On Wednesday July 5th, Turkish authorities detained Amnesty International’s country director, Idil Eser, along with eight other human rights activists and two foreign trainers as part of a raid on a human rights workshop that Idil was attending.
For over 24 hours, they weren’t allowed to contact their families or see a lawyer — and no one even knew where they were.
Idil and the others were doing nothing wrong. Some are being questioned on suspicion of “membership of an armed terrorist organization,” a baseless and ridiculous accusation.
“The absurdity of these accusations against Idil Eser and the nine others cannot disguise the very grave nature of this attack on some of the most prominent civil society organizations in Turkey. If anyone was still in doubt of the endgame of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown, they should not be now. There is to be no civil society, no criticism and no accountability in Erdoğan’s Turkey.” – Salil Shetty, AI Secretary General.
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.
Amnesty International sent delegations to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation as human rights observers to monitor the response of police to those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Observers witnessed police using excessive force against peaceful human rights defenders, confronting men, women and children.
Under international human rights standards, police should seek to de-escalate tensions and facilitate – not hinder – the right to peaceful protest. Police have instead treated the situation as a battlefield, with military grade armored vehicles, machine guns, surveillance and riot gear.
In the wake of the failed coup in Turkey, the Turkish government has unleashed a dangerous crackdown.
From purging the country’s academic leaders to shutting down news outlets, hard-won human rights victories are under serious attack.
At least 260 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured amid the failed coup attempt, according to government accounts.
Many news websites have been blocked, arrest warrants have been issued for journalists (some of whom are now in detention) and tens of thousands of people have been suspended or removed from their jobs – including police, judges, prosecutors and others.
In Saudi Arabia, Waleed Abu al-Khair is the lawyer that peaceful activists turn to when facing human rights abuses. Now, he needs representation from you.
A year ago Waleed, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee was jailed for 15 years under a terrorism law in Saudi Arabia. It’s clear that the authorities are punishing him for protecting and defending human rights.
Waleed has dedicated his life to defending human rights. He has provided legal representation to many activists, including Raif Badawi, the blogger jailed and sentenced to 1,000 lashes.