11 September 2023

Amnesty International Thailand


Hong Kong: Same-sex marriage ruling a moment of hope for LGBTI rights

5 September 2023


In response to today’s Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal verdict that granted a partial victory to LGBTI activist Jimmy Sham, who has been bidding to have his overseas same-sex marriage recognized since 2018, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Piya Muqit, said:

“This ruling is an important step forward and a moment of hope for Hong Kong’s LGBTI people, who have long been denied equal rights due to the city’s outdated and discriminatory laws.

“Jimmy Sham’s partial victory in court is the reward for his tireless campaigning for equality, and it sends a clear message to the Hong Kong government that its laws on same-sex marriage are in urgent need of reform.

“It is regrettable that the Court saw the constitutional right to marry as being exclusively confined to opposite-sex couples. But it cannot be ignored that the Court still demands that the government provides same-sex couples with formal and general legal recognition to protect their rights, enable them to participate with certainty in social life and recognize their legitimacy.

Amnesty International believes same-sex relationships should be recognized equally and on the same basis and with the same rights as those of opposite-sex couples.


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Global: Heatwaves are worsening air pollution, underscoring the urgent need to phase out fossil fuels

6 September 2023


Reacting to a report today from the World Meteorological Organization, which shows that the increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves are significantly lowering air quality worldwide, threatening people’s health and their right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Climate Advisor, said: 

“Climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of heatwaves, and extreme heat, compounded by wildfires and desert dust, is measurably damaging air quality on a vast scale and threatening people’s human right to health and to a healthy environment.

“Countries must act to safeguard public health and human rights. Those with the biggest responsibility for historical emissions must ensure their existing climate finance commitments are met to help protect the rights of the Indigenous peoples and marginalized communities most vulnerable to climate change.”

Amnesty International has highlighted the health impacts of climate change, which are worse for marginalized individuals and groups such as refugees and migrants. It has also documented the impact of heatwaves on human rights in vulnerable communities.

The World Meteorological Organization is the United Nation’s agency responsible for atmospheric science and climatology, hydrology and geophysics. According to data released today by the EU-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service, June, July and August 2023 was the hottest three month period ever recorded.


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UK: ‘Spy clause’ in Online Safety Bill must be addressed before it becomes law

5 September 2023


Ahead of the UK Online Safety Bill entering its final stages in the House of Lords on 6 September, which could see a so-called ‘spy clause’ signed into law this year, Rasha Abdul Rahim, Director of Amnesty Tech, said:

“Clause 122, known as the ‘spy clause’, could see the private sector being mandated to carry out mass surveillance of private digital communications. It would leave everybody in the UK – including human rights organisations and activists – vulnerable to malicious hacking attacks and targeted surveillance campaigns. It also sets a dangerous precedent.

“It remains undeniably true that it is not possible to create a technological system that can scan the contents of private electronic communication while preserving the right to privacy.

“Encryption is a crucial enabler of the rights to privacy and freedom of expression, and also has a significant impact on other human rights. UK lawmakers must urgently address Clause 122 and ensure the Online Safety Bill upholds the right to privacy before it is signed into law.”


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Chile: 50 years since the coup d’état, exercising historical memory is vital for the country’s future

8 September 2023


If Chile is to heal the wounds inflicted by Augusto Pinochet’s military regime, it must learn from its history and rebuild the foundations of a society that is more respectful of human dignity, Amnesty International said as it commemorated 50 years since the coup d’état that resulted in countless crimes under international law and cruel human rights violations in the country.

During the Pinochet regime, constitutional guarantees were suspended, Congress was dissolved and a state of emergency was declared throughout the country. Inflicting torture and making people disappear, among other practices, became state policy. According to official figures, the regime left a toll of 40,175 victims, including torture, executions, detentions and disappearances, and the records of the Transitional Justice Observatory suggest that there has been no justice, truth or reparation in over 70% of cases of executions or disappearances.

“The search for detainees that disappeared is not simply a question of justice but also one of humanity. Finding their whereabouts, identifying them and returning their bodies will not only bring relief to their families but also help to heal the deep wound evident in Chilean society. To achieve this, it’s imperative that those who have persistently withheld information about the events present it at long last. This and other measures recently announced by the government are essential for the National Search Plan to be able to do its job,” said Rodrigo Bustos, executive director of Amnesty International Chile. 

Keeping memory alive is crucial if we are to prevent future generations from experiencing the atrocities we had to live through in the past.


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Cyprus: Authorities must protect migrants and refugees from racist attacks

6 September 2023


Responding to pogrom-like demonstrations and violent attacks against racialized people, including migrants and refugees, in Limassol and Chlorakas in recent weeks, in which migrant-owned shops were destroyed and several people were attacked by mobs, Amnesty International’s Migration Researcher Adriana Tidona, said:

“The violent, racist attacks in Chlorakas and Limassol must serve as a wake-up call for authorities in Cyprus to take immediate measures to tackle racist rhetoric and abuse, which have been on the rise in the country for years.”

“Authorities in Cyprus must launch an urgent investigation into the attacks in Chloraka and Limassol as well as into the police response to them and take decisive action to prevent any future violence as well as to protect racialized people.” Amnesty International’s Migration Researcher Adriana Tidona

“The latest attacks on racialised migrants is a direct consequence of government policies encouraging racism, hate speech, xenophobia and intolerance within Cypriot society. We urge the authorities to take decisive action to stem violence against racialized migrants and to hold those responsible for encouraging it to account. We strongly denounce the total silence of EU Member States in the wake of yet another wave of violence against migrants.”


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