News / Africa

Amnesty International Calls on Arab League States to Make Human Rights Priority at Sirte Summit

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

The League of Arab States holds a summit Saturday in Sirte, Libya, and a human rights group is calling on members to make respect for human rights a top priority at the meeting.

Amnesty International says human rights and international humanitarian law should be a “cornerstone” of the summit deliberations – especially regarding regional conflicts in Sudan, Somalia and Yemen; and between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Rania Rajji, Amnesty’s researcher on Sudan, says, “Our concern is the continuing situation in Sudan in terms of the human rights violations that have been taking place over the last two years, really, which are more and more increasing at the hands of the national security.”

She says the coming elections could create a climate “that would only “enhance these human rights violations.”  

The alleged violations include mass unlawful detentions, with people being held incommunicado, and extra-judicial killings.

Arrest warrant

The League of Arab States has rejected the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).  The warrant accuses him of war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the Darfur conflict in Western Sudan.

“We are asking the league to reverse its position and really we are asking for the member states to abide with their…obligations under international law.  The human rights violations that have been taking place in Sudan are contrary to Sudan’s human rights obligations, as well as other states,” she says.

Amnesty says human rights violators “should be brought to justice.”

“We are really encouraging justice mechanisms to be in place at all levels.  Of course the International Criminal court has [precedence] over crimes that have been committed in Darfur and over the arrest warrants that are carried out against President Bashir and three other people,” she says.

The accused should surrender, Rajji says, adding that they have the option under the Rome Statute to have their trials held in Sudan.  But she says impartial courts need to be in place and legislation passed to lift any immunity they may have against prosecution.  She says the legislation should also bar immunity for any security personnel accused of human rights violations.

Somalia

On Somalia, Amnesty is calling on Arab League states to end all supplies of weapons, military equipment and related financial aid to the Transitional Federal Government until mechanisms are in put in place to ensure they are not used to commit human rights violations.  

Amnesty also says all parties in the Somali conflict accused of grave human rights abuses should be brought to justice.  It also wants member states to respect the UN arms embargo on Somalia.  

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs