Index number: EUR 37/7147/2017. Thousands of people took to the streets in July 2017 in cities all over Poland to demand respect for the Polish Constitution, an independent judiciary, and for their human rights and freedoms. Those demonstrations were met with a show of force and a set of policing measures that often infringed on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. The Polish authorities must refrain from using criminal sanctions against people who have participated in peaceful assemblies. The rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression must be protected.
Index number: ASA 16/7288/2017. Early in the morning of 25 August 2017, members of a Rohingya armed group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, attacked approximately 30 security force outposts in northern Rakhine State. In its response, the Myanmar Army launched an attack on the Rohingya population in northern Rakhine State as a whole. Often working with Border Guard Police and local vigilantes, the military has carried out a campaign of violence that has been systematic, organized and ruthless. This briefing shows that the Myanmar military has killed hundreds of Rohingya women, men and children; raped women and girls; and carried out targeted burning of entire villages.
Index number: AFR 32/7249/2017. On August 11, 2017, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the presidential elections amid claims of fraud. Opposition supporters in Nairobi, the coast and western Kenya protested the results, burning tyres and lighting bonfires, blocking roads and stoning police officers. This report documents how police used excessive force against protesters, firing teargas in residential areas or inside houses, shooting in the air but also directly into the crowd and carrying out violent and abusive house to house operations, beating and shooting residents. In Nairobi alone, at least 33 people were killed.
Index number: ACT 50/7158/2017. Singapore has recorded a significant reduction in its use of the death penalty in recent years, with executions dropping from more than 70 per year in the mid-1990s to single figures in the subsequent decade. Despite this progress, the death penalty in the country continues to be used in violation of international law and standards, particularly with respect to its mandatory application and use for drug-related offences.
Index number: ASA 11/6866/2017. The conflict gripping Afghanistan is widespread and volatile. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or injured, and a wide range of people are at additional risk of other serious human rights violations such as persecution or torture. No part of the country can be considered safe. European countries and the European Union have remained wilfully blind to these dangers, and are putting tremendous pressure on Afghanistan to accept large numbers of returns. Amnesty International is calling for a moratorium on all returns to Afghanistan, until they can take place in safety and dignity.
Index number: AFR 16/7139/2017. More than two years into the crisis sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision in April 2015 to stand for a third term in office, repression has become increasingly entrenched in Burundi. Security forces used excessive, and sometimes lethal, force to silence the protests that ensued. Since then Burundi has seen an upsurge of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, often targeting real or perceived opponents of the ruling party.
Index number: ACT 30/7115/2017. This report documents a complex multi-million dollar arms deal involving entities in the UK, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates. While outlining the obligations of Ukraine and UAE to prevent irresponsible arms transfers, the report focuses on the role of a UK ‘front’ or ‘shell’ company, whose name was found on contract documents and an end user certificate. Any involvement of a UK-registered company in arms transfers to South Sudan would be in breach of the EU arms embargo on South Sudan, as well the Arms Trade Treaty, UK domestic law and stated UK policy on South Sudan.
In the period 2013 to 2016 the South Korean police employed a range of practices in policing assemblies that fell short of international human rights law and standards. During this period, the police used their discretion under existing domestic law to ban, restrict and disperse a number of peaceful assemblies. This briefing details those areas where the police failed in their mission to facilitate, protect and promote freedom of peaceful assembly between 2013 and 2016. It also makes recommendations to the police and lawmakers on how to ensure these recent improvements are consolidated into law and practice.
The Government of Sudan’s long record of stifling dissent continued in late 2016 and early 2017. Between October 2016 and April 2017, at least 77 people were subjected to arbitrary arrests and detention in Sudan. These opposition political activists and human rights defenders are routinely subjected to torture and other ill-treatment and detained for long period without charges solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association.
Amnesty International welcomes the opportunity to submit this document to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (the Committee). This submission focuses on the key civil and political rights issues in Australia including the legal framework for human rights protection, the rights of Indigenous peoples and asylum seekers, freedom of expression, violence against women and the civil marriage law reform. It is not an exhaustive analysis of Australia’s compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the Covenant).