Amnistía Internacional

South Sudan – “It was as if my village was swept by a flood” – Mass displacement of the Shilluk population from the West Bank of the White Nile

Index number: AFR 65/6538/2017. Tens of thousands of civilians in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region were forcibly displaced in January to May 2017, as government forces burnt, shelled and looted their homes. Aided by Dinka militias, government forces undertook a ground offensive in the Upper Nile region in early/mid 2017, retaking territory that had been under the control of armed opposition forces. They attacked numerous towns and villages on the west bank of the White Nile, an area belonging to the traditional kingdom of the Shilluk ethnic minority. In addition to massive forced displacement, government forces and allied militia were responsible for deliberate killings, indiscriminate attacks, and systematic looting.


Uganda: “Help has not reached me here” – Donors must step up support for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda

Index number: AFR 59/6422/2017. More than 900,000 refugees have fled the brutal conflict in South Sudan and sought safety in Uganda with over 1000 refugees arriving each day. Uganda has a progressive refugee policy which is lauded by the international community, however, states have failed in their obligation to help Uganda and have not provided an adequate response to this crisis. This has meant basic needs including access to food, water, sanitation, health care and shelter not being met. The report calls on donors to urgently meet financial needs and support for technical assistance required to support Uganda’s progressive refugee policy.


Enfrentando muros. Violaciones de los derechos de solicitantes de asilo en Estados Unidos y México

Index number: AMR 01/6426/2017. Hundreds of thousands of people flee extreme violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala each year and seek asylum in Mexico and the United States. This briefing analyses the harsh effect that President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on border security will have on these people, as well as the complicit role that the Mexican government plays in pushing people back to danger. Beyond a physical wall, there are a number of inhumane walls that exist and violate international law, including increasing detention of asylum seekers and families, and violations of the non-refoulement principle that effectively return helpless people to life threatening situations.

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Myanmar: “All the civilians suffer”: Conflict, displacement, and abuse in northern Myanmar

Index number: ASA 16/6429/2017. Over the last seven months, fighting has intensified between the Myanmar Army and ethnic armed groups in Kachin and northern Shan States, areas with longrunning conflicts as ethnic minorities have sought greater autonomy and respect for their rights. This report documents war crimes and other human rights violations by the Myanmar Army, including extrajudicial executions, torture, forced labour, and indiscriminate shelling. Most victims are civilians from ethnic minorities in the region, continuing a legacy of abuse that has rarely led to accountability for the soldiers or commanders responsible.

The human rights risks of external migration policies

Index number: POL 30/6200/2017. This briefing paper sets out the main human rights
risks linked to external migration policies, which are a broad spectrum of actions implemented outside of the territory of the state that people are trying to enter, usually through enhanced cooperation with other countries. From the perspective of international law, external migration policies are not necessarily unlawful. However, Amnesty International considers that several types of external migration policies, and particularly the externalization of border control and asylum-processing, pose significant human rights risks. This document is intended as a guide for activists and policy-makers working on the issue, and includes some examples drawn from Amnesty International’s research in different countries.

Nepal: Turning people into profits: Abusive recruitment, trafficking and forced labour of Nepali migrant workers

Index number: ASA 31/6206/2017. This report provides fresh evidence that despite recently-introduced government reforms, entrenched patterns of abuse of Nepali migrant workers remain unaddressed. During recruitment processes, local agents and recruitment agents in Nepal are still able to deceive and exploit migrants without significant fear of being caught or punished. New government policies meant to improve the protection of migrant workers’ rights, and drastically reduce what recruitment businesses can charge workers, have not been adequately resourced, monitored, or enforced. Migrants remain at risk of crippling indebtedness, forced labour, and various forms of exploitation throughout the migration process.


France: A right not a threat: Disproportionate restrictions on demonstrations under the state of emergency in France

Index number: EUR 21/6104/2017. In 2016, French authorities banned dozens of public assemblies using emergency powers and placed restrictions on hundreds of individuals to prevent them from exercising their right to freedom of assembly. Individuals not linked in any way to acts of terrorism are getting caught in the cross-hairs of the emergency measures. This report shows the disproportionate use of emergency powers to restrict the right to freedom of assembly in situations unrelated to any specific threat of attacks on the general population. Moreover, the report shows that French authorities often relied on unnecessarily resource-intensive strategies and used force disproportionately when policing public assemblies.

Cambodia: Courts of injustice: Suppressing activism through the criminal justice system in Cambodia

Index number: ASA 23/6059/2017. Human rights defenders and political opposition activists are under attack in Cambodia. In the four years since the national election in July 2013, the country’s government and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party have used the criminal justice system to target activists and restrict the space they operate within. This report sets out how criminal cases are being opened against activists for peaceful activities and how these cases are used as a means to intimidate activists from refraining from wholeheartedly fulfilling their important roles. In the context of the coming commune and national elections, the situation is likely to get worse.

Tajikistan: In the line of duty: Harassment, prosecution and imprisonment of lawyers in Tajikistan

Index number: EUR 60/6266/2017. Tajikistan will celebrate the ‘Professional Day of the Lawyer’ on 26 May, the day when the first Bar Association was established in Tajikistan 95 years ago this year. For lawyers, though, there will be little to celebrate: this anniversary comes at a time when the country is increasingly turning its back on human rights and the rule of law, and when lawyers in Tajikistan are confronted with significant obstacles in the exercise of their professional duty. To be a lawyer, and particularly a human rights lawyer, comes with unprecedented risks in present-day Tajikistan.

USA: Criminalizing pregnancy: Policing pregnant women who use drugs in the USA

Index number: AMR 51/6203/2017. In the USA, pregnant women lie at the center of a contested battleground over their sexual and reproductive rights. A series of laws police the behavior of pregnant women and particularly impact those who are marginalized and those who use drugs. Collectively called pregnancy criminalization laws, this report provides a basic overview of the impact of these laws on women’s human rights and access to healthcare across the USA, and specifically focuses on two criminal laws in Alabama and Tennessee. Amnesty International is asking the authorities to repeal these laws. Instead of relying on punishment, states must ensure they are meeting their human rights obligations including ensuring access to healthcare.