• October 2, 2014
  • October 1, 2014
  • October 1, 2014
    In Kasserine's graveyard two new tombstones have been added to the roll of people who have died a violent death in this Tunisian city close to the Algerian border. Ahlem Dalhoumi, 22, and her cousin Ons Dalhoumi, 18, were both killed with bullets to the head the night of August 23 on their way home from a party with five other family members.
  • October 1, 2014
    The British government is still fighting case after case concerning allegations of abuses by its forces during the 2003 Iraq conflict.
  • September 30, 2014
  • September 29, 2014
  • September 29, 2014
    Ceremony and cliché will abound as India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, visits Washington on September 29-30 to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House. There will be photo ops, gifts, and recitations about the leader of the world's largest democracy sitting with the leader of the world's oldest. But substantive matters are also to be discussed: Business. Weapons deals. Counterterrorism. Human rights and regional security issues will also be on the table.
  • September 28, 2014
    Discussions about the latest turns in U.S. military policy in Iraq have centered on President Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Yet that conversation doesn’t seem to include the elephant in the room – how to end abuses by the Iraqi government and its allies.
  • September 26, 2014
  • September 26, 2014
    The status quo over North Korea is changing; A tragedy on the Mediterranean - and the need to prevent more; and the harsh reality for Syria's civil society activists - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • September 26, 2014
    Shia militias, still operating under the control of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, are laying siege to Latifiyya, especially the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq militia. Failure to address the broader effects of international assistance in Iraq’s fight promises to further polarize Iraq’s communities.
  • September 25, 2014
  • September 25, 2014
    Fiji’s September 17 elections, the first in nearly eight years, were widely held to have restored democratic rule. An estimated 600,000 voters went to the polls, many casting their ballots for the very first time.
  • September 24, 2014
  • September 24, 2014

    Tucked inside the continuing resolution the United States Congress passed late last week was a provision to authorize the training and equipping of “moderate, vetted” elements of the Syrian opposition. The CIA has been carrying out a covert, small-scale version of this program, according to media reports.

  • September 24, 2014
  • September 23, 2014
  • September 23, 2014
    On September 24, following a weekend of heavy fighting in Sanaa between the government and Houthi forces, the Friends of Yemen meet in New York. This group of 39 countries and 8 international organizations, created in 2010 to help address the political and economic problems that made Yemen fertile ground for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has now to grapple with the implementation of a peace deal, signed September 21, that requires the formation of a new government within a month and a range of other measures, including the restoration of recently cut fuel subsidies and increases in civil service pay.
  • September 23, 2014
    If you were told the Chinese government — an unelected, one-party state — will decide who you can vote for, what would your response be? Not only would you likely object, you would expect others, especially democracies, to loudly condemn the idea. But Britain has done just the opposite to the people of Hong Kong, when it failed to call China out for breaking its promise of greater democracy for the island territory.
  • September 22, 2014
  • September 22, 2014

    It is apt too that my country took the initiative at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 by tabling a precedent-setting resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. This resulted in a report on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide. A heated council debate on that report in 2012 made the simple point that LGBT rights are human rights, and should be part of the routine work of the council.

  • September 22, 2014
    Sweeping laws to gag publication of sensitive materials are dangerous for democracy – Abbott should not let hysteria over terrorism be used to thwart the freedom agenda
  • September 19, 2014
  • September 19, 2014
    Another tragedy on the Mediterranean - and the need to prevent more; sentencing without justice in Afghanistan; and Hungary's alarming efforts to stifle civil society - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • September 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.
  • September 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.
  • September 18, 2014
  • September 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.
  • September 17, 2014
  • September 17, 2014
    The Italian Navy’s twitter feed contained joyous news last week: a pregnant mother among the 90 people rescued from the sea by a Navy frigate had given birth on board to a little girl, Yambambi. Over that weekend more than 1,600 people were rescued.
  • September 17, 2014
    The Obama administration has made curbing nicotine use by kids a public health priority, with efforts including mass media campaigns to reduce teen smoking and a proposed ban on selling e-cigarettes to minors. But when it comes to the serious health risks run by thousands of children who work each summer on tobacco farms in the United States, the administration has been conspicuously silent.
  • September 17, 2014
    IBM and Ai Weiwei, L’Oreal and Liu Xiaobo, Daimler and the Dalai Lama. In many senses these aren’t likely pairings, but suddenly it seems major international corporations and critics of the Chinese government have more in common than previously thought.
  • September 16, 2014
  • September 16, 2014
    Seated on a folding chair in a health centre near the mosque where she prays, Salima, a soft-spoken hijab-clad mother of four, told me how unidentified gunmen shot her husband one morning in November 2013 as he returned from prayers with a friend. She is convinced that Kenya’s anti-terrorism police killed her husband and she is not alone. During research in Mombasa and Nairobi earlier this year, we found evidence that the anti-terrorism unit, or ATPU, had been involved not just in the death of Salima’s husband but at least nine other extra-judicial killings and ten enforced disappearances since 2011.
  • September 16, 2014
    When a Somali interpreter from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) approached Idil in July 2013 asking her to “befriend” a Ugandan soldier in exchange for money, she was struggling to survive.
  • September 16, 2014
  • September 15, 2014
  • September 15, 2014

    Since January 2013 - six months after Israel introduced an unlawful policy of indefinitely detaining as many "infiltrators" as possible to coerce them into leaving - almost 7,000 people, mostly Sudanese, have buckled under the pressure and returned home. Another 44,000 Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel's cities live in constant fear of receiving orders to report to a remote desert detention centre near the Egyptian border where, the authorities say, they will be confined until they also agree to leave the country.

  • September 15, 2014
    Seven year-old Nika brims over with life, dancing and singing her way around the kitchen of her family’s home outside Moscow. All smiles, she pauses to tell a visitor about the ballerinas she saw perform at a recent Christmas show, recites bits of poetry and then scampers off to the living room – littered with toys and children’s books – to play with her younger sister. It’s hard to believe that hours after Nika’s birth, doctors told her mother, Mila, that as a Down's syndrome baby, Nika would never develop – that in the best-case scenario, she would say “Mama” by age 36.
  • September 12, 2014
  • September 12, 2014
    Hungary slides further backward with intimidation of NGOs; the Obama administration goes anti-family in new immigration policies; and a new law in Uganda threatens to derail that country's progress on HIV prevention - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • September 12, 2014
    The morning roll call will be a particularly morbid affair on the first day of school in Gaza this Sunday. Hundreds of students, killed in the recent fighting, will be forever marked absent.
  • September 11, 2014

    Growing up with two moms in the San Francisco Bay Area, I thought a family was defined by loud dinners, birthday parties, overprotective parents and unconditional love.

  • September 11, 2014
  • September 10, 2014
  • September 9, 2014
  • September 9, 2014
    Yazidi refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan now sleep in classrooms, hallways, and the courtyards of facilities intended for children’s education. What happens when school starts?
  • September 8, 2014
  • September 6, 2014

    For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people the law is a paradox. The law can operate as an instrument of repression and control, but also as a tool for resistance and liberation. 

  • September 5, 2014