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We refuse to stand by while guns enter the wrong hands resulting in heartbreaking losses in our communities. Even if we can’t stop all gun violence, this is a common-sense step we can take to make our country safer.
Gun violence in the U.S. is a human rights crisis, resulting in the death of 38,658 in 2016 alone. Our government has clear international human rights obligations to protect people from gun violence. The first step in preventing guns from getting in dangerous hands is requiring common sense gun violence prevention measures like comprehensive background checks for the purchase of every gun.
Hundreds of children — even babies — have been reportedly held in U.S. Border Patrol facilities without a chance to bathe, brush their teeth or change their clothes for weeks. There are reports of extreme cold and inadequate food, sanitation and medical care.
Enough is enough: it is an outrage that children are being detained, especially in these appalling conditions.
The U.S. government is defying international law while heartlessly putting infants and children in harm’s way. We cannot stand by idly and ignore this crisis.
A Pakistani Catholic family, who arrived in Colombo seeking asylum in July 2013 when their lives were threatened, quietly returned to Pakistan in September. Arrested after overstaying their visa, members of the John family were being detained in deplorable conditions when Amnesty International learnt that there were plans to deport them immediately from Sri Lanka on 31 May 2019. After the Easter Sunday attacks in April 2019, violent mobs displaced them, along with other families seeking asylum, from their home. While their deportation was successfully halted, Sri Lankan authorities did not offer them a safe alternative and the family was forced to return back to Pakistan as they could no longer live in the detention camp.
The trial against Juan Requesens, Venezuelan Representative in the National Assembly who has been in pre-trial detention since his arbitrary detention on 7 August 2018, finally began on 2 December after repeated undue delays and irregularities.
2,250 Persons from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Bojayá, Chocó (western Colombia) are under siege by the guerrilla National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and the paramilitary Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia) - groups that are denying them access to food and basic healthcare services. On 17 November, the Ombudsman's office reported that the armed groups threatened social leaders opposing their presence in the zone and were putting landmines around the few areas with phone coverage. We urge Colombian authorities to deploy a comprehensive protection plan to protect Bojayá’s communities’ rights.
While Professor Muhammad Ismail was granted conditional bail on 25 November, he remains at risk of a lengthy prison sentence and re-arrest as the trumped-up charges against him have not been dropped. His family continues to face harassment and intrusive surveillance, while Professor Ismail and his wife remain on the country’s no-fly list. Charged with “hate speech” and “cyber terrorism”, he is being punished for his political expression and for defending his daughter, Gulalai Ismail, a well-known woman human rights defender in Pakistan. Amnesty International calls for all charges against Professor Ismail to be dropped unconditionally, without delay.
The trial of Server Mustafayev has started following his transfer to a detention center in Rostov-on-Don, southwest Russia. Server Mustafayev is a human rights defender from Russian-occupied Crimea who has been in detention since May 2018, under false terrorism-related charges. He is a prisoner of conscience, targeted solely for his human rights activism, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Viktar Paulau is at risk of imminent execution after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence on 12 November. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, without exception, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
Five pro-democracy activists, Alseny Farinta Camara, Moussa Sanoh, Boubacar Diallo, Thierno Seydi Ly and Thierno Oumar Barry, were arrested on 14 November 2019 in Kindia, western Guinea, and charged with participation in an unauthorized gathering. They are all members of pro-democracy coalition National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French). Two of the activists require medical attention.
On 1 November 2019, the Saudi authorities released two Qatari citizens, Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (70) and his son Abdulhadi Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (17), who then returned home to Doha. On 18 August 2019, their family lost all contact with them as they travelled through Saudi Arabia to visit relatives. Amnesty International was concerned that they may have been forcibly disappeared and urged King Salman to reveal the whereabouts of the father and his son and immediately release them unless they were promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence.
On 26 November 2019, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, a housing rights researcher with the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), appeared at the Supreme State Security Prosecution in Cairo after 167 days of enforced disappearance since his arrest at his home in Moqattam, Cairo, on 11 June 2019.
Former Prosecutor General of Uzbekistan, Rashitjon Kadirov, and 12 others stood trial from January to June 2019. There have been credible reports that Rashitjon Kadirov was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in detention in order to coerce him to give evidence against himself and others. After international attention was brought to the case, it was reported that torture and other ill-treatment stopped. Rashitjon Kadirov was sentenced on 26 June to 10 years in prison.