Tag Archives: Amnesty International

This afternoon.

Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Manager of Dublin Pride Eddie McGuinness (in tunic) and Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O’Gorman (red top) join ‘revellers’ at an open air disco opposite the Dail protesting the visit of US VP Mike Pence to Ireland.

Dancing until 3pm.

No ‘jeans shorts’.

Earlier: Welcoming Matt

Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

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Arlette Lyons, Fiona Walsh, Ruth Bowie, Sarah McGuinness, Julie O Donnell, Agatha Corcoran, Deirdre Conroy and Gaye Edwards, all from the group Terminations For Medical Reasons outside the Dáil in 2013 

Further to the defeat of Independent 4 Change TD Mick Wallace’s bill to allow for abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities…

Gaye Edwards, who lost her first child, Joshua, to anencephaly, writes:

I like to think that our collective input influenced the recommendations that so many UN member states made when Ireland’s human rights record came under review in May 2016. Together, they called on Ireland to change its highly restrictive abortion laws. Working with Amnesty has also given weight to our assertion that we are not criminals, and that by denying us treatment in our own country, Ireland is violating our human rights.

I feel that sharing my experience has helped to spark a public discourse in Ireland which was previously absent. The Irish people are getting a better understanding of how the 8th Amendment to the Constitution (which puts the right to life of the foetus on equal footing with that of the woman), affects not only people in circumstances like mine, but in other circumstances too. It is no longer a simple black and white argument, but a rich and nuanced discussion, full of the complexity of real-life situations.

The majority of Irish people are caring and compassionate, and don’t want suffering to continue. This needs to be reflected in our laws. I have realised from my interactions with Amnesty that these views are shared by people all over the world. Witnessing their support for me has been both humbling and uplifting.

In my own experience, some older, more conservative relatives had expressed sympathy and support for my husband and me as we tried to navigate our own tragedy. Yet they never discussed the injustice of it with anyone else as the subject of abortion has always been considered taboo. Now, however, they share our story freely, and are proud of our quest for justice.

So, what next? Well I think the short answer is “more of the same!” We will continue to tell our stories in order to help educate people generally about the nature of fatal foetal anomalies.

We will continue to tell our stories to help women who have suffered losses in secret, realise that they did nothing wrong – that they are not criminals, and they are not alone.

We will continue all this until we have a legal and social environment that respects women’s choices and no longer punishes tragedy.

Partnering with Amnesty helped us globalize our campaign to change Ireland’s abortion laws (Gaye Edwards, Amnesty International)

Previously: On Message

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Pro-choice activists outside Government Buildings in April, calling for a repeal of the eighth amendment, in a protest organised by Amnesty International

It is sad to hear of the recent dissolution of the Amnesty International group in Kells, Co Meath.

For 30 years it has served the worthy objectives of this worldwide organisation – supporting prisoners of conscience, opposing torture, the death penalty and helping refugees.

The decision to end this valuable Irish group took place on a point of moral principle, Amnesty’s recent crusade for abortion rights. This detracts from focusing on the causes for which Amnesty was originally founded.

Moreover, seeking further extensive abortion “rights” certainly would not have been entertained by Amnesty’s founder, Peter Benenson. Perhaps the Kells group’s objection and the consequent ending of its local Amnesty International activities may now be copied elsewhere in Ireland.

Tom Stack,
Milltown,
Dublin 6.

Amnesty And The Eighth Amendment (Irish Times letters)

Previously: It Takes A Vigil

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Turkey/Syria border 

Readers may recall how, last week, Amnesty International reported that, just hours after the EU-Turkey deal on Friday, March 18, Turkey forcibly returned around 30 Afghan asylum seekers to Afghanistan – without giving them the opportunity to seek asylum.

Ireland is contributing €22million to the €3billion EU-Turkey deal.

Further to this, Amnesty reports today…

New research carried out by the organisation [Amnesty International] in Turkey’s southern border provinces suggests that Turkish authorities have been rounding up and expelling groups of around 100 Syrian men, women and children to Syria on a near-daily basis since mid-January.

Over three days last week, Amnesty International researchers gathered multiple testimonies of large-scale returns from Hatay province, confirming a practice that is an open secret in the region.

All forced returns to Syria are illegal under Turkish, EU and international law.

“In their desperation to seal their borders, EU leaders have wilfully ignored the simplest of facts: Turkey is not a safe country for Syrian refugees and is getting less safe by the day,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia.

“The large-scale returns of Syrian refugees we have documented highlight the fatal flaws in the EU-Turkey deal. It is a deal that can only be implemented with the hardest of hearts and a blithe disregard for international law.”

The EU-Turkey deal paves the way for the immediate return to Turkey of Syrian refugees arriving on the Greek islands, on the grounds that it is safe country of asylum. EU officials have expressed the hope that returns could start as of Monday 4 April.

The EU’s extended courting of Turkey that preceded the deal has already had disastrous knock-on effects on Turkey’s own policies towards Syrian refugees.

“Far from pressuring Turkey to improve the protection it offers Syrian refugees, the EU is in fact incentivizing the opposite,” said John Dalhuisen.

“It seems highly likely that Turkey has returned several thousand refugees to Syria in the last seven to nine weeks. If the agreement proceeds as planned, there is a very real risk that some of those the EU sends back to Turkey will suffer the same fate.”

One of the cases uncovered by Amnesty International is of three young children forced back into Syria without their parents; another is of the forced return of an eight-month pregnant woman.

Turkey: Illegal mass returns of Syrian refugees expose fatal flaws in EU-Turkey deal (Amnesty International)

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This afternoon.

Outside the Amnesty International council meeting being held at the Citywest Hotel, Saggart, Co Dublin.

Eillen King (above) and other members of the Pro Life Campaign hold an ‘awareness event’ to highlight Amnesty Ireland’s call for the repeal of the 8th Amendment claiming it has nothing to do with the organisation’s founding principles.

Update: Placard lettering reads : ‘Amnesty pushes abortion and stays silent when babies born alive after induced abortions are left to die alone in hospital corridors

Yesterday: Meanwhile, At Government Buildings

(Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie)

Thanks Nially

Meanwhile…

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This morning.

President Higgins delivering the opening address at the Amnesty International Council meeting, ‘Campaigning for Human Rights in the Contemporary World’ at CityWest Hotel.

(Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie)

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Amnesty Ireland is holding a protest calling for a repeal of the 8th amendment.

The organisation tweetz:

Since 1971 over 177,000 women and girls have left Ireland to have an abortion. She is not a criminal. Repeal the 8th…Ireland needs to stop the hypocrisy – Irish women have abortions, just not in their homeland.

Previously: A Deliberate Denial Of Care

Pics: Amnesty Ireland

“Ireland should change the law to allow women and girls access to safe, legal abortions. Pregnant women and girls risk putting their health and lives in danger if they remain in Ireland, Amnesty International said today in a report on the country’s abortion law.”

“The report She is not a criminal: The Impact of Ireland’s abortion law documents shocking cases of Irish authorities denying women and girls necessary healthcare in order to prioritize the life of the foetus – which is protected by an amendment to Ireland’s constitution added in 1983.

Only allowing abortion if the woman’s life is at risk, Ireland’s abortion law is one of the most restrictive in the world, forcing at least 4,000 women and girls to travel outside the country for an abortion every year at considerable mental, financial and physical cost. Women and girls who cannot travel are left without access to necessary health treatment, or risk criminal penalties if they undergo illegal abortions at home.

Read the full report here

Ireland’s abortion laws treat women like criminals (Amnesty International Ireland)

Ireland’s abortion regime ‘violates human rights’, says Amnesty (Kitty Holland, Irish Times)