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Human Rights Watch THE WEEK IN RIGHTS
April 10, 2014
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Witness: How Adult Court Changed Oliver

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Christina sat on the couch while her teenage son, Oliver, 18, played with his 1-year-old brother. Christina’s smile faded. Oliver used to really live his life, she said. He used to love being out with his family. Now, he’s afraid to go outside. He won’t even go with her to the grocery store.

What happened?

Roughly two years ago, Oliver and two other boys were arrested at his Florida high school for breaking into an office at the school, stealing two laptops, a blackberry, a Palm Pilot, and $8 in cash. The office was empty, but because people were in other parts of the school, the building was considered occupied and Oliver’s charges were elevated to grand theft, and he was tried in adult court.

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA Q&A: The Plight of the UK’s Migrant Domestic Workers

A talk with Human Rights Watch researcher Izza Leghtas about the women who cook, clean, and raise children for certain families in the United Kingdom, and why their plight can amount to the country’s definition of “modern-day slavery.”
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AMERICAS

The Real Threat to Venezuela’s Democracy
By Daniel Wilkinson
The New York Review of Books

Last week, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro took to the opinion pages of The New York Times to counter the bad press his government has received for its crackdown on widespread protests over the past two months. He accused the international media of having “distorted the reality” of Venezuela by portraying the protests as peaceful and the country’s democracy as “deficient.” Yet the steps he’s taken to respond to the protests at home have shown that the deficiencies of Venezuelan democracy are all too real.

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA Ukraine’s New Law Violates Judicial Independence

It is understandable that people in Ukraine want to ensure that judges aren’t complicit in corruption and human rights violations. However, rather than helping to restore confidence, the law adopted to purge judges is overly broad, tainted with political bias, and violates the independence of the judiciary, which can only deepen mistrust in an already fractured society.
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GRAPHIC
In Florida, black youth charged with violent offenses or drug felonies are more likely than white youth to have their cases transferred to adult court.
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VIDEO video
A new bill in Washington DC includes many HRW recommendations on improving police response in sexual assault cases. This video outlines the problem >>
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Women queuing to vote in #Afghanistan. They have more courage than I can ever hope to have. (@AFP photo) #Afghanvote pic.twitter.com/hlxrYkPo2y Follow Andrew Stroehlein >>
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