• Federal agents and police escort James Cromitie (center) from the FBI’s New York headquarters on May 21, 2009. In 2011, Cromitie and three other men were sentenced to 25 years in prison for an alleged plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, New York.
    The US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have targeted American Muslims in abusive counterterrorism “sting operations” based on religious and ethnic identity, Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute said in a report released today. Many of the more than 500 terrorism-related cases prosecuted in US federal courts since September 11, 2001, have alienated the very communities that can help prevent terrorist crimes.

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Reports

Counterterrorism

  • Jul 29, 2014
  • Jul 29, 2014
    The US Senate should move swiftly to approve a surveillance reform bill introduced on July 29, 2014, by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. The bill, known as the USA Freedom Act, is a significant improvement over a companion bill that the US House of Representatives passed on May 22 and, if approved, has the potential to end bulk collection of phone records in the US.
  • Jul 28, 2014
    Large-scale US surveillance is seriously hampering US-based journalists and lawyers in their work, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a joint report released today. Surveillance is undermining media freedom and the right to counsel, and ultimately obstructing the American people’s ability to hold their government to account, the groups said.
  • Jul 25, 2014
    The Snowden revelations on mass surveillance practices, especially by the US and UK, have triggered a global struggle over the right to privacy—and a report by the outgoing UN human-rights commissioner has set the terrain for the next phase.
  • Jul 24, 2014

    The landmark rulings against Poland by the European Court of Human Rights on July 24, 2014, underscore the need for wider European accountability for involvement in US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counterterrorism abuses. The court ruled Poland was complicit in the rendition, secret detention, and torture of two terrorism suspects.

  • Jul 22, 2014
    Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the U.S. government has prosecuted more than 500 people in the United States for terrorism-related offenses, an impressive tally that suggests law enforcement is keeping Americans safe. But examine many of these cases closely, as Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute did, and you begin to see that there’s often less to the alleged terrorist plots than meets the eye.
  • Jul 21, 2014
    The US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have targeted American Muslims in abusive counterterrorism “sting operations” based on religious and ethnic identity, Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute said in a report released today. Many of the more than 500 terrorism-related cases prosecuted in US federal courts since September 11, 2001, have alienated the very communities that can help prevent terrorist crimes.
  • Jul 15, 2014
    A US appeals court’s ruling on July 14, 2014, has dealt a major blow to the legitimacy of military commissions and should dissuade the Obama administration from further using the commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects
  • Jul 9, 2014
    The US government should thoroughly explain why it placed five American Muslim leaders, including the head of a prominent Muslim civil liberties group, under electronic surveillance.
  • Jul 7, 2014
    Tunisian legislators should revise the draft counterterrorism law to make it fully consistent with international human rights standards on fair trial, privacy, and freedom of expression. The new law will replace a 2003 law used for years to quash dissent by curtailing free expression, association and assembly. Human Rights Watch issued a report on July 7, 2014, that analyzes the law in detail and contains recommendations for revisions.