• December 19, 2014
  • December 19, 2014
    Human Rights Watch has over 160 staff tweeting human rights developments from around the world. Here are some of their most popular tweets from the last seven days.
  • December 19, 2014
  • December 19, 2014
    An attack on a school in Pakistan leaves 145 people - mostly children - dead; Women in El Salvador are facing decades in prison for having abortions - for any reason; and a news conference by rights groups in Moscow comes is attacked by egg-throwing protesters - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • December 19, 2014
    Sony Pictures’ film The Interview, a comedy featuring actors Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un, has certainly left a raft of disasters in its wake.
  • December 18, 2014
  • December 18, 2014
    The kafala visa-sponsorship system that is widely, though not uniformly, used across the Gulf bars most migrant domestic workers from moving to a new job before their original contract ends without their employer’s consent, trapping many in abusive situations. The kafala combined with inadequate labor law protections, create conditions ripe for exploitation and abuse of domestic workers.
  • December 18, 2014
  • December 18, 2014
    "We tortured some folks,” President Barack Obama said in 2014. Indeed. And now, from the December 9 Senate Intelligence Committee report, we know more about how it was done.
  • December 17, 2014
    Afghanistan's civil society organisations fought an often lonely battle for women's rights, accountability for war crimes and the need to end torture through the many dark days when the Karzai administration was determined to consign the issues to oblivion. With Karzai gone, the activists are hoping for a new chance to put rights back on the agenda at Kabul's presidential palace.
  • December 17, 2014
  • December 17, 2014
    The publication of the long-awaited summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s torture provides a useful moment to consider the lessons learned from this sorry chapter in American history and the steps that might be taken to avoid its recurrence.
  • December 16, 2014
    At an event at the United Nations in Geneva this morning, the ambassadors of Norway and Argentina unveiled a set of six new “Guidelines” aimed at better protecting schools and universities from being used for military purposes during times of armed conflict. They are intended to respond to the practice of government forces and non-state armed groups converting schools and universities into bases or barracks, or using them as firing positions or places to cache weapons and ammunition.
  • December 16, 2014
    Klity Creek is now also one of the most heavily polluted industrial sites in all of Thailand. Eleven kilometres upstream is a former lead-processing factory. The factory, which started its operations in the mid-1960s, was ordered to close in 1998. But its toxic legacy remains.
  • December 16, 2014
  • December 15, 2014
  • December 15, 2014
    Pakistan’s blasphemy law has claimed its first Bollywood victim.
  • December 15, 2014
  • December 15, 2014
  • December 15, 2014
    Any approach to Syria should be judged by its ability to stop the daily abuses against civilians. Advocates of local ceasefires must strive for a balance between immediate relief from the daily suffering and commitment to basic rights and the aspirations of Syrians.
  • December 14, 2014
    Women with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities are vulnerable to abuse and they have little say in what happens to them in institutions in India. To add to that, state institutions are often overcrowded, the sanitation and hygiene dismal, access to treatment and counselling poor, and rehabilitation efforts non-existent.For more than 70 million people with psychosocial disabilities — mental health conditions such as schizophrenia or depression — who live in India, access to mental health services is poor, with only 43 state-run mental hospitals across the country, three psychiatrists and 0.47 psychologists per million people. The few voluntary community-based services that do exist are short-staffed and lack resources.
  • December 13, 2014
    President Obama has utterly failed to investigate torture, let alone prosecute those responsible.
  • December 12, 2014
  • December 12, 2014
    The details of the CIA's torture program are worse than expected; the decision in the Eric Garner case raises serious questions on handling police brutality in the US; and LGBT asylum seekers in Europe may have renewed hope that they can finally start their new lives with dignity - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • December 11, 2014

    “They will kill us because we are Nuer!” shouted a young man trying to get through  the gate of the United Nations base in Bor, South Sudan when I was there in early November. The base has been sheltering thousands of people, mostly ethnic Nuer. Due to recent construction, UN staff were closing the gate earlier than usual, and the young man feared being caught out of the safe haven in the majority Dinka town.

  • December 11, 2014
  • December 11, 2014
    So the CIA doesn’t consider “waterboarding” — mock execution by near drowning — to be torture, but the U.S. State Department does.
  • December 11, 2014
    It is not every day that a prosecutor is handed 500 meticulously documented, heavily footnoted pages detailing a years-long pattern of egregious criminal activity. Yet Tuesday’s release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s torture program did exactly that.
  • December 11, 2014
    There is not much to celebrate this Human Rights Day. Grave abuses are committed daily in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Refugees from Syria and Iraq are going hungry as neighboring countries gradually close their borders and international support dwindles. Egypt’s judiciary – once an institution that prided itself on its independence — is issuing death sentences by the hundreds without any semblance of due process. Sectarian hatred fills the airwaves while bloggers who criticize their rulers are thrown in jail. Meanwhile, women are treated as second-class citizens in almost all countries in the Arab world.
  • December 11, 2014
    President Jacob Zuma returned from China recently with a raft of new agreements on trade, investment in the nuclear energy and health sectors, and cooperation on marine transport projects, among other things.
  • December 10, 2014
  • December 10, 2014

    The summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA torture program describes in horrifying and sometimes gruesome detail the CIA’s systematic and frequent use of brutal techniques that the U.S. and the world have long banned and condemned as torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

  • December 10, 2014
    The Senate Intelligence Committee report released December 9 confirms many already-reported facts about the CIA torture program, including the agency’s use of brutal stress positions, forced standing, extended sleep deprivation with bright lights and loud noise, waterboarding, and throwing detainees into walls or closing them into coffins.
  • December 10, 2014
    Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should stop at nothing in responding—these were all characteristic of the discussion on countering al-Qaeda, particularly in the wake of the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London attacks.
  • December 9, 2014
    During a visit to Moscow last week, I was struck by how little Russians seem to know about the barrel bombs that the Syrian government uses daily to kill civilians, with devastating effect.
  • December 9, 2014
  • December 9, 2014
  • December 8, 2014
    “This is the math class, and now this is not a class, this is a bunker of the army,” exclaims a young South Asian girl surveying a school classroom. In her voice is a touch of despair, tinged with a dose of disgust. Her tone turns to disappointment...
  • December 8, 2014

    Gambia rushed through its new criminal code in relative secrecy. With political opposition and activist groups thwarted, the international community has a responsibility to speak out.

  • December 8, 2014
  • December 5, 2014
  • December 5, 2014
    Like thousands of other female applicants to Indonesia's National Police, 24-year-old Sari (not her real name) submitted to the mandatory "virginity test" that the authorities require women -- but not men -- to take as part of the application process.
  • December 5, 2014
    The decision in the Eric Garner case raises serious questions on handling police brutality in the US; police in Hungary have found a new way to combat rape: victim-blaming; and HIV in the southern US remains a serious problem on World AIDS Day - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • December 5, 2014

    Twenty-one former state security agents of the Hissène Habré dictatorship have been on trial in Chad since November 14 on the basis of criminal complaints filed by dozens of victims in 2000. 

     

  • December 4, 2014
  • December 4, 2014
  • December 4, 2014
    Although Indonesia has long been seen as a religiously moderate country, Sunni Muslim militants are attacking minority religious communities across the country.
  • December 4, 2014
  • December 3, 2014
  • December 3, 2014
    In India, many women and girls with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are locked up in institutions against their will. Some of the institutions for those women, who have disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy to schizophrenia and depression, are filthy and overcrowded. Human Rights Watch’s Kriti Sharma spoke with Amy Braunschweiger about the 24 institutions she and other researchers visited across four Indian states – including government mental hospitals and government and private residential care facilities – for the new report, “’Treated Worse than Animals.’“ This is what they found.