Human Rights Abuses Around the World | Videos

ERITREA

The Eritrean authorities must immediately and unconditionally release 11 prominent politicians, including three former cabinet ministers, who have been held incommunicado without charge for 10 years.

Among the 11 prisoners is Aster Fissehatsion, a veteran of the 30-year long war of independence with Ethiopia and a former prominent member of the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF). The group also includes her husband, former vice-president and foreign minister Mahmoud Ahmed Sheriffo, as well as Haile Woldetensae, and Petros Solomon, both of whom are also former foreign ministers.

Appeals from their families that the prisoners be formally charged and tried or else released, and criticizing their secret incommunicado detention, have been dismissed repeatedly by the Eritrean authorities. In the months following the arrest of G15 members, dozens of other journalists, government critics and supporters of the dissidents were also detained in a sweeping crackdown on freedom of expression.

Widespread human rights violations are routine in Eritrea. President Isaias Afewerki and the ruling PFDJ, the only permitted political party, exert complete control over the state without a hint of elections which have been indefinitely delayed. There is no independent judiciary.

The government severely restricts freedom of expression and freedom of religion. No opposition parties, independent journalism or civil society organizations, or unregistered faith groups are allowed. The authorities use arbitrary arrests, detentions and torture to stifle opposition, holding thousands of political prisoners in dire conditions, many in secret detention.


IRAN

Amnesty International’s Drewery Dyke talks to Fakhteh Zamani, Association for Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in Iran.

The Azerbaijani minority in Iran, have been prevented from exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly by participating in largely peaceful demonstrations over the environmental situation of Lake Oroumieh. Up to scores of others may have been arbitrarily arrested, and we have received unconfirmed reports that at least two demonstrators may have been killed.

Amnesty International calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that all those who have been arrested are granted immediate access to their families and lawyers of their choice, that they are given an opportunity to challenge their detention, and that any held solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association or assembly are released. We also urge the authorities to establish an independent review of the policing and overall administration of justice regarding the rallies relating to Lake Oroumieh and for law enforcement officials to be held accountable for any violations, including any unlawful killings for which state officials may have been responsible.


SYRIA

At least 88 people are believed to have died in detention in Syria during five months of bloody repression of pro-reform protests, a new Amnesty International report reveals.

Deadly detention: Deaths in custody amid popular protest in Syria documents reported deaths in custody between April and mid-August in the wake of sweeping arrests.

The 88 deaths represented a significant escalation in the number of deaths following arrest in Syria. In recent years Amnesty International has typically recorded around five deaths in custody per year in Syria.

Check out details of all 88 cases at Eyes on Syria.


EGYPT

More than 12 million people live in Egypt’s sprawling informal settlements (slums). Over the years, the authorities have treated these people with contempt, subjected them to unlawful forced evictions and threatened them with arbitrary arrest under repressive emergency legislation if they dared to protest.

The dramatic political changes that have happened since 25 January 2011 offer the new Egyptian authorities an historic opportunity to genuinely consult slum-dwellers about their housing, and to work with them to create a brighter and safer future.


SOUTH AFRICA

The fruits and wine that come from the Western Cape of South Africa are enjoyed by consumers around the world and generate billions of rand for South Africa’s economy, yet the farm workers who help produce these goods are denied basic human rights. The government of South Africa should take immediate steps to improve the working and housing conditions of the farmers who help produce its renowned wines and fruit.


NEPAL

Nepal’s ten year internal conflict resulted in over 1,300 unresolved cases of disappearances by state forces and the Maoists. To date not one person has been prosecuted for these grave human rights abuses.

This short film uses the story of five young men from Janakpur, Nepal, taken by members of the army and police in October 2003 to illustrate the political opposition to holding individuals responsible for such crimes to account from both sides of the conflict, through interviews with the brother of one of the disappeared, the lawyer working on the case, and the Maoist Home Minister.

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