Amnesty International

Amnesty International: No security without basic rights

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Amnesty International today called on the Israeli authorities to end the land-grabbing, blockades and other violations of international law carried out under the occupation. These have resulted in widespread human rights abuses and have also failed to bring security to the Israeli and Palestinian civilian populations. A 45-page report published today, Enduring Occupation: Palestinians under siege in the West Bank, illustrates the devastating impact of four decades of Israeli military occupation. 

Right to family life denied

Enaya Samara is a 56-year-old US national of Palestinian origin. For 31 years she lived in Ramallah with her husband, Adel Samara, who is a resident of the OPT, and their two children. For three decades she had to travel abroad every three months to renew her tourist visa. The family’s repeated attempts to obtain family unification and establish Enaya Samara’s right to reside in the OPT were unsuccessful. On 26 May 2006, after more than 120 trips, she was denied entry when she tried to return home to the OPT

Amnesty condemns Bikfaya bus bombing

Amnesty International condemns in the strongest terms yesterday’s bomb attacks on two buses near the town of Bikfaya, a Christian area of Lebanon, north east of Beirut. At least three civilians are reported to have been killed and some 20 injured. Deliberate attacks on civilians can never be justified and those responsible show complete disregard for the most fundamental principles of humanity. These deadly attacks on civilians represent a further deterioration of the security situation in Lebanon, which has become increasingly polarised, prompting fears of a possible slide towards a new conflict following the civil war which wracked the country from 1975 to 1990. 

Number of cluster bomb deaths continues to rise

The number of civilians killed and injured as a result of unexploded cluster bombs in south Lebanon, which were dropped by Israeli forces during the recent conflict between Israel and Hizbullah, is increasing steadily. Some 26 people have reportedly lost their lives, and some 186 have been injured. Cluster munitions spread small bomblets over a wide area, many of which do not explode on impact but remain live and lethal. Children are particularly vulnerable and some have been killed while playing in their towns and villages. Other people have been killed while investigating their homes for damage following the war and others while working on their land. 

Amnesty International head sends open letter to EU heads of state

I am writing to you from Jerusalem on International Human Rights Day on the eve of the forthcoming European Council meeting to ask you to take urgent action to address the extremely serious human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The current truce in the Gaza Strip is extremely fragile but it provides an opening which the international community must seize to encourage dialogue towards a political solution. However, no political initiative will succeed if it does not address, as a matter of priority, the underlying human rights concerns. 

Amnesty: Need for responsible leadership and comprehensive approach

As thousands of people have been taking part in the latest demonstrations on the streets of Beirut, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan called on political leaders to ensure that the demonstrations do not escalate into political violence leading to human rights abuses. “From a human rights perspective, this is a remarkable display of people exercising their freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in a largely peaceful manner,” said Ms Khan. 

New Amnesty Report: Out of all proportion - civilians bear the brunt of the war

The 34-day war between Hizbullah and Israel in July/August 2006 caused widespread death and destruction in both Israel and Lebanon, with civilians bearing the brunt of military operations. This report, the third published by Amnesty International on aspects of the conflict, focuses on Israeli attacks in which civilians were killed as well as the impact on civilians of other attacks by Israeli forces. It also examines allegations that Hizbullah used civilians as “human shields”. Previously Amnesty International focused on Israel’s attacks on the infrastructure in Lebanon and on Hizbullah’s rocket bombardment of northern Israel. 

Governments at General Assembly must now put civilians before politics

On the eve of the UN General Assembly’s resumed special session to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Amnesty International urges all UN member states to put human rights at the top of the agenda and agree concrete action to protect the human rights of all people living in the areas affected by the ongoing crisis. Such concrete action should include independent monitoring of abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law throughout the Occupied Territories and Israel. 

Amnesty International delegate visits scene of Gaza Strip killings

The killing this morning of 18 civilians in the Palestinian town of Beit Hanoun, victims of Israeli shelling, was an appalling act, Amnesty International said today. The organization called for an immediate, independent investigation and for those responsible to be held accountable. It said previous Israeli investigations, such as that carried out into the killings of a Palestinian family on a beach in the Gaza Strip last June, had been seriously inadequate and failed to meet international standards for such investigations, which must be independent, impartial and thorough.