Human Rights Updates

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Amnesty International publishes ‘Blueprint for Action’ to end refugee and migrant deaths in the Mediterranean

On the eve of an emergency summit in Brussels, Amnesty International today published a Blueprint for Action calling on European governments to take immediate and effective steps to end the ongoing crisis that has seen thousands die in the Mediterranean.

The latest capsizing of a boat carrying refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean – with hundreds of people feared dead – is a man-made tragedy that could well have been avoided, Amnesty International said.

A boat able to carry hundreds of refugees and migrants – according to the Italian coast guard - capsized this morning off the Libyan coast. The boat had sent a request for help to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Rome, which requested a Portuguese merchant vessel to attend the call.

An alarming number of countries used the death penalty to tackle real or perceived threats to state security linked to terrorism, crime or internal instability in 2014, Amnesty International found in its annual review of the death penalty worldwide.

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Saudi Arabian women drivers Loujain al-Hathloul and Maysaa al-Amoudi were released on 12 February after spending 10 weeks in detention.

Carmen Guadalupe Vasquez, imprisoned after losing her pregnancy in 2007 in El Salvador, has been released from prison. Guadalupe who was 18 years old when she was jailed and sentenced to 30 years in prison after suffering a miscarriage. She was accused of having an abortion, which is outlawed in any circumstance in El Salvador.
“Those seven years were very long for me,'' said Guadalupe.

This morning I woke up to the news that “Guadalupe”, a young woman unjustly imprisoned in El Salvador after having a miscarriage, had been pardoned. 

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A 21-year-old man, Siarhei Ivanou has been sentenced to death in Belarus, the last country in Europe and Central Asia still applying the death penalty.

This type of regressive policy violates girls’ fundamental right to education, punishes girls and discriminates against them on the basis of their sex, and can only result in increased stigmatisation.

Security forces in Uzbekistan are torturing men and women to make them sign false confessions.