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Stop fuelling human rights abuses in Africa

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

News Service:189/99
AI INDEX: AFR 01/04/99
18 October 1999

Media Advisory

Stop fuelling human rights abuses in Africa

On 18th October 1999, Amnesty International will launch a worldwide week of membership action pressing governments to halt those transfers of arms, security equipment, personnel and training likely to fuel human rights abuses in Africa.

To mark AI Week, the human rights organization is publishing a hard-hitting newspaper entitled "The Terror Trade Times".The paper, available freely to media, is a 12 page colour tabloid, with pictures, text and testimonies describing the devastation wrought throughout Africa by such arms and training.

In countries such as Rwanda, where terrible human rights violations have been documented by Amnesty International, one witness describes how his mother was killed:. "The soldiers arrive, they burn, they raid, they loot. Our house was burned, and we fled..My mother was killed...At 65 years old, she couldn't run away when the men with arms approached, and she hid in a ditch. That was when one of them shot her in the head...No one dares to point the finger at the assassins because they have the strength of their arms."

The tabloid includes articles detailing: French military and security links with Togolese repression, the scourge of anti-personnel landmines in Angola and Senegal, the devastating conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the trail of tear gas from Europe to Kenya and many other cases exposing how the international community has armed human rights abusers in Africa.

"Read this paper, get angry. But most of all, act. Listen to the voices of those across Africa. Help break the chain of repression," is the message Amnesty International wants to convey to the international community. Halt the supply of weapons, equipment, training and personnel to the killers and torturers. ENDS.../ Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom

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