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Last updated Friday, December 27, 2002

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Russian Federation / Chechnya: Renewed Catastrophe  (December, 2002)

Afghanistan: Human Rights Watch Key Documents  (October, 2002)

September 11 Attacks: Crimes Against Humanity
The Aftermath
 (November, 2002)

Chechen Rebels Must Stop Targeting Civilians
(New York, December 27, 2002) Today's bombing of the headquarters of the pro-Moscow government of Chechnya in Grozny is an egregious violation of basic principles of humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said today.
United States: Reports of Torture of Al-Qaeda Suspects
(New York, December 27, 2002) The Bush administration must promptly investigate and address allegations of torture of suspected al-Qaeda detainees or risk criminal prosecution, Human Rights Watch said today. In a letter to President George W. Bush, Human Rights Watch said it was “deeply concerned” by allegations made in the Washington Post that detainees had been subjected to torture or other forms of mistreatment while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan or while held by U.S. allies.
Turkmen Authorities Arrest Civic Activist
(New York, December 26, 2002) Turkmen authorities should release Farid Tukhbatullin, an environmental activist arrested Monday, Human Rights Watch said today.
Russia: Clock Running Out for Displaced Chechens in Ingushetia
(Moscow, December 26, 2002) — Russian authorities must not close tent camps housing tens of thousands of displaced Chechens because there is still nowhere safe for them to relocate, Human Rights Watch said today.
Hong Kong Subversion Proposals Threaten Liberties
(New York, December 24, 2002) The Hong Kong government's proposals to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law do not conform to international human rights standards, and risk undermining Hong Kong's free society, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter sent to Hong Kong Chief Executive C.H. Tung.
Cambodia: Excessive Force Used Against Environmental Advocates
(New York, December 23, 2002) Cambodian police used excessive force against peaceful environmental advocates in Phnom Penh earlier this month, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed grave concern about an apparent government campaign of harassment, intimidation, and threat of legal action against forestry reform advocates in Phnom Penh and Cambodia's provinces.
U.S. Ratifies Treaty Banning Child Combatants
(New York, December 23, 2002) Ratifying the treaty banning child combatants will enable the United States to exert real leadership in ending the use of child soldiers around the world, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch welcomed U.S. ratification of the treaty, which took place this morning.
Colombia: U.S. should grant special status to undocumented Colombians
(New York, December 23, 2002) U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft should refrain from deporting undocumented Colombians and grant them Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Human Rights Watch said in a letter released today.
Colombia: U.S. should grant special status to undocumented Colombians
(New York, December 23, 2002) U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft should refrain from deporting undocumented Colombians and grant them Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Human Rights Watch said in a letter released today.
Indonesia's Court for East Timor a "Whitewash"
(New York, December 20, 2002) The Indonesian ad hoc court for East Timor has utterly failed to bring to justice perpetrators of the 1999 violence in East Timor, Human Rights Watch said in a new briefing paper released today.    (Bahasa)
Vietnam Escalates Crackdown on Democracy Advocates
(New York, December 20, 2002) Human Rights Watch today condemned a fresh wave of arrests and trials of peaceful critics of the Vietnamese government in Hanoi and the northern port city of Hai Phong.
Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Tribunal Must Meet International Standards
(New York, December 19, 2002) The Cambodian government needs to demonstrate that it wants to hold fair and credible trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders, Human Rights Watch said today. On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution requesting the Secretary-General to resume negotiations with Cambodia to form a tribunal.
U.S. Cluster Bombs Killed Civilians in Afghanistan
During its air war in Afghanistan, the United States dropped nearly a quarter-million cluster bomblets that killed or injured scores of civilians, especially children, both during and after strikes, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
Justice Needed for Iraqi Government Crimes
Alleged Perpetrators May Be in Opposition's Coordinating Committee
(New York, December 17, 2002) Iraqi opposition leaders meeting in London have given short shrift to the important question of bringing to justice those accused of serious human rights crimes under Saddam Hussein's leadership, Human Rights Watch said today in a new backgrounder on the need for justice in Iraq.

Bahrain: Investigate Torture Claims Against Ex-Officer
Amnesty should not apply to serious human rights crimes
Washington, D.C., December 17, 2002) Bahrain should investigate allegations that a former high security official routinely authorized and participated in the torture of political prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today.

Colombia: Bombing Campaign Targets Civilians
(New York, December 17, 2002) The recent spate of bombings in Colombian cities has caused dozens of civilian casualties and is being used to spread terror, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the forces planting these explosives to stop this reprehensible campaign, which constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law and is clearly meant to threaten and intimidate Colombia's democratically-elected congress at a time when they are making decisions critical to the country's future.

Afghanistan: Women Still Not "Liberated"
Police Abuse, Forced Chastity Tests, and Taliban-Era Restrictions in Herat
(New York, December 17, 2002) - Afghan women and girls have suffered mounting abuses, harassment and restrictions of their fundamental human rights during 2002, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.

U.N. Cites Child Recruiters But Omits L eading Offenders
(New York, December 16, 2002) A landmark report to the U.N. Security Council brings needed scrutiny to governments and armed groups using chi ldren as soldiers, but omits some of the world's worst offenders.

EU-Iran Conference Must Set Human Rights Benchmarks
Backgrounder on Human Rights Dialogue
(New York, December 13, 2002) Human Rights Watch today expressed regret that delegates from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International were denied permission to attend the forthcoming dialogue on human rights issues between European Union representatives and Iranian government officials. The talks are scheduled to begin in Tehran on Monday, December 16.

DR Congo: Rebel Authorities Shut Down Radio
(New York, December 13, 2002) Rebel authorities in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should immediately lift the ban on Radio Maendeleo, an independent radio station, Human Rights Watch said today.
Kenya’s Dec. 27 Elections Won’t Solve Human Rights Ills
(New York, December 12, 2002) The hotly-contested December 27 election has highlighted serious human rights shortcomings in Kenya, Human Rights Watch said today. As the election approaches and Kenya’s draft constitution awaits enactment, Human Rights Watch released a new report urging all candidates to adhere to a clear human rights agenda, which would address the iniquities and abuses that persist in the East African country.
Indonesia: Human Rights Key to Lasting Peace in Aceh
(New York, December 11, 2002)-- The peace agreement signed on Monday in Geneva by the government of Indonesia and the armed Free Aceh Movement (GAM) could, if implemented with human rights protections, end years of conflict, Human Rights Watch said today.
U.N.: Integrate Human Rights Into Security Council Work
(New York, December 10, 2002)- As the United Nations Security Council marks Human Rights Day with a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said the Council has made some progress incorporating humanitarian issues into its work, but it still often acts as if the United Nations human rights machinery is not there.
Australia: Deterring Asylum Seekers by Violating Rights
(Sydney, December 10, 2002) Many refugees who come uninvited to Australia are compelled to do so because they cannot find effective protection anywhere else, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released to mark International Human Rights Day.
U.S: Executions Scheduled for Human Rights Day
(Washington D.C., December 9, 2002) Human Rights Watch appealed to the governors of North Carolina and Oklahoma today to halt two executions scheduled for December 10, International Human Rights Day. Human Rights Watch asked that both death sentences be commuted to life in prison.
Kenya: Crackdown on Nairobi's Refugees After Mombassa Attacks
(New York, December 6, 2002) - Kenyan police appear to be using the November 28 attacks on Israeli tourists in Mombassa to justify a crackdown on refugees living in Nairobi, Human Rights Watch said today.
Chad Lifts Immunity of Ex-Dictator
Green Light to Prosecute Hissène Habré in Belgium
(Brussels, December 5, 2002) - The Chadian government's waiver of former President Hissène Habré's immunity will help pave the way for his prosecution on atrocity charges in Belgium, Human Rights Watch said today.
Afghanistan's Bonn Agreement One Year Later   (Briefing paper)
(New York, December 5, 2002) - One year after the signing of the Bonn Agreement, Afghanistan continues to face serious obstacles in protecting human rights and establishing basic security, Human Rights Watch said today.
Uzbekistan: Alleged Torture Victim Sentenced to Death
(New York, December 4, 2002) A judge in Tashkent completely ignored serious allegations of torture in sentencing a man to death in Tashkent last week, Human Rights Watch said today.
Statement by Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch
(Geneva, 2-4 December 2002) Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch welcome the opportunity to attend the IOM Governing Council as Observers. We stand ready to work constructively with the Council and the offices of IOM, including in informal discussions, on matters of human rights compliance, transparency and accountability.
Indonesia: Violence Unchecked in Central Sulawesi
(New York, December 4, 2002) -- The violence plaguing Central Sulawesi today is a direct result of the Indonesian government's failure to punish the perpetrators of major attacks and protect communities in the province since 1998, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.  (in Bahasa)
"Politically Motivated" Verdict Overturned in Egypt
(New York, December 3, 2002) Human Rights Watch welcomed today's Court of Cassation decision to quash the guilty verdict handed down last July against university professor and democracy activist Saadeddin Ibrahim and 27 co-defendants.
Colombia: Background Briefing for Colin Powell's Visit
(Washington, December 3, 2002) The visit of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to Colombia on December 3 and 4 marks an important opportunity to advance human rights and the rule of law in that country.
Ukraine: Parliament Must Combat Political Censorship
The Ukrainian parliament must take steps to end informal censorship of television news broadcasts practiced by the administration of President Leonid Kuchma, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to parliament released today.
Russia Must Not Force Returns to Chechnya
(Moscow, November 29, 2002) The Russian government must stop pressuring internally displaced persons in Ingushetia to return to Chechnya, Human Rights Watch said today. Russian authorities have announced that the Aki-Yurt tent camp in northern Ingushetia will be closed by December 1, 2002, and are now hastening the return of its 1,700 inhabitants.
Burundi: Escalating Violence Demands Action
(New York, November 29, 2002) Recent army massacres of civilians and bombardment of the capital by the rebel Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) are raising the risk of further widespread killing of civilians in Burundi, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today.
Côte d’Ivoire: Government Targeting Civilians
(New York, November 28, 2002) The government of Côte d’Ivoire has responded to an army rebellion by committing abuses against innocent civilians, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Traffickers Walk Free
(New York, November 26, 2002) Traffickers who have forced thousands of women and girls into prostitution in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not being apprehended for their crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
“Pro-Torture” Legislation Looms in Georgia
(New York, November 26, 2002) The Georgian government must halt the further erosion of safeguards against torture, said Human Rights Watch today. On Thursday, November 21, Interior Minister Koba Narchemashvili demanded regressive new amendments to Georgia’s already seriously flawed criminal procedure code, and parliament indicated it would pass whatever he proposed.