We are in the worst refugee crisis since WWII, with over 21.3 million refugees across the globe. But dozens of hateful anti-refugee bills have been introduced in Congress—and the president has signed an anti-refugee executive order, carrying the force of law. The order bans Syrian refugees; bans visa holders from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days; and suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) for 120 months. At a time when U.S. leadership is vital to protecting lives, the U.S. is abdicating its responsibilities. The executive order signed discrimination into law and amounts to a Muslim ban. Refugees are being scapegoated in the name of national security.
January 2, 2015
An Egyptian court’s call for a retrial of three jailed Al Jazeera journalists acknowledges major flaws in the original convictions but leaves the men in unjust incarceration, Amnesty International said today.
“By calling for a retrial the Egyptian courts are prolonging the injustice that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed have faced,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.
“These men should never have been jailed in the first place and should not have to spend one more day in prison. Instead of prolonging their unjust detention pending a retrial, they must be freed immediately.”
Urgent Action UA 269/14
28 October 2014
The Algerian authorities may be preparing to forcibly return an 18-year-old Syrian refugee after he entered the country without official legal documentation.
Moustafa Albakkor, 18, fled Syria in 2012 to escape the crisis that had begun in 2011 and entered Turkey where he was officially recognised as a refugee by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He travelled to Algeria in August 2014.
He was arrested on 18 August and detained in El-Oued Penal Institution, in the north-east of the country. He was tried on 12 October 2014, sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and fined 50,000 Dinars (US$600) for “entering the country with forged travel documents”. His appeal hearing is scheduled for 5 November. His family told Amnesty International they have been prevented from visiting him in prison for over two months.
He is now at risk of being forcibly returned to Syria, where he would face a real risk of human rights violations. Shortly after he was arrested, an official source told Moustafa Albakkor that the Syrian Embassy were in dialogue with the Algerian authorities regarding his deportation.
3 July 2014
Egypt: Rampant torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions signal catastrophic decline in human rights one year after ousting of Morsi
- At least 16,000 detained and at least 80 deaths in custody recorded in past year
- Torture and other ill-treatment in detention continues unabated
- Fair trial standards routinely flouted
A surge in arbitrary arrests, detentions and harrowing incidents of torture and deaths in police custody recorded by Amnesty International provide strong evidence of the sharp deterioration in human rights in Egypt in the year since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.
On May 15th, while eight-months pregnant, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim was sentenced to death after refusing to renounce her Christian faith. She was also sentenced to 100 lashes for “adultery” because she is married to a Christian man.
Meriam is being held in a prison in Khartoum, Sudan, along with her young son, Martin, and newborn daughter, Maya. Her lawyer says she has been shackled with heavy chains, even during labor.
Amnesty International considers Meriam a prisoner of conscience imprisoned solely for the peaceful expression of her beliefs.
The court charged Meriam, who has a Muslim father, with adultery under a law that prohibits Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men. When Meriam explained that she was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, she was charged with abandoning her Muslim faith and sentenced to death.
It is unclear when her execution will take place. Sudan’s Criminal Code requires that pregnant women sentenced to death must be kept alive to give birth and nurse for two years before being executed.