By the AIUSA Cogroup Writers

August 30 is the International Day of the Disappeared. Enforced disappearances are a horrific crime where a government or its agents detain someone and then deny all knowledge of their whereabouts or fate. Once largely used by military dictatorships, they now occur in every region of the world and in a wide variety of contexts. Enforced disappearances are used to spread terror in society, often during periods of armed conflict or repression.

Amnesty International campaigns against enforced disappearances. We stand with the families of the disappeared in their quest to learn the fate of their…

By Kaitlyn O’Shaughnessy, AIUSA Women’s Rights Coordination Group

On Wednesday, June 16, 2021, U.S. Attorney General Garland overruled two prior precedent decisions which will ease the asylum process for women, survivors of domestic violence, and families, restoring a part of U.S. asylum law to its pre-Trump state.

Attorney General Garland overruled Matter of A-B- 27 I&N Dec. 316 (A.G. 2018) (“A-B- I”). In Matter of A-B- I, Attorney General Sessions overruled a prior precedent case which had recognized certain survivors of domestic violence as “members of a particular social group” for purposes of an asylum claim. Matter of A-B largely…

By the AIUSA Cogroup Writers

June 26 is observed each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Amnesty International is campaigning to abolish torture wherever it occurs. Torture is barbaric and inhumane. It can never be justified. In this blog post, we’ll describe some of the countries where torture is practiced and provide you with ways to join our fight against it. Make no mistake — this has been and will be a long, hard fight. But it is the right thing to do. …

By Diane Bernabei, Jasmeet Sidhu, Nate Smith, and Susan Waltz, Amnesty International USA

In its first hundred days, the Biden Administration has missed a number of opportunities to make meaningful reforms in arms trade policy to help protect human rights around the world, as well as in the United States. While any respite from the aggressively dangerous recklessness of the Trump Administration is welcome, human rights activists must not become complacent: President Biden has not yet reversed the previous administration’s cruel policy bringing landmines back into the U.S. military’s arsenal; the Trump administration’s “unsigning” of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)…

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.

In December 2020…

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…

One hundred Statues of Liberty assemble outside the US Embassy in central London on Thursday 27 April 2017, to mark US President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office (29 April).

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.


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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