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국제앰네스티, ‘비공개 교전’으로 폐허된 예멘 사진 입수

예멘 북부의 사다(Sa’dah)지역에서 발생한 항공기 폭격사건의 피해 규모가 국제앰네스티가 입수한 수백 장의 사진을 통해 밝혀졌다.

독립된 경로를 통해 국제앰네스티 측에 입수된 사진들은 2009년 8월과 2010년 2월 사이 예멘 군대와 시아파 성직자 추종자들 간 충돌과정에서 파괴된 건물들의 모습을 보여준다.

국제앰네스티 중동-북아프리카국(局) 필립 루터(Philip Luther) 부국장은 “이는 알려지지 않은 채 발생한 눈에 띄지 않는 분쟁이었다”라고 지적하며, “사진들은 폭탄 공격의 실제
규모와 잔인성을 보여주며, 당시 공격에 노출된 시민들이 받았을 영향을 여실히 보여준다”고 말했다.

사진들은 이달 초 사다 지역에서 도피한 다수의 목격자들이 국제앰네스티 측에 전한 증언과도 일치한다.

개별적으로 여러 번에 걸쳐 실시한 인터뷰에서 목격자들은 11월 초 시작된 사우디 아라비아의 공습이 이전 예맨 군대의 공격과는 분명히 달랐다고 전했다. 과거 경험하지 못했던 집중적이고 강력한 공격이었다는 말이다.

또 시장과 회교 사원 등 시민들이 모이는 곳 뿐만 아니라 큰 주거 건물들도 공격을 받아 무장하지 않은 남성들과 여성, 어린이들 수십 명이 사망했다고 증언했다.

국제인도주의법은 민간인에 대한 무차별적이고 과도한 공격, 분쟁 중 민간인을 공격 목표로 삼는 것을 금지한다. 만약 이러한 공격이 고의로 이루어졌다면, 이는 전쟁 범죄로 볼 수 있다.

한편, 사우디 아라비아 정부와 예맨 정부는 공격에 대해 어떠한 설명도 하지 않았다.

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Egyptian security forces arrest and beat peaceful protestors

Tuesday 6 April 2010

More than 90 people were detained in Cairo for taking part in demonstrations calling for political reform on Tuesday.

Amnesty International has condemned arrests, detentions and violence meted out against peaceful protesters in Egypt, after more than 90 people were detained in Cairo for taking part in demonstrations calling for political reform on Tuesday.

The demonstrators were also calling for an end to a 29-year government-imposed state of emergency, which has been used to curb protests, freedom of expression and abuse other human rights.

“This intimidation of opposition activists and government critics must end immediately,” said Malcolm Smart, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

“The Egyptian authorities should demonstrate their commitment to human rights by allowing and protecting peaceful protests.”

Heavy security was deployed earlier today along the main gathering points in Cairo, as well as in a number of universities, in order to prevent assemblies from taking place. It was unclear how many people attended or tried to attend the protests.

Many protestors were cordoned off by security forces before being beaten and kicked as they sought to converge on Tahrir Square in central Cairo. Others were beaten with sticks and threatened with knives by security forces in plain clothes.

Several arrests were made in Alexandria train station, where many people were prevented from travelling to Cairo to join the demonstrations.

Former presidential candidate, Ayman Nour, and several members of his al-Ghad political party were reportedly assaulted and prevented from leaving the party’s offices in central Cairo.

Most of those arrested were also ordered to hand over their mobile phones and identity documents. The detainees will now be transferred to a detention facility called “the military prison”.

Some of those detained are said to have been seriously injured during their arrests. There are also fears that many may be at risk of further beatings and ill-treatment while in custody.

The authorities have also barred journalists from covering the protests and confiscated their equipment. Those affected included an Al-Jazeera correspondent, a reporter of Egyptian Dream TV, a journalist for al-Karama newspaper and a photographer from al-Masry al-Youm newspaper.

Today’s arrests and detentions came after civil rights groups announced their intention to hold protests in early April, and demanded that legislative elections to be held in May, June and November this year, are conducted freely and fairly.

“The authorities must release immediately any one arrested and detained for peacefully expressing their rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” said Malcolm Smart.

Since the state of emergency was imposed in 1981, the Egyptian authorities have used emergency law provisions to ban demonstrations and curb freedom of expression and the related rights to freedom of association and assembly.

The Egyptian authorities have also committed a range of other human rights violations during the past 29 years, including prolonged detention without trial, torture and other ill-treatment, and unfair trials before military and emergency courts.

Amnesty International urged the government to uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, including by honouring the commitment it made to the UN Human Rights Council during its Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Egypt in February 2010, to guarantee these rights and the right to participate in public life and politics in line with its obligations under international law.


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