Your month in human rights
From Trump's new travel ban, to secret gigs, we wrap up on June's biggest moments in human rights.
Chair of Amnesty International Turkey swept up in post-coup purge
On 7 June, the chair of Amnesty International, Taner Kiliç, was arrested and charged with “membership of a terrorist organisation”. An arrest that demonstrates the Turkish Government’s determination to silence critics and crack down on human rights following a failed coup attempt in July 2016.
The Turkish government blames the coup attempt on Fethullah Gülen, a US-based cleric, and has since designated his movement a terrorist organisation. This has paved the way for thousands of people with no involvement in the coup attempt to be arbitrarily detained.
The charges against Taner, a passionate human rights defender, are without merit. The only claim presented by the authorities’ that links Taner to the movement is that a messaging app that was used by the movement was discovered on his phone in 2014. They have provided no evidence to substantiate this claim.
Amnesty International supporters from around the world are calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
— AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) June 15, 2017
Trump's new travel ban
On Monday 26 June, the US Supreme Court allowed parts of Trump’s travel ban to move forward.They ruled that the ban could not be imposed on those with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The meaning of a bona fide relationship was not defined.
As the ban went into effect the Trump Administration made the definition clear. It would include parents, spouses, children, children-in-law and siblings, both whole, half and step. It does not include grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-laws, sisters-in-law and fiancés.
This definition of family ignores the reality of many cultures, where grandparents and cousins are extremely close.The ban will separate families and is callous and discriminatory.Tens of thousands refugees who are already in the process of being resettled in the United States might be banned.
"It will jeopardise the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people including people and families fleeing war, violence and torture."
Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA’s senior director of campaigns
As the ban went to effect Amnesty International stationed staff members at airports to ensure those affected knew their rights and had access to legal help.
— AmnestyInternational (@amnestyusa) June 30, 2017
Give a Home
Amnesty International is holding a global day of secret gigs.
The concert series, called Give a Home, will take place on 20 September 2017 in 60 countries. Artists will perform two intimate New Zealand shows, in Wellington and Auckland.
These secret gigs will take place in people’s living rooms and homes. Why? To support the 21 million refugees who do not have a home. Each event will feature performances from two to three music artists, as well as talks from activists to highlight the solutions people are working on to address the refugee crisis.
Compensation deal with Manus refugees and asylum seekers
The Australian Government and Broadspectrum reached a settlement with 1905 refugees and asylum seekers that were detained on Manus.
The compensation deal shows they must face that their offshore detention policies are cruel and unsustainable.
The fact that Broadspectrum, a subsidiary of the Spanish multinational Ferrovial was named in the class action shows companies involved in inherently abusive offshore detention policies can be held accountable.
This is a historic settlement but does not change the present circumstances of those still trapped on Manus.
New Myanmar report details human rights violations
Amnesty International released a new report detailing the appalling violations and abuses civilians are suffering in Myanmar’s Kachin and Northern Shan States.
‘All the Civilians Suffer’: Conflict, Displacement and Abuse in Northern Myanmar details extrajudicial executions, shelling of civilian and restrictions on movement and humanitarian access. Including almost 100,000 people being torn away from their home and frames due to conflict and human rights violations.
Amnesty International conducted more than 140 interviews on the ground between March and May 2017, following renewed fighting since August 2016 in Kachin and northern Shan states, which border China. The organisation visited towns and villages in areas affected by fighting as well as 10 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and spoke to civilian victims and eyewitnesses, community leaders and humanitarian officials.
Tweet at the Myanmar President Office and the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services asking that they ensure investigations into all credible allegations of war crimes in Myanmar and to allow humanitarian access.
— Amnesty New Zealand (@AmnestyNZ) June 14, 2017
— Amnesty New Zealand (@AmnestyNZ) June 14, 2017