• Press release
    Sep 27, 2014

    The fifth anniversary on September 28, 2014, of the Conakry stadium massacre should be the last before justice is done. More than 150 people were killed, some 100 women were raped and several hundred people were injured on September 28, 2009, as government troops attacked peaceful demonstrators.

  • Oral statement
    Sep 25, 2014
    The deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, which took over from African Union forces on September 15, is a positive step in enhancing civilian protection in the Central African Republic. But serious human rights violations continue.
  • Oral statement
    Sep 25, 2014
    Human Rights Watch welcomes the High Commissioner's update on Sri Lanka. We regret that senior officials in the Sri Lankan government have rejected the 2014 Human Rights Council resolution asking the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to independently investigate allegations of serious violations.
  • Press release
    Sep 24, 2014

    Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will begin hearing evidence to determine whether to confirm charges in the case against Charles Blé Goudé, a close ally of the former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo.

  • Oral statement
    Sep 24, 2014
    One year ago, as the Human Rights Council was debating the report of the Independent Expert on Sudan, Sudanese security forces were violently cracking down on popular protests that swept the country after the president announced the lifting of oil subsidies.
  • Dispatches
    Sep 23, 2014
  • Oral statement
    Sep 23, 2014
    The latest hostilities in Israel and Gaza were the most destructive and deadly in recent history. Human Rights Watch has documented abuses including unlawful attacks on Israeli population centers by Palestinian armed groups, and our staff in Gaza documented unlawful Israeli attacks that killed scores of civilians there, and damaged or destroyed homes, hospitals, schools and crucial infrastructure.
  • Oral statement
    Sep 19, 2014
    North Korea continues to deny the existence of political prison camps despite overwhelming evidence and clear satellite imagery that shows they exist. North Korea has rejected all the recommendations asking the Government to acknowledge the existence of the camps, to close them and to release those arbitrarily detained there.
  • Commentary
    Sep 19, 2014
    With many hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the violence in Syria, the focus—as it should be—has been on finding them safety, shelter and aid. But some governments are also looking to hold those responsible for the underlying mass murder and torture to account for their crimes. This requires an proactive approach, with appropriate laws to pursue suspects, skilled professionals to investigate these crimes and strong political will to support accountability efforts.
  • Press release
    Sep 19, 2014
    The Belgian authorities’ arrest of a Liberian for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during Liberia’s first civil war is a major advance for justice. It is the first arrest for crimes that violate international law committed during the conflict in Liberia from 1989 to 1996, which left tens of thousands dead.
  • Commentary
    Sep 18, 2014
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, a large number of Afghans fled to the Netherlands to escape the dire situation in their own country. But they weren't the only ones who left. Senior government officials, including agents of the secret service - the dreaded KhAD - who had engaged in human rights violations also landed on Dutch soil.
  • Oral statement
    Sep 17, 2014
    In Egypt the human rights situation is deteriorating gravely. The authorities continue to implement a new law effectively banning protests and to jail and try political opponents in legal proceedings that flagrantly violate due process rights.
  • Press release
    Sep 16, 2014
    Governments wanting to limit impunity for the most serious international crimes should look to the examples of three European countries showing leadership in this area, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Specialized war crimes units composed of police, prosecutors, and immigration officials have the means to bring those responsible for atrocity crimes worldwide to justice and to ensure that war criminals don’t find safe haven when they flee their own country.
  • Q & A
    Sep 11, 2014

    In several cities in eastern Ukraine, following the February 21, 2014 ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich, violence sporadically raged between pro- and anti-Kiev crowds. By mid-March, in several cities, particularly Donetsk and Luhansk, armed groups, initially calling themselves “self-defense units,” seized and occupied administrative buildings. Their demands ranged from making Ukraine a federation, to separation of their regions from the rest of Ukraine, to joining Russia.

  • Oral statement
    Sep 8, 2014
    Governments are primarily responsible for protecting human rights but when they fail the UN and its member states must act decisively and unequivocally to prevent abuse.
  • Dispatches
    Sep 3, 2014
  • Press release
    Aug 24, 2014

    (Johannesburg) – African countries should reject immunity for sitting leaders for grave crimes before the African Court for Justice and Human Rights, 141 organizations said today in a declaration in advance of an African Union meeting in Nairobi. The organizations include both African groups and international groups and have a presence in 40 African countries.

  • Memorandum
    Aug 24, 2014
  • Press release
    Aug 21, 2014
    Justice remains elusive for the victims of the chemical weapons attacks on Ghouta, near Damascus, which killed hundreds of people, Human Rights Watch said today, on the anniversary of the August 21, 2013 attacks.
  • Press release
    Aug 20, 2014
    The execution of the freelance journalist James Foley on August 19, 2014 in Syria by the Islamic State would be a war crime if confirmed. Groups detaining journalists should immediately and unconditionally release them.
  • Press release
    Jul 24, 2014

    Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more in insurgent-controlled areas of Donetsk and its suburbs in at least four attacks between July 12 and 21, 2014.

  • Press release
    Jul 24, 2014
    An International Criminal Court (ICC) decision approving Libya’s bid to prosecute former intelligence chief Abdullah Sanussi comes down amid a near breakdown of Libya’s judicial system. Sanussi is currently on trial in Libya for, among other charges, serious crimes related to his alleged role in trying to suppress the country’s 2011 uprising, though the proceeding against him raises serious due process concerns.
  • Press release
    Jul 19, 2014
    The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) is killing, kidnapping, and threatening religious and ethnic minorities in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Since capturing Mosul on June 10, 2014, the armed Sunni extremist group has seized at least 200 Turkmen, Shabaks, and Yazidis, killed at least 11 of them, and ordered all Christians to convert to Islam, pay “tribute” money, or leave Mosul by July 19.
  • Press release
    Jul 15, 2014
    Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war. Israel should end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property. Deliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
  • Press release
    Jul 11, 2014
    Iraqi security forces and militias affiliated with the government appear to have unlawfully executed at least 255 prisoners in six Iraqi cities and villages since June 9, 2014. In all but one case, the executions took place while the fighters were fleeing Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and other armed groups. The vast majority of security forces and militias are Shia, while the murdered prisoners were Sunni. At least eight of those killed were boys.
  • Commentary
    Jul 10, 2014
    It was a warm, sunny Sunday, July 6, and the Netherlands was celebrating the victory of its football team in the quarter finals of the World Cup. Hardly anybody was paying attention as the Dutch authorities put three Congolese men, whose asylum applications had been turned down by the Netherlands’ highest court a week earlier, on a plane and sent them back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When they arrived in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, the men were immediately taken to prison.
  • Press release
    Jul 4, 2014
    The Netherlands’ State Secretary of Security and Justice should use his discretion to delay the deportation of three International Criminal Court (ICC) witnesses, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to State Secretary Fred Teeven. On June 27, 2014, the highest Dutch court, the State Council, denied the witnesses’ asylum requests and authorized their return to the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo).
  • Letter
    Jul 4, 2014
  • Press release
    Jun 30, 2014

    Ukrainian government forces and armed insurgents in eastern Ukraine must respect the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said in a document published today. “Eastern Ukraine: Questions and Answers about the Laws of War” examines the development of the insurgency in eastern Ukraine into an internal armed conflict and the applicable international law that all the parties must respect.

  • Press release
    Jun 26, 2014
    The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor should accept a request from the Central African Republic government to open a new investigation into serious crimes committed in the country.
  • Oral statement
    Jun 25, 2014
    South Sudan’s new war is characterized by horrific attacks on civilians, often because of their ethnicity and presumed allegiances. The abuses began with widespread and systematic attacks against and killings of Nuer in the capital Juba, ethnically profiled, pulled from cars, ordered out of their homes in house-to-house searches, shot and killed, rounded up, unlawfully detained, in some cases tortured by government security forces.
  • Oral statement
    Jun 24, 2014
    In the past 15 months, the people of Central African Republic have suffered an unprecedented wave of bloodshed and violence, at the hands of the Seleka fighters and the anti-balaka militias.
  • Press release
    Jun 20, 2014
    The opening of the new Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta is an important milestone to increase awareness of national and global human rights issues in the United States.
  • Oral statement
    Jun 18, 2014
    We would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his efforts to secure the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry, for his important contributions to the inquiry, and for the follow up report which he has presented to the Human Rights Council today. The Special Rapporteur has reaffirmed the key findings and conclusions of the inquiry, namely that North Korea has committed and continues to commit crimes against humanity against the people of North Korea as well as foreign nationals that it has abducted and prevents from leaving the country.
  • Oral statement
    Jun 18, 2014
    Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned about the escalating levels of violence in Syria. Syria’s air force continues to carry out indiscriminate, and in some cases deliberate, air strikes against civilians, often by using barrel bombs. The Syrian government is indiscriminately striking civilians and civilian objects in Aleppo as well as areas in Daraa and Hama governorate with unguided, high-explosive barrel bombs.
  • UPR
    Jun 16, 2014
    The human rights situation in Kenya has deteriorated over the past five years and the government has failed to make substantial progress on key reforms. The lack of accountability for serious violations by police and other security forces remains a profound concern. Credible allegations of extrajudicial killings, torture, mass arbitrary detentions and extortion by police have not been investigated or prosecuted.
  • Press release
    Jun 14, 2014
    A Palestinian autopsy has confirmed that a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli forces during a protest in the West Bank on May 15, 2014, died from injuries caused by live ammunition. The June 11, 2014 autopsy of Nadim Nuwarah, 17, found bullet entry and exit wounds and metal bullet fragments.
  • Press release
    Jun 14, 2014
    Fighters from the extremist Islamist group Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) appear to have executed at least 15 civilians in northern Syria on May 29, 2014. Local residents told Human Rights Watch at least six children were among those killed after ISIS raided the village of al-Taliliya, near Ras al-‘Ayn.
  • Press release
    Jun 12, 2014
    The June 12, 2014 decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) by a majority of judges in the case of former Côte d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo should remind those in positions of power that they are not immune from justice. A majority of Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed the charges of crimes against humanity against Gbagbo and moved the case to trial.
  • Press release
    Jun 9, 2014
    President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi takes office in Egypt in the midst of a human rights crisis as dire as in any period in the country’s modern history, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. The new president should make addressing Egypt’s dismal human rights record a top priority.
  • Press release
    Jun 9, 2014
    The International Criminal Court's confirmation of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity charges against the warlord Bosco Ntaganda should pave the way for broader justice in war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Press release
    Jun 9, 2014
    Video footage, photographs, witness statements, and medical records indicate that two 17-year-old boys whom Israeli forces shot and killed on May 15, 2014 posed no imminent threat to the forces at the time. The boys, who had been participating in a demonstration in the West Bank, were apparently shot with live ammunition, Human Rights Watch said.
  • Commentary
    May 29, 2014
    Secretary of State John Kerry called the collapse of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks “reality-check time” for the peace process. That reassessment should include the self-defeating U.S. policy of opposing steps toward justice and accountability in the name of negotiations.
  • Press release
    May 22, 2014
    The Russian and Chinese vetoes on May 22, 2014, of a UN Security Council resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) betray victims of serious crimes there. The resolution has broad international support and was approved by the other 13 Security Council members
  • Commentary
    May 22, 2014
  • Press release
    May 21, 2014
    The International Criminal Court (ICC) decision on May 21, 2014, rejecting Libya’s bid to prosecute Saif al-Islam Gaddafi nationally sharpens Tripoli’s outstanding obligation to surrender him to The Hague. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of Muammar Gaddafi, is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity for his alleged role in trying to suppress the country’s 2011 uprising.
  • Q & A
    May 20, 2014

    On July 2, 2013, Hissène Habré was charged with crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes and placed in pre-trial detention by the “Extraordinary African Chambers” in the courts of Senegal. The Chambers were inaugurated in February 2013 to prosecute the “person or persons” most responsible for international crimes committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990.  The Chambers’ investigating judges are now carrying out their investigation and, if they hold Habré over for trial, the trial is expected to begin in the first half of 2015.

    Habré has been living in exile in Senegal since he was overthrown in 1990. He was also wanted by Belgium on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture.

    The following questions and answers provide more information on the case and what lies ahead.

  • Press release
    May 20, 2014
    Fifty-eight countries issued a statement and letter on May 19, 2014, calling on the United Nations Security Council to adopt a French-proposed resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The countries also urged other UN members to officially endorse the resolution.
  • Written statement
    May 19, 2014
    The 58 states listed below condemn the widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed on a daily basis in a pervasive climate of impunity by the Syrian authorities and pro-government militias as well as by non-State armed groups. In consequence, we call upon the Security Council to adopt the draft resolution presented by France referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). While several members of the group would prefer a stronger language regarding the terms of the referral and the support of the Organization, all share the view that the draft resolution is reality-grounded and represents a major step towards accountability. In this regard, the group encourages all UN member states to send out a strong political signal by co-sponsoring the resolution. The 58 states strongly believe that impunity for the most serious crimes under international law is inacceptable. Without accountability there will be no sustainable peace in Syria.
  • Letter
    May 19, 2014
    I am writing to you on behalf of the following 58 States: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Chile, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'lvoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Samoa, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and my own country, Switzerland.
  • Letter
    May 16, 2014
  • Press release
    May 15, 2014
    Over one hundred civil society groups from around the world issued the following statement today to urge the United Nations Security Council to approve a resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
  • Press release
    May 13, 2014
    The United Nations Security Council should urgently pass a new French-proposed resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Human Rights Watch said today. Russia and China should not veto the measure.
  • Press release
    May 12, 2014
    A proposal to give immunity to sitting government leaders before Africa’s regional court would be a major setback for justice for grave crimes.
  • Letter
    May 12, 2014
  • Press release
    May 8, 2014
    Palestine should urgently seek access to the International Criminal Court (ICC), a group of 17 Palestinian and international human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, said today.
  • Letter
    May 8, 2014
    We, the undersigned Palestinian and international human rights organizations, write to urge you to ensure that Palestine pursues the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by promptly acceding to the Rome Statute and/or filing a further declaration accepting the Court’s jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian territory from 1 July 2002.
  • Letter
    May 6, 2014
  • Press release
    Apr 28, 2014
    The Syrian government is indiscriminately striking civilians and civilian objects in Aleppo with unguided, high-explosive barrel bombs. The attacks continue despite a United Nations Security Council Resolution unanimously passed on February 22, 2014, demanding that all parties in Syria cease the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs and other weapons in populated areas. The UN will meet to discuss its second round of reporting on compliance with the resolution on April 30.
  • Press release
    Apr 24, 2014
    The Israeli military should immediately stop shooting at Palestinian civilians inside Gaza. Israeli military forces have killed 4 and wounded more than 60 civilians near the perimeter fence with Gaza since the beginning of 2014, according to UN figures. There have been no reports of armed Palestinian fighters killed in the same areas.
  • Press release
    Apr 14, 2014
    France’s steps at the UN Security Council toward an ICC referral for Syria give momentum to international efforts to ensure justice there, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Press release
    Apr 14, 2014
    The trial of 37 mostly Gaddafi-era officials accused of serious crimes during Libya’s 2011 uprising raises serious due process concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. The trial, which began on March 24, 2014, resumed on April 14 in a specially designated courtroom in Al-Hadba Corrections Facility in Tripoli.
  • Press release
    Apr 11, 2014
    Kosovo’s parliament should approve the establishment of a special court located abroad to try alleged war crimes and other serious crimes committed during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. The parliament should also agree to extend the mandate of the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) and allow it to continue investigating and prosecuting serious and politically sensitive crimes in Kosovo.
  • Press release
    Apr 5, 2014
    The US government should support rather than oppose Palestinian actions to join international treaties that promote respect for human rights.
  • Letter
    Apr 2, 2014
    Ahead of the 4th European Union (EU)-Africa Summit on April 2-3, 2014 in Brussels, African and European civil society call on you to ensure that human rights are put at the centre of discussions aimed at “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace”. Seven years after the adoption of an ambitious Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), the Summit provides an opportunity for both continents' leaders to show that real ambition means aiming at tangible human rights improvements and taking measurable steps to fulfill them.
  • Letter
    Apr 1, 2014
    The 146 undersigned Congolese civil society and international human rights organizations welcome recent commitments by authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity. They call on the government to press for adoption of the draft law establishing Specialized Mixed Chambers and the draft law implementing the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) during the current parliamentary session, which began on March 15, 2014.
  • Advocacy/impact
    Apr 1, 2014

    The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the theatre of grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law over the past two decades. The International Criminal Court (ICC) opened an investigation in Congo in 2004 and has brought public arrest warrants against six individuals involved in grave crimes in Congo’s Ituri district in the northeast and North and South Kivu provinces in the east.

  • Press release
    Apr 1, 2014
    The Democratic Republic of Congo should adopt a draft law establishing specialized mixed chambers for trying serious rights abuses, 146 Congolese and international organizations said in a joint declaration today. Parliament should also pass a draft law during the current parliamentary session to incorporate the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty into Congolese law. The parliamentary session began on March 15, 2014.
  • Memorandum
    Mar 31, 2014
    The European Union (EU)-Africa summit provides an important opportunity to highlight crucial human rights developments in both Africa and Europe. Progress is being made on many human rights issues in an array of countries, but daunting challenges remain. The summit agenda includes both democracy and governance and peace and security, two broad topics that include a range of human rights concerns.
  • Press release
    Mar 28, 2014
    The UN Human Rights Council sent a clear message on March 28, 2014 that North Korean leaders should be brought to justice through Security Council action.
  • Letter
    Mar 26, 2014
    Letter to Foreign Ministers of ICC states parties in advance of the official nomination period for candidates to be elected as judges to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • Commentary
    Mar 19, 2014
  • Written statement
    Mar 13, 2014
  • Dispatches
    Mar 7, 2014
  • Press release
    Mar 7, 2014
    The guilty verdict against a Congolese rebel leader at the International Criminal Court provides a measure of justice to victims of atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Press release
    Feb 25, 2014
    President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo today for a conference of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Congolese media reported. Bashir faces charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur, in Sudan.
  • Press release
    Feb 17, 2014
    A new United Nations report has found that crimes against humanity are occurring in North Korea and calls for an international tribunal to investigate and hold perpetrators to account.
  • Press release
    Feb 13, 2014
    Libya has failed to grant basic due process rights to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and other detained former officials of the Gaddafi government.
  • Letter
    Feb 10, 2014
  • Q & A
    Feb 6, 2014
  • Letter
    Jan 29, 2014
  • Commentary
    Jan 24, 2014
    A few days before Christmas, I attended a party for Christian Syrian refugees in Cairo that a local Church had organized.
  • Press release
    Jan 21, 2014
    Libya is failing to institute the rule of law and protect citizens’ rights, as the country slides deeper into lawlessness, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014. While the government may have limited ability to rein in hundreds of armed militias that are carrying out abuses and operating outside of government control, it can and should make progress on reforming repressive laws that violate human rights and hinder the country’s democratic transition.
  • Press release
    Jan 21, 2014
    Human rights abuses by Israel and by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank grew during 2013, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.
  • Press release
    Jan 20, 2014
    Five human rights priorities should be central to the discussions between the Syrian government and opposition delegations ahead of the opening of the first direct negotiations between the warring parties in Syria. The priorities should be justice, humanitarian aid access, rights-respecting treatment of detainees, security sector reform, and an end to the unlawful use of weapons.
  • Commentary
    Jan 16, 2014
    Ten years after the UK joined in the invasion of Iraq, the repercussions continue to hit at the heart of the establishment. This week a law firm and a leading international justice organization jointly sent a 250-page submission to the International Criminal Court, asking the prosecutor to open an investigation into alleged war crimes by UK nationals in Iraq, including the possible responsibility of senior military and political figures.
  • Press release
    Jan 15, 2014
    A lack of political will and unacceptable court delays are allowing Haiti’s former “president-for-life,” Jean-Claude Duvalier, to escape justice for human rights violations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Commentary
    Jan 14, 2014
  • Press release
    Jan 9, 2014
    The Ivorian government took an important step in supporting accountability for the country’s postelection atrocities by renewing the mandate of the special unit investigating those crimes. The government now needs to ensure adequate staffing, security, and independence for the body to carry out robust investigations.
  • Commentary
    Jan 7, 2014
    As the Kenyan authorities’ stubborn refusal to carry out their primary responsibilities to provide justice have made clear for victims of Kenya’s post-election violence, the ICC is their only hope for redress.