Posts Tagged ‘Amnesty International report’

Tajikistan women beaten, abused and raped in the family

November 24, 2009

Amnesty International USA, 24 November 2009

The authorities in Tajikistan must properly prosecute violence against women as a criminal offence, Amnesty International said in a report published on Tuesday.

Violence is not just a family affair: Women face abuse in Tajikistan, documents the physical, psychological and sexual abuse women face in the family and urges the authorities to address it as the crime it is and not to dismiss it as a “private family matter”.

Continues >>


    Lies and Israel’s war crimes

    July 29, 2009

    Ben White, The Electronic Intifada, 28 July 2009

    A Palestinian UN worker inspects debris after an Israeli air strike on a UN school in Gaza where civilians were seeking refuge, 17 January 2009. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

    This month marked six months since the “official” conclusion to Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, “Operation Cast Lead.” From 27 December to 18 January, the might of the one of the world’s strongest militaries laid waste to a densely-packed territory of 1.4 million Palestinians without an escape route.

    The parallel propaganda battle fought by Israel’s official and unofficial apologists continued after the ceasefire, in a desperate struggle to combat the repeated reports by human rights groups of breaches of international law. This article will look at some of the strategies of this campaign of disinformation, confusion, and lies — and the reality of Israel’s war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Very early on in Operation Cast Lead, the scale of Israel’s attack became apparent. In just the first six days the Israeli Air Force carried out more than 500 sorties against targets in the Gaza Strip. That amounted to an attack from the air roughly every 18 minutes — not counting hundreds of helicopter attacks, tank and navy shelling, and infantry raids. All of this on a territory similar in size to the US city of Seattle.

    Continues >>

    Saudi rights abuses rise due to counter-terrorism methods

    July 24, 2009

    Middle East Online, First Published 2009-07-22

    Saudi used its ‘powerful international clout’ to get away with abuses

    Amnesty International: thousands detained in virtual secrecy under guise of security in Saudi.

    LONDON – Human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia have soared as a result of counter-terrorism measures introduced since the 2001 attacks in the United States, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

    The London-based rights organisation warned in a new report that under the guise of national security, thousands of people had been arrested and detained in virtual secrecy  and others had been killed in “uncertain circumstances”.

    There have long been human rights problems in the kingdom but Amnesty said the number of people being held arbitrarily, including both Saudi nationals and foreigners, “has risen from hundreds to thousands since 2001”.

    “These unjust anti-terrorism measures have made an already dire human rights situation worse,” said Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa programme.

    Amnesty noted that in June 2007, the Saudi interior ministry reported that 9,000 security suspects had been detained between 2003 and 2007 and that 3,106 of these were still being held.

    Some of those held are prisoners of conscience, targeted for their criticism of government policies, the report said.

    The majority are suspected of supporting groups that are opposed to Saudi Arabia’s close links to the United States and have carried out a number of attacks targeting Westerners and others.

    Amnesty said trials of people suspected of terrorism offences are carried out in secret, despite sentences ranging from fines to the death penalty. The names of those involved or the charges against them are not disclosed.

    “Detainees are held with no idea of what is going to happen to them,” Smart said. “Most are held incommunicado for years without trial, and are denied access to lawyers and the courts to challenge the legality of their detention.”

    The Saudi authorities were not immediately available for comment, but the country’s top human rights official said last month that suspected militants being tried in special courts were allowed lawyers to help their defence.

    “They can choose a lawyer… or the ministry of justice will provide one,” said Bandar al-Aiban, president of the official Saudi Human Rights Commission.

    He said he regretted that the trials were being kept secret but said the government was worried some defendants would use a public trial as a soapbox to preach radical ideology. “We have to be mindful of other dangers,” he said.

    Amnesty accused the international community of failing to hold the Saudi government to account over the alleged violations, saying the kingdom “has used its powerful international clout to get away with it”.

    The group also reported that many people were thought to have been tortured “in order to extract confessions or as punishment after conviction”.

    Methods include severe beatings by sticks, suspension from the ceiling and the use of electric shocks and sleep deprivation, while “flogging is also imposed as a legal punishment by itself or in addition to imprisonment”.

    Background to Uighur unrest

    July 16, 2009

    Nick Holdstock, Edinburgh Review | Eurozine, July 12, 2009

    The city at the empire’s edge

    The Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous region of China has seen a series of clashes between the majority Uighurs and Han Chinese settlers since the 1980s. But it was in the city of Yining that the largest protest took place on 5 February 1997. Initially written off by the Chinese authorities as an outbreak of random violence, since 9/11 it has been portrayed as the work of Islamist separatists. Nick Holdstock reports on a more nuanced reality of unemployment, religious repression, and the wish for independence.

    On 5 February 1997, something happened in Yining, a small border town in northwest China. There was definitely a march, possibly a riot, maybe even a massacre. There were certainly shootings, injuries and deaths.

    When you finally reach Yining, after two days on a train from Beijing, then another day on a bus, you will see the same broad streets lined with twostorey, white-tiled buildings that exist in every town in China. You can buy the same pirate DVDs, engine parts, strips of beef suffocated in plastic as you would elsewhere. You will recognise the men with short black hair in blue or black cheap suits, one hand hovering close to their pager, the other holding a cigarette of almost prohibitive strength. There will be overcrowded buses, red taxis with their fare lights on, men and women squatting, waiting, cracking sunflower seeds. Never mind that the sky’s unusually blue, that once, between a gap in the buildings, you glimpse a line of white-toothed mountains. By the time you reach the town square you will have forgotten that Kazakhstan is less than an hour away.

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    Amnesty International Report: “Wanton Destruction” by Israel in Gaza

    March 7, 2009
    author Saturday March 07, 2009 04:32author by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News Report this post to the editors

    Amnesty International has released a report saying that Israel engaged in “wanton destruction” of Palestinian homes during its recent invasion of the Gaza Strip.

    Amnesty International logo
    Amnesty International logo

    An estimated 14,000 homes, 219 factories, and 240 schools were destroyed in the three-week long Israeli attack in January.

    The Amnesty report to say that this ‘wanton destruction’ would qualify as a war crime, as there was no military objective in most cases.

    A group of Israeli soldiers have echoed the findings of the Amnesty report.  ‘Breaking the Silence’ is an organization made up of Israeli soldiers who have served in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    The group’s president, Yehuda Shaul, said that the group has gathered testimonies from soldiers who were part of the Gaza invasion, and the testimonies indicate that most of the demolition was done after an area was under Israeli control.

    Tens of thousands of Palestinians were rendered homeless during the Israeli invasion of Gaza, and fourteen hundred were killed.  Of those, one thousand were civilians.  Fourteen Israelis were killed during the same time period, nine of whom were soldiers.

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