In the News

News Update

June 15, 2016

Alison L. Schmidt, Esq.

Europe

France: The man who killed a French police officer and his partner in a stabbing attack outside their home near Paris was inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, according to a video he posted on Facebook during the attack.

Ireland: The UN Human Rights Committee’s ground-breaking decision stated that Ireland’s law prohibiting and criminalizing abortion violated the human rights of a woman. She had a diagnosis of fatal fetal impairment. It is the first time an international human rights body has found a state in violation of its human right obligations for criminalizing and prohibiting abortion.

Asia

Bangladesh: The Bangladeshi authorities failed to take decisive action against violent groups responsible for at least 10 killings over the past two months. This has created a climate of impunity. “The brazen announcement by violent groups that they will continue targeting those they perceive as ‘insulting Islam’ should shake the Bangladeshi authorities out of their complacency,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for South Asia.

Middle East

Syria: President Assad declared to take back “every inch” of Syria in his speech to government officials. This could hurt the international peace efforts by Russia, the US, EU, and other countries.

Africa

Libya: The EU’s plans to cooperate more closely with Libya on with the ill-treatment and indefinite detention in horrifying conditions of thousands of refugees. Amnesty International spoke to 90 people who survived sea crossing from Libya to Italy. At least 20 refugees described shootings and beatings while being picked up by the coastguard or torture and other ill-treatment at detention centers. In one case, the Libyan coastguard abandoned a boat leaving some 120 people on board.

Malawi: A surge in killings of people with albinism, whose body parts are used in ritual practices, has exposed a systematic failure of policing in Malawi and left this vulnerable group living in fear. The Amnesty International report exposes how the wave of violent attacks against people with albinism has increased sharply over the last two years. In April 2016 four people, including a baby, were murdered.

North America

United States: The wife of the gunman who killed 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub knew of his plans for the attack. She could soon be charged in connection with the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

United States: Following the release of videos and other materials related to 101 instances of Chicago police officers shooting or injuring civilians, Amnesty International USA praised this measure of transparency and called for widespread reform of laws governing the use of force by police.

South and Central America

Brazil: The planned forced eviction of nine families of the Guarani Kaiowá Apika’y Indigenous Peoples from their ancestral lands in Mato Grosso do Sul state is another example of the authorities riding rough-shod over human rights to make way for landowners and profit, said Amnesty International.

Venezuela: The Venezuelan authorities’ stubborn denial over the country’s current humanitarian crisis, and refusal to ask for international aid, are putting the lives and rights of millions of people at serious risk. “Stubborn politics are seriously affecting millions of lives. The lethal combination of severe food and medicine shortages coupled with sky-high crime rates, persistent human rights violations and ill-conceived policies that focus on trying to keep people quiet instead of responding to their desperate calls for help are a recipe for an epic catastrophe,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Mexico: International human rights organizations brought attention to the involvement of Mexican authorities in kidnappings, mass executions and other crimes. Now these groups want to show how United States policies and military aid plays a role. The American Friends Service Committee is leading a fact-finding mission in Mexico over the next two weeks. It is meant to increase awareness about how the U.S. has fueled human rights violations by providing weapons and funds to Mexican security forces.