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Amnesty's Global Round Up Latest Human Rights News

Amnesty International’s Global Round-Up: Latest Human Rights News

(22/11/04)

Sudan: Arms trade fuelling human rights abuse in Darfur

The helicopter pilots deliberately and indiscriminately attacked the informal internally displaced persons' settlement knowing very well that there were innocent civilians.
African Union Commission Ceasefire Violation report on the attack in Hashaba and Gallab Villages on 26 August 2004

The only thing in abundance in Darfur is weapons. It’s easier to get a Kalashnikov than a loaf of bread.
Jan Egeland, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, 1 July 2004


Amnesty International today revealed details of the uncontrolled arms exports that have fuelled massive human rights abuses in Sudan, including the killing, rape, torture and displacement of more than a million civilians since the Darfur conflict began in February 2003.

"Governments must stop turning a blind eye to the immediate and long term consequences of this totally irresponsible trade. They must ensure that the UN Security Council imposes a mandatory and rigorously monitored arms embargo on all parties to the conflict in Sudan including the government’s armed forces. The embargo should aim to stop all exports of arms that are likely to be used to commit human rights violations," said Elizabeth Hodgkin, Amnesty International's Sudan researcher.

At a news conference in Nairobi ahead of this week‘s meeting of the UN Security Council in the same city, Amnesty International delegates presented a report identifying the main types of arms sent to Sudan and the governments that have deliberately or unwittingly allowed them to be sent.

The report, Sudan: Arming the perpetrators of grave abuses in Darfur shows how Sudanese government forces and their militia allies have used such arms for grave human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"Two Antonov aeroplanes, five helicopters and two MIGs attacked our village at around 6am. Five tanks came into town. The attack lasted until 7pm...Eighteen men and two children from our family were killed when fleeing." Testimony given to Amnesty International in May 2004 by Aziza Abdel Jaber Mohammed and her half sister Zahra Adam Arja on the attack of Kornoy in North Darfur in December 2003.

Based on the testimony of hundreds of survivors gathered by Amnesty International as well as commercial documents, UN arms trade data and other sources - the report’s main findings include:

Military aircraft and components sold to Sudan from the Russian Federation, China and Belarus, with helicopter spare parts from Lithuania, despite repeated use of such aircraft to bomb villages and support ground attacks on civilians;

Tanks, military vehicles and artillery transferred to Sudan from Belarus, Russia and Poland, even though such equipment has been used to help launch indiscriminate and direct attacks on civilians;

Grenades, rifles, pistols, ammunition and other small arms and light weapons exported to Sudan from many countries, but mainly China, France, Iran and Saudi Arabia;

The recent involvement of arms brokering companies from the UK and Ireland attempting to provide large numbers of Antonov aircraft and military vehicles from Ukraine and pistols from Brazil;

Military training and cooperation offered by Belarus, India, Malaysia and Russia.


"Some governments such as Bulgaria, Lithuania and the UK have already begun to take action to halt the arms flows to Sudan, and the European Union has imposed an embargo, but other governments show no sign of wanting to turn off the tap that is fuelling these atrocities", said Brian Wood, Amnesty International's research manager on the arms and security trade

Amnesty International is appealing to the UN Security Council to impose a mandatory arms embargo to halt exports of arms likely to be used to commit human rights violations. The embargo should be accompanied by rigorous UN monitoring both inside and outside Sudan.

The organization is calling on all states mentioned in the report to take immediate concrete steps to suspend all transfers of those types of arms and related logistical and security supplies that are being used for grave human rights violations in Sudan.

To prevent the arms trade from contributing to such disasters, Amnesty International is also campaigning for all states to establish much more rigorous controls on conventional arms, including the establishment of an Arms Trade Treaty which would prohibit arms exports to those likely to use them to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.

For a full copy of the report, Sudan: Arming the perpetrators of grave abuses in Darfur, please see: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engafr541392004

news.amnesty Sudan crisis press pack

>http://news.amnesty.org/pages/sudan

Sudan crisis pages

>http://web.amnesty.org/pages/sdn-index-eng

Sudan: Briefing for the UN Security Council meeting in Nairobi 18-19

Briefing for the UN Security Council meeting in Nairobi

> http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR541492004

Bulgaria: Give the children of Dzhurkovo a chance to realize their dreams

Dzhurkovo is a small village in the Rodopi Mountains -- a magnificent range in Southern Bulgaria.

> http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGEUR150032004

Myanmar: Prisoners of conscience freed

Amnesty International welcomes the release from prison today of at least 20 political prisoners in Myanmar. The Burmese authorities announced yesterday that they would release 3,937 prisoners, after finding that "improper deeds" were used to imprison them.

> http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGASA160082004

Mexico: Indigenous women and military injustice

Amnesty International is launching its latest report on Mexico Indigenous women and military injustice 23 November at a press conference in Mexico City.

> http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGAMR410472004

Child Soldiers: Governments failing generations of children

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers today released the most comprehensive global survey of child soldiers to date. It said that children are fighting in almost every major conflict, in both government and opposition forces. They are being injured, subjected to horrific abuse and killed.

> http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGACT760102004

El Salvador/Guatemala: "¿Dónde están los niños?" (Where are the children?)

Imagine your country is at war; imagine you are a child.

>http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGAMR020012004

Brazil: The world has not forgotten

Though it is eight years since the cold blooded massacre of 19 MST activists in Eldorado dos Carajás, the world continues to be baffled as to how nobody has yet been imprisoned for these crimes.

> http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGAMR190192004

Saudi Arabia: Women's exclusion from elections undermines progress

Saudi Arabia is gearing up for the country's first nationwide municipal elections early next year, but half of the population will not be taking part.

> http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGMDE230152004

Iraq: Urgent action needed to prevent war crimes

Recent reports from Falluja raise serious concerns that grave violations of the laws of war protecting both civilians and combatants who are no longer taking part in hostilities (hors de combat) are taking place.

> http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGMDE140572004

Uganda: Government cannot prevent the International Criminal Court from investigating crimes

Amnesty International is concerned about reported statements by government officials suggesting that crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Northern Uganda would be addressed in traditional reconciliation procedures.

>http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGAFR590082004

Ukraine: Arrested for requesting election results

Amnesty International is concerned that the authorities in Ukraine continue to arrest people who exercise their right to peacefully protest.

> http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGEUR500052004

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