that you are not alone. That’s what happened to Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, who was released earlier this year (see page 3).

And that’s what will happen to many others as we sharpen our pencils and get typing during the world’s largest human rights event, Write for Rights.

Join us! You’ll find everything you need to take part in this special edition of WIRE, Amnesty’s global campaigning magazine.

Posted in Belarus, China, Greece, India, Individuals at Risk, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

International Day of Tolerance: How can we protect minorities from hate crimes?

An anti-racism demonstration in Hoyerswerda, Germany, in September 2012, on the anniversary of the 1991 racist riots. Credit: Theo Schneider

To mark the International Day of Tolerance on 16 November, Amnesty researcher Marco Perolini speaks to families in Germany who have been the victims of racist threats and attacks.

“I am not going out without my husband anymore, I am too scared. We spend all our time indoors. People always give me bad looks just because I am wearing the headscarf and I am a foreigner, I feel so rejected here.”

‘J’ (we can’t give her real name) is a Palestinian from Lebanon living in Hoyerswerda in eastern Germany, near the Polish border. In this town, she is one of very few women wearing a headscarf. Earlier this year, she took her two children to the doctor when two men in a car approached her, started shouting insults and threw a bottle of beer at her. Continue reading

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