Amnesty International Public Statement
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Amnesty International Expresses Condolences to those Impacted by the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8194

(Washington, D.C.) Amnesty International is greatly saddened by the devastating impact on Japan by the massive earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent crisis that continues to unfold at one of the nation’s nuclear power complex.

Amnesty International wishes to extend our condolences to the bereaved and sympathies to those still searching for their loved ones and to all those who have been impacted. We also wish to express our solidarity with all those involved in responding to the crisis.

Past emergencies have pointed to the need to place human rights protection at the center of the relief effort right from the start.  This includes adherence to the principle of non-discrimination in aid provision and principles guiding the protection of human rights in situations of internal displacement.   All assistance should be provided on the basis of need, without discrimination based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political and other opinion, national and social origin, property, birth or other status of recipients.

It is crucial for the Japanese government and other agencies to recognize and support the central role of human rights defenders, including those engaged in humanitarian work and relief.

Amnesty International urges the Japanese government to ensure transparency in all decisions relating to its response to the crisis, particularly as it pertains to the crisis at the nuclear power plant.  Information about risks to health and the environment as well as measures that can be taken to protect health and safety should be made fully available to the public.

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