• Aug 20, 2014
    Press release
    US Attorney General Eric Holder should press state and local officials during his visit to Ferguson, Missouri, on August 20, 2014, to reform police practices to improve respect for basic rights. Holder should also support federal reforms that could help address concerns about policing and racial discrimination raised during the Ferguson protests over the last 10 days.
  • Aug 14, 2014
    Press release
    Protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, a predominantly African-American suburb north of St. Louis, after a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
  • Jul 29, 2014
    Press release
    The US Congress should support greater due process protections for migrant families rather than increasing funding for facilities to detain those crossing the US southern border, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Jul 29, 2014
    Press release
    The US Senate should move swiftly to approve a surveillance reform bill introduced on July 29, 2014, by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. The bill, known as the USA Freedom Act, is a significant improvement over a companion bill that the US House of Representatives passed on May 22 and, if approved, has the potential to end bulk collection of phone records in the US.
  • Jul 28, 2014
    Press release
    Large-scale US surveillance is seriously hampering US-based journalists and lawyers in their work, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a joint report released today. Surveillance is undermining media freedom and the right to counsel, and ultimately obstructing the American people’s ability to hold their government to account, the groups said.
  • Jul 25, 2014
    Press release
    The United States has failed to comply with key protections under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Human Rights Watch said today. The US, which ratified the treaty in 1994, will appear before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for a periodic review of its record on August 13 and 14, 2014, in Geneva.
  • Jul 24, 2014
    Press release
    The public debate over the recent surge in child migrants across the US border with Mexico should spur Congress to reform US immigration policy, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a multimedia feature jointly with Time magazine and Platon/The People’s Portfolio.
  • Jul 21, 2014
    Press release
    The US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have targeted American Muslims in abusive counterterrorism “sting operations” based on religious and ethnic identity, Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute said in a report released today. Many of the more than 500 terrorism-related cases prosecuted in US federal courts since September 11, 2001, have alienated the very communities that can help prevent terrorist crimes.
  • Jul 18, 2014
    Press release
    A decision by the US Sentencing Commission on July 18, 2014, will give 46,000 federal inmates serving unnecessarily long sentences for drug offenses a chance to seek sentence reductions. The decision would make a recent amendment to the guidelines for calculating sentences for drug offenses fully retroactive, covering inmates already sentenced as well as future offenders.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    Press release
    The United States government’s policy of detaining unaccompanied migrant children, some for long periods, and providing inadequate processing puts them in harm’s way. On June 24, 2014, the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on unaccompanied migrant children – children traveling without parents or guardians. Later today, the House Judiciary Committee will also hold a hearing on the issue.
  • Jun 18, 2014
    Press release
    The United States government should ensure that Ahmed Abu Khatallah, apprehended for his alleged role in the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is brought promptly before a judge and provided access to a lawyer.
  • May 28, 2014
    Press release
    On March 28, 2014, US President Barack Obama delivered a speech on US foreign policy at the US Military Academy at West Point. Below is the reaction from Sarah Margon, Washington director at Human Rights Watch.
  • May 22, 2014
    Press release
    It is up to the US Senate to salvage surveillance reform. The version of the USA Freedom Act that the US House of Representatives passed on May 22, 2014, could ultimately fail to end mass data collection.
  • May 14, 2014
    Press release
    The use of state and local authorities to enforce United States immigration laws undermines public safety by raising fear of the police among immigrant communities, Human Rights Watch said in a short film released today. States and cities across the US should separate community police work from federal immigration enforcement.
  • May 8, 2014
    Press release
    The US House Judiciary Committee took a long overdue step on May 7, 2014, with its move to reform one aspect of the government’s mass surveillance programs. The committee approved unanimously a revised version of the USA Freedom Act that would aim to end the government’s bulk collection of telephone metadata and other records in the United States.
  • May 6, 2014
    Press release
    A landmark ruling by the California Supreme Court overturns a two-decades-old presumption in favor of life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of certain murders, Human Rights Watch said today. The decision brings the United States closer to the rest of the world in the approach to sentencing for youth.
  • May 6, 2014
    Press release
    Far too many US laws violate basic principles of justice by requiring disproportionately severe punishment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
  • May 2, 2014
    Press release
    The Florida legislature has approved a bill allowing for judicial review of very long sentences for youth offenders, recognizing the injustice of such sentences for children, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Apr 30, 2014
    Press release
    Oklahoma should end its failed experiment with the death penalty. On the evening of April 29, 2014, during an attempt to execute Clayton Lockett by lethal injection, he appeared to regain consciousness. Witnesses reported that Lockett began to mumble, calling out “man” and “something’s wrong,” tried to lift his head, and began to go into a seizure. Lockett died of a heart attack 40 minutes after the execution had begun.
  • Apr 22, 2014
    Press release
    (Washington, DC) – The Louisiana state legislature should swiftly repeal its discriminatory “crime against nature” laws, which are used to harass lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 16, 2014, the Louisiana State House of Representatives voted 66 to 27 to reject House bill 12, which would have repealed the US state’s anti-sodomy law. The law was enacted in 1805.
  • Apr 10, 2014
    Press release
    Every year, the state of Florida arbitrarily and unfairly prosecutes hundreds of children as adults, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. If convicted, these children suffer the lifelong consequences of an adult felony record for what are often low-level, nonviolent offenses.
  • Apr 9, 2014
    Press release
    A bill making its way through the DC Council would be a significant step toward improving police response to sexual assault in the District of Columbia. The DC Council unanimously approved the bill, which adopts recommendations Human Rights Watch has been making for over a year, on April 8, 2014. It is scheduled for a second vote on May 6. If passed, it would go to DC Mayor Vincent Grey for his signature.
  • Mar 28, 2014
    Press release
    President Barack Obama’s proposal to end the government’s bulk collection of phone records in the United States could be a significant step forward, but important questions remain unanswered.
  • Mar 27, 2014
    Press release
    The United Statesshould heed calls issued on March 27, 2014, by an important UN human rights body to ensure that its surveillance activities are consistent with the right to privacy, both within and outside its borders
  • Mar 25, 2014
    Press release
    The United States should end the practice of sentencing people convicted of crimes committed before age 18 to life in prison without parole, Human Rights Watch said today in an amicus brief filed in a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
  • Mar 12, 2014
    Press release
    The United Nations Human Rights Committee should conclude that US electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering violate fundamental civil and political rights, including the right to privacy.
  • Feb 26, 2014
    Press release
    The governor of the US state of Arizona should veto a bill that would allow business services to be refused to same-sex couples and permit a “religious belief” defense in discrimination suits brought by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Feb 5, 2014
    Press release
    Every year, US courts sentence several hundred thousand misdemeanor offenders to probation overseen by private companies that charge their fees directly to the probationers. Often, the poorest people wind up paying the most in fees over time, in what amounts to a discriminatory penalty. And when they can’t pay, companies can and do secure their arrest.
  • Jan 21, 2014
    Press release
    The US Congress should build on the progress made in 2013 and enact immigration reform early in the new year, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.
  • Jan 16, 2014
    Press release
    The US government risks undermining important policy objectives unless it urgently reins in US electronic surveillance practices and stops violating the privacy rights of millions of people at home and abroad.