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Refugees register for transfer from Maltam to Langui refugee camp, Cameroon, 16 May 2008.

The crisis the Biya government wants the world to believe

By Alagie Jammeh, 2020 Almami Cyllah Fellow

In recent years, many authoritarian governments have applied broad definitions of terrorism to any form of political dissent, objective journalism, and the right of every person to criticize its own government. This is what is happening in Cameroon right now.

Nearly 700,000 people have been displaced, 3.9 million are in need of humanitarian support and several thousand have been killed in Cameroon, as a result of three crises (the insurgency of the armed group Boko Haram, the widening conflict between the government and armed separatists who are demanding greater freedoms and autonomy, and the culture of impunity that has been created by the 38-year administration of Cameroonian President Paul Biya). …


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by Magdalena Medley, Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group, Amnesty International USA

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that starts on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until December 10th, Human Rights Day. The United Nations adopted a specific resolution to protect Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) acknowledging that a key challenge for WHRDs is the systemic and structural discrimination and violence they face. Women defenders are subject to the same types of risks as any human rights defender, but as women, they are also targeted for or exposed to gender-specific threats and gender-specific violence.


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by Alice Dahle, Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group, Amnesty International USA

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that starts on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until December 10th, Human Rights Day. The United Nations adopted a specific resolution to protect Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) acknowledging that a key challenge for WHRDs is the systemic and structural discrimination and violence they face. Women defenders are subject to the same types of risks as any human rights defender, but as women, they are also targeted for or exposed to gender-specific threats and gender-specific violence.


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by Kaitlyn O’Shaughnessy, Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group, Amnesty International USA

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that starts on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until December 10th, Human Rights Day. The United Nations adopted a specific resolution to protect Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) acknowledging that a key challenge for WHRDs is the systemic and structural discrimination and violence they face. Women defenders are subject to the same types of risks as any human rights defender, but as women, they are also targeted for or exposed to gender-specific threats and gender-specific violence.


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By: Nancy Galib, Myanmar Country Specialist for Amnesty International USA

Five years ago, the world watched with great hope when the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory in Myanmar’s parliamentary elections. That hope turned to horror when three years ago the world watched as the Myanmar military unleashed a campaign of violence against the Rohingya. Amnesty International has documented in detail how the campaign was marked by crimes against humanity, and gathered recent evidence of indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Rakhine State that continue today, and supports calls for the investigation and prosecution of atrocity crimes — that is, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. …


By AIUSA Co-group Writers

Today, we’re highlighting “enforced disappearances” — a horrific crime where a government or its agents detain someone and then deny all knowledge of their whereabouts or fate. Enforced disappearances are used to spread terror in society, often during periods of armed conflict or repression. Once largely used by military dictatorships, they now occur in every region of the world and in a wide variety of contexts. The UN Secretary General has said that new cases are reported almost daily to the U.N., including disappearances of environmental defenders.

August 30 is the International Day of the Disappeared. In this blog post, we’ll give some examples of enforced disappearances, from Uyghurs in China to businesspeople in Pakistan and journalists in Sri Lanka. On a related note, we’ll discuss femicide in Mexico, which often involves disappearances of the victims. For each example, we’ll have opportunities for you to take action. While many of the disappeared never return and are presumed killed, that’s not always the case. We’ll show you how human rights activism can make a difference for the disappeared. The families and friends of the disappeared continue to campaign for their loved ones. Please join us in supporting their efforts to achieve justice. …


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By Karen Burkhart, AIUSA Indiana State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator

I joined Amnesty International in the 1970’s while a moratorium existed on the death penalty in the US. States gradually adjusted their death penalty statues and executions resumed with the voluntary execution of Gary Gilmore in 1977.

As a member of Amnesty, I wrote many letters on death penalty cases in many countries. The experience working on the cases solidified my objection to any killings by government whether judicial or extrajudicial. Since that time, I have been active in Amnesty as both a group death penalty coordinator and a state death penalty coordinator. I have been to numerous vigils at prisons in Ohio and Indiana. …


By: Zehra Mirza, Director of Impact and Learning, Amnesty International USA

In an era of information misuse, Amnesty International USA is using data science to advance human rights impact.

Monitoring and evaluation practices establish roadmaps for organizations to achieve change. By analyzing traditional structured data, evaluations distinguish impact by understanding the levers that bring about a certain outcome. These practices, however, can be repurposed to use big data as a means for actionable planning. While traditional forms of structured data can be easily recorded and evaluated, big unstructured data is messier and less well-understood, at times resulting in its exploitation, such as the case of Cambridge Analytica. …


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Students protesting Police Brutality in Kenya

By Adotei Akwei, Deputy Director for Advocacy and Government Relations, Amnesty International USA

The time has come for Africans to actively support police reform in the United States.

For some that might sound farfetched, however, there are several reasons why African governments, African civil society and African individuals have a role and a responsibility to show solidarity for efforts to address ongoing racism and discrimination in the United States criminal justice system too often targeted at African Americans. Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement reaffirms that the need to establish and strengthen accountability and respect for human rights is a global challenge faced by all, an ever-increasingly interconnected world. What happens in the United States regarding human rights, the rule of law and policing impacts those issues in Africa, and thus the response to challenges in these areas must similarly be global in nature. A second equally powerful reason for engagement is the principle of solidarity. …


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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

By Mark Leviton, long-time Amnesty International USA member

On November 17, 1999 I witnessed the execution of death row inmate John Lamb at the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas. I had begun corresponding and visiting John several years earlier, after I responded to his advertisement asking for a pen pal. I had been doing low-level anti-death-penalty work as a member of Amnesty International for two decades, but had never had contact with a death row prisoner, and when John’s ad mentioned he was a fan of Grateful Dead, a band I loved, I decided to contact him. At the time his case was winding through appeals (the state of Texas “lost” his case for five years), and the possibility of him actually being executed someday seemed remote. …

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Amnesty International USA

We've been fighting the bad guys since 1961 - you can join us! Official Amnesty International USA profile.

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