Newsroom

We put a human face on complex issues to hold governments accountable.

Below you’ll find breaking news as well as reports, updates on our campaigns, and victories.

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Update

Guantanamo, Now "Relaxing, Calm and Beautiful"

Proving that there truly is no prerequisite for intelligence in pageant winners, Miss Universe either just revealed her deep ignorance of global issues or her utter lack of humanity. Either way, the situation is not good. She is the only person (that I am aware of) who has been appointed to represent our universe, so it's a little embarrassing. In case you missed it, Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza and Miss USA, Crystle Steward recently enjoyed a little vacation... at Guantanamo Bay. Unfortunately, I’m serious. In her blog on missuniverse.com, Dayana raved about her new favorite Caribbean getaway: "we had a…

April 1, 2009

Update

Arrest warrants coming for 6 Bush-era officials in Madrid?

Last week the National Court in Madrid received a complaint filed on behalf of five Spanish nationals formerly detained in Guantanamo who have charged that they were tortured in U.S. custody. The complaint was referred for investigation to one of Spain’s most high-profile law enforcement officials, Judge Baltasar Garzon. Judge Garzon is best known for bringing similar charges against the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and seeking his arrest and extradition from the United Kingdom. In 2002, Judge Garzon also sought unsuccessfully to question Henry Kissinger concerning alleged U.S. complicity in acts of state sponsored assassination carried out by Latin…

March 31, 2009

Update

Exporting Insanity: Dutch Police Get Tasers

Today, Holland starts a one-year trial of arming police with Tasers.  This sounds like a familiar story, but here's the twist:  The Dutch police don't want the them.  According to Dutch Public TV, the Federal Police issued a statement documenting their objections to using a weapon so rife with problems. And why should they want to use this weapon?  The controversy surrounding Tasers is well-documented.  Between July 2001 and August 2008, Amnesty International studied more than 334 deaths that occurred after police-use of Tasers.  So many of the deaths were needless.  Police frequently used Tasers inappropriately, especially considering that in…

March 27, 2009

Update

China Blocks YouTube, Google Plays Dumb

In case you haven’t heard, Google announced a few days ago that YouTube had been completely censored in China. According to the New York Times, "Google said it did not know why the site had been blocked…" "We don’t know the reason for the block," a Google spokesman, Scott Rubin, said. "Our government relations people are trying to resolve it." Give us a break, Scott. It's widely speculated that the Chinese government was less than happy about footage of Chinese soldiers beating Tibetans appearing on the site. But this is old news. Really old news. China has been censoring the…

March 27, 2009

Update

Immigrant detention report makes it onto Olbermann

Here's the clip - you have to watch until the end - where Amnesty's new report on immigrants in detention, Jailed without Justice, is featured by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC:

March 26, 2009

Update

Tasers: Unnecessary and Deadly Force

Another unarmed teen has died after being Tased by police. Brett Elder, 15, from Bay City, Michigan died after police used Tasers to break up a fight between him and another teenager. Disturbingly, Brett is already the second teenager to die after being Tased this year. In January, an unarmed 17-year-old boy in Virginia died after police responding to a minor street incident shocked him in his apartment. As of today, the total number of deaths after the use of Taser guns in the U.S. has surpassed 334 since June 2001 and it keeps rising. Perhaps what’s most unsettling is…

March 25, 2009

Update

Immigrants Locked Away in Legal Limbo

New research shows immigrants, including asylum seekers fleeing torture and long-time lawful permanent residents, are being unjustly detained in the U.S. Tens of thousands of people sit locked up in a broken and cruel system of detention with no right to even a hearing to determine if their detention is warranted. Many languish separated from their families, commingled with people serving criminal sentences, and sometimes denied access to attorneys, family members and adequate medical care. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could issue new regulations that would quickly solve many of these problems. But instead, just three weeks ago, the…

March 25, 2009

Update

The Latest Buzz on our New Immigration Detention Report

< p style="TEXT-ALIGN: left">Here’s what the papers are saying about the report we released today, Jailed Without Justice: Immigration Detention in the USA. USA Today: “Opposing view: We're seeing progress” By Dora Schriro, special adviser to Homeland Security Secretary "I have learned that the best way to achieve change is to work closely with partners inside and outside of government, including vital organizations such as Amnesty International, which will issue a report raising concerns about immigration detention later today. I will carefully consider this important report." San Francisco Chronicle: “New report blasts U.S. on immigrant detainees” "More than 400,000 people…

March 25, 2009

Update

The Guardian 'Gaza War Crimes Investigation' – 3 videos

The Guardian website posted three incredible videos March 23rd by Clancy Chassay, Christian Bennett, Sarah Brodbin, Maggie O'Kane and Mustafa Khalili.  The Guardian team conducted their own investigations into some of the charges that Israel committed war crimes during the Gaza offensive. The first video covers the use of precision weapons, many fired by unmanned drones, to attack civilians.  Amnesty International mentioned these drones in their report 'Fuelling conflict: Foreign arms supplies to Israel/Gaza'.  The fact that these unmanned drones are used to attack as well as surveillance is a fact usually censored by the IDF on Israeli reporters and foreign reporters based…

March 24, 2009

Update

Bad News, Good News

The bad news is that the United States is still among the top executioners in the world.  The good news is that the numbers are down.  According to an Amnesty International report released today, the U.S. remains in league with China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iraq as the countries responsible for the most executions in 2008.  But the 37 executions that took place in the U.S. in 2008 was the lowest total since 1994.  This is partly due to the moratorium imposed on executions while the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of lethal injection, but it is also due…

March 24, 2009

Update

Guantanamo's Uighurs Coming to the US?

(Originally posted on Daily Kos) On Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder gave the first public indication that at least some of the Chinese Uighurs cleared for release from Guantanamo in September 2008, but unable to return home to China for fear of persecution, will be allowed to settle in the United States. His announcement followed the visit of the European Union’s Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove to US. De Kerchove is believed to have delivered the blunt message to the Obama administration that, unless the US demonstrated its good faith by resettling the Uighurs on American soil, it was highly…

March 20, 2009

Update

A Friendship Forged During the Dirty War

When the world you live is filled with the constant threat of disappearances, torture and murder, how do friendships happen? On Monday, in a small lecture hall at Duke University, Argentine Ambassador Hector Timerman, son of famed journalist Jacobo Timerman, told about one unexpected friendship that developed during that country’s infamous Dirty War and how it helped to save his father’s life. The Duke event was a celebration of the life of Rabbi Marshall Meyer, the American who lived in Argentina in the 1970s risked his life to help the Timerman family and many others.  Hector Timerman couldn’t attend the…

March 19, 2009