By Zoya Waliany, AIUSA Saudi Arabia Country Specialist
After 1,001 days away from her family and her friends, Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has finally been released from detention. In the first three months of her detention, Loujain faced sexual abuse and other torture. She also spent several months in solitary confinement.
She was wrongly detained in May 2018, along with other Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists who led the campaign to legalize driving for women in the Kingdom. On February 10, 2021, Loujain was conditionally released from detention. However, she is not yet free.
By Jim McDonald, Sri Lanka Country Specialist, Amnesty International USA
Today, the human rights situation in Sri Lanka is grim. The government is silencing and intimidating dissenting voices. The space for civil society, independent of government control, is shrinking alarmingly. If present trends continue, we could see a deterioration in the protection of human rights, with grave implications for the security of Sri Lanka’s people, particularly vulnerable minorities.
The UN Human Rights Council is meeting now in Geneva. The Council is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world. It’s crucial that the Council adopt a robust resolution…
By Adotei Akwei, Deputy Director, Amnesty International USA
On the first day of his tenure, President Biden signed an executive order rescinding the Muslim and African bans which had excluded citizens from 13 mostly Muslim-majority and African countries from traveling to the United States. The Trump travel bans were among the most blatant and odious examples of the bigotry and racism that flourished over the last four years, but they were just part of a larger infrastructure and machine that openly and enthusiastically repudiated international human rights obligations, national laws and historic precedent. That machine consisted of personnel — individuals…
By Diane Bernabei (AIUSA Military, Security and Police Transfers Coordination Group)
On Wednesday, December 22, 2020, plain-clothed Ugandan security forces abducted Nicholas Opiyo while he was eating lunch at a restaurant in Kamwokya near Kampala in Uganda. They held him incommunicado for more than 24 hours. He was held at the Special Investigations Division in Kireka, a detention center in capital of Uganda, Kampala, notorious for its mistreatment of detainees, and for almost two days was not charged, released, or presented in court.
Nicholas Opiyo is not a criminal; he is a leading human rights lawyer who has worked tirelessly…
By Joshua Cooper, Hawaii Legislative Coordinator, Amnesty International USA
The United States underwent its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) one week after the recent election.
For two years, civil society organizations across the country drafted stakeholder submissions, met with UN Missions in Geneva and New York to share specific recommendations, and hosted side events in New York, Washington, D.C. and Geneva (virtually) to provide vital voices from directly impacted people to diplomats.
For most hard-core human rights activists — even from Amnesty International — the UPR is not widely known. However, every country around the world participates regularly in the…
By Roger-Mark De Souza, Chief Movement Building Officer, Amnesty International USA
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each year, people throughout the world observe December 10 as Human Rights Day, many by taking action for human rights. At Amnesty International, we mark this day through our Write for Rights campaign. We come together in over 150 countries and territories to send letters of support to, and on behalf of, individuals who have been detained, imprisoned, attacked, and disappeared for peacefully exercising their rights and for defending others’ human rights.
By Nate Smith, Chair, AIUSA Military, Security and Police Transfers Coordination Group
It’s easy to miss other news from around the globe while a pandemic rages, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable among us and turning millions of lives upside-down. The recent news that the Trump Administration plans to sell a massive $27 billion worth of advanced weapons to the UAE is a shocking and grim reminder that there are other ongoing crises around the world happening during this raging pandemic, multiplying the tragedy for millions of families. …
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…
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…
by Alice Dahle, Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group, Amnesty International USA
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