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Last updated Sunday, December 22, 2003

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Focus on Human Rights

Background on War in Iraq  (October, 2003)

Russian Federation / Chechnya: Renewed Catastrophe  (November, 2003)

Afghanistan: Human Rights Watch Key Documents  (November, 2003)

September 11 Attacks: Crimes Against Humanity
The Aftermath
 (September, 2003)

Pakistan: Release French Journalists, Pakistani Assistant
(New York, December 23, 2003) -- The Pakistani government must immediately release two French journalists, Marc Epstein and Jean-Paul Guilloteau, and their Pakistani assistant, Khawar Mehdi Rizvi, who were arrested in Karachi on December 16, Human Rights Watch said today.
Bolivia: Strengthen Investigation into Protest Deaths
(Washington, DC, December 22, 2003) – The Bolivian military’s lack of cooperation threatens an investigation into the armed forces’ shooting of scores of civilians during anti-government protests in September and October, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Bolivian President Carlos Mesa.
Burundi: War Crimes May Go Unpunished
(New York, December 22, 2003) — The Burundian military and armed opposition forces have committed serious war crimes, including civilian killings and rapes, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
Uzbekistan: Torture Death in Police Custody
(New York, December 20, 2003) -- The body of a man showing signs of torture was recovered by his relatives in western Uzbekistan eight days after his arrest, Human Rights Watch said today. It was the fourth such incident in the country this year.
China: Tenant Rights Advocate Arbitrarily Jailed
(New York, December 19, 2003) -- A Shanghai court’s conviction of a tenant rights advocate shows the arbitrary nature of the justice system in China, Human Rights Watch said today.
Try Saddam in an international court
(December 15, 2003) -- Despite the obvious merits of an internationally led tribunal,Washington is adamantly opposed, which largely explains the path chosen by the Iraqi Governing Council. But Washington's opposition reflects its ideology, not concern for the Iraqi people. The Bush administration calculates that a tribunal of Iraqis selected by its hand-picked Governing Council will be less likely to reveal embarrassing aspects of Washington's past support for Saddam Hussein, more likely to impose the death penalty despite broad international condemnation, and, most important, less likely to enhance even indirectly the legitimacy of the detested International Criminal Court.
Iraq: No Political Show Trial for Saddam Hussein
(New York, December 14, 2003) – The Iraqi Governing Council must not mount a political show trial of Saddam Hussein, Human Rights Watch warned today.
Afghanistan: U.S. Military Should Investigate Civilian Deaths
(Kabul, December 13, 2003) -- The U.S. military should increase precautions and explain intelligence failures after two recent attacks caused the deaths of numerous civilians in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today. In separate incidents, 15 children were killed by U.S. forces.
U.S.: Hundreds of Civilian Deaths in Iraq Were Preventable   Español  Français  in Arabic  Deutsch
(New York, December 12, 2003) – Hundreds of civilian deaths in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq could have been prevented by abandoning two misguided military tactics, Human Rights Watch said in a comprehensive new report released today.
Serbia and Montenegro: Protection Needed for War Crimes Witness
(Belgrade, December 11, 2003) — Serbian authorities must ensure the protection of a former member of the Serbian security forces who yesterday gave astonishing eyewitness testimony about the killings of 19 Albanians in the 1999 Kosovo war, Human Rights Watch said today. It was the first time a Serbian witness at a war crimes trial has provided such graphic and direct evidence in an open courtroom.
Iraq: Law Creating War Crimes Tribunal Flawed
(New York, December 11, 2003) -- The law establishing the Iraqi war crimes tribunal lacks essential elements to ensure legitimate and credible trials for perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said.
Reaffirm Vienna Commitments
(New York, December 10, 2003) - As we mark Human Rights Day this December 10, we should reflect on another important anniversary this year that has been all but forgotten.
U.S. Should Stop Sanctioning Allies Over ICC
(New York, December 10, 2003) - The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is penalizing more than 20 friendly nations for supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC), Human Rights Watch said today.
United States: Congress Should Protect Workers’ Rights
(New York, December 10, 2003) U.S. lawmakers should back a proposed law to strengthen protections for workers’ right to organize, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to members of the U.S. Congress.
Macedonia: End Cruel Limbo for Kosovo Roma Refugees
(New York, December 10, 2003) — More should be done to address the plight of Kosovo Roma refugees in Macedonia, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today.
Algeria: 'Disappearances' Commission Needs Broader Powers   (Français)
(Brussels, December 9, 2003) Algeria's commission on "disappearances" needs greater investigative powers and a broader mandate if it is to be credible and effective, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
Mexico: U.N. Report Lays Groundwork for Rights Agenda

(Washington, D.C., December 8, 2003) A United Nations report to be released today provides the roadmap for a national human rights program in Mexico, Human Rights Watch said today.
Uzbekistan: Government Blocks Conference on Death Penalty
(New York, December 6, 2003) The Uzbek government refused to allow a civil society group to hold a conference on the death penalty in Tashkent yesterday, Human Rights Watch said.
Chechen Human Rights Advocate Honored
(New York, December 5, 2003) Human Rights Watch today applauded the announcement that the Martin Ennals Foundation had selected Lida Yusupova, a lawyer who provides assistance to victims of human rights abuses in Chechnya, as the winner of the 2004 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.
Russia: Attack on Train a Despicable Crime
(New York, December 5, 2003) -- The bombing today of a commuter train in southern Russia shows callous indifference to civilian life, Human Rights Watch said today.
Egypt: Halt Emergency Court Prosecution of Dissidents
(New York, December 5, 2003) Egypt's trial tomorrow of Ashraf Ibrahim and four other political dissidents in an emergency court continues a disturbing pattern of political repression, Human Rights Watch said today.
El Salvador: Government Ignores Widespread Labor Abuse
(New York, December 4, 2003) --Workers' human rights in El Salvador are systematically violated by employers while the government disregards or even facilitates the abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
Visitors must confront abusive host
(December 4, 2003) -- With Zimbabwe and Pakistan suspended from the Commonwealth's top table for their failure to undertake meaningful political reform, Robert Mugabe and Pervez Musharraf won't be there. But will the Prime Minister and other Commonwealth leaders also get tough with host nation Nigeria for its dismal human rights record?
Pakistan: Threats to Journalists Escalate
(New York, December 3, 2003) -- Pervez Musharraf's military government is becoming increasingly intolerant of press freedoms in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch charged today in a letter to the Pakistani president.
Nigeria Under Scrutiny
(December 2, 2003) The Nigerian government, which will proudly host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting later this week, must get its own house in order before it can claim credibility in terms of human rights.
Nigeria: Freedom of Expression Under Attack
(New York, December 2, 2003) — The Nigerian government has been responsible for killings, torture, and harassment of its critics over the last two years, Human Rights Watch charged in a report released today.
Vietnam: Donors Must Insist on Human Rights Progress
(New York, December 2, 2003) International donors must step up pressure on Vietnam to take concrete steps to improve its dramatically worsening human rights record, Human Rights Watch said today.
India: Investigate Police Attack on Burmese Demonstrators
(New York, December 2, 2003) -- India should undertake a thorough and independent investigation of possible police abuses against Burmese refugees and asylum seekers during demonstrations on November 12-13 in New Delhi, Human Rights Watch said today.
Africa: Gender Inequality Fuels AIDS Crisis
(New York, December 1, 2003) — Violence and discrimination against women and girls is fueling Africa’s AIDS crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today on World AIDS Day. African governments must make gender equality a central part of national AIDS programs if they are to succeed in fighting the epidemic.
Côte d’Ivoire: Militias Commit Abuses With Impunity
(New York, November 27, 2003) Pro-government militias in Côte d’Ivoire are committing serious abuses against civilians, including killings and torture, Human Rights Watch said today. The Ivorian government and international peacekeeping forces must take steps to control the rise of these militias, which operate with impunity.
Tunisia: Chirac Should Raise Farhat Case
(New York, November 27, 2003) French President Jacques Chirac, on his official visit to Tunisia beginning December 3, should intervene to secure the release of Tunisian political prisoner Lotfi Farhat, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the French leader.
United States: Powell's North Africa Trip Should Focus on Rights
(New York, November 27, 2003) U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell should raise pressing human rights concerns in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco during his visit to North Africa on December 2 and 3, Human Rights Watch said today.