Alarming rise in mob attacks on women protesters in Egypt

by Cristina Finch, AIUSA Managing Director – Women’s Human Rights Program

Amnesty International researchers near Tahrir Square have uncovered a disturbing wave of rape and other sexual violence against women sweeping through demonstrations in Egypt. With alarming frequency, women and girls demonstrating near Tahrir Square are being sexually assaulted by mobs. Authorities have turned their backs on survivors.

In the past few days, survivor stories have been pouring in, and they paint a horrific scene. Tens if not hundreds of men isolate and surround a woman or girl (sometimes even separating mother and daughter), tearing off her clothes and veil, unzipping her trousers, and groping her breasts and backside. Sticks, blades and other weapons are used in these attacks.

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Nobel Peace Prize Important Recognition of Struggle for Women’s Rights

Amnesty International
Press Release
Friday, October 7, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize Important Recognition of Struggle for Women’s Rights,
Says Amnesty International

Contact: Suzanne Trimel,, 212-633-4150

(New York) – Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International, issued the following comments today about the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to three women who have fought for womens’ rights and equality:

“This Nobel Peace Prize recognizes what human rights activists have known for decades: that the promotion of equality is essential to building just and peaceful societies worldwide,” said Shetty. “The tireless work of these and countless other activists brings us closer to a world where women will see their rights protected and enjoy growing influence at all levels of government.”

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Urge Mexico’s new Attorney General to bring justice for the Women of Atenco

Last year, Mexico’s Attorney General’s office had identified 34 police officers as suspects in the rape, assault and brutal treatment of dozens of women in San Salvador Atenco in 2006. Five years later, none of the accused has been charged with the crime.

President Felipe Calderón recently appointed a new Attorney General in Mexico. She can be the one to get to the bottom of this case. She can help the women of Atenco finally find the justice they have sought for five long years.

Marisela Morales is Mexico’s first-ever female Attorney General. Her credentials show her as being tough against organized crime and she is uniquely positioned to shake things up and set a new tone by standing against impunity.

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Congress passes Tribal Law and Order Act

Amnesty International USA
Press Release
July 21, 2010

Tribal Law and Order Act is an ‘Historic Effort to Tackle Major Challenges That Allow Crimes Against Native Peoples to Flourish,’ Says Amnesty International

(Washington, D.C.) — Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today applauded House passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, a groundbreaking piece of legislation that tackles the complex jurisdictional maze that allows violent crime against American Indians to continue unabated. The Tribal Law and Order Act, a long overdue effort to address public safety issues in Indian Country, would enhance the criminal justice system by improving coordination and communication between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.

“This historic, bi-partisan legislation addresses long-overlooked human rights abuses in Indian Country. It is an important effort to tackle major challenges that allow crimes against Native American and Alaska Native peoples to flourish,” said Larry Cox, executive director for AIUSA. “If properly implemented, it will open the door for the U.S. government to address the erosion of tribal authority. In time it will decrease the high levels of rape and finally provide Native women with effective recourse if they are sexually assaulted. In short, this legislation stands to curtail the impunity that allows rapists to prey on Native women like vultures.”

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Urgent Action – Residents of Puning City (China)

20 April 2010

UA 87/10 – Health concern/Forced sterilization (PDF)

CHINA – Thousands of people

Local officials aim to sterilize 9559 people by 26 April, some against their will, in a drive to meet family planning targets in Puning City, Guangdong Province, southern China.

According to reports in the Chinese media, on 7 April the local authorities in Puning City began a special campaign to sterilize people who already have at least one child, to ensure that local birth control quotas are met. The local authorities claim that by the end of 11 April, the 20-day campaign had already met 50 per cent of its target. A local doctor, quoted in the Chinese media, said that his team was working from 8am until 4am the next day performing surgeries for sterilization. Local reports suggest at least some people are not freely consenting to being sterilized. Amnesty International considers forced sterilizations carried out by officials to amount to torture and the haste of the procedures raises questions about their safety and possible health impacts.

In addition, the Puning City authorities have detained 1377 family members of couples targeted for sterilization. Most of the detained are elderly and some are held in cramped conditions in houses which the local authorities are using temporarily as unofficial places of detention. This is widely seen to be a mechanism to pressure their relatives to undergo sterilizations.

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