17 October 2023

Amnesty International Thailand


Israel/OPT: Israel must lift illegal and inhumane blockade on Gaza as power plant runs out of fuel

12 October 2023 


The shutdown of Gaza’s only power plant will exacerbate an already desperate humanitarian crisis for more than 2.2 million people trapped in the Gaza Strip, amid a massive bombing campaign by Israel that has killed at least 1,350 people and injured more than 6,000 people.

The airstrikes were launched in retaliation to the attack on 7 October by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups from Gaza who fired indiscriminate rockets and sent fighters into southern Israel, killing more than 1,200 people and injuring more than 2,700 and taking hostages, including many civilians.

“The Israeli authorities must immediately restore Gaza’s electricity supply and suspend the increased restrictions imposed as a result of the Minister of Defence’s order of 9 October 2023 and lift its illegal 16-year blockade on the Gaza Strip. The collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population amounts to a war crime – it is cruel and inhumane. As the occupying power, Israel has a clear obligation under international law to ensure the basic needs of Gaza’s civilian population are met,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard.

Amnesty International is calling on Israel and Palestinian armed groups to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

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Israel/OPT: Civilians on both sides paying the price of unprecedented escalation in hostilities between Israel and Gaza as death toll mounts

7 October 2023 


Israeli security forces and Palestinian armed groups must make every effort to protect the lives of civilians in today’s outbreak of fighting in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said Amnesty International amid a mounting civilian death toll. 

Today’s escalation in violence began with Hamas firing rockets into Israel and launching an unprecedented operation by its fighters into southern Israel.

“We are deeply alarmed by the mounting civilian death tolls in Gaza, Israel and the occupied West Bank and urgently call on all parties to the conflict to abide by international law and make every effort to avoid further civilian bloodshed. Under international humanitarian law all sides in a conflict have a clear obligation to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the hostilities,” said Agnès Callamard Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“Deliberately targeting civilians, carrying out disproportionate attacks, and indiscriminate attacks which kill or injure civilians are war crimes. Israel has a horrific track record of committing war crimes with impunity in previous wars on Gaza. Palestinian armed groups from Gaza, must refrain from targeting civilians and using indiscriminate weapons, as they have done in the past, and most intensively in this event, acts amounting to war crimes.”


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Saudi Arabia: Migrants workers who toiled in Amazon warehouses were deceived and exploited

10 October 2023 

Contracted workers in Amazon warehouses in Saudi Arabia were deceived by recruitment agents and labour supply companies, cheated of their earnings, housed in appalling conditions and prevented from finding alternative employment or leaving the country, Amnesty International said today.

A new report, Don’t worry, it’s a branch of Amazon, shows how Amazon failed to prevent contracted workers in Saudi Arabia from being repeatedly exposed to human rights abuses, despite receiving complaints directly from workers about their treatment over a lengthy period of time. In many cases, it is highly likely that the abuses suffered by workers amounted to human trafficking, given the deception that occurred during their recruitment, and the exploitation endured once they were there.

“The workers thought they were seizing a golden opportunity with Amazon but instead ended up suffering abuses which left many traumatized. We suspect hundreds more endured similar appalling treatment. Many of those we interviewed suffered abuses so severe that they are likely to amount to human trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice.

“Amazon could have prevented and ended this appalling suffering long ago but its processes failed to protect these contracted workers in Saudi Arabia from shocking abuses. Amazon should urgently compensate all those who have been harmed, and ensure this can never happen again.

“The government of Saudi Arabia also bears a heavy responsibility. It must urgently investigate these abuses and reform its labour system to guarantee workers their fundamental rights, including being able to freely change employers and leave the country without conditions.”


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Global: Unfettered trade in law enforcement equipment fuelling protest violations – new investigation

4 October 2023 


Companies selling less lethal weapons to countries that abuse them to suppress protests, and states licensing these exports, are fuelling a global human rights crisis and must stop this irresponsible trade, Amnesty International said in a new investigation published today.

The Repression Trade: Investigating the Transfer of Weapons Used to Crush Dissent identifies 23 major producers of less lethal equipment and hunting ammunition whose products have been used unlawfully in protests in 25 countries worldwide. The weapons – including tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and stun grenades – have been regularly used in human rights violations, including the torture or other ill-treatment of protesters and detainees across the world.

Amnesty International used open-source techniques, weapons analysis and trade data to show how the lack of transparency and state regulation of the trade in law enforcement equipment must be urgently addressed.

“In recent years, less lethal weapons have repeatedly been used to intimidate and punish protesters, causing thousands of avoidable injuries and scores of deaths worldwide,” said Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Military, Security and Policing Issues.

“Some companies have routinely exported weapons to countries with shocking human rights records, despite reports that this equipment is being abused. The woeful lack of state regulation of the trade is enabling human rights violations and undermining the right to peaceful protest all around the world.

“The companies producing these weapons have a responsibility to put an end to their irresponsible trade in law enforcement equipment. It’s time that these companies fully respect all human rights wherever they operate.”


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Afghanistan: Urgent action critical after devastating earthquake

9 October 2023 


Responding to the catastrophic earthquake that struck western province of Herat in Afghanistan over the weekend, Zaman Sultani, Amnesty International’s regional researcher for South Asia, said:

“Amnesty International expresses our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in the devastating earthquake.

“Amnesty International calls on the Taliban de facto authorities to attend to the immediate and essentials needs of the affected communities and ensure that rescue and relief efforts are carried out without discrimination and in a manner that is compliant with international human rights standards. It is critical that all assistance meets the needs of the most at-risks groups who often face compounded challenges in crisis situations, including women, children, older persons, and people with disabilities.

“People in Afghanistan are already suffering from the impacts of the acute economic crisis and several years of conflict. With the winter months ahead, Amnesty International calls on the de facto authorities and the international community to immediately mobilize resources to support access to housing, adequate food, potable water, safe sanitation, and healthcare as thousands of families face an uncertain future with their homes destroyed by the earthquake. The de-facto authorities must also guarantee safe and unrestricted access to the affected regions for humanitarian agencies.”


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