Category Archives: NEWS

Tanzania is the #CountryoftheWeek – YALI Network

Did you know that some of the world’s oldest human skulls have been found in Tanzania’s Odulvai Gorge, which is also known as the cradle of humankind? But you don’t have to go back 200,000 years to discover other interesting facts about Tanzania, this week’s #CountryoftheWeek. Learn more and get better connected with Tanzania by liking U.S. Embassy Tanzania for the latest news!

The Shame of War – Civilians are #NotATarget

The brutality and viciousness of the sexual attacks that are reported from the current conflicts in Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Iraq and Sudan and the testimonies from past conflicts in Timor-Leste, Liberia, the Balkans and Sierra Leone are heartbreaking. Girls and women, old and
young, are preyed upon by soldiers, militia, police, and armed thugs wherever conflict rages and the parties to the conflict fail to protect civilian
populations.
We need to wage a different war, one against violence against women and girls and against the culture of impunity that protects the perpetrators
and their accomplices. To some extent, this battle is already underway, but it is in its very early days. People around the world, shocked at the
revelations from conflict zones, are becoming motivated and engaged to look for ways to end impunity and create effective legal mechanisms that
protect women and deny perpetrators sanctuary from prosecution and punishment.
(The Shame of War)                                                                                http://lastradainternational.org/lsidocs/IRIN-TheShameofWar-fullreport-Mar07.pdf

Swearing in new Woman Deputy Secretary-General @UN

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development.
Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programs worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions.

The OIG for the DHS announced it will be reviewing DHS’ implementation of President Trump’s immigration ban





U.S. immigration officials detained refugees, as well as holders of valid U.S. visas and green cards, from seven majority-Muslim nations: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen following the orders from Washington.

Trump signed an executive order Friday indefinitely barring all Syrian refugees from entering the United States and suspending all refugee admissions for 120 days. It also prohibits citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, whether they are refugees or not.

The Office Inspector General (OIG) for the Homeland Security Department (DHS) announced late Wednesday that it will be reviewing DHS’ implementation of President Trump’s immigration ban, signed by Mr. Trump on Friday.

Growth potential for urbanization – Tanzania Economy

VIWIDA-USA improves and enriches the life experiences of Women and Youth across the globe.

Developing Tanzania to meet the growing population.

Tanzania economy has developed since 2015 due to an economic outlook that’s very diversify, but Tanzania need to find a winning sector that will enable them to compete in an international scale.

Philadelphia Police fulfilled their duty to protect people’s right to Protest – Great work!

According to amnesty international, Police in Philadelphia handled protesters very well fulfilling their duty to protect people’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, police officers from other states should learn something from Philly police

Amnesty Insider 2016

PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO PROTEST

Amnesty International USA deployed a delegation of human rights observers to monitor protests and marches in Cleveland and Philadelphia for the political conventions – in order to help ensure that people’s human right to protest peacefully is respected.

Our observers in Cleveland saw mostly peaceful protests, with police securing march routes and taking steps to ensure the safety of protesters and the public. We are still reviewing notes and videos of the citations that police gave to protestors to better understand the context and the police response.

Now in Philadelphia, our team has been seeing peaceful protest, with police largely appearing to be fulfilling their duty to protect people’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. You can read more about the delegation of human rights observers here. You can follow more updates on our Twitter and Facebook.

In the weeks ahead, Amnesty will send letters to law enforcement leaders in both cities – and state and federal policymakers – outlining what the observers saw and what lessons can be drawn from how the protests were handled.

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Margaret HuangWe’ve had powerful reminders this month of how important it is to ensure that people’s rights are respected everywhere, with the shootings of and by police in the U.S., the attacks in Nice, Mogadishu, Munich, Baghdad, Dhaka and Kabul, the brutal crackdown following the failed coup in Turkey, and so many other events.

Amnesty International’s work has never been more critical – and it’s never been more important for us to have a strong voice in the U.S. that’s connected to our global movement.

Last week, AIUSA Board Chair Ann Burroughs and I were in Barcelona to meet with the directors and chairs of other Amnesty International sections across the globe and plan our shared work as a movement. It was inspiring to share experiences and ideas with our colleagues from around the world. We addressed a number of key issues including governance reform proposals that would replace the current International Council Meeting (ICM) with a new Global Assembly; a new procedure for discussing and adopting contentious policies; and the new global campaign for refugees which launches in September. We’ll be sharing more about these discussions with you in the weeks and months ahead.

From AIUSA’s observer delegations in Cleveland and Philadelphia to researchers documenting human rights crises in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and all around the world, Amnesty is always focused on defending the human rights of every person–no matter who or where they are.

None of this work is possible without you. Your support and activism make Amnesty the powerful force for change in so many places around the world.

Thank you!

Margaret Huang
Interim Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Turkey Coup

TURKEY: HARD-WON RIGHTS CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY

The Turkish authorities’ reaction to a bloody failed coup attempt on July 15 was swift and brutal, unleashing a troubling crackdown.

Detainees have been denied food, water and medical treatment, and verbally abused and threatened. Some have been subjected to severe beatings and torture.

Amnesty International is pressing Turkish authorities to condemn torture and other ill-treatment in places of detention, and take concrete steps to end abuses. We need to make sure hard-won human rights in Turkey are respected, protected and fulfilled. The state of emergency must not roll back human rights in Turkey.

Take Action Now.

Saudi Arabia UNHRC

SUSPEND SAUDI ARABIA FROM UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The evidence is mounting—Saudi Arabia has committed gross and systemic violations of human rights abroad and at home, and used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to obstruct justice for possible war crimes.

Saudi Arabia has executed minors, killed civilians in airstrikes and blocked investigations into possible war crimes, all since joining the UN Human Rights Council. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have come together to demand that the international community hold Saudi Arabia accountable.

Join us in calling on the UN General Assembly to immediately suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council.

Donate to AmnestyRaif Badawi, a blogger in Saudi Arabia, withstood 50 excruciating lashes. His full sentence requires a total of 1,000 lashes and 10 years of confinement – all because he published a blog that promoted religious freedom.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s government sits on a key human rights body – the UN Human Rights Council.

This hypocrisy cannot stand.

Saudi Arabia’s government has used its position on the Human Rights Council to shield itself from accountability. That’s why Saudi Arabia should be suspended from the Council. Donate and support our work pressuring UN member states to take action.

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2016 Regional ConferencesThe 2016 Regional Conferences promise to be some of the best we’ve ever had.No matter which AIUSA region you call home, you’ll have an incredible time hearing from inspiring speakers, networking with other activists, learning about the most pressing human rights issues of our time, developing your organizer skill set and shaping AIUSA policy.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity. Stay in the loop by saving the date and learning more about your regional conference on our website.

 

We Rise With Yazidi Women! One Billion Rising & Yazda Call on the World for Global Solidarity With and For Yazidi Women on 3 August

We Rise With Yazidi Women! One Billion Rising & Yazda Call on the World for Global Solidarity With and For Yazidi Women on 3 August

This 3 August marks the two-year anniversary of the brutal attack of the Yazidi people in Sinjar Province in the Northern region of Iraq, Two years since IS or ISIL (also known as ISIS or Daesh) stormed towns, villages, and historic homelands of the ethno-religious group, killing over 5,000 men and elders, enslaving over 7,000 women and children and displacing over 400,000 more. Two years since the humanitarian crisis in which thousands of internally displaced Yazidis were trapped on Sinjar Mountain, surrounded by Isis fighters determined to exterminate the indigenous group, dying of exposure and dehydration. Two years since the ongoing genocide of the Yazidi people began, including the desecration of homes, holy sites and women’s bodies.

The recently published Chilcot report in the UK, which revealed that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and his major allies – including former US President George Bush had illegally waged war in Iraq in March 2003 and militarily occupied it – further reiterates the connection that the Iraq War contributed to the rise of IS or ISIL in the region.

Nadia Murad is a 23-year-old victim of Isil’s crimes in Iraq and one of the thousands of Yazidi women who were abducted and enslaved by IS or ISIL. She was brutally raped by more than 12 members over a period of three months and was among the more than 5,000 Yazidi women taken captive when IS or ISIL swept through the group’s communities in Northern Iraq. After her escape, Nadia spoke out about her horrific experiences at the hands of IS or ISIL fighters to draw attention to the ongoing genocide. She has described how she and other young women were forced to pray before they were raped, and how they were treated as they were bought and sold like “sabia” – slaves.

“We were not worth the value of animals. They raped girls in groups, They did what a mind could not imagine. They commit rape and genocide crimes in the name of Islam. When they took me to Mosul to rape me, I forgot about my mother and brothers. Because what they were doing to the women was more difficult than death” – Nadia Murad

YAZDA is a global Yazidi organization who provides support for the victims of the genocide.

ON 3 AUGUST, WE CALL ON THE WORLD TO SHOW SOLIDARITY FOR NADIA MURAD AND THE THOUSANDS OF YAZIDI WOMEN AND GIRLS SOLD AND CAPTURED AS SEX SLAVES – AND CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE CAPTURED 3,000 YAZIDI WOMEN.

WE CALL ON THE WORLD TO HONOR THE GENOCIDAL ATTACK ON SINJAR TWO YEARS AGO. WE AS A GLOBAL COMMUNITY, MUST KEEP THEIR STORIES AND THEIR SITUATION VISIBLE WITH THE STRENGTH OF OUR SOLIDARITY.

ORGANIZE SOLIDARITY EVENTS AND ACTION IN YOUR COMMUNITIES. Here are some suggested actions:

MARCHES. VIGILS. WALKS. SOLIDARITY VIDEOS AND PHOTOS

SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY ONLINE ON SOCIAL MEDIA.  LETS FILL THE GLOBE ONLINE WITH OUR SUPPORT FOR OUR YAZIDI SISTERS AND OUR DEMAND FOR JUSTICE FOR THEM.

USE THE HASHTAG: #StopYazidiGenocide

READ more about the context of the Yazidi genocide >

Suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council

Suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council

Get Involved

The al-Shaymeh Education Complex for Girls after it was struck by missiles fired by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition

We just called for the UN General Assembly to suspend Saudi Arabia from the world’s top human rights body.

Help us do more to champion human rights. Donate now.

This is intolerable.

Saudi Arabia has used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to shield itself from human rights investigations.

Since joining the Council in 2013, Saudi Arabia’s dire human rights record at home has plummeted, and the government has also led a devastating campaign of unlawful airstrikes against civilians in the next-door country of Yemen.

Help support our work to demand that Saudi Arabia’s government respects human rights. We are pressuring all UN member states to take action.

The list of violations is long:

    • More than 350 people – including children – have been executed In Saudi Arabia since it was elected to the Council.
    • Saudi Arabia used its membership on the council to derail a resolution that would have investigated war crimes by the Saudi-led military coalition that bombed Yemen.
  • Human rights activists in Saudi Arabia have been harshly sentenced for peacefully expressing their opinions. Since 2014, Saudi’s Specialized Criminal Court has sentenced hundreds of activists – including Raif Badawi and his lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair – to lengthy prison terms, and even to death, after grossly unfair trials. In May 2014, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for blogging about religious freedom.

The international community – including the United States and the U.K – has been deafeningly silent. President Obama even sold Saudi Arabia a billion dollars in additional bombs.

When it comes to Saudi Arabia, we must make sure the international community does not put business and arms deals before human rights. Donate now.

I hope you’ll be part of our efforts.

Sincerely,

Sunjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA

Mexico, Canada, and the United States, we’re calling on the three countries’ leaders to make concrete commitments to protecting human rights.

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Margaret HuangGovernment leaders must prioritize human rights, and I was proud to take that message to the leaders of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico this week in Ottawa. I joined the heads of Amnesty International sections from Canada and Mexico in meeting with senior officials in all three governments in advance of an annual summit of the three countries’ leaders.

On behalf of 2 million Amnesty International supporters in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, we’re calling on the three countries’ leaders to make concrete commitments to protecting human rights. In particular, we’re urging them to do more to protect refugees—and to immediately end the detention of immigrant children. Nearly half of the world’s forcibly displaced people are children. Since the beginning of 2016, more than 39,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras have arrived at the U.S. border without parents or other adults. In many cases, these children are being put into prisons in the U.S., without access to any assistance or even translators, and then deported weeks or months later—sent back into the extremely dangerous conditions they were fleeing.

We’re fighting to protect those children—and to protect the rights of all refugees and migrants. Hundreds of thousands of Amnesty International supporters are demanding that government leaders do more, while we’re also engaging in direct advocacy with key decision-makers. We won’t stop until every person’s human rights are fully protected.Please take action to join us.

In solidarity,
Margaret Huang

Orlando, Solidarity and Action

ORLANDO, SOLIDARITY AND ACTION

During this month, Pride month, we witnessed the horrific mass shooting in Orlando—where 49 people, many of them LGBT people and people of color, were killed in a place they came to find community and joy.

The world responded with incredible solidarity, but meanwhile Congress failed to pass legislative measures to prevent the growing human rights crisis of gun violence. Instead, they introduced a wave of legislation playing on fear and prejudice toward Muslims.

We stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors in Orlando. We are committed to helping end gun violence in this country and to combatting anti-Muslim hate and bigotry in all its forms.

The America I Beleive In

WHAT DOES THE AMERICA YOU BELIEVE IN LOOK LIKE?

With a climate of fear and hate sweeping the United Sates, it’s time to take a stand.

Together, we’re rejecting anti-refugee legislation, harassment of American Muslims, and calls to respond to terrorism by committing torture and war crimes.

Don’t let fear win. Participate in our photo action to show what the America you believe in looks like.

Download and print out the sign, then you can write what the America you believe in looks like and post it to social media.

You can also get more involved by going to amnestyusa.org/Ibelieve

Donate NowTRAPPED ON THE BORDERS

Sham, pictured here, is a six-year old girl from Syria who fled to Europe in a rubber boat after bombs destroyed her home.

Amnesty International crisis investigators met her and her family when they were trapped in a ferry terminal in Greece after European governments closed their borders to refugees fleeing the violence in Syria. She was sleeping on the floor.

Help us surpass our $200,000 June goal to advocate on behalf of refugees like Sham and her family. Donate now.

Block the Bombs

BLOCK THE BOMBS FROM THE U.S. TO SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia has committed gross and systemic violations of human rights abroad and at home, and used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to effectively obstruct accountability for possible war crimes.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch this week are calling on the United Nations to suspend Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council. We also need to make sure that no more US bombs are delivered to Saudi Arabia and used in human rights violations.

Block the bombs.

2016 Regional Conferences

2016 REGIONAL CONFERENCES

AIUSA’s 2016 Regional Conferences are set to take place in October and November, and they will be an incredible opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers, network with other activists, learn about the most pressing human rights issues of our time, develop your organizing skills, and shape AIUSA policy. We’ll have information soon on agendas, speakers, and more, but you can check out dates and locations on the regional conferences website.

If you’re a member and want to present at one of the conferences, don’t forget tosubmit your proposal for each conference by July 15.

Leonard PeltierTAKE ACTION FOR LEONARD PELTIER

Leonard Peltier is 71 years old now, and he has served 40 years in prison in a case that has long raised troubling questions—including from the judge who heard his appeal. He has an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and his health is deteriorating rapidly. If properly treated, Leonard could make a full recovery, but if the aneurysm ruptures, he has roughly a 10% chance of survival.

Amnesty International staff recently visited Leonard in federal prison in Florida, and he told us: “If I don’t get clemency, I’m going to die here—and not from old age.”
It’s time to bring him home to his family. Take Action.

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