Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest and most crowded nations, plans to go ahead with work to develop an isolated, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal to temporarily house tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar, officials say.
Dhaka says the Rohingya are not welcome, and has told border guards to push back those trying to enter the country illegally. But close to 125,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh in just 10 days, joining more than 400,000 others already living there in cramped makeshift camps.
The Rohingya are caught up in a deadly and desperate situation in the Rakhine State on the western coast of Myanmar (also known as Burma). Tens of thousands of people are at risk of serious rights violations and aid efforts have been shut down.
For decades, unrest has rocked northern Rakhine State because of a wider context of long-standing discrimination against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
The ethnic Muslim group are denied the right to a nationality, and face severe restrictions on their rights to freedom of movement, access to education, healthcare, and livelihoods, to practice their religion and participate in public life.
The situation has been coming to a head in recent days after Rohingya militants launched a series of coordinated attacks on security forces in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state in the early morning of 25 August.
Since then, clashes between Myanmar’s military and the Rohingya armed group have continued and security forces have engaged in a disproportionate campaign of violence against the Rohingya.
Villages burned down
We have received numerous reports of human rights violations and abuses, including security forces opening fire on civilians fleeing, and homes and villages being burned down.
According to the Myanmar government almost 400 people have been killed since the clashes as of 4 September.
Humanitarian access to northern Rakhine State has also been suspended, while in other parts of the state the Myanmar authorities are preventing humanitarian agencies from reaching communities in need. As a result, life-saving relief efforts have been halted, and vital supplies of medicine, food and water are not making their way to the tens of thousands of desperate civilians caught in the middle of this deadly feud.
According to the UN, an estimated 90,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, while the Myanmar government has evacuated over 11,000 people belonging to other ethnic minority communities. Despite the huge influx, the Bangladesh government has maintained a policy of sealing the border with Myanmar, and border guards have pushed back hundreds attempting to flee.
The recent attacks mark a dangerous escalation in an already volatile area. Following similar (but smaller) attacks in northern Rakhine State in October 2016, the Myanmar authorities launched major security operations.
At the time we documented wide-ranging human rights violations against the Rohingya during these operations, including unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment, rape and other sexual violence, as well as destruction of homes and property.
People in Rakhine State, in particular the Muslim Rohingya minority, have suffered a horrific catalogue of rights abuses for decades. Through our own investigations we have concluded that the Myanmar security forces may have committed crimes against humanity.
A humanitarian disaster
Simply put, Rakhine State is now on the precipice of a humanitarian disaster.
Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Director for Crisis Response, said:
‘Nothing can justify denying life-saving aid to desperate people. By blocking access for humanitarian organisations, Burma’s authorities have put tens of thousands of people at risk and shown a callous disregard for human life.’
Authorities in Myanmar must swiftly improve the human rights situation and end discrimination. In particular, they must urgently lift restrictions on movement, allow full access for humanitarian workers and media in affected regions, and review and amend the country’s discriminatory citizenship laws.
What can be done to help the situation?
Put pressure on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Army, the person responsible for the ongoing security operations. Tweet the following at him now:
.@SGMinAungHlaing Shocking human rights violations by security forces in northern #Rakhine must end immediately. http://bit.ly/2gByLtV
.@SGMinAungHlaing It’s time to allow unrestricted humanitarian access to all people in all areas of #Rakhine State. http://bit.ly/2gByLtV
Without concrete action by the authorities to address long-standing grievances and decades of human rights violations, people in the region will continue to be trapped in a bloody cycle of deprivation and abuse
Despite an international outcry and calls by Amnesty International for the Saudi Arabian authorities to quash the severe sentence and punishment of 1000 lashes for a charge of blasphemy, Saudi Arabian rights activist Raif Badawi was publicly flogged on Friday it is reported. This has been confirmed by Amnesty international from an eye-witness in Jeddah and from Mr Badawi’s wife.
Mr Badawi is a Saudi Arabian writer and activist and was the creator of the website “Free Saudi Liberals”
This is the first of 20 such public floggings that Mr Badawi will face after his conviction for insulting Islam through a forum/blog that his wife actually said he set up to merely examine and provide people the opportunity to discuss their Islamic faith. The forum was taken down by the Saudi authorities and Mr Badawi handed a sentence of 1000 lashes in 2014.
It is reported by an eye-witness that Mr Badawi raised his head towards the sky, closing his eyes and arched his back in preparation for his flogging and remained silent after it but it was obvious it was said through his face and his body that he was in pain. Mr Raif Badawi was “beaten by a officer on his back and legs, who counted the lashes until they reached 50” the witness states.
This flogging it is worth noting took plays only days after the Saudi Arabian government and authority announced their condemnation of the actions of the terrorists who last week killed staff at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
It is also worth mentioning that Amnesty International gravely concerned for Mr Badawi’s lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair a well known human rights lawyer in Saudi Arabia following his Mr Badawi’s arrest and conviction in 2012-4. Amnesty International is running a separate campaign for Waleed Abu al-Khair, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison last July. It is unfortunately expected that he could also face a similar sentence to Mr Badawi handed down as well as his prison term that he currently serving.
Cicero Lounge has today sent a letter to the Saudi Authorities immediately calling for his sentence to be either commuted immediately or nullified. Anyone wishing to contact the Saudi embassy and respectfully call for action to the following: Prime Minister Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, also Deputy Prime Minister Ministry of Defense HRH Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and His Excellency Adel A. Al-Jubeir was appointed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
The military judge who’ll be determining the sentence of Private Bradley Manning on Monday said will determine how long said his acts were “wanton and reckless.” Bradley Manning will be sentenced over what has been called the biggest breach of classified data in the US history on Monday
Judge Colonel Denise Lind last month found Manning, 25, guilty of 20 criminal counts which include include charges of espionage and theft of military property when he handed over 700,000 secret US documents to WikiLeaks. He was caught when he confided to Adrian Lamo a computer hacker whom he’d built a online relationship with about about his activities. He pleaded guilty in February 2013 to 10 of the 22 charges, and the trial on the remaining charges began on 3 June 2013.
Manning is expected to face up to 90 years in prison for his role in a case that put the whistle-blowing and anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and in particular its founder, Julian Assange, into the world spotlight.
“Manning’s conduct was of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others. His conduct was both wanton and reckless,” Lind said in a series of written findings issued after prosecutors finished their sentencing arguments yesterday.
Civil Right’s groups in the US and worldwide will watch with great interest the sentencing of Bradley Manning with many groups actually having called for him to be merited for his work in exposing US Government secrecy.
Manning was working as a low-level intelligence analyst at a military base in Baghdad in 2010 when he handed diplomatic cables and other documents to WikiLeaks. At the time he’d only hoped his actions would create broad debate about US foreign activity.
Military prosecutors have argued that his actions have aided al-Qaida and harmed the United States, though proof of this would be hard to get as this would inevitably be classified information.
Manning’s lawyers this week presented their case for giving the defendant a mild sentence. Witnesses including military mental health specialists and members of Manning’s family testified that the soldier, who is gay, showed signs that he was unsuitable for overseas deployment, including violent outbursts.
Manning, slightly built and dressed in his uniform and glasses, his hair cropped close, on Wednesday addressed the court for the first time since February, saying that he was “sorry” and understood that he “must pay a price” for his actions.
Before the prosecutors rested their case Friday, they presented a written statement from army criminal investigation command special agent David Shaver, who said chat logs and e-mail he found on Manning’s computer in Iraq indicated he was responsible for leaking the classified documents.
There is a website that has been set up to support Bradley Manning it’s website address http://www.bradleymanning.org/
Fantastic News! Jabbar Savalan the young activist from from Azerbaijan has been released and recieved a pardon for his detention. today. He is now at home with his family. This is fantastic news however, 16 prisoners of conscience remain in jail in Azerbaijan.
He originally was detainedby Azerbaijan authorities after he’d posted messages against the government rule in the country on Facebook he was charged with ‘drug offences’ and detained on 4 May 2011 for two and a half years in prison. Amnesty International considered Jabbar a prisoner of conscience and many activisits worldwide have been campaigning for his release. A call for his immediate release and the right of freedom of expression to be upheld in the country.
Initially on the 4th February 2011 Jabbar had posted calls for protests against the government. The next evening he was arrested on his way home from a meeting of the opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front Party.
Tens of thousands of people around the world are participating in Amnesty’s annual Global Write-a-thon, joining together to write letters that can save lives.
Now’s the time to finally put pen to paper.
Don’t forget to shine a light, literally — download our powerful paper lanterns to help illuminate your letter-writing event.
And you can watch videos about all the cases at your event — check out our Write for Rights video playlist on YouTube.
Even if you’re writing as an individual, you won’t be alone. Join the conversation with your fellow writers — live! We’ve set up a live blog on our Write for Rights homepage. Send in comments and pictures with your writing experiences — and you can even upload video messages straight from your webcam!
It all starts tomorrow. Write letters to amplify the voices governments are attempting to silence. Write letters demanding freedom. Write letters of solidarity.
Above is the amazing Amnesty International “Ink” animation – which carries the important message of just how powerful a person’s signature can be!
In the last twelve months the Royal Bank of Scotland has invested $80million in companies that make cluster bombs.
98% of all cluster bomb victims are civilians, and a third of those are children. Last year the UK joined over 100 countries in outlawing their use and manufacture. Yet more than a year on from the ban, the publically owned RBS continues to fund companies that manufacture these abhorrent weapons.
While RBS is not alone in this irresponsible investment, it is the worst offender. Help us end the suffering cluster bombs cause. For more information read the report on stopexplosiveinvestments.org.
Source: Amnesty International
A fleet of nearly 200 new armoured vehicles has been ordered by the Ministry of Defence to support frontline troops on operations, it was announced today.
The £74M order for about 110, state-of-the-art, enhanced Jackal 2 vehicles and more than 70 Coyote Tactical Support Vehicles has been awarded to vehicle manufacturer Supacat, who has formed an alliance with Babcock to deliver the new beasts.
Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, announced the contract during a Supacat vehicle drive day at the Long Valley Test Ground in Aldershot.
Source : Ministry Of Defence (National)
The Liberian government have failed to tackle the problem of impunity within their country for rape that happened during the conflict and has continued to this day.
Between 1991 and 2002, all parties to the conflict in Sierra Leone perpetrated rape, sexual slavery and other violent crimes. The government has failed to provide reparations to the women effected. Take action