• June 11, 2014
  • June 10, 2014
  • June 10, 2014
    Late one night last fall, I sat on a half-rotten mattress in a desolate square in the northern Yemeni town of Haradh as a 20-year-old high school student from a rural Ethiopian town — let’s call him Shikuri — told me his story. He had left home to find work in Saudi Arabia, but when he landed in Yemen en route, he found himself caught up in unimaginable horror.
  • June 10, 2014
    Fully autonomous weapons, which could select and fire on targets without meaningful human intervention, have the potential to revolutionize the nature of warfare, bringing greater speed and reach to military operations. In the process, though, this emerging technology could endanger both civilians and soldiers.
  • June 10, 2014
    It’s been four years since violent ethnic clashes broke out in southern Kyrgyzstan, and for many, time has moved on. These days, walking down the main streets of Osh, the largest city in southern Kyrgyzstan, you wouldn’t think that burned-out houses and businesses, checkpoints, military vehicles, or graffiti of ethnic slurs marred the city’s landscape back then. But certainly not everyone feels that everything is back to normal.
  • June 9, 2014
  • June 6, 2014
    When I think of Benghazi, in my mind I am counting the dead: How many today, how many the week before, how many this year, how many since 2011? In my three years in Libya, this is one of my most depressing duties. The number of unlawful killings has been steadily increasing, and has now reached an average of one murder a day. The killers' brutality is also growing.
  • June 6, 2014

    Pregnant woman sentenced to death in Sudan gives birth in prison; rampant sexual violence in India challenges its new government; and a new documentary highlights the extraordinary pain of those living without medical care in Senegal - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...

  • June 6, 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.
  • June 6, 2014
  • June 5, 2014
  • June 5, 2014
    Edward Snowden’s revelations, first published a year ago today, sparked a global firestorm of debate and outrage about U.S. surveillance practices.But there’s one subject that many surveillance reformers won’t touch with a 10-foot pole: whistleblower protection for people working for the government in the intelligence and national security sectors.
  • June 5, 2014
    Is the Obama administration blind to the real and tangible harm the NSA surveillance program is doing to America’s credibility?
  • June 5, 2014
    Nearly a year after the first stories about National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance broke, Germany is at the forefront of international reforms. Along with Brazil, Germany sponsored a UN resolution that was the first major UN statement on the right to privacy in 25 years.
  • June 5, 2014
    “It is not actually snooping.” This was the Indian foreign minister’s response to the U.S. mass surveillance programs that also targeted India.
  • June 5, 2014
  • June 4, 2014
    The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to highlight the deafening silence and lack of public debate here in the UK.
  • June 4, 2014
  • June 4, 2014
  • June 3, 2014
  • June 3, 2014
  • June 3, 2014
    Human Rights Watch deputy executive director for external relations, Carroll Bogert, who covered the Tiananmen protests as a reporter for Newsweek, talks with Amy Braunschweiger about how China has been shaped by the horrific events of those days more than two decades ago.
  • June 3, 2014
  • June 3, 2014
    Here's an uncomfortable truth confronting Chinese President Xi Jinping: It's 2014, but the pro-democracy, pro-rights sentiments that manifested across China as demonstrations in 1989 are still alive and well.
  • June 3, 2014
    Political analysts, the media, political parties and even Prime Minister Antonis Samaras have been trying to figure out the shocking rise of the far-right, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party in Greece. Golden Dawn became Greece's third most important political party, with nearly 10 percent of the vote in the European elections.
  • June 2, 2014
    Imagine the following scenario. A young man is arrested by security forces during a street protest. A few days later Ali Saqer dies in custody, his body covered in "blunt force contusions." Two security officers are convicted to 10 years in prison for their role in his death, but an appeals court later cuts their sentence to just two years, because the defendants' actions sought to "preserve the life of detainees, among them the victim." In other words, as they helped beat Ali Saqer to death, the officers in question were actually only trying to keep him alive.
  • June 2, 2014
  • May 31, 2014
  • May 30, 2014
    The first-ever global menstrual hygiene day – and why we're talking about it; the wrong message is being sent in the soccer championship; and an uptick in violence in Turkey highlights the need for calm - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • May 30, 2014
    On 12 May, Azyz Amami, a Tunisian blogger and human rights defender, was arrested for marijuana possession along with a photographer on the outskirts of Tunis. Amami denies he had drugs in his possession and says it was a police setup. On 15 May, despite the bruises on his face, which his lawyers cited as reason to suspect he had been abused in police custody, the prosecutor ordered his detention. However on 23 May, the First Instance Tribunal of Tunis dropped the charges against him and ordered his release.
  • 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.
  • May 29, 2014
    Ramon Tulfo (“On Target: Summary killings: Who’s complaining?” May 24, 2014) criticizes Human Rights Watch for its recent report about death squad killings in Tagum City, which implicates Tagum’s former mayor Rey Uy. The report details extrajudicial executions of alleged drug dealers, petty criminals, and street children, and is based in part on interviews and affidavits from three self-proclaimed members of the death squad that carried out the killings.
  • May 29, 2014
  • May 28, 2014
  • May 28, 2014
    While in the rest of Ukraine people were casting their ballots for new president, all election-related activity was paralyzed in the southeast of the country, with armed groups raiding election commissions, harassing, beating and even kidnapping commission members and staff.
  • May 28, 2014
  • May 28, 2014
  • May 28, 2014
  • May 28, 2014
    India’s six-week-long election, in which about 537 million out of 814 million eligible voters went to the polls, is finally over with the election of a new government led by Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
  • May 27, 2014
    Elections in Ukraine have resulted in confectionary magnate Petro Poroshenko winning the presidency. He has his work cut out for him after turbulent months of armed violence in Kiev, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and an anti-Kiev insurgency in the east that has spiralled out of control
  • May 27, 2014
  • May 27, 2014
    "Unjust and wrong” is how mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio described the New York Police Department’s crusade against low-level marijuana users.
  • May 27, 2014
    Imprisoning popular bloggers. Maintaining the “Great Firewall” to censor the Internet. Expunging from history books references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Maintaining a Propaganda Department to disseminate the state’s—and only the state’s—version of reality.
  • May 26, 2014
  • May 25, 2014

    Most Yemenis were at home taking their afternoon siesta when Belkis Wille, the Human Rights Watch Yemen researcher, walked into the shop in Haradh for the meeting she had arranged with Nadim. The shop owner, a friend of Nadim’s, took her to the back office to wait. The heat in the dusty desert town was stifling, and the shop was hardly better – Haradh had almost no electricity, and air conditioning wasn’t an option. Shortly after Belkis arrived, a round man in his 40s walked through the door. He stood with his back to her, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He seemed nervous, glancing frequently around the room.

    Nadim (not his real name) had reason for both the jangled nerves and the caution. His line of business – human trafficking – meant that meeting with Belkis put him in peril.

  • May 24, 2014
    Twelve months ago today, Barack Obama gave a landmark national security speech. We were promised drone memos. And a case for legal targeted killing. And no more Guantanamo. A year later, none of these promises have been met.
  • May 23, 2014
  • May 23, 2014
    New weapons that could revolutionize killing are on the horizon. Lethal autonomous weapons systems, also called fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots,” would go beyond today’s armed drones. They would be able to select and fire on targets without meaningful human intervention. In other words, they could determine themselves when to take a human life.
  • May 23, 2014
    Government offers no comfort in the wake of Turkey’s mine tragedy; a harsh sentence for breaking draconian laws in Sudan; and Malaysia’s anti-transgender legal system - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • May 22, 2014
    Nine-year-old Jenny Boy "Kokey" Lagulos didn't stand a chance. One of the many children who hung out in Tagum City's Freedom Park plaza, a large open space in the city center surrounded by video-game parlors and other attractions, Kokey was rumored to be a thief. In Tagum City, on the Philippines' southern island of Mindanao, rumors like that can get people killed.