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14 Mar 2016 - 3 May 2021
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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
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NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED CONFLICT
Iraq: End irresponsible arms transfers fuelling militia war crimes
Militias allied to the Iraqi government have access to arms from at least 17 countries Recent arms transfers have fuelled enforced disappearances, abductions, torture, summary killings, and deliberate destruction of civilian property Iraq is the world’s sixth-largest importer of heavy weaponry Paramilitary militias nominally operating as part of the Iraqi armed forces in the fight against the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) are using arms from Iraqi military stockpiles, provided by the USA, Europe, Russia and Iran, to commit war crimes, revenge attacks and other atrocities said Amnesty International in a new report today.
Date: 5 January 2017
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
UN Security Council: Historic resolution calls on Israel to cease settlements
Following the United Nations Security Council’s adoption of a resolution calling on Israel to cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Sherine Tadros, Head of Amnesty International’s UN Office in New York, said: “At the close of a shameful year for the Security Council, where divisions repeatedly blocked the adoption of key resolutions to protect the most vulnerable, today’s decision to finally pass a resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements is a welcome step.
Date: 23 December 2016
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED CONFLICT
United Nations resolution paves way for accountability on Syria war crimes
In response to the United Nations General Assembly resolution establishing an independent international mechanism to ensure accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria since March 2011, Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Research said: “With this resolution, the General Assembly helps overcome the Security Council's deadlock on accountability and is the first step toward justice for thousands of victims.
Date: 22 December 2016
CAMPAIGNS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
DEATH PENALTY
“May you always be the light of my heart and the joy in my soul”: A mother’s birthday tribute to her son facing execution in Saudi Arabia
Today is Ali Al Nimr’s 22nd birthday. It’s also the third birthday he’s spent on death row in Saudi Arabia. Ali was arrested at 17 after taking part in anti-government protests and sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial based on “confessions” he says were obtained through torture. This is what Nasrah al-Ahmed, Ali’s mum has to share today, on her son’s birthday. … Remembering Ali’s birthday overwhelms me with emotion.
Date: 21 December 2016
RESEARCH
BAHRAIN
CENSORSHIP AND FREE SPEECH
Bahrain: Promises of reform unfulfilled – Amnesty International submission for the UN Universal Periodic Review – 27th session of the UPR Working Group, May 2017
In this submission Amnesty International highlights shortcomings in the human rights framework in Bahrain, including national laws that restrict the rights to freedom of expression and association, imprisonment of political opponents and human rights defenders, and questions surrounding the independence, impartiality and effectiveness of national human rights institutions. It also raises concerns about arbitrary revocation of nationality of hundreds of persons, and the death penalty.
Date: 21 December 2016
Ref:
MDE 11/5310/2016
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED CONFLICT
Saudi Arabia: Immediately abandon all use of cluster munitions
Saudi Arabia should immediately abandon all use of cluster munitions, destroy its stockpile and accede to the international Convention on Cluster Munitions, Amnesty International said after the Kingdom’s surprise admission today that it used the inherently indiscriminate weapon in Yemen. General Ahmed al-Asiri, the spokesperson for the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition, stated today that it would cease use of UK-made BL-755 cluster munitions, confirming Amnesty International’s finding that this type had been used since at least December 2015.
Date: 19 December 2016
RESEARCH
AFRICA
DEATH PENALTY
Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries
More than two-thirds of the countries in the world have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice. It shows that in the past decade, an average of over three countries a year have abolished the death penalty in law or, having done so for ordinary offences, have gone on to abolish it for all offences.
Date: 19 December 2016
Ref:
ACT 50/3831/2016
CAMPAIGNS
AFRICA
CENSORSHIP AND FREE SPEECH
33 reasons to be positive about 2016
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED CONFLICT
Aleppo is an alarm bell: the international system has failed
Seventeen years ago, Kofi Annan stood before the United Nations and apologized. The then-secretary-general acknowledged that the UN had failed the people of Rwanda during the 100-day genocide in which almost a million people were killed, and pledged to ensure that the UN would "never again" fail to protect a civilian population from genocide or mass slaughter. In Aleppo today, Annan's promise is inaudible beneath the roar of bombs and the whimpers of children trapped under rubble, their faces caked with blood and dust.
Date: 16 December 2016
CAMPAIGNS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
DETENTION
Tunisia: NGO founder on hunger strike after conviction
Former prison officer and NGO founder Walid Zarrouk is on hunger strike in protest against his 24 November prison sentences for "insulting public officials". His wife Ines Ben Othman was told on 13 December that she was banned from travelling outside Tunisia.
Date: 15 December 2016
Ref:
MDE 30/5344/2016
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED CONFLICT
Syria: Allow UN monitors into Aleppo as fleeing civilians face fresh shelling
As fighting resumed in the stricken Syrian city of Aleppo today, Amnesty International called for the deployment of monitors from the United Nations to help protect thousands of fleeing civilians from potential revenge attacks and other human rights violations. Heavy shelling has been reported in eastern Aleppo despite a ceasefire agreed on Tuesday to allow the evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians and thousands of rebel fighters.
Date: 14 December 2016
CAMPAIGNS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
DETENTION
Iran: Further information: Teacher union activist must be released: Esmail Abdi
Iranian teacher union activist Esmail Abdi, the Secretary General of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA), was arrested on 9 November and taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison to begin serving a six-year prison sentence. He is a prisoner of conscience targeted solely for his peaceful trade union activities.
Date: 13 December 2016
Ref:
MDE 13/5332/2016
CAMPAIGNS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
DETENTION
Bahrain: Further information: Jail sentence against opposition leader upheld: Sheikh Ali Salman
On 12 December the Appeal Court in Bahrain issued its verdict against opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and sentenced him again to nine years in prison after a retrial. He is a prisoner of conscience imprisoned for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.
Date: 13 December 2016
Ref:
MDE 11/5338/2016
RESEARCH
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Qatar - New name, old system? Qatar's new employment law and abuse of migrant workers
Qatar has been under intense international scrutiny for its treatment of migrant workers since being awarded the rights to host the 2022 World Cup. Particular focus has been placed on the notorious 2009 sponsorship law, which ties workers to their employers, putting them at risk of forced labour. In December 2016, this law is being replaced. This briefing examines whether its replacement, Law No. 21 of 2015, will make any significant improvement to the lives of workers in the country.
Date: 12 December 2016
Ref:
MDE 22/5242/2016
CAMPAIGNS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AND ACTIVISTS
Iran: Further information: Anti-death penalty activist violently arrested: Atena Daemi
Iranian human rights defender and anti-death penalty campaigner Atena Daemi was violently arrested on 26 November and taken to Evin Prison to begin serving a seven-year prison sentence. She is a prisoner of conscience held for her human rights work.
Date: 12 December 2016
Ref:
MDE 13/5324/2016
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED GROUPS
Egypt: Bring to justice those behind deadliest church attack in years
Those responsible for this morning’s reprehensible bombing at a Coptic Christian church in Cairo should be brought to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty, said Amnesty International. At least 25 people were killed and many more injured in the bombing, which took place during Sunday worship at St Peter’s Coptic Orthodox Church, according to figures released by Egypt’s Health Ministry.
Date: 11 December 2016
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