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Libyan, European and Panamanian authorities must ensure that at least 79 refugees and migrants who are on board a merchant vessel at the port of Misratah are not forced to disembark to be taken to a Libyan detention centre where they could face torture and other abuse, said Amnesty International today.
Five years to the day after the Lampedusa tragedy in which at least 368 people died, rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea are more vital than ever. It is alarming that the last rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean may be forced to stop operating. We call on European leaders to ensure the Aquarius can continue to save lives at sea.
By Conor Fortune, Senior Communications Adviser - Crisis Response London, 26 September 2018, 17:01 UTC
A grisly video showing a heinous act of violence quickly went viral after it was posted on 10 July 2018. Men dressed in army fatigues and wielding military-grade rifles brutally marched women and young children – including a baby strapped to his mother’s back – to a rural location before blindfolding and executing them in a hail of bullets.
Torturers are not born, they are recruited, trained, equipped and supported. In many cases it is foreign companies and governments who supply them with the law enforcement equipment that is used to inflict torture or other ill-treatment, and the expertise in how to use them.
While certain governments are directly involved in the trade of these “tools of torture”, others prefer to turn a blind eye.
Companies all over the world are still profiting from the sale of gruesome torture equipment like spiked batons, stun belts and leg irons, Amnesty International said today, as it called on world leaders to join the Global Alliance for Torture-Free Trade, a landmark agreement launched in 2017.
Responding to news that the Panama Maritime Authority revoked the registration of the search and rescue ship, Aquarius, operated by SOS Mediterranée and Médecins Sans Frontières, reportedly after pressure from the Italian government, Elisa di Pieri Amnesty International’s Europe Researcher said:
“After closing its ports and seizing NGO ships, it now appears that Italian authorities have resorted to even more underhand tactics to curtail the life-saving work of NGO search and rescue ships in the central Mediterranean.
La répression d'envergure qu'exercent les autorités marocaines contre des milliers de migrants, demandeurs d'asile et réfugiés subsahariens en l’absence de procédure régulière est cruelle et illégale, a déclaré Amnesty International alors que le gouvernement multiplie les raids dans le nord du pays.
The Moroccan authorities’ large-scale crackdown on thousands of sub-Saharan migrants, asylum seekers and refugees without due process is cruel and unlawful, Amnesty International said amid ongoing intensive government raids in the north of the country.
Since the end of July, the Moroccan police together with the Royal Gendarmerie and the Auxiliary Forces have carried out major raids on the neighbourhoods where refugees and migrants live in several cities, with particular intensity in the northern provinces of Tangiers, Nador and Tetuan, which neighbour the Spanish borders.
Index: ASA 05/8971/2018
30 August 2018
JOINT OPEN LETTER TO THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM LEADERS AND OBSERVERS IN THE CONTEXT OF AUSTRALIA’S ABUSIVE OFFSHORE REFUGEE PROCESSING POLICY
By Lisa Maracani
“It is painful to live not knowing where your loved one is. Every day I think that he will come back, or that someone will tell me that he has been found. I am always pained when my children ask where their father is. I don’t have an answer for them.”
In a moving account, Sheffra, the wife of Zimbabwean journalist Itai Dzamara, told of her painful search to find out what happened to her husband, who was last seen in 2015. Itai is just one of many people who have been forcibly disappeared, just for doing his job.
Responding to proposals by the European Commission to create ‘controlled centres’ for processing people rescued in the Mediterranean as well as disembarkation platforms in third countries, Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Director of Campaigns for Europe, said:
“These proposals are a blueprint for a dangerous expansion of the European policies that are resulting in untold suffering and human rights violations in the Mediterranean. Attempts to push migrants out of sight are neither workable nor unconscionable.
Responding to the release of the final text for the Global Compact on Refugees, which was agreed by UN Member States, Charmain Mohamed, Head of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International, said:
European Union (EU) leaders have chosen fear over compassion by signing off Council Conclusions which could harm some of the world’s most vulnerable men, women and children, Amnesty International said today.
The political agreement issued today details new migration proposals which include plans for “controlled centres” for asylum seekers and migrants in EU states, and “regional disembarkation platforms” to disembark those rescued at sea outside Europe.
Twenty-one humanitarian and human rights organizations respond with dismay to the Dutch Parliament’s approval of the EU’s new asylum plans to offshore asylum protection. With a joint appeal, they ask the government for a humane asylum policy, in line with international law.
There is an urgent need for a new asylum system that is fair, efficient and compassionate said Amnesty International ahead of a mini-Summit of European leaders this Sunday and the European Council meeting next week.
EU heads of state and government are expected to use the events to discuss measures to strengthen further control of the EU external borders and the reform of the Dublin Regulation.
Responding to news that the UN Security Council has placed global asset freezes and travel bans on six leaders of human trafficking networks - Ermias Ghermay, Fitiwi Abdelrazak, Ahmad Oumar Al-Dabbashi, Mus'ab Abu-Qarin, Mohammed Kachlaf and Abd Al Rahman Al-Milad - Amnesty International’s North Africa campaign Director Najia Bounaim said:
By By Anneliese Baldaccini, Senior Executive Officer Migration & Asylum, Amnesty International
30 May 2018, 17:07 UTC
Our leaders are facing a historic opportunity to improve the lives of people who have fled their homes and are seeking protection in Europe.
When the European Council meets at the end of June, it has the chance to show real leadership and fix an unfair asylum system that doesn’t work for refugees or for member states.
A harsh new property law implemented by the Syrian government effectively deprives thousands of people displaced by the ongoing conflict of their homes and lands and potentially destroys evidence of war crimes it has committed, Amnesty International said today.
The new Hungarian parliament which will first assemble on 8 May is set to vote on draconian and regressive legislation which could arbitrarily restrict fundamental rights and freedoms of civil society. The proposed laws would further undermine and stigmatise organisations working to defend the human rights of migrants and refugees.