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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
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AMNESTY
INTERNATIONAL
REPORT 2015/16
THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S HUMAN RIGHTS

iv Amnesty International Report 2015/16

CONTENTS
ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16
ABBREVIATIONS .................................................................................................................. ix
PREFACE .............................................................................................................................. xi
FOREWORD ........................................................................................................................ 14
AFRICA REGIONAL OVERVIEW ........................................................................................... 18
AMERICAS REGIONAL OVERVIEW ....................................................................................... 26
ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL OVERVIEW .................................................................................. 34
EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA REGIONAL OVERVIEW ......................................................... 42
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA REGIONAL OVERVIEW ................................................ 50
AFGHANISTAN ................................................................................................................... 60
ALBANIA ............................................................................................................................. 63
ALGERIA ............................................................................................................................. 65
ANGOLA ............................................................................................................................. 67
ARGENTINA ........................................................................................................................ 70
ARMENIA ............................................................................................................................ 71
AUSTRALIA ......................................................................................................................... 73
AUSTRIA ............................................................................................................................. 74
AZERBAIJAN ...................................................................................................................... 76
BAHAMAS .......................................................................................................................... 78
BAHRAIN ............................................................................................................................ 79
BANGLADESH .................................................................................................................... 82
BELARUS ............................................................................................................................ 84
BELGIUM ............................................................................................................................ 86
BENIN ................................................................................................................................ 87
BOLIVIA .............................................................................................................................. 88
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA .............................................................................................. 90
BRAZIL ............................................................................................................................... 91
BULGARIA .......................................................................................................................... 95
BURKINA FASO .................................................................................................................. 97
BURUNDI ........................................................................................................................... 99
CAMBODIA ....................................................................................................................... 103
CAMEROON ...................................................................................................................... 106
CANADA ........................................................................................................................... 108
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC ......................................................................................... 110
CHAD ................................................................................................................................ 113
CHILE ............................................................................................................................... 115
CHINA .............................................................................................................................. 117
COLOMBIA ........................................................................................................................ 122
CONGO (REPUBLIC OF) .................................................................................................... 127
CÔTE D’IVOIRE ................................................................................................................. 129
CROATIA ........................................................................................................................... 131

Amnesty International Report 2015/16 v

CUBA ................................................................................................................................ 132
CYPRUS ............................................................................................................................ 133
CZECH REPUBLIC ............................................................................................................ 134
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO ........................................................................ 136
DENMARK ........................................................................................................................ 140
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC .................................................................................................... 141
ECUADOR ......................................................................................................................... 143
EGYPT .............................................................................................................................. 145
EL SALVADOR ................................................................................................................... 149
EQUATORIAL GUINEA ...................................................................................................... 151
ERITREA ........................................................................................................................... 152
ESTONIA ........................................................................................................................... 154
ETHIOPIA .......................................................................................................................... 155
FIJI ................................................................................................................................... 156
FINLAND .......................................................................................................................... 157
FRANCE ............................................................................................................................ 158
GAMBIA ............................................................................................................................ 161
GEORGIA .......................................................................................................................... 163
GERMANY ........................................................................................................................ 165
GHANA ............................................................................................................................. 166
GREECE ............................................................................................................................ 168
GUATEMALA ..................................................................................................................... 170
GUINEA ............................................................................................................................ 172
GUINEA-BISSAU ............................................................................................................... 174
GUYANA ........................................................................................................................... 175
HAITI ................................................................................................................................ 176
HONDURAS ...................................................................................................................... 178
HUNGARY ........................................................................................................................ 179
INDIA ................................................................................................................................ 181
INDONESIA ....................................................................................................................... 186
IRAN ................................................................................................................................. 190
IRAQ ................................................................................................................................. 194
IRELAND ........................................................................................................................... 198
ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES ............................................... 200
ITALY ................................................................................................................................ 204
JAMAICA ........................................................................................................................... 207
JAPAN .............................................................................................................................. 208
JORDAN ........................................................................................................................... 210
KAZAKHSTAN ................................................................................................................... 212
KENYA .............................................................................................................................. 214
KOREA (DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF) ............................................................. 217
KOREA (REPUBLIC OF) .................................................................................................... 220
KUWAIT ............................................................................................................................ 222
KYRGYZSTAN ................................................................................................................... 224

vi Amnesty International Report 2015/16

LAOS ................................................................................................................................. 226
LATVIA .............................................................................................................................. 227
LEBANON ......................................................................................................................... 228
LESOTHO .......................................................................................................................... 229
LIBYA ................................................................................................................................ 231
LITHUANIA ....................................................................................................................... 236
MACEDONIA ..................................................................................................................... 236
MADAGASCAR .................................................................................................................. 238
MALAWI ............................................................................................................................ 239
MALAYSIA ......................................................................................................................... 240
MALDIVES ......................................................................................................................... 242
MALI ................................................................................................................................. 243
MALTA .............................................................................................................................. 245
MAURITANIA .................................................................................................................... 247
MEXICO ............................................................................................................................ 249
MOLDOVA ......................................................................................................................... 253
MONGOLIA ....................................................................................................................... 254
MONTENEGRO ................................................................................................................. 255
MOROCCO / WESTERN SAHARA ....................................................................................... 256
MOZAMBIQUE .................................................................................................................. 260
MYANMAR ........................................................................................................................ 261
NAMIBIA ........................................................................................................................... 265
NAURU ............................................................................................................................. 266
NEPAL .............................................................................................................................. 267
NETHERLANDS ................................................................................................................ 269
NEW ZEALAND ................................................................................................................. 270
NICARAGUA ..................................................................................................................... 271
NIGER ............................................................................................................................... 272
NIGERIA ........................................................................................................................... 274
NORWAY .......................................................................................................................... 278
OMAN ............................................................................................................................... 279
PAKISTAN ......................................................................................................................... 280
PALESTINE (STATE OF) .................................................................................................... 284
PANAMA ........................................................................................................................... 286
PAPUA NEW GUINEA ....................................................................................................... 288
PARAGUAY ....................................................................................................................... 289
PERU ................................................................................................................................ 291
PHILIPPINES .................................................................................................................... 293
POLAND ........................................................................................................................... 295
PORTUGAL ....................................................................................................................... 297
PUERTO RICO .................................................................................................................. 298
QATAR .............................................................................................................................. 299
ROMANIA ......................................................................................................................... 300
RUSSIAN FEDERATION .................................................................................................... 302

Amnesty International Report 2015/16 vii

RWANDA .......................................................................................................................... 307
SAUDI ARABIA ................................................................................................................. 309
SENEGAL .......................................................................................................................... 313
SERBIA ............................................................................................................................. 315
SIERRA LEONE ................................................................................................................. 318
SINGAPORE ...................................................................................................................... 320
SLOVAKIA ......................................................................................................................... 321
SLOVENIA ......................................................................................................................... 323
SOMALIA .......................................................................................................................... 324
SOUTH AFRICA ................................................................................................................ 328
SOUTH SUDAN ................................................................................................................. 332
SPAIN ............................................................................................................................... 336
SRI LANKA ........................................................................................................................ 339
SUDAN ............................................................................................................................. 342
SWAZILAND ...................................................................................................................... 345
SWEDEN ........................................................................................................................... 348
SWITZERLAND .................................................................................................................. 348
SYRIA ............................................................................................................................... 350
TAIWAN ............................................................................................................................ 354
TAJIKISTAN ...................................................................................................................... 355
TANZANIA ........................................................................................................................ 358
THAILAND ........................................................................................................................ 359
TIMOR-LESTE ................................................................................................................... 362
TOGO ................................................................................................................................ 363
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO .................................................................................................. 364
TUNISIA ............................................................................................................................ 365
TURKEY ............................................................................................................................ 369
TURKMENISTAN .............................................................................................................. 373
UGANDA ........................................................................................................................... 375
UKRAINE .......................................................................................................................... 378
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ................................................................................................. 382
UNITED KINGDOM ........................................................................................................... 384
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA .......................................................................................... 387
URUGUAY ........................................................................................................................ 391
UZBEKISTAN .................................................................................................................... 392
VENEZUELA ...................................................................................................................... 395
VIET NAM ......................................................................................................................... 398
YEMEN ............................................................................................................................. 400
ZAMBIA ............................................................................................................................ 404
ZIMBABWE ....................................................................................................................... 405

viii Amnesty International Report 2015/16

bisexual. transgender and CERD COMMITTEE intersex UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization CIA US Central Intelligence Agency NGO Non-governmental organization ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States OAS Organization of American States EU European Union OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR THE Europe PREVENTION OF TORTURE European Committee for the Prevention of UK Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment United Kingdom or Punishment UN EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN United Nations RIGHTS (European) Convention for the Protection of UN CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Convention against Torture and Other Cruel. Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or ICC Punishment International Criminal Court UN REFUGEE CONVENTION Convention relating to the Status of Refugees Amnesty International Report 2015/16 ix . Social AU and Cultural Rights African Union ICRC CEDAW International Committee of the Red Cross UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women ILO International Labour Organization CEDAW COMMITTEE UN Committee on the Elimination of INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AGAINST Discrimination against Women ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE International Convention for the Protection of CERD All Persons from Enforced Disappearance International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination LGBTI Lesbian.ABBREVIATIONS ICCPR International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations ICESCR International Covenant on Economic. gay.

its causes and consequences UNHCR.UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON RACISM Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism. racial discrimination. inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Special Rapporteur on violence against women. xenophobia and related intolerance UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel. THE UN REFUGEE AGENCY Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UPR UN Universal Periodic Review USA United States of America WHO World Health Organization x Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .

and surveys the progress made in the safeguarding and securing of human rights. discrimination or repression. The Report also highlights the strength and extent of the human rights movement. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 xi . five regional overviews and a survey of 160 countries and territories highlight the suffering endured by many. information may be subject to change without notice. be it through conflict.PREFACE The Amnesty International Report 2015/16 documents the state of the world’s human rights during 2015. The foreword. While every attempt is made to ensure accuracy. displacement.

xii Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2015/16 FOREWORD AND REGIONAL OVERVIEWS .

clearly the region accepted a large number of Syrian refugees. more than half of the population has now fled Even as we live in the hope that current beyond the country’s borders or been efforts will yield peace in Syria.and responsibility-sharing continued end conflict. In the Syrian crisis. So far attempts to resolve the war in the country has also highlighted the conflict have simply served to highlight the impunity gap that ensues when the five global and regional divisions. permanent members of the UN Security Multilateral initiatives to respond to the Council use their veto to block credible and outpouring of refugees. UN High Commissioner As the world struggled to respond to the for Refugees large numbers leaving Syria. Lebanon and rights situation has demonstrated the Turkey. many governments both within and illustrates the lack of outside the Middle East and North Africa region remained unwilling to increase their capacity and political will to intake of refugees to meaningful levels. including the UN proportionate action to end war crimes and Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan. Syria’s dire human across Egypt. António Guterres. Governments in Europe. and law that Amnesty International and others found it woefully inadequate. significant gaps in out without any of the old institutional responses to crisis and conflict were exposed. were forced to react to the “The fact that we are seeing public outcry and the calls to welcome refugees and end the crisis. and to impede in recent months been jostled by the sheer accountability when such crimes are being or weight of the crisis into stronger co-ordination have been committed. where of institutions to uphold international law. and more broadly for the systemic failure continuing armed conflict in Syria. have crimes against humanity.” actions that amounted to denial of access to an asylum process. This is partly fuelled by the risk. The Syrian currently displaced and seeking refuge conflict has become a byword for the worldwide than at any point since the Second inadequate protection of scores of civilians at World War. so many new crises breaking Yet both in Syria’s regional neighbourhood and in western countries. push-backs and removal to other territories. Canada and weakness of systems of civilian protection the USA. the war raging within the country crystallized urgent The past year severely tested the international concerns around the application of system’s capacity to respond to crises and international human rights and humanitarian mass forced displacements of people.FOREWORD refugees were shaken by the gut-wrenching media image of the drowned body of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi. Burden. let alone to to be tremendously lopsided. and through various state impunity. including through criminalization of asylum-seekers. where public perceptions of during armed conflicts. Meanwhile. Iraq. unpredictability and refoulement. Although some countries in ones getting resolved. over the years internally displaced. More people are have consistently raised for years. the human rights of many families and individuals on the move alarming proliferation of were violated. 14 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . and provision of resources lagged well behind the rapidly prevent it. Jordan. The result is an unfolding crisis.

IS of the past year is that the international displayed a gross disregard for civilian lives. seek refuge elsewhere. Iraq. Yet the many conflicts that contributed to the shortcomings of that system have never been unprecedented global number of refugees. its formation having accountability. and the deadly impact this has it represented one of “a number of on civilians. we welcomed the first meeting of the we see the results of reckless arms trading UN Human Rights Committee. The first clear theme and Yemen. nor in of protecting human rights? protecting civilians against gross human Amnesty International Report 2015/16 15 . even though parties violated international humanitarian they continued to fail to ensure that domestic and human rights law. support of some states and from a massive That we reached this nadir in the year backlog of cases requiring justice and when the UN turned 70. poses a simple but grim such as those protecting people in peril at challenge: is the international system of law sea. Libya. we realized that the system of and abuses of human rights in Burundi. as countries bickered about concerns”. to foster a critical commitment to the system Even then. And while the and regional mechanisms brought justice. Amnesty International has helped action to save lives. subvert human rights and institutions in Meanwhile the European system was under countries including Brazil. system was not robust in the face of hard forcing thousands to flee. Somalia and South In 2015. Across several borders. In addition. migrants and internally displaced people. Syria’s civil war was but one of the international humanitarian law. there were several threats to Sudan. and specialized mechanisms human rights”. more apparent than they are today. Pakistan here two related themes. 1977.and more widely with the actions of the In the Amnesty International Report of armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS). Americas welcomed positive developments in Emerging mechanisms in the Middle East and the decades-old Colombian conflict – where. northeastern Nigeria. we highlight including Afghanistan. As the cracks began non-state actors committed serious violations to show. We added to that developments in “border protection” and “migration areas such as the fight against torture. state and knocks and challenges. international protection of human rights itself Cameroon. Mexico and threat. North Africa did not sufficiently promote a even then. did not succeed in preventing or and institutions adequate for the urgent task containing humanitarian crises. In Africa. both from the possibility of losing the Venezuela. emblematic as it might have of international human rights law and been. Conflicts in Israel and governments in Africa hampered co-operation the Occupied Palestinian Territories and with the ICC while claiming to be Ukraine continued to claim civilian lives as all strengthening African systems. directed at civilians and civilian infrastructure. needs to be protected. Asia’s in a political deal – violence continued to fledgling system remained largely ineffectual. including in some cases attacks mechanisms for human rights protection. The conflict has also highlighted developments at the UN in areas important to the retreat of responsibility for refugee Amnesty International’s human rights protection. Central African Republic. Over management” rather than taking decisive the years. Among the various threats to human rights Armed conflicts continued in countries surveyed in this year’s report. and noted that over decades. accountability might be sacrificed vision of universal human rights. beckoned nations to come together to “save Multilateral protections such as the UN succeeding generations from the scourge of Refugee Convention and the UN Convention war” and to “reaffirm faith in fundamental against Torture. Regional human rights protection and These situations have all led to significant accountability in Africa and the Americas numbers of people fleeing their homes to came under internal threat.

rights violations. including report. often finding cover in the their rights upheld. from Tunis to Paris and the face of the Middle East and North Africa elsewhere. repression was almost routine and. Yet in this undermine human rights systems. which half a decade ago changed Bamako and Yola. respect for international truncheon in the public square may not make humanitarian law. Amnesty International documents the attacks against or withdrawal of support from continuing and widespread use of excessive them. Particularly disconcerting is the the international system adequate for its task. turn. often spawn torture and other ill-treatment. governments are using Amnesty International calls for a renewed increasingly calculated means to crush commitment to the protection of the dissent. Five The second overriding theme of the past years ago. At their roots. rights – as well as the failure by states to including arbitrary arrests and detentions. protect the human rights of all. several in the Syrian town of Tell Kalakh marked an of the crises of the past year were set in early manifestation of the backlash by states motion by the resentments and conflicts that in the region against dissent and popular often follow the brutal crushing of dissent by protest. social and cultural down on dissenters using a range of tools. and quest of every person to live in dignity with elsewhere too. particularly 16 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . much less in fostering and governments’ repression of dissent and accountability for atrocities. but international human rights system. mechanisms with the universal standards of in addition to extrajudicial executions and the international system. or when states repress that enduring continued in that part of the world. during Egypt’s “January 25 revolution”. human rights defenders working to protect time and again. role of international human rights law to Five years on from one of the most counter threats posed by non-state actors – dynamic demonstrations of people power the violent armed groups in particular. and alignment of regional human rights force against dissenters and demonstrators. and the death societal tensions. the by-products of which. The many other cases. was packaged as a necessity people’s rights to land and livelihoods in Latin for achieving national security. across the globe. the swing of the police human rights law. This must include voluntary restraint in the While 2011 saw the deaths of more than UN Security Council members’ use of the 300 people at the hands of security forces veto in situations of mass atrocity crimes. and effective implementation of human rights more than 50 protesters killed in Yemen’s norms across all instruments of international “Bloody Friday”. America and the Caribbean: in these and and the protection of national values. stretch international protection systems Meanwhile. failure to protect human rights is the “Arab Barbarous attacks on people from Beirut to Spring”. The most palpable recent International uncovered Orwellian levels of example of the link between system failure surveillance by some states. systematic round-ups and torture year is closely related. In the intervening years. To make globally. or the context of the so-called “war on terror”. a legal case by Amnesty beyond their limits. also raised questions about the region. the brutal repression of authorities in numerous countries repressed dissent and the denial of people’s basic rights freedom of expression online and cracked – including economic. forced disappearances. law and order. refraining from actions that the news headline so readily today. torture has states. world has ever seen. become as sophisticated as it is brutal. the killing and forcible disappearance of Often. not just in the Middle East. lingual sophistry of so-called “enhanced Whether it be the Andaman Sea crisis in interrogation techniques” – those dissembling May that saw thousands of refugees and horrors hatched before the “Arab Spring” in migrants adrift at sea without food or water. in penalty. ample evidence that repression has now states must protect the system itself.

protecting and be protected equally before the law. nor be at risk. protest and outspokenness has expanded As the world’s largest organization of since those epoch-making popular human rights defenders. to hold and share. The signs of hope that we saw in 2015 were the result of the ongoing advocacy. Amnesty International calls on the past year. in future. the UN the naming and shaming of states that fail to mandated a new special procedure. Today. In such a situation. should have their life taken by a state. opinions that crisis – even now exacerbated in this northern governments may disagree with. rights that protect the work and It is literally a matter of life and death. its pages cannot individuals and groups to organize. To give just three examples from the past year: the presence of human rights and accountability elements in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. action in May to prevent forced evictions on the Regional Mombasa Port Access Road project in Kenya. The work of the Special was inked on that resolution. social movements and human rights defenders. nor a member of their months to help develop clear human rights. in their Salil Shetty. including including Amnesty International. or be without the protection of a state. While the report captures the states to respect the human rights of above themes and others. Not The crackdown by states on dissent. dissent and activism of civil society. But governments must allow the space and freedom for human rights Amnesty International Report 2015/16 17 . space of human rights defenders do. Nor will. states’ continuing essential work. respecting norms in this area. These outcomes were not borne of the benevolence of states. and the release of Filep Karma. as a result of 65. such signs of hope be sustained by state actors alone. a Papuan prisoner of conscience in Indonesia. the uphold these rights. Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy in Beyond the moment that the last full stop the digital age. human rights defenders is implemented with Following advocacy by organizations accountability and transparency. assemble convey the full human misery of the topical and express themselves. family. not one more Rapporteur will be important in the coming human rights defender. organizing. crises of this last year. notably the refugee through any medium.000 messages written on his behalf by supporters from around the world. Secretary General turn. freedom. strengthening systems of human rights and As well as being vital for individual civilian protection cannot be seen as optional. Amnesty International development of new methods of repression to therefore calls upon states to ensure that the keep abreast of advancing technology and resolution adopted in November by the UN connectivity is a major threat to freedom of General Assembly to protect the rights of expression. protect the system of human rights itself. one more should be harassed.focused on the lives and work of human defenders and activists to carry out their rights defenders. we present to you expressions of the people’s voice that began this report of the state of human rights during five years ago. and for all to winter.

Nigeria. Somalia. South Sudan and regimes. Republic of Congo. With the African Union (AU) declaring 2016 extrajudicial executions. with tens of thousands of up” operation to remove undocumented civilians killed. including in In west. in a betrayal of the hundreds offered the potential to realize the rights of thousands of victims killed during the enshrined in the African Charter on Human Darfur conflict. Africa was also presented with undermine the independence of the real opportunities.AFRICA REGIONAL security threats with disregard for international humanitarian law and human OVERVIEW rights. context of conflicts remained a major counter-terrorism. Internationally. countries as disparate as Cameroon. and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) and Many civil society organizations. millions forced to live in fear and insecurity. excessive force was used as a “clean- constant violence. Similar patterns of human rights across the continent and beyond hoped that violations were observed in Niger and Chad. association and and left millions living in fear and insecurity. Military and security operations in Nigeria and Cameroon were marked by mass arbitrary arrests. Elections and political transitions triggered both within and outside conflicts. Protracted conflicts in the Central of NGOs and media. South Africa failed to arrest – including the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the and surrender Sudan’s President al-Bashir to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the ICC in June. regional institutions and the Impunity remained a key cause and driver international community would show the of conflicts and instability. Despite some determination and political will to make progress. Guinea. Ethiopia. security AU also continued their political efforts to and dignity. the in Cameroon. serious opponents operated in an increasingly hostile violations and abuses of international environment. and to developments were evident in many countries ensure immunity from prosecution for serving and relatively peaceful political transitions heads of state. DRC. Niger and Somalia – armed groups such as South Africa. public order and regulation challenge. central and east Africa – including Angola. CAR. human international human rights instruments. Somalia caused thousands of civilian deaths with freedoms of expression. journalists and political Nevertheless. by security forces and armed groups in Such hopes were not without foundation. even when accused of crimes were achieved in others. rights defenders. As conflict. Chad. In South al-Shabaab and Boko Haram perpetrated Africa. Burkina Faso. thousands abducted and immigrants. Chad. Ethiopia of Congo (DRC). some states and the continued to deny many their rights. widespread violations and repression. throughout 2015. The adoption of against humanity and other crimes under historic commitments regionally and globally international law. Africa’s leaders. peaceful assembly increasingly restricted. there was little or no accountability significant headway in addressing entrenched for crimes under international law committed human rights challenges. many ill-treatment. Burundi. Nigeria. and torture and other as the Year of Human Rights in Africa. authoritarian DRC. Sudan. South Sudan and and The Gambia and deteriorated in others. Civic space remained African Republic (CAR). Kenya. incommunicado detentions. political instability. poverty and humanitarian disasters Sudan. Democratic Republic closed in countries such as Eritrea. brutal and excessive force. with laws aimed at restricting humanitarian and human rights law in the civic space in the name of national security. Mali. attacks on 18 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Burundi faced a political crisis and escalating Peaceful assemblies were disrupted with violence. Many Many governments responded to these countries saw bans on protests. Togo and Zimbabwe. Social and economic International Criminal Court (ICC).

In November. (right to life) of the African Charter. Its catalogue of Special Technical Committee on Legal Affairs abuses included suicide bomb attacks in (STC) also considered and approved the Draft civilian areas. Nigeria and than 8. Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons in abductions. summary executions. were abducted or recruited as child soldiers. In Mauritania. armed groups.200 people murdered. causes of poverty. Regrettably. defined torture and slavery as a crime against The humanitarian crisis endured by the humanity and banned secret detention. the African Commission on Human and Despite coordinated military advances Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) against Boko Haram. including inequality.demonstrators by security forces. Burkina fight against Boko Haram – including more Faso. a lack of coherent approaches atrocities. signs of improvement in Swaziland – Yet there were signs of hope and progress. DRC. South Sudan and Sudan measures to address human rights violations were marked by crimes under international and impunity. resulting in large-scale violations indifference to engagement. Commission. Sierra region continued as the Ebola epidemic that Leone ratified the Protocol to the African spread across West Africa in 2014 continued Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on to claim lives in Guinea. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 19 . and Sierra Leone. conflict and accountability justice took place in Senegal when the trial deficits. including the release of prisoners of Social and economic developments continued conscience and political prisoners – although to unfold in many countries and offered real repressive legislation continued to be used to optimism in addressing some of the structural suppress dissent. The AU Nigeria and Cameroon. Somalia. arbitrary arrests and harassment of political There were reforms and positive measures opponents. Periodic crimes and possible crimes against humanity reports on implementation of the African committed by the Nigerian military during its Charter were submitted by Algeria. leader of another. Gender-based and sexual Several regional human rights norms and violence was widely reported and children standards were also developed. peacekeeping – in response to crises and committed by both government forces and conflicts. the AU and regional bodies law and persistent violations and abuses of took notable steps – from mediation to humanitarian and human rights law. Despite capacity and characterized by lack of accountability for limitations. Ongoing conflicts in CAR. Amnesty International More countries also opened up their released a report during the year outlining war human rights records for review. Namibia. human rights defenders and in several countries. the STC declined to The impact of Boko Haram’s abuses was approve the Draft Protocol on the Abolition of exacerbated by states’ unlawful and heavy- the Death Penalty in Africa. Niger. initially developed by the African soldiers. starved. Some measures taken by the AU Peace and Security Council. the armed group adopted a General Comment on Article 4 continued attacking civilians in Chad. and concerns about the adequacy of Nigeria. There were Leone. to address violent conflicts in the Violent conflicts and insecurity affected many region demonstrated a growing move from countries. Several states achieved some of the against former Chadian President Hissène UN Millennium Development Goals and Habré opened in July – the first time a court Africa played a critical role in the adoption of in one African state had tried the former the SDGs. a new law journalists. Kenya. as well as sub-regional CONFLICT – COSTS AND VULNERABILITY bodies. Malawi. handed response. A watershed moment for international climate change. Liberia and Sierra the Rights of Women in Africa. torture and recruitment of child Africa.

have been forced to flee their homes since destruction of property and displacement of 2009. attacks amidst continuing armed conflict In Niger – where the government decreed between forces from the Somali Federal and extended a state of emergency in the Government and the AU Mission in Somalia entire Diffa region. and the security forces carried out arbitrary arrests and A CRISIS FOR REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS detentions.9 million people facing severe committed by both warring parties. in the context of the conflict.4 million people were Despite the signing of a peace agreement internally displaced. approximately 1.000 people were displaced in Darfur. causing continued to unfold in Sudan’s armed millions of women. more than two million people October resulted in civilian deaths. Hundreds of thousands of refugees 20 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . with 3. civilians disappearances of at least 130 men and boys continued to face indiscriminate and targeted from two villages on the border with Nigeria. During the year. In Chad. and an estimated in August. as all parties committed violations of fatal bids to reach safety in their own country international humanitarian law and other or elsewhere. destruction of estimated 60.2 million people were displaced crimes and crimes against humanity. as well as the enforced In central and southern Somalia. food insecurity. detentions and extrajudicial break in September. most of them detained in relation to investigated for war crimes. widespread gender-based and sexual the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)- violence.5 million. and instability in CAR in September and In Nigeria alone.000 people were additionally civilian property. Both parties carried out displaced in the region to 2. executions. rights law. which was still in place at on one side and al-Shabaab on the other. the conflict in South Sudan – 223. a restrictive anti. in a mass arbitrary arrests. Despite a de-escalation of violence since Huge numbers of people were internally the deployment of the multidimensional UN displaced or became refugees after fleeing peacekeeping operation. around one- civilian settlements and obstruction of third of South Kordofan’s population of humanitarian access to civilians. violations and abuses of international human The conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan rights law. South Kordofan and Blue from their homes in gruelling. men and children to flee conflicts in Darfur.000 people. destruction of displacements. All the end of the year – the authorities’ response parties to the conflict committed violations of included extreme restrictions on movement. Sudan found evidence of systematic war A further 2. as well by the conflict in South Sudan during the as human rights violations and abuses year. North and government forces in Blue Nile The AU Commission of Inquiry on South state. ongoing investigations into crimes committed In the Far North region of Cameroon. An mass killings of civilians. international humanitarian law and serious as well as the forced return of thousands of violations and abuses of international human Nigerian refugees. escaped from government security forces carried out mass the prison in the capital.suffocated or tortured to death – and calling more than 42. characterized by deliberate attacks against bringing the total number of those internally civilians – continued. and recruitment of child soldiers. renewed violence areas affected by violence from Boko Haram. risky and often Nile. Bangui. terrorism law was passed. At least 500 for senior members of the military to be inmates. Government forces continued alone were responsible for millions of indiscriminate bombings. The bloodshed and atrocities of Africa’s A major humanitarian crisis involving mass conflict zones played a major role in fuelling displacement and civilian casualties and sustaining a global refugee crisis. obstruction of humanitarian displaced due to intermittent fighting between aid.

social and economic prosecuted few people suspected of being situation to neighbouring countries. Sudan and Libya in detention beyond the expiry of their continued to live in difficult conditions in custodial sentences. which amounts to potential cases involving crimes against forced labour. accusing them of Europe. Yet states hosting Somali asylum. and deteriorating political. resulted in widespread and violent the UK and Denmark – continued to pressure xenophobic attacks against migrants and Somalis to return to Somalia. INTERNATIONAL LAW presenting the move as a security measure Impunity for serious human rights violations following an attack by al-Shabaab. overcrowded prisons at the end of the year. action was taken. Libya and the Mediterranean to reach refugees back to Nigeria. and many fell prey to military and Boko Haram. Boko Haram members. there were more than 1. security had improved in the country. In by armed groups and criminal gangs. Eritreans caught trying to humanity and war crimes: six involving Boko escape the country were arbitrarily detained Haram and two involving the Nigerian security without charge or trial. Many President to investigate crimes under languished in camps that failed to provide international law and other serious human proper access to water. Those who managed to leave Eritrea and Niger. Nigeria. the Netherlands. including on their businesses. Against a and abuses – especially those committed in backdrop of harassment of Somali and other the context of armed conflicts – continued to refugees by Kenyan security services. and authorities threatened to forcibly return contributed to further instability and abuses. South Sudan and violate Kenya’s obligations under international Sudan – showed little progress towards law. the deprive people of truth and justice. tackling the entrenched accountability gap. food. Somalia. Norway. the world’s largest refugee camp. where in May government forces faced numerous dangers on routes through of Niger and Cameroon forced thousands of Sudan. Despite promises by Nigeria’s new xenophobia. with limited prospect of crowded refugee camps. government to establish a systematic seekers and refugees – including Saudi programme of prevention and protection Arabia. conditions and without access to lawyers. including hostage-taking for ransom bringing Boko Haram attacks to the area. claiming that refugees. Kenya’s government threatened to close IMPUNITY FOR CRIMES UNDER Dadaab.000 people fled Burundi’s hold its own forces to account. rights violations and abuses committed by the sanitation or education. This Most governments – including in Cameroon. being released or deported. A Despite the publication on 26 October of “shoot to kill” policy was in place for anyone the report by the AU Commission of Inquiry Amnesty International Report 2015/16 21 . would put thousands of lives at risk and CAR.3 million Somalis were detainees. hundreds of thousands of refugees In Malawi. However.000 refugees to Somalia. Globally. The government failed to More than 230. At least 100 such More than 1. frequently in harsh forces. unregistered migrants were kept from Nigeria. Sweden. abuses and violations. the Office Thousands continued to flee Eritrea to escape of the Prosecutor of the ICC identified eight indefinite National Service. Chad. health care. no meaningful human trafficking networks. secure a better livelihood – faced intolerance. were held in internally displaced during the year.from Nigeria and CAR were living in harsh evading capture and trying to cross into conditions in crowded camps in Cameroon Ethiopia. CAR. Countless numbers of refugees and with those suspected of responsibility for migrants – displaced not only by conflict but crimes under international law rarely held to also by political persecution or the need to account. mostly from Ethiopia. around 350.1 million Somali An ongoing failure by the South African refugees.

DRC. The beginning in July court order from South Africa’s high court of the trial of Hissène Habré in Senegal – with also prohibited him from leaving. In November. Some states and the AU continued with Côte d’Ivoire. to the ICC. Johannesburg for an AU Summit – was A significant step towards justice for victims allowed to leave the country. Togo. The In April. threatening to withdraw from the ICC. CAR’s National Transitional government of Namibia also threatened to Council took a positive step towards withdraw from the ICC in November. The and journalists. by Africa-owned legal mechanism. AU Assembly adopted a resolution in June Ethiopia’s general election in May was which reiterated its previous calls for marred by restrictions on civil society termination or suspension of ICC proceedings observing the elections. use of excessive force against Deputy President Ruto of Kenya and against peaceful demonstrators. In was a major positive development in Africa’s a worrying development. alleged former LRA humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Two open ICC of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was arrest warrants had been laid against him for achieved in January following the transfer of his alleged role in genocide. and a commander. TRANSITIONS President Ouattara of Côte d'Ivoire stated in Fifteen general or presidential elections took April that there would be no more transfers to place across the continent during the year. and the signing of a peace President al-Bashir of Sudan. No steps had been taken by the CONTEXT OF ELECTIONS AND end of the year. During the 14th session of the ASP in for war crimes and crimes against humanity November. the DRC took a significant adopting a law to establish a Special Criminal step in November when the Senate voted in Court. establishing an accountability mechanism by More positively. South the accused charged with crimes against Africa’s failure to act saw it join a long list of humanity. In countries for alleged crimes against humanity. including Burundi. and arbitrary arrests of of state even when accused of crimes against political opponents. attacks on immunity from prosecution for serving heads demonstrators.on South Sudan. despite the ICC’s outstanding arrest many forming the backdrop for human rights warrant for former First Lady Simone Gbagbo violations and restrictions. and to ensure were bans on protests. There was little progress in establishing favour of adopting domestic legislation for the Court. Congress was reported to have resolved in October that South Africa should withdraw REPRESSION OF DISSENT IN THE from the ICC. and 22 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . the Republic of Congo. Uganda and Zambia there the independence of the ICC. the ICC. Guinea. torture and war crimes committed states that have failed to arrest and surrender during his tenure between 1982 and 1990 – President al-Bashir to the ICC to face trial. which is expected to implementation of the Rome Statute of the investigate and prosecute those responsible ICC. agreement in August which laid the Kenya’s government attempted to influence foundation for the AU’s decision to set up a the 14th session of the Assembly of States hybrid court. the African National long fight against impunity. Ethiopia. there was no progress towards Parties (ASP) – the political oversight body of its establishment. Rome Statute of the ICC voiced strong South Africa’s government failed to fulfil its commitment to the ICC and denied support to international legal obligations in June when proposals that could undermine its Sudan’s President al-Bashir – visiting independence. however. human rights defenders humanity and other international crimes. crimes against Dominic Ongwen. The Hybrid Court on South the ICC – as part of its attempt to undermine Sudan was announced as an African-led and the trial of Deputy President Ruto. Sudan. political efforts to interfere with or undermine Tanzania. many African states parties to the committed in the country since 2003.

Lesotho. increase in torture and other ill-treatment. Peaceful power for a third term sparked protests and assemblies were often disrupted with subsequent state violence. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 23 . the Presidential Guard (RSP) attempted a In Angola. members of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Kenya. governments stifled dissent and muzzled attempts by political incumbents to stay in rights to freedom of expression. In Burundi. Chad. Togo. Three In South Sudan. the situation took place in a wide spectrum of countries. the authorities increasingly targeted demonstrations. including Angola. Political instability in people at polling stations. daily basis. DRC and the Republic of Congo. and four members Lesotho continued following an attempted and leaders of political opposition parties coup in 2014. and arbitrary arrests and disappearances Equatorial Guinea. killings on a near. Gambia. crackdown on dissent and outright violations including the President and Prime Minister. Many civil society protests were violently suppressed by the organizations and human rights defenders security forces and there was a marked faced an increasingly hostile environment. Sudan’s opposition leaders. approached. injured and killed sentenced to death. In Burkina Faso in September. Burundi. Cameroon. From Such patterns of increasing restrictions September onwards. the Republic of Congo. Nkurunziza’s re-election bid. including through use of laws aimed at especially against those opposed to President restricting civic space. and SHRINKING CIVIC SPACE AND ATTACKS arresting dozens of political opponents. Côte d’Ivoire. Leone. and between pressure intensified on the DRC President protesters and security forces. As different political parties. thousands of prisoners of to suppress protests. with term in office in elections due in February low voter turnout and opposition political 2016 – police arbitrarily arrested political parties boycotting the elections. detained by law enforcement agencies. Outside the context of elections. tensions around the electoral suppressed in DRC and Uganda. of fundamental freedoms. including presidential authorities intensified their suppression of candidates. deteriorated even further. the space for journalists. More than 400 people were Mauritania. Sierra killed between April and December. many Burundi. Swaziland. ON HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS In countries including Burkina Faso. excessive and sometimes lethal force in a bid In Eritrea. Somalia. Dissent and basic human rights were In Guinea. there was an increase in coup and took political leaders hostage. In Uganda Sudan saw President al-Bashir re-elected – where President Museveni will seek a fifth amid reports of fraud and vote-rigging. Uganda. independent media December 2014 were arbitrarily arrested and or academic freedom. the RSP used calling for public accountability of leadership. linked to process led to violence between supporters of presidential elections scheduled for 2016. excessive force. were extrajudicially executed. There was no space for opposition suspected of involvement in a failed coup in political parties. repressing the media. Before being forced the arbitrary detention of activists peacefully to withdraw by the army. human rights defenders and journalists and Presidential and parliamentary elections in violently disrupted demonstrations.harassment of political opposition observers. activism. Senegal. soldiers suspected of being involved were Security officers beat. Niger. Rwanda. became routine. the latter often Kabila to not seek another term after 14 years using excessive and lethal force to police in power. relatives of those detentions. and used excessive force to freedom of expression as the elections disperse peaceful political gatherings. including extrajudicial executions. including through triggering public protests. conscience continued to suffer arbitrary In The Gambia. civil society and opposition political parties.

other attacks on people with albinism in harassment and intimidation of those Malawi by individuals and gangs seeking campaigning for the licensing of community body parts to sell for use in witchcraft. bisexual. including through there was a sharp increase in killings and crackdowns involving arrests. Effective perceived to be lesbian. discrimination and marginalization in many countries – often LOOKING AHEAD because of cultural traditions and norms. The Gambia. restricting freedom of withdraw the decision. However. the government failed to ensure adequate safety measures for people living DISCRIMINATION AND MARGINALIZATION with albinism. police continued to implement fears that the Commission may be forced to the Public Order Act. and Events throughout the year demonstrated the the institutionalization of gender-based extent and depth of Africa’s human rights discrimination through unjust laws. women and dismemberment. women protect millions of lives and to address the and girls were subjected to rape and other global refugee crisis by taking a stronger. a young girl was reportedly Although 2015 was the AU’s “Year of killed for body parts. the observer status granted to CAL – raising In Zambia. assembly. as well as the urgent need for conflicts and countries hosting large numbers international and regional institutions to of displaced people and refugees. countries clearer and more consistent approach to including Burkina Faso. (CAL). Senegal’s between adults. mutilation and towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”. Zimbabwe launched national campaigns to The year also underlined the desperate end child marriages. Restrictions on the rights to freedoms of However. forms of sexual violence. 2016 will mark the 35th anniversary of Review recommendation to take measures to the adoption of the African Charter. Positively. the Executive Council introduced to Parliament that collectively of the AU declined to approve the codified unwarranted restrictions to freedom Commission’s activity report until it withdrew of expression. the 30th 24 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Nigeria. In challenges. guarantee effective access to health services. Alongside the Year of Human Rights in Malawi accepted a UN Universal Periodic Africa. girls frequently suffered abuse. during its 56th Ordinary Session held in In Tanzania. and agreed to to decline significantly. and activists were criminalizing consensual same-sex conduct jailed for holding anti-slavery rallies. Zimbabwe’s authorities gagged Despite condemnation by the President. association and assembly repeal provisions in the Penal Code increased in Mauritania. it rejected recommendations to expression. at a subsequent AU intimidation and arrests. Cameroon. accountability for human rights violations and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) were crimes under international law could be ongoing in many countries. Madagascar and tackling conflict.human rights defenders and civil society to protect LGBTI people against violence and to operate without intimidation or fear continued prosecute the perpetrators. In radio stations. surveillance. journalists faced harassment. Four bills were Summit in South Africa. authorities continued to ban demonstrations The African Commission granted observer by supporters of political parties and human status to the South Africa-based LGBTI rights rights defenders. Tanzania. need for African states to tackle impunity at Abuses – including persecution and home and abroad – including by withdrawing criminalization – of people who are or are from politicized attacks on the ICC. and to prosecute peaceful organization. gay. freedom of expression. the Coalition of African Lesbians demonstrators. and reported cases Women’s Empowerment and Development involved abduction. including transformative for countries across Africa. Senegal and South Africa.

With such auspicious anniversaries looming. the challenge for most African leaders is to listen to and work with the continent’s growing human rights movement.anniversary of the Charter’s entry into force and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the African Court. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 25 .

under. dozens of human rights. in some countries. enforced disappearance and other Although most states supported and ratified criminal acts. endorse repeatedly relied on a militaristic response to national laws that disregard the protection of social and political problems. Standing up for four violent killings worldwide. violence and the impact of multinational corporations on economic hardship in Mexico and Central people’s rights. barriers to the effective participation of resourced and corrupt security and justice Indigenous Peoples and by some states’ systems. Guyana. Colombia. Indigenous will to ensure their independence and representatives withdrew from negotiations impartiality. plagued by thousands of complaints of torture 26 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . In Honduras. which was Venezuela. territory and threatened the protection of human rights natural resources were increasingly exposed and fundamental freedoms in the region. American States (OAS) to finalize a proposed denied truth and redress to millions. in practice. widespread in El Salvador. including the Indigenous Peoples’ rights. At the same time. Human rights defenders and justice for violations of human rights activists working to protect land. as many governments conviction. threats by private security guards with ties to confirming a two-year trend of regression on powerful landowners. Jamaica. and American Declaration on the Rights of weakened the rule of law. insecurity. Only 20 out of human rights was often a dangerous and 100 homicides in Latin America resulted in a even lethal choice. Violent crime was particularly criminalization of dissent. and four of these – Brazil. the organizations faced violent attacks and promise of rights remained hollow for millions. the authorities provisions that would. region. Impunity was Indigenous Peoples were hampered by frequently sustained by weak. Unfolding human rights crises at the Honduras. perpetrators of human rights abuses to Discussions at the Organization of operate without fear of the consequences. conflict. leave their homes and cross borders in Latin America and the Caribbean were home search of better living conditions and an to eight of the 10 most violent countries in the escape from violence. poverty. In Brazil. compounded by a lack of political efforts to weaken the draft. A growing number of socio-environmental inequality. growing influence of criminal networks and Meanwhile. insecurity. the share was oversaw an erosion of civic space and the even lower. America drove a growing number of people. to killings. Human rights defenders continued to be Mexico and Venezuela – accounted for one in targeted for their work. world. local civil society human rights standards and treaties. people were killed in conflicts over land and A pervasive culture of impunity allowed natural resources. violence. conflicts bred violence and human rights environmental damage and failure to ensure violations. levels of lethal violence in particular unaccompanied children. mainly in land claimed by and belonging to Indigenous Peoples. after several states insisted on the inclusion of Throughout the year. to across the region remained extremely high. Trinidad and Tobago and national level included Mexico.AMERICAS The increasing influence of transnational corporations and their involvement in human REGIONAL rights abuses – especially in the extractive and other industries related to the OVERVIEW appropriation of territory and natural resources. A mix of discrimination. other ethnic Events in 2015 underscored the magnitude of minorities and peasant farmers – continued to the human rights crisis facing the Americas threaten human rights across the region.

infrastructure construction for the at least 27. The authorities However. Cuba. and for accountability for torture.000 people remained unknown at 2016 Olympic Games led to ongoing evictions the end of the year. Although September of people from their homes in Rio de Janeiro. repeating that it supported calls for the The situation of sexual and reproductive closure of the US detention centre in rights in Paraguay. no one had been found Jamaica´s government finally established a guilty of the crimes committed – nor had Commission of Enquiry into human rights charges been dropped against those violations committed during the 2010 state of arbitrarily detained by the authorities. a made under the UN Universal Periodic local opposition politician in Guárico state. The year was marked by actors – including criminal networks and warming international relations – with the transnational corporations operating with country taking part in the Summit of the impunity – continued to challenge Americas for the first time. when security forces killed 76 a reduction in protests at the end of the year. including 44 who were alleged to the government’s intolerance of dissent often have been extrajudicially executed. Attacks on opposition politicians and sterilization during the 1990s. including presidents and a state visit by Pope Francis – the occasional use of armed forces. PUBLIC SECURITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS The human rights situation in Cuba was at Increasing violence and influence of non-state a crossroads. that the girl’s life was at risk from the pregnancy. raising demonstrations that left 43 people dead. and security forces mechanism for the prevention of torture and continued to use excessive force to suppress set up a national register of victims of forced protests. led to and advances such as the release of grave human rights violations and undue prisoners of conscience. activists raised concerns about the fairness of The USA accepted many recommendations congressional elections. expectations that the country’s 50-year-long hundreds injured and dozens tortured or armed conflict may soon end. elections. Despite emergency. Yet the authorities restrictions on freedoms of expression and stifled dissent and continued to arbitrarily peaceful assembly. marked the first anniversary of the enforced often without adequate notification. extrajudicial executions.and other ill-treatment and reports of expressing their views peacefully. President of Peru ratified a national harassment and attacks. draconian anti-abortion law. one of The year saw positive developments too. financial disappearance of 43 students from the compensation or resettlement. despite evidence been implemented at the end of the year. for the ratification of 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child being repeatedly raped – allegedly by her and the UN Convention on the Elimination of stepfather – attracted global attention. as well as historic governments’ ability to protect human rights. Review (UPR) process following an was shot dead during a rally before the examination of its human rights record. a year after huge make significant progress. The led to human rights defenders facing threats. Luis Manuel Diaz. meetings between the Cuban and US Efforts to control criminal networks. peace talks between the violations in recent history. detain thousands of people simply for Excessive use of force by the police and Amnesty International Report 2015/16 27 . otherwise ill-treated. investigations government and the Revolutionary Armed remained flawed. particularly the case of a Guantánamo Bay. the whereabouts of In Brazil. none of the recommendations had refused to allow an abortion. All Forms of Discrimination against Women underscoring the need to repeal the country’s (CEDAW). people. Ayotzinapa teacher training college. Forces of Colombia (FARC) continued to In Venezuela. In Mexico’s most alarming human rights Colombia.

the rights to truth. the security forces continued to be Off-duty police officers reportedly carried out investigated by military courts. tackle high crime rates raised concerns of In Chile. thousands of victims of enforced disappearance.000 active cases excessive use of force. again failed to track the exact number of business and legal sectors who were people killed by law enforcement officials complicit in human rights violations and each year. justice industry projects were victims of intimidation. including possible of human rights violations committed in the extrajudicial executions.other security forces was reported in fostered by an ineffective criminal justice countries including the Bahamas. victims’ organizations condemned the arrests and forced evictions of suspected slow progress in establishing the truth about criminals and their families. executions. system that – together with corruption and Chile. Public trials were held in Across the USA. with eight new convictions police in a number of cities. that a 1986 amnesty decree did not apply to Impunity was pervasive in Honduras. human rights. measures to ensure truth. and to ensure arbitrary arrests – and protesters. The government Brazil’s security forces often used excessive announced it would tackle corruption and or unnecessary force to suppress protests. In Peru. Jamaica. cases of police violence and transparency often made it impossible to human rights violations involving members of ascertain the exact number of people killed. commission. crimes against humanity and genocide in 28 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . although circumstances suggesting that security the authorities committed to creating a truth officials used excessive force. public security operations to brought to justice. violations during past military and Seven protesters were shot and killed in authoritarian regimes were limited. Trinidad and Tobago and created a lack of trust in law enforcement and Venezuela. a lack of In Chile. particularly among deprived A Guatemala City appeals court declared and marginalized communities. However. the Dominican Republic. human rights violations by police officers – Guyana. high and were rarely investigated. there were over 1. despite unlawful killings as part of death squads concerns about the impartiality and operating in several cities. those from the civil. as well as arbitrary past. justice and reparation. people opposing extractive In Bolivia. impunity by forming an initiative with the OAS Killings during police operations remained to reform the justice system. The authorities handed down. charges were ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND THE FIGHT TO brought against several former military END IMPUNITY officers. There were perpetrated during the military regime of protests at the excessive use of force by 1976-1983. at least 43 people died Argentina for crimes against humanity after police used Tasers on them. Ecuador. a independence of such tribunals and number of reported shoot-outs involving the commitments by the authorities to reform the police or military showed signs of extrajudicial military justice system. and full reparation for victims of human rights excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests. including for the abduction and The denial of meaningful access to justice for killing of singer and political activist Victor scores of people seriously undermined Jara in 1973. Brazil. However. including thousands of political clashes between the security forces – who killings and enforced disappearances in the reportedly used excessive force and made second half of the 20th century. In Mexico. justice institutions. There was an ongoing lack of political will Nationwide anti-government protests in to confront unresolved human rights Ecuador throughout the year were marked by violations. crimes under international law had yet to be In Venezuela.

Jamaica. and refugees – especially large numbers of It was unclear whether the trial would unaccompanied children and adolescents – proceed. and was mainly used against criminal sanitation. lacking proper access to medical care. arguing that the In an escalating humanitarian crisis. mechanisms across the region. torture and In the USA.Guatemala. detailing the generalized nature of employers or neighbours. endemic in Brazil’s prisons. when the UN Special Rapporteur irregular migrants would resume in June. who often operated in collusion with the authorities. and were investigation into allegations of crimes against often detained in harsh conditions. crossing Central America and Mexico faced In Haiti. After the Dominican Mexico came under international scrutiny authorities announced that deportations of in March. Brazil. southern border during the year. submersion and prolonged Despite the implementation of a law isolation – were not investigated and there intended to address their situation. the USA and In Panama. there were allegations of Torture and other ill-treatment were arbitrary arrests and abuses against migrants. chief José Efraín Rios Montt could proceed. with states beatings with cattle prods. inhuman or of thousands of Haitian migrants decided to degrading treatment or punishment return to Haiti. the trial of former President Venezuela. with plastic bags. an attempted to gain entry to the USA. water and legal counsel – as they suspects to inflict punishment or to extract pursued claims to remain in the country. migrants and their descendants In Argentina. hundreds settled in torture and the impunity among police and makeshift camps at the border. by criminal gangs. migrants trial would violate the terms of his extradition. near asphyxiation doing little to tackle entrenched exclusion. inhuman and degrading treatment was were detained for months – many in facilities common in prisons or at the time of arrest. abducted or faced extortion (1971-1986) made little progress. could potentially prevent the children of Prison conditions – including overcrowding. ASYLUM-SEEKERS AND suspended after Manuel Noriega’s lawyer MIGRANTS appealed against his charge. tens of thousands of families other ill-treatment remained widespread. many was no system in place to protect witnesses. mainly for fear of violence. Court judgment in 2013. after the death in 2014 of former serious human rights violations as they President Jean-Claude Duvalier. tens on torture and other cruel. particularly harsh in the Bahamas. They were humanity committed during his tenure frequently killed. Women and TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT girls were at particular risk of sexual violence Despite strong anti-torture laws and and human trafficking. including against Parliament approved migration reforms that boys and girls. reports of torture – including faced pervasive discrimination. Haiti. Manuel Noriega for the enforced disappearance of Heliodoro Portugal was REFUGEES. Bolivia. people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Torture victims in Bolivia were deterred from Republic remained stateless after their seeking justice and reparation due to the lack Dominican nationality had been arbitrarily of an independent mechanism to record and and retroactively removed by a Constitutional investigate allegations of abuse. irregular migrants born in the Bahamas from Amnesty International Report 2015/16 29 . presented a report to the UN Human Rights expulsion or xenophobic behaviour from Council. meaning that a case against violence and a lack of food and water – were former President and army commander-in. Elsewhere. confessions. Families Cruel. other security forces. In the Bahamas. the and unaccompanied children were authorities failed to prosecute perpetrators or apprehended when attempting to cross the to provide adequate reparation to victims.

including by the rendering individuals stateless. announced that cuts to the Interim Federal Attacks on members of Indigenous Health Program for refugees and asylum. and there was an increasing trend including in Argentina. threatening their rights over their land. which on a range of human rights concerns relating threatened their culture and environment and to migrants and refugees. displace Indigenous Peoples from their own Being a human rights defender carried with lands in the pursuit of economic it the risk of abuses and violence in many development. communities in Brazil were widespread and seekers would be reversed and health those responsible were rarely brought to coverage restored.500 Cuban migrants stranded on the Costa complaint filed by the community against the Rica-Nicaragua border. HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AT RISK territory and natural resources. attacks against human rights defenders. In a positive led to the forced displacement of entire development. the employees was still pending at the end of the Commission called on Central American year. which was Commission on Human Rights expressed passed to return their land to the concern over the vulnerability of more than Sawhoyamaxa community. with executive to the legislative branch of the no opportunity to challenge their expulsion or government threatened to have a negative gather their belongings. at the risk of Development projects. Chile. second attempt by a landowner to nullify the In December. countries in the Americas. A resolution to a 4. their culture Across the region. Paraguay and Peru. amid allegations of occupation of their land by the landowner’s abuses by Nicaraguan authorities. Progress in and non-state actors – including businesses investigating such abuses or bringing and landowners – continued to forcibly perpetrators to justice was rare. judges. saw Indigenous Peoples In July. for Indigenous Peoples across the region. houses destroyed. witnesses and journalists discrimination continued to affect thousands. human rights Indigenous Peoples’ right to free. the new government communities. including the Even though every state in the region has complete removal of explosives left on their endorsed the 2007 UN Declaration on the land and the issuing of legislation to regulate Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bolivia. extractive industry. prior and informed consent. excessive use informed consent over laws. a pattern of threats and and even their own existence. The amendment was pending approval of people were forcibly evicted or had their by the Senate at the end of the year. the UN Human Rights Committee repeatedly denied meaningful consultation called on Canada to report back within a year and free. Poverty. and some detainees were Paraguay’s Supreme Court rejected a ill-treated. continued. In some cases impact on Indigenous Peoples’ access to children were separated from parents. the Inter-American country’s 2014 expropriation law. prior and violations – including attacks. justice. Canada. of judicial systems being misused to repress Colombia. An amendment to the Constitution Nearly 2. exclusion. policies and of force and killings – remained a daily reality measures that affect their livelihoods. State human rights defenders. implement the 2012 ruling of the Inter- American Court of Human Rights in favour of INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS the Kichwa People of Sarayaku. states to allow safe and legal migration to Ecuador’s authorities failed to fully Cubans travelling overland to the USA. Mexico. Those taking 30 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Scores land.obtaining Bahamian nationality. inequality and lawyers.000 Colombian nationals – which transferred responsibility for including refugees and asylum-seekers – demarcating Indigenous land from the were deported from Venezuela in August.

sexually assaulted than other women in the human rights defenders – particularly women country. and its implementation was Peru. increase from 294 in 2014. Cuba’s authorities imposed severe protected. Authorities in Bolivia discredited the work of Legislation was slow to be implemented. experience disproportionate levels of violence. rights defenders went largely uninvestigated Human rights defenders in Colombia were and unpunished. or lacked an explicit legal for the approval to be postponed by several provision to protect the woman’s life. a bill to decriminalize abortion under certain Measures to protect human rights circumstances was pending before Congress defenders were often weakly applied or at the end of the year. Rights Defenders and Journalists lacked In Venezuela. Guyana. impunity for attacks and violence restrictions on basic freedoms. In provisions. Human rights defenders and A pattern of increasing violence against others who openly criticized government women continued to be one of the principal policies in Ecuador faced attacks. although a group of civil society countries in the region – Chile. fines and human rights challenges across the region. among Human rights defenders in Guatemala – other countries. Implementation of 2007 especially Indigenous leaders and protesters legislation criminalizing such abuses in defending environmental and land rights and Venezuela remained slow. unfounded criminal charges. and asked ban on abortion. In Mexico. Haiti. obtain registration. mainly by Mechanism for the Protection of Human paramilitaries. In the USA. In Chile. among other girls’ health. the Constitutional Court struck for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders down reforms to the Penal Code which failed to deliver the protection promised in its decriminalized abortion in certain cases. High levels of gender-based violence were and also applied strict regulation for NGOs to reported in Guatemala. By the end of the year. the federal at serious risk of attack. a bill to decriminalize abortion for Amnesty International Report 2015/16 31 . as well as judicial harassment. including human rights defenders. threats and used to undermine freedom of expression. harassment and intimidation. months. seven groups. human rights defenders resources and co-ordination. El Salvador. due to a lack of opposing hydroelectric and mining resources. In El Salvador. killings and to hold perpetrators to account. 475 women were – faced threats and attacks which were rarely murdered between January and October – an investigated. In Honduras. Congress approved a law which could be an Violations of sexual and reproductive rights important step to protect human rights had a significant impact on women’s and defenders and journalists. continued to receive fines under a with states failing to prioritize the protection of communication law that was potentially being women and girls from rape. Honduras.action to tackle impunity and defend women’s hampered by insufficient resources. vagueness and lack of transparency of the Suriname and Nicaragua – still had a total draft implementation regulations. Alaska Native women continued to threats. with remained. El Salvador. against the backdrop of a being 2. NGOs. Native American and megaprojects – faced continuous attacks. leaving human routinely faced verbal attacks from the rights defenders and journalists inadequately authorities. thousands of reported cases of harassment of government critics as well as arbitrary arrests RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS and detentions. media outlets Little progress was made in addressing this. Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. attacks and killings targeting human particular risk of reprisals. In the Dominican ignored entirely. Cases of and Indigenous Peoples’ rights were at threats.5 times more likely to be raped or general climate of violence and crimes. Brazil’s National Programme Republic. the Dominican organizations expressed concerns about the Republic.

Some themselves peacefully. very few of the alleged combatants by guerrilla groups and perpetrators were brought to justice. However. However. rights defenders. Security forces. as well as reports of hate crimes – including In September.victims of rape was rejected by a against LGBTI people persisted. paramilitaries and guerilla sexual violence with almost total impunity. groups – were responsible for crimes of Children continued to be recruited as sexual violence. concern. doubts remained over whether the Honduras. Afro-descendant especially for the most marginalized women and peasant farmer communities. of the conflict on civilians in rural areas. December – coupled with legislation that Consensual sex between men remained could enable suspected human rights criminalized in Jamaica. In the Minister of Justice calling for tolerance Brazil. paramilitaries. BISEXUAL. chance in more than a decade to put a protracted judicial procedures made access definitive end to the region’s longest-running to safe abortion virtually impossible. guerrilla groups and particularly in rural areas. forced displacement. internal armed conflict. In Colombia. In Bolivia. Violence and transitional justice and announced that a discrimination towards LGBTI people peace deal would be signed by March 2016. bills proposed to criminalize abortion in all circumstances. Relatives of victims of human rights violations who campaigned for justice. faced death LGBTI people faced ongoing discrimination threats and other serious human rights and violence across the region. progress in some countries on legislation A ceasefire by the FARC from July and the prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of government’s suspension of aerial sexual orientation and gender identity. women and girls faced celebration was held for the first time. 32 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . high rates of maternal mortality. remained a concern in El Salvador. Restricted access to international law as well as serious human contraception and information on sexual and rights violations and abuses. a gay pride In Argentina. Trinidad and Tobago. as well as members of human rights TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE organizations helping them. principally reproductive issues remained a concern. during the particularly for those unable to pay for private year both sides committed crimes under abortion services. RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. death threats and crimes of security forces. bombardments against FARC positions There were violent and unresolved murders seemed to alleviate some of the worst effects of several transgender women in Argentina. Guyana. or would effectively prevent ARMED CONFLICT access to safe and legal abortion. and agreement. where homelessness abusers to evade justice – would guarantee and displacement of LGBTI youths and a victims’ right to truth. new legislation and constitutional during the event and expressing his support amendments threatened sexual and for the right of LGBTI people to express reproductive rights and women’s rights. a positive development. justice and reparation in failure to investigate threats and harassment line with international law. and human and girls. with obstacles in accessing legal abortion. against Indigenous Peoples. remained a paramilitaries perpetrated unlawful killings. enforced All parties to the conflict in Colombia – disappearances. GAY. which was not made public until Venezuela. ongoing peace talks between the Even when access to abortion services was government and the FARC offered the best legal in certain cases in other countries. despite abuses. However. in congressional constitutional commission. the two sides announced murder and rape – against LGBTI people in they had reached an agreement on the Dominican Republic.

Yet there were signs that the worldwide trend towards abolition of capital punishment was slowly but steadily gaining ground there too. Over a year after the publication of the declassified summary of a report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence into the CIA programme. inhuman or degrading treatment. no one had been brought to justice for human rights violations – including torture and other ill-treatment as well as enforced disappearance – committed in the secret detention and interrogation programme operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after the 11 September 2001 attacks in the USA. moratoriums also remained in force in Washington State and Oregon. if not all. The Nebraska legislature voted to abolish the death penalty. thus facilitating impunity. although the repeal was on hold at the end of the year after opponents petitioned to have the issue put to the popular vote in 2016. DEATH PENALTY The USA was once again the only country in the region to carry out executions. the full report remained top secret. of the detainees held as part of the programme were subjected to enforced disappearance and to conditions of detention and/or interrogation techniques which violated the prohibition of torture and other cruel. most of them without charge or trial and some still facing trial by military commission. Most. under a system falling short of international fair trial standards.COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY By the end of the year. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 33 . Detainees were still held at Guantánamo. Pennsylvania’s state governor announced a moratorium on executions.

Reduced daily rations severely threatened the Despite a global trend towards abolition. but an appalling internal human rights civilians was lifted in December 2014. Governments. from accountability or criticism. as in people. the Australia and China violated international law human rights situation often remained bleak. and those who fled the country authorities further tightened control of civil reported an increase in arbitrary arrests. their crackdown on key freedoms. often sought to shield themselves The security forces resorted to excessive. frequently Constitution. India. situation prevailed. in Nepal the devastating Impunity also fuelled suffering in armed earthquake of 25 April and its aftershocks conflicts.ASIA-PACIFIC However. particularly youth. including extensively prison camps and detention facilities where in China and Pakistan. including torture and other ill-treatment. right to adequate food. rushed through in the felt newly empowered to speak out for their earthquake’s aftermath. and perpetuated injustice by failing injuries. leading to Malaysia. and and forced labour routine. and displaced more than 100. where people smugglers rights was states’ failure to ensure and traffickers abandoned thousands of accountability. such as in Afghanistan and caused more than 8. Thailand and Viet Nam – intensified dozens of deaths. Specifically. where (North Korea). A major humanitarian and human rights in the region. costly and time-consuming customs duties In many countries there was a serious and procedures for health and relief supplies. Millions of refugees and asylum-seekers faced harsh conditions across the Asia-Pacific Even as rapid social and economic change region. including social media. The government refused to waive Indonesia. and hundreds of the death penalty also continued in several thousands of people continued to languish in countries in the region. Severe Extreme repression and systematic violation restrictions on the rights to freedom of of almost all human rights overshadowed life expression. Indonesia resumed torture and other ill-treatment was widespread executions. Maldives threatened to do so. several clashes with protesters. by forcibly returning people to countries The increasing trend towards repression and where they would face a real risk of serious injustice threatened the protection of human violations. A federalist communications technologies and platforms. with impunity often refugees and migrants at sea. association and peaceful in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea assembly continued in Laos. contrast. was marked by rights. Cambodia. disconnect between governments and the leaving thousands in desperate need. structure was rejected by ethnic groups. A new people. often aided by affordable human rights shortcomings. in leading to violent protests and confrontations.000 to ensure reparations for past conflicts. People. rights crisis occurred in the Bay of Bengal A recurring and central threat to people’s and Andaman Sea. society groups. with states entrenched and widespread. Under the pretext of 34 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .000 Myanmar. and countries as disparate as continued in the Asia-Pacific region. there were also some positive steps as Fiji became the world’s 100th fully REGIONAL abolitionist country and Mongolia’s parliament passed a new criminal code removing the OVERVIEW death penalty for all crimes. while some – unnecessary or disproportionate force in such as those of China. there was a surge of executions in Pakistan China’s geopolitical influence continued to after a moratorium on the execution of grow.000 deaths and 22. denying justice initially turning them away or being slow to and sustaining human rights violations mount search and rescue operations.

No credible power in a military coup in 2014. were in fact evidence was produced that linked the men retained and strengthened. arbitrary arrest and detention. members and activists were found guilty on Restrictions on human rights – in particular far-fetched charges of insurrection. in July 2014 that resulted in promised would be temporary after taking clashes with security forces. In Maldives. minority groups. and and deaths in custody. In Cambodia. in July. were frequently overshadowed by their controls over the internet. India and subsequently followed by mass arrests and Sri Lanka. however. the landslide strike in solidarity with prisoners of election victory for the National League for conscience. The authorities also stepped up however. halting. even if sometimes fragile and excessive force or arrests and charges. torture and The authorities continued to outlaw “political other ill-treatment. A new government came to power in Sri Prison sentences imposed on two activists Lanka in January. the country reinforced by criminal convictions for experienced a continuing backslide in demonstrators. assembly – which the authorities had Phnom Penh. A longstanding introduced legislation requiring demonstrators climate of impunity for abuses by both sides to seek permission from the police/authorities. expression. the government INCREASING ACTIVISM AND increased repression by drafting or enacting SUPPRESSION OF PUBLIC PROTESTS an unprecedented series of laws and A rise in human rights activism that had regulations with the potential to silence emerged in the Asia-Pacific region in recent dissent and crack down on human rights years continued. to the violence.enhancing national security. and ongoing conflicts in northern activists attempting to take part in a hunger Myanmar. in Sri Lanka’s armed conflict that ended in or face imprisonment. happen is yet to come. association and peaceful The run-up to Myanmar’s general elections assembly. including the use of Majesté Law to target freedom of expression. was a historic peaceful protests were arrested and detained. 11 opposition meeting its human rights obligations. These included tentative steps A brutal police crackdown on largely towards addressing widespread torture and peaceful student protests in Myanmar was other ill-treatment in Afghanistan. Protests and other actions. moment offering hope for human rights and in Malaysia organizers of and participants change. Students and activists 2009 was still largely unaddressed. defenders. enforced disappearances meetings” of five or more people. a 2014 crackdown on the As the military rulers of Thailand delayed right to freedom of peaceful assembly was their plans for political transition. including through force and in November – the first since a quasi-civilian violence. In July. widespread harassment of student leaders Amnesty International Report 2015/16 35 . carrying out small-scale symbolic and There were other smaller signs of progress peaceful demonstrations often experienced in the region. in particular the persecuted security forces beat and intimidated peaceful Rohingya. mass media authorities’ efforts to curtail freedoms of and academia. Many serious challenges unprecedented use of the country’s Lèse- remained. Nevertheless. They had relating to freedoms of expression and taken part in a demonstration in the capital. government came to power in 2011 after People were intimidated and harassed as almost five decades of military rule – was they exercised their right to freedom of marred by the political disenfranchisement of peaceful assembly in Viet Nam. The real test of whether this will in peaceful protests were criminalized. bringing constitutional in Thailand for staging a play were part of a reforms and promises of improved human pattern in which the military authorities made rights protection. led by former prisoner of opponents of the government taking part in conscience Aung San Suu Kyi. hundreds of political Democracy.

In many people took risks to make international India. abused the judicial system lawyers that persisted throughout the rest of and entrenched their powers to stamp out the year. with a pattern of North Korea’s government refused to allow repression of freedom of expression that any political parties. Non- exposing themselves to surveillance. Seoul. The authorities adopted massive crackdown against human rights harsh measures. memory of the victims. arbitrary arrest and violence. human rights defenders were the All Burma Federation of Student Unions. short-term arbitrary on human rights. leader of In Cambodia. speaking their own minds. by armed groups continued against of individuals for Facebook comments and media workers. arbitrarily arresting students intimidation. military declaring martial law and seizing In July. In Viet Nam. detentions and physical attacks on members May marked the first anniversary of the of civil society. and holding The space for civil society. peaceful dissent. the state controlled the media and judiciary as well as political and religious REPRESSION OF DISSENT institutions. it remained unclear how the law force against participants on a vigil walk in would be implemented. Pakistan remained military camps. dozens of prisoners of conscience Many governments in the Asia-Pacific region remained imprisoned in harsh conditions demonstrated an entrenched intolerance of after unfair trials. Bangladesh the monarchy. Authorities penalized scores killings. and barred almost all nationals from legislative restrictions for criticizing the international mobile telephone services.and all those associated with the protests. economy and accessed smuggled mobile Human rights defenders in Afghanistan phones connected to Chinese networks to were targeted with impunity and suffered contact people outside North Korea – violence by state and non-state actors. The new ferry disaster that caused more than 300 Law on Associations and Non-Governmental deaths. journalists and parliamentarians defenders and freedom of expression also in secret detention or without charge or trial in shrank across South Asia. defenders and their families were They displayed ongoing intolerance of systematically subjected to harassment. Activists as well as human rights peaceful dissent or criticism of military rule. Yet authorities in Bangladesh and Pakistan. authorities used restrictive foreign calls. jailed and the authorities exacerbated existing A series of protests were held in the arbitrary restrictions on the rights to freedom Republic of Korea (South Korea) over the of expression and peaceful assembly by government’s response to the 2014 Sewol increasing arrests for online activity. and detention. and used unnecessary association. police blockaded street rallies in the protests from civil society that it threatened to capital. with courts handing down became increasingly dangerous for those sentences of up to 60 years’ imprisonment. and anti-coup activists. human rights academics. There was an increase in dissent and resorted to draconian restrictions reports of harassment. marking the tragedy’s first undermine the right to freedom of anniversary in April. Although most protests were Organizations was signed into law despite peaceful. They included Phyoe Phyoe Aung. People living close to the border with funding laws to repress NGOs critical of the China took advantage of the unofficial private government. arrest state actors were accused of involvement in 36 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . NGOs also faced operate. and the government failed to statements deemed to be insulting towards provide adequate protection. Individuals faced unfair trials one of the world’s most dangerous countries in military courts for speaking out against the for journalists as targeted attacks. including military takeover. independent newspapers included the killing of several secularist or independent civil society organizations to bloggers and publishers. China’s authorities launched a power in Thailand.

North Korea. run by the NGO Médecins sans Frontières in the city of Kunduz. Parliament widespread in China during detention and amended a mass media law that could further interrogation. Impunity persisted for sharing their opinions online. where a law on official custody. expression. After the Taliban Afghanistan’s government took steps seized control of Kunduz province in towards establishing a national action plan to September. In a positive move. governments demonstrating an throughout the prison system. recent years – further undermined freedom of In October. in Armed conflict in parts of the Asia-Pacific particular land and labour activists. with scores of it would issue clear instructions to all security prisoners of conscience detained and forces that torture and other ill-treatment is hundreds of people facing charges for prohibited and that those responsible would peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of be investigated and punished. Thailand. province. However. Indonesia. security officers remained prevalent Elsewhere. continued to be freedom of expression. workers and women human rights defenders although torture and other ill-treatment by named on a hit list. while the application of the National Security Law to government stated it was considering additional groups such as politicians. US forces bombed a hospital expression. rapes and searches for media issued an order reiterating a ban on its use. and other crimes of sexual violence – were Amnesty International Report 2015/16 37 . insurgency and criminal activity in and activists were intimidated and harassed. bombings and killings of Torture and other ill-treatment remained human rights defenders. targeted civilians or attacked indiscriminately. there were reports of mass eliminate torture. The Taliban in numerous countries in the region. resulting in individuals reported in Sri Lanka. internet law to criminalize certain forms of including sexual violence. They included student protesters. Allegations of violations – including rape Impunity for those responsible was common. Media outlets faced restrictions in Malaysia. and briefly took control of most of Kunduz Nepal. the new government Restrictions on peaceful activism and promised the UN Human Rights Council that dissent in Myanmar intensified. torture and other ill-treatment in government of Japan. limit freedom of expression. were reported. as did suspicious being convicted and imprisoned simply for deaths in custody. expression and assembly. Afghanistan saw civilians injured and killed by A Federal Court ruling confirming the the Taliban and other armed groups. Malaysia. a move amending the Penal Code to specifically that could further curtail freedom of recognize torture as a crime. Mongolia. the Philippines. including cases of deaths from secrets that could excessively restrict the right torture. earlier cases. intolerance of public criticism included the In India. South closed-circuit television in all prisons to Korea’s government broadened the prevent torture and other violations. the to access information held by the authorities Supreme Court directed states to install came into effect in December 2014. Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. region continued. Increasing insecurity. political activists. Indonesia’s authorities used an Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees. media ARMED CONFLICT workers and human rights defenders. killing 22 staff and TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT patients and triggering calls for an Torture and other ill-treatment was reported independent investigation. the intelligence agency killings. including Fiji. Accountability – used to arbitrarily arrest and detain scores for unlawful killings by pro-government forces of human rights defenders and others in and armed groups was virtually non-existent. as well constitutionality of the repressive Sedition Act as by pro-government forces.grenade attacks.

Refugees and asylum-seekers continued to Unresolved cases included 16-year-old Khem face significant hardship in the Asia-Pacific Saphath. including devastating decades-long Aceh conflict in Jammu and Kashmir as well as central between Indonesian government forces and India. The Khmer Rouge tribunal heard people were shot on the boats. could amount to war Impunity for violations by security forces in crimes and/or crimes against humanity. Indonesia marked the 50th anniversary of A crisis unfolded in the Bay of Bengal and the 1965 mass human rights violations. Some crackdown. last seen in January 2014. people. particularly in Kachin and northern Indonesian Communist Party and suspected Shan states. Narathiwat. thrown for the first time evidence on charges of overboard and left to drown. if established countries in the Asia-Pacific region. the starvation. People former second-in-command of the Khmer were beaten. begging for food or asking to use the head of state during the Khmer Rouge era. in which between northeastern India between the government 10. impunity continued for agreement. including deaths caused by unnecessary or PEOPLE ON THE MOVE excessive use of force in previous years. violations during policing of demonstrations. progress towards accountability in Sri Lanka. justice and reparation for were accused of violations of international appalling human rights violations and the humanitarian law and human rights abuses. when Andaman Sea in May. People smuggling and feared to have been the victim of enforced human trafficking in the Bay of Bengal disappearance and was reportedly among at exposed thousands of refugees and migrants least five people shot during a government to serious abuse on board boats. deaths of an estimated 500. Both state and non-state actors to ensure truth. where the armed conflict entered sympathizers. There was a continuing failure a fifth year. triggered by Thailand’s – following a failed coup – the military crackdown on human trafficking and the 38 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . as well as parts of Songkhla. Yala and to ensure justice. or died from genocide in a case against Nuon Chea.000 people were killed. and against Khieu Samphan. A UN IMPUNITY investigation into alleged abuses committed A chronic and entrenched failure to ensure during the final years of the country’s armed justice and accountability for past and conflict. including enforced disappearances present human rights violations and abuses and military attacks targeting civilians.000 to one million in a climate of impunity. armed groups continued to anniversary of the end of Indonesia’s perpetrate abuses against civilians. However. in August a historic peace the pro-independence Free Aceh Movement framework agreement was reached in (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka). for Rouge. It India persisted. toilet. law.000 and 30. was a major problem in a wide range of concluded that these abuses. The year 2015 also marked the 10th In India. the moving. and the influential armed group National Despite evidence that violations by security Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah forces may amount to crimes against faction). and legislation granting virtual recommended reforms to address ongoing immunity from prosecution for the armed violations and the establishment of a hybrid forces remained in force in Jammu and court to address crimes under international Kashmir and parts of northeastern India. however. sometimes for hours. dehydration or disease. There was. humanity – and that both sides may have Armed violence continued in Thailand’s committed war crimes – little has been done three southern provinces of Pattani. before a court of law.made against members of the Myanmar systematically attacked members of the army. with which the government signalled In Cambodia. He was region and beyond.

with approach towards refugees and asylum. who made significant shores and prevented thousands of desperate deductions. The regional government in the evidence of the involvement of Australia’s predominantly Muslim Xinjiang Uighur maritime border patrols in criminal activity. causing an discriminated against in several countries. unfair trials. Laos. In India. from returning unless they converted to Sunni often in harsh conditions in makeshift camps. an increasing trend of religious and temporary basis. accepted all the review’s recommendations imprisonment and torture and other ill- and announced in October that asylum. By the end of the year. unknown number of deaths and leaving North Korea dispatched at least 50. A government campaign to processing centres in Papua New Guinea and demolish churches and take down Christian Nauru. A – the government had not clarified whether community of Shi’a Muslims – forcibly evicted they could stay beyond May 2016. Amnesty International gathered monasteries. boats. for weeks and lacking food. including in off-shore stifled in China. Abuses were reported in unaccounted for. The authorities in Indonesia failed to as – despite Indonesia devoting resources to ensure that all religious minorities were housing thousands of refugees and asylum. poor safety conditions and for excessive Indonesia. Following international INTOLERANCE criticism. nearly 3 million previously been forcibly evicted from their Afghans were refugees. Malaysia and Thailand initially hours. treatment. Islam. they received wages via the North pushed overcrowded vessels back from their Korean government. mob violence forcing around 4. exclusion and even thousands of people remained discrimination.smugglers’ and traffickers’ subsequent Migrant workers were abused and abandonment of people at sea. intimidation and attack. Qatar and Russia. and almost 1 million Afghans Shi’a mob. Elsewhere. while regional governments were slow in setting up search RISING RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC and rescue operations. Sri Lanka and Viet there were serious unanswered questions Nam. in 2013 from temporary shelter in East Java – As a result of the ongoing insecurity and remained in limbo throughout 2015. mostly living in Iran home village in 2012 after attacks by an anti- and Pakistan. they had armed conflict in Afghanistan. and migrants found at sea to Indonesia. Autonomous Region enacted new regulations including evidence that officials made to more tightly control religious affairs and payments to boat crews to traffic refugees ban all unauthorized religious practice. and helping to fulfil their basic needs free from fear. and mandatory and Freedom of religion was systematically indefinite detention. Indonesia and Malaysia permitted Some authorities colluded in. Nevertheless. water and Mongolia. hundreds or ethnic intolerance. Local authorities prevented them were internally displaced in their own country. Myanmar. about a long-term solution for the survivors. people from disembarking. Nigeria. Measures included pushing back flee to North Sumatra province. protected and allowed to practise their faith seekers. The government maintained seekers would no longer be detained at the extensive controls over Tibetan Buddhist centre. and may have died or been countries in the Asia-Pacific region including sold for forced labour. authorities failed to prevent many Amnesty International Report 2015/16 39 .000 people to seekers. or failed to people to land and accommodated them on a address. The government included arbitrary detention. An independent review of the Nauru crosses in Zhejiang province intensified and centre documented allegations of rape and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners other sexual assault. often in medical care. Pakistan. refoulement.000 thousands of refugees and migrants stranded people to work in countries such as Libya. local authorities in Aceh Australia displayed an ongoing harsh province tore down Christian churches.

Stigma and discrimination by police officials and authorities in India continued to deter DISCRIMINATION women from reporting sexual violence. and religion – was rife. a ward in the capital Tokyo became abolished for all crimes except terrorism- Japan’s first municipality to pass an related offences and “waging war against the ordinance to distribute certificates that state”. lifting of a moratorium on the execution of Lesbian. including in ways protection. gender-based discrimination A new Criminal Code abolishing the death 40 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . following accusations of sorcery. bisexual. class. Despite some progress in the Asia-Pacific recognizing new offences and requiring that region towards reducing the use of the death special courts be established to try them. and Discrimination remained a concern in most states still lacked standard operating numerous countries. punishable by death. recognize same-sex unions. continued to be classified as state secrets. abuse and line with international human rights laws and injustice. discrimination – including on the and standards. including gender-based standards on use of the death penalty. intolerance. In Nepal. and scores of artists. house of Parliament passed an amendment to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled DEATH PENALTY Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. such as to writers and scientists protested against what challenge early marriage or to ensure they said was a climate of growing adequate antenatal and maternal health care. the changes failed to bring the law in frequently subjected to violence. Mobs attacked Muslim men they included limiting the ability of women and suspected of stealing. and penalty in recent years. following a intersex (LGBTI) people faced widespread terrorist attack. ethnic origin some countries.incidents of religious violence. while India’s Amendments to China’s Criminal Law came upper house of Parliament passed a bill to into effect. discrimination and same-sex conduct In August. caste. Sexual and other gender-based violence Pervasive caste-based discrimination and remained pervasive in Papua New Guinea. Executions were resumed in basis of gender. and sometimes resulted in a range of negative impacts on contributed to tensions through polarizing women from marginalized groups. gay. and dominant where there were also ongoing reports of castes continued to use sexual violence violence and killing of women and children against Dalit and Adivasi women and girls. several countries still stipulating that victims and witnesses receive applied the punishment. choices related to reproduction. The There was some progress when the lower government took little preventative action. contrary to international human rights laws In Nepal. Although state media claimed that this was in line with the RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS government’s policy of executing fewer Women across the Asia-Pacific region were people. discrimination and violations and abuses of Statistics on how the punishment is used sexual and reproductive rights. recommended that the death penalty be However. reducing the number of crimes protect transgender people’s rights. while in Australia Pakistan reached the shameful milestone Indigenous Peoples were jailed at a of executing more than 300 people since the disproportionate rate. people. India’s Law Commission remained criminalized in many countries. with the authorities procedures for the police to address violence frequently failing to act effectively to protect against women. violence continued in India. These speeches. smuggling or girls to control their sexuality and make slaughtering cows. transgender and civilians in December 2014.

penalty for all crimes was adopted by Mongolia’s Parliament. to take effect from September 2016. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 41 .

populist parties made significant entered the EU irregularly during the year. EU oversight of the Constitutional Court within leaders agreed to expand EU border agency months of its election. who arrived on Europe’s The defining image of the year was that of shores. the place of human rights as a bloc with a total population of over 500 million cornerstone of European democracies looked people. and a bad one for human European Commission continued to tackle the rights. as they strengthened Europe’s shores. France. gay. In on a Turkish beach.EUROPE AND member states turned a blind eye to human rights violations that they would once have CENTRAL ASIA strongly condemned. a three-year-old Syrian boy. Fuelled hosting over 2 million Syrian refugees. with announced with all the customary human European leaders declining to replace the rights caveats. It took the death of given the power to overrule the decisions of more than 1. transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people (in most Western 2015 was a turbulent year in the Europe and European countries at least) and the Central Asia region. Lebanon and Jordan a further 1. 1 million refugees and and growing anti-EU and anti-immigrant migrants. At a hastily convened summit. almost Ukraine and ended with heavy clashes in all underlying trends across the region offered eastern Turkey. Either side of his tragic Turkey and across the former Soviet Union. as they sought to cut economic deals and enlist the support of third REGIONAL countries in their efforts to combat terrorism and keep refugees and migrants at bay. most of THE REFUGEE CRISIS them fleeing conflict. In the EU. EU Triton. sentiment. the year was a bleak outlook for the state of human rights bookended by armed attacks in and around in 2016. and dominated throughout by the plight of the millions of people. lying human rights regressed across the region. the EU. in Russia. the ruling Conservative Party put alternative. singularly failed to come up with a shakier than ever. the world’s richest political leadership. humane and rights-respecting measures and proposals to restrict the inflow response to this challenge. In the EU. It opened with fierce fighting in eastern systemic discrimination against Roma. of migrants and refugees were typically The year began inauspiciously. electoral inroads. respect for Alan Kurdi. OVERVIEW Although there was progress on equality for lesbian. While Turkey was regressive trend took a different form. Against this backdrop. the refugee crisis on Europe. bisexual. the Constitutional Court was Mediterranean route. the ruling Law and Justice Party one weekend in mid-April to finally prompt a pushed through measures restricting the rethink. In the absence of principled However. rescue operation with an adequate In the UK. Paris. while a number of countries. as EU member states their control of the media and further targeted struggled to deal with the impact of a global their critics and opponents. including 42 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . in series of incidents off the Libyan coast over Poland. death in September. over 3. Sweeping anti-terrorism coherent.700 refugees and leaders increasingly abandoned respect of migrants lost their lives trying to reach human rights altogether.000 refugees and migrants in a the European Court of Human Rights. Increasingly Frontex’s maritime border control Operation diminished on the international stage. and by lingering economic uncertainty. many of them refugees from Syria. but they were increasingly Italian Navy’s Mare Nostrum search and stripped of their content. despite ample evidence of forward proposals to repeal the Human Rights continuing migratory pressure on the central Act.7 million disenchantment with establishment politics between them.

EU member states for the most part the central Mediterranean route declined by vacillated or actively obstructed potential 9% compared to 2014. Afghanistan. Sweden and Denmark suspended Hungary permanently sealed its border with its provisions. most of further 120. dispatched additional propose constructive measures for the naval vessels to the region. in the face of fierce opposition from a system. Little effort was made to increase safe and reaching over 700 by the end of the year. As the crisis grew. The Schengen simply ushering refugees and migrants Agreement – which abolished border controls through.000. death rates along route. As hundreds of thousands of number of Central European countries. was in place. the scheme was extended by a marched on through the Balkans. Only Germany showed leadership deaths for every 1. Austria. Serbia. however. the scheme allocating responsibility for the processing of foundered in the face of logistical challenges asylum applications across member states – and the reluctance of recipient states to meet broke down too. from across the globe proposed by the The increase in deaths in the Aegean Sea European Commission in May. Somalia and Iraq. over 800.000 people.000.000 asylum-seekers from Hungary. Eritrea. hardly any overwhelmingly refugees fleeing conflict or EU countries offered to resettle more than a persecution in Syria. Never “Dublin regime” – the EU system for enough in the first place. Croatia. but to no avail. the reflected the sharp rise in irregular sea UN refugee agency.000 refugees 2014. including the relocation of them aiming to reach Germany. as Germany. made it impossible to uphold a system while Hungary declined to participate.000 asylum-seekers from Italy and defeated Greece’s already ailing reception Greece. At a summit in May. had put the number of arrivals in Greece. from the summer onward. passing summit after summit. EU The logistical and humanitarian challenges leaders voted to approve a relocation scheme presented by such large numbers utterly for 40. allocating the primary responsibility for As pressure mounted. this legal avenues of entry for refugees into the represented around 21% of all deaths in the EU.000 travellers. compared to 1% in resettlement scheme for 20. from Italy and Greece by the end of the year. The results were redistribution of asylum-seekers and the positive: according to the International organization of reception facilities along the Organization for Migration. Member states agreed to an EU-wide Mediterranean in 2015. but still stood at 18. Sea increased considerably. By the end of the year.5 solutions. made the dangerous European leaders also struggled to agree crossing to Greece. Syrian refugees in need of resettlement and In the absence of safe and legal avenues of other forms of humanitarian admission at entry to EU countries.the UK and Germany. Border guards used teargas and across internal EU borders – also showed batons to beat back crowds as Macedonia signs of cracking. amounting to an ad Amnesty International Report 2015/16 43 . 400. The funnelling of refugees the targets they committed to: only around and asylum-seekers to just a few external 200 asylum-seekers had been transferred border countries. essentially Greece and Italy. across the EU. Only 3% of those entering on and implement an effective mechanism to Greece irregularly crossed via the largely redistribute arriving refugees and migrants fenced-off land border. the so-called 54. few thousands of them. In refugees and migrants left Greece and September. Slovenia the European Commission vainly sought to and Austria. briefly closed its border in August and Hungary. While through Macedonia. Serbia in September. UNHCR. but other than Germany. Balkan countries processing asylum claims to the first EU alternated between closing their borders and country the applicant entered. EU leaders organized a more or less orderly corridor. The number commensurate with the scale of the of refugees and migrants dying in the Aegean challenge.

including 44 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Viktor Orbán said in September. to restrict the flow of refugees and around the town of Debaltseve. unofficially. European number of arriving migrants and refugees leaders overwhelmingly chose to listen to decreasing significantly in 2016. Most significantly. The deal conflict exceeded 9. the only policies sanctuary within its borders than at the start they could agree on were measures to of the year. they started to Ukrainian forces ceded control over the long- look to countries of origin. the turning of a blind eye to its growing list of Hungary led the way in refusing to engage human rights indiscretions. with heavy migrants to Europe. Having seen a sharp increase in reception of over 2 million Syrian refugees.000 people. European summits ARMED VIOLENCE increasingly focused on measures designed In January and February. strengthen “Fortress Europe”. the EU was vocal anti-immigrant sentiment and concerns no closer to finding sustainable. As the year drew to a close. EU leaders agreed to create a Donbass. while those the year. “We think all western border provinces to Syria and Iraq. by strengthening its border controls. expulsions. they countless individuals and NGOs to plug the remained woefully incommensurate with the gaps in the humanitarian assistance provided scale of the challenge. legislation rendering it almost impossible for evidence emerged of Turkey forcibly returning refugees and asylum-seekers entering via refugees and asylum-seekers detained in its Serbia to claim asylum. ever being recognized as refugees on account It constructed over 200km of fencing along its of Turkey’s woefully inadequate asylum borders with Serbia and Croatia and adopted system. Amid heavy military losses. countries have a right to decide whether they further highlighting that the EU was limiting want to have a large number of Muslims in the influx of refugees and migrants at the their countries”. and especially contested Donetsk airport and the area transit. As the year progressed. By the end of the year. The shocking scenes of chaos and further along the Balkan route had increased need along the Balkan route prompted and reception conditions improved. Towards the end of the year. Thousands were still exchange for 3 billion euros of aid for its sleeping rough.000 Public opinion across Europe ranged from people were still entering Greece daily. in seekers and refugees. to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s which asylum-seekers could be returned after Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic expedited proceedings. Hungarian Prime Minister expense of their human rights. rights- over the loss of national sovereignty and respecting solutions for those seeking security threats. They agreed to sought to advance and straighten their strengthen the capacity of Frontex to carry out frontline. struggled to provide adequate shelter. While indifference or hostility to strong shows of reception capacity on the Greek islands and solidarity. arriving refugees and migrants at the start of many still lived in dire poverty.hoc response to the crisis that remained essentially involved Turkey agreeing to limit entirely contingent on Germany’s continued the flow of refugees and migrants to Greece willingness to accept incoming asylum. as Russian-backed separatists in common list of “safe” countries of origin. It ignored the fact with pan-European solutions to the refugee that despite Turkey’s broadly positive crisis. Hungary turned its back on from other countries had little prospect of collective efforts and decided to seal itself off. As a result. heavy fighting to keep refugees and migrants out or hasten resumed in Ukraine’s eastern region of their return. as authorities along the route resident refugee population and. around 2. The outsourcing of the shelling by both sides resulting in numerous EU migration controls to third countries civilian casualties. the reached its peak with the signing of a Joint UN estimated that the death toll for the Action Plan with Turkey in October. With no sign of the to refugees and migrants. However.

and the summary like Crimea. was and mortar fire. While a few criminal use of force and extrajudicial executions by investigations into suspected abuses by Turkish forces. authorities.2. reported that investigations into over 2. Total impunity persisted electricity cut and were unable to access in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. authority began but no convictions were Government control over the media. the steady squeeze on both of which deemed the investigations government critics gathered pace. human rights abuses. War crimes and other finally adopted. In Russia. on the Ministry of Justice’s list enforcement agencies. On 8 Workers’ Party (PKK) collapsed in July. over 100 people were of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with reported killed in the course of law respect to alleged crimes committed in its enforcement operations in urban areas that territory since 20 February 2014. While the conflict had subsided by the end of While the conflict in Ukraine subsided. many of whom appeared to investigate offences by public officials.000 civilians. have died as a result of indiscriminate rocket including torture and other ill-treatment. over 100 made in instituting structural reforms to NGOs were included. year as a fragile ceasefire took hold. a black hole for unmonitored execution of captives by separatist forces. published two reports in April and November. a law backed by the of “foreign agents”. but no took on an increasingly militarized aspect. repressive laws enacted in the aftermath of While accountability for past human rights Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency were abuses continued to stall. By the end of the year. escalation in human rights violations largely Accountability for the abuses committed in escaped international censure. Ukraine accepted the jurisdiction end of the year. Law enforcement operations Ukrainian forces – mostly by paramilitary were typically conducted under round-the- groups – were opened by Ukrainian clock curfews. Not a single NGO Council of Europe creating a new agency to succeeded in legally challenging its inclusion Amnesty International Report 2015/16 45 . the heavy clashes erupted in Turkey as the ever prospect of accountability for the crimes uncertain peace process with the Kurdistan committed remained remote. and peaceful assembly charges of manslaughter and abuse of deteriorated across the former Soviet Union. By the September.000 criminal incidents related to EuroMaydan FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION. there had been no convictions by during which residents had their water and the end of the year. The trial of The respect for freedoms of expression. often lasting several weeks. as inadequate. Ukraine took its first tentative violations of international humanitarian law steps towards institutional reform. the curbing of protest and the during the year. detainees by both sides. internet secured for EuroMaydan-related crimes censorship. with criminal proceedings ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY instigated against 270 individuals. but the included the torture and other ill-treatment of Donbass region remained far from stable and. In crisis to dampen criticism of its domestic November. most of them Ukraine’s notoriously corrupt and abusive law compulsorily. were ongoing. The significant more pervasive lawlessness took hold. some progress was applied. the Prosecutor General’s Office actions. as Turkey the course of the 2013-2014 pro-European successfully leveraged its crucial role in demonstrations in the capital Kyiv relation to the Syrian conflict and the refugee (“EuroMaydan”) also proved elusive. two former riot police (Berkut) officers on association. progress was made on the ratification of the There were numerous reports of excessive Rome Statute of the ICC. where a medical treatment or food. An International Advisory criminalization of the legitimate exercise of Panel set up by the Council of Europe to these freedoms intensified almost monitor investigations into EuroMaydan everywhere.

defence and activities that comply with a limited list of or state security”. on a law criminalizing “fostering positive Thousands of websites and pages were attitude” towards “non-traditional sexual blocked by government regulators. The new Criminal Code that proceedings to ban the Communist Party of came into effect in January retained the Ukraine. four US-based “foreign agents” law along Russian lines. draft bill was put before Parliament with rendering their continued operations in strong backing from President Atambaev. journalists. Georgia and Ukraine In Azerbaijan. Four criminal investigations were accused the government of orchestrating a opened under the vaguely worded offence. repressive rules. although they still faced four so-called “decommunization laws” spurious treason charges. the prominent NGO leaders continued to offer broadly free environments. The authorities further extended their June. Kotsaba became Ukraine’s first prisoner of Leyla Yunus. youth activists and gunmen in April. In Georgia. They remained in pre-trial the toxic label “foreign agent”. creating a supplemented in May by a new law enabling central “operator” to raise funding and authorities to designate foreign organizations administer state and non-state funds to as “undesirable” if deemed to pose a “threat NGOs. Following the adoption in May of the end of 2015. the opposition party offences of inciting social and other United National Movement and several NGOs “discord”. and her husband and remanded in custody on charges of treason in co-worker Arif Yunus were released towards February. arrested in 2014 were predictably convicted but neither without their wobbles. banning the use of communist and nazi The human rights situation in Kazakhstan symbols. In Ukraine. while journalist Ruslan opposition politicians. the Ministry of Justice initiated also regressed. but Russia – and any co-operation with them – was withdrawn “for further discussion” in illegal. Drawing for criminal prosecution of its leaders in the inspiration from Russia and sharing the same future. Restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly Tajikistani President Emomali Rahmon was also intensified and the number of public granted lifetime immunity from prosecution protests declined. whose purpose was to suspicion of foreign NGO funding. The target appeared to be issues approved by the government. foreign donor organizations. additional consultation. before it too was withdrawn for violation of the right to freedom of expression. At the end it became increasingly dangerous to voice of the year. By the end of the year. remained behind bars. while peaceful protesters were prosecuted under a Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan remained 2014 law which criminalized the repeated fundamentally unchanged in their deeply breach of the law on assemblies. discourage NGOs from receiving foreign Kazakhstan adopted amendments to the Law funding and discredit those that did. including foreign funding. In 46 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . president of the Institute for conscience for five years when he was Peace and Democracy. The law. including human rights Oles Buzina was shot dead by two masked defenders. Parliament also got to a third reading control over the media and the internet. four and the title “leader of the nation”. a donors had been declared “undesirable”. paving the way detention at the end of the year. for projects to the country’s constitutional order.on the list. For the first time. often in relations”. in particular US Kyrgyzstan also toyed with adoption of a ones. The Human Rights Centre (HRC) extracts from an unpublished book deemed Memorial was one of a number of NGOs to be to denigrate the Kazakh people on their fined for failing to brand its publications with Facebook page. was on Non-Profit Organizations. protracted legal battle between an ousted including against activists Yermek Narymbaev former shareholder and the current owners of and Serkzhan Mambetalin after they posted pro-opposition TV station Rustavi 2. at least 18 prisoners of pro-Russian views: pro-Russian journalist conscience. on a range of trumped-up charges.

dispersed for the first time in over a decade. as a President and sanctioned by the Ministry of range of states adopted or tabled measures Justice. These included measures counter-terrorism laws targeted political targeting those travelling or intending to travel activists. Switzerland adopted a new surveillance law Reports of excessive use of force by law which granted sweeping powers to the enforcement agents breaking up Federal Intelligence Service to intercept data Amnesty International Report 2015/16 47 . adopted in October. The attacks gave fresh impetus – process with the PKK. in the pursuit of an systematically targeted. were blocked on unclear internet use. Particular defined terrorism-related acts. Another series of attacks in and leader and current President Recep Tayyip around Paris on 13 November killed a further Erdoğan. of criminal defamation under article 299 for Some of the most significant developments “insulting the President” were initiated by the took place in the area of surveillance. the Tbilisi City Court ordered the protests were frequent. the outpouring of solidarity both in France and increasingly autocratic rule of its former abroad. In France. expression and discriminate against certain were increasingly prosecuted. former AK Party ally Fethullah Gülen. Countless unfair criminal Europe – to a raft of measures that threatened prosecutions under criminal defamation and human rights. granting intelligence and law enforcement Critical media outlets and journalists were agencies almost unfettered access to subjected to immense pressure. including by way of grounds by administrative orders. extended powers of supporters of media outlets associated with arrest with reduced procedural guarantees. Journalists electronic communications. and assaulted by police while covering stories paved the way for the use of mass in the predominantly Kurdish south-east. surveillance techniques on communications Media outlets linked to Fethullah Gülen were in and out of the country. perhaps the most COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY significant human rights regression took place The year began with violent attacks in Paris in Turkey. economic and administrators. but also elsewhere in suffered further. and the breakdown of the peace 130 people. instead granting limited and banned for the third year in a row and occasional powers to an administrative Istanbul’s annual Gay Pride was violently authority to advise the Prime Minister. and either taken off undefined list of objectives. aided by a indiscriminate mass interception of internet compliant judiciary. journalists and other critics of public abroad to commit or otherwise pursue ill- officials or government policy. and chief financial officer. The second law. scientific interests. Against the backdrop of two against journalists at the satirical weekly successive parliamentary elections which Charlie Hebdo and against a Jewish resulted in an outright majority for the ruling supermarket. Journalists were harassed traffic.November. freedom of expression in France in particular. News that provided extensive executive powers to websites. People and “counter-radicalization” measures that expressing criticism of the President. were regularly dismissed by editors for their Parliament approved two laws on surveillance critical reporting and comment. resulting in 17 deaths and an Justice and Development Party (AK). including large swathes of the monitor people’s communications and Kurdish press. including air or taken over by government promoting foreign policy. would potentially repress freedom of particularly through social media channels. Over 100 cases groups. May Day demonstrations were authorization. particularly in the replacement of the station’s director general south-east. sweeping new targets were pro-Kurdish commentators and surveillance powers. Elsewhere in Europe. None of the new Sensitive protests continued to be surveillance measures required prior judicial disrupted.

lengthening the time period permitted for pre- old “safe harbour agreement” between the charge detention for persons suspected of USA and the EU. a number of key offences). In October. the authorities initiated a spate of years ahead. tabled in countries across the region. suspicion and meaningful judicial scrutiny for France was not alone. in Roman prosecutions under vague “apology for Zakharov v. which allowed private terrorism-related offences on a lower standard companies to transfer personal data between of proof than “reasonable suspicion”. In the space of just a few weeks. This followed and referred to the the 11 September 2001 attacks on the USA adoption earlier in the year under the 48 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . access metadata. The UK government proposed a described as participating in acts that breach new Investigatory Powers Bill which would public order. resulting in just histories – all with insufficient judicial control. the Grand Chamber of terrorism” legislation. Luxembourg. including remain in specific locations and the power to internal communications without prior judicial dissolve associations or groups broadly approval. however. The Dutch government measures including the ability to carry out put forward a bill that would in effect legalize warrantless house searches. new proposals included ruling. was declared for an initial period authorize intelligence services to intercept all of 12 days and then extended by three communications in and out of the country. assigned 360 people to fixed international court decisions laid down residency. In December. the Court concluded that terrorism-related acts. Following the revelations of the travel abroad for the vaguely defined purpose extent of the US surveillance programme by of committing or otherwise pursuing Edward Snowden.” purpose of committing acts of terrorism The increasing use of exceptional right. several of them in the European Court of Human Rights apparent breach of the right to freedom of highlighted the need for prior individual expression. In all these European Union also delivered another key countries. it invalidated the 15-year. following on from the “the United States authorities were able to adoption in 2014 of the UN Security Council access the personal data transferred from the Resolution 2178. and use of emergency introducing a range of government spyware. internet in the wake of the November attacks. Proposals any surveillance-related interference with the for new counter-terrorism laws in the right to privacy to be considered necessary aftermath of the November attacks were and proportionate.on internet cables entering or leaving found particularly vivid expression in France Switzerland. on the assumption of an essentially Throughout the year. abroad into the national legislation of member threatening counter-terrorism measures since states. Throughout contested and highly litigated issue in the the year. two terrorism-related investigations being While European governments threatened opened (but another 488 for unrelated the right to privacy.700 hand over customers’ internet and phone warrantless house searches. the EU Member States to the United States and Commission tabled a proposal for a new process it in a way [that was] beyond what directive that would introduce a prohibition on was strictly necessary and proportionate to travel and acts associated with travel for the the protection of national security. A state histories and content of emails. and closed down 20 mosques and markers for what is likely to be a fiercely numerous Muslim associations. After the landmark Digital Ireland case including Belgium. the Court of Justice of the Netherlands. the two. and Slovakia. months. rendered in 2014. European states equivalent level of protection of fundamental worked on the adoption of legislation to curtail rights relating to personal data in the USA and criminalize travelling or preparing to and in EU law. forcing people to the bulk collection of telecoms data. Russia. and oblige phone and internet companies to French authorities conducted 2. In December.

these measures went hand in glove with a wider set of measures designed to prevent and identify “violent extremism” that risked discriminating against and stigmatizing Muslims. and the UK in particular. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 49 . These laws.auspices of the Council of Europe of a treaty containing similar measures. In several countries. threatened to various extents a range of human rights guarantees. and others introduced to tackle the so-called “foreign fighters” phenomenon.

Yemen and Libya chemical agents in some attacks. were controlled by the armed In Syria. IS forces captured repression of popular protests and demands Ramadi.6 REGIONAL million people were internally displaced within Syria. Lebanon and Jordan – to 4. IS non-state – to spare civilians. In Iraq. Civilians Anbar province. while brazenly commit war crimes and serious human rights advertising their abuses over the internet as a abuses with impunity. government authorities clamped civilian inhabitants and condemning them to down on dissent and tightened controls citing starvation and utter deprivation while the threat to public safety posed by armed exposing them to repeated shelling and groups that carried out a rash of bomb and bombing. They continued to cause countless civilian deaths continued to target medical facilities and to and injuries and forced displacement that in besiege civilian areas controlled by armed the case of Syria was on a truly epic scale. At the same time. whom IS forces had summarily killed. In areas it thousands of civilians and driving millions controlled. Yemen and large areas of Iraq and group calling itself Islamic State (IS). Throughout 2015. by people to flee south towards the capital the end of 2015. IS forces people had fled Syria. They also reportedly used conflicts in Syria. like much of ARMED CONFLICT northern Iraq. while in areas of Iraq formerly held by IS that also severely impacting on Syria’s neighbours contained the mortal remains of Yazidis and other countries in the region and beyond. non-state armed other attacks in countries across the region groups also carried out unlawful killings and and beyond. continued to target Shi’a Muslims and The most severe of these armed conflicts members of the Yazidi and other minorities. Thousands sought to NORTH AFRICA gain entry to Europe via perilous sea crossings from Turkey. continued to rage in Syria. trapping their remaining Elsewhere. In Iraq. in particular. according to the UN. swelling the number of conducted a wave of killings of civilians and 50 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . killing and injuring propaganda and recruitment tool.000 people had been killed in after being captured by IS fighters and forced Syria since the government’s brutal into sexual slavery. killing and injuring calamity and unremitting misery. indiscriminately shelled government-held areas. Iraq. driving out continued to bear the brunt of the conflict. After capturing the city. IS ruthlessly enforced its own destitution. Some had been forcibly displaced OVERVIEW several times. 2015 brought without restraint. Armed thousands. forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continued to bomb For millions of people across the Middle East and shell opposition-held civilian areas and North Africa region. such as al-Raqqa in Syria and from their homes and into despair and Mosul in Iraq.6 million. in May. an additional 1 million Baghdad. Many By the end of the year. Yazidi women and girls remained missing more than 250. Large areas of Syria. opposition groups. whose Libya continuing armed conflicts saw forces also continued to commit war crimes government and non-state forces repeatedly and crimes against humanity. capital of the predominantly Sunni for reform that began in 2011. and more than 7. causing more than a dozen mass graves were found widespread devastation and loss of life. Fighting forces showed little or no narrow interpretation of Islam and deterred regard for the lives of civilians and ignored the opposition with summary killings and other legal obligation of all parties – both state and cruel punishments.MIDDLE EAST AND refugees – mostly in Turkey. government forces and causing thousands of Millions continued to be forcibly displaced.

used lethal force infractions with execution-style public killings. who took control of the capital Sana’a in By the end of the year. and belonging to the northern Zaidi Shi’a minority. IS forces also destroyed On 25 March. the continued to detain thousands of mostly Huthis’ main base. and IS forces reportedly killed dozens of men they abducted and detained journalists and other alleged were gay by throwing them from the critics. threatening Yemen’s more than 2. before courts that commonly convicted Armed groups opposed to the Huthis. wounded hundreds of others. an array of contending forces attacks targeting civilians. supported by or appeared to be deliberately directed US-led international coalition air strikes and against civilians and civilian objects. hospitals and roads. who The Iraqi government sought to recapture had taken refuge in the Saudi Arabian capital Ramadi and other IS-controlled areas of the Riyadh as Huthi forces advanced. As they advanced. summarily killed captured Huthi “confessions”. recklessly exposed civilians Arab states used aircraft and drones to target Amnesty International Report 2015/16 51 . and forcibly displaced Ali Abdullah Saleh. The coalition launched previously responsible for sectarian killings a campaign of air strikes against the Huthis and other serious human rights abuses. disposing of to risk by launching attacks from the vicinity bodies by dumping them into the Euphrates of homes. roofs of buildings. In some areas. a military coalition of nine religious and cultural artefacts.700 civilians.members of the security forces. conflict had killed more than 2. Huthi forces than 140 people. Yemen’s armed September 2014. attacked hospitals and international military coalition of Western and medical workers. Taiz and the humanitarian crisis. In both Iraq and Syria a US-led into Saudi Arabia. Red Sea port city of Aden. by calling in air strikes by a US-led imposed a partial air and sea blockade and international coalition and assistance from deployed ground troops in support of Yemeni Iran. government forces anti-Huthi forces. against protesters. defendants on the basis of torture-tainted including IS. creating a second and third largest cities. but not Shi’a militias. prohibition on the use of these inherently many others were sentenced to death or long indiscriminate weapons. President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. many contested by IS. and with north and east. and and areas that they controlled or contested. particularly in recaptured Ramadi. including at Arab states led by Saudi Arabia intervened in the UNESCO World Heritage site at Palmyra the conflict at the request of Yemeni in Syria. the Iraqi army. While some coalition indiscriminately shelled areas held or attacks targeted military objectives. They imposed strict dress and anti-personnel landmines that pose an behaviour codes and punished alleged ongoing risk to civilians. deployed River. all or mostly civilians. initially augmenting its the aim of restoring President Hadi and his security forces with mainly Shi’a militias government to power. schools. endangering prison sentences after grossly unfair trials civilians’ lives. Huthi forces fired The Yemeni conflict was not the only one in explosive weapons indiscriminately into which international forces became direct civilian areas of Yemen and across the border participants. others were indiscriminate. Early in the year. The Iraqi authorities Yemen’s northern Sa’da governorate. fighters and carried out suicide and other In Yemen. killing and injuring civilians. hospitals and schools.5 million people. coalition Sunni Muslims without trial as alleged aircraft also dropped US-made cluster terrorism suspects and subjected them to munitions. IS bomb attacks on spread misery and mayhem throughout the two Shi’a mosques on 20 March killed more country. disproportionate In December. swept southward. supported by forces loyal to former President according to the UN. closed down NGOs. including Sunni tribal fighters. despite the international torture and other ill-treatment with impunity.

In and protection. despite its and did not bring an end to hostilities. major. although the agreement Syria. graphic video footage on the internet showing some in apparent extrajudicial executions. Occupied Palestinian Territories. too. Elsewhere in the region. one continued to promote illegal settlements and based in the east that was internationally severely restricted the movement of recognized and backed by the Operation Palestinians using an array of military Dignity military coalition. abductions. neither the Palestinian national violence and form a national unity unity government under President Abbas nor government. economic and ethnic agendas held under renewable administrative orders fought for control. relentless land. and indiscriminate the last quarter of the year amid a spate of or disproportionate attacks. Israel and parliaments vied for supremacy. by the end Palestinian conflict even if it did not again of the year. these attacks were reported to flare into open warfare. The year saw no attacks against areas held by opposition progress towards resolving the Israeli- forces as well as against IS targets. In the occupied West Bank. occupation or engaged in protests against it armed groups pursuing their own ideological. Elsewhere. them indefinitely without charge or trial. remained mired in armed suffocating reconstruction there after the conflict four years after the fall of Mu’ammar devastation caused by the 2014 armed al-Gaddafi’s regime. in the capital Tripoli. committing to end the However. Thousands Western-based armed militias and other of Palestinians who opposed Israel’s military forces. responded with lethal force including. Russia’s armed forces intervened to excluded various armed groups and militias support the al-Assad government. torture and other serious abuses. in circumstances when individuals and Derna carried out public killings.5 million attacks. and the other. Palestinian President Christian migrants abducted several weeks Mahmoud Abbas declared Palestine’s earlier. including local affiliates of that empowered the authorities to detain IS and al-Qa’ida. Libya. The various forces ranged against each others were shot by Israeli troops who other committed serious violations of the laws regularly used excessive force against of war. It offered at least some hope to the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza Libya’s beleaguered population at the end of took any steps to investigate war crimes. Palestinian protesters. brokered by the UN. and other serious 52 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . with hundreds regional. barriers and a fence/wall supported by the Libya Dawn coalition of stretching hundreds of kilometres. its mass killing of 21 mostly Egyptian Coptic In January. people in need of humanitarian assistance sometimes causing civilian casualties. posed no imminent threat to life. arbitrary Palestinians. including an IS-affiliated armed group published children. mounting record of human rights violations. Tension rose sharply in including medical workers. summary killings. Israel maintained its have killed hundreds of civilians. deep-rooted launching air strikes and cruise missile problems remained. mostly in the last quarter of the year. the ICC’s jurisdiction over crimes within its In December. tribal. Israeli forces floggings and amputations. including direct attacks on civilians. checkpoints. and targeted killed at least 156 Palestinians from the foreign nationals of other faiths. a year that saw some 600 civilians killed in including indiscriminate rocket and mortar the armed conflict and almost 2. were arrested and detained. representatives of Libya’s two mandate committed within the Occupied rival governments signed a peace deal Palestinian Territories since June 2014. In February. sparking a retaliatory air strike by accession to the Rome Statute and accepted Egyptian war planes. Two rival governments conflict. as well as stabbing and other attacks on Israelis by lone unlawful killings. Israeli soldiers and police detention.IS forces and some other armed groups. sea and air blockade of Gaza. at IS-affiliated forces in the Libyan cities of Sirte times.

Huge numbers indication. where they faced a decidedly mixed The impact of the refugee crisis fell most reception as EU states bickered about who heavily on states within the Middle East and should bear responsibility for them and what North Africa region.abuses by Palestinian armed groups during community. Countless others. tightening discriminatory laws and policies that denied controls at official and informal border them property inheritance rights. and presented huge social and Israel that led them to flee their homes.800 refugees from Syria. Syria’s long-standing Palestinian refugee Migrants. Iraq.000 refugees from Syria. unseaworthy vessels provided refugee agency. Europe. INTERNALLY DISPLACED even for those who escaped Syria and the PEOPLE AND MIGRANTS other countries enmeshed in armed conflict. The human cost of the armed conflicts in due to the hardships and insecurity they Syria. responsible for unlawful detentions and denied entry to Jordan. Jordanian international law that its forces committed in authorities deported more than 500 Sudanese Gaza during the 2014 armed conflict.5 million internally displaced crossings to Italy and Greece. Many made state repression also fuelled a continuing flow it and gained entry to the relative safety of of refugees seeking protection abroad. the UN overcrowded. hold to account those responsible for unlawful where they were at risk of human rights killings in the West Bank and torture and violations. conflicts had together created more than 5 which alone hosted around 2. The presence of In addition to the more than 1 million so many refugees placed an enormous strain refugees from Syria who swelled its on the host countries’ resources. and toughening residency the 2014 armed conflict with Israel. access to crossing points. lost their from Syria – they comprised between a lives at sea attempting that stage of their quarter and a third of Lebanon’s total journey. notably members of of paid employment.3 million million refugees and asylum-seekers and refugees from Syria. by extortionate people traffickers. or to refugees and asylum-seekers to Sudan. in December. Life remained very tough and uncertain REFUGEES. as well as refugees and those Amnesty International Report 2015/16 53 . should be each state’s “fair share” of Lebanon hosted well over 1 million refugees refugees. In both Lebanon and were afforded protection by the Lebanese Jordan the authorities took measures to authorities but remained subject to staunch the flow of new arrivals. Lebanon also continued to host was only partly alleviated by faltering several hundred thousand Palestinian international humanitarian assistance and refugees. the four departed. particularly from Libya and Turkey. By the end of the year. failed to conduct desert area on the Jordanian side of the independent investigations into the extensive border with Syria in desperate conditions. Israel. in contravention of the international other ill-treatment of detainees. often in persons (IDPs). internally displaced within them gave some particularly in EU countries. Yemen and Libya in 2015 was encountered as refugees. although the continuing surge propelled hundreds of thousands of refugees in refugees fleeing these countries and the to expose themselves to new risks as they even greater number of people who were sought to find greater security further afield. to account Palestinian security officials More than 12. war crimes and other violations of Meanwhile. These difficulties immeasurable. principle of non-refoulement. a strain that population. At the end of the year. according to UNHCR. 641. including many infants and other population – and Jordan hosted in excess of children. likewise. however. remained in a remote torture. Elsewhere. or to hold requirements for those already admitted. to attempt dangerous sea more than 13. blocking the entry of certain free public education and certain categories categories of people. decades after the conflicts with support. such as in Iran. They security challenges.

In Libya. a new law for out in support of human rights. criticism and dissent and curtailed rights to Dr Zuhair Kutbi. the authorities denied asylum-seekers journalists and activists faced prosecution from Eritrea and Sudan access to a fair under Penal Code provisions that prohibit refugee determination process. asylum-seekers and a 15-year prison term for writing and reciting migrants faced serious abuses. blocking access to Facebook. Blogger Raif the first time gave migrant domestic workers a Badawi remained in prison serving the 10- right to one rest day each week and 30 days’ year sentence he received in 2014 after a annual paid leave. In Kuwait. in Yemen.internally displaced. protected under labour law. human reforms it had promised in 2014. as did In Egypt. Kuwait. court convicted him of “insulting Islam” and violating the Cyber-crime law by setting up REPRESSION OF DISSENT the Free Saudi Liberals Network website. Oman and the United In Algeria and Morocco. association and detained for months. however. many from South and to the country’s nuclear programme and the Southeast Asia. In Qatar. also continued to face severe easing of financial and economic sanctions levels of exploitation and abuse in the oil and did not yield any let-up in state repression. where the The authorities continued to curtail freedom kafala sponsorship system tied them to their of speech and rights to association and employers and they were inadequately assembly. countries in sub-Saharan Africa were liable to those targeted included individuals accused arrest and summary expulsion. trade unionists. In Algeria and Morocco. The court also North Africa region remained intolerant of sentenced him to a flogging of 1. of harming their countries’ relations with Tripoli-based authorities held up to 4. In Jordan. the international agreement relating Migrant workers. imprisoned after he advocated constitutional state authorities used widely drawn criminal monarchy as a form of government in a insult and/or defamation laws to prosecute television interview.000 lashes. In Qatar. In Iran. Governments across the Middle East and which the authorities closed.200 at desert detention facilities institutions and under an anti-terrorism law by the end of the year. jamming foreign broadcasts. the government largely failed to implement detaining and imprisoning journalists. dozens of Israel. and imprison online and other critics. the government continued the 54 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . migrants from Arab Emirates (UAE). women. many rights defenders. where Twitter and other social media websites. detained criticism of the King and government more than 4. arrested in July. artists and construction workers remained exposed to others who voiced dissent. then tried and peaceful assembly. including lines that the authorities deemed offensive to discrimination and labour exploitation. In the country’s Emir. faced numerous abuses ranging from Authorities in Saudi Arabia also brooked no low pay and excessive working hours to criticism or dissent and harshly punished physical assault. and pressured others amended in 2014 that criminalized criticism to leave Israel “voluntarily” or face indefinite of foreign leaders or states. In these Gulf states.000 Saudi Arabia by posting comments migrants and other undocumented foreign considered disrespectful to Saudi Arabia’s nationals in indefinite detention in facilities late King or criticizing its military intervention where they faced torture or other ill-treatment. remained particularly the Egyptian authorities and the governments vulnerable to abuse in a number of countries. was freedom of expression. and arresting. 90% of the workforce were migrant workers. including three unsafe living and working conditions and opposition political leaders held without thousands of domestic workers. of Bahrain. gas-rich countries of the Gulf. detention. mostly charge or trial since 2009. a poet continued to serve and other refugees. forced labour and human those who dared advocate reform or speak trafficking.

serious abuses by state forces during the Between them. Yemen and Libya. noting independent investigations into torture or took the threat posed by armed groups that measures to safeguard detainees. The authorities rejected any detention and governments rarely conducted criticism of the crackdown on dissent. In Algeria. as well as punishments that violate the prohibition of those in Egypt. widening it to encompass their execution in Saudi Arabia. other critics and opponents. courts beatings. region. Iran. It was used to extract information and year legal maximum. Convention against Torture. Juvenile offenders were ousted Mohamed Morsi from the presidency among those executed in Iran and facing in July 2013. security forces the right to a fair trial. the governments of Iran. that did not cause and in the aftermath of the civil war that Amnesty International Report 2015/16 55 . Morocco and Tunisia that have not accountability for similar crimes and abuses carried out any executions for years. it remained a foremost executioners. In executions despite clear evidence that many Lebanon. other violations DEATH PENALTY of international humanitarian law and serious The death sentence was widely used across human rights abuses with impunity in Syria. All across the region. such courts operated as mere instruments of state IMPUNITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY repression. courts rarely took serious notice of detainees were subjected to enforced defendants’ allegations of torture in pre-trial disappearance. In Egypt. inhuman or degrading sentences of imprisonment and death after treatment or punishment. which handed down mass perpetrated torture almost always did so with prison sentences and death sentences. no progress was made in of those executed had been sentenced to ascertaining the fate of thousands who were death after unfair trials or for offences. Iranian courts continued to impose Jordan. by the end of remained common and widespread the year. as well as advocates of human rights and political TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT reform. Some impunity. although launched increasingly deadly attacks on most countries have ratified the UN security forces. rather blinding. Throughout 2015. they carried out hundreds of internal armed conflict of the 1990s. In Syria. continued to hand down torture and other cruel. Those who military courts. state officials and civilians. causing countless further and failed to ensure due process and uphold deaths of detainees. and there was no Lebanon. the region. By committed by Israeli forces and Palestinian contrast. such forcibly disappeared or went missing during as drugs-related crimes. with Iran being at the crime to campaign for justice for victims of forefront of a disturbing spike in executions. at least 700 had been held without throughout the Middle East and North Africa sentence by courts for longer than the two. Iraq. positions. lacked independence systematically. stoning and amputations. including in states such as Algeria. especially in cases frequently assaulted detainees at time of against those perceived to be government arrest and thereafter subjected them to critics or opponents. Government forces and non-state armed groups committed war crimes. electric shocks and painful stress in countries including Bahrain. convicting defendants in unfair trials. national judicial government forces continued to use torture systems were weak. than being fearless upholders of justice. Saudi Arabia and UAE. included flogging. The authorities held thousands of Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees detainees on political grounds. Thousands of others “confessions” and to punish and terrorize faced unfair mass trials before criminal or victims and to intimidate others. Iraq and armed groups during their 2014 conflict and Saudi Arabia remained among the world’s in previous conflicts.relentless crackdown on the Muslim loss of life or fell below the threshold of “most Brotherhood that began when the army serious crimes”. Iraq.

sentenced country’s parliament voted down an article to death in unfair trials. Iran’s Parliament approved the 56 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . while several Iran. Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity FORCED EVICTIONS Commission. Africa region. Minority rights activists In Jordan. Christian converts from Islam. Their trial was marred by irregularities. from driving. began hearing Palestinian homes in the West Bank. they put him in all countries in the Middle East and North on trial and sentenced him to death. In Bahrain. that they said were past human rights violations. ensuing armed conflict. from passing on their imprisoned or prevented from freely nationality to their children. In May. married to foreign spouses. custody face discrimination in several countries. women continued to receive belonging to Iran’s disadvantaged ethnic inadequate protection against violence groups including Ahwazi Arabs. In Israel. the built without virtually unobtainable Israeli Commission remained weakened by permits. especially protesters by the security forces since June housing and land rights. son of discrimination under the law and in practice Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi. In of children and inheritance. In Libya.ended two decades ago. In Egypt. testimonies as part of its investigations into including East Jerusalem. women were allowed for the from over 100. a against the Shi’a minority remained new law afforded greater protection to victims entrenched and Shi’a leaders and activists of domestic violence but only after the were detained and. the authorities failed to WOMEN AND GIRLS comply with an ICC demand that they hand Women and girls continued to face over Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi. However. Baluchis and Kurds. Yaresan (Ahl-e Haq). the that would have criminalized marital rape. instead. prospect that it could ensure accountability They also demolished the homes of for economic crimes committed during the Palestinian citizens of Israel mostly in regime that held power until 2011. 2013. discrimination is aged between 15 and 18. in many. the military carried out forced era officials to long prison terms or death for evictions to create a security “buffer” zone alleged war crimes and other offences along the country’s border with the Gaza committed during the 2011 uprising and Strip. In Egypt. Bedouin villages in the Negev/Naqab region. In Kuwait. practising their faith. forcibly evicting their occupants. except in cases where the victim penalty. appointed following the Israeli authorities continued to demolish “Jasmine Revolution” of 2011. Tripoli authorities sentenced former Gaddafi.000 Bidun. Personal DISCRIMINATION – MINORITIES status laws commonly accorded women fewer Religious and ethnic minorities continued to rights than men in relation to divorce. The Turks. the and Bidun rights activists faced arrest and authorities failed to investigate and ensure prosecution. and corruption allegations and resignations while punished the families of Palestinians who a new draft law threatened to scupper any attacked Israelis by destroying their homes. they also faced high levels of sexual and other violence. claiming that they first time to vote and stand in municipal were illegal residents although many were elections but they continued to be prohibited born and had lived all their lives in Kuwait. Baha’is. Palestinian citizens accountability for the killings of hundreds of faced discrimination in many areas. and remained rapists to escape prosecution if they married disproportionately subject to the death their victim. were given harsh government revised legislation that allowed prison sentences. countries’ nationality laws barred women Sunni Muslims. unlike men with and Shi’a Muslims who became Sunni were foreign spouses. Azerbaijani including so-called “honour” crimes. In Saudi Arabia. In government continued to withhold citizenship Saudi Arabia. Sufis. in some cases.

Women and girls comprised half the population of the region and made an enormous contribution to every society within it. very few women held high political office or senior diplomatic posts. yet they were denied equality with men in virtually all facets of life. and women were totally or largely absent from the judiciary. thousands of valiant individuals – human rights defenders. children. and the threat of attack by armed groups. sexual slavery and summary killing. including one that would block access to information about contraception and outlaw voluntary sterilization. divorce and have an empty dream. abuse of rights. violence and imprisonment by the police and paramilitary forces that enforced such laws. But throughout the region. No country had a woman head of state. amid the gloom and despair. By the end of 2015. and debated other draft laws that threaten to further entrench discrimination against women. Yet. Instead of political and social reform. forced marriage. tightening state repression. the prevalence of gender-based violence and lack of redress for survivors was anything but exceptional. deep-seated and anything but whether and when to marry. medical workers and volunteers. committed against women and girls by IS forces. particularly its highest levels. The most public and extreme manifestation of such prejudice and misogyny were the crimes. Women in Iran also remained subject to compulsory “veiling” (hijab) laws and to harassment.general principles of a draft law that actions that the hopes expressed in 2011 undermines women’s right to decide freely remain alive. This was unsurprising given the continuing prevalence of stereotypical and discriminatory attitudes towards women and their human rights. journalists. the region was gripped by armed conflict. including rape. community activists and others – showed through their Amnesty International Report 2015/16 57 . the heady hopes of political and human rights reform that the mass popular uprisings of the Arab Spring had aroused across the region four years earlier had been all but totally dashed. lawyers. particularly in Iraq. economic advance and greater protection of human rights.

58 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2015/16 A-Z COUNTRY ENTRIES .

329 as the new leader on 1 August. first six months of 2015. Afghanistan security forces (ANSF). and the government Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. In May. The to which groups operating under its banner Ministry of Women’s Affairs registered had any affiliation to IS in Syria was unclear. according to UNAMA. In September 60 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . It enshrined the government’s pledges to increase women’s role in the four pillars of Resolution 1325: participation. thousands of cases of violence against women in the last nine months of the year. owing to the withdrawal of of criminal responsibility to trial. the Ministry of insurgent groups. vote of confidence. intimidation and attacks by a range FORCES. resulted in an continued to apply the death penalty. Media Law which journalists and human However. including Plan relating to UN Security Council intimidation. reported that some 20. Resolution 1325 on Women.921 civilian BACKGROUND casualties. was announced Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as his successor. Mullah equivalent period on record. AND BY PRO-GOVERNMENT of perpetrators against human rights ARMED GROUPS defenders continued in a climate of Civilian casualties resulting from operations impunity. beatings.592 civilians killed and 3. often increasing number of civilian casualties in the after unfair trials. Peace and targeted killings and child rape. while while 70% of civilian casualties were characterizing reports of a peace process as attributed to Taliban and other armed enemy propaganda. ABUSES BY INTERNATIONAL AND AFGHAN Threats. The group Islamic State (IS) in at least four majority did not receive any humanitarian provinces of Afghanistan. The first three months of the capital. 2015 were the most violent of any Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan protection. prevention. the Taliban leader. The US/International Security Assistance Force Afghan Parliament amended the Mass (ISAF) combat forces. he called for injured in the first six months of 2015. Ghani Ahmadzai On 29 July the government proclaimed that Mullah Omar. illegal detention. and 16% to pro-Afghan Interior estimated that there were some 7. In majority of whom were associated with armed September the Taliban took control of most groups Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the of Kunduz province. The Taliban increasingly foreign fighters across Afghanistan. Following this insurgency and criminal activity worsening announcement a string of attacks occurred in across the country. Kabul. although the extent assistance from the government. attacks by pro-government rights groups feared would further restrict forces. Taliban unity and continued jihad. with the government failing to by international military forces decreased investigate cases and bring those suspected considerably.AFGHANISTAN Security. Of a total of 4. On 30 June the There were reports of violations carried out government launched its first National Action by the Afghan Local Police (ALP). In his first public statement recorded 1. particularly the Afghan national freedom of expression.000 people were There were reports of the emergence of the internally displaced due to the conflict.180 government forces. and relief and Head of state and government: Muhammad Ashraf recovery. between 7 and 10 August. died in April There was growing insecurity with 2013 in Pakistan. 796 were allegedly caused by pro- On 19 April the unity government completed government forces – a 60% rise compared to its cabinet which received the Parliament’s the same period in 2014. The UN Omar’s deputy since 2010. the attacked soft and civilian targets.

including 1.436 civilian On 28 September. Threats. run by Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) in On 23 February. 33 injuries commanders on its bases. mostly Kunduz province in the north. killings were rife. destroying parts of the building. UNAMA were found in Uruzgan province. Civilians continued to be subject to killings. in violation of On 3 October US forces bombed a hospital international humanitarian law. held in bombing. intimidation and attacks against Most civilian casualties attributed to the human rights defenders continued in a Taliban and other armed groups were the climate of impunity. carried out by armed groups (3. among them at least 100 Taliban same period in 2014). killing 40 members of the Hazara community.000 was destroyed. the Taliban took control casualties. killing her seven-year-old Amnesty International Report 2015/16 61 . The fate of the remaining 11 was unknown at the end of the ABUSES BY ARMED GROUPS year. government prisons. and UNAMA attributed an organizations. suspected of criminal responsibility to justice. and 82 abductions over nine months in 2015. discrimination and violence than men the Taliban reinstated their policy of because they were perceived as defying deliberately targeting individuals associated cultural and social norms. judicial guarantees.the New York Times reported that the US the International NGO Safety Organization military ignored complaints by its personnel of (INSO). continued deliberate attacks on civilians and grenade attacks and assassinations by state civilian objects. According to its official statements. These did not exhaust all casualties. 19 were released in exchange for for an independent investigation into the relatives of Uzbek insurgents. Women participating in pressure plate improvised explosive devices public life were at greater risk of (IEDs). according to fired at her car. amounting to war crimes. including 14 hospital staff. releasing nearly 700 injured. She was previously schools were closed down in Nangahar attacked in 2013 by Taliban insurgents who province due to threats from IS. resulting in 33 deaths. representing a 3% decrease from the prisoners. MSF called On 11 May. were people. using weapons such as and non-state actors.223 of Kunduz city. UNAMA documented 10 civilian casualties caused by groups HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS associated with IS. affiliated commanders. Attacks by the Taliban and other armed On 10 April the bodies of five Afghan insurgent groups continued to cause the employees of the NGO Save the Children majority of civilian casualties. The Taliban and other armed groups Human rights defenders suffered bombings. 30 civilians. The Taliban claimed members.213 dead and 2. although President Ghani armed groups as a result of trials by ad hoc pledged to take steps to reduce civilian justice structures. with the government or seen by them as On 8 January Senator Rohgul Khairzad was “pernicious”. and abducted by armed groups in Zabul province. Much public and private property responsibility for incidents causing over 1. Accountability for unlawful killings by pro. They had attributed 70% of civilian deaths and injuries been abducted on 1 March in an attempt to between 1 January and 30 June to attacks exchange them for Taliban prisoners. government forces and groups was virtually hostage-taking and arbitrary punishments by non-existent. including that of media civilian casualties. Reports of rapes and unlawful additional 971 civilian casualties to Taliban. with the government result of violations of international failing to investigate cases and bring those humanitarian law. seriously injured when her car was fired upon Eleven NGO-run clinics and nine public by unknown assailants. INSO recorded 150 attacks on aid the sexual abuse of young boys by ALP workers. primarily in the east.

poor reported in Afghanistan due to insecurity. in 2016.000 cases of violence against 2014. Despite the released. nearly three the year the Ministry of Women’s Affairs million Afghans were refugees. where overcrowding. and 30 in provinces. the majority of (MOWA) was drafting a further regulation to whom were living in Iran and Pakistan. and the Ministry of Counter of Kunduz province in a surprise attack. At the end of UNHCR. were reportedly displaced mainly because of On 19 March. Farkhunda Malikzada was the armed conflict and insecurity across killed by a mob near the Shah-e Du Afghanistan. According to sexual harassment of women. Narcotics. No one claimed Affairs.000 people an 11-year-old girl. announced four women among vehicle which also killed her driver and the nominees to lead the Ministry of Women’s injured four others. due one million Afghans were internally displaced to be sent to the Ministry of Justice for review in Afghanistan. reporting violence. According to the UN Office for Coordination On 12 February. The government reported that Shamshira shrine in Kabul after being falsely some 20. and increased the prevalence of communicable traditional practices which combined to and chronic diseases such as malaria and discourage victims and their families from hepatitis. The government took steps to improve On 16 February Angiza Shinwari. launch by the government of the National The Ministry of Women’s Affairs registered Internally Displaced People Policy in February more than 4. Following a presidential decree of 2 The armed conflict.daughter and brother. Social Affairs. Martyrs and On 28 September the Taliban took control Disabled. Ministry of Labour. while others were forced into introduced in December 2014 by the Ministry hiding. which numbers of refugees and internally displaced criminalizes and penalizes certain acts of persons. The PWCs were fled the city. police in Balkh arrested of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 75 police women councils searches for media personnel and women (PWCs) had been established – 45 in Ministry human rights defenders allegedly named on a of Interior directorates and Kabul police hit-list. insecurity and natural January. her 11-year-old VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS daughter was left paralyzed. 144 women and girls who had been disasters were the main causes of detained for so-called “moral” crimes were displacement in Afghanistan. On 21 provincial council member in Nangahar March President Ghani and Abdullah province and defender of women’s rights. second only to Syria. the Ministry of Higher Education. Many women human rights defenders districts. death for her murder. Chief Executive Officer of died following a targeted bomb attack on her Afghanistan. of Interior with the aim of strengthening and building capacity among female police REFUGEES AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED officers. Abdullah. while others received 62 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . at the end of 2015 many thousands of women in the last nine months of the year. a women’s participation in governance.000 people were internally displaced accused of burning a copy of the Qur’an. Nearly prevent discrimination in the workplace. On 14 September the Afghan cabinet PEOPLE approved the Regulation Against Sexual Afghanistan continued to produce vast Harassment of Women and Girls. people were still living in camps and Violence against women was severely under- makeshift shelters. lack hygiene and harsh weather conditions of a functioning government or judiciary. There were reports of house-to-house By 20 August. in the first six people in connection with the marriage of six months of 2015 some 103. A as a result of the conflict in Kunduz province primary court in Kabul sentenced four men to in September. the UN refugee agency. the responsibility and no arrests were made.

The government failed to investigate those suspected of responsibility for attacks against ALBANIA journalists and media workers. overruled the four death sentences and While conflict-related detainees held in US reduced them to prison sentences of between custody were transferred to the Afghan 10 and 20 years. as “running away”. a parliamentary committee reported the authorities continued to arrest and detain widespread corruption among police. penalty. after against journalists and media workers. elsewhere. results were still awaited of the during attacks. On 28 January Republic of Albania Parliament amended the Mass Media Law Head of state: Bujar Nishani and limited media freedom. a lack of On 9 August a woman accused of adultery accountability for illegal detentions. while others were forced to review of nearly 400 death row cases ordered leave their homes and seek sanctuary by President Ghani in 2014. On remained inadequate. Roma and Egyptian communities were denied adequate housing and subjected to TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT forced evictions. kidnapping and the majority being committed by government armed robbery. working committee to launch a National Protection against domestic violence Action Plan for the elimination of torture. individuals arbitrarily without due process. By the end of state actors. a media watchdog in On 28 February Raees Khudaidad was Afghanistan. representatives. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION DEATH PENALTY Journalists in Afghanistan continued to face Afghanistan continued to apply the death violence and censorship by state and non. Nai.000 people joined opposition-led that were not offences under Afghan law. On 2 July an appeal court poor sanitation facilities. while June. Prison conditions remained subjects of surveillance by the communist-era below international standards with state security service (Sigurimi) to access overcrowding. Despite these developments. remained on EU membership could commence. prosecutors and the judiciary. On 4 May the government established a driven by poverty. Afghanistan’s intelligence agency.prison sentences. often after unfair trials. reform the judiciary and combat torture and other ill-treatment. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 63 . which affected mainly A law introduced in May enabled the women and girls. with being charged with murder. insufficient food and water and their files. which journalists Head of government: Edi Rama and human rights groups feared would further restrict freedom of expression. issued an BACKGROUND order reiterating the prohibition on torture. In December Individuals were frequently detained for acts around 50. 25 June the National Directorate of Security. In prevalent throughout the prison system. as well as corruption and organized crime before talks incommunicado detention. sought asylum in the EU. The European Commission in November particularly its use during police required Albania to protect fundamental interrogations. authorities in December 2014. including police and security agencies. ill- was hanged during a tribal court hearing by treatment and torture of detainees by US the Taliban in Badakhshan province. as well as elected officials. personnel in Afghanistan persisted. reported 73 cases of attacks hanged at Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul. rights. Thousands of Albanians. Some journalists were killed the year. protests against government corruption and They included so-called “moral” crimes such rising poverty.

Police had used excessive force against demonstrators. 70 mainly Romani families’ houses were forcibly disappeared under the communist demolished in Selita. an ethnic Albanian from Macedonia. was not a Islamic State (IS). with 251 applicants withdrawing their application. August. warrants for members of the Republic Guard. which allowed In March. constitutional order” after a peaceful In July. Many Roma and Egyptians. TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT Civil society activist Nderim Lushi was Ill-treatment of suspects in police stations was convicted in December of organizing an illegal widespread. Aleks Nika. following her investigations criminal offence. Thousands of State police reported 1. most had pleaded guilty.ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES between January and June. Several other deaths of three protesters. or in HOUSING RIGHTS establishing the whereabouts of his remains. In Tirana 64 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . government pressure on and his deputy Agron Kuliçaj to execute arrest media outlets and threats against journalists. FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND IMPUNITY ASSEMBLY In June the prosecutor found that the failure Media independence was compromised by of former State Police director Hysni Burgaj self-censorship. an Office of Missing Persons was “illegal constructions” to be demolished. In established to locate the remains of Albanians July. people leaving social care. remained housing. defendants were The authorities made no progress in bringing convicted of family violence in 185 out of 190 to justice those responsible for the enforced prosecutions. Many Roma were unable to at large after absconding from an extradition regularize their homes under the 2014 law on hearing in the UK. as well as young Former state security agent Ilir Kumbaro. eviction in advance of road construction. Norway on the basis that the authorities were unable to protect them. which rejected giving rise to 993 requests for civil protection 99% of their claims. Journalist Aurora Koromani received police who were alleged to have shot and killed four protection in June after receiving threats protesters in an anti-government believed to originate from the armed group demonstration in January 2011.696 cases of family Albanians applied for asylum in EU countries. only 118 were granted. disappearance in 1995 of Remzi Hoxha. Tirana. Of 406 requests submitted to courts deported back to Albania from Germany and in the capital Tirana between January and Sweden. during a forced government between 1944 and 1991. or not attending court due to pressure from their abusers or family members. REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS Albania remained a transit country for VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS migrants and refugees.762 in Germany. thousands were orders. Despite convictions for the into IS recruitment in Albania. the legalization of property. failed to meet the convicted in 2012 for the torture and income threshold required to access social subsequent death of Remzi Hoxha. detention. violence in the first six months of the year. police and medical staff failed in assembly and inciting violence “against the their duty to report such incidents. including 54. the Ombudsperson reported on demonstration in May in Kukës which called chronic overcrowding and inadequate on the government to cancel electricity debts conditions and health care in places of and encouraged citizens not to leave Albania. impunity persisted journalists sought asylum in the EU and in the case of the fourth.

unprecedented protests took on all demonstrations in Algiers. prosecuting and imprisoning received prison terms of between one and two peaceful protesters. including those protesting in solidarity with detained People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria activists.000 Algerian dinars (around In January. six had their prison terms suspended on appeal.ALGERIA southern city of Laghouat by arresting peaceful activists and protesters. activists and others on insult. a court in Oran convicted allow visits to Algeria by some UN human Mohamed Chergui of insulting the prophet rights bodies and experts.1 based on foreign academic research about Islam. who arresting. counter-terrorism. The armed group al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION (AQIM) said it carried out an attack in the The authorities prosecuted journalists.3 BACKGROUND The authorities continued to enforce a ban In January. enforced disappearances and freedom of complained about an article he submitted association. Legislators amended the Penal appeal. a court in Tamanrasset sentenced carried out. The authorities persisted in their refusal to In February. At the human rights abuses in the 1990s end of the year. demonstrators by arresting people as they In July. at least 25 people were killed and arrived at the protest location and detaining others were injured in communal violence in them for several hours. the M‘zab Valley. no executions were October. killed 14 soldiers. some of which were reduced on journalists. association and assembly. a group campaigning on behalf of forces and armed opposition groups in victims of enforced disappearance during the various areas. Some of those arrested were Head of state: Abdelaziz Bouteflika prosecuted on charges including participation Head of government: Abdelmalek Sellal in “unarmed gatherings”. the newspaper El Djoumhouria. of El Oued sentenced five peaceful protesters Perpetrators of torture and other serious to prison terms of up to four months. including Mohamed Rag. seven protesters to one-year prison terms. according to media reports. In February. In March. Courts handed pending an appeal to Algeria’s High Court. including those Muhammad after Mohamed Chergui’s with mandates on torture. police forcibly dispersed a Algiers. 600km south of the capital In June. defamation and other similar charges. peaceful protest by members of SOS There were clashes between the security Disparus. activists and years. they remained at liberty continued to evade justice. internal armed conflict of the 1990s. northern province of Ain Defla in July that cartoonists. The authorities stated that the security forces including elderly relatives of those who killed 109 alleged members of armed groups disappeared and whose fate the authorities while disclosing few details of the have never disclosed. Belkacem Khencha and other members The authorities restricted freedoms of of the National Committee for the Defence of expression. circumstances in which they were killed. His prison term protests against unemployment in the was later reduced to a one-year suspended Amnesty International Report 2015/16 65 . a court in the southern city Code to protect women from violence. the authorities responded to US$1.2 In down death sentences. employer. the Rights of the Unemployed (CNDDC).900) in his absence. He received a three-year prison term FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY and a fine of 200. place in southern Algeria against fracking – security forces prevented a peaceful the hydraulic fracture of rock to extract shale gathering in support of anti-fracking gas.

He right of access to lawyers during pre-charge had previously been cleared by a court of first detention. The law. a leading member of the him under house arrest for more than three Algerian League for the Defence of Human weeks before lifting the restriction and Rights (LADDH). Following his arrest in Switzerland. for which they had convicted handing him over to the national gendarmerie him in his absence based on a previous and military security for interrogation.7 Bayadh. including Kameleddine Fekhar and other activists supporting the autonomy of the M’zab region. penalty. suspended or dissolved released on bail in September after more than association. and placed them in pre-trial detention for 66 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .6 25 people in Ghardaia in July. he remained Following deadly clashes in the northern at liberty pending an appeal before the High Saharan region. Abdelhai Abdessamia was to an unregistered. instance. (around US$190) and six months’ who failed to respond to registration imprisonment – reduced to four months on applications. He worked for the Djaridati and Mon Journal newspapers HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS until the authorities shut them down in 2013 In August. the security forces arrested Court. imposes wide-ranging and arbitrary to an unarmed gathering”. a court in El Oued sentenced Associations seeking legal registration under anti-corruption and CNDDC activist Rachid Law 12-06. the government decreed prison term and a fine of 500.000 Algerian amendments to the Code of Criminal dinars (around US$4. a court in El Oued sentenced JUSTICE SYSTEM cartoonist Tahar Djehiche to a six-month In July. human rights lawyer Rachid Mesli. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION In March. Tunisia and other”. in the western city of El allowing him to return to Switzerland. His arrest came after Algerian 2013.4 months’ imprisonment and a fine. which took effect in appeal – after it convicted him of “incitement 2012.600) for “insulting” Procedure. including Amnesty International Aouine to a fine of 20. At the end of the year. Morocco. including human rights the authority of the state or against each defenders from Algeria. He remained in detention at the end In December. charges that could incur the death Mauritania. security forces arrested activist by torture.5 In November. against which he appealed. punishable by up to six Facebook. in breach of Algerian law. to belong Journalist. Italian authorities arrested Algerian for reporting on President Bouteflika’s health. broadening the range of President Bouteflika and “inciting” others to alternatives to pre-charge and pre-trial join a shale gas protest in a comment Tahar detention. Suspects were granted a specific Djehiche made on his Facebook page.000 Algerian dinars Algeria. were left in limbo by the authorities. The charge related restrictions on the registration of associations to a sarcastic comment that he had posted on and makes it a crime.sentence. but not during interrogation. two years in pre-trial detention. judicial police held Abdelhai authorities requested his extradition on Abdessamia in arbitrary detention for six charges of providing phones and cameras to days. “confession” that he said had been obtained In October. Italy’s judicial authorities placed Hassan Bouras. founder of Authorities accused him of helping to the Geneva-based human rights NGO smuggle the newspapers’ editorial director out Alkarama and a political refugee in of Algeria to Tunisia. before terrorist groups. local authorities banned a of the year while under investigation for training event in Algiers for members of the “insulting a public institution” and “inciting Maghreb Co-ordination of Human Rights citizens or inhabitants to take up arms against Organizations.

The NGOs. Algeria: Halt repression of fracking and unemployment protesters IMPUNITY (MDE 28/2122/2015) 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of the 5. No executions In December. 28/3044/2015) The authorities continued to fail to investigate thousands of enforced disappearances and other serious human rights violations and ANGOLA abuses. 28/2951/2015) 4. peacefully expressing their views. They remained in detention at Courts imposed dozens of death sentences. legislators amended the Penal have been carried out since 1993. assembly were severely restricted. 15 of them were placed under Sub-Saharan African refugees and migrants house arrest on 18 December. Algeria: End relentless targeting of government critics (MDE age of 18 if they marry their victim.investigation on suspicion of terrorism and DEATH PENALTY inciting hatred. Algerian and state security legislation to harass. and provide effective remedies to victims’ families. The UN Human Rights Council needs to put in place effective remained inadequately protected against measures to evaluate and follow up on non-co-operation with Special gender-based violence in the absence of a Procedures (IOR 40/1269/2015) comprehensive law. Algerian human rights defender at risk of extradition must be armed conflict of the 1990s and released immediately (MDE 28/2313/2015) subsequently. including in cases dating back to the internal WOMEN’S RIGHTS armed conflict of the 1990s. the end of the year. mostly on murder and terrorism charges.8 However. arbitrarily arrest and detain individuals for seekers. in particular at the southern borders. security forces arrested migrants and asylum. women 1. association and forces. Algeria: End relentless targeting of government critics (MDE Charter on Peace and National 28/2951/2015) Reconciliation. The continued to enter Algeria irregularly. bring perpetrators to justice. Republic of Angola Families of those forcibly disappeared who Head of state and government: José Eduardo dos continued to seek truth and justice were Santos subject to surveillance and repeated summons for questioning by the security Freedoms of expression. under which the security 6. according to press reports. while the Penal Code 2. At least 16 prisoners of conscience were in REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS detention. Code. Algeria: Global reform needed to combat gender-based violence (MDE conduct during the conflict was criminalized. Algeria: End relentless targeting of government critics (MDE forces obtained immunity from prosecution 28/2951/2015) for crimes committed during the internal 7. and public criticism of their 8. mostly authorities used criminal defamation laws through the southern borders. negatively affected the economy. Algerian authorities reported that nationals of Niger within the group were then “voluntarily” BACKGROUND returned to Niger in co-operation with The global drop in the price of oil during 2015 Nigerien authorities. and to In April. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 67 . criminalizing physical violence against a spouse and indecent assaults on women carried out in public. The government 500 sub-Saharan migrants near the border passed a new law restricting the activities of with Niger. Algeria: Halt repression of fracking and unemployment protesters continued to give immunity from criminal (MDE 28/2122/2015) prosecution to men who rape girls under the 3. the Algerian army arrested around restrict press freedom.

Angola rejected these imprisonment). At the end of transferred to a private hospital in Luanda. On a number of and 24 June in the capital. solid food. where he accepted an The authorities continued to imprison intravenous saline drip on 11 October but no government critics. which are judiciary. assessed under the Universal Periodic Review Three activists faced additional charges: (UPR) in 2014. in occasions police detained and beat protesters connection with a peaceful meeting they before leaving them many kilometres away attended to discuss politics and governance from where they were seized. for illegal change of name the 226 recommendations made and stated (maximum penalty one month’s that it would give further consideration to the imprisonment). in organizing a peaceful demonstration on 14 the 15 activists were placed under house March. and was arrest. considered state security crimes. human rights defenders. No evidence of this FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY association or of José Marcos Mavungo’s Although by law demonstrations do not involvement in producing the flyers was require authorization. was transferred to the prison PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE hospital of São Paulo. Security forces used excessive force Eduardo dos Santos. at least 16 prisoners of conscience ended his hunger strike after 36 days. including Four of the 15 activists went on hunger recommendations to refrain from using strike on 20 September for several days to criminal defamation laws to restrict the right protest against their unlawful detention. On 9 to freedom of expression. The charges. assembly and association shrank as human Lawyers for the 15 were only officially rights defenders and government critics were informed of the charges on 30 September. In March of documents (maximum penalty eight years’ 2015. The trial of the activists started on 16 On 14 September human rights defender November and breached numerous José Marcos Mavungo was sentenced to six international fair trial standards. peaceful with the same crimes.3 On 18 December. The trial was scheduled to continue on accused of association with a group of men 11 January 2016. When demonstrations did take place. but were not detained. He the year. Angola had accepted 192 of Manuel Nito Alves. imprisonment). arrested and subjected to criminal beyond the 90 days’ pre-trial detention period prosecutions by an increasingly politicized permitted by law. who had remained on hunger strike. police in Luanda beat and 68 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . and Osvaldo Caholo for theft association and peaceful assembly. including documents (maximum penalty eight years’ many related to freedoms of expression. the authorities presented. place.1 They were formally against people who criticized the government. including the years’ imprisonment on charges of rebellion.2 On 15 October. nor were the other men brought to frequently refused to allow them to take trial. he was political activists and journalists. Fifteen male youth activists were arrested police often arbitrarily arrested and detained and detained by security forces between 20 peaceful protesters. found with explosives and flyers the day before the demonstration. the day he was arrested. charged on 16 September with preparatory exposed corruption or denounced human acts of rebellion and of plotting against the rights violations. right to a public hearing and the right to be a state security crime. were in detention. recommendations. Two women activists were charged the rights to freedom of expression. October. The space for the exercise of President. Luanda. Luaty Beirão for falsification of remaining 34 recommendations. concerns under the presidency of José On 29 July. each carry a When its human rights record was penalty of up to three years’ imprisonment. 15 under house arrest. Luaty Beirão. He had been involved tried without undue delay.

The law imposed rigorous October he was formally charged with restrictions on how organizations must attempting to collaborate with foreigners to register and report their finances. These the right to freedom of association. and several people were briefly detained (The average time for an appeal to be heard by the police before being released without is two years.) charge. to suspend the activities of national and The charges were based on an allegation that international NGOs on suspicion of money Arão Bula Tempo had invited journalists from laundering. To avoid suspended for two years. demonstration organized by José Marcos Article 15 limits the ability of NGOs to receive Mavungo (see above). Attorney Arão Bula Tempo. he was and utilize funding is a critical component of not allowed to leave Cabinda. demanding the release of the 15 youth especially those critical of the government. an anti- used batons and dogs against them and beat corruption and human rights journalist. water cannons and dogs. Angola: Detained activists must be immediately released (News story. supporters of the 15 youth generals and two mining companies of activists held a vigil at Sagrada Família complicity in human rights abuses committed Church in Luanda. 2. The ability to seek. was detained on 14 The government enacted a new law covering March in the province of Cabinda and the registration of NGOs. held. 20 October) 3. On 22 74/15 of 23 March. Angola: Prisoner of conscience in critical condition must be released immediately (News story. In addition. Diamonds.arrested participants at a peaceful protest FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION calling for the release of the 15 youth activists The authorities continued to use criminal detained in June. Both offences are classified the Public Prosecutor’s Office is empowered as crimes against the security of the state. He took part. Those protesting included the criminal conduct he made after the mothers and wives of some of the detained publication of his 2011 book. the police arrived at the vigil with was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. His lawyers lodged conflict with the police. Angola: Kangaroo court undermines judicial independence as trial of Amnesty International Report 2015/16 69 . imprisonment). date had been set for his trial by the end of 22 June) the year. restrictions violated Arão Bula Tempo’s right to freedom of movement and his right to the highest attainable standard of health. the vigil short. Chair of the FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION Cabinda Bar Association. guns. The next day another vigil was but it had not been heard by the end of 2015. briefly detained before being released without The conviction was based on allegations of charge. activists were assaulted by armed police who Rafael Marques de Morais. Presidential Decree conditionally released on 13 May. According to those who in the diamond fields of Lundas province. However. Arão Bula Tempo’s and utilize resources and to carry out their health deteriorated towards the end of the activities as they determine best to achieve year and he wished to seek health care their objectives. Under the new decree. The new constrain the Angolan state (maximum law’s provisions could stifle the ability of penalty five years’ imprisonment) and NGOs and other civil society organizations to rebellion (maximum penalty 12 years’ organize and operate. in which he accused military On 11 October. or illegal or harmful acts against the Republic of Congo to cover a Angola’s sovereignty and integrity. Several people were convicted of slanderous denunciation in May. receive outside Cabinda province. was several of the protesters. defamation laws and state security laws to On 8 August. protesters peacefully suppress peaceful expression of opinions. Blood activists.4 No 1. the participants cut an appeal before the Supreme Court in June.

was found ARGENTINA dead in her apartment. However. GAY. Mauricio and theft. activists enters fourth week (News story. There was little progress in bringing to justice those from the civil. She was the third transgender woman – after Marcela Chocobar and Coty Olmos – to have died in violent Argentine Republic circumstances in one month. language of the Mapuche. leader of La Primavera torture and other ill-treatment were not community (Potae Napocna Navogoh) in investigated. leader of the protocol for the implementation of legal Mapuche community of Winkul Newen in abortions in line with a 2012 ruling by the Neuquén Province. for allegedly seizing land to be overturned. Angola: Further information: Two activists still face TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE 10-15 years in jail (AFR 12/2039/2015) In September. It was the first would guarantee access to legal abortion criminal trial in the region to include an when a pregnancy is the result of rape or intercultural jury and a simultaneous poses a risk to the health or life of the woman interpretation into Mapuzungun. was tried on Supreme Court. 8 December) RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. The Ministry of Health published a new In October. continued to face criminal proceedings in three separate cases on BACKGROUND charges dating from 2010 of illegal The presidential elections dominated the occupation of land. Discrimination rights of Indigenous Peoples to their ancestral against Indigenous Peoples remained a lands and to participate in the management concern. Urgent Action. Reports of Félix Díaz. business and legal 70 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . In June Macri was elected President after a second the defence called for the decision to try him ballot on 22 November. a well-known Argentinian LGBTI activist. Daiana Sacayán. by the end of the year the decision SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS was still pending. BISEXUAL. The protocol had not disproportionate charges for resisting unlawful received ministerial endorsement by the end eviction from her ancestral territory. bringing the total pending at the end of the year. He denied the allegations. 4. More than half of jurisdictions acquitted of the charge of attempting to lacked comprehensive hospital protocols that murder a police officer. She was of the year. resistance to authority political landscape during the year. Formosa Province. number of those sentenced between 2006 and 2015 to 142. By the end of Head of state and government: Mauricio Macri the year nobody had been charged over their (replaced Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in deaths. A woman from a deprived neighbourhood in Tierra del Fuego was released on bail after TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE being charged in 2013 with having a Public trials were held for crimes against clandestine abortion. the native or girl. November) INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS Women and girls faced obstacles in Although the Constitution recognizes the accessing legal abortions. She had faced humanity perpetrated during the military restrictions in accessing a legal abortion in regime between 1976 and 1983. Relmu Ñamku. The outcome of the trial was eight new convictions. these rights were rarely crimes during the military dictatorship respected. There were her locality. (1976 to 1983) stood trial. People suspected of committing of natural resources.

was severely beaten after Amnesty International Report 2015/16 71 . near-asphyxiation with a plastic bag or country were a planned rise in electricity by submersion in water. alert”. and the during arrest and in prisons in the provinces authorities’ attempts to clamp down on their of Buenos Aires. prosecutor in the case of the questionable charges. Among those accused of conscientious objectors. member of a political group critical of the There was no system in place to protect government. FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY The year was marked by growing public TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT discontent and widespread protests around a There were reports of the use of torture range of social and political issues.sectors. were made available for AMIA attack began. questions about responsibility delays in establishing the National System for remained even in cases where significant the Prevention of Torture. organizers and participants. Four of these orders remained in also allow the incumbent President to remain force and the subject of an Interpol “red in power after his second term. with Head of state: Serzh Sargsyan representatives from both the Chamber and Head of government: Hovik Abrahamyan Senate. Torture and other ill-treatment. concerns Iranian nationals and a Lebanese national for were raised by the opposition that this could questioning. disrupted. including with the use of excessive force by police. continued at the end of the year. a information relating to reports of torture. that would allow the President to remain in Reports of torture and other ill-treatment power beyond the second term. Armenians The main case relating to the attack has been voted for constitutional amendments that stalled since 2006 when a judge issued transferred executive power from the orders for the capture and extradition of eight presidency to parliament. To date. In a referendum on 6 December. Iran refused the extradition requests for the eight Iranians. According to the Public Prosecutor’s witnesses to torture. The two issues Methods included the use of electrified cattle prompting the strongest protests across the prods. in which 85 people were killed. However. Santa Fe and Chubut. and Buenos Aires. An anti-government 1994 attack on the Jewish Mutual Association protester was reported attacked and beaten. There were further Office. of Argentina (AMIA) building in the capital. introduced into cover-up of the investigation into the 1994 law in 2013. the public hearing into the alternative civilian service. the Chamber of ARMENIA Deputies passed a bill to the Senate Republic of Armenia proposing the creation of a commission. which led to yet IMPUNITY more and larger protests. Protest organizers The investigation into the death in January of faced arrest and criminal prosecution on Alberto Nisman. On 23 September. New provisions for In August. only one member of the judiciary and two businessmen have been convicted. to identify economic and financial interests that had colluded with the military Largely peaceful protests were repeatedly dictatorship. Smbat Hakobian. and the constitutional amendments isolation. the cover-up were a former judge and prosecutor and high-ranking officials. impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators. lacked a national system for recording On 21 September. evidence had been gathered. remained a concern. and prolonged prices. BACKGROUND including former President Carlos Menem. in June and were not investigated and Argentina still in October respectively.

peaceful protesters and largely peaceful On 9 April. This Excessive use of force was despite the fact that the organizers had On repeated occasions. ensued after police in riot gear used Local human rights groups highlighted the truncheons and fired tear gas and stun practice by which law enforcement officials grenades. An investigation into a similar attack announced their plans to hold an anti- against three protesters in 2014 reached no government rally on 24 April. Investigation into the incident was opened but was still ongoing at RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. some 100 activists marked the sit-in protest in the centre of the capital. 237 people were detained and then objectors to work in public service instead of released without charge. Armenia started implementing the legal In response. approximately remained a concern. clashes for the perpetrators. custody and in prisons. while the protesters threw stones in suspected of using torture were often response.returning from an anti-government FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION demonstration in Yerevan. sustaining head Five members of the Founding Parliament injuries and broken ribs. TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE On 19 June. confiscating and damaging their equipment. On 23 June. to protest against the Torture and other ill-treatment in police murder of a family of six by a Russian soldier.1 72 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . or higher. thousands started a multi-day On 17 May. 23 June) ongoing at the end of the year. remand them for two months. but the criminal proceedings against from police and pro-government groups. prompted by the government’s Transphobia in a closed venue. some protesters threw water amendments from 2013 on alternative civilian bottles but otherwise the crowd remained service. 1. On 15 January. allowing conscripted conscientious peaceful. protesters and three police officers were position in a different police department. remained a concern. reported wounded. Armenia: Investigate alleged police abuses after protesters doused Investigation into the incident was still with water cannon and arrested (News story. International Day against Homophobia and Yerevan. Police opened an opposition movement were arrested on investigation and detained three men as charges of planning mass unrest after they suspects. CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS including dousing people with water cannon. for which they later issued an official apology. Armenians marked as the centenary anniversary of the Armenian genocide. the end of the year. Police also used serving in the armed forces. announcement of a planned increase in Discrimination against LGBTI individuals electricity tariffs. a court in Yerevan ruled to gatherings with excessive force and arrests. police blocked thousands from marching towards the Russian TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT Consulate in Gyumri. excessive force against several journalists. and and amid widespread reports of hate speech. Police used excessive force to disperse them. in the absence of 500 demonstrators marched towards the gender-specific anti-discrimination legislation Presidential Administration building. GAY. blocked the road in front of the police cordon. them were not closed. police targeted secured official permission to hold the rally. They were Activists taking part in anti-government released on 4 May. Nine later re-appointed to the same. the day which conclusion in 2015. as well as impunity According to eyewitness reports. Police detained 21 people and removed temporarily from their positions and released them the following day. BISEXUAL. following mass protests in protests continued to face risk of violence Yerevan.

and “manifestly unfair” in its disproportionate mandatory and indefinite detention. Following the protests the interception powers and a law was passed Western Australian government initiated a stripping dual nationals of their Australian consultation process. REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS Australia continued its punitive approach to Indigenous children were 24 times more likely asylum-seekers arriving by boat by pushing to be detained than non-Indigenous children. The Western Australian detention facilities could face criminal Premier stated that up to 150 communities proceedings under new legislation. laws allowed for children aged claims. represented by Sir Indigenous adults were 14 times more Peter Cosgrove likely than non-Indigenous adults to be Head of government: Malcolm Turnbull (replaced Tony incarcerated and deaths in custody Abbott in September) continued. some children were detained with alcohol in a regulated place. citizenship for terrorism-related activities. who were more as offshore processing on Nauru and in likely to be targeted by the laws. Papua New custody yet to be heard by the Western Guinea had yet to finalize a temporary visa. refugees. Staff responsibility for essential and municipal and contractors who complained about services in remote Indigenous communities to human rights violations at immigration state governments. Rights of the Child. widened existing mandatory sentencing by which documented allegations of rape and introducing mandatory sentences for sexual assault – including of children – as Amnesty International Report 2015/16 73 . Those assessed as prisoners died in two Western Australia refugees on Nauru were denied the right to prisons during September. returning them to countries As the age of criminal responsibility in of origin without proper assessment of asylum Australia is 10. creating a risk of refoulement. Australia detained By 30 November. the government released an The Western Australian government independent review of the Nauru centre. refoulement. as well impact on Indigenous people. Australian Coroner. In March. including 70 children. them back at sea. an Indigenous man in the Northern Territory died of heart failure in a Australia jailed Indigenous people at a police watch house. the Federal government handed limbo unable to leave Manus Island. Three Papua New Guinea. three hours after being disproportionate rate to non-Indigenous taken into custody on suspicion of drinking people. Australia continued its hard-line criticized the paperless arrest system under policies towards asylum-seekers. Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II. and by tightening the mandatory sentencing counting rules for Australia non-violent home burglaries. widespread “security” legislation extended data protests ensued. 926 people were children with adults in Queensland and detained in Papua New Guinea and 543 provided limited separation between detained people remained in the “open” facility on children and adult prisoners in at least one Nauru. November and settle in Australia and offered temporary December. or by 10 and 11 to be detained in every jurisdiction transferring them to Australian-run facilities in in violation of the UN Convention on the Nauru or Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island. In May. including which the man was taken into custody as pushing back boats.AUSTRALIA aggravated home burglaries for adults and children aged 16 and 17. The coroner adults. leaving many people in a legal In June. detention centre in the Northern Territory. adding to the list of deaths in visas or residency in Cambodia. One prisoner died in a to be granted to those recognized as New South Wales prison in December. New may be closed as a result.

5 million) for specific expenses. to and with limited procedural safeguards.852 people Human Rights Act and to end mandatory detained in onshore immigration detention detention of asylum-seekers. Parliament passed legislation stripping those In June. 600 asylum claims would be processed “within a week”. despite the government’s pledge in August 2014 to end the detention of children. country by the end of November – a It also proposed legislation that would allow remarkable increase on previous years. Indonesian officials alleged UN Universal Periodic Review. relocate refugees there from its offshore Legislation was passed authorizing the immigration processing centre on Nauru. It also announced that the remaining Middle East. including one directly to Vietnam in recommendations but despite this in August a July. They included 104 children. additional A$40 million (US$28 million) in aid Australian dual nationals risked losing to Cambodia. four refugees were transferred to with dual nationality of their Australian Cambodia as part of a deal signed in citizenship on the basis of suspicion of September 2014 where Australia paid an involvement in terrorist-related activities. carrying a combined total of 633 government accepted all of the people. mass surveillance of personal metadata. By the end of December COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY processing still had not been completed. including lethal force. The government 74 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . A Senate Inquiry was against Torture and its failure to address ongoing at the end of the year.well as cases of harassment and physical since December 2013 it had pushed back 20 assault (see Nauru entry). who speak out about human rights abuses in immigration Over 85. which includes Republic of Austria prison sentences for government staff and Head of state: Heinz Fischer contractors. Australia Australia continued its policy of indefinite received recommendations to introduce a mandatory detention.000 people sought asylum in the detention. In November. including health and child Head of government: Werner Faymann welfare professionals. Australia Australia paid people-smugglers US$31. Australia’s human rights record November. In July the government introduced the AUSTRIA Border Force Act 2015. centres as of 1 December. against any reception centre of Traiskirchen were left to individual in detention. medical care and a lack of protection for In August the government announced that unaccompanied minors. immigration detention employees to use Thousands of asylum-seekers in the force. was assessed for the second time under the Also in June. the Nauru government announced that In September the government announced asylum-seekers would no longer be detained that it would resettle an additional 12.000 in the centre. In October to Indonesia. as well as a further A$15 million citizenship without any criminal conviction (US$10. with poor judicial oversight. with 1. The Australian boats. Indigenous incarceration rates. a fifth man INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY was transferred to Cambodia from Nauru in In November. another boat carrying 16 Senate report stated conditions were “not asylum-seekers was reportedly pushed back adequate. which would become an open Syrian refugees in response to the crisis in the facility.000 received criticism for its failure to ratify the in May to return to Indonesia a boat carrying Optional Protocol to the UN Convention 65 asylum-seekers. While one of the four agreed to return from Cambodia to Myanmar in October. appropriate or safe”. while removing sleep in inadequate facilities.

Related treatment and neglect in the penal and disciplinary proceedings were dropped in preventive detention systems. over reparation. often Discriminatory differences remained lasting several years. Rights found that a 16-month delay in dealing seekers and migrants entered Austria during with an application for release from a the year. expanding the government’s DISCRIMINATION powers and allowing it to identify sites to host Following a ruling by the Constitutional Court asylum-seekers should provincial authorities in December 2014.000 refugees and migrants violation of the right to liberty.took insufficient steps to address ill. By mid-August.861 in the same period in force on several occasions. asylum. There were reports that police used excessive compared with 23. Gaps in the Anti-Discrimination recommending measures to address the law remained. persisted. legislation banning same- fail to do so in a timely manner. and other ill-treatment continued to The authorities struggled to offer adequate experience difficulties in obtaining justice and reception conditions. children. between marriage and registered partnerships regarding the minimum age. prison of a 74-year-old man. entered Austria from Hungary. In October. and its increasing length and REFUGEES. temporary asylum and limit family new legislation was enacted to allow women reunification. among others. growing number of people in preventive detention.000 asylum-seekers were hosted in the police were often followed by an inadequate reception centre of Traiskirchen in extremely response by both the police and the judicial poor conditions. were pending at the end of the in a same-sex relationship to access year. Complaints of ill-treatment by the 4. with over 2. The length of the asylum procedure. a constitutional law came into force. the European Court of Human Tens of thousands of refugees. Medical and The government failed to amend the Anti- mental health care remained inadequate. the majority of whom then travelled psychiatric institution submitted by a to Germany. sleeping outdoors. Amendments sex couples from adopting children other than to the asylum law. A taskforce on preventive detention authorities’ failure to respond adequately to established in 2014 by the Minister of Justice reports of ill-treatment by the police published its report in January. ceased to be the government in November to introduce in force at the end of the year. and registered and neglect of detainees in penal and partnerships for same-sex couples. As of the end of November. remained a problem. reproductive medicine. approximately 85. MIGRANTS In July. In Discrimination Law to ensure equal protection March. Access to The government continued to refuse to medical care was insufficient. protection.000. In one weekend in September. In February. Victims of torture 2014. which were proposed by each other’s biological children. ASYLUM-SEEKERS AND frequent imposition for minor offences. The June. Many create a compulsory identification system for unaccompanied minors were left without police officers. criminal proceedings were dropped against all forms of discrimination in the against staff for the prolonged neglect in Stein access to goods and services – including on Amnesty International Report 2015/16 75 . preventive detention systems. including system. naming rights PRISON CONDITIONS and separation. convicted offender in May 2006 constituted a more than 15. Marriage The authorities failed to promptly and remained exclusively reserved for effectively respond to cases of ill-treatment heterosexual partners.500 people POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES had requested asylum in Austria in 2015.

the government cancelled a visit Head of government: Artur Rasizade planned by the European Commission to the country. Several NGO leaders remained in prison while others were forced into exile for BACKGROUND fear of persecution. the founder and leader of the prices. The adoption of the bill was operations in July. International human rights monitors were barred and expelled from the country. as a result of the freezing human rights monitors were barred and of their assets and ongoing harassment – expelled from the country. and its online broadcasting channel. as were several international Republic of Azerbaijan journalists during the European Games. age and comfortably won Parliamentary elections on 1 sexual orientation. The OSCE In March.the basis of religion and belief. in protest at the deteriorating detention at the end of the year. November. The main opposition parties boycotted the elections due to constant COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY harassment by the authorities. The national currency lost a third of its value After 10 months spent inside the Swiss in US dollar terms after the government Embassy to avoid prosecution on trumped-up devalued it in response to plummeting oil charges. human rights defenders. prominent human rights defenders. members. against independent journalists and activists persisted both in the country and abroad. the country on 12 June but was stripped of In June. pending at the end of the year. after the European Parliament called The crackdown on civil society and on the government to release imprisoned persecution of political dissent continued. while the OSCE without adequate oversight by independent representation in Baku had discontinued its authorities. International resume their work. a Police State Protection bill was Office for Democratic Institutions and Human proposed. including for public sector employees. Human AZERBAIJAN Rights Watch and Amnesty International delegates were refused entry and expelled on arrival. In Head of state: Ilham Aliyev September. The economy remained heavily Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety dependent on oil. a major his citizenship. economic cost. the Human rights organizations remained Council of Europe withdrew from the joint unable to resume their work. In October. leading to considerable (IRFS). taken off air. remained The ruling New Azerbaijan party behind bars on fabricated charges at the end 76 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Emin Huseynov. the first European Games. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION while their family members also faced Leading human rights NGOs were unable to harassment and arrests. Baku. Reports of torture including criminal prosecution – of their and other ill-treatment persisted. amid reports of the government pressuring businesses for PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE financial contributions and salary reductions At least 18 government critics. They came at considerable Obyektiv TV. capital. expanding the powers of the Rights (ODIHR) cancelled its election Federal Office for the Protection of the monitoring mission because of restrictions Constitution and the Fight against Terrorism. were held in the 2014. The IRFS office had been international sporting event intended to raided and sealed off by the authorities in showcase Azerbaijan. was allowed to leave price hikes and falling real income. At least 18 working group on human rights issues in prisoners of conscience remained in Azerbaijan. Reprisals human rights situation. imposed by the government.

An investigation European Games. to seven administrative detention for allegedly resisting and a half years on 22 April. and opposition abroad and are critical of the government activist Orkhan Eyyubzade were released faced harassment by the authorities. his brother-in- into the incident was still ongoing at the end law Nazim Aghabayov was arrested on drug- of the year. Meydan TV exiled director and On 26 January. His In May. two days and sentenced to 30 days’ head of the Legal Education Society. Rasim Aliyev. sentences on trumped-up charges of On 16 September. was sentenced to calling for government overthrow and seven and a half years’ imprisonment on 1 incitement of religious hatred. since. he served his full sentence. a blogger who had FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION participated in a street protest in Berlin during All mainstream media remained under President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Germany. harassment. tax reporters from Meydan TV. police arrested three relatives of On 8 August. illegal entrepreneurship. In July. a broadcasting following day. deputy chair of the IRFS former prisoner of conscience Emin Milli Gunay Ismayilova was attacked by an reported receiving threats from the authorities unidentified man in the lobby of her following his disapproving coverage of the apartment building in Baku. an independent. and remained sealed repudiating Emin Milli’s work. journalist and Ganimat Zahid. and both released. threats and violence. deputy Democracy. an exiled journalist and chair of the IRFS. was Ahmadova was released after questioning but sentenced to six and a half years’ Shirin Abbasov was held incommunicado for imprisonment on 16 April. brother of Tural Sadigli. evasion and abuse of authority. and her husband and co-worker chairman of the opposition Popular Front Arif Yunus to eight and a half and seven years Party. online Azeri-language media outlet. police detained Elgiz Sadigli. Arrests of journalists’ relatives co-founder of the Election Monitoring and Relatives of media workers who work from Democracy Studies Centre. four NGO men were arrested and charged in leaders were sentenced to lengthy prison connection with his death. president of the Institute for Peace and On 8 December. government control. Intigam Aliyev. September. also months as a criminal suspect. police apprehended two embezzlement. Prisoners of conscience Bashir Suleymanli. Leyla and Arif posts on Facebook criticizing the government Yunus were given conditional sentences on and calling for peaceful protest and appeal on 9 December. Polad Abdullayev. Rasul Jafarov. It had July and released within a few days after been raided and searched by the authorities several relatives wrote an open letter in December 2014. February. was arrested in connection with his respectively on 13 August. He was remanded for three Investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova. related charges and placed in detention. was severely beaten by a former prisoner of conscience. who runs the group of men in Baku and died in hospital the Turkey-based TV SAAT. On 23 July. independent outlets Elgiz Sadigli was remanded for two months on faced harassment and closure. Fuad Gahramanli. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty cousin. Independent drug-related charges and then released journalists continued to face intimidation. accused of under arrest since 2014. Leyla Yunus. was arrested on 27 decided to close its office in Baku. In June. Six Following their arrest in 2014. On 13 under a presidential pardon on 18 March. following international outcry. His nephew and threats on social media related to his cousin were arrested on 19 and 22 July for Amnesty International Report 2015/16 77 . Facebook post on a famous footballer. resistance. police. Aytaj founder of the Human Rights Club. He had reported receiving channel available online.of the year.

1 prison alive. MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS Prisoner of conscience Ilgar Mammadov In March. detention and deportation of Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II. police arrested and The homicide rate steadily increased in remanded Vakil and Raji Imanovs. Peaceful street protests were prevented or dispersed by police using violence. Torture and other ill-treatment continued to he was sleeping and unarmed when police be committed with impunity for the burst into his house and shot him dead. administrative detention. gas and sound bombs. in violation of the Bahamas’ of prison. On 2 December. perpetrators. Deaths in and charged with illegal entry into the custody were reported. separate raids in different parts of the According to the local press. His lawyer noticed injuries and On 20 March. his lawyer reported that he was norm. EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE On 22 August. a hearing to discuss the situation of migrants’ rights in the Bahamas. a court found him allegations of police abuses remained the not guilty. and chased and On 14 August. the Inter-American bruises on his head and neck when visiting Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held him the next day. represented by migrants and their descendants. Marguerite Pindling In June. and was detained and abuses against migrants. human rights abuses. Vaximar was killed by police at his home in the Gamble Heights community on the island TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT of New Providence. in two unemployment and a weak justice system. including killings. a 25% increase compared with the same FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY period in 2014. According to his family. the Ministry of Education issued a told his lawyer that on 16 October he had school registration policy requiring every child been knocked onto the floor. raising concerns over Commonwealth of the Bahamas arbitrary arrests.resisting police orders and released after BACKGROUND serving 25 and 30 days respectively of A controversial migratory reform was adopted. without having been issued a deportation 78 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Impunity for country. several hundred residents of Excessive use of force. by the city of Mingechevir gathered peacefully to security forces continued to be reported. Bahamian-Haitian Nixon beaten by baton-wielding riot police. 110 murders country. On 13 October. in the absence of effective investigations and prosecutions. arbitrarily deported to Haiti on 7 December. They were violently dispersed by tear may have been extrajudicial executions. Haitian migrant Jean-Marie Head of government: Perry Gladstone Christie Justilien was shot in the neck by an immigration officer during an attempt to arrest There were allegations of arbitrary arrests undocumented migrants. BAHAMAS Local activists working with migrants reported regular round-ups of migrants by immigration officials. also on drug-related charges. in a context of high Meydan TV exiled editor Gunel Movlud. protest against the death of a man in police often in circumstances suggesting that they custody. who warned that he would not leave human rights obligations. were recorded in 2015 as of September. brothers of recent years. Another nephew putting thousands of migrants and their was arrested on 22 July and charged with children born in the Bahamas at risk of drug possession. kicked and to prove their regular status in the country to punched by two prison guards and the head attend school.

the US government lifted its the Attorney General reported that 600 cases embargo on arms sales to the Bahrain were backlogged in the Supreme Court. to extreme overcrowding and a lack of which the security forces often responded appropriate medical attention that could with excessive force. in In March. The police were targeted affect prisoners’ right to life and physical in several bomb explosions. stateless. Khalifa FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND The government continued to curtail ASSOCIATION freedoms of expression. of appropriate oversight mechanisms. the capacity of 18.order and with no possibility to challenge the online and other dissent. Deaths in custody continued to be and another killed an officer in the village of reported. and lack of accountability. In June. which was supported mainly by persons held in the Carmichael Road the Shi’a majority population. Torture and other ill- Discrimination – stateless persons treatment remained common. one killed two integrity. the IACHR requested the Sunni-dominated government and the adoption of precautionary measures for opposition. and in August approved a US$150 million deal to supply military aircraft parts. criminal cases remained a concern. There were Detention Centre. there were nationality. association and The authorities severely curtailed the rights to assembly and cracked down further on freedom of expression and association. led coalition that engaged in the armed conflict in Yemen (see Yemen entry). Scores were In May. and Amnesty International Report 2015/16 79 . BACKGROUND PRISON CONDITIONS Tension remained high between the minority In February. JUSTICE SYSTEM The authorities constructed new facilities in Despite the authorities’ efforts to reform the Dry Dock Prison to hold children aged 15 to justice system in recent years. at the risk of rendering individuals no executions. the Parliament approved migration sentenced to long prison terms after unfair reforms that could potentially prevent the trials. some were prisoners of conscience. A joint statement signed by 35 countries at BAHRAIN the UN Human Rights Council in September expressed serious concern about human rights violations in Bahrain including Kingdom of Bahrain imprisonment of those exercising their rights Head of state: King Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa to freedom of expression. Bahamas: Amnesty International seeks clarification to the authorities ammunition and communications equipment on migration reforms (AMR 14/1264/2015) to Bahrain. In June. remained imprisoned. Eight the Bahamas from accessing Bahamian people were sentenced to death. transferring 300 juvenile offenders from the Bahamas to prosecute and convict in Jaw Prison to Dry Dock in May. including release of imprisoned opposition leaders. National Guard and Bahrain Defence Forces. 1. Opposition leaders decision in court. assembly and Head of government: Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al association. Bahrain joined the Saudi Arabia- particular in police lock-ups. police officers on the island of Sitra in July. This followed concerns on frequent protests by Shi’a demanding the inhumane conditions of detention. Authorities stripped at least 208 children of undocumented migrants born in people of their Bahraini nationality. raising further alarms over the lack Karannah in August.

Secretary General of the Unitary in the media. and prosecuted and imprisoned others on 80 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society. He remained force. or longer for defamation Mohamed. the amendments had not been National Democratic Assemblage (al- enacted by the end of the year. Wahdawi) party. but him under a royal pardon. including Amnesty Twitter about torture in Jaw Prison and Saudi. In September. Manama. the authorities released demonstrations in the capital. “insulting the King” by ripping up a photo of In January. unfair trials in previous years. a court official”. security completing their sentences. In November. affect foreign relations”. encouraging others to “defame” to three A court sentenced Fadhel Abbas Mahdi years’ imprisonment. Some protesters received prison three-year prison sentence to one year for sentences. the Shura Council approved former Secretary General of the National amendments to Article 364 of the Penal Code Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad) party. and in May an appeal court confirmed his earlier six-month FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY sentence for “publicly insulting official The authorities continued to ban all institutions”. religious activists who criticized the Secretary General of the main opposition government through social media or at public party. a police officer shot a protester the King in court in October 2014. gatherings. authorities arrested Ebrahim Sharif. and which would increase the penalty for charged him with “inciting hatred and “insulting parliament. to banned from leaving Bahrain. Sheikh ‘Ali Salman. acquitted the officer. The authorities continued to detain of people which will result in disrupting public prisoners of conscience sentenced after order”. International. disperse protesters. injuring some protesters In October. the In March. the Shura Council. four days after the protests continued in Shi’a villages European Parliament adopted a resolution demanding the release of political prisoners. Others were prosecuted and received a four-year prison term after an convicted for criticizing the late King Abdullah unfair trial on charges that included “public of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led air strikes incitement to loathing and contempt of a sect in Yemen. including tear gas and shotguns. The authorities summoned and interrogated some political opposition leaders. a court upheld the conviction of and bystanders. judges or public interest” to overthrow the regime “by force and illegal two years’ imprisonment.arrested and prosecuted political and vague charges. His trial was ongoing at the end of maximum prison sentence for publicly the year. In July. In June. They also arrested and beat activist Zainab al-Khawaja and reduced her protesters. urging the government to release him and The security forces frequently used excessive other prisoners of conscience. Several In July. contempt of the regime” and attempting to security forces. to five years in prison in June the Cabinet approved regulations which for “spreading false information” after the would penalize media outlets for “spreading party said the Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen false or damaging information that could were a violation of international law. a month after his release from prisoners of conscience were released after prison under a royal pardon. A court carrying a photo of opposition leader Sheikh also upheld her convictions for “destroying ‘Ali Salman at close range in the village of government property” and “insulting a public Bilad al-Qadeem. The authorities continued to prevent or Police rearrested prominent human rights restrict visits to Bahrain by international defender Nabeel Rajab in April for posts on human rights groups. led air strikes in Yemen. and increase the means”.

In December. handcuffed behind his back. The communication with their families for several authorities failed to hold senior officials weeks after the security forces used tear gas accountable for torture and other human and shotguns to quell a disturbance at the rights violations committed during and since prison in March. said he was acquittals. the Interior Ministry revoked the Hundreds of people were convicted in unfair citizenship of 72 of the 208 people. as committing terrorism-related offences. who was with Fadhel Abbas. beaten and causing the death of Fadhel Abbas Muslim threatened with sexual abuse while under Marhoon. including nine children. Police and other security officials also lawyers were not permitted to see the full beat or otherwise abused people when case file. blindfolded. CID officers took Asfoor. who was shot in the head in interrogation by CID officers after his arrest in January 2014. An appeal court reinstated the nationality of nine individuals. convicted of a bombing in March 2014. a 208 people. a court acquitted a police officer of denied access to a toilet. the institution in The authorities revoked the nationality of charge of investigating police abuses. some received death commit to regularizing their legal status as sentences. police stations. the Court of Cassation later refuted this confession and lodged a ordered the retrial of two police officers complaint of torture with the Special convicted of causing the death in custody of Amnesty International Report 2015/16 81 . others were told to surrender said interrogators had forced them to make their passports and identification cards and under torture. illegal gathering or human rights defenders and former MPs. Many well as Bahrainis allegedly fighting with the defendants in terrorism cases were convicted armed group Islamic State (IS). The officer was sentenced to February. including trials on charges of rioting. stateless. were required to IMPUNITY sleep in tents and were denied any A climate of impunity persisted. they were denied access within the Criminal Investigations Directorate to their lawyers until their trial began. UNFAIR TRIALS In January. and their requests to cross-examine arresting them and transporting them to prosecution witnesses were ignored. detainees faced repeated beatings. by him back into detention and again tortured shooting him in the stomach.DEPRIVATION OF NATIONALITY Investigations Unit (SIU). At Jaw Prison. allegations of torture and other ill-treatment related cases. In April. of their court sentenced Hussain Jawad to two years citizenship during the year. in which seven co-defendants were TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT sentenced to life imprisonment. rendering many in prison. their (CID). The Bahrainis convicted of terrorism-related SIU subsequently closed the investigation offences or other illegal acts. rejected in December. He In November. The few investigations that Human rights defender Hussain Jawad. particularly by CID interrogators. the 2011 protests. stripping at least citing a lack of evidence. foreigners. to support and finance subversive groups. led to prosecutions of some low-ranking Chairman of the European-Bahraini police officers resulted in lenient sentences or organization for Human Rights. remained rife. was unfair: Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees. the court failed to adequately investigate their mainly suspects in security or terrorism. The SIU him until he “confessed” to receiving money appealed against the three-month sentence. One of the 72 largely on the basis of “confessions” that they was deported. or leave Bahrain. Although the Public Prosecution three months in prison for injuring Sadeq al- Office ordered his release. Some filed a Abbas Jamil al-Samea’ and two other men court appeal against the decision but this was were sentenced to death in February. Their trial.

vehicles were attacked. The death penalty remained in force for Between 28 September and 18 November. No one directly involved in the In April. the new Domestic Violence Protection Law Police arrested senior members of the BNP (Law 17 of 2015) that would have and charged them with arson. In motivated grounds. six police officers received prison (BNP) between January and March turned sentences ranging from one to five years for violent as hundreds of buses and other causing the death in custody of Hassan al. Independent media October the government warned business came under severe pressure and freedom of enterprises that they would be penalized if expression was restricted. attacked with petrol bombs in the context of anti-government campaigns.‘Ali ‘Issa al-Saqer in 2011. More than 40 people were In November. who was frequently Prosecution Office and courts to issue arrested during the year for periods of weeks protection orders of up to three months for or months before being released. The government ordered an investigation into the killing shortly afterwards. victims of domestic violence. including drugs offences. five of whom died from their critical stance. There were beaten to death in public in July after being no executions. parliament voted down an article in attacks was brought to justice. Well-documented killings by pro- Dozens of people were killed when independence forces were not addressed by passenger buses and other vehicles were the authorities. some after gun attack. At least nine they advertised in Prothom-Alo and the Daily secularist bloggers and publishers were Star. demonstrators using petrol bombs. Hundreds of FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION opposition supporters were detained for Independent media outlets critical of the various periods. a parliamentary standing subjected to enforced disappearance. A number of foreign nationals were DEATH PENALTY targeted for attacks by unidentified assailants. two leading newspapers known for their attacked. which was Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. terrorism-related offences and other an Italian aid worker and a Japanese national crimes. prompting strong public criticism of the neglect suffered by children BANGLADESH living on the street. at times on politically authorities came under severe pressure. People’s Republic of Bangladesh At least 16 people accused of mass human Head of state: Abdul Hamid rights violations during the 1971 Head of government: Sheikh Hasina Independence War were on trial at the end of the year. was sentences to life imprisonment. The courts were shot dead. empowered the Public acting Secretary General. released. Samiul Islam Rajon. committee recommended that the anti- 82 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . unfair trials. injuries. an Italian doctor survived a sentenced eight people to death. and commuted two death A 13-year-old boy. They included criminalized marital rape. the party’s enacted in August. Some were charged with arson. opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party In June. murder. accused of theft. The law. Dozens of passengers were killed and scores more WOMEN’S RIGHTS injured. An appeal court BACKGROUND had reduced their 10-year prison sentences An anti-government campaign led by the to two years in September 2013. and set a Hundreds of opposition members were penalty of three months’ imprisonment for detained for days or months before being breaches of the order involving violence. allegedly by Shaikh in November 2014.

including having to undergo a physical of at least 43 individuals. threat of war. had been hacked to movement. accused the bloggers and Women Lawyers Association. Rafida government’s obligation to respect the rights Ahmed Bonya. and five were At least 198 people were sentenced to death. three of Indigenous Peoples. in what constituted restrictions on CHITTAGONG HILL TRACTS freedom of expression. six were later found dead. including According to the Bangladesh National the Prime Minister. between January and September. literature was hacked to death. Avijit Roy was hacked to death by Chittagong Hill Tracts. Of the 43. peaceful assembly and death. Government authorities. women. sentenced to death for Battalion officers charged with abducting and killing her parents in 2013. were rarely investigated. In March. a publisher of secularist association. as well as freedom other bloggers. reportedly by Islamist groups. A women and girls were reluctant to report rape survey of national newspapers conducted by to the authorities. In wishing to visit or organize events in the February. Her lawyers killing seven people in April 2014. torture complaints the events of the 1971 independence war. Many denied knowledge of their whereabouts. found in police custody. upheld a medical examination that concluded she was 19. including two examination. They also included Trials continued against three Rapid Action Oishee Rahman. the conviction Members of the security forces in plain rate was extremely low. survived. torture is ordered by a superior or a public Authorities blocked social media messaging authority. calling on criticizing the Parliament. Niloy Neel from discrimination and freedoms of and Ananta Bijoy Das. No argued that she was under the age of 18 at members of security forces or officials the time of the alleged murder and therefore implicated in other cases of enforced not subject to the death penalty. TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT). mainly due to the lack clothes arrested dozens of people and later of timely and effective investigations. more than 240 publishers of offending religious feelings in complaints of rape were reported in the their writings. By August. the government to decriminalize torture in A court in Dhaka imposed charges of time of war. internal political contempt of court against 49 civil society instability or public emergency. The fate and including six men convicted of killing Samiul whereabouts of the other 28 was unknown.corruption NGO Transparency International police authorities complained publicly about should be deregistered in Bangladesh for the legal safeguards against torture. and other communications applications in November. Human rights groups said while reported incidents of ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES rape had risen in recent years. a While torture and other ill-treatment in police Bangladeshi court established to investigate custody was widespread. or when activists who criticized its trials as unfair. His wife. A government memorandum issued in Bloggers expressing secular views were January placed severe restrictions on people attacked. The Amnesty International Report 2015/16 83 . Survivors of rape were the human rights organization Ain O Salish required to prove that force was used against Kendra indicated the enforced disappearance them. in breach of the men wielding machetes. four were DEATH PENALTY released after their abduction. media between January and May. In October. Islam Rajon (see above). but the court disappearance were brought to justice. senior sentenced four more people to death. Washiqur Rahman. and a publisher and two secularist writers survived VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS an attack.

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka forthcoming elections. Former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich BACKGROUND therefore was prevented from standing in In October. The years. On 20 November. Statements from October. International and other human rights organizations to stop executions after unfair DEATH PENALTY trials and flawed appeal hearings. flaws. Challenges to the jurisdiction of capital. prisoners of conscience Mikalai trials in previous years were released but Statkevich and Yury Rubtsou were released compelled to regularly report their by a presidential order. Affidavits by defence witnesses that believed to be linked to enforced the accused was too far from the site of the disappearances of political activists in earlier offence to be involved were not admitted. However. restrictions and new criminal charges. the EU suspended its longstanding prosecution witnesses shown by the defence sanctions against senior Belarusian officials. government prevented defence witnesses The national currency lost over 50% of its abroad from attending trials by denying visas. and was ordered to comfortably won his fifth consecutive term in regularly report his movements and activities office. were not quashed and they were placed harassment and violence against members under considerable restrictions. Minsk. At least activists. the UN Human Rights Head of state: Alyaksandr Lukashenka Committee adopted the view that the Head of government: Andrey Kabyakou execution of Aleh Hryshkautsou in 2011 constituted a violation of his right to life. bringing the executions were reported. assembly remained in place. association and peaceful confession had been obtained under duress. Journalists continued to face harassment. media as well as harassment and reprisals Failure to comply could lead to heavier against political opponents. and the economy Appeals processes were marked by similar was projected to contract by around 4%. The Supreme Court rejected his appeal on 14 BELARUS July. and that his expression.proceedings of the Tribunal were marked with Internationally mediated talks on the severe irregularities and violations of the right conflict in eastern Ukraine. No prisoners were executed in 2015. Syarhei Ivanou was sentenced to death. aided Belarus’ diplomatic the court continued to be barred due to a efforts to improve relations with the EU.1 Republic of Belarus On 1 April. executions were reported. the Hrodna Regional Court handed down a death sentence to Ivan Kulesh. including of sexual minorities. along with other movements and activities to police. against a backdrop of state-controlled to the police for the following eight years. as did discrimination. to have been false were still used as evidence with the exception of four security officers in court. hosted in the to a fair trial. Ihar Alinevich. In constitutional provision. its principal trading partner. Several PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE prisoners convicted in politically motivated In August. value against the US dollar. that Legislation severely restricting freedoms of he had not received a fair trial. Similar 84 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . “prophylactic supervision”. Harassment and who had been imprisoned following politically persecution of human rights defenders motivated trials. largely due to the economic downturn in Despite repeated calls by Amnesty Russia. three Belarus retained the death penalty. but on 18 March number of executions after ICT trials to four. Mikalai Dzyadok. but no Yauhen Vaskovich and Artsyom Prakapenka. their convictions continued. two people were sentenced to death.

three times for working without accreditation. after they published reports of prohibits activities by unregistered students being forced to take part in a public organizations (political parties and religious prayer service attended by the President.1 of the Criminal Code. Shortly watchdog Index on Censorship. she had been a resident of Belarus consciousness”. and leader of block access to specific online resources. under which any Affairs. Because of the political traffic offences. Freelance journalists who contributed to foreign media were required to obtain FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY accreditation from the Ministry of Foreign The Law on Mass Events. a street assembly in the most recently on 9 July. continued to be regularly applied. at the end of the year. the Ministry of Information was given Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu. both of them the power to compel internet providers to presidential candidates in 2010. the United Civic Party Anatol Lyabedzka. The order was issued on 5 August after agreeing not to disclose details of November 2014 and referred to repeated the investigation. they were charged imposed on the other five released activists. was fined authorities. Their trial was still pending journalists routinely faced harassment. were detained in to leave Belarus and barred from re-entering Minsk for putting up graffiti “Belarus must be the country for three years. remained in place. activists Vyachaslau Elena Tonkacheva. by the Central District Court organized in support of presidential candidate and the Zheleznodorozhnyi District Court in Tatsyana Karatkevich and sanctioned by the Homel. which attack. who unlawful unless expressly permitted by the worked for Poland-based Belsat TV. groups. police arrived at the scene and fines of between 3 and 7. According to independent media fans on their way to a football match. for without a court order.8 million roubles took them away in vans. On 27 March. Elena Tonkacheva repeatedly Amnesty International Report 2015/16 85 . On 30 September. which had been in previous years. since January after they started chanting “Long live at least 28 freelance journalists were issued Belarus!”. was joined by some 30 football Court. Between 2 and 5 October. was ordered unnamed Russian national. the websites of FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND HUMAN news agencies BelaPAN and Naviny. for shorter periods of time. The remaining (US$215-538) for working without protesters were allowed to carry on. Yaraslau Uliyanenkau.4 and 9 million roubles the Law on Mass Media passed in December (US$300-500) to Mikalai Statkevich and 2014.restrictions. as well as NGOs). a prominent human Kasinerau. were nature of these phrases. with the crime of “malicious hooliganism” and may face up to six years in prison if FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION convicted. and one Center for Legal Transformation. and three more times town of Baranavichy. a court in Minsk issued Under the vaguely worded amendments to fines of between 5. access to organizing an “unsanctioned” protest in the websites of human rights organization connection with the forthcoming election. and independent media outlets and was hospitalized. Vyasna and of independent news platforms Other peaceful protesters were similarly Belarusian Partisan and Charter ’97 was arrested and fined during the year. Vyachaslau Kasinerau sustained a The media remained under tight government broken jaw during the detention by police and control. as well as the Rahachou District authorities. On 27 September. Kastus Zhukouski. They were released on 31 since 1985. blocked under this provision. which was regularly refused or assembly or public protest is regarded as indefinitely delayed. A Russian Belarusian” and “Revolution of national. Maksim rights defender and Chair of the Board of the Pyakarski and Vadzim Zharomski. accreditation. On 11 August.by RIGHTS DEFENDERS became inaccessible following a hacker’s Article 193.

without success. and released In December. which the authorities refused to investigate. harassment and measures to combat violent “extremism”. Minsk City Court dismissed her final appeal on 19 February. As violence. human rights violations take complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee. France. the Council of Ministers under presidential pardon in August. the grounds for stripping a person of Belgian TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE nationality or refugee status if convicted for Members of sexual minorities continued to offences related to terrorism. the authorities did not by anti-LGBTI activists as he was leaving a carry out an evaluation of the compliance of gay party at a club in Minsk on 25 May 2014. On 8 April. having approved proposals concerning some of the served 11 months of his sentence. GAY. who had been beaten counteract terrorism. by his severe head injuries. Head of state: King Philippe received at least two death threats via email in Head of federal government: Charles Michel March. the Prime Minister years and eight months’ imprisonment for proposed further measures. hooliganism and negligence. in particular the executed on 22 October 2014 and who criminalization of travelling into or out of demanded to know the location of his grave. registered promptly by authorities and as a Leanid Sudalenka believed these were result hundreds of people remained without reprisals for his work in helping victims of shelter. BELGIUM Leanid Sudalenka. The authorities accused him of asylum-seekers spiked in the second half of distributing pornography from his email the year. police searched his The government introduced several home and office.tried to appeal it. with previously adopted measures to Mikhail Pischevsky. and new face routine discrimination. Only one of his In November. in the aftermath of the attackers was convicted and sentenced to two attacks in Paris. whose son had been secretly counteract terrorism. the European Court of Human Rights 86 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . announced measures. Their asylum claims could not be account. the expansion of RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. They included the extension of pre-charge detention from 24 to 72 hours and the power to carry out searches 1. Second known death sentence in Belarus in 2015: Ivan Kulesh (EUR at any time in investigations of terrorism- 49/2926/2015) related offences. TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT In June. but he claimed it had been hacked. The latest COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY complaint was submitted on 28 February by The parliament adopted new measures to Olga Haryunou. Belgium with the purpose of perpetrating a terrorism-related offence. BISEXUAL. forcing her to leave by 21 February. the new measures with human rights died on 27 October of complications caused standards. The number of himself. and on 14 April a criminal proposals to combat terrorism that raised case was opened against Leanid Sudalenka human rights concerns. They also included the establishment of a database of Belgian nationals or residents who have attempted to travel or have travelled abroad to fight in armed conflicts or with armed groups labelled as terrorist organizations by the government. head of human rights Kingdom of Belgium NGO Homel Centre for Strategic Litigation.

the security forces in Cotonou. were convicted for the degrading treatment. a psychiatrist supporting a terrorist organization. The men were convicted in 2006 and 2007 for terrorism-related offences VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS in Belgium. violated their human rights. the implementation phase started for the resettlement of the first 300 refugees. a political opponent led to two days of Despite the opening of a specialized protests and clashes between protesters and forensic psychiatric centre in 2014. The attempted arrest of to be much higher. significantly lower than in There were rising tensions in the capital previous years. Lahoucine El-Haski and Khalid while in custody. a insufficient care and treatment were provided. procedure and increase reception capacity. as a with an overall capacity of 1. Due to the limited capacity of the Immigration Office. of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Despite the government’s commitment to called on Belgium to speed up the registration reform the law on legal gender recognition. seven police officers. where he was convicted for In June. the Court of death of Jonathan Jacob. the legal proceedings In July. with a strong focus on sexual violence. the government announced to comply with inhuman and degrading plans to open eight new reception centres treatments. federal REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS authorities presented a National Plan to The number of asylum-seekers spiked combat gender-based violence. About 500 reportedly camped in plaintiffs alleged that the prohibition on sub-standard conditions in front of the wearing the full-face veil. enforced since Immigration Office. as a consequence. who died in 2010 Cassation ordered the retrial of Abdallah after being physically assaulted by police Ouabour.600 places. where protests were banned after elections. the French community government had relied on evidence that might have been adopted a new four-year plan aimed at obtained through the use of torture in combating violence against women and Morocco. Freedom of majority of offenders with mental illnesses expression remained under threat as remained detained in regular prisons. in some specific Cotonou and other towns ahead of facilities the overcrowding rate was reported legislative elections.ruled that extraditing Abdallah Ouabour to DEATHS IN CUSTODY Morocco. However. the European Court of Human Rights register their claims on the day of their arrival communicated the case Belkacemi and and. In October. Prisons remained overcrowded. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 87 . In July. would and the director of a medical facility which violate his right to be free from inhuman and refused treatment. The with shelter. between July and September. the prison population was 113% of the capacity. DISCRIMINATION hundreds of asylum-seekers were unable to In June. were not provided Oussar v. the Council 2011 in Belgium. transgender people continued to be required On 16 October. In September. domestic violence. Belgium to the government. refugees from Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 11 December. precondition to obtaining legal recognition of The government agreed to resettle 550 their gender. including sterilization. BENIN Republic of Benin PRISON CONDITIONS Head of state: Thomas Boni Yayi According to official statistics published in Head of government: Lionel Zinsou March. Bouloudodie. However. journalist reported receiving threats.

not seek a third term. the police and the army in Cotonou. cities. dampened trust in the system. DEATH PENALTY FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND Despite the country’s ratification in 2012 of ASSEMBLY the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR In May. paired with strict regulation to In June. prisoners with food for three days. with unconditionally. Demonstrators were dispersed using tear BOLIVIA gas and about 10 people were injured. Azannaï for slander. defenders. Presidential elections were centres in the country failed to provide scheduled to take place in February 2016. In May. after the President Boni Yayi pledged that he would state failed to pay its contractors. a coalition of 50 parties supporting PRISON CONDITIONS President Boni Yayi. journalist Ozias Sounouvou full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive reported receiving anonymous arrest threats rights. More Plurinational State of Bolivia than 20 people were arrested on charges of Head of state and government: Evo Morales Ayma rebellion. An attempt to arrest him sparked clashes between protesters. some protesters burned corruption. southwestern Benin. with 33 out prison held 1. Discredit from the authorities of the after criticizing the President for hindering work of NGOs. the CEDAW Committee urged arrested for compromising state security after Bolivia to take steps within two years to he published an article asserting that the prevent violence against women. including human rights press freedom. vandalism and violence for their participation in the protests and riots between Truth. political interference and delays in tyres and set a firetruck alight following the the administration of justice further use of excessive force by police. ensure country’s participation in the regional force education and access to information on fighting the armed group Boko Haram was sexual and reproductive rights and amend solely intended to help President Boni Yayi national laws to decriminalize abortion. He was detained without among other recommendations. the Minister of the Interior banned all aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. including Azovè. stay in power.BACKGROUND charge for five days before being released Legislative elections were held in April. justice and full reparation for victims 4 and 6 May. resulting in harsh political opponent Adrien Houngbédji as its conditions of detention. 88 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . before being Justice remained out of reach.130 detainees despite a of 83 seats. the government had yet to adopt laws President Boni Yayi filed a complaint against removing the death penalty from its national opposition deputy Armand-Marie Candide legislation. journalist Boris Tougan was In July. University who were protesting against the elimination of exam resits were beaten and BACKGROUND arrested by security forces. In August. becoming the largest Prisons remained overcrowded. The Cotonou group in the National Assembly. all detention president. Other demonstrations were also of human rights violations committed during banned by police and gendarmerie in other past military regimes were still pending. mainly for released a few days later. Insufficient steps were taken to guarantee In May. 12 students at Abomey-Calavi obtain registration remained a concern. Allegations of initially peaceful. protests until the end of the electoral process. The National Assembly elected maximum capacity of 500. The protests were those without economic means. the Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE).

Despite a resolution issued by the Ministry American Commission of Human Rights. no the work of four local organizations for investigation is known to have been initiated criticizing government plans. the Public Ministry announced the creation of a genetic data bank to identify the INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS remains of potential victims of enforced In March the government issued a supreme disappearance. The trial of six other police deterred victims from pursing justice.1 A of Health in January. violations after the qualification process In April charges against 12 police officers ended in 2012. death threats and discrimination in line with a 2013 regulation. including emergency steps to establish a truth commission contraception. It is estimated that around decree to modify the 2007 regulation on 150 people were forcibly disappeared during consultation and participation in hydrocarbon the military regimes. in 2013. prior and informed fair reparation to victims of past human rights consent over projects that affect them. The decree contained new rules. The Public Ministry activities. justice and full reparation for victims of human rights SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS violations committed during past military and High rates of maternal mortality. A decision by that he was subjected to while in detention in the Plurinational Constitutional Court 2014 in Maripiri in the Yungas region. implemented. obstruct the rights of Indigenous Peoples to No progress was made to ensure full and consultation and free. The regulation of this In September the authorities announced that mechanism was pending at the end of the 38 NGOs were considered “irregular” year. because they had not submitted the In June Juan Bascope lodged a complaint necessary documents to confirm their identity of torture. called on the relatives of victims of enforced including strict deadlines and a methodology disappearances to undertake blood tests to to be set up by the authorities.2 following a public hearing at the Inter. independence of the national preventive mechanism against torture. despite violent injuries. which could establish possible matches. for excessive use of force during a peaceful march against the construction of a road TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT through the Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous The absence of an independent mechanism Territory and National Park (TIPNIS) in 2011 to record and investigate allegations of torture were dismissed. He was detained and brought before In August the Vice-President discredited a judge three days later.IMPUNITY into his complaint. limited access to modern limited. He was submitted by the Ombusdman against that accused of killing three members of the regulation was pending. The authorities took no concrete contraceptives. The Ombudsman security forces and a doctor during a joint raised the regulation’s potential breach to the police and military operation against illegal right of assembly and the principle of non- coca plantations in the municipality of Apolo discrimination of some of its articles. dependent on the HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS Ministry of Justice. In July. No officers whose charges remained had not efforts were made to ensure the full begun at the end of 2015. particularly authoritarian regimes (1964-1982) were very in rural areas. Measures to ensure truth. However. and a high rate of teenage following a commitment made in March pregnancies remained a concern. the 2014 Plurinational bill that was presented by victims’ Constitutional Court ruling that abolished the organizations to the Plurinational Legislative requirement of judicial authorization for Assembly to create such a commission was abortion in cases of rape was not pending at the end of the year. and threatened Amnesty International Report 2015/16 89 .

an arson attack was carried out on the car of a journalist from a 1. Targeted cyber attacks on las violaciones graves de derechos humanos cometidas durante los news websites continued. Violations of the right to freedom of the implementation of the judgment was expression as well as discrimination against removed as a requirement for the signing of Jews and Roma continued to occur. Access the SAA. In June.international NGOs based in the country with force on 1 June. citizens such as Head of state: Rotating presidency – Bakir Jews and Roma who do not declare Izetbegović. the Parliamentary Assembly of 90 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . five against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan months after the 2014 general elections. Only 15% of court gobiernos militares de Bolivia (1964-1982) (AMR 18/1291/2015) cases relating to attacks against journalists 2. Threats and attacks against journalists persisted. crimes against humanity and Herzegovina (BiH) and the government of the violations of the laws or customs of war. In October. remained limited due to a lack of commitment to adopt. reparación de las víctimas de local radio station. HERZEGOVINA BiH. remained unimplemented. The Karadzić was still pending at the end of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement year. Vjekoslav Bevanda in March) Serbs and Croats) are excluded from running for legislative and executive office. Delays in individuals being prosecuted for their online concluding trials within a reasonable time and activities. one of the constituent including at Srebrenica. for a Freedom of the Media over the possibility of maximum capacity of 5. state-wide programmes. expulsion should they get involved in what the authorities consider domestic politics. poor access to Peace and Order that brought the internet health and food provision and overcrowding and social networks into its definition of in prison remained a concern. Mladen Ivanić themselves as belonging to one of the three Head of government: Denis Zvizdić (replaced constituent peoples of the country (Bosniaks.000. which found the power-sharing arrangements set out in the Constitution to be discriminatory. Bolivia: Derecho a la verdad. Research by “public space”. were formed at the end of March. Federation of BiH. the National Assembly of PRISON CONDITIONS Republika Srpska adopted a Law on Public Inadequate sanitary facilities. leaving little hope of the decision to justice and reparation for past crimes being implemented. Dragan Čović. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION In February. Bosnia and Herzegovina Under the arrangements. the main reasons for overcrowding. and secure adequate CRIMES UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW resources for. justicia. A verdict in the case entities. Bolivia: Briefing to the UN Committee on the Elimination of were resolved in the past 10 years. (SAA) between the EU and BiH entered into In May.000 prisoners in 2015. Proceedings continued at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia BACKGROUND against former General Ratko Mladić for The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and genocide. Concerns were raised by the Pastoral Penitenciaria found that there NGOs and the OSCE Representative on were almost 14. on charges of breaching public the excessive use of pre-trial detention were peace and order. Discrimination Against Women (AMR 18/1669/2015) DISCRIMINATION BOSNIA AND The 2009 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Sejdić-Finci v.

1 An agreement on a joint action plan mobilizations. However. Lesbian. leading to the ineffective prosecution of such crimes at the sub-state level. Brčko District continued to apply the former 14 December) Criminal Code. and courts prosecuting war crimes until the Rural communities and their leaders new Justice Sector Reform Strategy for continued to face threats and attacks by 2014-2018 was adopted in September. including a comprehensive Head of state and government: Dilma Rousseff programme for victims of crimes under international law. this notable progress was halted by the EU Conflict over land and natural resources decision to stop funding the cost of services resulted in the killings of dozens of people. The charged with war crimes in the past 10 years security forces often used excessive or were indicted in the last two years. Bosnia and Herzegovina: 20 years of denial and injustice (News story. entity courts and courts in the 1. be reported. (shanty towns) and marginalized About half of the over 500 people who were communities were at particular risk. young people who may be hiding on Republika Srpska and women were prominent in these territory. BRAZIL Legislation that would enable effective Federative Republic of Brazil reparation. The civil proceedings. bisexual. over 8. northeast of the country. to 10-year homicides among black youth remained a prison sentences. the amendments aligned the co-operation in the search for missing definition of war crimes of sexual violence persons. In June. violence.000 people remained with international standards by excluding the missing from the war. and free legal aid services to Serious human rights violations continued to victims of torture and civilian victims of war. a Bosnian court granted the first ever financial compensation to a victim of PUBLIC SECURITY wartime rape and sentenced the perpetrators. the heads of the Serbian and provided a clearer definition of acts of torture. especially in the north and process was delayed as Republika Srpska. it people continued to face discrimination and announced its decision to suspend co. which required them to amendments introduced enforced reveal their identity. victims were major concern. disappearance as a separate crime and In November. gay. Public security and the high rates of two former Bosnian Serb soldiers. Young black men from favelas war was still not completed. In December. unnecessary force to suppress protests. The landowners. to which cases were increasingly being transferred. Civil society opposition to new operation with the State Court of Bosnia and legislation and constitutional amendments Herzegovina. women’s rights and suspected of responsibility for war crimes and children’s rights intensified. further limiting effective that threatened to set back sexual and investigations into and prosecutions of those reproductive rights. The government failed to Amnesty International Report 2015/16 91 . Previously. The harmonization of entity the torture and other ill-treatment of laws regulating the rights of civilian victims of detainees. need to demonstrate use of force as a requirement to qualify the crime as such. However.Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted a set of required to pursue compensation claims in amendments to the Criminal Code. unlike the country’s other two political units. including killings by police and remained absent. In BiH. transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refused to adopt the Strategy. the UN Human Rights Council. Brazil did not present itself to implement the Strategy was still pending at as a candidate for re-election to a seat on the end of the year. Bosnian governments signed a protocol on Additionally.

12 people were shot dead and investigation into the shooting. Soldiers were Cabula in the city of Salvador in the deployed to Maré ahead of the World Cup northeastern state of Bahia. In Osasco. killings during police operations Janeiro on 29 November by military police remained high. 58. a city in the and there were frequent reports that the metropolitan area of São Paulo. but were prevented small decrease of 2. He was paralyzed as a during a police operation in Manguinhos and result of his injuries. working on the case found strong evidence including physical violence and shootings.2 homicides in the country. provide him or his family with adequate both favelas of Rio de Janeiro. claiming the victim had In February. and more than 3. a 10-year-old announced in July that it would do so. the Police officers tried to alter the crime scene number of police officers killed showed a and remove his body. In the states of Rio de There were reports that off-duty officers Janeiro and São Paulo there was a significant carried out unlawful killings as part of death increase in the number of people killed by squads operating in a number of cities. boy. on 2 April. 29-year-old Vitor Santiago resisted arrest. The authorities failed to a 16-year-old boy was shot dead in Maré.5% over the previous from doing so by the family and neighbours. acts of self-defence. The army had four others injured by Military Police officers been performing policing duties in the during an operation in the neighbourhood of community since April 2014. Out of 220 killings and called into question the investigations into police killings opened in 92 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Borges was shot by members of the armed In September. a 13-year-old boy was killed forces in Maré favela. despite having Eduardo de Jesus Ferreira. suggesting that the 12 people were extrajudicially executed.1 assistance or to conduct a full and impartial In February. organizations by the military forces during this period. Rio de Janeiro. most states made it impossible to ascertain The car in which the men were seated was the exact number of people killed as a result shot more than 100 times by police officers. Residents and were supposed to have left soon after the reported feeling threatened and fearful at the event ended. Officers investigations indicated the involvement of frequently attempted to justify the killings as Military Police officers.000 people were victims of homicides. they continued to frequent presence of Military Police after the carry out law enforcement functions in the killings. more than neighbourhood. An investigation by the Civil Police community until June 2015. police officers while on duty. an increase of city following death threats. was killed by Military Police officers According to a Brazilian Forum on Public outside his home in the Complexo do Alemão Security report covering 2014. continuing the In Manaus in the northern state of trend observed in 2014.present a concrete national plan to reduce impartiality of the Civil Police investigation.000 people Eduardo’s mother and family had to leave the were killed by the police. 18 people officers involved sought to alter the crime were killed in one night and initial scene and criminalize the victim. Five young black men aged between 16 and 25 years old were shot dead in the UNLAWFUL KILLINGS neighbourhood of Costa Barros in Rio de In 2015. year to 398. Killings by police Amazonas. Residents concluded that the Military Police officers reported a number of human rights violations acted in self-defence. However. 37 people were killed in a single officers while on duty were rarely investigated weekend in July. but a lack of transparency in officers from the 41st Military Police Battalion. of these operations. around 37% over 2013. However. The Public IMPUNITY Prosecutor’s Office condemned the actions of Police responsible for unlawful killings the Military Police officers involved in the enjoyed almost total impunity.

Many families did not receive Valadares prison in June. More than 200 protesters In March. there proper notification. to investigate the high In August. In October. the President nominated 11 were injured and at least seven people were experts to the National Mechanism to Prevent briefly detained. girls and a number of minors died in custody one in the Senate and the other in the House during the year. of Representatives.2011 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. end of the year. At the approved an amendment to the Constitution same time. No concrete measures were taken by Criminal Code. In October.3 conditions. The bill was pending final Maranhão. PRISON CONDITIONS. it came to light that in approval by the House of Representatives at 2013. three host the 2016 Olympic Games. Most southern state of Paraná. As of April 2015. Its investigation into police killings was due to be FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY completed in May 2016. sufficient financial were disturbances in Londrina prison in the compensation or adequate resettlement. In the state of Minas Gerais. There were numerous reports of The National Congress established two torture and violence against both boys and Parliamentary Commissions of Investigation. and retirement was met with unnecessary or excessive use of force by Military Police. an inmate of Pedrinhas had been the end of the year. The group is part of the and the Public Prosecutor’s Office took legal National System to Prevent and Fight Torture action against the government as a result of and its mandate will include visiting and the incident. TORTURE AND Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to OTHER ILL-TREATMENT disperse protesters.4 Severe overcrowding. The case was pending at the inspecting places of detention. In October. Rio de Janeiro’s state assembly. There were fears that if the authorities to overcome serious passed in its current form. killed. of the 600 families of the community of Vila Amnesty International Report 2015/16 93 . the Senate approved a bill torture and violence remained endemic in making terrorism a separate crime in the prisons. The Civil Police of A protest held on 29 April in the state of Rio de Janeiro announced that all cases of Paraná against changes in the rules police killings would be investigated by the governing teachers’ social security benefits Homicides Divisions. The access to firearms gained momentum in the amendment was awaiting approval by the National Congress. by 2015 CHILDREN’S RIGHTS only one case had led to a police officer being The juvenile justice system also suffered from charged. violate a number of Brazil’s obligations under A Parliamentary Commission of international human rights law to protect the Investigation was established in October in rights of the child. HOUSING RIGHTS Prisoner revolts were reported in a number Since Rio de Janeiro was chosen in 2009 to of states. If passed. it will Arms Trade Treaty. The Public Defender’s Office and Fight Torture. degrading conditions. the House of Representatives rates of homicides of black youth. the law could be overcrowding and harsh conditions in used to criminalize protesters and label them Pedrinhas prison in the northeastern state of as “terrorists”. grilled and partially eaten by other inmates. Brazil did not ratify the Senate at the end of the year. a law to amend the current reducing the age at which children can be Disarmament Law in order to allow greater tried as adults from 18 to 16 years. thousands of detainees were killed during a prison revolt in people have been evicted from their homes in the Teofilo Otoni facility in October and two in connection with the building of infrastructure similar circumstances in Governador for the event. 183 of these severe overcrowding and degrading investigations remained open.

Despite a thorough investigation. At Human Rights Defenders failed to deliver the the end of the year it was unclear whether protection promised in its provisions. Attacks 94 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . The 5 November collapse of the Samarco and the absence of a legal framework in the company mining dam. controlled by Vale and Programme also undermined its BHP Billiton in the state of Minas Gerais. clean water and safe housing for affected Conflicts over land and natural resources families and communities. no condominiums that were part of the “My action had been taken to protect him. However. Several cases remained Santos Rodrigues was a member of the Board pending at the end of the year. It resulted in deaths federal and state governments in the and injuries and other serious human rights protection of defenders was pending before violations including insufficient access to Congress at the end of the year. regions. The river of toxic sludge also year.Autódromo. In October. including Maria Amazon and worked to defend the rights of da Penha Macena who sustained a broken his community. Raimundo implementation. A bill to create a legal considered to be Brazil’s biggest ever framework to support the co-ordination of environmental disaster. the majority of human rights organization. The demarcation process of Indigenous Raimundo Santos Rodrigues. in October the courts HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS dismissed the charges against the accused The National Programme for the Protection of and blamed the victim for his own death. the Land Church Commission and a local In the city of Rio de Janeiro. an Park. result of intimidation and threats. members of the municipal guards forest in the state of Maranhão. Rural communities and their leaders violated the right to livelihood of fishermen were threatened and attacked by landowners. would not be brought to justice. located near the future Olympic of the Biological Reserve of Gurupi. This put responsible for the killing in October 2010 of thousands of families at risk of violence. He had residents were living in the shadow of ongoing received several death threats. which had demolition work and without access to basic been repeatedly reported to the authorities by services such as electricity and water. He had assaulted remaining residents who were reported and campaigned for several years peacefully protesting against the evictions. attacks and killings income families were controlled by milícias targeting human rights defenders were rarely (organized criminal groups largely made up of investigated and remained largely former or off-duty police. firemen and military unpunished. Lack of this decision would be appealed against by resourcing continued to hamper the Public Prosecutor’s Office. He was also a member of the nose. In environmentally protected area of the Amazon June. five people were killed in Vilhena in the state of Rondônia in the context INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS of land conflicts in the area. Cases of threats. There were concerns that those agents) or organized criminal gangs. many Flaviano Pinto Neto. despite the fact that the federal August in the city of Bom Jardim in the state government had both the legal authority and of Maranhão. who was with him at the financial means to progress the time. was shot and injured. house. against illegal logging and deforestation in the Five residents were injured. and lack of reliable continued to result in dozens of deaths each information. also known Peoples’ lands continued to make extremely as José dos Santos. His wife. my life” housing programme for low. implementation. was effectiveness. was shot and killed on 25 slow progress. the remaining Rural Workers Union of Bom Jardim. leaving defenders at risk. were evicted by the municipality. and other workers who depend directly or especially in the northern and northeastern indirectly on the waters of the Rio Doce river. a leader of the Charco of whom were forced out of their homes as a Quilombola community in Maranhão state. At the end of the year.

An so-called Bill of the Unborn Child. Local and Indigenous lands from the executive to the national authorities continued to forcibly legislature. an Afghan asylum-seeker died under Brazilian legislation. 19/2424/2015) There was increasing concern at the 2. ASYLUM-SEEKERS AND approval by a Plenary of the House at the end MIGRANTS of the year. following a significant drop in 2014 after the SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS introduction of border protection measures. concerns over inconsistencies between the Amnesty International Report 2015/16 95 . 19/2151/2015) at the end of the year. for example the through checkpoints were rejected.against members of Indigenous communities remained widespread and those responsible 1. If passed. Brazil: Police operation kills two and injures others (AMR were rarely brought to justice. with Turkey was registered in 2015. the from further violence. was approved by a special legislation stalled. At the border crossings. to divert the migration flows to official reproductive rights and women’s rights. However. Brazil: Indigenous community faces forced eviction (AMR temporarily suspended in August. local ranchers attacked the BULGARIA Indigenous community of Ñanderú Marangatú in the municipality of Antonio Republic of Bulgaria João. the risk of eviction remained. was killed and several women Head of government: Boyko Borisov and children were injured. the measure would nearby bridge and hit him. Brazil: Military police attack protesting teachers (AMR 19/1611/2015) could have left the community homeless was 5. including proposal would effectively prevent access to sensors and thermal cameras. such as when the after a warning shot fired by a police officer at woman’s life is at risk or the pregnancy is a the Bulgarian-Turkish border ricocheted on a result of rape. The amendment was awaiting REFUGEES. New legislation and constitutional The authorities announced a plan to extend amendments under discussion in Congress the current 33km fence on the border by posed a serious threat to sexual and 60km. The amendment of hate crime very strong. remained in safe and legal abortions in the public health place at the border with Turkey. system even in those cases currently allowed In October. However. the National Congress was that people in search of international considering bills that proposed to criminalize protection who were trying to enter Bulgaria abortion in all circumstances. NGOs reported end of the year. Brazil: “You killed my son” – homicides by the Military Police in the Guarani-Kaiowá community of Apika’y in city of Rio de Janeiro (AMR 19/2068/2015) Mato Grosso do Sul. Head of state: Rosen Plevneliev Simião Vilhalva. where the agribusiness lobby is evict Roma. Brazil: Twelve people killed by Military Police (AMR 19/002/2015) dramatically deteriorating situation of the 3. If passed. No investigation was initiated into the attack and no measures Allegations of push-backs of refugees and were put in place to protect the community migrants by border police persisted. it would have a A fourfold increase in the number of refugees significant negative impact on Indigenous and migrants entering through the border Peoples’ access to land. reception conditions of asylum-seekers An amendment to the Constitution remained poor and there was no integration transferring responsibility for demarcating plan for recognized refugees. The Bulgarian also end emergency assistance to victims Helsinki Committee (BHC) expressed of rape. An eviction order that 4.5 On 29 August. One man. state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Commission of the House of Representatives in October. Another extensive surveillance system.

after town of Varna. were left homeless. shelter and access to planned evictions and adequate resettlement health care and sanitary goods. Some seekers and migrants. harassment. In September. two Iraqi Yazidis died of hypothermia notice in the Maksuda neighbourhood in the on the Turkish side of the border. least one pregnant woman and two disabled Concerns persisted over the reception children. There was no conditions of asylum-seekers. the homes of 46 Romani push-backs of refugees and migrants by families – including children and single Bulgarian police at the border with Turkey.1 In mothers – were demolished without prior March. of eviction. In January. following anti-Roma Hate crimes against Roma. were rendered homeless in police. Muslims. nor does it In June. An estimated 400 people.authorities’ and witnesses’ versions. at implement the Strategy. Court of Human Rights advised the Although the government adopted the government not to proceed with the evictions National Strategy on Migration. arguing At the end of the year. The village of Gurmen and the Orlandovzi investigation launched by the Prosecutor’s neighbourhood in Sofia. in particular genuine consultation to identify alternatives to with regard to food. following the demolitions. rather than 96 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . September. Authorities high levels of racism and intolerance against continued to forcibly evict Romani several groups including refugees. However. who remained were relocated to inadequate housing. the authorities of the incident. Between June and Office was ongoing at the end of the year. the UN High the monthly allowance of 65 leva (€33) for Commissioner for Human Rights urged asylum-seekers in reception centres was Bulgaria to halt such human rights violations. 14 households were demolished There continued to be no integration plan in Gurmen. the European beneficiaries of international protection. including elderly people. severe weather conditions. of the year. follow it up with an Action Plan that would around 60 Roma. In July. the Council of Europe Commissioner establish safeguards in line with international for Human Rights raised concerns over the human rights standards. Asylum and unless adequate alternative housing was Integration for 2015-2020 in June. options. Jews demonstrations. while particularly vulnerable to violence and others were rendered homeless. asylum- communities from informal settlements. However. housing legislation in Bulgaria does not DISCRIMINATION – HATE CRIMES explicitly prohibit forced evictions. stopped. they stalled after the European Court of Human Rights indicated that the authorities HOUSING RIGHTS – FORCED EVICTIONS should not proceed unless adequate OF ROMA alternative housing was available. No other investigation into announced the demolition of four Roma cases of push-backs was pending at the end houses in the town of Peshtera. The authorities denied the allegations. 96 Roma households that the removal of the allowance violated in the Kremikovtzi settlement remained at risk national legislation. it failed to provided. Despite the constitutional right to housing. 150 allegedly being severely beaten by Bulgarian of them children. Only a few people and the Ministry of Interior’s investigation into were offered temporary housing in an the case was discontinued as the authorities overcrowded and inadequate social centre. The BHC filed a complaint.2 NGOs documented allegations of summary In August. local and national authorities and other ethnic and religious minorities announced a plan to demolish Romani continued to be largely prosecuted as acts houses in the Kremikovtzi settlement in the motivated by “hooliganism”. said they were unable to establish the location On 15 September. following a request by for recognized refugees and other NGOs for interim measures. In May-June.

low penalty and the disbanding of the RSP. In psychological violence by staff and among April. although this only applied to “legal During protests following an attempted coup reassignment cases”. new electoral code that disqualified Following a visit in 2014. Bulgaria: Missing the point: Lack of adequate investigation of hate belief. of early and forced marriage remained high. members of the RSP Amnesty International Report 2015/16 97 . the abolition of the death violence. protesters and Prevention of Torture and the Council of journalists faced ill-treatment and Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. a National Commission on concerns over the ill-treatment of people – Reconciliation and Reform made several including juveniles and women – both by recommendations including the adoption of a police and in prison. excessively harsh discipline. poor after President Blaise Compaoré fell from children and children with disabilities in such power in October 2014 following protests over institutions. crimes”. in September. In March. as well as reports of physical and his attempts to change the Constitution.3 In May. expression and assembly were restricted and including the European Committee for the human rights defenders. Bulgaria: Further information: Romani families remain at risk of Muslim Friday prayer in 2011 amounted to a forced eviction (EUR 15/2334/2015) violation of the right to freedom of religion or 3. The interim government was criticized the juvenile justice system as reinstated and investigations were opened inadequate and called for a comprehensive into the September coup and crimes reform. over inter-prisoner new Constitution. staffing levels. (the transfer from psychiatric institutions to community-based care) of children and BACKGROUND adults with disabilities. In September. crimes in Bulgaria (EUR 15/0001/2015) The government did not follow up on earlier steps to amend hate crime legislation. Freedoms of National and international organizations. Bulgaria: It’s time to address the allegations of abuse of refugees and the authorities’ failure to prevent the migrants by the police (EUR 15/3058/2015) disruption by a group of violent protesters of a 2.under the criminal law provisions specifically segregation among prisoners and a lack of enacted for “racist and xenophobic hate contact with the outside world. committed during the 2014 unrest. overcrowding. Levels The Commissioner for Human Rights. the European Court of Human Rights found in Karahhmed v. and effective actions to address longstanding In September. the Transitional Parliament adopted a children. following a visit in February. raised concerns Access to sexual and reproductive rights was over the slow pace of the deinstitutionalization limited. Presidential Guard (RSP) soldiers killed 14 protesters and bystanders TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT and injured hundreds of others. the Committee for supporters of the 2014 constitutional the Prevention of Torture called for urgent amendment from running for office in 2015. disability. poor health care. Burkina Faso gender or sexual orientation. Bulgaria that 1. the Head of state: Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (replaced Parliament adopted a bill which extended the Michel Kafando on 29 December) scope of the protection against discrimination Head of government: Yacouba Isaac Zida on grounds of sex to transgender people. intimidation. He also criticized the Transitional authorities governed the country overrepresentation of Roma children. which in its current state does not provide for BURKINA FASO explicit protection against hate crimes perpetrated on the basis of age.

during the October 2014 unrest. The RSP was later disbanded kicked and beaten with a belt by more than and those suspected of involvement in the six RSP soldiers until he lost consciousness. At least 10 During the September coup. However. Transitional Parliament modified the Constitution limiting the Presidential mandate FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND to two terms of five years and removing ASSOCIATION amnesty for former presidents. Fourteen unarmed people were destroyed or confiscated. In September. The bullet pierced her uterus or lethal force by security forces. Prime Minister and other lie down and beaten with belts with metal government members hostage. who was rocket and computers and materials stolen. Six RSP soldiers whipped a member widespread protests. The studio of Serge densely populated areas. Neither alleged that he was tortured for six days at had yet been tasked with investigating human Ouagadougou’s central police station. the killings of four people following excessive Ouagadougou. Jean Jacques Konombo. cameras and other material were assembling. peaceful journalists and media stations including Radio protests were repressed. Savane FM and Laafi were also excessive force to prevent people from attacked. the RSP used Omega. including and hit the unborn baby. Among the victims Citoyen. the His camera and phone were destroyed. there were restrictions on President of the National Assembly. leader of Balai and hundreds of injuries. Parliament adopted legislation Christian Kaboré was elected President in the leading to the repeal of the law punishing same month. including six who were shot in the station.2 child survived following medical intervention. In November. A pregnant woman was also shot in the IMPUNITY stomach while standing in her doorway in the Judicial authorities opened investigations into Nonsin neighbourhood of the capital. as well as In September. RSP soldiers fired bullets in the air. Both mother and the RSP. including attacks on journalists. Later In December. attempted coup arrested. before withdrawing under pressure from the photographer for Les Editions Sidwaya. was national army. and took the interim five people. One detainee involvement in the September coup. shot dead while running with two others. leading to deaths Bambara (“Smockey”). Salif ou Diallo was elected that month. press offences with prison sentences. Military officers including generals. Commissions Prisoners alleged that they were subjected to of Inquiry were established to investigate the torture and other ill-treatment in police 2014 killings and those suspected of custody in Ouagadougou. Roch Marc In September. his rights violations relating to the killings of hands were handcuffed to his ankles. a protesters and bystanders in 2015. including a child. was also attacked with an anti-tank was 16-year-old Jean-Baptiste Yoda. no one had been charged or tried for these crimes under international law by TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT the end of 2015. ending the one-year transition. were arrested in Ouagadougou protesters and bystanders.1 The RSP chased and fired shots in burn the station down. triggering buckles. freedom of expression.attempted a coup. political figures and human rights EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE defenders during the coup. wooden bar was put underneath his knees and he was suspended in a squatting position MILITARY TRIBUNAL from between two tables. the RSP physically assaulted civilians. back while running away from security set staff motorbikes alight and threatened to forces. The RSP used excessive of the Balai Citoyen social movement as he force against protesters and bystanders lay on the ground. At the Radio Omega shot dead. A witness filmed following the September coup and charged 98 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . being forced to President.

a journalist who people?” (AFR 60/001/2015) was assassinated in 1998. particular the police and national Early and forced marriage was a serious intelligence services (SNR). Adama Ouédraogo of violence against women and girls and the and Caroline Yoda. association goods were limited. resulting in just 17% of and peaceful assembly. The government failed to otherwise ill-treated by the SNR. as well as to guarantee the premises. General that they were victims of forced and early Godefroid Niyombare. Cost. and more than 15 RSP members were arrested for their suspected involvement in a plan to help Generals Bassolé and Dienderé escape from BURUNDI prison. General Djibril Bassolé and General Gilbert In October the Transitional Parliament Dienderé. role in this murder. warned President marriage. Demonstrators concern. including assassination and possession of a dead body. Burkina Faso: No amnesty for soldiers who killed unarmed civilians In the same month. Two journalists. More than 50 people. safety. Burkina Faso: “Just what were they thinking when they shot at the murder of Norbert Zongo. crimes against humanity and escape being forced by her father to marry a murder. the head of the SNR. services and rights to freedom of expression. DEATH PENALTY while in December an international arrest A bill aiming to abolish the death penalty had warrant was also issued against former not been examined by Parliament at the end President Blaise Compaoré for his suspected of the year. civil distance to health centres and pharmacies. three former members (News story. The law also complicity to threaten state security. were also charged for provision of support for victims. around 10% before they and those detained were tortured and were 15 years old. Protests by women reporting using contraception. including a 13-year-old girl who Nkurunziza not to seek a third term in office. President Thomas Sankara. criminalized and provided for sanctions for General Dienderé also faced charges in forced and early marriage and sexual connection with the murder of former violence. were due to be tried by a military adopted a law on the prevention and sanction tribunal. with over 52% of girls being married were met with excessive force by the police before the age of 18. society and others against the President’s lack of information and negative male decision to stand for a third term were attitudes towards contraception remained the violently repressed by the security forces. including 70-year-old man who already had five wives. Security fulfil its obligations to prevent forced and early forces also attacked independent media marriages. 14 October) of the RSP were charged in connection with 2. to. in main barriers obstructing access. members of the political opposition. Authorities said that an extradition request would be sent to Côte d’Ivoire.with offences including threatening state walked more than 160km over three days to security. Dozens of BACKGROUND women and girls told Amnesty International In February. There were several cases of protection of girls and women at risk through unlawful killings of perceived opponents of the provision of information on. Republic of Burundi Head of state and government: Pierre Nkurunziza WOMEN’S RIGHTS Women’s and girls’ access to sexual and The government increasingly restricted the reproductive health information. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 99 . 1. and access the President. Perpetrators of forced and early marriage were not held to account.

the Netherlands and the Church. The security forces than 100 people were arrested during a rally continued their clampdown on perceived against President Nkurunziza’s candidacy. the political opposition USA. Tanzania. a day before the CNDD-FDD was Bujumbura and one in Bujumbura Rural were due to select its presidential candidate. several high-ranking members of The International Monetary Fund stated that the ruling National Council for the Defense of the economy would shrink by more than 7% Democracy-Forces of Defense of Democracy in 2015 as the country’s tax revenue (CNDD-FDD) publicly called on President collector. with suppressed by security forces. to UNICEF. projects. In March. Incendiary rhetoric from high-level putting pressure on the judges. cordon and search operations that followed. were subsequently expelled from the party. On 17 April. The decision of the AU Peace and support of President Nkurunziza’s candidacy Security Council to send a prevention and went ahead without interference. The fragile cohesion On 5 May. violently repressed and protesters responded More than 230. many protested in Efforts by the East African Community. neighbouring countries. Demonstrations Burundian stakeholders in an externally by political opposition groups were violently mediated dialogue to resolve the crisis. The decision co-operation with the government. Minister of Interior banned all Systematic violations were carried out in the demonstrations. Constitution. having accused the government of crisis. social and economic situation deteriorated. The attempted coup failed. to overthrow the government while President Nkurunziza was in Dar-es-Salaam. Many of Burundi’s development partners. 100 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . officials increased tensions towards the end of On 13 May. FREEDOMS OF ASSEMBLY AND attending a regional heads of state summit on ASSOCIATION Burundi. Days later. According sparked protests in the capital. Three military installations in 24 April. The EU initiated a dialogue with the the CNDD-FDD selected President Burundian authorities under Article 96 of the Nkurunziza on 25 April as their candidate for Cotonou Agreements to re-evaluate its future the 2015 presidential elections. On opponents. the attacked before dawn on 11 December. Office Burundaise des Recettes.000 people fled to with violence. a group of generals attempted the year. Several In the run-up to the elections. those talks that reopened on 28 December soon organized by the ruling political party or in stalling. Nkurunziza not to seek a third term. Despite similar calls from the Catholic such as Belgium. 80% of social sector ministries and other parts of the country. partially or completely stopped their and many regional and international actors. Bujumbura. the political. Protests were had previously been reliant on external aid. the Legislative elections were held in June and then Mayor of Bujumbura issued a directive presidential elections in July. They registered losses due to the crisis. the Constitutional Court upheld between different ethnic groups resulting President Nkurunziza’s candidacy. he was dismissed by After months of instability. a day after from the implementation of the Arusha the Court’s vice-president had fled the Accords was destabilized by the political country. Despite these measures. In March. civil society. organizations were restricted. activities by officers fled the country and security forces political opposition parties and civil society loyal to the President arrested others. more in on 20 August.predicting that doing so would be seen as a protection mission was rejected by the violation of the Arusha Accords and the government. the President. the the streets of Bujumbura against President AU and the UN failed to bring together Nkurunziza’s re-election bid. Pierre authorizing public meetings organized by the Nkurunziza won the election and was sworn ruling political party only.

He was charged with complicity not held to account. officials made threats cars seized in December. members of the ruling President Nkurunziza. against members of international media outlets.3 Police used Radio Publique Africaine (RPA). a pro-government media outlet. including protesters.2 the 11 December search operations.FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION – the private media of having links to people JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA behind the attempted coup. were Rema. which was excessive or lethal force against protesters.496 people were arrested in relation to the On 13-14 May. was arrested and Security forces detained on 20 January after broadcasting There was concern that members of the investigative reports about the September security forces involved in human rights 2014 killing of three elderly Italian nuns in violations during public demonstrations were Bujumbura. Many were detained following completely destroyed the premises of four their participation in peaceful protests against private media outlets: RPA. security forces partially or political crisis. radio stations from broadcasting beyond Bujumbura. In a journalists. authorities prevented four private demonstrations. In its report on the demonstrations against President Nkurunziza’s third term bid. In November. He was released on bail allegations of extrajudicial executions during on 18 February. On 27 April. individuals. Among those detained. a The UN Office of the High Commissioner for common space for media outlets to hold joint Human Rights (OHCHR) reported that at least shows on special occasions. was involved in the arrests of perceived opponents partially destroyed by unidentified armed of President Nkurunziza.1 Most IMPUNITY fled and sought refuge in neighbouring 2015 was marked by an increased tolerance countries. On the including by firing live bullets during same day. Radio Television party’s youth wing. Radio Isanganiro and Radio detainees were denied visits from their Bonesha. Many Renaissance. obstructing the course of justice Police stated in July that five police officers through violating confidentiality of a criminal were under investigation. RPA’s accounts were frozen and number of incidents. EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE The government’s response to the protests Attacks on media organizations failed to comply with regional and On 26 April. harbouring a criminal and lack General announced an investigation into of public solidarity. government officials stormed international standards. Imbonerakure. The government accused them of families or lawyers. managing director of RPA and a well-known journalist. broadcasting live from the protests. authorities shut ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTION down the studio of la Maison de la Presse. UNICEF identified 66 children charged with “involvement in armed Harassment of journalists groups”. 3. of impunity. The Prosecutor investigation. Radio Television President Nkurunziza’s third term. Bob Rugurika. Burundian journalists were targeted and received threats from the authorities. The General Director of in the killing. a Imbonerakure Commission of Inquiry established by the The government failed to investigate government accused some journalists from allegations of intimidation and harassment of Amnesty International Report 2015/16 101 . supporting the attempted coup against In certain instances. the The government restricted international Prosecutor requested the extradition of five journalists’ access to demonstrations.

Jean Bikomagu. Bujumbura. API was reported to and others put in rooms covered with glass have been involved in the killing of Zedi shards or forced to sit in acid. investigation or brought to account any Zigamibanga. He was killed with one of his members of the intelligence service or police bodyguards on 23 May. including extrajudicial executions Some victims were submerged in dirty water of political opponents.individuals by the Imbonerakure. regular police units. Cases of torture and other ill- The government failed to investigate or treatment were reported in official detention suspend members of security forces accused centres. a nurse and member of the in Bujumbura. On 7 September. an army officers appeared before a court in opposition party in Buterere. party. The government investigation indicated possible API indicated that investigations were ongoing but involvement. the CNDD-FDD. alongside party. Bujumbura. at least 400 people were reports of bodies being buried in mass were killed between April and mid-December. especially against those opposed to President Nkurunziza’s re- Extrajudicial executions election bid. accused of his On 13 October. spokesperson of the same year. General Cibitoke neighbourhood. Nkezabahizi and his wife and two children. and an of extrajudicial executions. in relation to these acts by the end of the Patrice Gahungu. considered to be as the 15 May killing of Faustin close to President Nkurunziza. mainly at SNR headquarters.4 102 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . an employee of Colonel and former Chief of Staff during the the International Organization of Migration. cameraman Christophe murder. wooden sticks and military belts. Burundian convoy in Bujumbura. end. security forces carried out cordon and search Almost daily from September. committed human rights metal bars. was shot dead Ndabitezimana. graves. violations. a police unit of the techniques including beating detainees with presidential guard. Security forces used Institutions (API). Witnesses cited the involvement of including members of the ruling political API and the anti-riot brigade. civil war.5 Feruzi. although the prosecutor’s office no findings had been made public by year’s accused a group of youths. On 2 August. the current Chief of Following the attacks on military Staff survived an armed attack against his installations on 11 December. An OHCHR Bujumbura by armed men. dead bodies operations in so-called opposition were found in the streets of Bujumbura and neighbourhoods. was shot dead by unidentified armed men. systematically killed dozens of people. as well Adolphe Nshimirimana. On 11 September. unofficial detention centre known as “Chez The Appui pour la Protection des Ndadaye” in Bujumbura. UNLAWFUL KILLINGS Members of API were also said to have At least two high-ranking members of the been involved in the killing of Vénérant security forces were killed in targeted attacks Kayoya and Léonidas Nibitanga on 26 April in by men in uniform. Bujumbura on 2 September. was shot dead at his residence in were killed in Bujumbura. four Front for Democracy in Burundi. There According to the OHCHR. during which they occasionally in other parts of the country. security forces increased. retired and Evariste Mbonihankuye. Following investigations. such as TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT those documented by the OHCHR in The use of torture and other ill-treatment by Burundi. president of the opposition party The authorities had not conducted any Union for Peace and Democracy. On 15 August.

Burundi: Just tell me what to confess to – torture by police and release of imprisoned political activists and intelligence services since April 2015 (AFR 16/2298/2015) human rights defenders in April. was shot dead at his house in UN Refugee Convention. Many fled assembly continued. as demonstrations in 2013 and 2014. well as those of three leading activists. BACKGROUND The authorities had not investigated these Prime Minister Hun Sen succeeded the long- attacks or brought anyone to account by the serving president of the ruling Cambodia end of the year. 12 June) Rescue Party (CNRP). Chea Sim. Government officials Head of government: Hun Sen referred to them as leaders or supporters of an insurrectional movement. Burundi: Shooting of human rights activist increases climate of fear changes were widely criticized for restricting (News story. refoulements. including deaths resulting from the On 3 August. 4. despite the two 2.HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS Civil society’s opposition to President Nkurunziza’s third term through its campaign CAMBODIA “Stop the third term” led to increased Kingdom of Cambodia harassment and intimidation against human Head of state: King Norodom Sihamoni rights defenders. A law came into force the country or were in hiding in Burundi at severely threatening the right to freedom of the end of the year. the association. In July. On 6 November. defender Pierre Claver Mbonimpa survived an Political activists and human rights attempted killing by unidentified armed men defenders were jailed and arrests for online while returning home. Impunity continued for human government suspended the activities of rights violations in the policing of several NGOs and froze their accounts. Pierre Claver’s son. Sam Rainsy was summonsed on Amnesty International Report 2015/16 103 . In November. Political tensions continued between the 1. “My children are scared”: Burundi's deepening human rights crisis amendments to the Law on the Election of (AFR 16/3116/2015) Members of the National Assembly. Burundi: Media clampdown intensifies in aftermath of coup attempt CPP and the opposition Cambodian National (Press Release. who died in June. 6 August) freedom of expression. Negotiations between the 3. Braving bullets: Excessive force in policing demonstrations in Burundi two parties led to an agreement on a new Law (AFR 16/2100/2015) on the National Election Committee. Many of them Arbitrary restrictions on the rights to were named in the government’s Commission freedom of expression and peaceful of Inquiry report on the protests. He received a two-year prison sentence that was never enforced. was killed after being arrested by the police. The legal 6. political tensions between the two parties re-escalated over an opposition campaign on alleged Vietnamese border encroachment. Welly Fleury Nzitonda. Burundi: Further information: Prominent journalist released: Bob respective leaders announcing a “culture of Rugurika (AFR 16/1134/2015) dialogue” in April. Flagrant violations of the Nshimirimana. an arrest warrant was issued for CNRP leader Sam Rainsy for a 2011 conviction for defamation and incitement to discrimination. leading human rights unnecessary and excessive use of force. In November. took place. and the 5. Pascal activity increased.6 His son-in-law. including Bujumbura on 9 October. In December. People’s Party (CPP).

arrested on charges related to his peaceful widely considered derogatory. former governor of Bavet city in charges arose from a demonstration in July Svay Rieng province. which they claimed were fabricated. released in the aftermath of the demonstration. The UN provided assistance in campaign to prevent alleged illegal sand drafting an Access to Information Law. Vietnamese. seven and 20 years’ imprisonment. Ouk FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION Pich Samnang. activism against a major dam project. In In September. were released after being pardoned violent crackdown on freedom of peaceful by the King. Chhouk Bandith (who 2014 that resulted in clashes between was convicted in his absence and sentenced security forces and opposition supporters. Charges also remained in place three women) turned himself in after the against seven opposition MPs arrested and Prime Minister called for his arrest. with CNRP community representative in Koh Kong. Dev Tep and Chea Immigration stated that it had deported 1. The In August. including at activists. FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY In April. Rapporteur on the situation of human rights In August. The three National Police announced that a law on state men faced two years in prison if convicted on secrets was being drafted. the General Department of August. forgery and well-connected military and political figures. were defrocked and arrested on affecting thousands of families and involving charges of drug possession. Sun Mala Commissioner office were both renewed for and Sim Samnang – were arrested amid a two years. 11 CNRP officials and members that resulted in serious injuries to scores of were convicted of leading and participating in people and the enforced disappearance of an insurrection and sentenced to between 16-year-old Khem Saphath. King Sihamoni signed into law the 104 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . including opposition-led demonstrations Local human rights groups continued to concerning alleged border encroachment by receive complaints about new land disputes Viet Nam. In October. two monks. was leaders continuing to use the term yuon. Nine others – five CNRP assembly over 2013 and 2014. arrested IMPUNITY and convicted in November 2014 for the No one was held to account for a range of peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of violations by security forces in the course of a assembly. three monks and one woman whose least six killings resulting from the family were involved in a land dispute – were unnecessary or excessive use of force during released on bail. 90% of whom were demonstrations since the 2013 election.919 Vanda. a sentiment remained prevalent. 10 women land activists. making death threats. One of those convicted. three activists from conservation in Cambodia and the local UN Human Rights NGO Mother Nature – Try Sovikea. The dredging in Koh Kong province. Vein Vorn. findings were published into the crackdown In July. who had participated in several illegal migrant workers. The releases were part of the that period. was sentenced to an In August. demonstration in October 2014 when he was The mandates of the UN Special violently attacked by security forces. allegations that they threatened to destroy a The expression of anti-Vietnamese dredging vessel. no CNRP.1 Despite announcing official dialogue reached between the CPP and investigations in the wake of those events. to 18 months’ imprisonment in June 2013 on The convictions were not supported by minor charges for shooting into a crowd of evidence to link the 11 to the insurrection demonstrating workers in 2012 and injuring allegations.charges of being an accomplice in a forgery additional two years’ imprisonment on case against opposition Senator Hong Sok charges arising from a separate Hour.

analyze from Nauru as part of a A$40 million (US$28 and compile all forms of … news [and] to million) deal with Australia. violates the right to freedom of association. an upsurge in criminal charges for online expression. which included a series of 23/2157/2015) provisions that would criminalize online expression. remained pending. In July. Ny Chakrya. there was Convention. which is counter inform the public with the aim to protect the to the object and purpose of the Refugee government’s stance and prestige”. Days later. was Amnesty International Report 2015/16 105 . the oldest human rights organization in Cambodia). opposition Senator Hong Sok Two years after he was last seen in January Hour was arrested on forgery and incitement 2014 with an apparent gunshot wound to his charges for posting a video online which chest at a demonstration on the outskirts of included an edited article from a 1979 treaty Phnom Penh. collect. In violation of the UN Refugee Convention Tripartite discussions involving the and international human rights law. the Extraordinary Chambers in “colour revolution” at an unspecified date in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC. All three men went into 1.controversial Law on Associations and Non. it remained unclear how REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS the law would be implemented. former head of state. against Nuon Chea. government. Taking to the streets: Freedom of peaceful assembly in Cambodia self-imposed exile. four refugees arrived in Cambodia function was to “investigate. leader Sam Rainsy and two men responsible for his Facebook page. summoned for questioning on a series of Government Organizations (LANGO) despite a charges arising from comments he made sustained campaign by civil society for the about judicial conduct in a case involving the law to be dropped on the grounds that it arrest of villagers engaged in a land dispute. Both men were held in detention tribunal) heard for the first time evidence on despite a presumption in the Criminal charges of genocide in the second case Procedure Code in favour of bail. and Khieu issued in the Hong Sok Hour case for CNRP Samphan. Cambodia: Refoulement and the question of “voluntariness” (ASA public in 2014. Khmer Rouge the future. head of monitoring for the Cambodia Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC. Sathya Sambath and Ung Chung Leang. further arrest warrants were command of the Khmer Rouge. minority groups in Viet Nam – were also returned over the course of the year after FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Cambodia refused to register their asylum A year after the creation of a “Cyber War claims. Union Law continued behind closed doors At least 36 other Montagnards – a term used with government representatives refusing to loosely to refer to mostly Christian indigenous publish newer versions of the draft. former second-in- In December. the shared border. the fate or whereabouts of 16- between Cambodia and Viet Nam concerning year-old Khem Saphath remained unclarified. unions and employers’ Cambodia forcibly returned 45 minority ethnic representatives on a controversial draft Trade Jarai asylum-seekers to Viet Nam in February. a student was arrested on incitement charges after stating INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE on Facebook that he planned to initiate a In September. ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES In August. (ASA 23/1506/2015) A draft Cybercrimes Law leaked to the 2. By the end of the year.2 Team” within the Council of Ministers whose In June.

in the town of Guirvidig on 20 December 106 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . 770 civilians misappropriation of property and assets. times failed to protect the civilian population Eighty-four children were detained without from attacks and themselves committed charge for six months in a children’s centre in crimes under international law and human Maroua. Boko harassment. although arrests and Haram used girls as young as 13 to carry out prosecutions declined from previous years. transgender and intersex 100. A significant including of a seven-year-old girl – and deployment of security forces in the Far North destruction of property.CAMEROON ABUSES BY ARMED GROUPS Boko Haram committed crimes under international law and human rights abuses. Many schools were also targeted. torture. and set dozens of buildings Central African Republic continued to live in alight. During such as a result of violence in the Central African operations. the recruitment of child soldiers. in southeastern Cameroon. killing at least 16 civilians. northeastern Nigeria and the Far North in attacks against civilian objects. accused of supporting Boko Haram in the Far North. and burned over 150 houses.000 people death penalty to a broader set of crimes. In an attempt to abducted by Boko Haram in Cameroon since prevent Boko Haram from capturing 2013.000 children without access to arrests. committing crimes under against the civilian population across both international law including unlawful killings. summary executions. security forces used excessive Republic. territory. Human rights Maroua. Lesbian. association and assembly children. According to the UN. killing at least 90 civilians thousands of refugees from Nigeria and the and 19 soldiers. The armed group Boko Haram disrupted the private and religious property. it attacked the village of precarious conditions. enforced disappearances education since 2014. bisexual. deaths in Cameroonian soil. However. looting and destruction of public. These crimes lives of thousands of people in northern appear to be part of a systematic attack Cameroon. In continued to be restricted. and extrajudicial executions of suspected On 4 February. hostage Head of government: Philémon Yang taking. Cameroon. At least 23 suicide bombings carried out (LGBTI) people continued to face between July and December 2015 resulted in discrimination. detentions. suicide attacks in crowded civilian areas killed including by government agents. and of force and committed human rights violations armed conflict between Boko Haram and such as arbitrary arrests. including in mass cordon and search BACKGROUND operations where dozens of men and boys There was continuing instability in the country were rounded up and arrested. intimidation and the deaths of about 120 civilians. Hundreds of village of Fotokol. including two expression. Freedoms of Bia. abductions. following a raid on Qur’anic schools rights violations. between 22 and 25 July. were killed and some 600 women and girls looting and abductions. unlawful killings – security forces in the Far North. the attacks. at least 33 people and wounded more than gay. An anti-terrorism law promulgated on 23 December 2014 infringed basic rights and ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS freedoms. Other violations prevented Boko Haram from taking control of include enforced disappearances. Boko Haram attacked the members of the group. On 17 April. and extended the scope of the Security forces arrested at least 1. security forces carried out arbitrary leaving 35. security forces at custody and mistreatment of prisoners. three defenders were intimidated and harassed. Republic of Cameroon including suicide bomb attacks in civilian Head of state: Paul Biya areas.

limited sexuality. At least 130 people therefore RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. He had travelled to more cells at Maroua prison. and committed Minawao to investigate the living conditions of to building new prisons across the country. and interview key witnesses. On 27 April. their bodies.300 detainees. A peaceful suspected of supporting Boko Haram further demonstration organized by an LGBTI aggravated these conditions. Radio France REFUGEES' AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS Internationale correspondent Ahmed Abba At least 180.000 refugees from the Central was arrested in Maroua on 30 July and was African Republic lived in harsh conditions in held incommunicado for over three months crowded camps along bordering areas of before being charged with “inciting or southeastern Cameroon. accusing them of supporting Boko of their arrest in a makeshift cell. intimidation. but was accused of spying on behalf of Boko Haram. others were taken to Maroua prison the following day. of violence in northeastern Nigeria in 2013. and over thorough investigation was held on 14 July. including by Prison conditions remained poor: chronic security forces. reveal the location of prosecutions reduced from previous years. The of Franco-Cameroonian lawyer Lydienne Yen Minawao refugee camp in the Far North Eyoum was arbitrary.000. The wave of arrests of individuals relating to their sexual identity. 75% of whom were between eight and 17 DEATHS IN CUSTODY AND ENFORCED years of age. inadequate food. in detained without charge by security forces. 40 detainees died between March and May. At least 25 men died during the night Nigeria. suspects. a Cameroonian journalist. Since the escalation justifying terrorism”. GAY. Nigerian refugees. the UN Working Group on hundreds of thousands of people have fled Arbitrary Detention stated that the detention across the border into Cameroon. for a Amnesty International Report 2015/16 107 . while 45 Haram. although the number of arrests and identify those victims. Two people remain in prison on medical care. An internal investigation has yet to concern.100. In response.2014. maximum capacity of 2. The continued criminalization of same-sex sexual activity still led to individuals being PRISON CONDITIONS harassed and blackmailed. BISEXUAL. DISAPPEARANCES contrary to the provisions of the 1951 UN Over 200 men and boys were arrested on 27 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. with Discrimination. hosted over 50. the refugee camp and held by Cameroonian government has provided funding to build officials for four days.000 refugees as of December. remain unaccounted for and are presumed to TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE be victims of enforced disappearance. and deplorable hygiene and charges – one of whom is awaiting trial – sanitation. The main Journalists continued to be arrested and factors of recent prison overcrowding. The population of the central prison in Yaoundé is approximately 4. was detainees held without charge and the arrested on 28 August at the Minawao ineffective judicial system. harassment and evidence suggesting more may have died in violence against LGBTI people remained a custody. as addition to the wave of arrests of Boko Haram part of their operation against Boko Haram. included the large number of Simon Ateba. because of their suspected overcrowding. Maroua prison organization to commemorate the death of houses 1. There were concerns that. more than three LGBTI activist Eric Lembembe and call for a times its intended capacity (350). December 2014 in a cordon and search the Cameroonian military deported Nigerians operation in the villages of Magdeme and who had long resided in Cameroon back to Doublé.

five members of Dynamique communities and prevent further harm to Citoyenne. on six years of hearing. Communication Council sanctioned more An appeal against the decision to allow the than 20 media outlets during the year and Northern Gateway Pipeline project to proceed some of its decisions were contested by the in northern British Columbia. end of the year. This and girls was launched and commitments followed his campaign against the impunity were made to address a range of other surrounding the killing of a human rights human rights concerns. At the end of the opposition from many Indigenous Peoples year. harassment and CANADA threats. the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its calls to action based FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION. Head of government: Justin Trudeau (replaced executive director Maximilienne Ngo Mbe and Stephen Harper in November) president Alice Nkom received death threats on TV and in the press. head of human rights develop a long-demanded public inquiry into organization Os-Civile. defender who had challenged the appointments of two traditional leaders in INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS 2011. A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling in a case started in 2008 alleging discrimination in federal government underfunding of child protection in First Nations Indigenous communities had been pending for 14 months at the end of the year. called on Canada to report back within one censorship to avoid repercussions for year on progress made in addressing violence criticizing the government. change of government. In February. was repeatedly missing and murdered Indigenous women threatened by state agents since July. were arrested while In July. following a statement by Canada the Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II. denunciation” of sources.HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS Human rights defenders continued to be victims of intimidation. especially on against Indigenous women and girls and security matters. despite Journalism Trade Union. Ngo Mbe has been Sweeping reforms to national security laws the target of repeated threats because of her raised human rights concerns. was pending at the front of a military tribunal for the “non. On 15 recommendations to help restore Indigenous September. a platform regrouping several civil Indigenous children. In July. the process to Alhadji Mei Ali. 108 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Following a human rights-related work. the UN Human Rights Committee Journalists reported practising self. They were held in impact on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. society organizations. Felix Ebole who depend on lands and waters potentially Bola and Baba Wamé still faced charges in impacted by the project. The National protecting Indigenous land rights. custody for seven days without charge. represented by Network (REDHAC) on the alleged death in Governor General David Johnston custody of more than 50 people in Maroua. It included a finding ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY that Canada’s residential school system for Perceived or actual opponents of the Aboriginal children constituted “cultural government were denied the right to organize genocide” and set out extensive peaceful activities and demonstrations. journalists Rodrigue Tongué. construction of the Site C dam in holding a seminar on electoral governance British Columbia began without addressing its and democratic change. In June.

The new government promised to repeal the 2014 reforms. following the change of use of solitary confinement remained government. offences in general” which undermines the In August. It expands the authority of In July the UN Human Rights Committee Canadian government agencies to share called on Canada to report back within a year information about individuals without on a range of human rights concerns facing adequate safeguards and allows the Canadian immigrants and refugees. pending. inquiry into violence against Indigenous women and girls was initiated. Cameroonian national Michael right to freedom of expression. a process to launch a public pending. In agreement.000 by that Omar Khadr must be treated as a minor early 2016. provisions. hold offenders to Canada for torture outside the country. CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY In February. the new government A legal challenge to Citizenship Act reforms announced that cuts to the Interim Federal passed in 2014 allowing dual nationals Health Program for refugees and refugee convicted of terrorism and other offences to claimants would be reversed and health be stripped of Canadian citizenship remained coverage restored. the new government announced a appeal against his conviction in the USA. 13 challenge to the new law was pending at the months after the UN Working Group on end of the year and the new government Arbitrary Detention had called for him to be made a commitment to revise some of its released from indefinite detention. The disaster spilled Amnesty International Report 2015/16 109 . the Royal Canadian Mounted into whether Imperial Metals breached any Police laid criminal charges for torture against laws when the tailings dam at its Mount Polley a Syrian military intelligence officer in the mine collapsed in 2014. reports emerged that government officials suspended processing Syrian refugee COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY cases for several weeks during the summer In May. became law. Security Intelligence Service to take measures In July. was released on bail pending an November. a Canadian citizen held and were screening cases to prioritize at Guantánamo Bay for 10 years beginning refugees from ethnic and religious minorities when he was 15 years old and repatriated to as well as refugees who have run businesses Canada in 2012 under a prisoner transfer and who speak English or French fluently. the Federal Court overturned the to reduce security threats. A legal Mvogo was deported from Canada. even if such “designated country of origin” list under measures would violate rights. the Supreme Court of Canada ruled end of 2015 towards a total of 25. a joint investigation was JUSTICE SYSTEM launched by federal and provincial agencies In September. Omar Khadr.000 Syrian refugees had In June the 2015 Anti-terrorism Act arrived in Canada. the CEDAW Committee concluded illegally imprisoned in Syria in 2002-2003 that the Canadian police and justice system after being subject to rendition from the USA. within the Canadian corrections system. The new law which refugee claimants from “safe” creates a criminal offence of advocating or countries were denied the right to appeal promoting the commission of “terrorism refused refugee claims.000 Syrian refugees by the in May. had failed to effectively protect Indigenous The charges were the first ever brought in women from violence.WOMEN’S RIGHTS case of Canadian citizen Maher Arar who was In March. At the end of the year. In October. Two lawsuits challenging the widespread In December. approximately 6. the inquiry was REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS expected to begin in 2016. In November. Also plan to resettle 10. account and ensure redress for victims.

including attacks gender identity as a prohibited ground of targeted at civilians. By the end of the year. including immunity for those suspected of criminal war crimes and crimes against humanity. capital. BACKGROUND The conflict that led to the loss of thousands LEGAL. CONSTITUTIONAL OR of lives in 2014 continued throughout 2015. Security operations by international Rehabilitation and Reintegration accord and forces and political initiatives such as the an agreement on the demobilization of child 110 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . the fourth annual report to bringing an end to violations of international Parliament assessing the human rights effects humanitarian law and violations and abuses of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade of international human rights law. It again failed to those suspected of criminal responsibility consider human rights concerns. both under UN and US sanctions. including for crimes under international law. a major Draft legislation which would have added upsurge in violence. A Disarmament. Canada was one of 12 Criminal Court (ICC) continued to countries to sign the Trans-Pacific investigate crimes under international law. conflict. According to the UN and relief which did not include human rights organizations. The International In October. struggled to fully against Torture.7 million people remained safeguards. for human rights harms committed in mining operations in Eritrea and Guatemala. as well as other militias and their areas of resource extraction investment in allies.24 million cubic metres of mining waste water National Reconciliation Forum held in the into fish-bearing waterways. Many of Agreement was released. or brought to justice. INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS Between September and October. a major new free trade deal.000 refugees in establish Canadian parent company liability neighbouring countries. CENTRAL In January. a ceasefire agreement between former Presidents François Bozizé and Michel AFRICAN REPUBLIC Djotodia. and radical factions of the anti-Balaka and ex- Séléka forces. UN Multidimensional Integrated Despite repeated calls. prevent violations of international humanitarian law. in need of humanitarian assistance. in addition to widespread destruction of before Parliament was recessed in advance of private and public property. in May did not succeed in In May. Demobilization. Partnership.000 internally pending before Canadian courts seeking to displaced people and 452. In May a national Head of government: Mahamat Kamoun reconciliation forum postponed elections originally scheduled for August and ruled out Crimes under international law. were yet to be effectively investigated Colombia. five lawsuits were including more than 460. responsibility for crimes under international were committed by all parties to the law. Bangui. resulted in the deaths of discrimination in Canada’s Human Rights Act more than 75 people and injuries to hundreds and hate crimes laws did not pass the Senate more. supported by the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention French “Sangaris” force. was signed in Nairobi but was Central African Republic rejected by the transitional authorities and the Head of state: Catherine Samba-Panza international community. the government did Stabilization Mission in the Central African not ratify the Arms Trade Treaty or the Republic (MINUSCA). 2. commanders of the Séléka and anti-Balaka Afro-descendant communities and others in forces. The federal elections. including serious abuses facing Indigenous Peoples.

including the ex-Séléka and the On 2 and 3 August. four men were severely beaten Serious violations of human rights and after being arrested by MINUSCA international humanitarian law.000 civilians were forced to flee their interim central government. facilitated self-defence group leader in the PK5 enclave by the heavy circulation of small arms.1 An investigation by the UN in the towns of Kouango. abductions.000 French peacekeepers. armed and other peacekeepers against children as men attacked residents of areas near the young as nine were under investigation at the Muslim enclave known as PK5. groups. Members of Muslim self-defence groups. of Bangui resulted in fierce fighting and the In February. Kaga Bandoro and International Office for Oversight was under Batangafo. treatment. Twenty peacekeepers were repatriated on 20 looting and destruction of property. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 111 . internally destruction of property. death of one peacekeeper. homes.soldiers were also signed by 11 armed from violence. ABUSES BY ARMED GROUPS AND VIOLATIONS BY UN PEACEKEEPERS COMMUNAL VIOLENCE On 10 July. torture and other ill. following the killing of a Allegations of sexual violence by French 17-year-old Muslim moto-taxi driver. In the by a UN peacekeeper during a security ensuing violence houses were burned and operation in Bangui. More than 75 people displaced people from the Peulh community were killed and 400 wounded. suggested that a 12-year-old girl was raped Balaka fighters. including killings. armed ethnic Peulh herders. including the airport protected by UN peacekeepers was restricted and government buildings. its intervention because of risks of attack by members of was slow and failed to protect civilians anti-Balaka and their affiliates. acting under orders from the 40. On 26 September. the Special Representative of attacked a delegation of ex-Séléka who had the UN Secretary-General to the Central come to Bangui to meet President Samba- African Republic resigned following Panza. anti-Balaka militia and a number of FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND their supporters committed widespread DISPLACEMENT abuses. a failed attempt by anti-Balaka whose fighters could operate MINUSCA peacekeepers to arrest a Muslim freely across much of the country. On 26 October. were July by MINUSCA for excessive use of force perpetrated by all armed groups involved in against detainees. including peacekeepers in the town of Mambéré in the unlawful killings. national security forces. way at the end of the year. helped to secure key Muslims living in enclaves in several towns installations in Bangui. of people. rapes and In the first months of 2015. sexual assaults. Evidence strongly at times supported by ex-Séléka and anti. Although MINUSCA. people killed during confrontations involving On 13 December a new Constitution was armed Muslim gangs. south-west. the conflict. Two of the four members of the allegations that a 12-year-old girl was raped delegation remained unaccounted for. attacked civilians along a by a MINUSCA soldier during the operation. including stranded in the town of Yaloké were civilians. corridor used for the seasonal movement of while two civilians were killed after UN livestock in the central regions. anti-Balaka and approved in a referendum. supported by The freedom of movement of about 25. killing dozens end of the year. One died later of his wounds. leading to soldiers apparently shot indiscriminately down temporary mass displacement of populations an alleyway. More than 250 houses were set repeatedly forbidden from leaving the town by alight in non-Muslim areas and more than local authorities. anti-Balaka fighters In August.

000 people remained escaped from the Ngaragba male prison in internally displaced. On 28 September. including approximately Bangui. a prominent anti. living in harsh conditions 700 detainees. which had begun in that Muslims had little freedom to practise September 2013 into crimes committed since their religion in public. other militias and their allies. bringing the number of Central African refugees in neighbouring countries to about INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE 452. including human rights – purchased diamonds worth several million violations. tasked with investigating international cleansed areas in the west of the country crimes committed in the country since were forced by anti-Balaka to abandon their January 2003 and to complement the work of religion or convert to Christianity. continued. indiscriminate killings must be investigated (News story. it was believed they purchased diamonds were investigated or brought to justice. funding amed groups who controlled institutions remained limited. On 30 May. including from Few of those suspected of criminal areas where ex-Séléka and anti-Balaka responsibility for crimes under international groups were known to operate. Adam. In August. MINUSCA met with Nourredine in dangerous conditions. an ex-Séléka commander suspected of crimes against humanity and subject to UN sanctions and national and international 1. 11 Democratic Republic of the Congo and the inmates escaped from the detention facility in Republic of Congo since December 2013. the Special areas in the west of the country where Criminal Court was yet to be operational. funded armed groups. Rodrigue Ngaïbo.000 people to flee to Cameroon. companies denied buying conflict diamonds. anti-Balaka. including children. The government failed Balaka leader known as “Andilo”. in makeshift camps. dollars during the conflict. 17 detainees. 11 August) PRISON CONDITIONS Prison conditions remained poor and security weak. The crisis forced around escaped from the same prison as violence 200. between 500 and 60. On 17 without adequately investigating whether they January. 112 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . who often worked In October. Judicial authorities lacked the protection money. By the end of year. miners. Chad.000. Muslim clothing or reconstruct destroyed mosques. While both law. escalated in Bangui. including some high-ranking anti-Balaka commanders. threats by anti-Balaka meant investigations. Two of the biggest capacity to investigate and prosecute diamond buying houses – Badica and Sodiam suspects of crimes. including commanders of the Séléka. was to provide protection to artisanal (small-scale) arrested by MINUSCA in the town of Bouca. “taxed” miners and extorted outside Bangui. NATURAL RESOURCES Conflict diamonds smuggled from the Central IMPUNITY African Republic were traded on international The presence and functioning of judicial markets. More than 460. especially mine sites. wear traditional August 2012.000 in Bangui. Outside the ICC. including anti-Balaka fighters. On 4 November. ICC peacekeepers. due Muslims live under the protection of UN particularly to lack of funding. the town of Bria. Central African Republic: UN troops implicated in rape of a girl and arrest warrants. the President promulgated a law creating a Special Criminal Court composed FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND BELIEF of national and international prosecutors and Some Muslims returning to ethnically judges.

Kangalom. including civilians.CHAD suicide attacks in the market of Bagassola and in an informal settlement of internally displaced people in Kousseri. and COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY around Lake Chad. and looted and destroyed begging were banned. On 5 Republic of Chad December. on the islands vehicles. The UN Office of the guns in the village of Telia. Sudan opposition parties and civil society and Libya continued to live in difficult organizations expressed concern that the bill conditions in crowded refugee camps. The authorities took several death penalty and increased the punishments counter-terrorism and security measures. The definition of often using excessive or unnecessary force. killing and abducting On 30 July. the Chadian population and foreign nationals. Public Prosecutor. Central African Republic. The armed group Boko Haram stepped up attacks in the capital. provided the governor of the region with the In February. In addition to an increase in search ABUSES BY ARMED GROUPS operations in homes. a state of emergency was Violence led to the displacement of declared in the Lake Chad region and approximately 70. in the Lake Chad region. On carrying out arbitrary arrests and detentions 3 April Boko Haram ambushed civilians going by both local civil society organizations and to market and killed seven with knives and international bodies. for lesser terrorism offences from the previous including passing a restrictive anti-terrorism maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment to life. On 15 June. torture and war crimes at the series of counter-terrorism measures affecting Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. and looting and destroying an anti-terrorism law that provided for the properties. On 11 checks in a two-week period after the 15 July. faced trial on charges of crimes against Also in July. Boko Haram killed more than authority to ban the movement of people and 24 people.000 people. 38 High Commissioner for Human Rights civilians were killed and more than 100 reported that more than 400 foreign nationals injured in a twin suicide attack by suspected of 14 nationalities were arrested following spot Boko Haram members in N’Djamena. N’Djamena. renewable twice by the expression by dispersing demonstrations. and Ngouboua. bomber wearing a woman’s burqa killed at least 15 civilians in a market in N’Djamena EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE and injured more than 80. and Nigeria. checkpoints and public Boko Haram killed more than 200 civilians places. private properties and public facilities. law. the National Assembly adopted civilians. On 10 October at The rights to freedom of expression and least 43 civilians were killed in separate association were violated as security forces Amnesty International Report 2015/16 113 . The authorities be brought before a court was increased from continued to restrict the right to freedom of 48 hours to 30 days. search homes and recover arms. a suspected Boko Haram suicide June bomb attack in N’Djamena. could be used to curtail freedoms of Former Chadian President Hissène Habré expression and association. “terrorism” in the bill is extremely broad. the authorities imposed a humanity. The security forces carried out arbitrary The maximum period before suspects must arrests and detentions. including in the localities of The security forces were accused of Kaiga-Kingiria. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from including disruption of public services. veils fully covering the face and public during the year. at least 27 civilians were killed Head of state: Idriss Déby Itno and more than 80 injured in three suicide Head of government: Kalzeubé Payimi Deubet attacks in different locations in the market of Loulou Fou. of Lake Chad. On 9 November.

land rights the principle of universal jurisdiction. after a video revealing the of being Boko Haram members. 20 former state security Ngaoubourandi (ASNGA). the trial of former Chadian of N’Djamena sentenced eight policemen to President Hissène Habré opened at the six months’ imprisonment and a fine of Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal on 50. torture violence. had declined to transfer these suspects to the On 22 June. arrested during the demonstration were Central African Republic. the Supreme Court On 20 July. ordered to pay compensation of 75 billion On 28 July the Appeal Court of Moundou CFA francs (US$125 million) to the 7. dropped all charges civil parties.000 overturned the verdict. Chad the same day. Videos also showed that students neighbouring countries including Sudan.used excessive or unnecessary force to On 23 June. was other towns such as Kyabé in the south of the assaulted alongside an international human country. identity of the security forces who tortured and otherwise ill-treated the students was INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE broadcast on the internet. subjected to torture and other ill-treatment by Many lived in poor conditions in overcrowded members of the Mobile Police Intervention refugee camps. Security forces beat the students and Commissioner for Human Rights reported forced them to roll on the ground. where at least three people were rights defender in N’Djamena by state agents. The UN Office of the High Group. batons and live ammunition. Mahamat Ramadane. Four In addition to approximately 70. was arrested and or to allow representatives of the Chambers to held until the following day for photographing interview them in Chad. In 2014 the Chadian authorities against him and released him. was arrested and agents connected to President Habré’s charged with “insulting the judiciary” by the regime were convicted of torture by the Public Prosecutor of Moundou after Chadian Criminal Court.1 activist and Director of Association On 25 March. security forces dispersed a students’ demonstration using REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS tear gas. 10 suspected Boko Haram 114 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . contrary to the ears. The defendants and the state were fine by the High Court of Justice of Moundou.000 refugees – the charged in relation to these deaths during second highest total in Africa – from 2015.000 people students were allegedly killed and many other internally displaced by Boko Haram attacks. On 9 March. On 29 August.000 CFA francs (US$80) for “unlawful charges of crimes against humanity. No one was investigated or Chad hosted almost 500. the newspaper Alwihda. reportedly killed during a demonstration on Laurent Correau was forcibly expelled from 25 April. a journalist disperse demonstrations in N’Djamena and with Radio France Internationale. He was Chadian state liable for the defendants’ sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and a actions. to wipe that during 2015 Chad forced Nigerian their faces with sand and to pull their own refugees back to their country. Six other officers were acquitted. Nigeria and Libya. wilfully beating and wounding and and war crimes. Djeralar Miankeo. protesters injured. This was the first time that an African court had FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION prosecuted a former African president under On 15 June. allegedly committed between complicity”. principle of non-refoulement. accusing them On 20 May. a security operation in N’Djamena where the police were reported to have used excessive DEATH PENALTY force. editor of Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. in N’Djamena. The Criminal Court questioning the competence of Chadian acquitted four of the accused and found the judicial officials in a radio interview. Laurent Correau. 1982 and 1990 when he ruled Chad.

continuing at the end of the year. The Supreme Court. It was the first execution since 2003. and of association called on the authorities to end the use of military courts to deal with SECURITY FORCES AND THE MILITARY cases of human rights violations. Investigation into the death of Iván Vásquez Republic of Chile Vásquez in police custody in 2014 in Chile Head of state and government: Michelle Bachelet Jeria Chico. by March there were 1. A few cases of police violence were dealt with by the ordinary courts.members were executed by firing squad after cases to the jurisdiction of ordinary courts. In Gutiérrez Reinoso and injuring Carlos Burgos 2014 Chad had announced that it would Toledo during a protest in 2011. Official data from the Ministry of the specific cases when deciding to transfer such Interior Human Rights Programme indicated Amnesty International Report 2015/16 115 . Court disregarded the military tribunal’s finding that methods short of the use of firearms were available to disperse the 1. involving In September. despite public past human rights violations continued. were investigated the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly throughout the year. In July the Martial Court agreed to past human rights violations continued. more Cases of police violence continued to be comprehensive. 20 July) no proof of intention to cause injury on the part of the officer. circumstances. JUSTICE SYSTEM Cases of human rights violations involving IMPUNITY members of the security forces continued to Efforts to bring to justice those responsible for be dealt with by military courts. The Martial included it in a new anti-terrorism law. seriously injured by police water cannon in for many.2 This decision was CHILE confirmed by the Supreme Court in December. Among them BACKGROUND were the cases of Nelson Quichillao. instead stating that there was story. The family requested a third. Investigations into the cases were system. from three abolish the death penalty. autopsy. which was still pending Abortion remained criminalized in all at the end of the year.1 being sentenced to death in a trial held In May. commitments by the authorities to reform the According to the President of the Supreme relevant legislation. Legal discrepancies between two previous proceedings against those responsible for autopsies. Aysén region. and that of 28- current Constitution was adopted during the year-old student Rodrigo Avilés who was military government of General Pinochet and. of which 112 related to allegations of international human rights obligations in torture. but in July 2015 years and 61 days to 461 days. Atacama Region. Court. made some progress. given the dealt with by military courts. a In October. is not consistent with a democratic May. They in the military justice system) reduced the were convicted of carrying out the twin sentence imposed on a former police officer attacks that killed 38 people in N’Djamena in for fatally shooting 16-year-old Manuel June. conduct this autopsy.056 active however. Allegations of political corruption. upheld the right to due process and cases. the Martial Court (the appeal court behind closed doors the previous day. the Special Rapporteur on a number of public officials. President Bachelet announced mineworker who was shot dead by the the process that would be followed in order to security forces during a protest in July in El adopt a new Constitution in 2017. The Salvador. Chad: Time for justice for victims of Hissène Habré’s regime (News demonstrators.

and rights of Indigenous Peoples.that 72 of the 122 people who were convicted Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) urged of human rights violations between 2014 and Chile to expedite the adoption of a bill to September 2015 were serving prison decriminalize abortion in some sentences. came into Human Rights ruled that Chile had denied force. despite evidence that their pending before the Senate at the end of the confessions were extracted under torture. Chile’s failure to protect women and girls: The criminalization of the end of the year. Chile: El uso excesivo e innecesario de la fuerza policial debe circumstances.5 some victims of torture.4 A bill to decriminalize investigarse y sancionarse en tribunales ordinarios (AMR abortion when the pregnancy poses a threat 22/1738/2015) to the life of the woman or is the result of rape 3. Chile: Amnesty law keeps Pinochet’s legacy alive (News story. circumstances. The decision followed reports 1973. their allegations of torture had not been investigated. use of force and arbitrary detention during Information and documentation gathered police operations against Mapuche by the Valech Commission on politically communities.3 In October. abortion is a human rights violation (Amnesty International Chile. seven former military officers family in 2014 and 2015 linked to land were charged in July for burning 19-year-old disputes. effective remedy to 12 people sentenced A bill on the right to gender identity that by a military tribunal between 1974 and1975. RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. ensuring their therefore secret for 50 years and unavailable right to free. motivated torture and imprisonment during In July. the Inter-American Court of including for same-sex couples. 10 former military officers were Juana Calfunao and members of her family charged with the kidnapping and killing of the living in the community of Juan Paillalef in singer and political activist Víctor Jara in southern Chile. 11 or incest or in cases of serious foetal September) malformation was pending before Congress at 4. In July. However. threats and intimidation against the military officer. prior and informed consent with to those seeking justice for the victims. Chile: Un avance: Otro caso de violaciones de derechos humanos se SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS traspasa a la justicia ordinaria (AMR 22/1149/2015) Abortion remained a criminal offence in all 2. legislation on civil partnerships. the CESCR urged Chile to the Pinochet era remained classified as guarantee constitutional recognition of the confidential. GAY. measures for Mapuche Indigenous leader In July. No progress was made in overturning the TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE 1978 Amnesty Law. 1. would allow people to change their name and The case against them had not been gender on official documents remained quashed. and year. June 2015) 116 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . the Inter-American Commission granting early economic reparation to victims of Human Rights ordered precautionary of torture and political imprisonment. regard to decisions that may directly affect In October. BISEXUAL. after a 40-day hunger strike by their rights. the UN Committee on Economic. a law was passed In October. In September. of excessive use of force by the security Following information received from a forces. Rodrigo Rojas to death and severely injuring 18-year-old Carmen Gloria Quintana in 1986. victims’ organizations condemned the slow progress in establishing INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS the truth about the thousands of victims of There were renewed allegations of excessive enforced disappearance. even from the judiciary.

2 implemented. He was barred from Freedom of religion continued to be practising law as a result of the conviction. Other activists and human rights counsel and families. In November.1 This focus were drafted or enacted that form of detention allows the police to hold presented grave dangers to human rights. Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang. At least two had reported being harassment. democracy and human rights came religious affairs and ban all unauthorized under severe attack. Li unprecedented government crackdown on Tingting and Zheng Churan – were arrested human rights lawyers and other activists. on the charge of “disclosing Zhejiang province. eight had been formally Human rights defenders. Televised “confessions” of critics primarily on the basis of comments he had detained for investigation multiplied. Wu Rongrong. subjected to harassment and intimidation. including prominent People’s Republic of China human rights lawyers Zhou Shifeng.5. for planning to mark International Women’s Human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was Day with a campaign against sexual given a three-year suspended sentence on harassment. The government sentence was reduced to five years and she maintained extensive controls over Tibetan was released from prison on medical parole. journalists arrested and remained in detention as of and activists faced increased intimidation. and violence. and many of their offices and CHINA homes were raided. In the predominantly state secrets” for sharing an internal Muslim Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Communist Party document in which freedom Region. systematically stifled. The UN Committee Her release came after her family and friends against Torture regretted that previous claimed she did not have access to necessary recommendations had not been medical care in detention. lawyers. harassment and restriction of their freedom of Five women’s rights activists were detained movement. at least 248 lawyers and Cultural Rights: 55th session (AMR 22/1479/2015) activists were questioned or detained by state security agents. Chile: Submission to the UN Committee on Economic. tortured in detention. the regional government enacted of the press and “universal values” such as new regulations to more tightly control freedom. and at least 12 of them. arbitrary arrest. with suspects denied access to legal lawyers. academia. individuals suspected of such crimes for up to The government launched a massive six months outside the formal detention nationwide crackdown against human rights system. Authorities stepped up their charges of “picking quarrels and provoking controls over the internet. Of the more than 100 people in mainland China detained for supporting Hong Kong HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS protests in 2014. Social and the following weeks. 3 The detention of lawyer Wang Yu and her In March. Wang Man. mass media and troubles” and “inciting ethnic hatred”. Sui Head of state: Xi Jinping Muqing. The government In April journalist Gao Yu was sentenced to continued its campaign to demolish seven years’ imprisonment by a court in the churches and take down Christian crosses in capital. December. five women’s rights activists – family on 9 July marked the beginning of an Wei Tingting. Head of government: Li Keqiang were held in “residential surveillance in a designated location” on suspicion of A series of new laws with a national security involvement in state security crimes. Beijing. 25 people remained missing or in custody. Over and detained on the charge of “picking Amnesty International Report 2015/16 117 . Family members were defenders continued to be systematically also subject to police surveillance. Buddhist monasteries. her religious practice. made on social media. At the end of the year.

access to lawyers on the grounds that the In December. or “harm national interests” – vague where labour unrest and strikes were on the and imprecise terms that could be used to rise. launching a campaign against sexual The wide discretion given to authorities to harassment. intimidate and prosecute human rights although they continued to suffer police defenders and NGO workers. Two enforce a real-name registration system in a former employees – Guo Bin and Yang way that runs counter to national and Zhangqing – were detained on 12 June on international obligations to safeguard the right suspicion of “illegal business activity”.4 privacy. if platforms. the Minister of 6 assembly and expression. store users’ data in China. includes a broad and vague definition of shut down 50 websites and WeChat accounts “national security” that comprises areas such – many related to discussion of current as politics. “separatism” and 2015 in its campaign to “fight pornography. evictions and confiscation of The draft Cyber Security Law. of sweeping laws and regulations under the pretext of enhancing national security. The draft law would prohibit In December. a well-known anti-discrimination companies operating in China to censor advocacy organization. and suffered harassment and intimidation. CONSTITUTIONAL OR government policies from being persecuted INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS on broad charges related to “terrorism” or The government enacted or drafted a series “extremism”. would severely restrict history of the Communist Party and national the rights to freedom of association. order”. “leaking state secrets”.7 which personal items while on bail. were detained and content. and he warned give the Ministry of Public Security the against universities being infiltrated by responsibility to oversee the registration of “hostile forces”. peaceful history”. which had virtually no security”. to “harm national security”. at least 33 workers and individuals or groups from using the internet labour rights activists were targeted by police. While the law was Education stated that foreign textbooks would ostensibly designed to regulate and even be banned in order to stop the spread of protect the rights of foreign NGOs. and 133 accounts that were enacted in the form presented for public disseminating information that was “distorting consultation in May. enacted on 1 month. The same that the National Security Law. the government announced it had July. The detention centres did not allow further restrict freedom of expression. There FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION – INTERNET were fears that they could be used to silence AND JOURNALISTS dissent and crack down on human rights In January the government announced that defenders through expansive charges such as the internet would be the main “battlefield” in “inciting subversion”. culture. purports to protect internet users’ personal Many former employees and volunteers of data from hacking and theft. as well as supervising their to mark International Women’s Day by operations and pre-approving their activities.5 safeguards to prevent those who peacefully practised their religion or simply criticized LEGAL. would also force Yirenping. 118 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . parliament passed the Anti- cases involved “endangering national Terrorism Law. Also in January. it would “wrong Western values”.quarrels and provoking troubles” for planning foreign NGOs. “upset social seven were detained in Guangdong province. interrogations. finance and the internet. military affairs or anti-corruption The draft Foreign NGO Management Law. They were released on “bail oversee and manage the work of NGOs raised pending trial” on 13 April after the risk that the law could be misused to unprecedented international pressure. There were concerns and unlawful [information]”. they to freedom of expression and the right to were released on bail on 11 July. events.

Publication. which an article he wrote about the stock market came into effect in November. Chinese media observers believed executions. had The campaign to demolish churches and take overturned her initial death sentence and down crosses in Zhejiang province that was ordered a retrial. security crimes and “disturbing public order” and was later placed under “residential TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT surveillance in a designated location”. In August. In March. which many crimes against their abuser. more than 1. kill more to keep the press from reporting negative cautiously”. the Zhejiang Court and government had issued new provincial government passed a regulation guidelines on domestic violence cases. According to international media judges at the original trial. a victim of domestic Chunqiu after the State Administration of violence who had killed her husband in 2010. their deletion was in line with the he was used as a scapegoat and as a caution government’s policy of “kill fewer. Wang Xiaolu.8 Torture and other ill-treatment remained Amnesty International Report 2015/16 119 . the chemical subjected to persecution. arbitrary detention. Film and Television was given a “suspended” death sentence criticized the magazine for publishing dozens with a two-year reprieve which is normally of articles that were “against the regulations”. the Supreme People’s series of protests. or other issues. in FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND BELIEF an unprecedented move in 2014. Security for allegedly spreading rumours Falun Gong practitioners continued to be about the stock market. Famed Statistics continued to be classified as state historian Yang Jisheng was forced to resign as secrets. a reporter with the financial magazine Caixin. converted into a life sentence at the end of that period. The Supreme People’s Court. just as her previous reports.200 crosses had been calls for police protection had gone torn down during the campaign. was and set up a restraining order system to detained on 25 August on suspicion of state protect victims. However. was DEATH PENALTY detained after the government claimed that Amendments to the Criminal Law. He was forced to make a number of crimes punishable by death from “confession”. treatment. scandal involving government officials. Li Yan. the revised provisions news about the downturn in the stock market. which for the first time required police to Zhang Kai. Radio. still failed to bring the Criminal Law in line In October. explosion in the coastal city of Tianjin earlier unfair trials and torture and other ill- that month. reduced the was “fabricated”. editor at the liberal journal Yanhuang On 24 April. a lawyer who was offering legal investigate all reports of domestic violence assistance to the affected churches. according to state media. which was broadcast on 55 to 46. In December the believed was aimed at legitimizing the parliament passed the Domestic Violence Law removal of crosses. Evidence of the sustained launched in 2013 intensified throughout domestic violence had been ignored by 2015. 197 Numerous other pastors and “house church” people were “punished” in a special leaders were also subsequently put under the campaign led by the Ministry of Public same form of incommunicado detention. In July. Press. restricting the size of an object attached at including recommendations on sentencing for the top of a building to not exceed one tenth victims of domestic violence who commit of the total size of the building. investigative reporter Liu Wei with requirements under international law and was detained after he exposed a corruption standards on the use of the death penalty.9 State media indicated that although national TV and was subsequently placed in the nine crimes were rarely used and would “residential surveillance in a designated have little impact in reducing the number of location”. Later that month. prompting a unheeded.

was speaking in Dongchangfu judicial staff in Tibet to be ready to fight a District Court in Liaocheng City. largely because of shortcomings in domestic law. which separatist activities”. expression. and reported monk Choephel Dawa and Tibetan writer and harassment of lawyers. protesters and Torture repeated recommendations on legal activists were detained. interrogation. These included undocumented children born in contravention Gao Yu and Su Changlan. He was couple to have two children. and as allowing one Detention Centre in Beijing. and to repeal legal for “inciting separatism” in 2002. and difficulties with In October. political leader Yu On 18 June. the anniversary. died in July provisions that allowed de facto while serving a life sentence. Lawyer Yu many years of incremental changes.12 At the end of the year the defenders and petitioners as well as lack of charges against them and their place of statistical information on torture. After face of entrenched practices. Police harassed incommunicado detention through and detained family members and others who “residential surveillance in a had gathered to demand the return of his 120 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . handcuffed certain circumstances to have additional for long hours and deprived of sleep. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Zhou Jinjuan. the authorities to stop sanctioning lawyers for Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche.widespread in detention and during designated location”. the Wensheng was tortured during his detention authorities promoted this change as an end to from October 2014 to January 2015 at Daxing the “one-child policy”. Zhengsheng vowed to fight against defence lawyer for several Falun Gong separatism and urged the army. The government Detainees with deteriorating health were also announced that it would take steps to either denied or were unable to access regularize the status of China’s 13 million adequate medical treatment. systemic problems in the SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS criminal justice system. an 84-year-old victim of establishment of the Tibetan Autonomous forced eviction who had sought redress in Region in September. he was interrupted by the judge clique”. was government issued a white paper denouncing detained in August and placed in an unofficial the “middle way” approach advocated by the detention facility for more than a week without Dalai Lama and the “Dalai Lama group’s necessary medical treatment.11 prominent women’s rights activist who remained in detention throughout the year TIBET AUTONOMOUS REGION AND after being detained in October 2014 for TIBETAN POPULATED AREAS IN OTHER supporting the pro-democracy protests in PROVINCES Hong Kong. association and peaceful assembly. the government announced implementing rules and procedures in the changes to the family planning policy. human rights blogger Druklo. It also urged detention were not known. police and practitioners. when Wang Quanzhang. and expelled from the courtroom for Ethnic Tibetans continued to face “disrupting court order”. the Chinese Beijing by visiting government offices. a Tibetan religious taking action in accordance with recognized and community leader who was imprisoned professional duties. the latter a of the old policy.10 children would continue. In a ceremony marking contributed to her losing sight in one eye. Wang Quanzhang discrimination and restrictions on their rights said that court police dragged him to another to freedoms of religious belief. Policies allowing questioned for 15 to 16 hours every day while rural households and ethnic minorities under seated on a rigid restraint chair. Shandong protracted battle against the “14th Dalai Province. room and beat him. Several In December the UN Committee against Tibetan monks. including Tibetan safeguards to prevent torture. writers.

also known as the “Umbrella extended throughout 2015.13 The authorities two pro-democracy activists who had been cremated his body against the family’s granted refugee status by UNHCR. the UN wishes. FORCED REPATRIATIONS FROM The Hong Kong University administration NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES was criticized for decisions which raised After Chinese diplomatic pressure. number of known self-immolations since February 2009 rose to 143. was charged discriminatory practices for many years. the arts. and leaders of two student groups resulting in many casualties. China continued to including tear gas and gunshots. banned the wearing of burqas. concerns about academic freedom in Hong Thailand deported 109 Uighurs to China. this further In October. enforced August against law professor Benny Tai for Amnesty International Report 2015/16 121 .14 In November. one-year mark in May. The seven police posted notices on their websites stating that officers who allegedly carried out the beating primary and secondary school students and were charged with “causing grievous bodily Communist Party members should not be harm with intent” on the same day. culture. In permitted to observe Ramadan. campaign. funerals. and clamping down on the proportion of the protesters who had been role of religion in “marriage. at least five died as a result. torture and other ill- authorities. the three co-founders of the increasing number of violent incidents and “Occupy Central” civil disobedience counter-terrorism operations were reported. living in the during the protest in 2014 was caught on region who have been subjected to extensive camera by a local TV channel. was 2014. In effect. where they risked protest against repressive policies by the detention. with the professed goal of long intervals between initial arrests and the more tightly controlling online decision to prosecute meant that only a small communications. These included university sanctions. in July.body so that customary Buddhist religious disappearance and execution. imprisonment. A pattern of effect in the region. a mainly democracy activist whose beating by police Muslim Turkic ethnic group. The treatment and forced labour. December the officers and Ken Tsang pleaded not guilty. counts of “resisting a police officer in the due As in previous years numerous counties execution of his duty”. arrested were convicted by the end of 2015. rites could be performed. Ken Tsang Kin-Chiu. the region’s capital city. Kong. ignore non-refoulement obligations in At least seven people set themselves on fire international law by repatriating North in Tibetan-populated areas during the year in Koreans to North Korea. – Alex Chow of the Federation of Students On 1 January new “Enforcement of and Joshua Wong of “Scholarism”. An lawmakers. A further 48 were summoned. At the campaign’s Movement”. repatriated to China. the due execution of their duties” and four Urumqi. HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION XINJIANG UIGHUR AUTONOMOUS REGION Police in Hong Kong formally arrested 955 A “Strike Hard” campaign targeting “violent people during the year who had taken part in terrorism and religious extremism”. The with one count of “assaulting police officers in same month. in where they were at risk of torture. were also with excessive and arbitrary use of force. and sports”. a youth- Religious Affairs Regulations” came into led pro-democracy organization. which the 79-day pro-democracy protests in Hong had originally been a limited one-year-long Kong between September and December campaign launched in May 2014. and had confirmed police countered these large-scale protests resettlement destinations. There were also reports that the refugee agency. the authorities claimed Among those arrested were opposition to have broken up 181 “terror groups”. a pro- tightened restrictions on Uighurs.

the government and the 12. (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de In a landmark judgment in February. Wan-Tung was found guilty of intimidating. The FARC’s unilateral ceasefire and the government’s suspension of aerial 1. and in September. to truth. the university’s governing council rejection of a nomination committee’s choice COLOMBIA to appoint Johannes Chan Man-mun. However. 28 August) the intensity of hostilities. Republic of Colombia professor of law and former Dean of the Head of state and government: Juan Manuel Santos Faculty of Law. China: Authorities show callous disregard for imprisoned journalist by conflict continued to have a negative impact denying appropriate medical care (Press release. Its central 122 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . 17/2206/2015) torture. 6. 17/2370/2015) Hundreds of candidates in the October 9. Indonesian migrant domestic that a peace deal would be signed in 2016. especially for members 7. guerrilla groups and 5. Calderón Media. China: Lawyer supporting churches in China detained (ASA threats. FARC) made significant progress. but in fewer Draft) (ASA 17/2205/2015) numbers than in previous polls. death 8. 29 October) On 23 September. forced displacement and rape. workers Erwiana Sulistyaningsih and Tutik The agreement appeared to fall short of Lestari Ningsih. China: Fears for Tibetan monk detained in China – Choephel Dawa FARC announced an agreement on (ASA 17/1551/2015) transitional justice – made public on 15 13. 9 July) to the protests. (Press release. The two sides announced that an agreement assaulting and causing bodily harm to her had been reached on transitional justice and employees. and human rights defenders. China: Latest information on crackdown against lawyers and activists bombardments on FARC positions reduced (Press release. She was sentenced to six international law standards on victims’ right years in prison. his handling of anonymous donations related 14. 10. as a pro-vice-chancellor. especially Indigenous Peoples. Further information – China: Two activists released in China (ASA communities. 6 August) on the human rights of the civilian 3. China: Release supporters of Hong Kong pro-democracy protests population. 17/2097/2015) The security forces. 28 September) Afro-descendant and peasant farmer 4. the 2. China: Activists held in crackdown on labour rights (ASA paramilitaries were responsible for crimes 17/3015/2015) under international law. China: Return the body of prominent Tibetan monk Tenzin Deleg December – and that a peace deal would be Rinpoche who died in prison (ASA 17/2102/2015) signed by 23 March 2016. academics and students claimed these decisions were retaliation for the two Peace talks between the government and academics’ support for the 2014 “Umbrella” the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia protests. enforced disappearances. China: Submission to the NPC Standing Committee’s Legislative regional elections were threatened and some Affairs Commission on the Criminal Law Amendment (9) (Second killed. China: Submission to the UN Committee against Torture (ASA 17/2725/2015) PEACE PROCESS 11. Thailand must not send Uighurs to Chinese torture (News story. which the administration claimed violated university procedures. China: Reform of one-child policy not enough (News story. justice and reparation. mainly by paramilitaries. China: Submission to the NPC Standing Committee’s Legislative Congress approved legislation that Affairs Commission on the second draft Foreign Non-Governmental threatened to exacerbate the already high Organizations Management Law (ASA 17/1776/2015) levels of impunity. China: Submission to the NPC Standing Committee’s Legislative of the security forces implicated in human Affairs Commission on the draft “Cyber Security Law” (ASA rights violations. Law Colombia. including unlawful killings.

the vast majority of victims responsibility would receive non-custodial were civilians. forced Some public officials linked all 13 to the July displacement. This could unidentified armed men near the hamlet of La undermine the ability of the judiciary to Selva in Caloto Municipality. international law to prevent and punish such The National Indigenous Organization of crimes. law”.000 conflict- years in prison. more than to be proportionate to the severity of crimes 204.1 authorities attributed the attack to the Many communities living in poor urban guerrilla group National Liberation Army areas. many of them human Pacific city of Buenaventura. which would consist of a tribunal and Children continued to be recruited as special courts with jurisdiction over those combatants by guerrilla groups and directly or indirectly involved in the conflict paramilitaries.component was a Special Jurisdiction for death threats and crimes of sexual violence. would be excluded. the two sides announced plans Emiliano Silva Oteca of the Toéz Indigenous for a truth commission. although only 13 were charged. including unlawful killings. Department. many of which were constitutes “related crimes” had yet to be campaigning for recognition of their territorial agreed. Gerardo Velasco Escue and On 4 June.000 people were forcibly displaced in under international law. two small explosive devices significant human rights impact on civilians. the community On 17 October. enforced disappearances. NGO CODHES (Consultoría para los Derechos By proposing sanctions that do not appear Humanos y el Desplazamiento). more than 45.000 enforced crimes. recover the remains of many of those – both a death threat by the Black Eagles (Águilas civilians and combatants – still missing as a Negras) paramilitary group announcing that it result of the conflict. Two days later.8 million victims of the conflict. The especially those living in rural areas.481 An Amnesty Law that would benefit those forced displacements in 2015. compared to almost 220. Peace. Fifteen people. Those who admit related killings. the Victims’ Unit had and breaches of international humanitarian registered 7. Cauca prosecute crimes under international law.6 million victims of forced Those who deny responsibility for grave displacement. On 5 February. implicated in “serious human rights violations By 1 December. Although a definition of what Department. On 6 February. injured several people in Bogotá. the two sides reached found their bodies bearing signs of torture in agreement on a mechanism to locate and the municipality of Guachené. explosions and the ELN. Colombia recorded 35 killings and 3. but only three were Amnesty International Report 2015/16 123 . including Afro-descendants in the (ELN). were also rights defenders and student activists affected. was “time for social cleansing in northern Cauca” had been circulated in the area and INTERNAL ARMED CONFLICT neighbouring municipalities. law. those convicted of grave crimes rights. would face up to 20 disappearances and around 263. was particularly acute. if found guilty. The situation accused of “political and related crimes” was of Indigenous communities in Cauca proposed. including almost 6. sentences of between five and eight years’ According to figures from the Colombian “effective restriction of freedoms”. were responsible for crimes under international arrested. although the courts resguardo (reservation) were forcibly would not be able to use any information disappeared after being stopped by uncovered by the commission.2 belonging to the People’s Congress (Congreso All the parties to the conflict were de los Pueblos) social movement. Colombia may be 2014.000 in the failing to comply with its obligation under previous year. The armed conflict continued to have a On 2 July.

Commissioner for Human Rights. a pamphlet from the Black positives”. despite their additional leave or promotions – in which the supposed demobilization in the government- victims. human rights violations. “False positives” began in 2005. a widespread and systematic Paramilitary groups. including members of the Although the latest report of the UN High security forces – threatened and killed. state actors. human rights defenders. Afro-descendant community leader and Peace process. Some members of According to the NGO País Libre. kill him if he remained leader of the Council. The FARC had membership of the ELN. land claimants. Legal proceedings Genaro García of the Alto Mira y Frontera against most of them were ongoing. by the FARC. SECURITY FORCES Reports of extrajudicial executions by the PARAMILITARIES security forces. trade Little progress was made in investigating unionists. were falsely sponsored Justice and Peace process that presented as combat kills. continued to kill and maim civilians and members of the security forces. mostly laid was killed in Bogotá. executions over recent decades. common delinquency. Carlos Alberto Pedraza Salcedo. the FARC for their work in defence of human rights. did not record any “false On 11 January. The death or rearranged the crime scene to make it threat named around 40 individuals. usually poor young men. continued to fall. There were concerns that these events may which had been seeking the restitution of have been used to undermine the work of territory since 2012. Landmines. appear as self-defence”. including unlawful killings and were released after serving the maximum indiscriminate attacks that placed civilians at eight years in prison stipulated in the Justice risk. Some 120 paramilitaries abuses. the death threat had been involved in the The Office of the Attorney General registered land restitution process and issues relating to more than 4.000 paramilitaries who supposedly laid down their GUERRILLA GROUPS arms in the demobilization process had been Guerrilla groups were responsible for crimes convicted of human rights-related crimes by under international law and human rights the end of the year. including human rights defenders. In for seven and paramilitaries for 24. Only 122 of the more than 30. Those named in such crimes. January. referred to as criminal gangs (bandas Such practices included “false positives”: criminales. human rights defenders. Paramilitaries – sometimes were prevalent during the administration of acting with the support or acquiescence of President Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010). However. subjected to death threats and harassment The ELN accounted for 23 of these. The other 10 were threatened in October 2014 that they would charged with weapons-related offences. one of the leaders of the People’s most kidnappings (123) were attributed to Congress. published among others. paramilitaries posed to the communities to 124 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . there the People’s Congress have in the past been were 182 kidnappings in January-November. continued to commit unlawful killings by the security forces – in crimes under international law and serious return for benefits such as bonuses.000 reported extrajudicial the peace process. especially high-ranking officers. bacrim). in January. which the government practice during the conflict. it did include cases “in which the Eagles Northern Bloc Atlantic Coast (Bloque armed forces attempted to disguise victims of Norte Costa Atlántica Águilas Negras) was arbitrary killings as enemy combat casualties circulated in Atlántico Department. and a state official those suspected of criminal responsibility for working on land restitution.eventually charged with “terrorism” and Nariño Department. Concerns Community Council was shot dead by the remained about the security risks the FARC on 3 August in Tumaco Municipality.

including by Bernardo Moreno. however. the Supreme Court of impunity.5 six years’ imprisonment for the psychological There were concerns that Law 1753. paramilitaries.000-hectare Indigenous territory and justice some of those implicated in a scandal one 71. Very few of those as Legislative Act No 1 amending Article 221 alleged to have been responsible for these of the Constitution and Law 1765 – that crimes have been held to account. only 58. did not submit On 6 November.500 forces. mainly returns were sustainable. in human rights violations. during the government of President Uribe. faced death threats and other land illegally acquired or forcibly abandoned serious human rights violations from during the conflict. defend their territorial rights. and the torture IMPUNITY of several other individuals. social and economic measures to ensure any politicians. the with them. as well 2012 with the aim of returning to their rightful as members of human rights organizations occupants some of the millions of hectares of helping them. LAND RIGHTS Relatives of victims of human rights The land restitution process. opposing the development of outside mining former DAS intelligence director Carlos interests on their collective territories.000-hectare Afro-descendant territory involving the now-disbanded civilian were subject to judicial rulings ordering their intelligence service (Departamento return. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 125 . These crimes The state continued to fail to bring to justice occurred after security forces stormed the the vast majority of those suspected of Palace of Justice in Bogotá in November individual criminal responsibility for crimes 1985 where people were being held hostage under international law.3 hectares of land claimed by peasant farmers. DAS). overturned the conviction of retired colonel The military justice system continued to Luis Alfonso Plazas Vega who in 2010 had claim jurisdiction over and subsequently close been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the investigations into alleged human rights crime of enforced disappearance in relation to violations by members of the security forces. enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution of an 11th person. and received de facto amnesties without any President Santos assumed responsibility and effective investigations to determine their asked forgiveness for the state’s role in the possible role. continued to make slow paramilitaries and members of the security progress. By the end of 2015. Some progress was made in bringing to one 50. Most torture of journalist Claudia Julieta Duque.which they returned after their release. were Alberto Arzayús Guerrero was sentenced to also targeted. this case. the Supreme Court of Justice those seeking the return of their lands were sentenced former DAS Director María del threatened or killed. Some 100 steered through approval of legislation – such people died in the assault. which began in violations who campaigned for justice. to eight years’ house arrest denouncing the presence of illegal mining or for their roles in the scandal. On Leaders of displaced communities and 28 April. The DAS the failure to guarantee the security of those was implicated in threats and illegal wishing to return. On 1 October. or that of those who colluded enforced disappearance of 10 people. without holding to account those allegedly implicated. The government also by the M-19 guerrilla group. threatened to increase the already high levels On 16 December. The main stumbling blocks included Administrativo de Seguridad. in a ceremony ordered by themselves to the Justice and Peace process the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.4 Members of Indigenous Pilar Hurtado to 14 years in prison and and Afro-descendant communities seeking to President Uribe’s former chief of staff. journalists and judges. and the lack of effective surveillance of human rights defenders.

” enable mining and other economic sectors to gain control over illegally acquired lands. but expressed trade unions were killed in 2015. paramilitaries (referred to as “post- related issues. impact of the conflict. email sent on 9 March by the Black Eagles Although the report noted that all the warring South Bloc (Águilas Negras Bloque Sur) parties were responsible for human rights threatened 14 individuals. According to provisional figures from In his January report. demobilization armed groups linked to The threat read: “Communist guerrillas… organized crime”) represented “the main your days are numbered. defenders were killed in January-September. the decision by prosecutors to HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS close the case against and release one of the Human rights defenders – including main suspects in the kidnapping and rape of Indigenous. released after the US Secretary of State According to the NGO We Are Defenders determined that the Colombian authorities (Somos Defensores). and two human rights NGOs. and some threats against women September. especially on crimes of sexual violence committed mainly Indigenous and Afro-descendant territories.6 alleged perpetrators were brought to justice. to against women and girls. your blood will be public security challenge”. campaigning for justice – were at risk of In July.1 million for Department. it stated that politicians active on human rights and peace.7 There were 1761. This VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS could undermine the right of many of these All parties to the conflict were responsible for lands’ legitimate occupants. Very few of the claim ownership over them. In September. could is also for your children and women. which categorized femicide as a also reports of thefts of sensitive information separate crime and increased the held by human rights organizations. land activists and those prosecutors to quickly reverse their decision. 2000 led to a public outcry that forced journalists. especially on The number of death threats against Indigenous and Afro-descendant human rights defenders again increased. including abuses and violations. trade unionists. as fertilizer for the fatherland… this message In August. infiltrated an Indigenous protest in Cauca The USA allocated some US$174. who had long military and US$152. 18 members of progress in the peace talks. compared to 45 during the same period in INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY 2014. denied the charges. the CERD Committee noted that 126 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Afro-descendant and peasant journalist Jineth Bedoya by paramilitaries in farmer community leaders.approved by Congress on 9 June. rights defenders continued to raise concerns Human rights defenders campaigning for that the legal system was being misused in an justice in sexual violence cases were attempt to undermine their work. the UN High the NGO National Trade Union School Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed (Escuela Nacional Sindical). In June. Indigenous leader Feliciano activists involved threats of sexual violence. the government promulgated Law attack. compared concern about impunity and the human rights to 21 in 2014. In threatened. Feliciano Valencia. mainly by paramilitaries. An communities and human rights defenders. 25% military officials for his defence of Indigenous of the total military assistance for the year was Peoples’ territorial rights. 51 human rights had made progress on human rights.2 million for non-military been the target of harassment by civilian and assistance to Colombia. punishment for those convicted of this Some criminal investigations into human offence to up to 50 years’ imprisonment.8 Valencia was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for illegally holding captive a US ASSISTANCE member of the security forces who had US assistance to Colombia continued to fall.

Colombia: Director of human rights NGO threatened: Iván Madero constitutional review. Expulsions of non. including harsh. On 9 October. the house of opposition leader Guy Brice against demonstrators opposing proposed Parfait Kolélas in Brazzaville. securing the peace: Indigenous and Members of opposition parties who spoke Afro-descendant territorial rights (AMR 23/2615/2015) against the proposed amendment to the 6. Colombia: Caller “will kill” missing man’s mother (AMR 23/2022/2015) FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND 4. including lethal force. Colombia: National Development Plan threatens to deny the right to Constitution were particularly targeted.the armed conflict continued to have a launched into the 2014 “Mbata ya Bakolo” disproportionate impact on Indigenous operation. Colombia: Restoring the land. citizens. allowing the incumbent (AMR 23/1945/2015) President to run for a third term in 2016. He was kept changes to the Constitution. Colombia: Harassed for fighting sexual violence (AMR 23/002/2015) restricted when mobile internet. 5. 3. Colombia: Peasant farmer linked to Peace Community killed (AMR amendment was passed on 27 October and 23/2554/2015) confirmed by the Constitutional Court on 2. in which more than 179. media freedom was arbitrarily 8. Protesters were under de facto house arrest for 12 days arbitrarily arrested and freedom of together with 25 others. Colombia: Land restitution process sparks more threats (AMR ASSEMBLY 23/0003/2015) Freedom of expression was curtailed. It was both boycotted by the main opposition coalition and the subject of major demonstrations. Vergel (AMR 23/2007/2015) In October. Conditions of detention remained grave human rights violations. security forces surrounded excessive force.000 Peoples and Afro-descendant communities nationals from the Democratic Republic of and criticized the failure to ensure the the Congo (DRC) were expelled. disappearances in the State party” and the fact that “it has not received information BACKGROUND concerning criminal trials or convictions for A referendum to amend the Constitution was the offence of enforced disappearance ”. held on 25 October. However. while no investigations were president of the political party “Unis pour le Amnesty International Report 2015/16 127 . Presidential elections will be held in extrajudicial killings and enforced March 2016. They were charged with “participation in an unauthorized protest ”. there was a wave of arrests of firms to operate on illegally acquired lands (AMR 23/2077/2015) political opponents protesting against the 7. Brazzaville. serious concern that torture and other ill- The UN Committee against Torture treatment occurred in most places of expressed concern over “the persistence of detention. Security forces used unnecessary or On 22 October. six activists from youth movements were arrested following a Republic of Congo peaceful protest they had organized against Head of state and government: Denis Sassou Nguesso the referendum. Paulin Makaya. text messaging services and some radio broadcast CONGO signals were disrupted in the capital. The UN effective participation of these communities in Committee against Torture expressed the peace process. ahead of protests organized by (REPUBLIC OF) the opposition. nationals resumed. the 1. From land restitution to victims of the armed conflict and allow mining July to October. No judicial warrant expression was curtailed. authorized the action. Colombia: Human rights defender under surveillance: Berenice Celeita 6 November. targeting West African On 23 November.

in which more than 179. the On 20 October. adequate food and year. arbitrarily detained 128 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . protests were organized by bedding as well as washing and sanitary students in the cities of Brazzaville. including through chronic Noire. NGOs were denied access to the Noire and Dolisie following the revocation of retention sites. three detainees No investigations were launched into serious died in detention at the Pointe-Noire Central human rights violations committed in 2014 by police station. The Committee highlighted the referendum. wounding 13 people. were rounded up. No official figures were issued the Baccalauréat exam due to massive fraud concerning the number of people arrested and serious irregularities. lack of had been initiated at the end of the year.Congo” (UPC). limited medical care and personnel and sub-standard hygiene and REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS sanitation facilities. Batola Régis. opposition groups reported that at least 12 protesters and bystanders had been PRISON CONDITIONS killed by military police and several others Detention conditions remained extremely wounded in protests organized in Pointe. carrying out cordon and search operations. the UN Committee against Torture EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE expressed serious concern about numerous On 17 October. It 1 December without being brought before a was characterized by arrests. Malians. detentions and court or charged and was questioned on deportations targeting West African nationals. facilities. security forces fired tear failure by authorities to observe statutory gas and live ammunition at protesters in limits on its imposition and the failure to Brazzaville demonstrating against the ensure detainees’ right to legal representation proposed constitutional changes. On the detention. poor. A request for bail submitted by his Police targeted specific neighbourhoods. a plain. despite a reminder on 11 December. including refugees and asylum. several occasions in the absence of his including Senegalese. of the year. He was with his lawyer to report driven by kuluna gangs (organized criminal for questioning as part of an investigation. No investigation had operation. Pointe. Congolese security forces and others during who was held in a small. same day. Those arrested Makaya was still in pre-trial detention at the were placed in retention facilities lacking central prison of Brazzaville at the end of the access to running water. injured in clashes with the police and several were arrested. In April. was kept in detention at the Central Police On 14 May. Paulin resulting in arbitrary arrests. the second phase of the Station of Brazzaville from 23 November until operation was launched in Pointe-Noire. Many students were and returned during the operation. was Government authorities portrayed the security arrested by police officers while at the office operation as a response to increased of the Public Prosecutor of the High Court of criminality. which they believed was being Brazzaville. No investigations into these incidents overcrowding.000 DRC been launched into these deaths by the end nationals. Six people and to have their relatives informed of their were reported to have been killed. He gangs) from the DRC. proposed changes to the Constitution. and Ivorians. On 5 June. INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY On 7 May. in Pointe-Noire. lawyer. seekers. including one. drinking water. inadequate food. lawyers on 2 December was not addressed. reports of torture and other ill-treatment clothes police officer fired live ammunition occurring in most of the country’s places of into a crowd demonstrating against the detention. systematic use of pre-trial detention. overcrowded cell the first phase of the Mbata Ya Bakolo and died of malnutrition. who openly opposed the and forcibly returned by the police.

Michel Gbagbo and Geneviève Bro Grebé. 20 years’ imprisonment for undermining state the mandate of the UN Operation in Côte security.CÔTE D’IVOIRE Largely peaceful presidential elections were held in October. Sébastien Dano Djédjé. either totally or partially In May. Freedoms of Among them were more than 30 prisoners expression and assembly were restricted and extradited from Liberia in 2012 and 2014. the Bro Grebé was sentenced to 10 years for National Assembly adopted a law against similar crimes. including Chérif Ousmane trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Laurent Blé and Lossény Fofana. Compensation of Victims (CONARIV ) was although during the trial several of the created to complete the work of the CDVR. d’Ivoire’s law restricts appeals to points of law established to shed light on post-electoral before the Court of Cassation. that. were tried in the Abidjan Assize Court.1 They had organized a ceremony to Amnesty International Report 2015/16 129 . arrested. At the end of the and Hubert Oulaye. In December. and public disorder. The President Ouattara.000 people detained since the ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS electoral crisis. 20 military officers who had backed political opponents prior to elections. President Ouattara was re- elected for another five-year term on a turnout Republic of Côte d'Ivoire of 53%. were made public. He also noted that. At the end of the year the terrorism. 2016. in accused raised allegations that they had been particular to register unidentified victims of tortured in pre-trial detention. with some opposition members Head of state: Alassane Ouattara boycotting the poll. The right to violence. participation in an insurrectionary d’Ivoire (UNOCI) was extended for an movement. Côte Reconciliation Commission (CDVR). In the same month. and concerns remained including public disorder and genocide linked about selective accountability for crimes to the conflict after the 2010 elections. In March. Simone Gbagbo was not transferred In March. BACKGROUND Eighteen people were acquitted. including Simone and warrant. 78 supporters and relatives of to the ICC despite an outstanding arrest Laurent Gbagbo. the Court did the post-electoral violence. and some of The security situation remained stable despite those convicted received suspended prison attacks in early 2015 by armed groups and sentences. President Ouattara committed to pardoning over 3. committed during that period. qualify crimes as acts of terrorism and to hold Amnesty International’s trial observer noted suspects in custody for up to eight days. Geneviève additional year. high-ranking members of year. the National by the Assize Court’s failure to provide a full Commission for Reconciliation and written judgment. had still not been made public by appeal in this case was further undermined the end of the year. In there was a wave of arbitrary arrests of August. giving the Prosecutor of the Court implementation of her sentence was of First Instance in Abidjan jurisdiction to suspended pending an appeal. were charged with Goudé at the ICC was scheduled to begin in crimes relating to post-electoral violence. not appear to consider them. contrary to the right to have a criminal The 2014 report of the Dialogue. Justin Koua removing their sentences. Simone Gbagbo was sentenced to intercommunal clashes in the west. Head of government: Daniel Kablan Duncan JUSTICE SYSTEM Hundreds of detainees still awaited trial in More than 200 supporters of former President connection with post-electoral violence in Gbagbo remained in detention on charges 2010 and 2011. the list of those pardoned had not been the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI). In June. Truth and conviction reviewed by a higher tribunal.

Côte d’Ivoire. a daily newspaper. Goudé would start in January 2016. PRISON CONDITIONS He was held incommunicado for two days The UN Human Rights Committee report in without access to a lawyer or medical March conveyed concerns about prison treatment. In May. which had been abolished in awaiting trial. Laurent treated during arrest and were held in Gbagbo’s latest request for provisional release incommunicado detention for several weeks. In political opposition. Tear gas and batons were DEATH PENALTY used to disperse protesters. 1. Samba David’s house was ransacked and he was beaten with rifle butts. Joseph Gnanhoua Titi. He was charged with public conditions throughout the country. marches organized by NGOs and the main opposition party. The other two men were detained INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE pending trial. the ICC rejected Côte Between mid-September and October. présidentielle envoie un signal préoccupant (News story. the 2000 Constitution.inaugurate Laurent Gbagbo as FPI President was arrested and charged with publishing in Mama. mostly members of the Simone Gbagbo’s case before the ICC. Many were ill. 7 May) 130 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . the unsanitary conditions and lack sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. his home town. the failure to detain children and adults separately. In September. at his home.2 Although some the same month. The arresting officers allegedly Despite the outstanding ICC arrest warrant for beat Hubert Oulaye’s 15-year-old Simone Gbagbo for alleged crimes against granddaughter. An Djédjé and Justin Koua were charged with article published earlier that month accused violation of a court order. Sébastien dropped and he was released. the ICC joined the Sébastien Dano Djédjé that he was sick was trials of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé arrested and detained. it was announced that the were later released. At least 80 In March. were arrested. The October. the UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern about freedom of the press. In July. A week later. In peaceful demonstrations. one that there would be no more transfers to the guard accused of informing the family of ICC. of adequate medical facilities. At Code of Criminal Procedure to exclude the the end of 2015. more than 20 remained trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé detained at the end of the year. and detainees. Parliament unanimously approved people were arrested in different parts of the two bills amending the Criminal Code and the country and charged with public disorder. In its March report. the ICC also rejected Laurent majority were held on charges of public Gbagbo’s request to hold the opening disorder after participating in unauthorized statements of his trial in Abidjan or Arusha. they were still in detention death penalty. violence and assault President Ouattara of embezzling foreign aid on security forces. President Ouattara stated in April malaria. rebellion and public and money laundering. Goudé. It noted in disorder. In September. Hubert Oulaye was charged with charges against Joseph Gnanhoua Titi were killing UNOCI soldiers in 2012. L’arrestation d’opposants à l’approche de la director of Aujourd’hui. who was suffering from humanity. Sébastien Dano false news and insulting the President. and the FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND severe overcrowding in the Maison d’Arrêt et ASSEMBLY de Correction d’Abidjan (MACA) detention The authorities banned at least 10 protest centre in Abidjan. the disorder. Dano Djédjé was provisionally released in December. was also rejected. violation of a court order and particular the large number of pre-trial complicity in the destruction of property. In the same month. d’Ivoire’s appeal against the admissibility of more than 50 people.

and to require a in war. the International Court of Justice The state-wide celebration in August of the cleared Serbia and Croatia of mutual claims 20th anniversary of Operation Storm. In addition to the payments. and access to Social exclusion of and discrimination reparation for. Croatian law on minority rights entitles survivors will be entitled to health care. the Osijek County Court confirmed Head of state: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (replaced Ivo the decision of the Zagreb Municipal Court.414) to the journalist and to publish the reparations. Serbs and Roma continued. crimes. would regulate the status of. a the receipt of official communications in lump-sum compensation amounting to Cyrillic. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Republic of Croatia In June. particularly in accessing adequate housing Croatia did not ratify the International and employment opportunities. the town council of Vukovar In May. The Law provides survivors of wartime special request and the payment of a fee for sexual violence with Croatian citizenship. INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE DISCRIMINATION In February. Discrimination against Croatian verdict on its website. and in the restitution of tenancy rights to However. gay. during the conflict in the 1990s.600 missing persons in Amnesty International Report 2015/16 131 . failed to arrest the suspects on the spot and investigate the crime CROATIA effectively. a lesbian.91 HRK of war crimes of sexual violence with (€5. the Croatian Parliament passed the passed a motion to remove public signs in the Law on the rights of victims of sexual violence Cyrillic (Serb) alphabet. Head of government: Zoran Milanović bisexual. 5 threatened them when they filed their October) complaint. In August. Croatia had established the necessary intent brought tensions between Serb and Croat on the part of the other to commit genocide nationalists back. finding that neither Serbia nor saw 200. against six women in the town in 2012. The Court ordered Parliament passed a law providing survivors the organization to pay 41. person of the year 2013. despite the fact that 34% of the €13. The relatives of the 1.2. which of genocide. Josipović in February) finding that Zagreb Pride.000 Serbs flee from Croatia in 1995. violated the honour and dignity Croatia struggled to provide adequate of a former employee of the Croatian Radio reception conditions and access to asylum Television (HRT) by placing her on the annual proceedings to the large number of refugees list of candidates for the most homophobic and migrants that arrived in the country. Discrimination against with the first allowances due to be paid out in Croatian Serbs in public sector employment January 2016. minorities amounting to one third of the medical rehabilitation and psychological municipal population to official usage of their support. The to €328. The Law entered into force in June languages and scripts. In men standing trial for a homophobic attack the absence of these legal instruments. Croatia had not yet adopted a social housing vacated during the 1991-1995 comprehensive legislative framework that war persisted. Côte d’Ivoire: Il faut mettre fin aux arrestations arbitraires victims alleged that the local police had d’opposants à l’approche de la présidentielle (Press release. transgender and intersex (LGBTI) organization. Convention against Enforced Disappearances The municipal court in Split acquitted three nor did it adopt a law on missing persons.018. all civilian victims of war against Roma remained widespread.000 and a monthly allowance amounting town’s population were ethnic Serbs.

severe restrictions on freedoms of ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS expression. May. including people over 60 international terrorism. exercising their rights to freedom of expression. in September President according to Granma. which imposes financial and economic reparations. including unaccompanied minors ASSOCIATION and victims of human trafficking entering the Government critics continued to experience country through its land borders. assembly and BACKGROUND movement. Despite this. harassment. “acts of repudiation” (demonstrations led by government supporters with participation of state security 1. 37 had been granted international protection. being routinely subjected to arbitrary arbitrary arrests and detentions were arrests and short-term detention for reported. of the two countries in nearly 60 years. Cuba was removed from the USA’s list the authorities announced they would release of countries designated as state sponsors of 3. countries agreed to repatriate them.Croatia were denied access to justice and Act.522 prisoners.000 USA to lift the unilateral embargo. 19 October) prosecutions.1 Only a few hundred people Rome Statute of the International Criminal made an asylum application and. for the 24th REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS consecutive year. association. The authorities failed to identify vulnerable FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND individuals. limiting access to Republic of Cuba information and criticism of the state. by October. and foreign nationals whose diplomatic relations. Activists Head of state and government: Raúl Castro Ruz reported that mobile phones were without service during the Pope’s visit in September. Thousands of cases of including journalists and human rights harassment of government critics and activists. the official newspaper Obama renewed the Trading with the Enemy of the Communist Party. Court. or the transportation. a resolution calling on the By the end of the year. In April. In Prior to Pope Francis’ visit in September. prisoners under 20 years of age reopened their respective embassies and with no previous criminal record. refugees and migrants had transited through By the end of the year. both of assistance of state authorities providing free which it had signed in February 2008. 132 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Cuba had failed to Croatia towards other EU countries. sanctions on Cuba. chronically announced their intent to re-establish ill prisoners. In October the UN General Assembly adopted. CUBA The government continued to control access to the internet and blocked and filtered websites. The judicial system remained under political control. continued. Cuba and the USA years of age. with the ratify either the ICCPR or ICESCR. and politically motivated criminal border (News story. Despite increasingly open diplomatic relations. President Castro and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) met US President Barack Obama during documented more than 8. the first meeting between leaders opponents and activists during the year.600 politically Cuba’s first attendance of the Summit of the motivated detentions of government Americas. The year saw significant changes in Cuba´s The Cuban Commission for Human Rights diplomatic relations. Hundreds of refugees stranded in dire conditions on Croatia/Slovenia officials). more than 550. association and movement Reports continued of government critics.

The two men had reunification of the island. to prevent their peaceful protest. were in a taxi on 25 December 2014. brothers Vianco. Parliament recognized the released from prison. International Human court. White. However. and members of the Patriotic the political police in Havana while travelling Union of Cuba. Irregular migrants were detained for On 7 and 8 January. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 133 . He was released from detention on Rights Day. a dissident group. 1. The three men had right to same-sex civil unions. activists. He was regularly arrested and detained for periods of carrying two pigs with “Raúl” and “Fidel” up to 30 hours. 8 January) “aggression” were used in politically 2. Urgent Action: Political dissident must be released (AMR motivated prosecutions. a group of women calling for the Graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado Machado. or threats of 25/1379/2015) prosecution. In September Prisoner of conscience Ciro Alexis alone. the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Emilio Planas Robert were apparently leaders resumed negotiations regarding the released unconditionally. the political police detained 20 October. access to the country since 1990. which he intended to detentions were carried out to prevent the release at an art show on Christmas Day. PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE Laws covering “public disorder”. two-and-a-half and four years’ imprisonment for “public disorder”. before and during the Pope’s been sentenced to three and three-and-a-half visit. the Revolution” but was never brought to On 10 December. The three went on hunger “public disorder” following his one-man strike in detention. human rights activists and journalists years’ imprisonment respectively. He activists from attending their regular Sunday was accused of “disrespecting the leaders of marches and to stop them protesting. prolonged periods in inadequate conditions. Cuba: Prisoner releases must lead to new environment for freedoms “disrespect”.1 short periods of detention. release of political prisoners and greater known as El Sexto. the CCDHRN registered 882 arbitrary Casanova Pérez was released upon 2 arrests. He reportedly approached the Pope to discuss had been found guilty in December 2014 of human rights. They included three activists who completion of his sentence in June 2015. Allegations of been detained since December 2012 and ill-treatment by law enforcement officials were sentenced in June 2014 to between continued. The USA had Republic of Cyprus requested they be freed as part of an Head of state and government: Nicos Anastasiades agreement between the two governments to “normalize” relations. They also INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY stopped journalists from leaving their offices Cuba has not granted Amnesty International to report the story. including many in their homes. CYPRUS In January. on the reported significant increases in arrests and charge of “dangerousness”. demonstration against the government in the Members and supporters of the Ladies in streets of his hometown Placetas. the authorities released five prisoners of conscience along with a group of more than 50 people believed to have been imprisoned for political reasons. was arrested by agents of freedoms. On 8 January. prisoners BACKGROUND of conscience Iván Fernández Depestre and In May. according to CCDHRN. “dangerousness” and (Press release. Django and Alexeis Vargas Martín. were In November. “contempt”. The painted on their backs. against government opponents.

but would “seek for them Head of state: Miloš Zeman to be Christian Orthodox”. immigration detention remained ineffective. the new legislation does not include settled in a reception centre for asylum. several asylum-seekers at the Menoya immigration detention centre started a hunger RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. Nataliya Konovalova. In their subsequent deportation despite some of August. the Committee infringement proceedings against the Czech of Missing Persons in Cyprus exhumed the Republic for discrimination against Roma in remains of 111 people. from a vessel off the southern coast and However. At the end of November. amounting to a violation of the EU 134 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . a Russian national. In July. 14 detainees including involved in the incident. infringement proceedings against the Czech In December. In September. the European Court of Human TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT Rights issued three rulings relating to the Allegations of ill-treatment in pre-trial custody detention of 17 Syrian Kurds in 2010 and and immigration detention continued. was extradited to Russia The European Commission continued despite pending asylum proceedings. the Council of Europe Republic for discrimination against Roma. Most of the asylum. The the Cypriot asylum system and urged for routine detention of refugees and migrants improvement of reception conditions for provoked domestic and international asylum-seekers. criminal charges against the police officers In September. bringing the total education. Commissioner for Human Rights expressed The government adopted measures aimed at his concerns about the grave shortcomings of improving equal access to education. GAY. The General Prosecutor procedures available to asylum-seekers and ordered the Authority Investigating Allegations irregular migrants to challenge their detention and Complaints against the Police to bring did not offer an effective remedy. the legal recognition of transgender people. a video was released showing police them having asylum proceedings pending officers beating an individual in pre-trial before the Supreme Court.REFUGEES' AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS number of exhumations since 2006 to 1. Education ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES The European Commission continued Between January and August. seekers who arrived in 2015 entered from the north and via the UN Buffer Zone. BISEXUAL. 115 people were rescued recognized the right to same-sex civil unions. Domestic remedies to challenge been identified and restituted to their families. joint adoption rights for same-sex couples and seekers in Kofinou.061. strike in protest at their prolonged detention TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE and substandard detention conditions. the irregular migrants who could not be deported remains of 625 missing individuals (476 continued to be detained for prolonged Greek Cypriots and 149 Turkish Cypriots) had periods. Parliament In September. Head of government: Bohuslav Sobotka In mid-November. There was an increase in the international protection status recognition rates in DISCRIMINATION – ROMA comparison to 2014. Certain categories of asylum-seekers and Between August 2006 and January 2015. The Court ruled custody at the Chrysochous police station in that their detention had no legal basis and the February 2014. the Minister of Interior stated that Cyprus was willing to take up to 300 CZECH REPUBLIC Syrian refugees under the EU agreed Czech Republic relocation scheme. criticism.

the Prime countered by refugee rights and anti-racism Minister dismissed the Minister of Education activists. Minister of Education with a record of stickers featuring a noose and “death to engagement in human rights was appointed. to country met the government’s definition of be strengthened. The Prime over-representation of Romani children in Minister dismissed the recommendation. The amendment will enter into force Prague. police law on social housing in 2016. routinely checked trains for irregular migrants. As the centre monetary compensation. disabilities. On 17 June. Framework envisaged the adoption of a new Since the beginning of the year. 50% of Czech people opposed October with the aim of improving access to policies consisting of accepting refugees affordable housing for those in need.000 Roma in the powers of the EU Border Agency. the government rejected a centre while their deportation proceedings draft law on reparations for Romani women were pending.Race Equality Directive. and other cities. a new from far-right organizations. Some protests were on 1 September 2016. The incident introduced a compulsory year of pre-school happened a few days after the centre education. Parliament RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA adopted an amendment to the Schools Act Between June and September. presented by the 700 refugees and migrants. the government adopted and door of the community centre Kašpárek. in October. The government presented a borders of the Schengen area. a government report on the relocation of refugees within the EU. In September. Afghanistan and Iraq. the Prime Minister called for the about half of the 242. a gym and pre- of limitations. In September. The NGO Organization for Aid who were forcibly sterilized between 1966 to Refugees reported in September that about and 2012. the Council of Europe In October. In May. the Public Defender of Rights Commissioner for Human Rights urged the (Ombudsperson) stated that living conditions Amnesty International Report 2015/16 135 . mental disabilities. Bělá-Jezová. an amendment to the Schools Act that in the town of Pardubice. including in cases only had a capacity of 260 people. hundreds of introducing measures to support pupils with protesters participated in anti-refugee and special educational needs in mainstream migrant demonstrations in the capital. following Ministry staff’s complaints of Groups supporting refugees faced threats bullying by the Minister. were held in access to remedies for the women. In a letter to the Prime Minister fabricated containers. traitors” were placed on the display window On 23 September. schools and classes for pupils with mild arguing that it was not necessary. Frontex. According to Conceptual Framework on Social Housing in opinion polls. The fleeing armed conflict. aimed to ensure from Syria. Police informed the media that they considering abolishing the educational were investigating the case as a programme for pupils with mild mental misdemeanour. predominantly Minister for Human Rights. The draft. to protect the external social exclusion. on account of the government to adopt the law. REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS Housing The government continued to refuse the In October. In March. such as one of the centres. schools. Those without valid visas were Sexual and reproductive rights apprehended and brought to a detention On 1 October. where they represent a third of all pupils. In situation of the Roma minority concluded that October. the Minister of organized a food drive and other aid for Education announced that the Ministry was refugees. a large where they could not access remedies number of refugees and migrants had to through court proceedings due to the statute sleep in military tents.

distributed by police officers wearing The Prostějov court held that recognition of balaclavas and helmets. for patients in need death toll and mass displacements. a district court in Prostějov mandate. BISEXUAL. GAY. with numerous practice of police officers restraining agitated armed groups perpetrating serious abuses of patients in psychiatric hospitals. the civilian population led to a high civilian such as bordered beds. the Ministry of couples. The failure of the protective measure or means of restraint. Refugees and the adoption was in the best interests of the migrants held in the centre were charged for children despite the lack of legislative their stay at a rate of €260 per month. Adults were brought to the premises California in 2007. arbitrarily arrested and in some Patients with mental disabilities continued to cases convicted for peacefully exercising be ill-treated in mental health institutions. TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT harassed. In its provision allowing adoption by same-sex response on 13 October. In his Government repression of protests against speech he declared that there are half a attempts by President Kabila to run for the million foreigners living in the country with presidency beyond the two terms allowed by whom “there are no problems. On Head of state: Joseph Kabila 17 November. Their culture the Constitution intensified. not a culture of assassins. Interior ignored these concerns and rejected the Ombudsperson’s recommendation to stop placing families with children in the centre. In the east of the Democratic March. due to end in December 2016. 136 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .” increased. Speculation on constitutional change and TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE other ways to extend President Kabila’s In November. In their rights. and reiterated its force MONUSCO (UN Organization call to withdraw them from psychiatric Stabilization Mission in the DRC) to protect hospitals and to use more suitable means. the security Prevention of Torture called for an end to the situation remained volatile.. The Czech-French couple handcuffed. routinely checked by the police permanently living in the USA applied for the in the evening and accommodated in recognition to move to the Czech Republic unhygienic sleeping quarters. the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights criticized the treatment of REPUBLIC OF migrants and refugees and expressed concern that the government was pursuing detention as a routine policy. The President’s THE CONGO spokesperson said the criticism was part of a Democratic Republic of the Congo campaign against the country. the President attended a Head of government: Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon demonstration in Prague organized by the anti-Islam group Block Against Islam. Congolese army and the UN peacekeeping often for excessive duration.in the Bělá-Jezová centre amounted to recognized an adoption order which had been degrading treatment and were worse than in issued for a gay couple by a district court in prison. the European Committee for the Republic of the Congo (DRC).. DEMOCRATIC On 22 October. expressed human rights and violations of international concerns over the use of net beds as a humanitarian law. BACKGROUND RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. youth activists and politicians were threatened. of protective measures. it is not a culture of association and peaceful assembly religious hatred. It is the rights to freedoms of expression. Food was and continue enjoying the right to family life. Human rights defenders. Violations of is fully compatible with European values.

On 29 term. four activists Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to disarm. the “G7”. which Dowe. the army’s On 8 October. press conference in the capital Kinshasa. Two of them. the Mayor of Lubumbashi operations against the Front for Patriotic issued a ban on all public political protests. Nine members of the National Human On 15 March. Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) continued with the support of MONUSCO. repressed. a platform of out publicly against a third term for President parties within the majority. dividing the FREEDOMS OF ASSOCIATION AND country’s 11 provinces into 26 entities. In arrested between 19 and 21 January.2 The authorities targeted adequately protect civilians and sparked the politicians and activists for peacefully Amnesty International Report 2015/16 137 . Following the appointment of two generals On 15 September. Twenty-seven against the armed group Allied Democratic people were arrested. Ernest Kyaviro and Cyrille President of the CENI resigned. security forces stormed a Rights Commission were appointed.triggered public protests and widespread creation of self-proclaimed “self-defence” criticism. At least 36 October. a peaceful opposition suspected of having committed human rights rally in Kinshasa was attacked by unidentified violations. the government started a decentralization process. both the President and the Vice. including conspiracy presumed ADF members against civilians. MONUSCO decided to halt its assailants. was arrested on 20 January. who had left the ruling coalition after speaking In September. Fred Forces (ADF) continued in Beni territory. seen planned for 25 October and elections for the as an attempt to extend President Kabila’s governors of the new provinces. groups. Protesters were arbitrarily arrested After the expiration of a six-month and subjected to torture and other ill- ultimatum for the Democratic Forces for the treatment. on “Sokola 2”. the President appointed special people were killed and several hundred commissioners to govern the provinces. detention at the end of the year and there was an upsurge of attacks by faced serious charges. The ASSEMBLY Independent National Election Commission Security forces dispersed demonstrations (CENI) failed to organize local elections against a bill amending the electoral law. Filimbi. In February. The government-led military Operation where youth activists were launching a civic “Sokola 1” (“operation clean-up” in Lingala) education platform. using excessive force. Police failed to protect the military collaboration with the Congolese army protesters. were arrested at the protests and held increased concerns that presidential elections in incommunicado detention for 86 and 145 would not be organized within constitutional days respectively. was ongoing at the end of the year. delays. In early September. Two October. Bauma and Yves Makwambala. Jean-Claude Muyambo. remained in North Kivu province.1 Solidarity protests after an absence thereof for nearly four following the arrests were systematically months. On 18 September. His trial the ruling coalition after calling on the on seemingly politically motivated charges President to respect the Constitution. was excluded from Kabila. “struggle for change”) “Sokola 2” to neutralize the FDLR. However. opposition leaders. against the head of state. peaceful assembly. the from the youth movement Lutte pour le Congolese army implemented Operation Changement (LUCHA. The overall FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION deteriorating relationship between the army Freedom of expression was seriously curtailed and MONUSCO left them unable to during the year. whose were convicted of incitement to civil military capacity is said to be still largely disobedience in violation of their right to intact.

In the first eight Internationale was also temporarily blurred. and President Kabila to extend his term and killed at least 10 civilians. in 2009. The evictions were carried out by the against civilians in the east of the country. internet and Armed groups continued to recruit children text messaging services were cut by the throughout the year. the ADF attacked two locations the concession located next to the 138 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . They were used as authorities. COMMUNAL VIOLENCE The conflict between the Batwa and Luba ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS communities continued throughout the year The numbers of arbitrary arrests and and caused a high civilian death toll. was arrested and convicted after he fighters forced civilians to work in mines and suggested during a press conference that the to transport pillaged goods. conflict zones. continued to be denied access to ABUSES BY ARMED GROUPS justice and their right to remedy by Congolese Armed groups continued to commit abuses courts. CHILD SOLDIERS During the January protests. threats and arbitrary arrests. rape and other sexual harassment. a station prosecution of such crimes remained owned by Jean-Claude Muyambo. looting. the Kawama community. CKTV remained closed. RTCE’s signal was re. months of the year. (CKTV) and Radiotélévision Catholique Elikya (RTCE) had their transmission signals cut VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS after they broadcast the opposition’s call for Sexual violence against women and girls mass protests. civilians. station Canal Futur remained closed throughout the year. a peace deal was signed between carried out by intelligence services. The FRPI was responsible for large-scale Journalists continued to be victims of looting operations. tax collectors. rape and other sexual Vano Kiboko. supposedly to manage public combatants. escorts. order. Groupe Forrest International – with rights to On 2 May. Arbitrary the two communities. access Victims of forced evictions that took place in to a lawyer or being presented to a judge. pillages. police using bulldozers belonging to the The ADF was responsible for a high number mining company Entreprise Générale Malta of unlawful killings. Many of them were 21 October. free violence as well as unlawful killings of flow of information was often impeded. FDLR coalition. remained rampant. kidnappings as Forrest – a subsidiary of the Belgian company well as incidents of rape and sexual slavery. urban and rural areas. The Radio Télévision Lubumbashi Jua. delays in the organization of presidential Abuses by the FDLR included unlawful elections. both in conflict and non- established in June.mobilizing against perceived attempts by close to Mavivi. weapons and coalition should start identifying a successor munitions. TV perpetrators enjoyed total impunity. Operations against the armed group On 16 January. a former MP from the ruling violence as well as forced labour. The signal of Radio France messengers or cooks. was closed challenging due to a lack of resources. by the ADF remained closed throughout the year. to President Kabila. servants. Most down when he left the ruling coalition. more children were Five radio stations which had been closed successfully rescued from armed groups than in November 2014 after they reported attacks in the whole of 2014. North Kivu province. arrests were often followed by prolonged incommunicado detention during which CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY people were detained without charge. killings. Lubumbashi. On detentions remained high. Canal Kin Télévision caused large displacements of civilians.

a trial of 23 members of the INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE Bantu and Batwa communities for genocide In April. and poor medical care led to the deaths of scores of prisoners. Cobra Matata. kidnapping and recruitment of In another positive step in the fight against minors in both Uganda and DRC. No credible. FRPI leader. He was extradited to the Court of Appeal in Lubumbashi. It was the Uganda on 10 July and faced charges of first trial for international crimes to take place murder. human rights before civil courts in the country. the National Assembly and the On 2 September. contains the death penalty for war crimes. civilians by armed groups and the army. children. education and governance were targeted. was arrested in Three individuals linked to Filimbi and January. 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of promulgated into law on 2 January 2016. abuses. during which more than 10 civilians defender monitoring the excessive use of were killed. the end of the year. He remained in detention at the of Tenambo and Mamiki in October 2014. Bernard Byamungu. including the recruitment of released without charge. Malnutrition. Some of the bodies his driver Fidel Bazana. threats. terrorism. a human rights February. He was indicted by the military LUCHA were arbitrarily arrested and held in prosecutor for war crimes and crimes against incommunicado detention before being humanity. On 18 September. An appeal against the court decision was a lack of basic hygiene. ADF leader Jamil Mukulu was and crimes against humanity started before arrested in Tanzania. serious lack of capacity to prosecute all crimes under international law. infectious diseases ongoing in Lubumbashi. Persisting HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS impunity for past crimes paved the way for Human rights defenders and activists ongoing violations and abuses against continued to be targets for intimidation. treason. The company continued to deny PRISON CONDITIONS any responsibility in enabling the evictions. over 400 bodies were reported to handed down for the double murder of have been buried in a mass grave on the human rights defender Floribert Chebeya and outskirts of Kinshasa. recruitment and use of child soldiers – allegedly committed in 2002-2003 in Amnesty International Report 2015/16 139 . a final verdict was In March. crimes against humanity – including murder. impunity. attack against the city of Matukaka in Christopher Ngoyi. was arrested in February for a was arrested and detained incommunicado similar attack against civilians in the villages for 21 days. was sentenced to disappearances. Police officer Daniel were suspected to be those of victims of Mukalay.community. Detention facilities were IMPUNITY highly overcrowded and the prison The justice system continued to suffer from a administration was severely underfunded. 809th regiment. Prison conditions remained dire. He end of the year. from the force by police during the January protests. ill-treatment as well The army was allegedly responsible for an as incommunicado and secret detention. the trial of former Senate adopted legislation implementing the Congolese general Bosco Ntaganda started Rome Statute of the ICC in June and before the ICC. awaiting trial. arbitrary arrests. He was being prosecuted for November respectively. reportedly remained in military custody at the Youth movements working on civic end of the year. who was found guilty under extrajudicial executions and enforced extenuating circumstances. independent 15 years in prison while four other officers and effective investigation had taken place at were acquitted. rape and sexual slavery as well as forced crimes against humanity and genocide.3 In September. The final bill.

without an adequate legal basis. During the hearing. Ignace Murwanashyaka disproportionately high attrition rate in and Straton Musoni. Head of government: Lars Løkke Rasmussen (replaced Helle Thorning-Schmidt in June) FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY In September. Both were convicted of leading a terrorist organization REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS and Ignace Murwanashyaka was found guilty People awaiting the result of their asylum of war crimes. DRC: Authorities should work hand in hand with MONUSCO to ensure introduced in order.Ituri province. Sylvestre Mudacumura. Treated like criminals: DRC’s race to silence dissent (AFR In November. DRC: Free human rights activists (News story. unaccompanied against the FDLR. continued to be held in detention for remained at large. immigration control purposes. No effective screening of asylum-seekers was put in place to identify people who were unfit to be placed 1. The Copenhagen police conceded that the VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS evidence “raised doubts” about the police The majority of reported rape cases were action and referred the case to the closed by the police or the prosecution and Independent Police Complaints Authority. to respond to the increasing 62/1414/2015) number of people seeking asylum in the country. The amendments included powers to DENMARK temporarily suspend judicial oversight of decisions made by the police to detain asylum-seekers and migrants. 2. although a number of Public Prosecutions called for changes to officers subsequently claimed that their howpolice were handling these cases. The cases were being closed by the police before Copenhagen police also informed parliament a formal police investigation had even been that they were unable to identify the police started. Most cases were closed New evidence subsequently emerged due to “the state of the evidence ”. never reached trial. as well as a Kingdom of Denmark widening of the grounds on which asylum- Head of state: Queen Margrethe II seekers can be detained by the police. claim or deportation to their country of origin Despite an ongoing military operation – including victims of torture. according to the thorough and independent investigations into mass grave (AFR government. 19 March) in detention. were sentenced by a prosecuting cases of rape. A commission established to removed and detained a protester during investigate actions of Danish soldiers an official state visit by Chinese officials involved in military operations overseas was in 2012. the Eastern High Court ruled Impunity for the majority of rape cases that the Copenhagen police had unlawfully continued. despite denials by senior reports showing that many reported rape officers in a parliamentary hearing. evidence was closed down by the government before it heard alleging that the police removed was able to come to any conclusions about demonstrators and confiscated their banners possible wrongdoing. however. examination of the reason for the Two FDLR leaders. the children and persons with mental illness – alleged commander of its armed branch. court in Germany in September. and in November the Director for officers involved.1 During suggesting that police officers acted on orders the year the State Prosecutors released two from superiors. The identity had been known. a number of potentially 62/2917/2015) harmful amendments to the Aliens Act were 3. As a result of this reports. did not include the apparent misinformation and the alleged 140 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .

the DOMINICAN process for a comprehensive reform of the police was further delayed. 169-14). September 2009 and December 2013. A few days In June. Denmark: Human Rights in Review: 2011-2015 – Amnesty may have been unlawful. the In June. the government closed down the later. Dominican Republic however. had handed over detainees to personnel from The Ministry of Foreign Affairs led a other countries and determine Danish liability consultative process with different civil society and responsibility for the detainee under groups aimed at developing a national human international law. was submitted to practices regarding the apprehension and Congress in July. whether Danish soldiers the end of the year. The Commission was closed rights plan. A new Criminal Code removing the total ban on abortion failed to enter into IMPUNITY force. procedures of the Public Defender’s Office. transgender and intersex (LGBTI) and Randy Vizcaíno González – who were last people. which had formally law intended to address their situation (Law been launched in March 2013. no information was made Many people of Haitian descent remained available on the implementation of the stateless despite the implementation of a National Security Plan. following an agreement between the Ministry of Justice established a commission ruling and the main opposition parties. investigate actions of Danish soldiers involved A draft regulation governing the internal in military operations overseas. Juan Almonte Herrera bisexual. the Commission was tasked to investigate established in 2013. Congress adopted an amendment to the Constitution allowing the outgoing President TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT to run for a consecutive term. but remained pending at detention of Iraqis. girls and lesbian. to investigate. before it could come to any conclusions. Apart Head of state and government: Danilo Medina Sánchez from the publication of progress reports on the national system of response to A law to reform the police was not passed. respectively. Congress continued to debate a draft law January–February 2016 (EUR 18/2332/2015) on police reform. In particular. REPUBLIC There was a 6% fall in the number of murders between January and September compared with the same period in 2014. – Gabriel Sandi Alistar. Many killings took place in circumstances suggesting that they 1. As a consequence. seen in police custody in July 2009. Their fate and whereabouts Amnesty International Report 2015/16 141 . International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review. the number remained high. 152 killings by security forces between January and September. Parliament failed to adopt legislation No progress was made in the investigation that could have advanced the protection of into the enforced disappearance of three men the rights of women. as the government stated that there was no need POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES for such an investigation as no new The Office of the Prosecutor General reported information would emerge. gay. but had not approved it by the end of the year. emergencies.violations of the rights to freedom of BACKGROUND expression and peaceful assembly. the President announced his intention Iraq-Afghanistan Commission established in to run for a second term in the 2016 2012 by the previous government to presidential elections.

This whose birth had been previously registered in movement of people led to an escalation of the Dominican Civil Registry (so-called tensions between the Dominican Republic “Group A”) to regain their nationality was and Haiti. the Supreme migrants in retaliation for crimes allegedly Court accepted the appeal of six members of committed by other Haitians were reported. The authorities continued to implement The government officially resumed Law 169-14. In June. Following arbitrarily deprived of their identity the visit.755 applied for the not make their own protocol public. Attacks on Haitian posed a risk to the life of the woman or girl. Status.remained unknown. following an escalation of violence against women approved by the tensions between the Dominican Republic Senate in 2012. set for 1 February. September.1 had applied to the National Regularization Scores of Dominicans of Haitian descent Plan reported having been deported. No amendments to the Criminal Code one had been brought to justice for the killing decriminalizing abortion where pregnancy by the end of the year. The authorities did called “Group B”). The government announced that and decided to terminate the proceedings 288. At the end of against them. several people who remained stateless. in the vast majority of cases the According to official statistics. the deadline expired for prosecution for the killing of Cecilio Díaz and applications to the National Regularization William Checo in 2009 had been initiated Plan for Foreigners with Irregular Migration after the expiry of the statute of limitations. which was intended to restore deportations of irregular migrants in mid- nationality to those who had been arbitrarily August. tens of and retroactively deprived of their Dominican thousands of Haitian migrants decided to nationality by a 2013 Constitutional Court return to Haiti. Of the estimated 55. the government stated that the status of more than 239. Republic. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS However. the Dominican authorities refused documents. government failed to publicly acknowledge according to the International Organization for the existence of a large group of people who Migration and some Dominican and Haitian could not enrol in the plan and who therefore civil society organizations. Congress passed been the victim of a xenophobic killing. and Haiti. The assessed each case individually.3 From mid-June onwards. deportations with Haiti. mainly because of fear of judgment. The administrative process for violent expulsion or xenophobic pressures Dominican-born people of foreign descent from employers or neighbours. the body of a Haitian migrant was found hanging from a tree in a park in SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS Santiago. However. Parliament had yet to adopt a MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS comprehensive law to prevent and address In February. 142 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . There were fears that he may have In December 2014. the first authorities released them upon verification semester of the year saw a decrease of 4% in that they were born in the Dominican the number of killings of women and girls. The OAS responded by sending a slow. only 8. were arbitrarily detained and threatened with expulsion to Haiti as “irregular” migrants.000 the offer of mediation by the OAS Secretary Dominican-born people of foreign descent General or to negotiate a protocol for whose birth had never been registered (so.000 applicants had DEPRIVATION OF NATIONALITY been regularized. naturalization plan provided by the Law within In most deportation cases. the authorities the deadline.2 the security forces arguing that their 2013 On 17 June. compared with the same period in 2014. and many people continued to be mission to both countries in July.486 migrants had applied.

the President of the Chamber of constitutional amendments proposed by the Deputies removed a draft law on sexual and executive. the three circumstances permitted by the Criminal Code. Nationwide anti-government protests led by TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE trades unions. Quito. adopted in 1884. re-election of the President and other authorities. the International Court of Justice (ICJ) backed a 2011 Ecuadorian court ruling that granted compensation to Amazon 1. They were marked by murder and rape.4 and unfounded criminal charges. BISEXUAL. which included authorizing the use reproductive health from the agenda for of the military to respond to internal public discussion by Parliament. I am no one”: Stateless people in the Dominican Indigenous communities affected by Republic (AMR 27/2755/2015) environmental damage caused by the USA- 2. the Constitutional Court Delgado declared that the adoption of the Code was unconstitutional due to procedural errors and Those critical of the authorities.where the foetus would be unable to survive outside the womb. including ordered the previous one. Dominican Republic officially resumes deportations amid concerns for Chevron and authorities did not prevent Dominicans of Haitian descent (AMR 27/2304/2015) Amazon Indigenous communities from 4. were sentenced amid concerns orientation and gender identity. or where the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 143 . seeking compensation from the company. clashes between the security forces and The commission of the Chamber of protesters and reports of excessive use of Deputies which analyzed the draft law on force and arbitrary arrests by the security sexual and reproductive health removed forces. On Head of state and government: Rafael Vicente Correa 2 December. the ICC ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to decide on a complaint filed by Indigenous communities against Chevron’s Chief Executive Officer. also in March. The rights The Ministry of Health. including throughout the year. RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. GAY. In 3 December) a separate court case. The law was about violations of their right to a fair trial. Dominican Republic: Authorities must investigate xenophobic violence based energy company Chevron. Dominican Republic takes women’s rights back to 1884 (News story. At least 21 people detained during proposed sanctions for discrimination in anti-government protests in December in the access to health care on grounds of sexual capital. Anti-abortion ECUADOR groups subsequently challenged the Republic of Ecuador constitutionality of the reform. The law had not security situations and enabling the indefinite been debated by the end of the year. in co-operation with of Indigenous Peoples to free. to human rights defenders. Indigenous Peoples’ Civil society organizations reported hate organizations and civil society took place crimes against LGBTI people. pending discussion at the end of the year. following pressure from religious The National Assembly voted in favour of 15 groups. In March. faced attacks. BACKGROUND In July. prior and civil society organizations. “Without papers. drafted protocols to informed consent over decisions affecting implement the decriminalization of abortion in their livelihoods were not fulfilled. fines remain in force. The ICJ (AMR 27/1449/2015) ruled that a previous agreement between 3.

In February. Abortion remained illegal in all cases. with the the impact of mining activities on the right to most vulnerable disproportionately affected. He concerns at the limited access to sexual and was released the same day as his sentencing. including the Free Trade Agreement between Ecuador and complete removal of explosives left on their the European Union. National Mining Agency delegates. Media outlets continued to receive fines except where the life of the woman was at risk 144 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . reproductive health services. The threats commenced end of September. fines. The Communication Secretariat threatened to newspaper refused to pay the fine. made to prevent them from carrying out their There were concerns that the law’s work and they faced attacks. a apparently in reprisal for the organization’s Facebook page that published satirical denunciations of violations of the rights to political memos. environmental activist and personnel authorized by the Ministry of the community leader Darwin Javier Ramírez Environment entered the Sarayaku territory Piedra was sentenced to 10 months’ without consent to carry out an environmental imprisonment on charges of “rebellion” for impact assessment for future oil extraction on his alleged participation in an attack against the territory. a coalition of American Court of Human Rights in favour of civil society organizations which oppose the the Kichwa People of Sarayaku. In May. a public openly criticized government policies were servant elected from a shortlist provided by threatened and harassed. La Hora In September. Attempts were the President. policies and complaint. In May. closed down the page after freedom of expression and association.540 for not granting the authorities wide powers to covering an event by the Mayor of Loja which monitor and dissolve NGOs. water of Junin communities in Intag region. the owner of Crudo Ecuador. At the receiving threats. The prosecution did not provide credible evidence SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS against him and his sentence appeared to be Women and girls continued to face limited an attempt to silence his campaign against access to modern contraceptives. No investigation had land and the issuing of legislation to regulate been opened by state prosecutors by the end Indigenous Peoples’ right to free.FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION. sentence in pre-trial detention. using an executive decree newspaper was fined US$3. to limit and regulate the media. application was jeopardizing the right to harassment and unfounded criminal freedom of expression and creating a climate charges. education and as he had already served the length of his information. prestige of Ecuador and its institutions”. northern Ecuador. measures that affect their livelihoods. prior and of the year despite her having filed a informed consent over laws. the National was deemed to be of public interest. In February. the Secretariat issued a after the President referred to Crudo Ecuador “final warning” to Fundamedios to “comply in his weekly television programme and with the prohibition of exercising matters of a encouraged his supporters to counteract political nature. of self-censorship. In February. close down human rights NGO Fundamedios. avoiding raising unfounded those who criticized the authorities through alerts for the sole purpose of damaging the social media. under a communication law granting wide- ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY ranging powers to the Information and Human rights defenders and others who Communication Superintendent. the CEDAW Committee raised Imbabura province. Human rights defender Paulina Muñoz INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS Samaniego was subjected to an intimidation The authorities continued to fail to fully campaign which she believed was related to implement the 2012 ruling of the Inter- her work with Ecuador Decide.

Egypt carried out air strikes in Arab Republic of Egypt Libya killing at least seven civilians. Cairo. terrorism law. not extend to imprisoned leaders of Egypt’s There was a critical lack of accountability. pardoned 100 men and women. President al-Sisi restricted the rights to freedom of announced that the Arab League had agreed expression. apparently after mistaking them for used excessive force against protesters. On 23 September. BACKGROUND established special courts. members of an armed group. where the armed group calling itself Armed groups launched attacks deliberately Sinai Province. asylum-seekers and migrants. It was Amnesty International Report 2015/16 145 . the Prosecutor General was several major attacks. State of woman with a mental disability. killed by a bomb in the capital.1 In March. protected against violence. ensure public order and security”. claimed responsibility for On 29 June.3%. after an Head of state: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi armed group there beheaded a group of Head of government: Sherif Ismail (replaced Ibrahim Egyptian Coptic Christians they had Mahlab in September) abducted. association and peaceful to form a “joint Arab military force” to combat assembly. In February. Islamic State (IS). committed with impunity. The army 2015. The authorities arbitrarily armed conflict in Yemen. and arrested and imprisoned On 13 September. including treatment. Palestine. regional threats. refugees. equivalent to those granted by a state of emergency. heavy fines for journalists whose reporting on particularly in the Sinai region. Women and Parliamentary elections held between members of religious minorities were October and December had an officially subject to discrimination and inadequately reported turnout of 28. an affiliate of the armed group targeting civilians. for much of the year. People were arrested and tried on charges of COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY “debauchery” for their perceived sexual In August the government enacted Law 94 of orientation or gender identity. enacted a draconian new anti. reportedly flooding the area with water. The authorities “terrorism” differed from official statements. mostly in North ABUSES BY ARMED GROUPS Sinai.or in cases of rape when the victim was a Egypt closed its border with Gaza. youth movement or Muslim Brotherhood most human rights violations were leaders. Egypt joined the Saudi Arabia-led The human rights situation continued to international coalition that engaged in the deteriorate. terms. The Egyptian army destroyed smuggling tunnels under the EGYPT border. President al-Sisi Detainees faced torture and other ill. Courts handed down hundreds of journalists and scores of activists imprisoned death sentences and lengthy prison for participating in protests. a new anti-terrorism law that defines a forcibly evicted communities from their “terrorist act” vaguely and in overly broad homes along the border with Gaza. and provided for Security conditions remained tense. subjecting some to killed 12 people. including eight Mexican enforced disappearance. army and security forces government critics and political opposition in the Western Desert region attacked and leaders and activists. The security forces tourists. The new law gave the President Executions were carried out following grossly powers to “take necessary measures to unfair trials.2 said that the army and other security forces killed hundreds of “terrorists”. The pardon did sentences after grossly unfair mass trials.

They were tried authorities. charges. Sinai broadcasting “false news” and operating Province also claimed responsibility for without authorization. Egypt’s highest court. the Court of Cassation. The court tried several Journalists working for outlets critical of the defendants in their absence. as part of a group of 51 alongside leading were prosecuted for reporting “false news” Muslim Brotherhood figures. was referred to trial in August investigation into the activities and foreign with 738 co-defendants. to death for allegedly forming “media committees” and “leading and funding a FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION banned group”. but was postponed because the Mada Foundation for Media Development. mostly Russian nationals. one on 29 January that reportedly killed 40 Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed – and people. at least 100 members of the armed respectively on 29 August on charges of group were also killed in the assault. Mohamed Fahmy Province on the North Sinai town of Sheikh and Baher Mohamed were released on bail Zuweid killed 17 members of the army and on 12 February but sentenced to prison terms security forces. his case to court. and also questioned by army. including civilians. the government on 14 August 2013.unclear who was responsible. The authorities deported officers. on 31 October. and sentenced another journalist the plane. a courtroom could not hold the hundreds of Cairo-based journalism NGO. They detained defendants. death. Staff of some human rights detained by military intelligence and organizations were arrested and questioned prosecutors over an article he wrote about the by security officials. All 224 people on board were On 11 April a court in Cairo sentenced 14 killed. In November. or linked to opposition groups. known authorities as part of an ongoing criminal as Shawkan. a funding under the Law on Associations (Law prominent investigative journalist was briefly 84 of 2002). an “expert committee” appointed by the Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid. The trial was due to begin in On 21 October. Mahmoud Abu Zeid was said it had closed more than 480 NGOs detained without charge for almost two years because of their alleged links to the Muslim before the Public Prosecution Office referred Brotherhood group. Individuals continued to face prosecution on criminal charges such as FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION “defaming religion” and offending “public Human rights organizations were subject to morals” for peacefully exercising their right to arbitrary restrictions on their activities and freedom of expression. security forces raided the December. overturned the The armed group Sinai Province claimed convictions of three jailed journalists working responsibility for several attacks. On 1 July. several hours before releasing all but the 146 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .3 violent dispersal by security forces of a protest By the end of the year. The leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood group and authorities prevented some human rights and their supporters. Courts sentenced some to lengthy which overturned their conviction in prison terms and one was sentenced to December and ordered a retrial. Arrested while covering the political activists from travelling abroad. who included funding of human rights groups. all those present and questioned them for On 1 January. according to the Ministry of of three and three and a half years Defence. Those jailed and on other politically motivated criminal lodged appeals with the Court of Cassation. President al-Sisi causing the crash of a civilian Russian airliner pardoned the two men on 23 September. Russia’s opposition-linked journalists to 25-year prison Federal Security Service announced on terms after convicting them of “broadcasting 17 November that a bomb had brought down false news”. including for the broadcaster Al Jazeera – Peter Greste. an assault by Sinai Peter Greste on 1 February. soldiers and police ordered their retrial.

organization’s director. Israa Al- result of excessive force from the security Taweel. Two members of the security forces being shot during a protest in 2014. who has a disability as a result of forces. most as a an unfair trial before a military court. more than 700 days after his arrest in belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. January 2014 for wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Nation without torture”. The authorities arbitrarily restricted the right to freedom of peaceful assembly under the ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES Protest Law (Law 107 of 2013). detainees in political cases and lawyers giving food. was also died. club died in a stampede at a stadium in New Cairo on 8 February. By the end of the year. at least 700 people had been held in preventive UNFAIR TRIALS detention for more than two years without The criminal justice system continued to being sentenced by a court. There were Human rights groups reported receiving fewer protests than in recent years. that in some cases amounted to enforced resulting in deaths and serious injuries. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 147 . his family said.000 people on such grounds in were severely overcrowded and unhygienic. Widely in Cairo on 1 June and subjected them to circulated videos and photographs of her enforced disappearance for 15 days. The authorities had Conditions of detention in prisons and previously stated that they had arrested at police stations remained extremely poor. during death sparked outrage. Both men faced 23and 26 January across Egypt. defendants on charges such as “terrorism”.4 government critics. Throughout the the Interior. in conditions demonstrations and other public gatherings. released from prison in December but At least 22 fans of the Zamalek football remained under house arrest. At least 27 people which Sohaab Said said that he and Omar died in protest-related violence between Mohamed Ali were tortured. Detainees held by state security forces and military intelligence were tortured. medicine and other were held in prolonged detention without items to prisoners. after security forces TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT recklessly fired tear gas to disperse them. 2014. Security forces shot and killed protester Security forces arrested students Israa Al- Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh on 24 January during a Taweel. disappearance. Security forces “terrorist groups” between January and the frequently beat detainees at the time of their end of September. including ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS by being beaten and subjected to electric Security forces arrested 11. Prison guards EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE beat him in July.877 members of shocks and stress positions. in contravention serve as an instrument of state repression. Cells least 22. and in some cases officials prevented families In some cases. according to the Assistant arrest and when transferring them between Minister for Public Security at the Ministry of police stations and prisons. Sohaab Said and Omar Mohamed Ali demonstration in central Cairo. of the two-year limit on such detention in with courts convicting hundreds of Egyptian law. The crackdown was thought to year there were reports of deaths in custody include members and perceived supporters as a result of torture and other ill-treatment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other and lack of access to adequate medical care. charge or trial. whom they held Student Mahmoud Mohamed Ahmed without charge on suspicion of “international Hussein remained detained without charge or bribery – receiving foreign funding” and trial. but scores of complaints concerning cases of security forces continued to use excessive or individuals arrested by the security forces and unnecessary force to disperse “unauthorized” then detained incommunicado.

were tried in mass trials.5 “unauthorized protesting” and “disturbing At least 3. the groups. accused. jailed for five years in December on charges Former President Mohamed Morsi faced of torturing to death a lawyer at Mattareya five separate trials. in cases arising from several communities. Courts held a small number of members of There were new incidents of sectarian the security forces responsible for unlawful violence against Coptic Christian killings. member of the security forces to 15 years’ The Ministry of Endowments closed the al- 148 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . On 16 June. after grossly unfair mass trials in authorities also separately prosecuted 17 which prosecutors did not establish the eyewitnesses to the killing.6 by security forces that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of protesters since July 2013. he deadly crackdown on protesters during the was sentenced to death for allegedly 2011 “25 January Revolution”. Many. on charges of defendants. the authorities largely failed to implement substantive measures. including IMPUNITY amending or repealing discriminatory The authorities failed to conduct effective. Courts acquitted the 17 unfair military courts on “terrorism” and other eyewitnesses on 23 May.“unauthorized protesting”. Verdicts in other trials announcing a national strategy to combat against the former President were still violence and discrimination against women pending at the end of the year. Despite from power in 2013. The trials were WOMEN’S RIGHTS fundamentally unfair as they relied on Women and girls continued to face evidence gathered while Mohamed Morsi was discrimination in law and in practice. during the months after he was ousted and other gender-based violence. On 21 April a court sentenced him to several of his former senior security officials 20 years in prison for alleged involvement in were retried by the Court of Cassation in armed clashes outside Cairo’s Presidential November on charges of orchestrating a Palace in December 2012.000 civilians stood trial before public order”. including human individual criminal responsibility of the rights defender Azza Soliman. properties damaged in sectarian attacks in On 11 June a court sentenced one 2013. husband without forfeiting their financial including the repeated use of excessive force rights. these communities also faced incidents that had attracted wide national and obstacles to rebuilding churches and other international condemnation. DISCRIMINATION – RELIGIOUS Investigations by the Public Prosecution into MINORITIES protests and incidents of political violence Religious minorities. authorities’ opponents and critics. Military trials of Two members of the security forces were civilians are fundamentally unfair. including Coptic instead focused on alleged abuses by the Christians. including Muslim Brotherhood Former President Hosni Mubarak and leaders. alongside hundreds of co. Shi’a Muslims and Baha’is. and subject to enforced disappearance by the were inadequately protected against sexual army. and girls. However. 24 October following an appeal by the Public including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The trial was orchestrating a prison escape during the ongoing at the end of the year. engaging in imprisonment for fatally wounding protester political violence and belonging to banned Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh. and again on charges alleging political violence. and a 25-year prison term on an espionage charge. Prosecution Office. 2011 uprising. continued to face discriminatory restrictions. Personal Status Laws that prevent women independent and impartial investigations into from obtaining a divorce from an abusive most incidents of human rights violations. Police Station in Cairo in February.

EL SALVADOR HOUSING RIGHTS – FORCED EVICTIONS Republic of El Salvador The armed forces continued to forcibly evict Head of state and government: Salvador Sánchez communities living along Egypt’s border with Cerén Gaza. 5.7 At story. 23 February) Law 10 of 1961. 13 August) identity. on the basis of their real or 2. 2 February) least 20 Sudanese nationals and one Syrian national were killed while trying to leave Egypt irregularly. asylum-seekers and migrants who 8. where the authorities sought to create a security “buffer zone”. detention 1. Egypt’s president to sign draconian counter-terrorism law today perceived sexual orientation and gender (News story. bisexual. include sufficient safeguards to prevent transgender and intersex (LGBTI) forced evictions. A total legal abortion ban remained in place. and falsified their arrest dates in official documents. “terrorism” and other charges related to the The 1993 Amnesty Law was not repealed. political violence that followed Mohamed presenting an obstacle for accessing justice Morsi’s ousting in July 2013. criminal and military courts. and for murder and reparations for victims of human rights and other crimes. Those executed included violations that occurred during the prisoners sentenced after unfair trials before 1980-1992 armed conflict. Generation jail: Egypt's youth go from protest to prison (MDE 12/1853/2015) REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS 6.August 2015 (MDE 24/2352/2015) refugees. they had been 4. Circles of hell: Domestic. 3. individuals and private groups. Egypt: Confirmation of 183 death sentences “outrageous” (News sought to enter or leave Egypt irregularly. communities and those defending and promoting sexual and reproductive rights DEATH PENALTY faced increasing risks and particularly Courts handed down hundreds of death suffered violence and intimidation from sentences on defendants convicted on state agents. BISEXUAL. despite marking the Day of Ashura there. Syria: Voices in crisis . the Ministry evidence that security officials tortured them said the closure was to prevent “Shi’a to force them to “confess” to capital offences untruths”. Egypt: Renewed crackdown on independent groups: Government On 12 January a court acquitted 26 men of investigating human rights workers (MDE 12/1873/2015) “debauchery” charges. RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. gay. Human development plans for Cairo that did not rights defenders of lesbian. GAY. Libya: Mounting evidence of war crimes in the wake of Egypt's and trial on “debauchery” charges. TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE Individuals continued to face arrest. Six men executed on in March.Imam al-Hussein Mosque in Cairo from 22 to 17 May had been sentenced after a grossly 24 October to prevent Shi’a Muslims from unfair trial before a military court. Egypt: Spate of detainee deaths points to rampant abuse at Cairo’s arrested at a Cairo bathhouse in December Mattareya Police Station (News story. The government continued to discuss violating women’s human rights. A 30% gender quota in the Amnesty International Report 2015/16 149 .8 At least seven men were executed in BACKGROUND relation to political violence. one on 7 March Legislative and municipal elections were held after an unfair trial. 4 March) 2014. under airstrikes (News story. public and state violence against women in Security forces continued to use excessive Egypt (MDE 12/004/2015) force and unnecessary lethal force against 7.

Levels of gang-related violence and Authorities recognized judicial errors in the organized crime surged and homicide rates original prosecution. the UN Human Rights Council months of the year. penalties for crimes motivated by political and determined that the participation of Maria opinions. groups” and “unpatriotic traitors”. sentenced to 40 years in prison after In September. some judges officials.1 enforced disappearances.253 remained in jail under similar circumstances. amid reports and complaints experiencing an obstetric complication and of increased violence against LGBTI was wrongfully accused of having an abortion. racial hatred or sexual orientation Teresa Rivera was not demonstrated during and gender identity. She was released No party reached the required number of after serving seven years of a 30-year representatives to achieve a majority in the sentence based on charges of “aggravated Legislative Assembly. Fourteen recommendations were many Salvadorians to leave the country.912 for adopted the outcome of the UPR of El the whole of 2014. the Inter-American and remove the total ban. and made relating to sexual and reproductive also led to the internal displacement of rights. the Legislative Assembly reproductive rights were also particularly granted the request of pardon in favour of stigmatized for the legal assistance provided “Guadalupe”. according to the Civil recommendations to provide access to sexual Society Roundtable against Forced and reproductive health services. 4. the Legislative Assembly The Ombudsman found violations of due reformed the Criminal Code to increase the process and the presumption of innocence. WOMEN’S RIGHTS HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS Between January and October.electoral lists was required for the first time. More than 15 women soared. According to official records. according to information gathered by and the Feminist Collective for Local the Salvadoran Women’s Organization for Development – leading organizations in the Peace and official records. Criminal violence forced Salvador. pregnancy-related grounds. communities. Despite the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights – Special Comprehensive Law for a Life Free were harassed and stigmatized by state from Violence for Women. 475 women The Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of were murdered. and of their In November. El Salvador Commission on Human Rights requested El remained silent on a recommendation to Salvador to adopt precautionary measures to immediately and unconditionally release all protect the life and personal integrity of three women imprisoned for having undergone an men who allegedly had been subjected to abortion or suffering a miscarriage. compared with 3. who was about the whereabouts of their relatives. Ethical and Eugenic Abortion 2014. it merely “noted” the Organized Crime. including Displacement Provoked by Violence and contraception. defence and promotion of sexual and In January. homicides were registered in the first eight In March. individuals and private groups continued to qualify gender-based murders of because of their work on women’s rights. murder” after suffering a miscarriage. women and girls as homicide instead of the Both organizations were called “unscrupulous crime of feminicide as defined in law. While El Salvador accepted thousands of families. trial. an increase from 294 in Therapeutic. according to the Salvadoran Women´s Human rights defenders working for the Organization for Peace. recommendation to decriminalize abortion In September. the Office of the Human families who had been attacked and Rights Ombudsman issued a resolution on threatened after enquiring with the authorities the case of Maria Teresa Rivera. a woman incarcerated on to women convicted of homicide after 150 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .

The Constitutional Chamber requested the Attorney General’s IMPUNITY Office to immediately start an investigation. El Salvador: No amnesty for human rights violations (AMR by the armed forces during the armed 29/1431/2015) conflict.2 requested additional details. In April. The 1993 Amnesty Law remained in place. “Cleaning Operation”. whereabouts of the victims. In March. intimidation. The Ombudsman Head of state and government: Teodoro Obiang also called on the Legislative Assembly to Nguema Mbasogo deprive the Amnesty Law of its legal effects and urged the Attorney General’s Office to Children were among hundreds of people effectively investigate victims’ claims. Francela Méndez.4 By the end of the year. the Constitutional confined to their home villages. in to disperse peaceful demonstrations. no one had been brought to justice. Amnesty International calls on El Salvador to decriminalize abortion committed during the armed conflict and immediately release all women imprisoned for pregnancy-related (1980-1992). In May. which 45 people were killed allegedly by Political opponents were banished and members of the army. detained and beaten In March. the Constitutional Chamber transgender activist and member of the established the responsibility of the armed Salvadoran Women’s Network of Human forces in the enforced disappearance of 11 Rights Defenders. denying access to justice and reparations to victims of the human rights violations 1. The Constitutional Organizations reported an increase in cases Chamber’s ruling required the National of harassment and violence against the Defence Ministry to provide information about transgender community by state agents and the operation and in particular the fate and other individuals. a In July. the Attorney General aggravated the risks they faced. no decision had been issued by the communities also reported violence and Constitutional Chamber. arbitrarily arrested. El Salvador: El Estado debe garantizar justicia en el asesinato de that he should be sent back to El Salvador for activista transgénero (AMR 29/1855/2015) his role in human rights violations committed 4. Chamber required the Attorney General to Amnesty International Report 2015/16 151 . Defamatory report the status of the investigation.suffering obstetric emergencies. Defenders under attack! Protecting sexual and reproductive rights in was deported from the USA after an the Americas (AMR 01/2775/2015) immigration judge in Florida ruled in 2012 3. former General and complications (AMR 29/1254/2015) Defence Minister Eugenio Vides Casanova 2. the Human Rights Ombudsman GUINEA called upon the authorities to overcome the prevalent impunity for human rights violations Republic of Equatorial Guinea during the armed conflict. By the end of the Human rights defenders from the LGBTI year. was murdered. followed by a second in authorities failed to take effective measures to July after the Constitutional Chamber curb their stigmatization and reduce risks. more than a year after a ruling by following disturbances at the African Cup of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Nations football tournament. The rights to Court of Justice ordering the Attorney freedom of expression and assembly were General’s Office to thoroughly investigate the suppressed and police used excessive force 1981 San Francisco Angulo massacre. The submitted a report. there was no public information suggesting that former General Vides was facing any legal EQUATORIAL proceeding.3 By the end people in the context of the 1982 military of 2015. Almost campaigns against human rights defenders two months later.

Equatorial Guinea: Three age. a 152 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . For nearly a month there was no functioning judiciary in the country. disperse peaceful demonstrations by In mid-January several people including university students protesting over the system political activist Celestino Okenve were for granting scholarships. the detainees called for a boycott of the games. where the young detainees reported having received floggings of 20 to 30 lashes each. child and mounted. Scores of students arbitrarily arrested and detained for up to two were arrested and beaten in both cities. Malabo. FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY On 25 and 26 March. They were held in ERITREA appalling conditions in overcrowded and poorly ventilated cells also occupied by adult State of Eritrea criminal suspects. The majority were arrested in their detainees released (AFR 24/0002/2015) homes at night. in of the political party Republican Democratic the streets and in their homes. judiciary. On 13 February. was arbitrarily arrested and boy was arrested in the street as he used his banished to his village for campaigning mobile phone to film police arresting and against the unlawful arrest and banishment of beating students and forcibly entering their FDR leader Guillermo Nguema Ela. At least 50 students were held for two both remained confined to their respective weeks before being released without charge. a member and others suspected of being students. police carried games.BACKGROUND judge. police in Bata and FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Malabo used excessive force and tear gas to Criticism of the government was not allowed.2 They homes. However. At least 12 of those arrested were under 16. Some detainees were Head of state and government: Isaias Afewerki released after their families paid bribes to the police. 20 March 2015) Central Police Station. The police claimed that as they were among 300 youths arbitrarily arrested and not students they must have been beaten following disturbances during the “troublemakers”. A 13-year-old Force (FDR).1 out arbitrary arrests and beatings of students On 19 February. All were later released uncharged. the 13-year-old boy and five other young people remained in police custody for CHILDREN’S RIGHTS another week before being released without On 5 February. again appeared in court and all were released In May. However. In Malabo. villages at the end of the year. dozens of children were charge. At the prison. weeks for criticizing the hosting of the African Those arrested in Bata were released without Cup of Nations and calling for a boycott of the charge the next day. African Cup of Nations semi-finals in the capital. 29 January). President Obiang dissolved the without charge. Luis Nzo Ondo. Equatorial Guinea nine to 11. or in streets far from the 2. but confirmed the detention of the hosted the African Cup of Nations football rest and ordered their transfer to Black Beach tournament. Equatorial Guinea: African Cup of Nations peaceful protesters must responsibility in Equatorial Guinea. They were taken to Malabo leader (Press release. Equatorial Guinea: Release human rights defender and opposition football stadium. including be released (News story. on 11 February some 150 Thousands continued to leave the country to detainees appeared before the investigating flee the indefinite National Service. who ordered the release of those aged In January and February. the age of criminal 1. As opposition to the tournament prison in Malabo. President Obiang threatened severe adult detainees and convicted prisoners were measures against those who disrupted or held together. Urgent Action: Three detainees four children between nine and 11 years of should be released (AFR 24/0001/2015).

including children. A significant provide families with information on their proportion of the population was in open. Many FORCED LABOUR – NATIONAL SERVICE had been detained for well over a decade. civil service and other roles. Children was still banned. Arbitrary detention Thousands of people tried to avoid this without charge or trial continued to be the system. into the “People’s Army”. were A “shoot-to-kill” policy remained in place promulgated to replace the transitional Codes for anyone evading capture and attempting to in place since the country’s independence. 20 years. journalists and practitioners of Construction. sometimes detained with adults. after Syrians and camp. including by attempting to flee the norm for thousands of prisoners of country. Those caught trying to do so. a joint venture formed of Older people continued to be conscripted Sunridge Gold Corp. in search of Restrictions on freedoms of religion and people evading National Service. and zinc mining operations. at the Bisha mine – also a joint unauthorized religions. military-style discipline and their lives in the journey. in some cases for up to reports of deaths in custody.nationwide system amounting to forced military training under the requirement that all labour. water. Some children dropped out remained non-existent. political prisoners. There conditions amounted to torture. During the summer. In September. Children were was no provision for conscientious objection. whereabouts and health. new Civil and Penal Codes. conscience. copper 67 years of age were conscripted. were arbitrarily detained without charge or trial. In some cases. PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE faced a lawsuit in Canada over the alleged Thousands of prisoners of conscience and use of conscripted labour by its sub. were held in granted leave allowances which in many harsh conditions. Civil and Penal Procedure Codes. Children continued to be conscripted into Amnesty International Report 2015/16 153 . a Canadian company. detained without charge or trial. as well as family members. these teaching. movement remained. where they were and the Eritrean National Mining Corporation given a weapon and assigned duties under (ENAMCO) signed an agreement with the threat of punitive repercussions. a Canadian mining company. and independent media or were also conscripted into training in round- universities were not allowed to operate. and lacked access to a lawyer or family members. Men of up to Ministry of Energy and Mines for gold. often in harsh BACKGROUND conditions. with inadequate served in the defence forces and were food. Eritreans children undergo grade 12 of secondary constituted the third largest group crossing school at the Sawa National Service training the Mediterranean. facilities or natural light. ups conducted by the military. Nevsun Resources. including children. Mandatory National Service continued to be The government denied it was detaining extended indefinitely in a system that many of these prisoners and refused to amounts to forced labour. political opposition of school early to avoid this fate. the Eritrean state-owned Segen politicians. often in underground cells cases disrupted their family life. access to sanitation assigned to agriculture. Conscripts were paid low wages that did not enable them to cover their families’ TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT basic needs. or to confirm any ended conscription. There they faced harsh living Afghans. including former contractor. construction. bedding. Conscripts and shipping containers. and had limited and arbitrarily Detainees. and lacked access to a lawyer or In May. continued to be venture with ENAMCO. and a majority of those who lost conditions. Rule of law weapons training. cross the border into Ethiopia.

364 people resident in the demanding money from their parents in country remained stateless as of Eritrea to free them. While most asylum-seekers gained access to especially among children. Legislation allowing unmarried. Smugglers reportedly offered to take DISCRIMINATION – ETHNIC MINORITIES children to Europe for free. The authorities took received in the first nine months of 2015. The amendments aimed to facilitate the INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY acquisition of Estonian citizenship. with about 200 1 January 2016. ESTONIA Unemployment remained significant among ethnic minorities. 83. GAY. origin as a basis on which to reject cases. journey. passed in October Refugees arriving in Europe reported 2014. There were allegations of members However. some European countries such as The authorities made significant steps to the UK tightened their guidance on asylum address statelessness. making untenable children. hostage-taking for ransom by armed groups TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE and people smugglers. significant steps to reduce statelessness. for In June.000 people remained stateless. and patterns of human rights violations since In February the Estonian language the country’s independence and stating that requirements to obtain citizenship were the government may be responsible for simplified for applicants aged over 65. many of whom were sex. allowing unmarried. including same- having paid smugglers. refugees. was Eritreans themselves. dangers on routes through Sudan. the UN-mandated Commission of example by providing for its automatic Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea presented acquisition by children born to stateless its first report. documenting numerous cases parents. amendments to related laws. allowing this group to take only an oral test and not a written exam. Libya and the Mediterranean to reach Europe. the authorities’ failure to undertake of the army being involved in smuggling all required preparatory work. holding them According to data from the Ministry of hostage once they reached Libya and Interior. concern remained about 154 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . although cohabitation was due to enter into force on still low. On 21 January parliament approved claims of improvements in the country of several amendments to the Citizenship Act. to avoid conscription. The borders irregularly. BISEXUAL. The Cohabitation Act. for each stage of the due to enter into force on 1 January 2016. but around Estonian territory by crossing the country’s 83. due to enter into force on 1 January 2016. especially among cases of Eritrean nationals. increased over 2014. leaving them vulnerable to abuse. The In response to the increasing numbers of vast majority were Russian speakers. including REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS same-sex. couples to register their cohabitation. over 6% of the population. including RIGHTS OF LESBIAN.REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS number of asylum applications Eritreans fleeing the country faced multiple remained low. perpetuating concern that Estonian language requirements Republic of Estonia for all public employees and private sector Head of state: Toomas Hendrik Ilves jobs that interface with the public were Head of government: Taavi Rõivas placing them at a disadvantage. especially people out of Eritrea. couples to register their The number of asylum applications. crimes against humanity. was likely to High numbers of children left Eritrea alone undermine its positive impact for some time. 1 September.

workshop was organized by the NGO Bread for All with the support of the NGOs Anywaa ETHIOPIA Survival Organisation and GRAIN. Medrek member Taddesse Amnesty International Report 2015/16 155 . the members of the Oromo Federalist Congress disruption of opposition campaigns. the media and the political detention. A few days before his death proposed candidates for the House of he had published an article in his party’s Peoples’ Representatives: of 400 candidates. north and east. about 50 people. six people sustained gunshot BACKGROUND injuries and two were killed. founder of the Semayawi that the National Election Board of Ethiopia Party. The ruling political party. Police and security officers arrested Omot Lääne-Viru County. opposition. criticizing the only 139 were able to stand for election. was found dead on 15 June in the city (NEBE) refused to register over half of its of Debre Markos. Security officers Oromia region. security officers arrested two Members and leaders of opposition parties campaigners and three supporters of the as well as protesters were extrajudicially Semayawi Party who were putting up executed. were sleeping in International Airport on 15 March. arrested and opposition. beat and injured 46 people during the elections. on their the centre at the time. newspaper. Kenya. police and opposition Medrek coalition reported that the other security officials. In early September. General elections took place in campaign posters in the capital. On 12 May. Over 500 members of Medrek were journalists and opposition party members as arrested at various polling stations in Oromia part of a crackdown on protests in the region on 24 and 25 May. The Semayawi Party NEBE only approved 270 of the 303 claimed that Samuel Aweke had received candidates it had proposed to register. The ongoing at the end of the year.denial of access to territory and asylum at affected more than 8 million people in the official border crossings. The police and the military detained them for a couple of hours. main harvesting season (June to September) On 16 June. conducted mass arrests of protesters. the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. under which they were Head of government: Hailemariam Desalegn charged on 7 September. threats from security officials after the article Famine due to rainfall shortages during the was published. Oumar Hojele at Addis Ababa Bole including several children. The police held the three men for 161 days without bail at the Maekelawi detention centre. May against a backdrop of restrictions on They were released on bail after four days in civil society. and the were campaigning in Oromia when police and harassment of election observers from the local security officers beat. The opposition Semayawi Party reported Samuel Aweke. parties were killed after the election. Although no serious Agwa Okwoy. in Vao village. The behaviour of local authorities. Investigations were way to a workshop in Nairobi. Bekele Gerba and other against peaceful demonstrators. Ashinie Astin Titoyk and Jemal injuries were reported. Addis Ababa. including excessive use of force On 19 May. beyond Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia the four months allowed by the Anti-Terrorism Head of state: Mulatu Teshome Wirtu Proclamation (ATP). Negere Ethiopia. there was an arson attack against the only asylum-seekers’ ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS reception centre in the country. won EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS all the seats in the Federal and Regional Four members and leaders of opposition Parliaments in the general election.

They were convicted and suppress freedom of expression through the sentenced to two months in prison. the April and charged with inciting violence government continued to use the ATP to during the rally. Ermias Tsegaye and FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Betelehem Akalework were arrested on 22 In the run-up to the general elections. although least 17 journalists under the ATP. A journalist Aweke’s was investigated. editor-in- chief of Kedami newspaper and reporter for FIJI YeMiliyonoch Dimts newspaper. curtailed workers’ rights since 2011 was On 22 October. following its examination under the 156 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . the government called a rally dead on 19 June near a river in the Hadiya on Meskel Square to condemn the killing in zone. which escalated the situation to clashes None of these deaths except Samuel between protesters and police. released them on bail on 2 July. He was released on 26 July Head of state: Jioji Konousi Konrote (replaced Ratu without charge. conviction and sentencing admitted to hospital. after they had spent over crimes. and were continued detention of journalists and kept in custody for more than 10 days after protracted trials: it arrested and charged at the completion of their prison term. reported to have been arrested. The prosecution of the Manager of Dadimos Entertainment and 2012 torture case of prisoner Iowane Press. legs. Ginbo Woreda rally. to 18 years’ imprisonment for terrorism Benedito began. to disperse the crowd.1 On 27 January. repeatedly beaten by police officials on 5 July. sustained minor injuries. A review of a decree which has 500 days in pre-trial detention. remained restricted by a range of national laws. The Semayawi reported that 48 people had been injured and Party said the trial. On 16 October. sticks who attempted to strangle him. 24 hours after he was taken from his Libya of Ethiopian migrants by affiliates of the home by two police officers. and that many others of Samuel Aweke’s killer were a “sham”. armed group Islamic State (IS). including district and Kefa zone. Western Tigrai zone by three unknown people Police beat demonstrators with batons. Many also courts had ordered their release. died after being tear gas and beatings. He died and iron rods on the head. the High Court Fiji became the 100th abolitionist country acquitted five of the Zone 9 bloggers of when it abolished the death penalty for all terrorism charges. police used excessive force. the end of the year. When some Asrat Haile. Woyneshet Molla. election observer on behalf of demonstrators shouted slogans during the Medrek in the Adio Kaka unit. Freedom of expression . face. Daniel Tesfaye. police used excessive force to disperse a peaceful demonstration in Addis INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY Ababa that was organized by the Unity for In March. Hundreds were intended to protect the real culprit. Medrek member Berhanu Erbu was found On 22 April. hands and shortly after reaching his home. Epeli Nailatikau in November) The Public Prosecutor dropped the charges Head of government: Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama against two members of the Zone 9 bloggers’ group. injuring more than 20 of them. on 9 July at Republic of Fiji his house. The police fled the country due to intimidation. the High Court convicted announced but had not been completed by and sentenced in his absence Gizaw Taye. Police arrested Habtamu Minale. including the Media Industry FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY Development Decree 2010. harassment and politically motivated criminal charges.Abreha was accosted on his way home in the Democracy and Justice opposition party.

Fiji: Amnesty International welcomes the government’s efforts to compliance with ILO treaties ratified by Fiji. association and related to acts in August 2014. the right treatment. Trade union about detention conditions remained. including 1. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 157 . heavy Extensive immunities under the Constitution fines remained in place for publishers and continued to make it almost impossible to editors. However. however. Despite conditions. and harsh prison Industry Development Decree 2010. The proposed amendment to the Decree would need to meet international labour standards. 76 people were legislation to ensure guarantees of the rights arrested on sedition and related charges to freedom of expression. recommendations on freedom of expression. The joint Head of government: Juha Sipilä (replaced Alexander implementation report was not agreed to by Stubb in May) all parties and in November the ILO decided to initiate a mission to Fiji to determine Reforms to immigration and asylum obstacles to progress. Fiji failed to ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS accept recommendations to amend national Between July and December. legislation made some limited Despite strong opposition the government improvements to the detention of asylum- passed the Employment Relations seeking and migrant children. in particular to issue a standing conventions. the denial of access to a range of national laws. the association (ASA 18/1257/2015) announcement of the review led to the ILO deferring a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that there would be a joint implementation report delivered to the ILO FINLAND governing body meeting by the government.UPR. lawyers regarding the lack of disclosure of information leading to the arrests. assembly and Despite protests by union members. invitation to the UN Special Procedures. prolonged FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION detention periods before bringing them in Freedom of expression remained restricted by front of a court. Various peaceful assembly in line with international concerns were raised by the defendants’ human rights law. including the Media lawyers and family visits. unions in certain sectors. but regrets the rejection of recommended in the review. After the amendment no further fines hold state actors accountable for serious were imposed on publishers and editors human rights violations such as torture and during the year. as recognize economic and social rights. Republic of Finland the Employer’s Federation and the Fiji Islands Head of state: Sauli Niinistö Council of Trade Unions. Fiji accepted numerous organizations and opposition parties claimed recommendations by the UN Human Rights that the Act contravened ILO core Council. Fiji had still not ratified the UN to strike and the right to form and join trade Convention against Torture. review of the Essential National Industries the authorities failed to launch investigations (Employment) Decree 2011 which severely into many past cases of torture and other ill- restricts collective bargaining rights. In October court proceedings began in the case of police and WORKERS’ RIGHTS military officers accused of torturing escaped In March the government announced a prisoner Iowane Benedito in 2012. At the same session. but concerns Amendment Act in July. a small amendment to the Decree in July 2015 which decreased fines on individual TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT journalists for reporting certain news. other ill-treatment.

disorder. Families with children may be individuals. the European Committee for the travel for terrorism purposes and participation Prevention of Torture published its report on in organizations proscribed as terrorist Finland. the number of shelters and targeting the population were carried out in accessibility for disabled people was and around the capital. There were no walk-in services. Transgender people can obtain detained where no sufficient alternatives exist. Finland ratified the Council of Europe undertake alternative civilian service. 140 people and injuring hundreds. amendments to the Aliens Act on violence against women. The law stated that of civil servants working within the limitations unaccompanied children under the age of 15 of their current offices. Despite shortest military service period of 165 days. the new government stated an centres. several attacks ordinated. legal gender recognition only if they agree to and where the child and a social welfare be sterilized. The legislative amendments included restrictions on visits and broader authorization COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY for trained staff to use force in detention In June. CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS Conscientious objectors to military service VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS continued to be punished for refusing to In April. and are aged over 18. but envisioned only a can no longer be detained under any limited role for women’s or victim support circumstances. are diagnosed with a mental representative’s views have been heard. which entered service was 347 days. French Republic Finland fell short of the shelter requirements Head of state: François Hollande and recommendations in the Istanbul Head of government: Manuel Valls Convention.Support for victims of gender-based violence gender-based violence. The Ministry detention of asylum-seekers and migrants proposed that the body consist of a network came into force. improvements to legislation on detention and conditions of detention. In January and November. On 14 158 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . intention to draft legislation criminalizing In August. which Convention on Preventing and Combating remained punitive and discriminatory in Violence against Women and Domestic length. recommending several organizations by the EU and the UN. remained inadequate and under-resourced. and despite the national shelter network becoming state-funded and co. The duration of alternative civilian Violence (Istanbul Convention). killing over insufficient. However. ratification. children aged between 15 and 17 may be detained for up to 72 hours once there is an DISCRIMINATION – TRANSGENDER enforceable decision on their removal from PEOPLE Finland. Paris. the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health prepared a draft decree to create REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS a body to co-ordinate work combating In July. Services for women who have experienced violence FRANCE remained inadequate and under-resourced. In no long-term support services for survivors of January. there was neither an action plan nor any dedicated budget for the effective implementation of the Convention. In September. unaccompanied organizations. the government adopted further violence. nor a 24/7 helpline for victims of counter-terrorism measures. the period of detention can be Legislation on legal gender recognition extended by 72 hours for extraordinary continued to violate the rights of transgender reasons. more than double the into force in Finland in August.

ordinary criminal law regime. on banned in the Paris region (Ile-de-France) 14 January. when several demonstrations French law. On goals. the government issued a decree shortly after 13 November. these measures was not required. police Hebdo and at a Jewish supermarket left 17 carried out 2. known as COP 21).November. the government on the national territory for a wide range of declared a state of emergency. it formally declared a state of participating in acts that breach public order. range of measures that deviated from the In November. and in some instances shut justifying terrorism. According to the Ministry “radical”.029 house searches between people dead. journalists at the satirical weekly Charlie According to the Ministry of Interior. about 700 also searched mosques and other Muslim individuals were prosecuted for inciting or prayer spaces. violent attacks in Paris on emergency in the Constitution. individuals for statements that did not constitute incitement to violence and fell SURVEILLANCE within the scope of legitimate exercise of In July. and provided for a tackling terrorism. 222 individuals were subjected to the Paris Climate Conference (the 21st such a travel ban between January and Conference of Parties. Parliament passed a law that granted freedom of expression. Parliament passed a bill that overarching foreign policy interests. the government proposed a COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY bill to include a provision on the state of In January. without independent judicial oversight and ordinated armed attacks in and around Paris only upon consultation with an ad hoc on 13 November that resulted in 130 deaths committee – the use of surveillance measures and hundreds of injuries. In the aftermath of the attacks. pre-judicial authorization for by Parliament until February 2016. 296 individuals were subjected to at implementing some of the provisions of the forced residency. The extended the state of emergency until 26 measures included the power to employ mass February 2016. without Amnesty International Report 2015/16 159 . 87 websites were blocked from public order or national security. The authorities imposed forced provision (“apology of terrorism”) which had residency on 26 environmental activists in the been introduced in the 2014 anti-terrorism context of the COP 21 on the basis of their law. including religious websites. the Prime Minister the power to authorize – After a series of eight seemingly co. Several Muslim individuals were targeted On 5 February. In particular. in many cases authorities prosecuted demonstrations. another law was passed. including the protection of economic or 20 November. communications sent to – or received from – forced residency and the power to dissolve abroad. In the same the government issued several decrees aimed period. The ban was banning travel abroad for the purposes of extended to other regions between 28 and 30 committing a terrorist act as defined under November. emergency that was subsequently extended Under the law. Due to the vague definition of the possible engagement in violent offence. amended the 1955 law on surveillance techniques for the purpose of the state of emergency. 14 November and 1 December. Public demonstrations were 2014 anti-terrorism law. The measures allowing the mass surveillance of all electronic included house searches without a warrant. In December. on the basis of a new them down. The Prime Minister retained the associations or groups broadly described as power to authorize such surveillance. and thus constituting a threat to of Interior. authorities issued a decree for house searches or forced residency on the regulating the administrative blockage of basis of vague criteria. including those deemed to incite or practices deemed by the authorities to be justify terrorist acts. The police January to November. November. According to the Ministry of were scheduled to take place in the context of Interior. Moreover.

any prior consultation or independent judicial targeting migrants in Calais. the independent authority In November. Semitism. their bilateral convention for legal co.000 migrants. where he would three cases regarding transgender individuals be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. girls.750 refugees. Among other measures. as well as on specific religious groups. and ordered the immediate Committee recommended the revision of the installation of water and sanitation services in 2004 law prohibiting the wearing of religious the settlement. An who were denied legal recognition of their appeal was pending before the Council of female gender because they had refused to State at the end of the year. the aim of strengthening procedural guarantees for asylum-seekers. mainly from Syria. On 17 April. oversight. asylum. The agreement 31. hundreds of them On 17 September. of complaints filed in France by Moroccan Unaccompanied children continued to be victims of alleged crimes perpetrated in routinely detained at the Roissy Charles de Morocco. symbols in schools and of the 2011 law Both the UN Human Rights Committee and banning face covering.000 asylum-seekers in 2016-2017 and to facilitated the transfer to Moroccan authorities resettle 2. In June and July. the European Court of Human overseeing places of detention criticized the Rights found that the refusal of a state abusive use of administrative detention employer to extend the contract of a social 160 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . almost 4. Cuba. evicted in the first half of the year. the Prime Minister were repeatedly evicted from several locations signed an order to extradite Kazakhstani in Paris. year. former chief DISCRIMINATION of the US detention facility at Guantánamo According to NGOs. the French and Moroccan and protecting asylum-seekers’ economic and governments signed an additional protocol to social rights. a new asylum law was passed with vaguely defined goals. that perpetrating a crime with a racist or anti- On 23 November. despite In March. the UN Human Rights treatment. the government adopted an REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS action plan to combat racism and anti- Approximately 5. the Council of State Semitic motive constituted an aggravating found that living conditions in the informal circumstance. national Mukhtar Ablyazov to Russia. Gaulle airport’s “waiting zone”. asylum-seekers and a disproportionate impact on women and refugees by law enforcement agents in Calais. who had and asylum-seekers were also forcibly evicted alleged that they were tortured at the from informal settlements throughout the detention centre. harassment and right to freedom of religion and that they had ill-treatment of migrants. the Paris Court of Appeal approved a petition to call Geoffrey Miller. it seekers and refugees continued to live in recommended the adoption of an harsh conditions in an informal settlement in amendment to the Criminal Code to ensure the northern city of Calais. On 2 December. to give testimony in the cases of in 37 informal settlements were forcibly two French former Guantánamo detainees. for the purpose of achieving In July. settlement in Calais amounted to inhuman In August. In April. Migrants Nizar Sassi and Mourad Benchellali. the European Court of Human the high risk of unfair trial or onward transfer Rights communicated to the government from Russia to Kazakhstan.000 Roma living Bay. Authorities agreed to relocate almost operation on criminal matters. comply with medical criteria. The Committee stated the national Ombudsperson raised concerns that the laws constituted a violation of the over instances of violence. shortening TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT the waiting time for assessing applications On 6 February.

beaten.1 remained in detention. sub. information on their whereabouts. On 20 October. In 2009 and 2010. electric shocks. Some of those detained were tortured at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) headquarters. including their subsidiaries. dozens of friends and relatives of CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY people accused of involvement in the 2014 In November. independent investigation into the aftermath fled Gambia after receiving death threats of the 2014 attempted coup. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 161 . director In April. In June. charged with Convention against enforced disappearance. ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES In January. including and held incommunicado for 12 days. Those contractors and suppliers. DEFENDERS operate with UN and regional human rights Journalists and human rights defenders were mechanisms or comply with their arbitrarily arrested and detained and recommendations. they had criminalizing FGM was passed in December participated in non-violent initiatives in a by the National Assembly. He and abolishing the death penalty. Gambia rejected 78 of the 171 of Teranga FM radio station. President incitement to racial discrimination on the Jammeh announced that female genital basis of the 1881 law on freedom of the mutilation (FGM) would be banned and a bill press. BACKGROUND On 2 July. Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay expression. a well-known rapper. Head of state and government: Yahya Jammeh waterboarding or being detained in confined holes in the ground. most notably following the release of a song accusing the disregarding the African Commission on government of repression and extrajudicial Human and Peoples’ Rights resolution in executions. the Senate rejected a bill aimed attempted coup were detained at establishing a framework to ensure the incommunicado. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION – The authorities continued to repress dissent JOURNALISTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS and display a lack of willingness to co. The December 2014 attempted coup led to arrests and further human rights violations. a child. elderly people and approved in March by the National Assembly.worker who was wearing the headscarf did February seeking an invitation to conduct a not violate her rights to freedoms of fact-finding mission.2 international community to conduct a joint In June. Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay. expression and religion. supermarket calling for the boycott of Israeli products. The bill had been detained included women. Gambia expelled the EU’s Chargée d’Affaires. In November. Republic of the Gambia including with beatings. Killa Ace. several counts of sedition and denied bail. his trial was ongoing at The government ignored calls by the the end of the year. ratifying the International was again detained. restrictive laws continued to curb the right to freedom of expression. the Court of Cassation Plans for a Human Rights Commission confirmed the conviction of 14 individuals for were developed. in GAMBIA violation of Gambia’s Constitution. asking her to leave within 72 hours FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION with no explanation. The authorities refused to respect of human rights by multinational acknowledge their detention or to provide companies. A few removing restrictions on freedom of days after his release. They were released in July after six months in detention without charge. was detained recommendations at the UPR.

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT The UN Special Rapporteur on torture issued IMPUNITY a report in March citing that torture was The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial. handed by the opposition United Democratic Party down death sentences on three soldiers and with roadblocks. GAY. police arrested over 40 independent observers barred from people during and after a protest by young observing. a military court at the Fajara In April. including several detained for treason Saidykhan (2010) and the unlawful killing of and several government officials. remained in detention. torture or probable objects or electrical wires. causing malicious acquitted in August while the remaining man injuries and riotously interfering with a was still facing trial at year’s end. and music promoter. a month eight days later. Ensa Badjie. including the national Human rights activist Sait Matty Jaw. The report in May. Amadou Sanneh. Banjul.6 people and community members in Kartong against sand mining. It stated that complaints mechanism to address allegations citizens were “reluctant to denounce abuses. Lamin Cham. at least 200 prisoners were disappearance of journalist Ebrima Manneh released by President Jammeh from Mile 2 (2010). 162 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . documenting a handful of state report expressed concerns over prison investigations into police abuse. riot. following a statement by the after Gambia introduced life sentences for the President ordering their release. Lamin Bo Badjie. of torture and other ill-treatment. trial was held in secret. Two were breach of the peace. The tour was granted sentenced three others to life imprisonment permission to continue after a four-day for their involvement in the 2014 coup. such as the Deyda Hydara (2014). a radio show host former director of the NIA. executions. DEATH PENALTY FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY On 30 March. In June. on trial for “unnatural acts”. and detained at NIA the releases. even that “the nature of the torture is brutal and for the most serious violations. none of conditions and the lack of an effective which resulted in convictions. as well as party and tried over work done on a survey for members Alhagie Sambou Fatty and Malang Gallup on good governance and corruption. electrocution. who treasurer of the opposition United Democratic was arrested in Banjul in December 2014 Party. They had vehicle. particularly by the summary or arbitrary executions issued a NIA in the early stages of detention. “prevalent and routine”. Despite capital.5 was finally discharged in April. near the capital. Fatty.3 offence of “aggravated homosexuality”. Thirty-three were charged Three men suspected of being gay were put with various offences including conspiracy. with media and In November. Witnesses reported RIGHTS OF LESBIAN.” asphyxiation by placing a plastic bag over the The authorities made no progress towards head and filling it with water and burning with implementing the judgments of the ECOWAS hot liquid”. police obstructed a nationwide tour barracks in Bakau. excessive use of force by the police with some TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE people injured. the torture of journalist Musa prison. other political opponents.off.4 Court of Justice in the enforced On 25 July. Many LGBTI people fled the country. He noted engage legal services or seek redress. They were unconditionally released been arrested in November 2014. headquarters and released without charge 20 journalists and prisoners of conscience days later. was arrested in the and former police chief. The stand . BISEXUAL. including includes very severe beatings with hard disappearances.

30 November) families who had taken out loans in earlier 4. Gigi Ugulava was sentenced rose following incendiary remarks by the then to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment on Prime Minister against the opposition party account of these charges. held motivated attacks. screenings of clandestine videos of prison Contrary to widely held expectations. In ruled to release Gigi Ugulava. on 10 July. It deemed his pre-trial detention since allegations of ill-treatment by law 2013 – on charges of misappropriation of enforcement officials remained slow and public funds and money laundering – illegal ineffective. Gambia: Sharp deterioration of human rights in 21st year of President Rustavi 2. shortly after requesting that the ICC Irakli Garibashvili in December) authorize an investigation into the situation during the Georgian-Russian war in August Legal battles around the pro-opposition TV 2008. Gambia: Soldiers sentenced to death in secret trial must not be conflicts persisted. Several civilians were reportedly detained and fined for “illegally” entering into South Ossetia across a Georgia largely undemarcated de facto border. channel Rustavi 2 raised concerns over freedom of expression. and increased economic vulnerability Special Rapporteurs on torture and extrajudicial executions: Amnesty for many. The investigation of Tbilisi. Gambia must take immediate steps to address concerns of UN years. an opposition several instances police prevented or limited activist and former Mayor of the capital. the rape dating back to the UNM-led judge who presided in a controversial 2006 government. the Prosecutor of theICC visited Head of government: Giorgi Kvirikashvili (replaced Georgia. Head of state: Giorgi Margvelashvili In October. and rearrested the United National Movement (UNM). the Constitutional Court Constitutional Court ordered his release. International’s written statement to the 28th session of the UN Movement in and out of the breakaway Human Rights Council (AFR 27/1100/2015) territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia 5. Gambia: Release peaceful protesters and community members against the US dollar affected numerous arbitrarily detained (News story. and leaked communications murder trial was reappointed by the High between the exiled former President and Council of Justice on 25 December at the end Amnesty International Report 2015/16 163 . peaceful gatherings. Several UNM offices across the Jammeh’s rule (News story. particularly justice and politically motivated prosecutions following the rearrest and conviction of a persisted. Tensions heightened executed (News story. while a proposal for an as it exceeded the nine-month legal limit. 1 April) when. former politician one day after the On 17 September. political tensions 18 September. 24 July) humanitarian concerns over the two dormant 6. managers of pro-opposition TV channel 1. On Towards the end of the year. Gambia: Prisoner release should include all those detained for remained restricted. incommunicado: Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay (AFR 27/2155/2015) A 26% devaluation of the national currency 3. border posts were unilaterally moved several hundred metres GEORGIA outward from South Ossetia. Gambia: Further information: radio director rearrested. public same day. from senior government officials for this decision and were threatened with violence BACKGROUND by some pro-government groups. while security and expressing dissent (News story. The independent investigative mechanism was Court’s judges came under heavy criticism put forward but not yet legislated on. 22 July) country were vandalized by mobs in politically 2. Allegations of JUSTICE SYSTEM political pressure on the judiciary and Concerns over fairness of judiciary selective selective justice persisted.

end of the year. the shareholder. police officers cordoned off the square NGOs. the law required to establish and denied access to activists without the mechanism was not considered until the providing a reason. The investigation of alleged abuses including one of the police officers who tried by members of the General Inspection of the to intervene but were outnumbered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs was slow and attackers. Tbilisi City Court acquitted to be heard first. ahead of the first European Games in enforcement officials was jointly proposed by Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. BISEXUAL. four men charged with attacking the 2013 IDAHOT rally in Tbilisi due to “insufficient FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY evidence” despite the men reportedly being In several instances police unduly limited or identifiable on video and photo footage of the prevented peaceful gatherings. Nine people were reported injured. the participants’ freedom of assembly. of the Georgian Dream ruling coalition forcibly entered the local offices of UNM and an TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT affiliated group in Zugdidi. also identifiable in the number of occasions they failed to prevent footage. and Rustavi 2 managers were Court ruled that the killing was an act of self- forcibly replaced with pro-government defence and acquitted him of the relevant caretakers on 5 November. The authorities had refused to guarantee the event’s safety unless it was FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION held at a specific location without any prior Concerns over freedom of expression were public announcement. “the different branches of State and Transphobia (IDAHOT) proceeded power… acted in concert in preventing justice peacefully in Tbilisi in a discreet location on from being done. On 12 June. The Tbilisi one transgender woman and burning the flat City Court found in favour of the former of another whom he had killed. Constitutional Court ruling that an appeal had On 23 October. while on a event. officials. men had taken part in the attack but none On 15 March. Tbilisi City Court convicted a blackmailed. a former shareholder of Rustavi 2 against its Georgia that the police’s failure to protect current owners was prompted by the participants of the 2012 IDAHOT march government to deprive the opposition of its constituted discrimination and restricted main mouthpiece. approximately 50 supporters were convicted.of his tenure. ineffective. the European Court of Human commentators who believed that a lawsuit by Rights ruled in Identoba and Others v.” 17 May. However. He had been criticized for his RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. GAY. Dozens of clashes between political opponents. 164 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . throwing stones and smashing new cases of ill-treatment by law enforcement windows. voiced by local NGOs and political On 12 May. A fifth man. according to TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE the European Court of Human Rights 2011 The International Day against Homophobia decision. director of Rustavi 2 reported having been On 7 August. armed with Local human rights organizations reported wooden sticks. On 21 October. handling of the case in which. claiming that the security man of arson and battery and sentenced him services threatened to release intimate to four years in prison for physically assaulting footage of him unless he resigned. against the charge. 15 activists attempted to stage A draft model of an independent a protest at Heydar Aliyev Square in Tbilisi investigative mechanism for the investigation against Azerbaijan’s poor human rights of criminal offences committed by law record. However. had been acquitted earlier. Ahead of the the human rights Ombudsman and some picket.

Germany’s preventive mechanism refugees. Prime Hessen and Schleswig-Holstein. the Constitutional Court found detain asylum-seekers under the Dublin that the prohibition on teachers wearing Regulation and those whose asylum religious symbols and dress. thus limiting the Around 1. It seekers remaining in Germany in breach of expanded the list of safe countries of origin an order to leave the country – or anyway and introduced severe cuts to benefits for remaining without legal status – and for certain categories of asylum-seekers. The law also introduced government unilaterally decided for a period severe cuts to benefits set out in the Asylum of time not to return Syrian asylum-seekers Seekers Benefits Act for rejected asylum- to their first country of entry in the EU. year Germany had received around 1. Federal Republic of Germany particularly regarding access to health care. The amended Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. national media reported on the the end of the year. million asylum-seekers. asylum-seekers and migrants increased TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT sharply. Germany refugees in the holding cells of the federal contributed to the EU schemes for police at Hannover’s main train station in resettlement and relocation by pledging 1. Investigations against a federal police and 27. The appointment asylum applications submitted by tens of procedure for the National Agency’s members thousands of Syrians arriving in Germany continued to fall short of international through countries such as Hungary and standards on independence and Austria. persisted. A Head of state: Joachim Gauck new law passed in October expanded the list Head of government: Angela Merkel of safe countries of origin to include Kosovo. a new law improved the legal status of resettled refugees. that was enforced for about three months. Bremen. Rhineland-Palatinate.649 asylum alleged abuse of two Afghan and Moroccan applications had been submitted. The authorities continued to fail to effectively investigate allegations of ill-treatment by REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS police and did not establish any independent The influx of asylum-seekers. fell short of human rights standards. including by facilitating DISCRIMINATION family reunification.555 places respectively. in force since April.1 million asylum-seekers entered opportunity for nationals of these countries to the country throughout the year. The obligation for police officers considerably in the second half of the year. By In May. In July. and decided to consider severely under-resourced. remained protection in Europe. The seek protection. The asylum-seekers who moved to Germany authorities’ failure to effectively investigate despite having been relocated to another alleged human rights violations by police European country. officer were ongoing at the end of the year. Iraq and Afghanistan. increased allegations. By the end of the beyond the federal states of Berlin. Hate crimes against refugees. rather than seeking their return to the transparency. mostly from complaints mechanism to investigate those Syria. Minister Angela Merkel highlighted the The National Agency for the Prevention of necessity to address the needs of incoming Torture. but increased powers to On 27 January. to wear identity badges was not extended from already high levels. and excluded civil society first EU country they entered – a measure representatives. 476. with the Amnesty International Report 2015/16 165 .1 Brandenburg. invited other European leaders to under the Optional Protocol to the UN share responsibility for people seeking Convention against Torture. Albania and Montenegro.600 2014.GERMANY application had been rejected. In August.

to take into account a racist or xenophobic while Ignace Murwanashyaka was additionally motivation when deciding sentences. asylum-seekers and was actively involved in the murder of 450 migrants. the Higher Regional violent attacks against asylum shelters were Court in Stuttgart sentenced Rwandan leaders perpetrated in the first 10 months of the year. treatment continued to be reported and prison conditions remained a concern. highlighted the authorities’ failure to On 5 December 2014. particularly Muslims. Torture and other ill- courts. the Committee raised concerns regarding the discriminatory impact of police stop-and-search powers on GHANA ethnic minorities. Similar prohibitions remained massacre at the Kiziguro church compound. ARMS TRADE Violence against women remained In March. of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of compared with 29 in 2014. the Federal (LGBTI) people faced discrimination and Cabinet passed a policy paper for the were targeted for attack. the Federal Security Council widespread. According to the government. It was the In June. They were both found Code. and that his hundreds of protests being staged across the previous sentence was too lenient. the Federal Court of Justice A process to review the Constitution was partially overturned the decision of the delayed owing to a court case challenging the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court in the case of legality of the Constitutional Review 166 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . if passed. Court in Düsseldorf convicted three German including in relation to murders perpetrated citizens. the UN Committee on the first trial based on the 2002 Code of Crimes Elimination of Racial Discrimination against International Law. transgender and intersex arms and light weapons. who was sentenced in 2014 to 14 years’ Rhine Westphalia since 2006. in force in other German states. Republic of Ghana Several proceedings regarding the alleged Head of state and government: John Dramani Mahama discriminatory impact of identity checks carried out by federal police under Section Excessive use of force by police was 22(1)(a) of the Federal Police Act were reported in the context of demonstrations pending at various levels of administrative and mass evictions. was referred back to a lower court in asylum-seekers and migrants increased Frankfurt for retrial. Rwanda (FDLR) Ignace Murwanashyaka and The Federal Parliament considered an Straton Musoni to 13 and eight years in amendment to Section 46 of the Criminal prison respectively. In July. Western values. Hate crimes against refugees. INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE BACKGROUND On 21 May. convicted of aiding in war crimes. for their by the far-right group National Socialist support to the FDLR. Moreover. 113 On 28 September. sharply. originally from Rwanda. Underground (NSU) against members of ethnic minorities. which. bisexual. It was found on appeal that Rwabukombe Opposition to refugees. Death sentences introduction of post-shipment controls. which was in force in North. was imprisonment for aiding the commission of a discriminatory. would require courts guilty of leadership of a foreign terrorist group. there was particular concern released new principles in line with about banishment for witchcraft. continued to be handed down. resulted in people at the Kiziguro church.exception of those expressing Christian or Rwandan citizen Onesphore Rwabukombe. international standards for the sale of small gay. Lesbian. the Higher Regional investigate the racial motivation of offences. The case country.

shut down the Bonyasi witch camp in register. with the overall goal of providing during the year in response to the decent and affordable housing that is recommendations made in 2014 by the UN accessible and sustainable. police harassment. While welcoming the fact that Consensual same-sex conduct between men some progress had been made. investigating allegations of torture or other ill. In October. Although the government. The services. Ghana retains the death penalty HOUSING RIGHTS and courts continued to hand down death A National Housing Policy was adopted in sentences. In recent years. treatment. GAY. Human Rights Committee and the On 20-21 June. some Ghanaian celebrities He also noted the lack of due diligence and condemned the beating of a music promoter urgency shown by oversight mechanisms in who was suspected of being gay. such DEATH PENALTY as poor sanitation and inadequate nutrition. the VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS Supreme Court dismissed the case. The government took no action March. in demonstration was organized by the Let My collaboration with traditional leaders and civil Vote Count Alliance calling for a new voters’ society. Old automatic and mandatory death sentences in Fadama. education. International expressed concern that these evictions did not conform to international human rights standards and that better guidelines are needed. Popularly known as Sodom and Ghana. the slum was home to around Proposals made by the Constitutional 50.000 people. overcrowding in detention centres or improvement in conditions of detention. December 2014. In February. No executions have taken place since 1993. he expressed remained a criminal offence and many LGBTI concern that the police and intelligence people faced discrimination. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 167 . Police used tear gas against Review Implementation Committee to abolish people demonstrating against the demolition the death penalty were stalled as a result of and several people were injured. police fired tear gas and used members of their communities and banished batons to disperse demonstrators taking part to live in isolated camps with minimal access in a peaceful demonstration. Amnesty delays in the constitutional review process.Implementation Committee. after failing to to health care. violence and services continued to use torture and other ill. some camps remained open at TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT the end of the year. Gomorrah. several hundred FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY women have been accused of witchcraft by In September. and announced it would close others. leader of a group called Safety effective implementation of the Legal Aid Empire which is accused of attacking LGBTI Scheme. the UN Special Rapporteur on torture visited Ghana to follow up on the RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. His trial He noted no significant lessening of was continuing at the end of the year. BISEXUAL. sanitation and other agree on a route for the march. However. Violence against women and girls remained widespread. police arrested Sulley treatment and the need for the expansion and Fuiseni. In October. people in the Nima disctrict of Accra. In September. several thousand people Committee’s condemnation of the use of were evicted from Accra’s largest slum. recommendations he had made following his TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE 2013 visit.

the government imposed Internal Affairs Directorate of the Police to capital controls on banks while in a July conduct a criminal investigation into a series referendum 61. new legislation (Law 4332/2015) a new bail-out plan with the European was adopted setting out requirements for the Institutions and the International Monetary granting of Greek citizenship to children of Fund. asylum-seekers Thanou Christophilou in September. tried to cover the including numerous racist attacks and the enormous gaps in humanitarian provision for murder of anti-fascist singer Pavlos Fyssas in refugees. who served as and migrants crossed the sea to arrive in the interim Prime Minister after the resignation of Aegean islands during the year. including many children. The defendants had been indicted humanitarian crisis on the islands. the party’s leader. the government agreed In July. Nikos Reception conditions on islands such as Mihaloliakos. Allegations of torture instances of violent push-backs. NGOs and UNHCR. expulsions of refugees and migrants by police Shortly after. Aegean islands pushed an ineffective first Collective expulsions by police continued at reception system beyond breaking point. the ineffective use of EU funds and MPs and supporters of Golden Dawn began the deep financial crisis exacerbated the in April. lack of food and poor 168 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Poor The trial of 69 people including the leader. In October. following several months of in Evros. Social and Cultural Rights Reception conditions expressed concern about the severe impact The already ineffective first reception system of the financial crisis on the enjoyment of the proved incapable of adequately responding to rights to work. ASYLUM-SEEKERS AND Karolos Papoulias in March) MIGRANTS Head of government: Alexis Tsipras (replaced Vassiliki More than 851. acknowledged during a media Lesvos and Kos were inhuman. the UN Committee on Economic. In September. died or were unaccounted for The dramatic increase in arrivals of asylum.319 refugees. migrants arriving on the Aegean islands. A law extending incidents were reported to have occurred at civil unions to same-sex couples was voted the Greek-Turkish land and sea borders at the end of the year. more than 612 people. planning.GREECE During the same month. several Collective expulsions continued at the refugees and asylum-seekers reported Greek-Turkish border. In October. between November 2014 and the end of August 2015.3% of voters rejected a of reports by NGOs concerning collective stringent bailout plan by Greece’s creditors. Hellenic Republic Head of state: Prokopis Pavlopoulos (replaced REFUGEES. UN refugee agency. responsibility for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. the party took third place in the parliamentary elections and elected 18 MPs. social security and health the dramatic increase in refugees and particularly by certain disadvantaged groups. intensive negotiations. insufficient tents. migrants. volunteers. Eleven push-back force by police persisted. Push-backs and other ill-treatment and excessive use of also continued at sea. In the same Tsipras in August) period. the Greek-Turkish land border. Deficiencies interview that the party had political included a lack of police and coastguard staff.1 2013. Local for running and participating in a criminal activists. the Prosecutor of BACKGROUND the Thessaloniki Appeals Court ordered the At the end of June. the organization and a range of other offences. in the crossing when the boats carrying them seekers and irregular migrants on the capsized.

hygiene conditions. in Athens. more than 2. where hundreds of individuals. Reports emerged of police In February. lawyers reported that nine Athens. some of them children. reception May 2007 of Christos Chronopoulos. At the end migrants continued. Obstacles to accessing asylum procedures In mid-October. Mytilene port. A criminal investigation was initiated Athens. the Piraeus of the year. of new arrivals by the EU border agency and the Greek police. often amounted to Hate-motivated attacks against refugees and inhuman or degrading treatment. used to provide temporary shelter to refugees In April. In particular. In July. the authorities established a arrest in the neighbourhood of Exarcheia in reception centre in the area of Elaionas. the authorities started detaining Felony Court of Appeals found a bakery Amnesty International Report 2015/16 169 .2 in immigration detention or during push-back There was inadequate accommodation and operations. persisted. In August.000 temporary shelter in a stadium. The Court handed camp deteriorated markedly after down sentences of eight years’ imprisonment Macedonian authorities imposed selective to each officer. Three stadiums in Attika were also Police. riot police on Lesvos migrants. the sentences were border controls on arriving refugees and suspended on appeal. who had conditions at the informal Idomeni refugee a mental health disability. the capital. Hate crime including police stations. facilities for refugees and migrants arriving in In September. On several occasions between detention of asylum-seekers and irregular August and October. to provide temporary shelter to new by the Internal Affairs Directorate of the arrivals. stayed for several treated by police officers belonging to the days and nights in parks and squares of the DELTA special police unit following their city. migrants. including refugees and migrants remained dire. Unaccompanied children were often held with adults and remained in detention for DISCRIMINATION several weeks under poor conditions. The vast majority of new third-country nationals from Maghreb arrivals had no access to the First Reception countries for immigration purposes. refugees and migrants were locked in inhuman conditions in the local sports Detention of asylum-seekers and migrants stadium on Kos. However. the Greek authorities remained for both detained and non-detained established a pilot scheme for the screening asylum-seekers. People EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE not allowed to cross the border were Allegations of excessive use of force by police transferred to Athens by bus and offered continued. In August.3 The camp was evacuated following a police operation in mid-December. including families. Conditions in immigration detention areas. were ill- people. The “hotspot” operated at TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT the Moria immigration detention centre on Allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of Lesvos. the Ministers for Migration Policy being unable to manage the crowd and and Citizens’ Protection took some steps to dispersing them by spraying them with fire reform the policy of systematic and prolonged extinguishers. convicted two police officers of the torture in In November and December. the Athens Mixed Jury Court and migrants when needed. reception conditions there individuals. Service. the authorities ceased reportedly used tear gas and beat refugees to implement the widely criticized policy of and migrants waiting to be admitted for indefinite detention and released a large screening at the Moria immigration detention number of asylum-seekers and irregular centre and those being registered in migrants held for more than six months.

the investigation of years’ imprisonment and significant fines. gay. including the towns of Aspropirgos. robbing and remained in a segregated separate school in causing serious bodily harm to Egyptian Sofades. and his partner. attacked refugees on Kos and threatened activists. compared CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS with 22 incidents documented during the Alternative civilian service remained punitive whole of 2014. facing sentences of up to two At the end of the year. the UN Committee on Economic. bisexual. the President Roma children continued to face segregation and Vice-President resigned and were or exclusion from education in many parts of detained on corruption charges. insubordination. Roma children. Urgent Action: Refugees face hellish conditions on Islands (EUR Rights of lesbian. The In April. a town near sentences which were later suspended on Athens. two men and discriminatory. including emergency medical GUATEMALA decisions and inheritance rights. Roma children international law committed during the 170 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . transgender and 25/2798/2015) intersex people 3. a Greek national. Sofades and Karditsa. a town in Central Greece. progress towards accountability was made. Humanitarian crisis mounts as refugee system pushed to breaking perpetrators had not been found or identified. the homophobic and racist attack in August 2014 against Costas. 25 June) 2. including the lack of electricity and its appeal. Despite the 2013 ruling although justice was still elusive for human of the European Court of Human Rights in rights violations and crimes under Lavida and others v. Men refusing military were convicted of an attack against a conscription who also refused to carry out transgender woman in a bar in Thessaloniki alternative civilian service continued to face on 19 September and received a sentence of prosecution in the military justice system for 19 months’ imprisonment. had made no progress. implications for the education and health of On 3 September. On 24 September. Greece. allegedly members of Golden Dawn. Important Greece. attacking the refugees. as During the year. the UN Special Rapporteur on Court sentenced him to 13 years and two contemporary forms of racism expressed months in prison. violence and the low rates of prosecution.owner guilty of abducting. and riot police only Social and Cultural Rights reiterated its intervened after the physical attacks had concerns over the high incidence of domestic started. Aguirre (replaced Otto Pérez Molina in September) Roma In a landmark development. incidents of hate-motivated attacks against members of the LGBTI community. Three other men were concerns about the housing conditions at the found guilty of abetting and were given prison Roma settlement in Spata. Parliament passed a law 03/2544/2015) extending civil unions to same-sex couples. Fear and fences: Europe’s approach to keeping refugees at bay (EUR On 22 December. The new law enables same-sex couples to enjoy some of the rights granted to married couples. but does not Republic of Guatemala guarantee adoption rights and legal gender Head of state and government: Alejandro Maldonado recognition for transgender people. WOMEN’S RIGHTS Police took no action to stop the group from In October. migrant worker Walid Taleb in 2012. point (Press release. the NGO Colour Youth well as the under-representation of women in documented in the project “Tell us” 73 political and public life. The 1. a group of 15 to 25 men.

Human rights 1960 and 1996 continued to be slow and defenders. As a women and girls continued to be systemic. harassment and the scandal broke.1 corruption involving the customs agency. were held in September intimidation during the year. could proceed. demonstrations and civic activity also resulted in threats and intimidation against HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS participants. Truth. the and Other Forms of Disappearance. which around the country. Human rights defenders. the Guatemalan Court for High April by the International Commission against Risk ruled that Efraín Ríos Montt should be Impunity in Guatemala and the Guatemalan tried behind closed doors in special criminal Public Prosecutor’s Office of wide-reaching proceedings due to begin in January 2016. In October. However. In January.internal armed conflict. José Efraín Ríos Montt. President Pérez Molina resigned. former chief detective of the now- was the first ever serving president to face defunct National Police.2 He was sentenced to 90 period of months during which public protests years in prison for murder. a civilian court in one day after Congress stripped him of his Guatemala City found Pedro García immunity from prosecution. attacked. the case against former President and Commander-in-Chief of the Guatemalan BACKGROUND army. threats. according to international law committed during the UDEFEGUA. a hydroelectric and mining projects. the first half of 2015. including environmental and halting. The Guatemalan human rights organization comedian James Ernesto “Jimmy” Morales UDEFEGUA documented 337 acts of Cabrera. demonstrations lasting several months were Civil society organizations continued to seen in the streets of a number of cities push for the approval of Law 3590. the year IMPUNITY President Pérez Molina took office. However. country´s internal armed conflict between UDEFEGUA stated that almost 71% of all Amnesty International Report 2015/16 171 . important steps towards land rights defenders protesting against accountability were made. empowered to hand down a prison sentence. Alejandro Maldonado Indigenous leaders and protesters defending Aguirre. 1986 amnesty decree could not be applied to harassed and intimidated. health. Massive anti-corruption and crimes against humanity. with a run-off in October. In owing to the 89-year-old defendant’s poor September. justice and reparations for human Documented abuses rose by over 166% rights violations and crimes under during his presidency. The winner. was first presented before Congress in 2006. including Vice-President Roxana Baldetti. result. and Guatemala City appeals court declared that a journalists. particularly In September. were threatened. The law atmosphere of increased social mobilization. guilty of orchestrating criminal charges. The country was shaken by revelations in In August. Otto Pérez Molina Arredondo. more than the number recorded in the whole of 2012. environmental and land rights and opposing was sworn in as President. a fire in the city’s Spanish Embassy that killed The scandal gained momentum over a 37 people in 1980. Violence against crimes against humanity and genocide. was due to take office in January aggression against human rights defenders in 2016. attempted murder mounted. Ríos Montt will be represented by a third More than a dozen officials were charged and party during the trial and the court is not arrested for their alleged participation. Presidential hydroelectric and mining megaprojects faced elections. bringing together many would create a National Commission for the different groups and sectors of society in an Search for Victims of Enforced Disappearance unprecedented fashion. which had been scheduled before continuous attacks. a former Constitutional Court judge.

documented attacks and intimidation against throughout the year, compared with 774 in
human rights defenders in the first half of 2014. The Public Prosecutor’s Office stated
2015 targeted Indigenous leaders and that violence against women had been the
defenders working on environmental and land most frequently reported crime in the country
rights issues. Leaders of movements opposing in 2013 and 2014.
hydroelectric projects in Huehuetenango Guatemala had yet to comply with a 2014
Department were arbitrarily arrested and tried ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human
in proceedings that local groups said were Rights in the case of María Isabel Véliz
characterized by irregularities and violations Franco, who was 15 at the time of her death
of due process. According to UDEFEGUA, in 2001. The Court found Guatemala
eight human rights defenders were in prison responsible for her gender-based killing and
at the end of the year. the subsequent failure to investigate,
prosecute and punish those responsible. The
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION – judgment called on the authorities to carry out
JOURNALISTS an effective investigation, make a public
In March, Prensa Libre correspondent Danilo apology, and reinforce state institutions to
López and Radio Nuevo Mundo reporter investigate and prosecute gender-based
Federico Salazar were shot dead by gunmen violence. Compensation for victims, including
while walking in a park in Mazatenango, the María Isabel Véliz Franco’s mother, had not
capital of Suchitepéquez Department. Danilo been paid by the end of the year.
López, according to the authorities the
probable target of the attack, had frequently
received threats for his reporting on local 1. Guatemala: Court ruling on Ríos Montt’s case highlights flaws in
government corruption and was investigating justice system (News story, 25 August)
a story on money laundering shortly before 2. Guatemala: Conviction of ex-police chief finally brings justice for
his death. The authorities arrested several 1980 Spanish embassy attack (News story, 20 January)
people they accused of having carried out or
planned the crime, including two police
officers, but no one was charged with
ordering the crime. At the end of the year, it
GUINEA
remained unclear who was behind the Republic of Guinea
killings; investigations were ongoing. Head of state: Alpha Condé
Head of government: Mohamed Saïd Fofana
LAND DISPUTES
In July, an appeals court suspended In the context of the presidential election,
operations of the contested El Tambor gold authorities banned demonstrations and the
mine until further community consultations security forces regularly used excessive
were held. In a separate case in September, a force against demonstrators. Arbitrary
criminal court suspended operations of a arrests continued, including of opposition
palm oil company in Petén Department members. People were arrested because of
pending further investigation of its alleged their perceived sexual orientation. Impunity
responsibility for the contamination of a local for human rights violations persisted.
river. In both cases, the activists and human
rights defenders involved had been BACKGROUND
intimidated, threatened and attacked. President Alpha Condé was re-elected in
October with 57.84% of the vote. The
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS opposition contested the election results,
The National Institute of Forensic Science citing irregularities. Violence between
reported that 766 women were murdered members of opposition parties and clashes

172 Amnesty International Report 2015/16

with security forces led to at least 20 deaths union were arrested in October. All of them
and hundreds of people injured in incidents were charged with contempt of the head of
linked to the elections throughout the year. state and defamation. They were still in
detention at the end of the year.4
INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY In May, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary
Guinea’s human rights record was assessed Detention found that the detention of General
under the UPR in January. The concerns Nouhou Thiam, Adjudant Mohamed Kaba,
raised included restrictions on the right to Lieutenant Mohamed Condé, Colonel Saadou
freedom of peaceful assembly, excessive use Diallo and Lieutenant Kémo Condé was
of force to disperse demonstrators and a arbitrary. They were arrested in 2011
culture of impunity within the security forces. following an attack on President Condé’s
Guinea did not accept recommendations to house. The Working Group called on Guinea
abolish the death penalty or to decriminalize to release the men. They were still in
consensual same-sex relations.1 detention at the end of the year.

EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE RIGHTS OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL,
At least 20 people died during violence TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE
around the election period, at least half of Article 325 of the Criminal Code criminalizes
which were killed by security forces.2 Other consensual same-sex sexual acts. At least
people, including children, were injured by three people were arrested because of their
live ammunition, misuse of riot equipment, or perceived sexual orientation. Two men were
in accidents with security force vehicles. arrested on 22 April in Conakry. In May, the
Three journalists were beaten by the police in Tribunal of Mafanco sentenced them to three
Hamdallaye, Boké region, in May. months’ imprisonment.
In June, the National Assembly passed a
bill on maintaining public order which defined IMPUNITY
how and when force can and cannot be used Investigations continued into the massacre in
to police protests. The bill could restrict the the Grand Stade de Conakry in 2009, when
right to peaceful assembly: it would not allow security forces killed more than 100 peaceful
spontaneous public assembly, while security demonstrators and injured at least 1,500
forces would retain the power to disperse others. Dozens of women were raped and
groups of otherwise peaceful protesters if at others disappeared. Moussa Dadis Camara,
least one person is believed to have a then head of the military junta, was indicted
weapon. Such clauses could be used as in July. Mamadouba Toto Camara, then
grounds for banning or repressing peaceful Minister of Public Security and Civilian
protests. Protection, was indicted in June.
Impunity for other human rights violations
ARBITRARY DETENTIONS committed by members of the security forces
Members of opposition groups, trade persisted. No progress was made towards
unionists and other people who expressed bringing to trial gendarmes and police officers
dissent were arbitrarily detained ahead of the suspected of criminal responsibility for using
elections.3 Jean Dougo Guilavogui, a union excessive force against peaceful
leader and retired member of the armed demonstrators, leading to death and injuries
forces, was arrested in the capital, Conakry, between 2011 and 2015.
on 19 September and detained without being There was no investigation of members of
brought before judicial authorities until his the police, gendarmerie and army who were
indictment on 25 September. His extended involved in the systematic pillage and
detention is contrary to international law and contamination of water sources of Womey,
to Guinean law. Four other members of the Nzérékoré region, in September 2014.

Amnesty International Report 2015/16 173

Security forces had been deployed to the area
following the killings of seven members of an
Ebola sensitization team and a bystander in
GUINEA-BISSAU
Womey. Several people arrested reported Republic of Guinea-Bissau
being subjected to torture and at least six Head of state: José Mário Vaz
women were raped as they attempted to Head of government: Carlos Correia (replaced Baciro
return to their village to seek food or Djá in September, who replaced Domingos Simões
valuables. Two men died in detention in Pereira in August)
December 2014 and May 2015. In April, the
Tribunal of Nzérékoré sentenced 11 of the The human rights situation improved.
villagers to life imprisonment for murder. However, there were reports of torture and
In March the Assize Court of Kankan other ill-treatment and deaths in police
adjourned the trial of four security force custody. The authorities took no action to
members charged with killing six people improve poor detention conditions.
during a strike at a mine in Zogota in 2012.
The accused officers failed to appear in court. BACKGROUND
In June, members of the community of In January, Guinea-Bissau’s human rights
Saoro village, Nzérékoré region, filed a case record was assessed under the UPR. The
before ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, government accepted most recommendations
claiming that the Guinean authorities made made and noted for further consideration
no effort to prosecute security forces accused those related to the ratification of the Optional
of arbitrary arrest, torture, rape and unlawful Protocol to the ICESCR, and the Convention
killings of villagers protesting against their on the Non-Applicability of Statutory
forced eviction in 2011. Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against
Humanity.
August saw the unconstitutional dismissal
1. Guinea: The culture of excessive use of force threatens civil and by President Vaz of Prime Minister Simões
political rights ahead of the presidential elections (AFR Pereira and his government. A week later
29/1950/2015) President Vaz appointed Baciro Djá as Prime
2. Guinea: Preventing the excessive use of force and respecting freedom Minister, despite opposition from Parliament
of peaceful assembly in the run-up to the 2015 elections and beyond and widespread protest by civil society which
– a call to action (AFR 29/2160/2015); “Guinea: Unarmed people shot demanded the reinstatement of Domingos
in the back and beaten to death by the security forces in Conakry” Simões Pereira. Lacking parliamentary
(News story, 22 October) approval, Baciro Djá was unable to form a
3. Guinea: Urgent health concern for two detainees (AFR 29/ government until 10 September, only to be
1868/2015); Guinea: Further information: Two detainees released on dismissed five days later after the Supreme
health grounds (AFR 29/1889/2015) Court ruled the President’s actions
4. Guinea: Further information: Four more trade unionists detained (AFR unconstitutional. Carlos Correia was then
29/2660/2015) appointed Prime Minister and a new
government was formed in mid-October, with
Parliament’s support.

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT
There were several reports of torture and
other ill-treatment by police in the northern
town of Bissorã, where local residents
referred to the police station as a torture
centre. Tchutcho Mendonça was arrested on
3 July at his home in Bissorã, following an

174 Amnesty International Report 2015/16

argument with his father. He was taken to November, 133 people had been murdered,
Bissorã police station where he was tortured compared with 130 during the same period in
and died two days later. Those who saw his 2014, according to the Guyana Police Force
body reported that it showed signs consistent (GPF).
with torture. Ten police officers were General elections were held in May and
subsequently arrested but none had been David Granger was elected President.
tried by the end of the year. Granger´s coalition won over a party which
Also in July, police approached and beat had held power for 23 years.
Mamadú Djaló in a street in Bissorã, causing Prior to elections, during a sensitive
injuries to his torso. No investigation was electoral contest, a political activist was killed,
known to have been carried out into the causing concern about potential limitations on
beating by the end of the year. freedom of expression. In January, Guyana’s
human rights record was examined under
PRISON CONDITIONS the UPR.
In June, the NGO Guinea-Bissau Human
Rights League reported that conditions of POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES
detention throughout the country were Allegations of excessive use of force by the
appalling and amounted to cruel and GPF during arrests and detention remained a
inhuman treatment, particularly the cells of concern. Guyana accepted recommendations
the Criminal Investigation Police and the made during the UPR to strengthen the
Second Police Station, both in the capital independence of the Police Complaints
Bissau, and called for their closure. Authority and increase its resources and
Conditions in these cells included severe capacity.
overcrowding, with some inmates having to
sleep in the toilets, poor sanitation and CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
ventilation, all of which reportedly led to Corporal punishment continued in schools, in
detainees becoming ill. According to the contravention of the UN Convention of the
NGO, the cell at the Criminal Investigation Rights of the Child. While the government
Police had capacity for 35 people but conducted consultations with civil society on
regularly held over 100. The authorities had the use of corporal punishment, the law
taken no action to improve conditions by the remained unchanged.
end of the year.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
GUYANA High levels of sexual and other physical
violence against women and girls continued.
According to a Latin American Public Opinion
Republic of Guyana Project survey published in 2014, acceptance
Head of state and government: David Arthur Granger of domestic violence was high in Guyana. The
(replaced Donald Ramotar in May) GPF had registered 300 reports of rape for
2015 as of November, compared with 238 for
There were continuing concerns about the same period last year.
excessive use of force by the police, Conviction rates for sexual offences
violence against women and girls, and remained alarmingly low. According to
discrimination and violence towards lesbian, women’s rights groups, police continued to
gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex fail to take reports seriously.
(LGBTI) people. In July, the former Minister of Health was
charged with using insulting language
BACKGROUND towards a women’s rights activist who
Violent crime remained widespread. By confronted him on issues of maternal health.

Amnesty International Report 2015/16 175

He had threatened to “slap” her and have her homeless by the January 2010 earthquake
“stripped” of her clothes. remained displaced. Hundreds of Haitian
migrants returning or deported from the
RIGHTS OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, Dominican Republic settled in makeshift
TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE camps with no access to services. Concerns
Violence and discrimination towards LGBTI remained over the lack of independence of
people remained a serious concern. There the justice system.
continued to be no legal protection against
discrimination based on real or perceived BACKGROUND
sexual orientation and gender identity and The failure to hold long-overdue legislative
expression, and same-sex sexual conduct elections rendered Parliament dysfunctional.
between men remained criminalized. On 16 January, following an agreement with
In July 2015, days after civil society groups the political parties, the President confirmed
held a candlelight vigil to mark the one-year the appointment of Evans Paul as Prime
anniversary of the death of two transgender Minister who, two days later, announced the
sex workers, a transgender sex worker known formation of a transitional government
as “Nephi” was killed in Georgetown. A including members of opposition parties.
suspect was reportedly charged in August. The first round of legislative elections was
The Society Against Sexual Orientation held on 9 August, and was marked by
Discrimination (SASOD), a local NGO, widespread disruption and violence. The first
continued to receive reports of discrimination round of presidential elections as well as the
based on sexual orientation and gender second round of legislative elections and
identity in the workplace. According to municipal elections were held on 25 October.
SASOD, transgender youth continued to be Although these election rounds saw minimal
made homeless due to discrimination from violence, opposition candidates and national
within their home environment and children’s election observers alleged massive frauds.
homes lacked the capacity to respond to their Following mass demonstrations and the
needs. refusal of the presidential candidate who had
In response to recommendations made qualified second to participate in the electoral
during the UPR, Guyana agreed “to run-off scheduled on 27 December, on
strengthen the protection of LGBT 22 December President Martelly established
individuals” and “to continue its effort in a commission tasked with evaluating the 25
eliminating discrimination against LGBTI October election. On 21 December, the run-
people starting with the review of its related off was postponed.
legislation”. Another 14 recommendations on In October, the UN Security Council
LGBTI issues, including to reform the renewed the mandate of the UN Stabilization
Criminal Law Offences Act, were rejected by Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for a 12th year
Guyana. and affirmed its intention to consider the
possible withdrawal of the mission within a

HAITI year.
Severe drought in the North-West and
South-West departments negatively impacted
Republic of Haiti on food security and nutrition, especially for
Head of state: Michel Joseph Martelly rural families and those living on the
Head of government: Evans Paul Dominican-Haitian border.

Legislative, presidential and municipal INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE
elections were held amid violence and At the end of June, more than 60,000 people
controversy. More than 60,000 people made made homeless by the January 2010

176 Amnesty International Report 2015/16

earthquake were still living in 45 makeshift IMPUNITY
camps. Living conditions in camps worsened The investigation into alleged crimes against
as many humanitarian programmes ended humanity committed by former President
due to a lack of funding. Many displaced Jean-Claude Duvalier and his former
people left the camps after being allocated collaborators made little progress. Following
one-year rental subsidies. However, the his visit to Haiti in September, the UN
government failed to implement durable Independent Expert on the situation of human
solutions for displaced people.1 rights in Haiti reiterated his recommendation
for the creation of “a truth, justice and peace
REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS commission to clarify and provide remedy” for
Tens of thousands of Haitian migrants and the victims of past human rights violations
their families returned to Haiti after the under François and Jean-Claude Duvalier and
Dominican authorities announced that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
deportations of irregular migrants would
resume from 17 June. Many were reportedly JUSTICE SYSTEM
deported; others fled following threats or The appointment of a new President of the
fearing violent expulsion. Hundreds settled in High Council of the Judiciary in March helped
makeshift camps at the border. Haitian and restore the institution’s credibility. It was also
international human rights organizations, as strengthened by the appointment of a
well as the UN Independent Expert on the Director of the Judicial Inspectorate and 10
situation of human rights in Haiti, raised sitting judges as inspectors. However, delays
concerns about the lack of access to services in the renewal of judges’ tenure and in vetting
for people living in camps in the Anse-à-Pitres processes negatively impacted on the
municipality. efficiency of the judiciary.
Concerns remained about the overall lack
RIGHT TO HEALTH – CHOLERA EPIDEMICS of independence of the justice system. For
In the first six months, the number of cases example, human rights organizations
and deaths from cholera tripled compared expressed concern that a decision by the
with the same period in 2014. According to Port-au-Prince criminal court in April to
official statistics, 9,013 people died of cholera dismiss the case against two alleged gang
between October 2010 and August 2015. The members was politically motivated.
humanitarian response remained largely About 800 detainees in penitentiaries in the
underfunded. The UN, which is deemed to Port-au-Prince region benefited from a case
have inadvertently triggered the epidemic, review ordered by the Ministry of Justice to
continued to refuse to ensure victims’ right to deal with prolonged pre-trial detention and
remedy and reparations.2 prison overcrowding. However, by the end of
September, an excessively high number of
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS detainees remained in pre-trial detention.
A bill on preventing, prosecuting and
eradicating violence against women, drafted RIGHTS OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL,
in 2011, and the draft penal code containing TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE
progressive provisions on gender-based Cases of verbal and physical attacks against
violence remained stalled because of the LGBTI people were reported during the year,
dysfunctional Parliament. Convictions in most of which were not thoroughly
cases of sexual violence against women investigated. According to LGBTI rights
remained low and the majority of domestic organizations, some presidential and
violence cases were not investigated or legislative candidates made homophobic
prosecuted. statements during the electoral campaign.
Although LGBTI rights organizations were

Amnesty International Report 2015/16 177

able to contribute to the training of new police reform the justice system and strengthen the
recruits, no similar training was known to independence of the judicial branch. The
have been organized for existing police protesters rejected this proposal as
officers. insufficient and continued to push for an
international commission with investigative
powers.
1. Haiti: “15 Minutes to leave”: Denial of the right to adequate housing
in post-quake Haiti (AMR 36/001/2015) HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
2. Haiti: Five years on, no justice for the victims of the cholera epidemic Congress approved in April the Protection
(AMR 36/2652/2015) Law for Human Rights Defenders, Journalists,
Social Communicators and Justice Officials.

HONDURAS The move was welcomed as an important
step to protect these groups, but in August a
group of civil society organizations wrote to
Republic of Honduras the government to voice concerns about the
Head of state and government: Juan Orlando vagueness and lack of transparency of the
Hernández Alvarado draft implementation regulations, and asked
to postpone its approval by several months.
Amid a general climate of crime and Human rights defenders, particularly
violence, human rights defenders, women, faced threats and violence – abuses
Indigenous, peasant and Afro-descendant which were rarely investigated. The
leaders involved in land disputes, lesbian, government failed to implement protection
gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex measures ordered by the Inter-American
(LGBTI) activists, justice officials and Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and
journalists were targeted with violence and to investigate a series of abuses in recent
intimidation by state and criminal actors in years against Indigenous Tolupan leaders,
retaliation for their work. A weak criminal including the killings of two of their members
justice system and corruption contributed to by local hitmen during demonstrations in
a climate of extensive impunity for these 2013.1
abuses. In addition to violence, human rights
defenders faced judicial harassment in
BACKGROUND retaliation for their work. Women's rights
The Honduran Supreme Court ruled in April defender Gladys Lanza Ochoa was convicted
to eliminate an article in the Constitution that of criminally defaming the director of the
limits presidential terms to one in office. The Foundation for the Development of Urban
change meant that President Hernández and Rural Social Housing (FUNDEVI) and
would be able to seek re-election in 2017. sentenced to a year and a half in prison after
Tens of thousands of protesters dubbed her organization supported a woman who had
“the indignant ones” (los indignados) accused him of sexual harassment.2 She
protested for months against corruption after remained free as she appealed against her
a series of scandals involving the government sentence. Journalist Julio Ernesto Alvarado
and political parties, in some of the biggest lost a series of appeals against his conviction
marches in recent Honduran history. The on charges of criminal defamation against the
government resisted the protesters’ demand dean of the economics school at the
for the formation of an international Autonomous National University of Honduras
commission with the power to investigate (UNAH). His sentence included a 16-month
crimes and corruption by government ban on practising journalism.
officials. Instead, it announced in September In August, Honduras said it would comply
an initiative in conjunction with the OAS to with 2014 recommendations by the IACHR

178 Amnesty International Report 2015/16

regarding human rights violations committed policeman but a police spokesperson said the
by the state against environmental activist officers who participated in the eviction never
Carlos Escaleras Mejía, who was murdered in fired their weapons, and that the police would
1997, and members of his family. The IACHR launch an investigation.
had established that Honduras was
responsible for the violation both of Escaleras’ LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS
right to life, freedom of association and Local civil society groups warned that
political rights, and of his family’s integrity. proposed changes to the Criminal Code
The recommendations include accepting before Congress would eliminate language
international responsibility for the state’s introduced in 2013 to Article 321, which
failure to carry out an effective investigation prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual
into the killing, fully investigating the murder orientation and gender identity.
and disciplining the officials who failed in
their duty.
1. El Estado hondureño debe garantizar la vida e integridad personal de

IMPUNITY líderes Indígenas Tolupanes (AMR 37/2193/2015)
Although government statistics showed a 2. Honduras: Nadie debe ser criminalizado por defender los derechos
decrease in homicide rates, the country humanos y Gladys Lanza no puede ser la excepción (AMR
continued to suffer from a high rate of violent 37/001/2015)
crime which, together with a deficient
criminal justice system, resulted in pervasive
impunity for human rights abuses. The
Alliance for Peace and Justice, a Honduran
HUNGARY
NGO, found in a 2014 report that fewer than Hungary
4% of murder cases resulted in a conviction. Head of state: János Áder
The ineffective criminal justice system and Head of government: Viktor Orbán
evidence of corruption and human rights
violations by police officers contributed to a Hungary constructed fences along its
lack of trust in law enforcement and justice southern borders, criminalized irregular
institutions. entry to its territory and expedited the return
of asylum-seekers and refugees to Serbia,
LAND DISPUTES effectively transforming Hungary into a
Local campesino organizations in the Bajo refugee protection-free zone. Roma
Aguán region faced violent attacks and continued to be at risk of forced eviction
threats in recent years by private security and inadequately protected against hate
guards with ties to powerful landowners, and crimes.
abuses by soldiers during evictions related to
long-running land disputes. Local BACKGROUND
organizations in the Bajo Aguán region claim In March, the NGOs Eötvös Károly Institute,
that 90 campesinos were killed between 2008 Hungarian Helsinki Committee and
and 2013. Despite the establishment in April Hungarian Civil Liberties Union published a
2014 of a special unit in the Attorney report concluding that the replacement of
General’s Office to investigative these killings, judges of the Constitutional Court and the
there was little progress in the cases. 2010 constitutional amendments undermined
In September, a forced eviction of the Court’s independence.
campesinos in the department of Cortés
resulted in the death of a teenager in REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS
unclarified circumstances. Peasant farmers In response to a significant increase in the
said the boy was shot and killed by a number of refugees and migrants entering the

Amnesty International Report 2015/16 179

four NGOs amendments to the Criminal Code and responsible for managing and distributing the Asylum Law entered into force. the European Commission expressed a number DISCRIMINATION – ROMA of concerns in response to these measures. Within initiated to withdraw their registration were two days. In December. Discrimination against Roma in access to including that Hungary is carrying out a housing and the failure to protect Roma and “possible quasi-systematic dismissal” of other minorities from hate crimes continued. the Ökotárs Asylum Law entered into force. the Norwegian Ministry for European Hungary could be returned to the transit Economic Area and EU Affairs announced the country. an amendment to the One of the affected NGOs. while registration. were subsequently programmes funded by the Grants in deemed “safe” by the authorities. people from “safe countries of origin” could In June. NGOs critical of government policies faced On the same day. On 19 June. On 15 September. As a result. Macedonia and EU member results of an independent audit into NGO states. a police raid carried out on the offices of two refoulement. making it an European Economic Area (EEA)/Norway offence to enter the country through the Grants faced a criminal investigation and border fence and establishing “transit zones” were threatened with suspension of their tax at the border. the European Racism and Intolerance noted that racist Commission initiated infringement motivation still doesn’t feature as a specific 180 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . authorizing Foundation. The proceedings border with Croatia was completed. On 1 August. of the country. over 900 people were prosecuted for Labour Court of Eger requested the “illegal border crossing” and subjected to Constitutional Court to clarify whether the expulsion proceedings. as Hungary would not assess NGOs in September 2014 following a criminal whether an individual applicant would be at complaint by the Government Control Office risk of serious human rights violations in the for misappropriation of assets was unlawful. In January. the construction of a fence harassment and threats of losing their on the border with Serbia was finished. In “safe third countries” before reaching May. the number of refugees and suspended by the courts in February and migrants entering Hungary daily dropped May. including Greece. On 17 October. a fence on the registration number. On 5 October. it concluded its investigation into the be rejected.country since January. attempt to suspend the NGOs’ registration Criminalization of irregular entry and the was in breach of the Basic Law of Hungary sealing off of the borders complemented (the Constitution). In October. and those who transited through NGOs and found no criminal wrongdoing. the government declared a “state of crisis due to FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION the situation caused by mass immigration”. asylum applications by NGOs that received funding from the Grants. Serbia. generally. This led to Hungary and concluded that the programmes concerns expressed by NGOs that the were run in line with legal requirements. the Administrative and the year. following a motion from over 6. the European Commission against with Serbia. reported in January that the the government to issue a list of “safe Office of the Public Prosecutor was also countries of origin” and “safe third countries investigating the lawfulness of activities of two of transit”. application of the law could lead to the A district court in Buda held in January that violation of Hungary’s obligation of non. By the end of submitted by NGOs. country of origin or transit. the government proceedings against Hungary for breaching adopted measures aimed at keeping them out the EU asylum law.000 to a few dozen. the legislative measures adopted in the summer Constitutional Court found that the procedure that had restricted access to asylum more did not violate the Constitution. asylum applications submitted at the border In June.

the European Court of Human Freedom of religion continued to be Rights found in Balázs v. which held that the aggravated by the perpetrator’s racist motive. Roma neighbourhood in Gyöngyöspata for several weeks. The municipality’s appeal was paramilitary groups that held patrols in the pending at the end of the year. in breach of Religious Freedom. long-established neighbourhood. Many had to move in with relatives. which alleged Hungarian NGO NEKI against the that police failed to intervene against various municipality. and gender- their rights to a private and family life and to and caste-based discrimination and violence freedom of movement. criticizing the scientists returned national honours in Amnesty International Report 2015/16 181 . March and June. the Office of the Commissioner on freedom of expression by hardline Hindu for Fundamental Rights published a report on groups grew. or face homelessness. Hungary. the amendment did not the European Convention on Human Rights. Head of government: Narendra Modi On 14 May. The report also urged the municipality to prevent evictions.aggravating circumstance for offences in the municipality’s approach to so-called “slum Criminal Code. Hungary’s highest court ruled that the Miskolc municipality violated the Authorities clamped down on civil society country’s equal treatment legislation when it organizations critical of official policies. the County Court in Eger held devise a holistic approach with the Ministry of that police discriminated against Roma in the Human Capacities to deal with slum town of Gyöngyöspata when it failed to protect eliminations. Scores of artists. Hungary that restricted. resulting from the failure to organizations to re-register and the 2014 investigate a racist attack against a Romani European Court of Human Rights judgment in man in Szeged in 2012. address the arbitrariness of the deregistration procedure that was criticized by the European Access to housing Court of Human Rights. The complaint was submitted by the upheld a discrimination complaint by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. Between rights they held previously as churches. The Forum further Around 100 families. as well as Religious tensions intensified. develop a Hate crimes plan for families facing homelessness and In September. roughly 120 families were forcibly evicted. mainly Roma. The vast majority of INDIA previously evicted families were not provided Republic of India with adequate alternative housing or Head of state: Pranab Mukherjee compensation. and forcibly evicted hundreds of Roma from a increased restrictions on foreign funding. according to the NGO Forum for “powerful hate crime indicators”. remained pervasive. to houses requiring renovation. the government proposed that the prosecuting authorities failed to an amendment to the law in September. FREEDOM OF RELIGION In October. clearance”. Following the 2011 Church Law Hungary had violated the prohibition of that required churches and other religious discrimination. the Equal Treatment Authority 2011. The man suffered Magyar Keresztény Mennonita Egyház and bodily injuries and alleged that they were others v. deregistration had violated the right to The European Court of Human Rights held religious freedom. identify the racist motive of the crime despite However. them from far-right groups in the spring of In July. remained voiced concerns that a number of religious at risk of forced eviction in the “Numbered communities would continue to be denied Streets” neighbourhood of Miskolc. Censorship and attacks On 5 June. writers and the situation in Miskolc.

killing two In December. Jharkhand state. girls. Similar laws persisted. journalists and A legal requirement that private schools protesters continued to face arbitrary arrests reserve 25% of places at the entry level for and detentions.000 crimes threatening and intimidating Adivasi against members of Scheduled Tribes.000 households were engaged in Punjab state. ABUSES BY ARMED GROUPS In March. In May. The amendments also armed group members suspected to have required that special courts be established to been killed by rival groups were found in the try these offences and that victims and state. Authorities also continued to use acquisition measures were dropped “anti-terror” laws such as the Unlawful following popular opposition. allegedly by dominant caste and attacked mobile towers and telecom men.200 people were children from disadvantaged families being held in January under administrative continued to be poorly enforced. which civil society groups said Dominant castes continued to use sexual could improve the human rights situation in violence against Dalit and Adivasi women and Nagaland state and parts of northeast India. armed group members attacked a In July. were (Indigenous) people and occupying schools. ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS CHILDREN’S RIGHTS Human rights defenders. armed group. the bodies of four several new offences. armed children were burned to death in an arson groups threatened mobile phone operators attack near Delhi. In September. June and July. reported in 2014. Parliament amended the people. 180. the government announced a cleaning human waste carried out mainly by peace agreement with the National Socialist Dalit people. and over 11. Controversial land or trial. two Dalit In Jammu and Kashmir state. over 47. witnesses receive protection. allegedly by VIOLENCE Maoist fighters. Abuses by Activities (Prevention) Act and other state- armed groups continued to threaten specific laws which do not meet international civilians. Bihar. killing three civilians. Chhattisgarh state. In July. Extrajudicial executions standards. three men were tortured and killed CASTE-BASED DISCRIMINATION AND in Lohardaga. the state government of Gujarat criminal justice system remained flawed. but a historic peace framework human rights standards. agreement was reached in Nagaland. Karnataka and Tamil Maoist fighters attempting to pressurize the Nadu. The In April. an official census stated that over police station and bus station in Gurdaspur. Dalit and 182 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . unidentified gunmen Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes killed a three-year-old boy and his father in (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. passed an anti-terror bill containing several violating fair trial rights and failing to ensure provisions which violated international justice for abuses. “manual scavenging” – the practice of In August. reportedly by Uttar Pradesh. Over 3. According to statistics released in state government to stop work on a bridge. The bill was pending approval by and torture and other ill-treatment the President in December.000 crimes against members Maoist armed groups were accused of of Scheduled Castes. remained in force in Maharashtra and Karnataka states. In October. Activists said the figure was an Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah faction) underestimate. The same month.protest against what they said was a climate detention on executive orders without charge of growing intolerance. offices in May. August. around 250 villagers Incidents of violence against Dalits and were abducted and held hostage for a day in Adivasis were reported from states including Sukma. recognizing Sopore.

In August. in 1987. the consent of Indigenous communities or In May. Many industries. police and senior In August. two MPs introduced bills seeking In September. the government introduced a bill court stated it could not convict anyone to amend India’s land acquisition law which because of the “scanty. would encourage child labour and In April. nationwide opposition from farmers’ groups. the Madhya Pradesh Authorities failed to prevent hundreds of state government incinerated 10 tonnes of the incidents of communal violence across the waste in Pithampur. political parties. Uttar Pradesh. The State communal violence in Muzaffarnagar. DEATH PENALTY smuggling or slaughtering cows. regulating the entry of non-domicile people into the region. as adults in cases of serious crimes. a commission investigating abolition of the death penalty. the Law Commission of India administrative officials. Uttar Assembly of Tripura passed a unanimous Pradesh state. unreliable and faulty removed requirements related to obtaining investigation”. were still not required to obtain obligations. 250km from Bhopal. The areas remained at risk of forced evictions. the cabinet approved amendments conduct social impact assessments. Following discrimination. the amendments to juvenile justice laws which government said in August that it would not allowed children aged 16 to 18 to be treated pursue the amendments. in 2013 submitted a report resolution urging the central government to which journalists said blamed members of abolish capital punishment for murder. The Commission said that the death the 1984 Sikh massacre and file charges. fragile and fallible system” August. which activists said assemblies for certain infrastructure projects. In August. the government formed a favouring speedy abolition of the death team to reinvestigate closed cases related to penalty.Adivasi children continued to face for a range of industrial projects. railways violation of India’s international legal and highways. Some politicians contributed to which activists said had violated Supreme religious tensions by making speeches Court orders and endangered the health of justifying discrimination and violence. but recommended that it be retained for At least eight people were killed in ethnic terrorism-related offences and “waging war clashes in Manipur state over demands for against the state”. The penalty in India is “an irreversible punishment team’s term was extended for a year in in an imperfect. in including public sector coal mines. four Muslim men were killed in attacks by mobs which suspected them of stealing. Andhra Pradesh police and forest Amnesty International Report 2015/16 183 . consent and conducting impact assessments In April. submitted a report to the government In February. Parliament passed civil society and political parties. In December. amendments made an exception for children The Environment Ministry sought to abolish a working in family enterprises or in the requirement for consent from village entertainment industry. At least local residents. In March. the Environment Ministry rejected disproportionately affect children from an offer from the UN Environment marginalized groups and girls. The In February. a Delhi court acquitted 16 policemen accused of killing 42 Muslim men CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY in Hashimpura. country. Programme to assess the spread of toxic wastes at the site of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak COMMUNAL AND ETHNIC VIOLENCE disaster. and the enactment of laws EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS affecting the rights of Indigenous people. to child labour laws which prohibited the Vulnerable communities in resource-rich employment of children under 14.

September. on In July. Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir states. Two against Greenpeace India. registered a case against human rights activists Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand for IMPUNITY – SECURITY FORCES allegedly violating provisions of the FCRA. including using the introduced a bill in Parliament seeking Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) revision of the sedition law. by courts and the National Human Rights In March. the threatened free expression and privacy.officials shot dead 20 suspected smugglers in registration of an NGO run by the activists to an alleged extrajudicial execution. the Maharashtra state cases of alleged extrajudicial executions in government issued a circular on how India’s Manipur. Ministry ordered that it would have to approve Authorities restricted access to internet foreign funds from certain identified donor services on several occasions. In April. used to persecute human rights defenders A Central Bureau of Investigation Court and others. It withdrew the Authorities took several measures to repress circular in October. Legislation providing virtual 184 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Police investigations into both incidents standards on freedom of expression were were ongoing at the end of the year. authorities proposed – and The Ministry of Home Affairs cancelled the withdrew after facing opposition – a draft FCRA registration of thousands of NGOs for encryption policy which would have violating provisions of the law. the Supreme Court struck down Commission often “remained on paper with Section 66A of the Information Technology little or no implementation on the ground”. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION claiming they had attempted to overpower Laws which did not meet international them. organization’s bank accounts to be frozen in In July. In December. Manipur state legitimately exercising their right to free government and National Human Rights speech online. – which restricted organizations from There were several instances of receiving foreign funding – to harass NGOs intimidation and attacks against journalists. ordering the religious intolerance and idolatry. In June. Commission to file a report on over 1. including rationalist writers were killed in attacks preventing one of its campaigners from thought to be related to their criticism of travelling to the UK in January. High Courts ruled that some of fundamental right under the Constitution. a Dalit folk singer was Gujarat in 2005. month. the Central Bureau of Investigation grounds of public order. sedition law must be applied. artists and human rights defenders The government took a series of actions by religious and caste-based groups. two activists were discharged several police officials suspected arrested in Kerala for possessing “pro-Maoist” of involvement in an extrajudicial execution in literature. In Impunity for violations by security forces September. In these steps were illegal. an MP civil society organizations. police killed five pre-trial detainees in Telangana who were being taken to court. the UN Special arrested in Tamil Nadu for writing songs Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions noted criticizing the state government and Chief in a follow-up report on India that guidelines Minister. In January. The same receive foreign funding. and activists. Act as being vague and overly broad. including in organizations. authors. suggesting that criticism of a government representative FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION would amount to sedition. In October. The law In July.500 In August. the Supreme Court ordered the had been used to prosecute people for central government. the government argued before the April and cancelling its FCRA registration in Supreme Court that privacy was not a September. authorities suspended the persisted.

a committee appointed to evaluate the proposed a draft bill on women’s rights which status of women recommended the repeal of specified equality before the law for every the AFSPA. and overcrowding in jails remained widespread.000 cases of rape.000 prisoners – 68% stations. to consider installing them in all police As of January. the Meghalaya woman “irrespective of her sexual High Court directed the central government to orientation”. they would have served if convicted was NGOs continued to report deaths from poorly implemented. torture of prisoners while in police custody. said that state police custody were reported in 2014. the Ministry of Home Affairs between consenting adults.327 deaths in judicial prisoners about detainees’ eligibility for custody between April 2014 and January release. the first time a state government consider enforcing the AFSPA in one region had recognized discrimination on the basis of to maintain law and order. over 282. RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. decrease of militancy-related incidents”. retained. passed a bill to protect the rights of were reported in 2014. the Chhattisgarh police began A 2014 Supreme Court order directing investigating allegations that security force district judges to release pre-trial detainees personnel had raped two women and a girl who had been held for over half of the term the previous month. the state government of Delhi July. the introduction of a the state of Tripura withdrew the AFSPA 18 bill to decriminalize same-sex relations was years after it was introduced “in view of the defeated in the lower house of Parliament. 2015. In November. the Indian Army confirmed life sentences for six of its personnel found TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT guilty by a military court of killing three men Torture and other ill-treatment in police and in Machil. sexual orientation in law. Supreme Court directed state governments to install closed-circuit television cameras in all PROLONGED PRE-TRIAL DETENTION prisons within two years to prevent torture Prolonged pre-trial detention and and other violations of prisoners’ rights. the Ministry of Home of the total prison population – were pre-trial Affairs stated that the government was detainees. the upper house of Parliament women. Senior officially rejected the report of a committee government officials made contradictory set up in 2004 to review the AFSPA. including over 37. including their rights to discrimination from police officials and Amnesty International Report 2015/16 185 . November.immunity from prosecution such as the education and health care. responding to an Amnesty cases of deaths and 197 cases of rapes in International India application. which statements about whether the law should be recommended the repeal of the law. stigma and transgender people. In June. In represented. In December. In September. Also in July. remained in force in Jammu and Kashmir Section 377 of the Penal Code continued to state and parts of northeast India.000 crimes against In April. be used to criminalize same-sex relations In February. Attacks on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) transgender people continued. In July. GAY. In In August. Jammu and Kashmir in an judicial custody were reported. the central information Statistics released in August showed that 93 commission. In governments were obligated to periodically August the National Human Rights provide information to authorities and Commission recorded 1. In September. the extrajudicial execution in 2010. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE Although nearly 322. Dalits. BISEXUAL. Adivasis and Muslims considering amending the Penal Code to continued to be disproportionately specifically recognize torture as a crime.

the provincial police force used Head of state and government: Joko Widodo unnecessary force against protesters at a peaceful labour rally in October. injured. occurred throughout the year. and not dilute laws relating to cruelty by In March. Papua province. Parliament that it intended to amend the Maluku province. no charges from marginalized communities remained were brought. protection POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES and access to justice for women and girls Reports continued of human rights violations facing violence. Seram Bagian Barat District. expanding the use of corporal In over 86% of reported rape cases. off-duty military personnel shot rates were low. but reporting and conviction In August. Republic of Indonesia In Jakarta. including the use of two legal aid activists who reported injuries to unnecessary or excessive force. police shot two unarmed high school students during a “security operation” in September. There were 14 executions. Despite commitments made during his the central government announced that it was election campaign in 2014. dead two people after opening fire in front of a church in Timika. killing one. October. relations. after they had complained Penal Code to criminalize marital rape. 186 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Freedom of expression was further reached between the parties. Arbitrary the head. Despite promises of an investigation Discrimination and violence against women by the head of the regional police. widespread. it urged the government to killings. force. inhuman or introduce a special law on honour crimes. Statistics released in August showed that nearly 123. unnecessary and excessive use of make rape within marriage a criminal offence. members of the Police Mobile husbands.000 cases of cruelty by husbands BACKGROUND or relatives were reported in 2014. 50th anniversary of the serious human rights violations of 1965-1966. All were Papua. the status of women made key recommendations on prevention. A majority of states against religious minorities occurred continued to lack standard operating throughout the country. especially in the protesters for the violence. the punishment to include consensual sexual survivors knew the alleged offenders. In March. as well as rights violations. the government stated in Morekau village. Also in INDONESIA Timika. Brigade (Brimob) attacked residents in In December. Police blamed arrests of peaceful protesters. a committee appointed to evaluate drug-related offences increased.authorities continued to deter women from Harassment. Among other by police and military. torture and other cruel. Thirteen people were seriously perceived social transgressions. to Brimob officers who had entered the village Caste-based village bodies continued to that they were disturbing a religious order sexually violent punishments for ceremony. The released after being charged with threatening government restricted activities marking the public officials and refusal to disperse. face and stomach. President Joko considering allowing for the withdrawal of a Widodo failed to address past human rights complaint of cruelty if a compromise is violations. A new Acehnese procedures for the police to deal with cases of Islamic Criminal Code came into force in violence against women. degrading treatment or punishment. intimidation and attacks reporting sexual violence. restricted and the use of the death penalty for In July. Police Security forces faced allegations of human arrested and beat 23 protesters. including unlawful recommendations.

2 people were killed during that time and hundreds of thousands were held without FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION charge or trial for periods ranging from a few Prisoner of conscience Filep Karma was days to more than 14 years. Despite promises from including rape. Some provisions in the by- More than 10 years after the murder of law under which the Commission was created prominent human rights defender Munir Said fell short of international law and standards. However. against humanity and war crimes and did not September marked the 50th anniversary of include other crimes under international law the serious human rights violations of including torture.000 people peaceful protests marking the 52nd were killed. It was seen by human rights military compound. arbitrary arrest and security forces shot dead four students in detention. forced displacement and forced Paniai. slavery. a body for participating in peaceful demonstrations in set up to examine abuses that occurred support of Papua’s application to join the Amnesty International Report 2015/16 187 .3 At least 27 prisoners in Papua at truth and justice. extrajudicial executions and 1965-66. 2005 Helsinki Peace Agreement between the The arrest and detention of peaceful government and the armed pro. no one had been brought to justice by labour. crimes the perpetrators to justice. provinces. and pledged to grant groups as a small but positive step following clemency or an amnesty to other political decades of impunity for past human rights activists. This was the latest in a continued to exist for perpetrators. the Attorney General announced increase freedom in Papua and West Papua that the government would establish a non. a culture of impunity political expression. authorities arrested agreement ended a 29-year conflict during 264 peaceful activists who had planned which between 10.000 and 30. President Widodo for a thorough investigation sexual slavery and other crimes of sexual into the December 2014 incident in which violence. In May. The Papua provinces. Although no legal released on 19 November after spending impediments to full citizenship remained for more than a decade in prison for his peaceful victims of these crimes. In anniversary of the handover of Papua to the November. Human rights organizations have enforced disappearances. including Johan the rule of former President Suharto Teterissa in Maluku. In May. including unlawful killings. the President granted judicial mechanism to resolve past human clemency to five political activists in Papua rights violations through a “reconciliation province imprisoned for breaking into a committee”. many of them civilians. violations and abuses that occurred during Prisoners of conscience.000 to one million the end of the year. also remained imprisoned under these In 2015. enforced disappearances. torture and violations in the context of the abortive 1965 other ill-treatment by police and the military coup.1 documented a range of human rights Investigations into shootings.IMPUNITY during the conflict. the Aceh House of People’s Indonesian government by the UN.4 A further Representatives appointed a team charged 216 members of the West Papua National with appointing commissioners for the Aceh Committee (KNPB) were arbitrarily detained Truth and Reconciliation Commission. remained imprisoned for (1965-1998). positive but limited step by the authorities to In May. the people of Aceh articles. Thalib. torture continued to stagnate. and 29 prisoners of conscience from commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Maluku remained imprisoned. the authorities had failed to bring all Its mandate was limited to genocide. victims and NGOs peaceful demonstrations under articles of the remained concerned that this process would Indonesian Criminal Code relating to makar prioritize reconciliation and undermine efforts (rebellion). activists also continued in Papua and West independence Free Aceh Movement. An estimated 500.

SE/6/X/2015) on being released without charge. Papua electronic content that violated decency”. the Electronic Information and Transaction GIDI) burned down a Muslim place of worship Law (Law No.5 imprisoned under blasphemy laws. were arrested in year. because Aceh Singkil District after the local it featured an in-depth report and front cover government ordered the destruction of 10 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the churches in the district. killing one activities relating to the serious human rights man. In March. accusation when he accessed her account In July.11/2008) with “transmitting in Karubaga. hate speech. While most violations after authorities threatened to were later released. immigration officer about the activities of the In October. GIDI youths then destroyed the Muslim violations of 1965-1966. the Ubud district level by-laws limiting houses of Writers and Readers Festival removed three worship. members of the Christian and she was charged under Article 27(1) of Evangelical Church (Gereja Injil di Indonesia.7 participating in the protest. Security officials from both the military The government continued to restrict and police shot into the crowd. That same month. religious defamation. event. the Bandung District Court sentenced a woman to five months’ FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND BELIEF imprisonment after she had written a Harassment. In October. The attackers burned down one 188 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . In early October. In June the head of the Papua to cover the activities of the KNPB group was sentenced to four years’ were arrested and interrogated by the local imprisonment.6 province. Although the regulation refers to Convictions continued to be documented expression “aimed to inflict hatred or hostility throughout the year of people peacefully [against] individuals”. confiscated and vicinity. where Muslims were celebrating Eid A further three people were convicted of al-Fitr. They were held for 10 hours before regulation (Surat Edaran No. a national restrictions on foreign journalists applying to cultural movement that was criticized by visit Papua were to be lifted. including under At least six people remain detained or the “rebellion” laws. fuelled by accusing her husband of abusing her. Two men were arrested for inciting burned hundreds of copies of Lentera violence. Christian churches were University’s Faculty of Social and attacked by a group of at least 200 people in Communication Studies in Salatiga. Tolikara District. six members of Gafatar. citing provincial and violations. He discriminatory laws and regulations at both reported her to the police after finding the national and local levels. Members of GIDI originally had criminal defamation under the law in gathered to complain that the noise from the Yogyakarta. police in place of worship and several shops in the Salatiga. three Papuan male Banda Aceh in Aceh Province and charged activists who had accompanied a French under Article 156 of the Criminal Code for journalist to Pegunungan Bintang District in insulting religion. 12 were charged for revoke their permit. magazine. South Sulawesi and Central Java place of worship was interrupting a church during the year. police passed a new national journalist. In President Widodo announced in May that January. intimidation and attacks against “private” message to a friend on Facebook religious minorities persisted. Central Java. this had not Islamic organizations who believed it been implemented fully by the end of the promoted “deviant” beliefs.Melanesian Spearhead Group – a sub-Pacific panel sessions related to these human rights intergovernmental organization. blasphemy and “hate charge individuals accused of criminal and speech”. civil society activists expressing their views under laws concerning were concerned that they may be used to criminal defamation. run by the Satya Wacana In October.

False accusations of rape or neighbouring North Sumatra Province adultery were also punishable by caning. Indonesia: Stop silencing public discussions on 1965 violations (ASA churches remaining sealed off in Bogor and 21/2785/2015) Bekasi respectively. Indonesia: End attacks on freedom of expression in Papua (ASA Shi’a mob threatened violence. forcibly evicted Sampang Shi’a permit in 2011. a place of worship of a local All of these related to drug-trafficking Indigenous beliefs community in Rembang. 300 members 21/1606/2015) remained displaced from their homes. government to stop the renovation. 1. the community leader had received a allocated funding to conduct further threat by a local Islamic organization and was executions in 2016. Three years after local 3. The Aceh Singkil government went DEATH PENALTY ahead with its plans to destroy the remaining Fourteen prisoners were executed in January churches. as assailant was killed during the violence and the victims themselves now need to provide approximately 4.church and attempted to attack another but 30 lashes respectively.8 and April. 12 of whom were foreign nationals. Ten people were arrested. the Acehnese Islamic Criminal Code came into force. The by-law makes it were stopped by local security forces. offences. Indonesia: Release Johan Teterissa and other prisoners of conscience authorities evicted a community of Shi’a (ASA 21/1972/2015) Muslims in Sampang. expanding the use of corporal punishment for same-sex sexual relations and intimacy between unmarried individuals. with punishment of up to 100 and Amnesty International Report 2015/16 189 . At the end of 2015 no one had been held accountable for the attack. Indonesia: Two women convicted under internet law for social media to hold congregations outside the presidential posts (ASA 21/1381/2015) palace in Jakarta in response to their 7.10 immediately afterwards. INHUMAN OR DEGRADING 21/2434/2015) PUNISHMENT At least 108 people were caned in Aceh under Shari’a law for gambling. Indonesia: Paniai shootings – make investigation findings public and to harassment. Criminal Code that violate human rights (ASA 21/2726/2015) 11.000 Christians fled to evidence of rape. One difficult for victims of rape to seek justice. Although the Supreme 8. 4. Indonesia: Christian minority in Aceh under threat (ASA Court overturned the Bogor administration’s 21/2756/2015) revocation of the Yasmin Church’s building 9.11 The government attack. after an anti. Before the any clemency applications. for which President Widodo had Central Java. Indonesia: End mass arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters in Papua Members of the Presbyterian Yasmin (ASA 21/1851/2015) Church and the Filadelfia Church continued 6. East Java. At least 131 people also asked by the Rembang District head of remained under sentence of death. Indonesia: Three years later. was burned down by a mob previously stated he would refuse to consider during the process of renovation. violence and forced eviction bring perpetrators to justice (ASA 21/0001/2015) remained uncertain. Indonesia: Repeal or revise all provisions in the new Aceh Islamic reopen. In November. Indonesia: Appointment of Aceh Truth Commission selection team a The situation of a number of religious step closer to truth and reparation for victims (ASA 21/2976/2015) minority communities who had been subject 2. Flawed justice: Unfair trials and the death penalty in Indonesia (ASA CRUEL. drinking alcohol or “adultery” during the year.9 5. In October. the Bogor city government community still wanting to go home (ASA 21/2335/2015) continued to refuse to allow the church to 10.

association and monthly women’s magazine. the Iranian authorities continued to Under the 2013 Islamic Penal Code. resulted with or trial. second phase of “intelligent filtering” of prison conditions were harsh. The used to further impede access to information authorities carried out cruel punishments. trade unionists. but judges are required to impose its second UPR of Iran. Women and members of ethnic company. The authorities continued efforts to and religious minorities faced pervasive create a “national internet” that could be discrimination in law and in practice. arresting and imprisoning satellite television stations. renewed the mandate of the UN Special students. on critics. writers. using social media. Unfair trials websites deemed to have socially harmful continued. arrested and journalists. in Iran. Negotiations between Iran and the five Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karoubi permanent member states of the UN remained under house arrest without charge Security Council. association and Head of government: Hassan Rouhani (President) assembly. FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION. lawyers. This included recommendations that Iran ratify the has resulted in the authorities bringing UN Convention against Torture and CEDAW. in some cases resulting in death consequences. five people for “anti-revolutionary” activities were executed. jammed foreign assembly. trade imprisoned journalists and online and other unionists and others who voiced dissent. the UN Human Rights Council artists. Courts imposed death sentences dissent. multiple spurious charges against some and cease using the death penalty against peaceful critics as a means to ensure a those aged under 18 at the time of the lengthy prison term.2 190 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . The Human Rights must serve only the lengthiest single Council also formally adopted the outcome of sentence. judiciary said that the authorities had arrested including at least four juvenile offenders.1 In June. a spokesperson for the for a range of crimes. women’s and minority rights Rapporteur on the situation of human rights activists. and five others for “acts against decency in cyber-space”. vague and overly broad charges. In March. BACKGROUND Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi. and rejected 102. with the support of a foreign sentences. Scores of prisoners of conscience Iran agreeing in July to restrict its nuclear continued to be detained or were serving development programme in return for the prison sentences for peacefully exercising lifting of international sanctions. Those rejected defendants of more than three crimes. deny him entry to Iran and to prevent access individuals convicted of multiple charges by other UN experts. human rights defenders. plus Germany. many prisoners. the Ministry of Communications other ill-treatment of detainees remained and Information Technology announced the common and was committed with impunity. They included journalists. They blocked Facebook. and suppressed peaceful protests. human rights defenders and others. via the internet. closed or The authorities severely curtailed the rights suspended media outlets including the Zanan to freedom of expression. partially accepted 59 for any single offence when they convict others. Torture and In August. and arrested and prosecuted including blinding.IRAN alleged crime. Twitter and other social media websites. Islamic Republic of Iran ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY Head of state: Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei (Leader The authorities continued to severely restrict of the Islamic Republic of Iran) freedoms of expression. Iran accepted 130 sentences that exceed the statutory maximum recommendations. their human rights. amputation and those who used social media to express floggings.

Khorasan Province.3 disregarded prison regulations which required that different categories of detainees and TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT prisoners be held in separate prison sections. or failed to Sentences of flogging were also carried out. entered into force in June. in some of two men sentenced for theft. adequate protection against torture and failed punishments that violate the prohibition of to bring Iranian law into conformity with torture and other cruel. Shahrokh Zamani. without On 28 June. Detainees and sentenced prisoners were amputated four fingers from the right hands denied adequate medical care. he was sentenced to through torture as admissible evidence. Prison in Mashhad. Most amounting to torture or other ill-treatment. Courts continued to impose. Detainees and prisoners continued to report prompting hunger strikes by some political acts of torture and other ill-treatment. This included prisoners in Dizel temporarily arrested scores and dispersed Abad Prison in Kermanshah. Gharchak Prison in Varamin.6 medications to punish prisoners. authorities at the Central providing detailed provisions. including prisoners of conscience. a Deputy Prosecutor General in recommendations that prisoners should be Shiraz announced that 500 people had been hospitalized for treatment. police temperatures. possibly attributable to poor prison conditions A new Code of Criminal Procedures. inhuman or degrading international law and standards. prisoners. The authorities continued to suppress inadequate food and exposed to extreme peaceful protests. overcrowded and insanitary conditions with Some floggings were reportedly carried out Amnesty International Report 2015/16 191 . the new Code did not provide authorities continued to carry out. Moreover. a legal requirement for in Karaj deliberately blinded a man in his left protection against torture and other ill.5 does so only in general terms. incriminatory evidence. introduced some safeguards including central electronic Cruel. the authorities withheld prescribed without anaesthetic. No specific crime of torture is “retribution-in-kind” (qesas) for throwing acid defined in Iranian law and the new Code into the face of another man. insanitary cells with prominent trade unionists. and the However. it blinding and being made deaf. who remained in detention. Parliament in the capital. Tehran. comply with medical doctors’ In June. postponed punishment of another prisoner while the Code excludes statements obtained scheduled for 3 March. On 22 July. On 3 March the authorities time of arrest. He also faced failed to establish detailed procedures for blinding of his right eye. According against the authorities’ harassment of to some former detainees. received flogging sentences administered by Prisoners were kept in severely the Office for Implementation of Sentences. The authorities investigating torture allegations. and demand the release of in three poorly ventilated. apparently cases. which and inconsistent medical care. These were sometimes carried failed to guarantee individuals adequate out in public and included flogging. inhuman or degrading punishment registers of detainees held in each province. eye after a court sentenced him to treatment. The Code punishment. in Tabriz Central teachers engaged in trade union activities and Prison. was reported. including Ismail access to only 10 toilets. to protest and Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad. blinding access to an independent lawyer from the and amputations. Adel Abad thousands of teachers who gathered outside Prison in Shiraz. The authorities often Abdi. particularly during primary investigations The death of at least one prisoner of mainly to force “confessions” or gather other conscience.4 The authorities arrested and 480 of them had been tried and also frequently subjected detainees and convicted within 24 hours for publicly prisoners to prolonged solitary confinement breaking their fast during Ramadan. some 700 to 800 prisoners were held related protests.

defendants’ allegations of torture and other ill. such as the Ministry cases the death penalty. and the exercise of cultural.9 Prison sentences were approved by the Head of the Judiciary. of Intelligence and Revolutionary Guards. The judiciary was not independent called for greater cultural and linguistic rights and courts remained susceptible to pressure faced arrest. and in some from security authorities. In Code applied the same restriction to suspects December. and Shi’a Muslims who became Sunni. and sentenced him to detainees in national security cases to be death. civil and established outside the law. requirement that detainees be informed of In August. a senior judiciary official said. Christian weeks or months during which they had little converts from Islam. Yaresan (Ahl-e Haq).in public. including the Special Court employment. continued to report that to a lawyer of their own choosing to the trial the state authorities systematically phase. education for Baha’i students who are denied After years of deliberation. continued to function their own language as a medium of without observing international fair trial instruction for primary education. were grossly unfair. including sites of Baha’is. imprisonment. including some cases. they can only choose a lawyer Islamic sanctities”. extended the restriction on defendants’ right Kurds and Turkmen. particularly in Special courts. access to political for the Clergy which was effectively office. Prior to Members of religious minorities. and the political rights. including some that resulted in FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND BELIEF death sentences. the Supreme Court overturned his in cases of organized crime. the accused were frequently detained for Baha’is. amendments. Baluchis. In Iran’s disadvantaged ethnic groups. It The authorities continued to destroy sacred brought about some improvements. These included an establishing a spiritual doctrine and group amendment that restricted the right of called Erfan-e Halgheh. it appeared that courts had Ahwazi Arabs. the new Code of access to higher education. Those who standards. but it was seriously weakened by convicted Mohammad Ali Taheri of amendments approved only days before its “spreading corruption on earth” for entry into force. which can result sentence due to “incomplete investigations” in sentences of death. Sufis. and a fine in 2011 for allegedly “insulting instead. faced were coerced into writing or signing discrimination in employment and restrictions “confessions” that were then used as the on their access to education and freedom to main evidence against them in unfair practise their faith. including for providing ordering investigations.7 Responding to criticism of the Instance. a Revolutionary Court in Tehran their rights. Criminal Procedures took effect in June. convict defendants and impose harsh penalties. and or no access to lawyers or their families. The also issued against several of his followers. including trial. Azerbaijani Turks. housing. They remained unable to use Revolutionary Courts. life imprisonment or and remanded the case to the Court of First amputation. Sunnis and Sufis including stricter regulation of interrogations and the their cemeteries and places of worship. Christian converts and members of other treatment in pre-trial detention without religious minorities.8 UNFAIR TRIALS Many trials. Sunni Muslims. He had previously received a five-year represented by lawyers of their own choosing prison term and been sentenced to 74 lashes during the often lengthy investigation phase. Judges routinely dismissed arrest and imprisonment of dozens of Baha’is. discriminated against them. “the issue is that there are individuals among DISCRIMINATION – ETHNIC MINORITIES lawyers who could be trouble makers”. to Security forces disproportionately repressed 192 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . There were reports of proceedings.

Arabs in Khuzestan. several individuals belonging (hijab) laws also continued to empower police to the Azerbaijani Turk ethnic group were and paramilitary forces to target women for reported to have been arrested. Compulsory “veiling” In November. in sequence. Women and girls also offences such as drugs offences that did not faced new challenges to their sexual and meet the threshold of most serious crimes reproductive health and rights. WOMEN’S RIGHTS Some executions were conducted in public. The were reported to have particularly targeted authorities failed to adopt laws criminalizing men wearing traditional Arab clothing for these and other abuses. who were DEATH PENALTY protesting after a Kurdish woman fell to her The authorities continued to use the death death in unclear circumstances. If enacted. penalty extensively. He was domestic violence as a private “family apparently left without emergency medical matter”. Women remained subject to discrimination The courts imposed numerous death under the law. referred to government plans to implement Women and girls remained inadequately policies that would reduce the population of protected against sexual and other violence. a city in such as Ansar Hezbollah. disperse demonstrators in Mahabad. such as marital rape arrest and beatings. the law would including after a football match in March require all private and public entities to where Ahwazi Arab young men displayed a prioritize. riot police were reported to have continued to exclude them in the face of used excessive or unnecessary force to opposition from ultra-conservative groups. The arrests In practice. particularly criminal and family sentences.protests by ethnic minorities including Ahwazi and outlaw voluntary sterilization. and carried out numerous executions. Between principles of another draft law. others were executed for Increase Fertility Rates and Prevent murder or after being convicted on vague Population Decline. the authorities were Comprehensive Population and Exaltation of reported to have carried out many arrests in Family Bill. after largely harassment. access to information about contraception Many detainees accused of capital offences Amnesty International Report 2015/16 193 .10 and domestic violence. The majority of those debated several draft laws that would further executed during the year were sentenced on erode women’s rights. Parliament under international law. women continued to have took place in the lead-up to the 10th reduced access to affordable modern anniversary of mass anti-government contraception as the authorities failed to demonstrations in Khuzestan in April 2005 restore the budget of the state family planning following the publication of a letter that programme cut in 2012. the March and April. including the Bill to drugs charges. banner in solidarity with Younes Asakereh. During the protest. peaceful demonstrations erupted in several The authorities came under local and cities in protest against a television international pressure to allow women access programme that members of the Azerbaijani as spectators to international men’s volleyball Turk community considered offensive. often after unfair trials and for law. violence and imprisonment. West Azerbaijan province largely populated by members of the Kurdish minority. 22 March after setting himself alight in a The law also risks further entrenching protest against the city authorities. Azerbaijani Turks and Kurds. an married men without children and married Ahwazi Arab street vendor who died on women with children when recruiting staff. men with children. including of juvenile offenders. were passed in Parliament on the Arab-populated Khuzestan province. and in practice. treatment due to lack of funds. The general Arabs. matches in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium but On 7 May. police including early and forced marriage. which would block charges such as “enmity against God”. 2 November.

hanged on 5 October. an Afghan national. and other violence. hanged on 13 October. the 13/2208/2015) latter controlled predominantly Sunni areas 4. mostly on 1. Courts continued to impose death sentences. 194 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . undisclosed location prompting fears and Government forces carried out wide international concern that he was about indiscriminate attacks on areas under IS to be executed. Iran: Whereabouts of juvenile offender on death row emerge five sentenced to death after receiving a retrial months after scheduled execution (News story. which had denied 13/1998/2015) prisoners sentenced to death on drugs 7. Iran: Sweeping arrests of Ahwazi Arab activists (News story. The new Code of Criminal retribution punishment (News story. in July. 28 April) death row. Women but no executions by stoning were reported and girls faced discrimination and sexual during the year. Samad Republic of Iraq Zahabi. however. Several juvenile offenders were re. Iran: Man forcibly blinded in one eye in “unspeakably cruel” in detention. Iran: Mohammad Ali Taheri sentenced to death (MDE 13/2245/2015) Scores of juvenile offenders remained on 10. Iran: Couple sentenced to jail on security were carried out. 5 March) Procedures repealed Article 32 of the 2011 6. In February. Amnesty International was able to confirm the execution of at least three juvenile offenders: IRAQ Javad Saberi. Human Head of government: Haider al-Abadi rights groups reported that another juvenile offender. The human rights situation continued to was hanged in June or July. and committed extrajudicial disappearance for five months. whether those sentenced 8. dozens of executions (MDE 13/2272/2015). charges (MDE 13/2520/2015) 2. to an crimes and human rights abuses. the authorities executions. hanged on 15 April. Iran: Activists tortured for alleged “flag-burning” (MDE before the Code took effect would be eligible 13/2110/2015) to appeal.11 thousands of detainees without trial. the deteriorate. and confirmed to his lawyer that the including abductions of women and girls for Supreme Court had ordered his retrial in sexual slavery. remained rife. Iran: Film producer given jail term after unfair trial: Mostafa Azizi terrorism charges. Baghdad. Iran: Death of trade unionist must trigger action to tackle appalling north and east of the capital. 2 June) The armed conflict continued between 3. Iran: Draconian amendment further erodes fair trial rights (MDE charges a right of appeal. Vazir Amroddin. Many trials did not meet at least two stoning sentences were issued international standards of fairness. Iran amputates fingers of two men in shocking act of cruelty (MDE Anti-Narcotics Law. Government security forces. Journalists operated in hazardous conditions. government-allied militias and the armed sentenced in 2013 for a crime that was group Islamic State (IS) committed war committed when he was aged 17. 11. Iran: Prominent trade unionist unlawfully detained: Ismail Abdi (MDE government security forces and IS forces. It remained 13/1943/2015) unclear. and Fatemeh Head of state: Fuad Masum Salbehi. 9. Iran: Harsh prison sentences for two female activists highlight BACKGROUND rampant injustice (News story. Government authorities held April.were denied access to legal counsel during prison conditions (MDE 13/2508/2015) the investigative phase when they were held 5. authorities transferred Saman Naseem. IS forces carried out mass ultimately permitted him to phone his family execution-style killings and abductions. He was subjected to enforced control. 13 July) pursuant to the new juvenile sentencing guidelines of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code. torture The Islamic Penal Code continued to and other ill-treatment of detainees provide for stoning as a method of execution.

however. All parties to the conflict committed war government security forces and allied militias crimes. exacerbating the existing strikes by government forces killed and humanitarian crisis. mostly while handcuffed. In May. prohibiting political parties Peshmerga and Asayish forces were present from having military wings or affiliating with when the killings were perpetrated. after rounding up local men over revising legislation to comply with human ostensibly to check their identities. A draft National Mobilization Units (PMUs) composed mainly Guard Law to regulate armed militias and of Shi’a militias. At the end of the year. In response to the IS controversial.2 million people and Salah al-Din provinces. marginalization of Sunnis and Kurds within and massacred captive members of the the security forces proved particularly security forces. Residents said that Kurdish Law 36 of 2015. including children and abandonment of the city. crimes. security forces and allied Shi’a Parliament created a Human Rights militias extrajudicially executed at least 56 Advisory board for NGOs in January to Sunni Muslims in Barwana village. recaptured by Iraqi security forces in December. members of a Yezidi militia In August. Ninevah displacement of nearly 3. had been made by the end of the year. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 195 . some members of Parliament advance. mostly against Sunni communities according to the UN. no significant legal reforms victims were shot. Government Prime Minister al-Abadi pledged to dismiss forces were supported by Popular corrupt military officers.including the city of Mosul. The militia carried out execution-style and his officials for the security forces’ killings of 21 civilians. Prime Minister al-Abadi agreed to said it threatened national security. including despite the PMU’s record of committing the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Kurdish Peshmerga forces INTERNAL ARMED CONFLICT discovered mass graves in Sinjar after they Government forces and PMUs committed war recaptured the town from IS in November. forces recaptured Sinjar from IS in November. other violations of international The conflict caused the deaths of some humanitarian law and human rights 6. Many of those displaced injured civilians and hit mosques and sought refuge in the semi-autonomous hospitals. elderly men and women. indiscriminate air since January 2014. and the forcible in areas under IS control. two predominantly capture of Mosul by IS forces in June 2014 Sunni Arab villages in the northwestern Sinjar blamed former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki region. Mosul Rights Committee. and abducted other In September. conducted reviews of Iraq in 2015. January. the deployment of PMUs to support a Several UN human rights bodies that counter-offensive by government forces. suspected of supporting IS and burned Both PMUs and IS reportedly used child homes and mosques. an official investigation into the attacked Jiri and Sibaya. expressed concern about remained under IS control while Ramadi was the deteriorating human rights situation. Kurdistan region in northern Iraq. In areas they recaptured from IS. President Masum ratified civilians. other violations of international carried out reprisal killings of local Sunnis humanitarian law and human rights abuses. IS forces captured support greater local control of the security Ramadi. the serious human rights violations against Sunni Committee against Torture and the Human Muslims. The armed groups. In Anbar. causing forces and police to reduce the thousands to flee to Baghdad and other cities. Diyalah facilitate consultation with civil society groups province. Also in January. The rights. but a proposed amnesty law homes of Sunni Arabs were also looted and and draft laws on accountability and justice burned by Yezidi militias after Peshmerga had not been enacted at the end of the year. violations. In one such case in soldiers. capital of Anbar province.520 civilians between January and October.

Prosecution or any monitoring bodies. Interrogators tortured detainees to leave failed to return. including at Nassiriyah its rules or its interpretation of Islamic law. In prisoners were reportedly abused. including civilians. In April. where women and girls were reportedly sold as slaves. particularly terrorism suspects. media reported that IS forces they arrested or their families of any charges. often throwing them to trial on terrorism charges. artefacts. controlled areas. extract information and “confessions” for use IS fighters burned or destroyed Shi’a. The UN Committee against 196 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . IS enforced strict rules on dress. Mosul. Many carried out execution-style public killings and detainees were released without charge but other punishments. which was mostly also summarily killed dozens of men they used to hold Sunni men convicted of or facing perceived to be gay. behaviour the Minister of the Interior denied that his and movement on the inhabitants who ministry operated secret detention facilities. IS forces controlled all movement into and out of the city and prevented people TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT leaving to obtain medical care elsewhere Torture and other ill-treatment remained unless they provided guarantors of their common and widespread in prisons and return. Its fighters disappearances by detainees’ families. some of and in practice. used chlorine gas in bomb attacks. IS forces reportedly killed at least nine throughout Iraq in suicide and car bomb Shi’a women belonging to the Turkmen attacks that were either indiscriminate or minority for refusing to marry IS fighters after deliberately targeted civilians. died during the were held incommunicado for weeks or fighting for control of Ramadi in May. face torture and the use of forced confessions. In May. in remained in the areas they controlled. and response to complaints of enforced severely punished infractions. the Interior and Defence that were not open The armed group also summarily killed some to inspection by the Office of the Public of its own fighters for fleeing. Yezidi against them at trial. UK. IS fighters killed IS forces killed their husbands. US. IS months following arrest. French and other foreign military VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS forces carried out air strikes against IS in Women and girls faced discrimination in law support of the Iraqi government. civilians in indiscriminate shelling and continued to abduct and kill civilians in areas ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS where they gained control. IS Prison. and were inadequately these attacks reportedly killed and injured protected against sexual and other violence. and where their deaths from high-rise buildings. some detainees and other religious shrines and cultural reportedly died as a result of torture. Some 500 Detainees. south of Baghdad. civilians in areas controlled or contested They were subjected to acute abuses in IS- by IS. secret prisons controlled by the Ministries of throwing some bodies in the Euphrates River. often in conditions forces that seized control of the city killed amounting to enforced disappearance and in civilians and members of the security forces. IS reportedly beheaded some detention centres and was committed with guarantors when people they had allowed to impunity. forced to become ABUSES BY ARMED GROUPS wives of IS fighters or killed for refusing. including after its thousands of others continued to be held in “courts” condemned people for transgressing harsh conditions. including civilians Security forces carried out arrests without who opposed their control. In March and judicial warrants and without informing those November. In Armed groups killed and injured civilians March. as well as homes vacated by a member of the parliamentary Human Rights government officials and members of the Committee said that detainees continued to security forces. people.

The threats came after he reported they had been forced to make under torture that PMUs had committed abuses and looting in pre-trial detention. The Minister of the “confessions” broadcast by state-controlled Interior claimed that the killings were television channels before suspects were unconnected to the protests but it was referred to trial. massacre previously circulated by IS. who requested undisclosed at the end of the year. The outcome of their own choosing but were represented by the investigation into his death remained court-appointed lawyers. They were subject to threats and members of militias. in June 2014. found dead at his home in Baghdad with None of the defendants had legal counsel of bullet wounds to his chest. The trial. particularly of when the security forces used unnecessary defendants facing terrorism charges and force to disperse the protests. faced threats and intimidation by security The situation for journalists remained officials and were physically attacked by hazardous. tainted “confessions” as evidence. Raed al-Juburi. and video footage of the after they recaptured Tikrit from IS. the Minister of the Interior claimed that In July. including media freedom. the Central Criminal Court of Iraq in negative media reporting about the security Baghdad sentenced 24 alleged IS members forces was hampering the fight against IS. Trials. investigate torture allegations and called for In July and August. Judges. the official their homes and become internally displaced. killed by unidentified assailants in Baghdad. unclear to what extent they were investigated Lawyers representing terrorism suspects by the authorities. was been present in Tikrit at the time of the crime.2 million people.700 military cadets from the assaulted by a senior security official’s “Speicher” Military Camp. June the government introduced a new law to Ninevah and Salah al-Din provinces. to flee regulate media networks. left Iraq completed in a few hours. REFUGEES AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND Iraq continued to host some 244. At least five people were killed independence. thousands of people increased safeguards against torture. several protest leaders were unfair with courts often admitting torture. electricity cuts. Ned Parker. In killed by IS and other armed groups.527 ASSEMBLY refugees from Syria. The In May. Fighting between The authorities restricted the right to freedom government forces and IS caused nearly of expression. lawyers and violence by the security forces and abduction court officials continued to be attacked and and killing by IS and other armed groups. mostly from Anbar. April. with some denying that they had and columnist for Azzaman newspaper. Basra and other cities to protest against official UNFAIR TRIALS corruption. which was Baghdad bureau chief. several journalists were killing at least 1. which the defendants said militia. Reuters news agency’s men were acquitted. took to the streets in Baghdad. In the weeks possible death sentences. near Tikrit in Salah bodyguards at a press conference in al-Din governorate. water shortages The criminal justice system remained and the authorities’ failure to provide other critically flawed and the judiciary lacked basic services. to death after it convicted them of unlawfully In February. were systematically that followed. was based mainly because of threats he received from Shi’a on “confessions”. Independent High Commission for Human Many fled to the Kurdistan region or other Amnesty International Report 2015/16 197 .Torture criticized the government’s failure to Rights said it was overly restrictive. including Nassiriyah and Basra. Four other Baghdad. In 3. an outspoken defendants all denied involvement in the journalist at al-Rasheed television channel killings. In April. leniency but did not dispute the evidence or the admissibility of the “confessions”.

Political tensions rose in the semi- autonomous Kurdistan region. In June. A court in Dohuk suspected links to IS. amid efforts by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to extend KDP leader Massoud Barzani’s term of IRELAND office as President of the Kurdistan Regional Republic of Ireland Government (KRG). Humanitarian incommunicado detention and forced them to conditions for internally displaced people “confess” to killing people unknown to them. Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) criticized The KRG authorities arrested and detained Ireland’s “highly restrictive legislation on people suspected of supporting or having abortion and its strict interpretation thereof”.1 Abortion is act on them within 30 days. and how the constitutional Procedures to allow the Minister of Justice to protection afforded to the foetus also ratify execution orders if the President fails to impacted on maternity care. killing at for same-sex couples was introduced. Concerns were Sunni men convicted under the 2005 were raised at the impact on women and girls Anti-Terrorism Law. militias. 198 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . had sentenced the three to death in April 2014 after convicting them on abduction and KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ murder charges. to executions. they often lacked access to In August. Head of government: Enda Kenny hundreds of public sector employees protested in Sulaimaniyah and other eastern Access to and information about abortion cities to demand payment of overdue salaries.000 people fled death on terrorism charges for beheading a Anbar province in May when IS forces man in 2010. the KRG authorities hanged basic services and some were reportedly Farhad Jaafar Mahmood and his wives attacked and injured by local residents in the Berivan Haider Karim and Khuncha Hassan Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah. The following constitutionally permitted only when a month.governorates. Some were forcibly displaced Abdel-Wehab Mahmoud Hameed al-‘Akla – to more than once. Some 500. links to IS but did not disclose their number. ending a seven-year hiatus on to the Kurdistan region were arrested for executions in the region. including a referendum on abortion. All three alleged that security captured Ramadi. In October. and carries a possible 14- In September. The KDP said gender recognition legislation was enacted. substantial risk”. Legal least five and injuring others. Others who fled Ismaeil. a court in Baghdad year prison sentence in all other sentenced three brothers – Ali. Higgins political parties opposed. President Masum ratified at least 21 woman’s or girl’s life is at “real and death sentences. investigations were opened into the burning of its headquarters but did not specify that the SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS investigations would cover killings by its In July the UN Committee on Economic. KDP militia forces fired at criminalized. including in the cases of rape and incest and of risk to DEATH PENALTY the health of a pregnant woman”. It The authorities continued to impose the death recommended that Ireland take all necessary penalty extensively and carried out dozens of steps. and its “criminalization of abortion. remained severely restricted and In October. Equal access to civil marriage protesters in Qaladze and Kalar. Most of those sentenced to death revise its legislation on abortion. Shakir and circumstances. many were denied entry to officials tortured them during months of Baghdad by the authorities. remained harsh. the Cabinet of the law on access to and information about agreed to amend the Code of Criminal abortion. a move that other Head of state: Michael D.

The government government review the 2014 legislation. social the lengthy stay (around 51 months) by and cultural rights in domestic law. In September. a popular referendum was passed and the placement of immigration detainees ensuring constitutional provision for equal with remand and convicted prisoners. and recommended Legislation providing for legal gender improved health care services in police recognition was enacted and came into force stations as a safeguard against ill-treatment. and the 520 Syrian refugees then statutory definition of human rights provided being resettled in Ireland directly from the in respect of some of the functions of the Middle East.VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS constitutional reform in areas including In November. substantially meeting human There were concerns at delays by the rights standards. and that survivors continuing lack of in-cell sanitation in some were not provided with adequate remedies. thorough findings of its 2014 visit. combating violence against women and domestic violence. The access to civil marriage for same-sex couples. treatment by the police. Human Rights and Equality Commission. Committee noted receiving some reports of ill- Legislation was enacted in October.2 It Concerns remained about the poor living concluded that this limitation. CONSTITUTIONAL OR need of international protection. prisons. TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT The CESCR expressed concern at the In November. established a task force in July to further By the end of the year the government had consider whether and how to implement the still not responded to the February 2014 group’s recommendations. other Convention recommendations for Amnesty International Report 2015/16 199 . Several enacted in December. including INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS both those requiring relocation from within The CESCR was critical of the limited the EU. but allegations of past abuses in the religious-run expressed concern at interprisoner violence. The Committee and independent investigation into the noted improvements in the prison system. together with conditions in “direct provision” centres and the lack of recognition of economic. “Magdalene Laundries”. In May. the government announced that it would accept up to 4.000 people in LEGAL. A report was issued in June “major factors” preventing the Commission by a working group established by the from exercising its mandate and applying the government to identify possible improvements full range of rights. the European Committee for government’s responses to domestic violence. conditions akin to solitary confinement as punishment. government in ratifying the Optional Protocol There were renewed concerns at the to the UN Convention against Torture and institutionalization of people with disabilities establishing the required National Preventive and the poor living conditions for people with Mechanism. the Prevention of Torture published the It criticized the lack of a prompt. social and cultural rights. are asylum-seekers. recommendation by the government. deficiencies in DISCRIMINATION health care (including mental health care). in September. Legislation providing for a single procedure established Constitutional Convention that the to deal with both claims for refugee status Constitution be amended to incorporate and claims for other forms of protection was economic. disabilities in residential centres. Ireland signed the Council of equality for women and blasphemy remained Europe Convention on preventing and outstanding. It recommended that the to direct provision. Concerns were also raised at possible neglect and REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS abuse in some centres.

deported thousands of African asylum- seekers. further tightening West Bank. shootings. BACKGROUND 1. no deaths were reported. sporadically fired indiscriminate rockets into The authorities continued to demolish southern Israel. carried out stabbings. and Jerusalem. but began limited engagement with State of Israel the ICC Prosecutor in July. including East Jerusalem. Torture and other ill-treatment upsurge in violence in which Palestinians. Head of state: Reuven Rivlin International efforts failed to restart Israeli- Head of government: Benjamin Netanyahu Palestinian negotiations. She is not a criminal – the impact of Ireland’s abortion law (EUR Israeli-Palestinian relations remained tense 29/1597/2015) throughout the year. 200 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Israel in the Negev/Naqab region. They also detained and attacks on sites in Syria. The Israeli government continued to support the In the West Bank. Israeli forces from October. particularly in Bedouin villages strike in October killed two civilians. after 2. Israel condemned the move. remained rife and were committed with mostly individuals not affiliated with armed impunity. Israel OCCUPIED temporarily ceased paying monthly tax revenues due to the Palestinian authorities. forcibly evicting also carried out several air strikes and other their residents. promotion and expansion of illegal Israeli forces committed unlawful killings of settlements in the West Bank. permission. and increased protests against restrictions amid an escalation of violence Israel’s military occupation. Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Israel responded with air strikes on Gaza. Israeli forces killed more than 130 impunity. In January. Twenty-one Israeli civilians and one US extrajudicial executions by Israeli forces. Ireland: Submission to the CESCR (EUR 29/1629/2015) Palestine applied to join the ICC and accepted its jurisdiction over crimes ISRAEL AND THE committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) since June 2014. The authorities continued to groups. and took steps to authorize detained thousands of Palestinians who several West Bank settlement outposts that protested against or otherwise opposed had been established without government Israel’s continuing military occupation. the ICC Prosecutor opened a preliminary examination into alleged crimes TERRITORIES under international law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups. PALESTINIAN Later in January. and severely restricted Palestinians’ forces and civilians in both Israel and the freedom of movement. holding hundreds in administrative From October there was a significant detention. The Gaza Strip remained under an Palestinians between October and December. national were killed by Palestinians during the Israeli settlers in the West Bank attacked year. Israeli military blockade that imposed Palestinian armed groups in Gaza collective punishment on its inhabitants. including children. all but four between October and Palestinians and their property with virtual December. car- promote illegal settlements in the West ramming and other attacks against Israeli Bank. one inside Israel. including East Palestinian civilians. and imprisoned Israeli conscientious objectors. which included attacks on responded to attacks and protests with lethal Israeli civilians by Palestinians and apparent force.

More than 580 with Egypt’s closure of the Rafah border Palestinian administrative detainees were crossing and destruction of cross-border held by the end of the year. particularly on and significantly increasing their use of essential construction materials. subjecting Jewish suspects detained in connection with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to attacks on Palestinians also alleged torture. arresting more than 2. court proceedings. Palestinian parliamentarian or approached it. with charge or trial under renewable administrative government endorsement. Israel’s parliament. Hundreds were held without Palestinian “security suspects”. including at least tunnels. The authorities detained thousands of In July. several Israeli Jews reconstruction and essential services and suspected of planning attacks on Palestinians exacerbated poverty and unemployment. Reports of roads that restricted Palestinian travel while torture increased amid the mass arrests of allowing free movement for Israeli settlers. Mohammed Allan. Methods Israeli forces established new checkpoints included beating with batons. most were held in extended legislation exempting the police and prisons inside Israel. had received almost 1. goods into and from Gaza. based on information 2013 recommendation of the Turkel withheld from them and their lawyers. restrictions amounting to collective Impunity for torture was rife.500 controls on the movement of people and Palestinians. In addition. killing one and injuring others. and maintained detainees. The same month engaged in prolonged hunger strikes in the Knesset approved legislation allowing the protest.8 million inhabitants. clampdown on protests by Palestinians in the imposing collective punishment on the OPT amid the escalation in violence from territory’s 1. contravening a detention orders.000 complaints of torture at the hands of ISA since 2001 but ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS had yet to open any criminal investigations. combined administrative detention. stress and the Hebron governorate. particularly in East Jerusalem throttling. sleep deprivation and threats. Israeli forces continued to impose a “buffer Palestinians from the OPT who were zone” inside Gaza’s border with Israel and charged faced unfair trials in military courts. were near the fence/wall constructed by Israel tortured and otherwise ill-treated Palestinian or within illegal settlements. particularly an array of military checkpoints and bypass during arrest and interrogation. The authorities punishment. were held in administrative detention. a lawyer. Palestinians from the OPT. some Commission (see below). severely hindered post-conflict five children. or Israel Security Agency (ISA) personnel. including hundreds of children. They also fired at Khalida Jarrar was sentenced to 15 months’ Palestinian fishermen within or near an imprisonment and a fine following a plea “exclusion zone” that Israel maintained along bargain made after months of unfair military Gaza’s coast. the Knesset. Palestinians that began in October. went on authorities to subject detainees on hunger Amnesty International Report 2015/16 201 . slapping. who were TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT excluded from large areas that had either Israeli military and police forces. used live fire against Palestinians who entered In December. in violation of ISA from recording interrogations of international law. he was released RESTRICTIONS in November without charge. sea and The Israeli authorities launched a new air blockade of Gaza. upsurge in violence from October. prolonged shackling. as well as been designated as military firing zones. Israeli October.1 In the West Bank. including children. in force since 2007. amid the positions. and barriers.FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT – GAZA hunger strike for 65 days to protest against BLOCKADE AND WEST BANK his administrative detention. Israeli forces maintained their land. Israel severely restricted the movement of Palestinians.

including 43 in the without Israeli permits. and closing 17 NGOs associated with it in November. in circumstances numerous occasions. HOUSING RIGHTS – FORCED EVICTIONS EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE AND DEMOLITIONS Israeli forces. or failed to on Palestinian citizens inside Israel. Israeli Many of those killed. In Palestinians from the OPT in the West Bank. making the killings unlawful. despite opposition thousands with rubber-coated metal bullets from human rights groups and the UN. including civilians. whom Israeli forces shot with Israel’s Channel 2. Falah Abu Maria. including human rights defender military forces fatally shot Palestinians who Murad Shtewi. killing dozens. and 15-year-old Laith al-Khalidi. some cases. and FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION. aged 17. who was shot in the chest ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY on 23 July when Israeli forces raided his Israeli military orders prohibiting unauthorized home. September. including undercover units. demonstrations in the West Bank were used Many of the deaths occurred in the last to repress protests by Palestinians and jail quarter of the year when Israeli police and activists.strike to forced feeding. including Fadi In September. who were killing nine. including a child. He continued to be dead in Hebron on 25 and 26 October. including East Jerusalem. and injuring shot in the back on 3 and 31 July respectively scores. used excessive and lethal force against Israeli forces demolished at least 510 protesters in both the West Bank and the Palestinian homes and other structures built Gaza Strip. and injuring impossible to obtain. forcibly evicting more 202 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . While many protesters threw rocks or other projectiles. 17. Hospital in Hebron. and banned from travelling abroad and Abdallah Shalaldah. including children. In and military forces. extrajudicial executions. coated metal bullets against Palestinian They included Muhammad Kasba. journalists covering where they were not posing an imminent protests and other developments in the West threat to life and could have been Bank were assaulted or shot by Israeli police apprehended. who was released in January carried out stabbings or other attacks on after serving a nine-and-a-half-month Israelis. Israel’s security cabinet including East Jerusalem. Israeli forces shot dead The authorities also increased restrictions Palestinians as they lay wounded. banning provide timely medical assistance to injured the northern branch of the Islamic Movement Palestinians. forces used live ammunition and rubber- appeared to be victims of unlawful killings. In the West Bank. protesters in border areas of the Gaza Strip. which are virtually last quarter of the year. and live ammunition. On 9 and 10 October. week’s house arrest following an interview and Sa’ad al-Atrash. Israeli whistle-blower Alloun. 22 in the Gaza authorized police to use live ammunition in Strip. whom Israeli forces shot dead on Mordechai Vanunu was sentenced to one 4 October in Jerusalem. whom Israeli undercover communicating electronically with foreign forces killed on 12 November in al-Ahli nationals throughout the year. On of intending such attacks. Dania Ershied. or were suspected sentence under Military Order 101. and arresting more than 250 Extrajudicial executions demonstrators and protest organizers Some Palestinians appeared to be victims of between October and December. East Jerusalem. they generally UNLAWFUL KILLINGS posed no threat to the lives of well-protected Israeli soldiers and police killed at least 124 Israeli soldiers when they were shot. and 10 inside Israel during the year. after throwing stones or petrol bombs at Israeli military checkpoints or vehicles.

a government committee occupied West Bank frequently attacked released its review of the Turkel Commission’s Palestinian civilians and their property. such as making war in the village of Duma. particularly within Palestinian their homes. recommendations of 2013 on Israel’s sometimes in the presence of Israeli soldiers investigation systems and their compliance and police who failed to intervene. documenting war crimes by Israeli were built without permits. dozens of Bedouin and herding communities continued to face IMPUNITY forcible relocation. In November the government approved Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West the establishment of five new Jewish Bank. and Sudan. following lengthy delays and an appeal to SETTLER VIOLENCE Israel’s High Court.than 610 people. A settler with international law. the Israeli man was not arrested The authorities continued to deny asylum- at the scene and there were no indications he seekers. and critically to implement others. Qawasmeh in close proximity to Israeli soldiers in the Old City of Hebron on REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS 17 October. some An Israeli civilian shot and killed Fadel al. the Supreme Court approved the and continued its military investigations. but planned demolition of the “unrecognized” they were not independent and failed to village of Um al-Heiran and the eviction of its deliver justice. on crimes offences under national law. According to activists. Suspects were subsequently communities in Israel. mostly by partners or family members. In June the UN Independent Commission of The authorities also demolished scores of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict published Palestinian homes inside Israel that they said its report. injured his four-year-old brother Ahmad. arrested. Israel rejected the UN findings May. full Israeli control. Israelis living in illegal settlements in the In September. The incident highlighted an increase in settler VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS attacks inside Palestinian communities. including two on flawed.200 were with the July 2014 abduction and killing of held at the Holot detention facility and Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir Saharonim Prison in the Negev/Naqab desert were convicted in November and due to be at the end of the year. Israeli military authorities Bedouin residents to construct a new Jewish opened investigations into deaths of town. leading to continued impunity for Israelis. the end of the year. near Nablus. They also forcibly evicted sentenced in January 2016. In accountability. In Area C of the West Bank. and only one case from 2013 led to the sites of existing Bedouin villages. There were new reports of violence against leaving many Palestinians feeling unsafe in women. and several remained in detention at at least 18 women were murdered in Israel. were killed after seeking police protection. but these investigations were similarly communities in the region. an indictment for “negligent use of a firearm”. It side-stepped some arson attack on the Dawabsheh family home recommendations. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 203 . More than 4. under settler violence. Many of the 50-day conflict and calling for the villages were officially “unrecognized”. mostly in Bedouin forces and Palestinian armed groups during villages in the Negev/Naqab region. access to a fair refugee status Although two of the three Israelis charged determination process. over 90% of whom were from Eritrea would be prosecuted. and failed 31 July killed 18-month-old Ali and his to define practical steps or budgets necessary parents Sa’ad and Riham. in most cases more than 120 people by demolishing or the Israeli police failed to investigate alleged making uninhabitable 19 family homes of crimes by settlers effectively and prosecute Palestinians who carried out attacks on suspects.

with Operation Mare Nostrum being replaced with the smaller. and migrants trying to reach Italy by boat from the numbers detained at the facility reached North Africa was recorded between January an all-time high. including over 1. The would be detained at Holot for a year. The overwhelming government refused to release details on majority departed from North Africa and were reported agreements with Rwanda and rescued at sea by the Italian coastguard and Uganda. legislation. or by NGOs’ or deported. This was imprisoned repeatedly from March for linked to the reduction in resources for refusing to serve in the Israeli military.900 refugees and migrants died or countries. but they were arbitrarily banned Head of government: Matteo Renzi from the cities of Tel Aviv and Eilat. They included Edo Ramon. In August. Italy failed to asylum. “voluntarily” or otherwise.200 caused by two imprisoned. In November the and April. and the authorities continued to introduce the crime of torture into domestic pressure many. In couples. screen arrivals – the “hotspot approach” – Only a handful of the thousands of Eritrean raised concerns. violating the prohibition of disappeared at sea while attempting the refoulement. would merchant vessels. The number of deaths decreased government introduced a new draft after European governments deployed naval amendment under which asylum-seekers resources to save lives on the high seas. proactive patrolling enforced at the end of 2014.700 deaths were At least four conscientious objectors were reported.200 out of approximately 1. Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: Palestinian parliamentarian amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration sentenced: Khalida Jarrar (MDE 15/3031/2015) Law allowing the authorities to detain asylum- seekers at Holot for 20 months were disproportionate. border control- 204 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 .000 asylum-seekers Over 153. major shipwrecks in April alone. when about 1. a district court upheld a government decision announced in March to REFUGEES’ AND MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS deport some of the 45.800 Head of state: Sergio Mattarella (replaced Giorgio asylum-seekers were subsequently released Napolitano in February) from Holot. The death rate considerably increased in the first four CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS months. Discrimination against and Sudanese nationals who had applied for Roma continued. other countries’ vessels. November. or any guarantees that those Navy. the High Court of Justice ruled that provisions of a December 2014 1. and ordered the government to revise the law and release those who had ITALY been held at the facility for more than a year. Thousands of others were summoned to A spiralling death toll among refugees and Holot under expanded detention criteria. more than 2. not subsequently be transferred to their home About 2. The overcrowded boats. to establish an independent to leave Israel “voluntarily”.900 asylum-seekers provide legal recognition to same-sex had accepted such “voluntary return”. with thousands segregated asylum by the end of the year were granted in mono-ethnic camps.000 refugees and migrants arrived still in the country without their consent to in Italy after crossing the central Rwanda and Uganda or detain them Mediterranean on unseaworthy and indefinitely at Saharonim prison. Republic of Italy Around 1. implementation of an EU-agreed system to extendable by an additional six months. including detainees at Holot. By the end of national human rights institution and to November. crossing during the year.

Rome. in the capital. without and transit – and the absence of safe and taking into account their individual legal alternatives to seek protection in Europe. The relocation programme led The European Commission against Racism to the transfer of 184 people by the end of the and Intolerance criticized evictions. In July. The government enforced a plan to distribute them in reception centres across DISCRIMINATION the country. Thousands of Romani families continued to in Quinto di Treviso. In asylum-seekers of certain nationalities would February. ill- increased efforts by NGOs. Concern adequate alternative housing to Romani was raised in relation to a planned increase in families unable to provide for themselves. chance to access social housing. through improvements to the individuals upon arrival. although adequate reception conditions for the tens of instructions to do so had been passed by thousands of people disembarked in the Parliament in April 2014. The government‘s failure to authorities to move the asylum-seekers to effectively implement the National Strategy for another location. In Sicily. decided to reinstate patrolling of the central authorities issued expulsion orders to Mediterranean. The case concerned months. The government failed to Italian authorities struggled to ensure adopt decrees to abolish it. due to the high number of their detention in the Lampedusa reception people travelling – pushed by the centre and on military vessels. particularly In September. European governments in centres designated as “hotspots”. three In August. led to a drastic treatment and collective expulsion of a group reduction of the death rate in the following of Tunisians in 2011. were evicted other EU member states where they could from the Lungo Stura Lazio camp in Turin. Italy started applying the so. the EU seekers and migrants may be subjected to border management agency. the use of detention in Identification and Roma living in camps continued to have little Expulsion Centres (CIEs). took the furniture Committee on Economic. Forced evictions of called “hotspot approach”. no significant transpose EU directives on asylum. executed without providing procedural Amnesty International Report 2015/16 205 . about 200 people. in some cases encountering fierce resistance from local authorities and Roma population. including be identified to benefit from relocation to children and pregnant women. later In September. including violent attacks. new legislation was adopted to years after its adoption. residents live in segregated camps and shelters. Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED. seek asylum. often and far-right militants broke into flats destined in poor conditions. in the smuggling. remained a crime. country. Roma Inclusion (NSRI) meant that.focused Operation Triton by Frontex. often year. for the arbitrary detention. loss of life at sea continued to be recorded “Irregular entry and stay” in the territory during the remainder of the year. progress had been achieved towards offering restructuring the reception system. However. Northeast Italy. leading the Rights in October. the launch of independent people ineligible for relocation may be life-saving operations by individual expelled without being previously granted an governments and the establishment of the EU opportunity to seek asylum or receive military operation in the southern Central information regarding their rights. and their deteriorating situation in countries of origin summary repatriation to Tunisia. under which Roma were reported across the country. There were concerns that asylum. Social and Cultural outside and set it on fire. raising concern that Triton operation. coupled with Khlaifia case. circumstances. as highlighted by the UN to receive asylum-seekers. the European Court of relabelled Operation Sophia). Such measures. to tackle human Human Rights condemned Italy. arbitrary detention and forced fingerprinting At the end of April.

In September. the Court of At the end of the year. Lawyers for Usama national legislation initially passed one branch Mostafa Hassan Nasr (known as Abu Omar) of Parliament in April. obtain legal recognition of their gender fresh investigations were launched by without the requirement to undergo any prosecutors against police officials involved in medical treatment. the European Court of Human strengthen the independence and powers of Rights found in the Cestaro case that police the National Office against Racial storming the Diaz school. In reported in previous months.safeguards and alternative accommodation. However. Genoa. In July. because of the lack of legal framework to Magherini. his arrest. emerged in the case of Stefano adopt the child born by her female partner as Cucchi. street in Florence in March 2014. a trial for manslaughter started held in the Oliari case that Italy had violated against four police officers and three Italian the applicants’ right to a private and family Red Cross volunteers. also reiterated recommendations to In April. The government reduced the UNAR’s resources Court underscored how no official had been and interfered with its activities. the prison wing of a Rome hospital in 2009. bisexual. the against demonstrators sheltered therein. the Rome Civil Court recognized in absence of the crime of torture within the a landmark ruling that the assignment of domestic legislation. In December. deemed unsuitable for human habitation. In July. but failed to pass in the and his wife Nabila Ghali argued that Italian end. Similarly. DEATHS IN CUSTODY Concerns remained about the lack of Rights of lesbian. the Court of Cassation ruled that reinforcing the presumption that he may have transgender individuals must be able to died as a result of beatings. taken any concrete action to enforce the ruling by the end of the year. crimes the application of penalties against hate crimes based on other grounds. Parliament failed to approve Shortcomings in the investigations had been pending legislation to address this gap. December. who died during his arrest in a protect the rights of same-sex couples. co-ordinating the G8 summit in 2001. during the Discrimination (UNAR). despite intersex people slow progress in a few cases. A national ombudsperson for the rights of constituted discriminatory conduct and had to detainees was still due to become operational be discontinued. Nonetheless. and to the lack of police La Barbuta. linked to the In May. The authorities had not at the end of the year. near Ciampino airport. the Court of Appeal of Rome New evidence. to the application of the housing to Roma in the mono-ethnic camp of statute of limitations. It facilitate accountability for abuse. including witness confirmed the right of a woman to formally statements. COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY The European Court of Human Rights TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT convened a public hearing in June in the A bill to incorporate the crime of torture into Nasr and Ghali case. in the case of Riccardo life. transgender and accountability for deaths in custody. who died a week after his arrest in a result of artificial insemination. the European Court of Human Rights In June. in an area co-operation. had committed torture implementation of the NSRI. Parliament had not Cassation ordered a new trial for five doctors yet approved legislative amendments to who had been acquitted on appeal of charges extend to homophobic and transphobic of manslaughter. the government failed to police and intelligence operatives were introduce identification tags on the uniforms responsible for colluding with the CIA in Abu of law enforcement officers that would Omar’s kidnapping in February 2003 and ill- 206 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . gay. convicted for such treatment.

POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES LEGAL. rights violations during the 2010 state of emergency was under way. both agents had previously been aggravated assaults. rapes and one. Jamaica A long-overdue Commission of Enquiry into Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II. police recorded President Mattarella granted a pardon to a 1. In December. A including 44 who were alleged to have been Commission of Enquiry into alleged human extrajudicially executed. finance. were adopted that increased prison sentences The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act for “persons who are recruited by others to 2015 came into force in April. Italy and ill-treatment in police custody. transgender and intersex (LGBTI) continued delays and hampered access to people continued. and his torture and other Jamaica continued to have one of the highest ill-treatment in secret detention in Cairo. and provided powers of arrest and detention for possession penalties for persons who organize. represented by human rights violations committed during the Patrick Linton Allen 2010 state of emergency began in December Head of government: Portia Simpson Miller 2014 and was scheduled to be completed in early 2016. During the state of emergency. his subsequent illegal BACKGROUND rendition to Egypt. Violent case remained pending at the European crime remained a key concern for the public. Jamaica was examined under the a conflict on a foreign territory “in support of a UPR.treatment in Milan. made it a crime for a person to participate in In May. 76 Excessive use of force by the police and civilians were killed by security forces. and 2015. Major backlogs in the judiciary led to bisexual. or use of small quantities of cannabis and or promote travel “for the purpose of allowing members of the Rastafarian faith to performing acts of terrorism”. killings remained slow. there were more than 1. In particular. the numbers began to decline in 2014 Institutions (Paris Principles). In August Jamaica held justice.100 murders for their role in the kidnapping and rendition. extrajudicial executions continued. Internet service providers to block such sites. and granted the recommendations made. again failed to establish a national human After years of rising numbers of police rights institution in accordance with the killings (over 200 per year from 2011 to Principles relating to the Status of National 2013). Court of Human Rights. during the year. Violence and JUSTICE SYSTEM discrimination against lesbian. CONSTITUTIONAL OR Human rights organizations continued to INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS highlight concerns around arbitrary arrests Despite the government’s promises. With a high number of Amnesty International Report 2015/16 207 . investigations into police its first gay pride march. an increase of approximately In February. CIA agent and a partial pardon to another classified as murders. removing commit acts of terrorism”.486 reports of serious and violent crimes. The Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM). shootings. The homicide rates per capita in the world. fewer than for the same period of 2014. government the authority to keep a list of The government took steps to establish a websites used for recruitment and to instruct National Human Rights Institution. Between January and June. gay. new counter-terrorism laws 20% compared with 2014. reported 50 killings involving the police in the first half of 2015. an independent JAMAICA police oversight agency. According to media convicted in their absence by Italian courts reports. The laws also use the drug for religious purposes. Jamaica accepted 23 of the 177 terrorist organization”.

All-Sexuals and the Coroner´s Court to help resolve the Gays (J-FLAG) received 47 reports of human backlog also remained limited. JFJ also reported that juvenile in Jamaica for the first time. the ruling coalition criminalized. decriminalizing sex Japanese and South Korean governments work. which included widening largest demonstrations in decades. of settling international disputes”. in July The government was finalizing a National Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushed through Strategic Plan of Action to Eliminate Gender. the outcome was severely RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. Conditions of detention and treatment homeless LGBTI youths. BISEXUAL. There remained no legal protection against discrimination based on real or perceived DISCRIMINATION – ETHNIC MINORITIES sexual orientation or gender identity.new cases and few resources. health and well-being of juveniles in state In August. and using gender-neutral language reached a settlement on the military sexual throughout the Act. while the state did of juvenile offenders were poor. suggesting a failure by the state to continued to live in storm drains and protect children from extreme violence and abandoned buildings. pushed out of their homes because of their 29 children were murdered between January sexual orientation or gender identity and June. slavery system before and during World War II. criticized by survivors. Negative public reaction society organizations made recommendations opposing the legislation included one of the during the review. J-FLAG had Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) documented high provided social and crisis services to 329 levels of attempted suicide among children LGBTI people and continued to receive and young people in juvenile prisons. The the definition of rape. By mid-year. A Joint Select legislation that would allow Japan’s self- Committee of Parliament was under way to defence forces to join collective military review the Sexual Offences Act 2009. Despite a 2014 recommendation by the Consensual sex between men remained CERD Committee . Executions of people TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE on death row continued. the House of Representatives new based Violence in Jamaica. Rights of the Child. Between January and July. rights violations against LGBTI people. the capacity of Jamaica Forum of Lesbians. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS High levels of gender-based violence and JAPAN domestic violence continued with high Japan numbers of women killed by their spouse or Head of government: Shinzo Abe partner. Lesbian. Civil actions overseas. The Minister of offenders were not presented promptly before Justice called for tolerance during the a judge. Young people According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force. a gay pride celebration was held institutions. raising requests for advice from LGBTI Jamaicans serious concerns about the psychosocial planning to seek asylum in other countries. Local NGOs supported abuse. GAY. the opposed legislation prohibiting racial 208 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . bisexual and transgender women were at risk of sexual violence due to Despite the post-World War II Constitution their real or perceived sexual orientation and that renounced the “use of force as means gender expression. Homelessness and displacement of LGBTI CHILDREN’S RIGHTS youths remained a concern. The NGO little to help. exceeding the constitutional period to celebration and expressed his support for the assess the legality of detention and rights of LGBTI people to express themselves contravening the UN Convention on the peacefully.

000 applicants in 2014. The Setagaya anti-discrimination programmes. A group of national lawmakers legally binding certification. The Ministry of Justice heads of government. lawsuit against the Ministry. lack designated as secrets. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS On the 70th anniversary of the end of World REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS War II. Critics of the Act MIGRANT WORKERS’ RIGHTS stressed that the government could withhold The government maintained tight restrictions information without clear designation criteria. The government granted refugee status to only 11 people out reached an agreement with South Korea in of more than 5. As of June. resulting in forced labour. the government had yet to set up an and other human rights abuses. while cities outside Tokyo announced of demonstrations targeting ethnic Koreans. JUSTICE SYSTEM TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE A bill revising the criminal procedure law to In April. Registered Representatives in August. Concerns around the refugee application but only referred to apologies made by former process continued. Prime Minister Abe expressed grief. In December and acknowledged Japan’s deep June the Ministry unveiled plans to introduce responsibility for the military sexual slavery a pre-screening procedure to exclude system before and during the war. In and needs of survivors and they were not August. the Shibuya ward in Tokyo became require video or audio recording of the first municipality in Japan to pass an interrogations by police or prosecutors in their ordinance that would acknowledge same-sex entirety was passed at the House of unions as equivalent to marriage. which came into effect in court decision on refugee status resulted in a December 2014. This was the The Act on the Protection of Specially first time that a government refusal to follow a Designated Secrets.000 foreigners worked under the include whistleblower provisions and could Program. could violate the right to access information held by public authorities. possible future arrangements for same-sex some municipal governments. and Training Program to bring in more foreign that journalists risked imprisonment for workers.discrimination. on immigration and announced plans to that parliamentary committees overseeing the expand further the existing Technical Intern designation of secrets were too weak. independent oversight mechanism that would some 180. claiming that people seeking job sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial opportunities accounted for the increased Army. Osaka. which continued to refuse him refugee status despite an Osaka FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION District Court ruling in his favour. BISEXUAL. With the increase July. The Program was subject to abuse soliciting and reporting information by employers. The outcome was criticized as the numbers of applications for asylum. RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. and have nonetheless submitted a bill to the Parliament visitation rights in hospitals and the ability to that would require the government to create co-sign tenancy agreements. Criteria agreement did not take into account the views for qualification were not clearly specified. discussed at the House of Councillors by the Amnesty International Report 2015/16 209 . a man from Sri Lanka filed another involved in the negotiations. including partnerships. contained provisions that second lawsuit. effectively prevent abuse of the Act. proposed ordinances to curb hate speech against foreigners and minorities. which “ineligible” applicants from entering the resulted in women and girls being forced into process. At the end of the year of effective oversight or protection for workers. Discussion ward in Tokyo adopted similar guidelines in of the bill began in August. but had not been same-sex partners would be offered non. GAY.

under the lay judge system. association and assembly. Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Head of state: King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT Head of government: Abdullah Ensour In August. after IS issued a him in July to 10 years’ imprisonment on video showing its fighters burning to death the charges that included possessing arms and captured Jordanian fighter pilot Muath al.end of the year. which the Jordanian warplanes launched further attacks SSC panel of military judges accepted as on areas in Syria controlled by the armed evidence against him when they sentenced group Islamic State (IS). It also failed to announced that this was due to a “lack of co- abolish or reform the daiyo kangoku system. Women were chaired by the government’s co-ordinator on discriminated against in law and in practice human rights. the National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) said it had received 87 The authorities restricted freedoms of complaints of torture and other ill-treatment expression. a Palestinian-Jordanian conflict in neighbouring Syria. which runs the applicable only to “serious crimes” to be tried police and prisons. the General Intelligence Department (GID) and the State Security Court continued to and Public Security Directorate (PSD). explosives and belonging to Hizbullah. to examine the NCHR’s and inadequately protected against sexual findings. In response. Courts passed death against Torture expressed concern at sentences and executions were carried out. In December. the Interior DEATHS IN CUSTODY Minister resigned and the heads of the Public In May. which allows the police to detain suspects for up to 23 days prior to charge. approximately were prematurely retired. groups were prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws and other legislation by the State JORDAN Security Court (SSC). the events in Ma’an and the death in custody of Abdullah Zu’bi (see below). the UN Committee and other violence. and forced to sign a “confession”. a quasi-military court whose procedures failed to meet international fair trial standards. The proposed law was Security Directorate (PSD). following years’ imprisonment. said he was tortured and otherwise ill- refugees and suffering civilian casualties in treated during two months in GID detention cross-border firing from Syria. security and law enforcement officials” highlighting GID and Criminal Investigation BACKGROUND Department (CID) detention facilities. facilitating COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY torture and other ill-treatment in order to Alleged supporters of IS and other armed extract confessions during interrogation. Prime Minister prosecuted and imprisoned government Ensour announced the appointment of a critics.800 refugees torture and ill-treatment of suspects by from Syria. In May. hosting activist. In February. “consistent reports of widespread use of Jordan hosted more than 641. some of violent clashes with security forces who whom also alleged that they were tortured by raided several homes in Ma’an in southwest the GID. received sentences of two to three Jordan in May and June. and the gendarmerie. the Court of Cassation confirmed Around 12 people reportedly died during his conviction. Abdullah Zu’bi died in custody in 210 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . In Kasasbeh. The Prime Minister 2% of all criminal cases. Jordan continued to be affected by the armed Amer Jubran. ordination between security organizations”. His co-defendants. November. Torture and other ill-treatment ministerial committee including officials from continued in detention centres and prisons. and during 2014. and conduct unfair trials.

education. two others faced charges of negligence and disobeying orders. transparent. Yet international Code. and were inadequately protected the internet. Tens of journalists and activists REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS were arrested and detained. which criminalizes maintained strict controls at official and criticism of foreign leaders or states that is informal border crossings and denied entry to deemed to harm Jordan’s relations with those Palestinians. Those prosecuted included journalists. as well as a growing number of institutions. At the end of the year it crimes. and pro-reformists and members of the Muslim people without identity documents. including under Jordan hosted more than 641. International Humanitarian Pledging The Ministry of Justice proposed Conference that refugee numbers already comprehensive amendments to the Penal exceeded Jordan’s capacity.Irbid following his arrest for alleged drugs year. This did not apply to cases where FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION. In May. some of whom were tried before Prime Minister Ensour told the Third the SSC. Three police officers were charged criminalize strikes by workers in “vital with forcing a “confession” and beating sectors”. which empowers regional governors to and August. rapists could escape prosecution by marrying their victim. conducted after a video of Women suffered discrimination in law and Abdullah Zu’bi’s bruised body was shared on practice. single unaccompanied men states. In March. on the grounds that marriage to the The authorities restricted the rights to perpetrator could protect her from being freedom of expression. The Citizenship Law continued to bar remained unclear whether the accused police almost 89. Police officers with foreign spouses to apply for identity accused of such crimes in Jordan are cards if they have resided in Jordan for at prosecuted before a special police least five years. Brotherhood. In another case. reported in September During the year. In January.000 Jordanian women with foreign officers had been tried. including so-called “honour” inflicted in custody. attributed his death to a beating against violence. and the anti-terrorism law as refugees from Iraq. the September. which were pending at the end of the humanitarian funding and resettlement Amnesty International Report 2015/16 211 . the case was referred to the government enabled the children of women police Public Prosecutor. including some 13. the rape victim was between 15 and 18 years ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY old. association and killed by family members in the name of assembly using laws that criminalize “honour”. thousands of people were that it had documented 10 possible “honour” detained under the 1954 Crime Prevention killings of women and girls between January Law. thus increasing their access court that is neither independent nor to medical care. WOMEN’S RIGHTS An official autopsy. authorize the detention of criminal suspects the cabinet approved amendments cancelling for up to one year without charge. trial or any provisions of the Penal Code under which means of legal remedy. which bans from Syria. an spouses from passing their nationality to their official autopsy concluded that Omar al-Naser children or spouses. work permits. the Jordanian Women’s ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION Solidarity Association. Tadamun. The authorities amended in 2014. unable to prove family ties in Jordan. Abdullah Zu’bi to death. peaceful protest and other peaceful expression. including a proposal to prohibit and offences. however. based on media reports. denying them access to died due to being beaten in CID custody in state services.800 refugees provisions of the Penal Code. property ownership and a driving licence.800 criticism of the King and government Palestinians.

Eleven investigation into reports of torture following cases reached court and five people were the suppression of the Zhanaozen protests found guilty. where they provision that allegations of torture should be were at risk of human rights violations. of whom only one was given a in 2011. and. according to his lawyer. Impunity for torture and other ill-treatment From 1 January to 30 November. 119 remained largely unchallenged. The killing by IS of a Jordanian pilot. monitors reported that the elections lacked 212 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . BACKGROUND Public Monitoring Commissions and the A new Criminal Code. remained inadequate. he was still waiting to hear Head of government: Karim Massimov whether the case would proceed to prosecution. In 2006. In violation of international law it devalued in August. maximum penalty for torture was increased to Sajida al-Rishawi had told the UN Special 12 years’ imprisonment. victims were too afraid to register a complaint of torture. It appeared from the timing of the those charged or convicted of torture were executions that they were a response to the excluded from potential amnesties. OSCE election permission. Freedoms of expression. Criminal Procedure National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) had Code and Code of Administrative Offences the right to visit prisons and most places of came into force at the beginning of the year. The changes included a and asylum-seekers to Sudan. However. The NPM could only undertake was re-elected to a fifth term in office. President Nazarbayev restrictions. which left him unable to speak or walk Republic of Kazakhstan unaided. The national currency was to Syria.allocations for Syria’s refugees in Jordan “credible opposition”. as many continued to be restricted. were relation to cases of torture was abolished. bypassing the prior internal screening and executions were carried out. other ill-treatment were registered as crimes. Procedure Code included positive deported more than 500 Sudanese refugees amendments. automatically registered and investigated as criminal offences by a different agency from DEATH PENALTY the one whose officers were accused of Courts continued to impose death sentences abuse. they were still not properly investigated. and there complaints of torture were registered and 465 was still no independent and full cases of torture were terminated. he was in a coma for three days. but had limited capacity and Early presidential elections were held resources to do so.000 refugees from Syria who remained in dire conditions in the TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT desert area on the Jordanian side of the The new Criminal Code and Criminal border with Syria. These numbers did not association and peaceful assembly reveal the real scale of the problem. Iskander Tugelbaev was beaten in prison. and faced bureaucratic unexpectedly in April. The statute of limitations in Iraqi nationals linked to al-Qa’ida. prison sentence. in December. two complaints. Falling oil prices led to an economic Jordan forcibly returned scores of refugees downturn. denied entry to over 12. unannounced visits with the Ombudsman’s winning 97. lawyers Rapporteur on torture that she had been reported that. while complaints of torture and tortured in pre-trial detention. and hanged.7% of the vote. At the end Head of state: Nursultan Nazarbayev of the year. In February. detention. In KAZAKHSTAN May. which had resulted in the dismissal of most Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouli.

an appeal against the closure providing for harsher penalties. NGOs’ access to funding were passed by Adam. should that FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY content be deemed as “extremist” and a Freedom of peaceful assembly remained security threat. In Parliament.1 It was restricted. criminalized. In including foreign funding. for projects and October. the Almaty city authorities attempted In October. on the grounds that Adam was central “operator” to administer and distribute registered to publish in Russian and Kazakh. all state and non-state grants to NGOs. but was only publishing in Russian. fines or a temporary ban on activities. Later in infringements. In practice. a three-month ban came into December. as Offences Codes made it a criminal offence to businesses feared reprisals from the lead or participate in an unregistered authorities if they placed advertisements in organization. Journalists continued to face harassment and FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION intimidation.FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION sanctions for “propaganda of non-traditional The operating climate for the media remained sexual orientation” among minors. internet providers to block access to internet content without a court order. These powers were used to heavily restricted. of “leader” was very broad. after it other civic association. In February. but was expected to be administrative grounds or because they were revised and sent back to Parliament. Independent media outlets had Clauses in the Criminal and Administrative difficulty generating advertising revenue. Penalties of up to 75 sanctions for defamation and for vaguely days’ administrative detention were worded offences of inciting social and other introduced for violations of the rules on “discord”. Civil Amendments to the Communications Law society activists were concerned that this new adopted in 2014 gave the Office of the law would limit NGOs’ access to foreign Prosecutor General the power to force funding and constrain their activities. and media outlets were forcibly rejected by the Constitutional Council in May closed or prevented from operating on for technical reasons. A proposed Law on Protection of Children Authorities used “preventive” detention to from Information Harming their Health and stop peaceful protests from going ahead. and were signed into law in September. investigation for inciting national discord for including via social media. the definition of the newspaper Adam Bol was rejected. In Development included administrative January. on administrative grounds. or individual articles on international news sites. potentially Adam Bol had been closed down on national including any active member of an NGO or security grounds in December 2014. the year. journalists were arrested on their Amnesty International Report 2015/16 213 . many published an interview with a member of the NGOs were denied registration for minor opposition who was based in Ukraine. became a separate category of offenders. legal amendments affecting to close down its successor publication. on the grounds that it Failure to supply accurate information for the was illegally continuing to publish content via operator’s centralized database could lead to its Facebook page. accused of being a threat to national security. “promotion” of a protest. “Leaders” of associations these publications. Adam was ordered by a court to activities that comply with a vaguely worded close down upon the request of the Office of list of issues approved by the government. was effectively their posts on social media sites. These will lead to the creation of a force. the Prosecutor General. Permission from local block access intermittently or permanently to authorities was needed to hold any kind of Kazakhstan-based news outlets and to street protest and this was often refused. At least four people faced criminal holding assemblies. permission was given to hold the event in a The Criminal Code retained criminal non-central location.

especially those Somali refugees for the attack on Garissa documenting human rights violations in the University College. in which suspected members of al- In the context of counter-terrorism operations Shabaab killed at least 60 people. post-electoral violence. The attackers killed 147 students and injured 79 before Continued attacks in Kenya carried out by detonating suicide vests when cornered by al-Shabaab. Civil Politicians and community leaders blamed society organizations. the Somali-based armed group. KENYA POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES On 2 April. They publicly claimed that context of security operations. No “incitement of discord” in the Criminal Code measures were put in place to ensure justice could be used to criminalize the activities of and reparations for victims of the 2007-2008 political parties and trade unions. called on the authorities case involving Deputy President William Ruto. MPs detained following the protests. He also affiliated with the ruling coalition ratcheted up expressed concern that the criminalization of calls for the case to be dropped. border. use of lethal force against protesters in through local civil society organizations. they were taken to local police stations to norms or accused of providing support to “acquaint them with the law”. 11 people believed to be al- during these operations were increasingly Shabaab members and two Kenyan military harassed. gunmen attacked Garissa Republic of Kenya University College in northeastern Kenya. association. had Zhanaozen in 2011. enforced wanted suspected members of al-Shabaab disappearances and other human rights and appealed to the public to provide violations. Some civil society organizations officers were killed in an attack on a military were shut down or threatened with closure base in Lamu. and the prevailing security situation. who visited Kazakhstan in Kenya continued to ask the ICC to drop the January and August. In the build- torture and other ill-treatment of those up to the Assembly of State Parties. were accused the Daadab refugee camp. to allow an international investigation into the arguing that the Office of the Prosecutor. The government operations. which was challenged in freedom of peaceful assembly and of court. The attack occurred on the first anniversary of a similar attack in Mpeketoni BACKGROUND town. but 57/1298/2015) that it would not be limited to victims of the 2007-2008 post-electoral violence. and into reports of procured some of the witnesses.way to a protest in Almaty in support of Adam of not complying with tax and regulatory Bol. which resulted in an increase of made publicly available their list of the most extrajudicial executions. Al-Shabaab claimed led Kenya to step up its counter-terrorism responsibility for the attack. security forces. in Garissa. Head of state and government: Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta near the Somali border. was 214 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . and released terrorists. deregistration by the NGOs Co-ordination The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to Board (NGO Board). NGOs were threatened with shortly after. reporting on violations by security agencies On 14 June. a town near the Kenya-Somalia through judicial or administrative measures. Human rights organizations information leading to their arrest. The President announced during his State of the Nation address on 26 June that Kenya would set up 1. Urgent action: Kazakhstan: Stop LGBTI “propaganda” legislation (EUR a reparation fund to compensate victims. hundreds of individuals were forcibly REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS disappeared or extrajudicially executed.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria On 19 December 2014. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION On 7 July. On Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in 10November . including Nairobi Orange ruled on the constitutionality of the SLAA.000 Somali refugees were at criminalizing. and Privileges Bill 2014 was passed. (US$55. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 215 . The section penalized seekers.000 refugees from 500. who facilitate terrorist activities” in the On 25 October. the President made a statement encouraging residents in approved the Security Laws (Amendment) Act his constituency to slash with machetes (SLAA). John Ngirachu. holding that eight clauses of the law were who appeared in court on 27 October.1 At a UNHCR. The bill also prescribed a were also at least 250.the breeding ground for terrorism. Service or the Kenya Defence Forces. media coverage “likely to cause public alarm. There Parliament. for journalists found guilty of would have put them at risk of human rights contravening the provision. such as rape and killings.000 refugees and asylum. the National media freedom. Kenya is a reporting on issues such as bribery or party to the UN Refugee Convention and the corruption scandals were at risk for exercising African Union Convention Governing the their right to freedom of expression. the DPP lodged an appeal with struck down Section 12 of the law for the High Court to have Kuria and Aladwa “violating the freedom of expression and the detained. most of whom are Somali.000-shilling fine or two-year jail term. Democratic Movement chair George Aladwa. The Deputy President called for the closure incitement to violence. of the Constitution”. publication deemed by the Speaker of which would amount to a violation of Kenya’s Parliament or parliamentary committee chairs obligations under international law and put to amount to false or scandalous libel of hundreds of thousands of lives at risk. a fine of 5 million shillings complacency of some UNHCR personnel. any risk of being forcibly returned to Somalia. the UN refugee security operations by the National Police agency. among other things. On 8 July. both of which include the principle of parliamentary editor. the Constitutional and Other politicians also faced charges for Human Rights Division of the High Court incitement. the Parliamentary Powers country. On unconstitutional. questionable spending within the Interior Ministry. As soon as the amendment Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) was adopted and signed into law.000) or both. a coalition called for the Inspector General of the Police including opposition parties filed a petition to arrest and prosecute the legislator over before the High Court challenging many incitement. was arrested by Criminal non-refoulement that prohibits states from Investigation Department officers at forcibly returning people to a place where Parliament for allegedly breaching they would be at real risk of human rights confidentiality over a story highlighting violations. Around 350. a Daily Nation Africa. Kuria was detained at Kilimani provisions of the SLAA on the grounds that Police Station after the Director of Public they were contrary to the right to freedom of Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko ordered expression. the High Court 15 December. Two of the sections contain critics of the National Youth Service project in provisions restricting freedom of speech and the constituency. or disturb public of Dadaab refugee camp within three months peace” or that “undermines investigations or from April. On 23 February. meeting in Geneva on 4 October. or other countries. Forcibly returning them both. Daadab media guaranteed under Articles 33 and 34 hosts at least 600.” The Kenya’s Interior Minister expressed concern maximum sentence for offenders was three “about the alleged involvement or years in prison. In its ruling. his prosecution for inciting his constituents. Journalists abuses.

including Muslims books of accounts as required by law. the Kenya Revenue Authority raided the offices of MUHURI and FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY Haki Africa. The two organizations appealed the ruling and on FORCED EVICTIONS 12 November. the High Court found that the During the night of 17 May. the Cabinet Secretary for Africa. diversion of A week after the attack on Garissa University. more than 300 homes were their requirement to submit their audited destroyed and an estimated 500 people were bank accounts within two weeks or be forcibly evicted in a government operation in deregistered. funding ORGANIZATIONS of terrorism. Nairobi. were threatened with for transparency and accountability.000 asked to monitor donors and beneficiaries. the police used tear gas confiscating computer hard drives and other against schoolchildren of Langata Primary documents to determine whether the two School who were peacefully protesting against organizations were tax compliant. 957 NGOs. a task force created in 2014 by the Mombasa-Mariakani Highway. the report homeless overnight. authorities On 28 October.3 The community had challenged the funding and declare how they intend those eviction in court and raised concerns around funds to be utilized. On 20 and 21 April. to them. unfreeze their bank accounts. Civil society organizations due process and adequate compensation. The evictions multiple times to make way for the report also recommended that PBOs be EU-funded “Missing Link” road construction obliged to disclose the sources of their project. to pave way for the expansion of On 15 May. The NGO Kenya Human classified as a terrorist organization under the Rights Commission instituted a suit against Prevention of Terrorism Act. 8 July. the protest. The officer in charge of the but fell short of giving an explicit order to operation was suspended. On opposed the recommendations of the report. Five Mombasa High Court ruled on 12 June that pupils and a police officer were injured during the organizations had no links to terrorism. were designated as “specified entities” Devolution and National Planning ordered the by the Inspector General of the Police (IGP) in revocation of the decision to issue the notice a Gazette notice. disabling their servers. a bulldozer Inspector General of the Police’s action to accompanied by armed police woke up freeze their accounts was unconstitutional residents of Jomvu in Mombasa County. money laundering. On 19 January. The NGO Board accused the Nairobi’s informal settlement of Mathare. donor money and failing to file their audited 85 companies and NGOs. an informal settlement well as Public Benefit Organizations (PBOs). the Kenya Urban Roads Authority told arguing that many of them never came up residents that unless they withdrew their court during the 2014 public hearings. action challenging the eviction. Over 100 people were made Among its key recommendations. The the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and authorities had not adequately engaged Planning to consult stakeholders on residents of Jomvu in prior genuine amendments to the Public Benefit consultations on the evictions and alternatives Organizations Act 2013 released its report.2 The and therefore null and void. as residents of Deep Sea. through its executive officer. the NGO Board’s illegal and irregular actions. Their hard a politician’s alleged move to seize their drives were returned on 23 December. a step before being of deregistration. the NGO Board notified would not engage with them. The judge bulldozer demolished shops and homes that ordered the immediate unfreezing of the had been marked with yellow crosses for accounts. in the capital. On for Human Rights (MUHURI) and Haki 30 October. Approximately 3. of On 21 August.CRACKDOWN ON CIVIL SOCIETY NGOs of misappropriation of funds. No 216 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . The playground and turn it into a car park. demolition.

The disappearances of foreign nationals. collecting their RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. virtually all nationals human rights. remained under providing access to domestic websites and Amnesty International Report 2015/16 217 . Kenya: Driven out for development. KOREA and a mutual agreement was reached to continue the reunions of separated families. The tension was resolved 32/2054/2015) after a 43-hour high-level dialogue. without fair trial or access to lawyers and Only tourists and foreign residents were family. Court rendered its decision following a petition filed by the National Gay and Lesbian BACKGROUND Human Rights Commission to register under In the fourth year of Kim Jong-un’s rule. (DEMOCRATIC Natural disasters including a severe summer drought and floods killed at least 40 people. Inter-Korean relations contrary to the right of freedom of association. GAY. receive and impart Head of government: Pak Pong-ju information regardless of national borders.000 others.warnings were given and no alternative systematic surveillance. Households. Kenya: Deep Sea residents at risk of forced eviction (AFR later that month. The existing of having fled the country or trying to access computer network remained available. The three-judge High Court State did not attend celebrations marking the ruled that the NGO Board’s decision violated anniversary of the end of World War II in Article 36 of Kenya’s Constitution and was China and Russia. wages directly from employers and keeping TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE a significant portion for its own revenue. 16 April) soldiers. North Korea expressed regret over the explosions. forced evictions in Mombasa. outside information. Crisis looms for Somali refugees as Kenya orders closure of Dadaab caused severe injuries to two South Korean refugee camp (News story. make calls outside the country or access the particularly those with members suspected internet using smart phones. PEOPLE’S and affected more than 10. according to state media. Authorities continued to were barred from international mobile arbitrarily arrest and detain individuals telephone services and access to the internet. The Head of March 2013. Although there were three million domestic North Koreans continued to suffer denial mobile service subscribers among the and violations of almost every aspect of their population of 25 million. remained tense. the NGO Board Act. The NGO Board had international media continued to report rejected the group’s request to register in executions of senior officials. the High Court ruled that Little progress was made in addressing members of an LGBTI rights organization cases of abductions and enforced could formally register their organization. On 24 April. BISEXUAL. Head of state: Kim Jong-un including the right to seek. REPUBLIC OF) FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION The authorities continued to impose severe Democratic People’s Republic of Korea restrictions on freedom of expression. Explosions of North Korean landmines in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea in early August 1. including nationals of the Republic allowed to purchase special SIM cards to of Korea (South Korea).000 people to work in other countries. South Korean broadcasts across the 2. border to seek an apology resulted in the Kenya (AFR 32/2467/2015) military on both sides exchanging artillery fire 3. arranged for more than 50. The government housing was provided.

People who did not own one of these suspected of watching foreign audiovisual phones needed to pay an exorbitant fee and materials. but even this government for such purposes as ideological was not yet widely accessible. Authorities used for extorting bribes.domestic email services only. but were detained through “guilt-by- association”. Households that were country. Individuals whose conversations to his lawyer or family. imported been arrested for illegally entering the country monitoring devices to detect mobile phone in April.000 Person-to-person systems of surveillance people to countries such as Libya. itself. monitored people’s radio and make contact with individuals outside the television habits. forms of infringement on the right to privacy.1 were overheard could be arrested if they were found calling someone in South Korea. A South Department for covert intelligence and digital Korean student. through judicial procedures that fell short of A special unit of the State Security international fair trial standards. Kim Kuk-gi and Choe Chun- experienced frequent jamming of lines and gil. was released in October after more users who tried to make calls out of the than five months of detention without access country. offence. 218 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . or receiving money from a family go through a broker. three South Korean men. Joo Won-moon. Individuals to systematic. North Koreans who made calls using In May and June. watching or copying and sharing rights violations such as torture and other ill- foreign audiovisual materials risked arrest. While calling outside member who had fled the country. and forced labour. of both people and goods had tightened The government continued to restrict under Kim Jong-un’s rule. education were authorized to conduct home North Koreans who lived close to the visits at any time. where they were subjected legally available appliances. the use of smuggled mobile phones to connect to Chinese mobile networks exposed ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS all individuals involved to the risk of North Koreans who fled the country reported surveillance. media or crackdown on the private market economy. who had operations used sophisticated. Mongolia. Group leaders. as a domestic independent newspapers. were given life sentences after being wiretapping of conversations. smuggled mobile phones reported that they Kim Jung-wook. and report on people’s Chinese border undertook significant risks in activities. among other charges. together with using smuggled mobile phones that were another dedicated unit of the State Security connected to Chinese networks in order to Department. were North Korea was not a criminal offence in subject to heightened surveillance. construction. including espionage. as well as arrest and detention that arrests had increased. Qatar and Russia to work in various Neighbourhood groups set up by the sectors including medicine. widespread and gross human keeping. among other convicted of espionage. as border controls on various charges. or civil society organizations. or if MIGRANT WORKERS’ RIGHTS they requested money to be sent to them. as they often took place as a information despite the absence of any punishment for exercising human rights. Nigeria. These arrests were access to various outside sources of arbitrary. The government dispatched at least 50. Many of those the material was deemed to be “hostile held in these camps had not been convicted broadcasting or enemy propaganda” under of any internationally recognizable criminal the criminal law. also remained a threat to privacy. only for being related to RIGHT TO PRIVACY individuals deemed threatening to the state. radio waves to obstruct the reception of Hundreds of thousands of people remained foreign television or radio broadcasts. if treatment. while detained in political prison camps and other also making foreign channels unreceivable on detention facilities.

but through the North Korean threatened. due to tight border controls. The UN 2014. 10 December. China ignored progress. deprivation of information providing food to at least 18 million people – about labour laws and lack of access to any three quarters of the population. RIGHT TO FOOD The UN Food and Agriculture Organization 1. According to among the recommendations of the report. Workers were often same months in 2013 and 2014. the Working 1986 agreement with North Korean Group noted in its report that the information authorities. and related discussion at the UN In the first 10 months of 2015. Korea. The North Korean government non-refoulement obligations in international wrote to the UN Working Group on Enforced law by sending back North Koreans and or Involuntary Disappearances in August with seemingly continued this practice through a regard to 27 outstanding cases. the government reduced the daily food rations for households in July and August from 410g to 250g per person. South Korea media. Russia was reported to be provided was insufficient for clarification of formalizing a similar agreement. among them a field office in Seoul. the right to adequate Workers did not receive wages directly from food of most individuals was severely employers. poor distribution system was the main channel of safety conditions. as steps towards accountability.397 people reported to have arrived in from the North Korean government. on 23 June. With the government agencies monitoring compliance. while the drought of 2015 had reduced the production of rice and other cereals by more than 10%. after increases in 24/2609/2015) three consecutive years. The public subjected to excessively long hours. The new office had been Korean border on 15 June. Security Council held another discussion of These figures remained low compared with human rights in North Korea on previous years. Possibly as a result. the capital of South teenage soldier who walked across the inter. The North Korea. Further information: Student released by North Korea (ASA reported in September that. the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT Korea. but yielded minimal tangible torture and other ill-treatment. government after significant deductions. reduction in rations. well below the amount distributed during the Amnesty International Report 2015/16 219 . Workers remained under surveillance in the INTERNATIONAL SCRUTINY host countries as they would be in North Following intensified international scrutiny Korea. North Koreans forcibly returned from China Other UN bodies made efforts to address or other countries continued to be at risk of international abductions and enforced detention. the North Korean military and was tasked with monitoring and planted extra landmines in 2015 to prevent its documenting the human rights situation in soldiers from fleeing to South Korea. numbers of arrivals were in line with the Its opening was met with severe criticism 1. and similar figures for 2013 and 2012. food production had been stagnant in 2014. the cases. imprisonment. the South Security Council later that year. and contact with the local population after the publication in 2014 of a report by was heavily restricted. forced labour and disappearances.forestry and catering. the UN High Korean Ministry of Unification reported the Commissioner for Human Rights opened a arrival of 978 North Koreans.

was arrested the same denied. The government broadened the application of the (REPUBLIC OF) NSL to include new categories and additional groups of individuals such as politicians. The exempted from military service. association the Constitutional Court decision in late 2014 and peaceful assembly. and a protester was seriously Also in January. While the Constitutional Court was still annual Pride Parade took place peacefully in examining the legality of conscientious June although police initially rejected the objection. a national from military service continued to be of South Korea. Police used that dissolved the UPP because it had unnecessary force during a vigil walk in violated the country’s “basic democratic memory of the victims of the Sewol ferry order”. Gwangju further acquitted three other conscientious objectors in August. acquitted three conscientious objectors gay. including three in groups and other relevant stakeholders. Hwang Seon. shortly after rights to freedom of expression. The selection of the new Chairperson of their criminal records. bisexual.1 The 2015. transgender and intersex accused of breaking the law by refusing participants and conservative protesters in military duty. District courts in Suwon and 2014. the Supreme Court upheld an Head of government: Hwang Kyo-ahn (replaced Chung earlier Seoul High Court decision which found Hong-won in June) Lee Seok-ki and six other members of the opposition Unified Progressive Party (UPP) The authorities continued to restrict the guilty of charges under the NSL.2 BACKGROUND The outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS Syndrome (Mers) resulted in 38 deaths. No effective steps were taken to recognize the restrictions to daily life and a severe blow to right of conscientious objectors to be the economy of the Republic of Korea.3 More than government was criticized by the public and 600 conscientious objectors remained in international actors for inadequate prison. information on individuals 220 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . Based intimidate and imprison people exercising on this revision. US national Shin Eun-mi injured in a demonstration where police was deported for allegedly speaking positively used water cannons. serving parliamentarians and foreign Republic of Korea nationals. in May the Gwangju District Court application. facing economic and social preparation and delay in the response to the disadvantages beyond their jail terms due to virus. and was released on bail in June. Although the right of about the Democratic People’s Republic of conscientious objectors to be exempted Korea (North Korea). Head of state: Park Geun-hye In January. a number of decisions Korea lacked transparency and there was recognizing conscientious objection have insufficient consultation with civil society been made by lower courts. citing clashes between lesbian. the National Human Rights Commission of However. charged in February under the NSL decisions in favour of recognizing with “causing social confusion” through a conscientious objection.KOREA their right to freedom of expression. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION The revision of the Military Service Act and Detentions and prosecutions under the the Enforcement Decree of the Military National Security Law (NSL) were used to Service Act came into force on 1 July. lower courts made a number of month. Migrant agricultural speaking tour allegedly praising the North workers faced trafficking for exploitation. accident. Korea regime.

South Korea: Clampdown against Sewol ferry anniversary protest an demonstrations to seek additional action from insult to the victims (Press Release. it was The Supreme Court ruled in June that extremely difficult for migrant workers to seek irregular migrant workers had the same rights and secure alternative employment if they to form and join a union as other South were subject to exploitation or other abuse by Korean workers. South Korea: National Security Law continues to restrict freedom of and used unnecessary force against expression (ASA 25/001/2015) participants on a vigil walk in memory of the 3. the Employment Permit System. bill to the National Assembly that would abolish the death penalty. Many were compelled to work in Teachers and Education Workers Union of its conditions they had not agreed to – including official status. protests were illegal.6 November 2015) defenders. which introduced but none were brought to a vote resulted in the deaths of more than 300 before the full Assembly. which provided the government trafficked for exploitation. South Korea: Arrest of two human rights defenders for organizing The two were members of the standing demonstrations (ASA 25/2129/2015) committee for the group “April 16 Alliance” calling for an investigation into the accident. generated a series of overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations expressing discontent about 1.4 their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.6 6. lawmaker Yu In-tae of the New the MTU change its rules and regulations Politics Alliance for Democracy submitted a before finally granting registration in August. to privacy and to protesters said they were lawfully exercising freedom from discrimination.5 4. 115th Session (19 October . At the end of the year the excessive working hours and underpayment – original case challenging the government’s under the threat of punishment such as action was still pending at the Seoul High dismissal and violence. to delay registering the Seoul-Gyeonggi- Incheon Migrants’ Trade Union (MTU). They had been under investigation for three months on charges which included violation Amnesty International Report 2015/16 221 . FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION In May. but the authorities continued their employer. many of them students. Under the terms of Court.refusing to perform military service without of the Assembly and Demonstration Act and “justifiable” reasons was liable to be made obstructing police in relation to the rallies. The DEATH PENALTY Seoul Regional Labour Office demanded that In July. 17 April) the government in response to the accident. people. even though the conscience and religion. South Korea: Sentenced to life – conscientious objectors in South victims. two prominent human rights Rights Committee. South Korea: Amnesty International’s submission to the UN Human In July. near Gwanghwamun in central Seoul Korea (ASA 25/1512/2015) on 16 April. Park Rae-goon and Kim Hye-jin. This was the FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY seventh time that such a bill had been The Sewol ferry accident in April 2014. (ASA 25/2372/2015) were detained by police for organizing 5. Police blockaded of National Human Rights Commission of Korea (ASA 25/2161/2015) street rallies marking the one-year anniversary 2. potentially leading to The police claimed that some of these violations of the rights to freedom of thought. public on the internet. South Korea: Secrecy of Chair appointment undermines independence the government’s response. the Constitutional Court upheld the MIGRANT WORKERS’ RIGHTS constitutionality of Article 2 of the Teachers’ Migrant agricultural workers continued to be Union Act. including forced with the legal basis to strip the Korean labour.

He also received a faced discrimination and were denied separate five-year prison term and a citizenship rights. the government accepted 179 on appeal. Kuwait City. killing 27 people and wounding Musallam al-Barrak. In July. More than 60 others who recommendations made during the UPR of protested against his arrest by publicizing or Kuwait. who included activists under penal code provisions that members of the ruling family. were freed on criminalize comments deemed offensive to bail and banned from leaving Kuwait. damaging a and abuse. In trial was ongoing. In March. It was Kuwait’s most government critic and former MP. Sabah There were prosecutions for insulting Arab Head of government: Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al. their the Emir.KUWAIT law criminalizing and further restricting online expression. June. He was detained for two days Imam Sadiq Mosque. including the late Hamad al-Sabah King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Head of state: Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al. a court sentenced Bidun rights The authorities tightened restrictions on activist Abdulhakim al-Fadhli to one year’s freedom of expression. He In March. It rejected 71 others. Migrant workers faced deportation order after a court convicted him inadequate protection against exploitation on charges of insulting the Emir. and charges arising from his participation in a prosecuting opposition and online critics. the judiciary and foreign leaders. leaders on social media. including prosecution. His sentence was upheld on grounds. including social media and blogs. Members of the Bidun minority appeal in December. suspended sentences. had been sentenced in April 2013 to five led international coalition that engaged in the years’ imprisonment for a speech criticizing armed conflict in Yemen (see Yemen entry). In January. the sentence was reduced In June. and extended prohibitions in existing State of Kuwait legislation to include online expression. prosecuting and the government advocating the Emir’s imprisoning government critics and online removal from power. no executions were demonstration. the government. including by imprisonment followed by deportation on adopting a new cybercrime law. Kuwait joined the Saudi Arabia. The 13. a prominent more than 220 others. reported. including nine relating to freedom of reciting extracts from his speech also faced expression. Courts continued to hand down police vehicle and taking part in an illegal death sentences. Parliament adopted a new cybercrime 222 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . February 2014 gathering that marked the The government also adopted a law third anniversary of a demonstration calling requiring all citizens and residents to for Bidun people to be granted Kuwaiti provide DNA samples on anti-terrorism citizenship. began devastating suicide attack to date. prosecutors questioned 13 people FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND over discussions on the social media site ASSEMBLY WhatsApp about video footage taken in 2014 The authorities continued to restrict the right that appeared to show leading members of to freedom of expression. a Shi’a mosque in before being charged with “illegal gathering”. due to come into force in January 2016. police arrested and beat human rights activist Nawaf al-Hendal as he BACKGROUND monitored a peaceful opposition On 26 June a suicide bomber attacked the demonstration. two people were sentenced to recommendations on the rights of Bidun and prison terms and 21 others received advocating abolition of the death penalty. serving a two-year prison term in June.

the Administrative Appeal Court sentenced to death.000 Bidun. Amnesty International Report 2015/16 223 . it had not ruled on the other revoked in July 2014. used by the government as the comply with the law became punishable by basis for determining citizenship. Parliament approved a new law Illegal Residents’ Status. the authorities arrested Sa’ad al- following the June suicide bombing at the ‘Ajmi. In November the The authorities also prosecuted people Administrative Appeal Court ruled that the accused of supporting extreme jihadist armed case fell outside its jurisdiction. naturalized. such as security. mandatory that 31. groups in Iraq and Syria. In December. the Criminal Court sentenced six men to prison terms DISCRIMINATION – BIDUN ranging from five to 20 years. The Court was due to deliver its inheritance. child custody and “confess”. acts” against Iraq and Syria. however. said that it was not to provide samples of their DNA. The court failed to investigate their In an August memorandum to Parliament. the Appeal ordered the government to restore the Kuwaiti Court confirmed one of the death sentences citizenship of Abdullah Hashr al-Barghash. of these. whom they Kuwait’s relations with those countries. The defendants said officials had practice. verdict in January 2016. a and commuted another to 15 years’ former MP whose nationality the authorities imprisonment. allegations. Bidun joining the banned organization Daesh rights activists faced arrest and prosecution. should government planned to implement an be taken into account when considering their emergency decree to extend the length of right to Kuwaiti nationality. endangering or stateless residents of Kuwait. which he denied. five in their absence. confess. which administers requiring all citizens and residents in Kuwait Bidun affairs in Kuwait. In September. the law accorded tortured them with electric shocks. but accused of espionage and terrorism-related continued to face discrimination in law and in charges. further torture allegations WOMEN’S RIGHTS emerged after 25 Kuwaitis and an Iranian Kuwaiti women had the right to vote and went on trial before the Criminal Court stand as candidates in elections. should be up to one year’s imprisonment and a fine. hanging women fewer rights than men in family by the legs and beatings to force them to matters. Fifteen were he held Saudi citizenship. This determination time that a suspect can be held in detention adds a further obstacle for Bidun to be without charge. They tried 29 Kuwaitis MP Musallam al-Barrak (see above). a political activist and adviser to former Imam Sadiq Mosque. (another name for the armed group Islamic Two days after the June mosque bombing. In particular. or IS). the government’s Central System to Resolve In July. such as divorce. deported him to Saudi Arabia. seven were In May. and and foreign nationals. All eight defendants alleged in the authorities stopped issuing Bidun with court that security officials had beaten them travel documents except for those seeking in pre-trial detention to coerce them to medical treatment abroad. appealed against the ruling. followed by The government continued to withhold deportation. claiming that on charges linked to the attack. citing anti.189 Bidun listed in the terrorism as the justification.COUNTER-TERROR AND SECURITY DEPRIVATION OF NATIONALITY The authorities increased security measures In April. In July. convicted and. no such provision granted Kuwaiti nationality. acquitted. and considered to be illegal residents. after convicting them of “hostile Kuwaiti citizenship from over 100. The government defendants’ appeals by the end of the year. Refusal to 1965 census. Another two defendants were which 13 Bidun were among those arrested. had been enacted by the end of the year. The Central System said that Press reports in July indicated that the other considerations. for State.

Khamrakulov v. document torture issued by the Ministry of faced exploitation and abuse. aimed at combating torture and other ill-treatment. No executions Kyrgyzstan accepted the recommendations were reported. the European Court of equivalent to one month’s salary for each year Human Rights issued a judgment on worked. However. torture and other ill-treatment. Prisoner of conscience accused of acts of torture were under Azimjan Askarov remained in detention consideration by the courts. predominantly women. particularly those by members of ethnic minorities.MIGRANT WORKERS’ RIGHTS detention under the National Preventive Migrant workers. including those in the Mechanism and instructions on how to domestic. of the UPR of Kyrgyzstan in June. and still fewer resulted The authorities failed to take effective in the prosecution of perpetrators. injuries and programme of monitoring of places of damage. The NGO Coalition against Torture in treatment and bring perpetrators to justice. No impartial and effective investigation took IMPUNITY place into human rights violations. By October. Legislation restricting freedoms started criminal investigations into three cases of expression and association was of torture. including five in their absence. and impunity crimes were committed by members of both for these violations. remained commonplace ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities. stating that forcible return of ethnic Uzbek applicants from Russia DEATH PENALTY to Kyrgyzstan would expose them to risk of At least 15 people were sentenced to death. of a the latter sustained most deaths. relating to the June 2010 Kyrgyz Republic violence and ensuring that the National Head of state: Almaz Atambaev Centre for the Prevention of Torture be Head of government: Temir Sariev (replaced adequately resourced and remained Dzhoomart Otorbaev in May) independent. only in while the homes of lawyers and the NGO four cases dating back to 2011 did courts who worked on his and other ethnic Uzbeks’ hand down a guilty verdict. Parliament Health to medical personnel based on the UN passed a law in June that for the first time Manual on the Effective Investigation and gave migrant domestic workers. effective investigation. labour rights including Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or one day of rest per week. including Only a minority of alleged torture and of crimes against humanity. The authorities made no genuine effort to effectively investigate the June 2010 ethnic TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT violence in Osh and Jalal-Abad. construction and other sectors. Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel. in late 2014. cases were raided by security officials. against the background of growing 2015. Russia. A specialist investigation unit created intolerance towards ethnic. 30 days’ annual Punishment (Istanbul Protocol). ethnic Uzbeks have 224 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . 35 criminal cases in introduced and later withdrawn “for relation to over 80 law enforcement officers consultation”. KYRGYZSTAN These concerned the investigation of allegations. but despite the introduction. where serious Torture and other ill-treatment. measures to end torture and other ill. Since then. sexual and other by the Prosecutor General’s Office in June minorities. Kyrgyzstan documented 79 cases of torture The space for civil society continued to and other ill-treatment in the first half of shrink. committed during gender-based violence cases led to an the June 2010 violence and its aftermath. paid leave and an end-of-service payment On 16 June 2015.

but was expected assailant. During these raids. the context of the violence have continued to Human rights defenders and other civil face harassment in connection with their society activists faced increasing harassment work. His award by Khusanbai Saliev. transgender and June 2010 violence in Osh. the Sokolukski District Court connection with their work. remained in prison. Kalia Arabekova. It proposed amendments to the Criminal Code and other legislation which criminalized Amnesty International Report 2015/16 225 . GKNB the US State Department of the Human officers seized documents relating to the Rights Defenders Award in July prompted an cases the lawyers were working on.been targeted disproportionately for “fostering positive attitude” towards “non- prosecution. Supreme Court on 30 April and 24 June respectively. and adopt before it could be voted in the third and final comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. bisexual. and pressure from the authorities in On 21 May. both of which ruled that the FREEDOMS OF EXPRESSION AND searches constituted illegal interference in the ASSOCIATION lawyers’ work. including Azimjan intersex (LGBTI) community. Valerian Vakhitov and violence. provided legal assistance to ethnic discrimination against members of the Uzbeks who faced prosecution following the lesbian. The draft law was withdrawn the police and security forces. court in the Talas region to eight years each A draft law was reintroduced in Parliament for gang-raping a woman. The complaints about the threats she was President and senior political figures spoke receiving. modelled assaulted. Bir Duino has. and complained sentenced three staff members of a local of a growing climate of insecurity. However. Kyrgyzstan traditional sexual relations”. and is Lawyers defending ethnic Uzbeks detained in expected to be returned to Parliament again. among other In a climate of growing intolerance and things. “for additional consultation”. in that would force NGOs receiving foreign aid December 2013. homophobic law introduced in Parliament in 2014 was adopted in its second reading in June by an overwhelming majority of MPs. the judge refused and engaging in any form of vaguely defined to order the arrest of the men pending their “political activities” to adopt and publicly use appeal hearing. as well as angry response from senior Kyrgyz officials. despite the victim’s repeated the stigmatizing label of “foreign agents”. The draft law was withdrawn “for whom she was able to recognize as her initial further discussion” in June. a draft Askarov. PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE On 27 March members of the State Azimjan Askarov. threatened and raped at her place on similar legislation adopted in Russia in of residence by two masked men. reading. On the night of 21 July. an ethnic Uzbek human Committee of National Security (GKNB) in rights defender and a prisoner of conscience Osh searched the office of human rights NGO who was sentenced to life in prison for Bir Duino (“one world”) and the homes of two purportedly participating in the 2010 ethnic lawyers working for it. gay. she was strongly in support of this initiative. and envisaged rejected the UPR recommendations to sanctions ranging from fines to one-year redress the lack of ethnic representation in imprisonment. one of 2012. to be back before Parliament for further consideration and adoption. The The President denounced the award as a lawyers’ complaint about the searches and provocation aimed at inciting separatism and the local court’s decision authorizing them the government rescinded a 1993 co. computers and digital memory devices. was heard at Osh Regional Court and the operation agreement with the USA. Nonetheless.

While Laos did not reject complained that Bounthanh Thammavong outright any recommendations. and to Foundations. association and peaceful information posted online. regulations”. was detained for two months after a and prosecutions. Construction of the US$3. disagreement with the remaining 80 recommendations which were noted. Restrictions on practising released in August. It controversial hydropower dam on the Mekong requires associations and foundations to River at Don Sahong was approved by “operate in accordance with the [ruling] Parliament. severely limiting the right to human rights defenders. In May. expressed serious concerns A concession for the construction of a about numerous provisions of the Decree. A new Decree on Associations and association and peaceful assembly. at least two Severe restrictions on freedom of individuals were arrested in relation to expression. was convicted BACKGROUND of criticizing the ruling party in a Facebook In June. disappearance. Laos accepted 116 of 196 posting and sentenced to four-and-a-half recommendations received during the second years’ imprisonment. Another woman. in December 226 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . government’s socio-economic downstream countries as to the dam’s development plan. despite objections from Party’s policy. was still pending in civil society groups in the region called for December. to be held outside the country on the freedom of peaceful assembly and grounds that free discussion of key regional association. the UN Special their annual gathering. A diplomatic official UPR of Laos. No progress was recorded photograph she took showing police allegedly in the case of a prominent civil society extorting money from her brother was posted member. She was government.LAOS Mekong River dams potentially impacting livelihoods in neighbouring countries. Two prisoners of conscience June for posting a “confidential document” arrested in 1999 for attempting a peaceful on Facebook regarding a land concession protest remained imprisoned. including eight mainstream post in the capital. Several FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION of these pertained to freedom of expression. Plans for scores ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES more dams throughout the country were Sombath Somphone. international law. three years after his enforced online. Vientiane. and on the situation of human rights issues will be impossible in Laos. In October Bounthanh Thammavong. rights defenders. assembly continued and authorities A Natural Resources and Environmental prepared to further tighten control of civil Department staff member was arrested in society groups. freedom of association in violation of Ahead of Laos chairing the ASEAN in 2016. on Forum. a prominent civil society either under development or under member who was abducted outside a police construction. a Polish national of Lao descent. it indicated was denied access to a lawyer during his trial. the ASEAN People’s Rapporteurs on freedom of expression.5 billion Xayaburi Dam entered its final stage. One activist granted by the Luang Prabang local was imprisoned for online criticism of the authorities to Chinese investors. Lao People’s Democratic Republic FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Head of state: Choummaly Sayasone After the enactment of the Prime Ministerial Head of government: Thongsing Thammavong Decree on management of information through the internet in 2014. including arrests Mitane. Phout Christianity were reported. State’s laws and its expected ecological and social impact.

Recognition rates also Amnesty International Report 2015/16 227 . gathering in support of LGBTI people’s rights. The number of asylum applications remained low. transgender and beginning of 2015. without major LATVIA incidents. people. dozen UPR recommendations calling for an In June. ratification of the International Convention for Concerns remained about the lack of the Protection of All Persons from Enforced express protection in criminal law against Disappearance. incitement to hatred and violence on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. GAY. an placing Latvia in breach of its international entrepreneur who was active on conservation obligations to respect freedom of expression issues. The police Bērziņš in July) offered effective protection to participants. Over 262. While Laos Victims told Mozaika they did not report the is not known to have carried out executions attacks to the police for fear that they would since 1989. bisexual.2012.000 people participated. it failed to accept more than a not be taken seriously.2km. gay.000 people remained were excluded from the enjoyment of political stateless. BISEXUAL. Head of government: Laimdota Straujuma DISCRIMINATION ‒ STATELESS PERSONS Parliament passed amendments to the There continued to be a high number of Education Law which discriminated against stateless people – over 262. progress in his case. with about 200 received in the first eight months of the year. None resulted in serious injuries. mainly for drug-related offences. an international official moratorium on the death penalty. Laos accepted some. including three Latvian MPs. but not all. inadequate. Appeals against negative asylum rights. decisions had no suspensive effect. He remained disappeared since being and the requirement of non-discrimination abducted by men believed to be police in with regard to LGBTI people’s relationships 2007. which include a from the agenda of the ASEAN People’s definition of marriage as the union between a Forum event. remained disappeared with no RIGHTS OF LESBIAN. About 5. according to figures of intersex (LGBTI) people. the UN refugee agency. There was also concern that it recommendations calling for an impartial would restrict children’s access to sex and investigation into Sombath Somphone’s sexuality education with potentially negative enforced disappearance and for Laos’ impacts on their right to health. Protection for UNHCR.000 at the lesbian. leaving people at risk of being returned to countries REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS where their rights could be violated. a route Head of state: Raimonds Vējonis (succeeded Andris four times longer than in the past. The new legislation risked case of Sompawn Khantisouk. UPR and families. The authorities allowed the parade to pass through the main Republic of Latvia street of Riga and to cover 2. the vast majority ethnic Russians. Stateless LGBTI people against hate crimes remained people. EuroPride. In March. In DEATH PENALTY the first nine months of 2015. Latvian NGO Approximately 20 people were reported to Mozaika recorded 14 attacks against LGBTI have been sentenced to death in 2015. the capital. a former TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE military general heading a non-profit In June. No progress was made in the man and a woman. Parliament passed amendments to organization – widely believed to be a the Education Law requiring schools to government proxy – made a failed attempt to provide “morality” education based on have Sombath Somphone’s name removed constitutional values. took place in Riga.

many of whom entered 228 Amnesty International Report 2015/16 . thousands by the end of the year Lebanon had yet to of people took to the streets of the capital. fighting between rival factions at Ain el-Helweh. In August. In Lebanese Republic Syria. to protest against the government’s torture. In August. caused three deaths. Palestinian clearance and other public services. reportedly over 1. REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS accusing the authorities of corruption and a Lebanon hosted around 300.000 Palestinian lack of accountability and transparency.2 million refugees from Syria but injuring over 300 people. Lebanon’s largest Palestinian LEBANON refugee camp. entry of Palestinians fleeing from Syria. five officers were charged with using violence against prisoners at Roumieh Pr