Countries around the world continue to sentence to death or to execute people with mental and intellectual disabilities, in clear violation of international standards, Amnesty International said ahead of the World Day against the Death Penalty (10 October 2014). 

Amnesty International has documented cases of people who suffer from such disabilities facing execution or being executed in countries including Japan, Pakistan and the USA.

Shi’a militias, supported and armed by the government of Iraq, have abducted and killed scores of Sunni civilians in recent months and enjoy total impunity for these war crimes, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today. 

Absolute Impunity: Militia Rule in Iraq provides harrowing details of sectarian attacks carried out by increasingly powerful Shi’a militias in Baghdad, Samarra and Kirkuk, apparently in revenge for attacks by the armed group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS).

This is Africa (TIA) www.thisisafrica.me is a forum for Africans, by Africans, to reclaim our identity, our heritage and our continent’s rightful political, economic and cultural position in the globalised world and in the global consciousness.

Act to Save Lives at Sea

European Union member states’ justice and home affairs ministers meeting in Luxembourg should take forward a comprehensive and collective EU response to search and rescue needs in the central Mediterranean to urgently save lives.

“As the EU builds its walls higher and higher, migrants and refugees are increasingly taking to the Mediterranean waters in a desperate bid to reach safety and sanctuary in Europe,” said Nicolas J. Beger, European Institutions Office director at Amnesty International.

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Urgent need for climate change adaptation measures in Arab countries

Authors: M.K. Tolba (ed); N.W. Saab (ed)
Publisher: Arab Forum for Environment and Development, 2009

Full text of document

Although greenhouse gas emissions from the Arab world amount to 4.2% of global emissions, the impact of climate change on the fragile environment of the region and its people is expected to be immense. This report aims to provide information to governments, business, academia and the public about the impact of climate change on the Arab countries, and encourage concrete action to face the challenge.

The report analyses the Arab response to the urgent need for adaptation measures, and uses the latest research findings to describe the vulnerabilities of natural and human systems in the Arab world to climate change and the impacts on different sectors. In an attempt to help shape adequate policies, the report discusses options for a post-Kyoto regime and outlines the state of international negotiations in this regard.

Egypt blogger military trial criticised

Egypt has been strongly criticised by Human Rights Watch for trying a blogger, Ahmed Mustafa, before a military court.

The 20-year-old is accused of publishing false information in a blog a year ago, alleging a case of nepotism at Egypt's premier military academy.

Egypt's emergency law, in place since 1981, allows indefinite detention and trials of civilians in military courts. Egyptian officials have denied that the power is much used.

Mr Mustafa, an engineering student, is charged with releasing information considered secret to the armed forces, and of spreading false information insulting officials responsible for admissions to the military academy. The only evidence presented at his trial this week is the post on his blog.

Iraq: Candidates Should Promote Human Rights

Elections an Opportunity to Improve Conditions Across the Country

(Washington, DC) - Political parties and candidates in Iraq's parliamentary elections on March 7, 2010, should promise to uphold human rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The election will be a key indicator of whether the country is moving toward greater political stability and respect for human rights and away from the sectarian violence that devastated Iraq after the 2005 election, Human Rights Watch said.

The six-page report, "Iraq's 2010 National Elections: A Human Rights Platform for Candidates," focuses on five key areas of human rights problems: electoral exclusion; abridged freedom of expression; ill-treatment and torture in detention; violence against vulnerable groups; and the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons. Human Rights Watch urged political parties to make the report's specific and feasible recommendations part of their electoral commitments.


In March 2010, the Commission on the Status of Women will undertake a fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.   Emphasis will be placed on the sharing of experiences and good practices, with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges, including those related to the Millennium Development Goals.  Member States, representatives of non-governmental organizations and of UN entities will participate in the session.  A series of parallel events will provide additional opportunities for information exchange and networking.

Ongoing national and regional review processes are feeding into the global review process.

The General Assembly is expected to mark the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in a commemorative meeting during CSW.

* National level review of implementation

* Regional 15-year review processes
o Regional reports
          o Regional meetings

* Global 15-year review process in the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women
* Commemoration of the 15th anniversary by the General Assembly
* Related intergovernmental processes
* Other commemorative initiatives in the UN

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