Over 200 people, Africans fleeing Libya by boat, drowned on Wednesday before reaching safety in Italy. It is just one of many tragedies resulting from North Africa’s refugee crisis, one of the world’s worst, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres. Many of the refugees who were fleeing Libya in fact came from Somalia, Eritrea and Ivory Coast.
Countries which continue to use the death penalty are being left increasingly isolated following a decade of progress towards abolition, Amnesty International has said today in its new report Death Sentences and Executions in 2010.
A total of 31 countries abolished the death penalty in law or in practice during the last 10 years.
Illinois has become the first state to abolish the death penalty since 2009. On Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation ending capital punishment after two months of deliberation. Quinn has commuted the death sentences of all 15 Illinois prisoners on death row, giving them life in prison with no chance of parole.
International Women’s Day – March 8, 2011 – is a special day meant to remind everyone that women continue to have particular disadvantages even today, despite general emancipation, owing to the unnecessary restrictions in our male-dominated societies. More than that, womens’ rights continue to be severely curtailed in many places.
14 February 2011 marked National Domestic Workers Day in Indonesia that has around 2.6 million domestic workers. As in Hong Kong, these workers play a vital role in the household and overall economy. Yet Amnesty International has received many reports of domestic workers in Indonesia being subjected to physical and psychological abuse, as well as economic exploitation.
In response to dramatic developments in Egypt, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: “I congratulate the protesters for their extraordinary courage and commitment to achieve fundamental change.”
“Persistent attempts to put down peaceful protests have not only failed but redoubled the determination of those demanding change.”
-What is Amnesty International doing about the protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the region?
We’ve sent a delegation to Egypt to help witness, record and expose human rights abuses being committed during the uprising, as we did during the unrest in Tunisia earlier in the year. We’re doing this in close cooperation with local human rights activists.
In Uganda, funeral services are being held today for a prominent LGBT rights activist beaten to death this week. David Kato was killed after an unknown assailant attacked him in his home. Kato was a leading opponent of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which calls for the death penalty or life imprisonment for some homosexual acts.
Pinagpalang Kamay Association or PKAI is an NGO formed by Ms. Mina Tecson to aid two communities in need, one a poverty-stricken community in Payatas on the outskirts of Quezon City, and the other a home for abandoned physically and mentally ill children residing at Cottolengo Filipino, Montalban Rizal, quite nearby. I toured both in December 2010.
*I am looking at the families that have been affected by the violence. Especially those families like ours whose members have been killed or detained or tortured. I want to focus on what happens with these families, especially of the children, for the restoration of peace in the family, the restoration of peace in the communities.