HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Human Rights Watch
World Report 2000
[Adobe Acrobat - (1682k)]
(Updated December 1999) GENERAL
BOSNIA & HERCEGOVINA
D.R. OF CONGO
CZECH REPUBLIC & FORMER CZECHOSLOVAKIA
ISRAEL & ISRAELI OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
RUSSIA AND CHECHNYA
FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
Democracy Deficit: A Pre-Electoral Assessment
December 1999 (D1116)
In the run-up to important parliamentary elections, civil and political rights are seriously restricted in Croatia, Human Rights Watch said in this report. The report describes this political repression as the "human rights legacy" of the late President Franjo Tudjman, who died earlier this month. Parliamentary elections in Croatia are scheduled for January 3, 2000. The Croatian government limits freedom of the press, especially in the case of television, which gives a disproportionate amount of airtime to the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), both on the main evening news and across all programming. The Human Rights Watch report charges that the HDZ frequently proves stronger than state institutions. A new law on freedom of assembly allows local authorities to prohibit demonstrations in city centers, despite a ruling from Croatia's highest court that such prohibitions are unconstitutional. Most disturbing is the government's decision to appoint new members to the Constitutional Court on the basis of political affiliation rather than merit, a move which would further compromise judicial independence.
(D1116), 12/99, 2099., $3.00
East Timor: Forced Expulsions to West Timor and the Refugee Crisis
December 1999 (C1107)
This report is based on interviews with more than one hundred East Timorese returnees in transit centers in Dili, the capital of East Timor. It documents the continuing obstacles to return for East Timorese refugees in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia. The obstacles include death threats against families seeking to leave, attacks on convoys heading back for East Timor, militia-spread disinformation portraying East Timor as a desperate and dangerous place, and the presence in the camps of militia leaders believed to be responsible for attacks on civilians earlier in the year.In the report, Human Rights Watch also sets forth new testimonial and documentary evidence that the expulsions were the result of a planned, systematic campaign coordinated by the Indonesian military. The report notes that the process of expulsion was highly similar from one end of East Timor to the other, and draws on eyewitness accounts of direct military involvement in the expulsions and military facilitation of militia campaigns of terror and intimidation of East Timorese. In many cases, district military command posts served as way stations for East Timorese civilians forced from their homes and subsequently transported to West Timor. This was not a case of evacuation of selected loyalists.
(C1107),12/99, 21pp, $3.00
Human Rights Watch World Report 2000
November 1999 (2386)
Sovereignty loomed less large in 1999 as an obstacle to stopping and redressing crimes against humanity. Governmental leaders who committed atrocities faced a greater chance of prosecution and even military intervention. In East Timor, intense diplomatic and economic pressure convinced Jakarta to permit the belated deployment of a multinational force to halt the scorched-earth campaign of Indonesian army-backed militia. In Kosovo, NATO's controversial bombing campaign made Belgrade acquiesce in the deployment of international troops to stop widespread ethnic slaughter and forced displacement. There was also significant progress toward an international system of justice for the worst human rights offenders, including advances in the case against former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, the indictment of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, and the seemingly irreversible momentum toward establishing the International Criminal Court. Until now, the lack of anything resembling an international criminal justice system restricted the options for the human rights movement. Slowly, the defense of human rights is moving from a paradigm of pressure based on international human rights law to one of law enforcement.
(2386), 11/99, 544 pp., $25.00
Northern Ireland: A New Beginning to Policing
November 1999 (D1115)
Human Rights Watch has prepared this assessment of the Patten Commission report-issued on September 9, 1999-as a means of following up on its participation in the commission's consultation process and as a contribution to the government's three month post-report consultation period. We are committed to monitoring the implementation of the report, and this assessment highlights both positive and problematic elements of the report that we believe may either facilitate or hinder its implementation. We also make several recommendations on key human rights issues that were not addressed or were inadequately addressed by the Patten Commission. Human Rights Watch views the report as a positive contribution to the work of reforming the police force but feels strongly that measures in addition to the report's recommendations must be taken to bring law enforcement in Northern Ireland into conformity with international human rights standards.
(D1115) 11/99, 21pp., $3.00
Pakistan: Prison Bound, The Denial of Juvenile Justice in Pakistan
November 1999 (2424)
Children accused of committing criminal offenses in Pakistan are routinely tortured by police, Human Rights Watch said today. Many of these children go on to spend months or even years in overcrowded detention facilities awaiting the conclusion of their trials. The treatment of children in detention violates Pakistani law, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly ten years ago this Saturday and ratified by Pakistan a year later. Despite a law that requires police to bring criminal suspects before a judge within twenty-four hours of arrest, children may spend as long as three months in detention before seeing a judge. Children share their cells with adults while in police custody, and like adult detainees, are routinely subjected to various forms of torture or ill-treatment, including being beaten, hung upside down, or whipped with a rubber strap or specially-designed leather slipper.uman Rights Watch calls on the Pakistani authorities to establish independent bodies to hear and investigate complaints of abuse by police and prison personnel, and to ensure the strict separation of adults and children deprived of their liberty. Authorities should also provide sufficient teaching staff and modern vocational training in each facility housing juveniles, and prohibit imposition of the death penalty on children under the age of eighteen.
(2424) 11/99, 147pp., $15.00
Tajikistan: Freedom of Expression Still Threatened
Despite legislation protecting freedom of speech and the press in Tajikistan, in practice freedom of expression is severely limited. For six years major opposition parties and their newspapers were banned. The government of Tajikistan continues to employ a variety of tactics to limit political content in the remaining media. It intimidates journalists and editors through threats and "guidance" sessions. Government-run printers often refuse to print newspapers that run controversial material. Foreign journalists whose reporting displeases the government have lost their accreditation. A burdensome licensing process has kept independent radio stations off the airwaves. As this report went to press, on the eve of Tajikistan's November 6 presidential elections, the government had quashed all but one independent newspaper in the capital covering political affairs. Tajikistan has been considered one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists. At least fifty and perhaps up to eighty journalists have been murdered in connection with Tajikistan's civil war and its aftermath, yet not a single investigation has resulted in prosecution for these killings. The general absence of law and order in Tajikistan is exacerbated for journalists given the heightened risks associated with their professional duties. This is one of the most important factors that contributes to self-censorship there.
(D1114), 10/99, 30pp., $5.00
Confessions At Any Cost: Police Torture in Russia
November 1999 (2440)
The Russian police routinely torture people in custody in order to force them to confess, Human Rights Watch charges in this report. Russian courts commonly accept these forced confessions as grounds for conviction, and federal and local governments do not recognize police torture as a problem, the report says. With only a few exceptions, Russian police are not prosecuted, or even reprimanded, for committing torture, although the practice clearly contravenes Russian and international law. The 196-page report, "Confessions At Any Cost: Police Torture in Russia," is based on a two-year study, including more than fifty interviews with torture victims in five regions across Russia. Dozens of lawyers, former police officers, judges, and others were also interviewed for the report.Some Russian experts estimate that 50 percent of police detainees are subject to torture or ill-treatment. The most common form of torture involves prolonged beatings, with punches, kicks, and blows from a nightstick commonly aimed at the victim's head, back, kidneys, legs, and heels. The police also use electric shock. Two people interviewed by Human Rights Watch jumped out the window of the police station and were seriously injured rather than be subjected to further electric shock.
(2440), 11/99, 196 pp., $15.00
No Minor Matter: Children in Maryland's Jails
November 1999 (2432)
With frequent references to "juvenile predators," "hardened criminals," and "young thugs," U.S. lawmakers at both the state and federal levels have increasingly abandoned efforts to rehabilitate child offenders through the juvenile court system. Instead, many states have responded to a perceived outbreak in juvenile violent crime by moving more children into the adult criminal system. Between 1992 and 1998, at least forty U.S. states adopted legislation making it easier for children to be tried as adults; a similar measure for youth charged with federal crimes is pending in the U.S. Congress. These measures neither reduce crime nor lead to rehabilitation. But they often do lead to serious abuses when children are held in adult jails, sometimes in appalling conditions of confinement, occasionally sharing cells with adult detainees, and frequently provided inadequate education, medical and mental health care, or age-appropriate recreational opportunities. Human Rights Watch calls upon Maryland to end the practice of detaining children in adult detention facilities, and ensure that conditions of detention for youth comply with federal and state law and international standards.
(2432), 11/99, 169 pp., $15.00
Uzbekistan--Class Dismissed: Discriminatory Expulsions of Muslim Students
October 1999 (D1112)
Schools and universities throughout Uzbekistan are closing their doors to Muslim men with beards and women in headscarves, Human Rights Watch said today. In a new report about
Uzbekistan, Human Rights Watch documents a pernicious form of religious discrimination practiced by the government against Muslims. The report describes the government's zero-tolerance policy toward Muslim students who wear headscarves and beards. Government officials have unceremoniously expelled the students from schools and universities. Most of those expelled were girls and young women. In some cases, university officials have joined state security agents to intimidate and harass Muslim students who persisted in wearing religious attire, and their families. The Ministry of State Security (the successor to the KGB) has threatened some students, and warned their parents of being fired from their jobs. Police have planted evidence on suspects and beaten detainees. Judges presided over blatantly unfair trials, ignoring police misdeeds and convicting men on the basis of their religious beliefs.
(D1112), 10/99, 40pp., $5.00
Crime or Custom: Violence Against Women in Pakistan
October 1999 (2416)
In the wake of the military takeover in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch released this major report on the state of women's rights in the country. The 100-page report, Crime or Custom? Violence Against Women in Pakistan, documents a virtual epidemic of crimes of violence against women, including domestic violence rates as high as 90 percent, at least eight reported rapes every 24 hours nationwide, and an alarming rise in so-called honor killings.Violence against women has risen to staggering levels. Women's low social status and a long established pattern of active suppression of women's rights by successive governments has contributed to the escalation in violence. No government has acknowledged the scale and severity of the problem much less taken action to end the violence against women. When a Commission of Inquiry for women convened by the Pakistan Senate described domestic violence as one of the country's most pervasive violations of human rights, its findings were brushed aside by the Sharif government. As a result of such dismissive official attitudes, crimes of violence against women continue to be perpetrated with near total impunity.
(2416), 10/99, 101 pp., $10.00
Chile -- When Tyrants Tremble: the Pinochet Case
October 1999 (B1101)
As Chile prepares for presidential elections in December 1999, the Pinochet arrest has prompted debate about the human rights legacy of the military. The crisis has also highlighted the undemocratic aspects of the constitution which Chile inherited from Pinochet. In this report, Human Rights Watch describes encouraging developments in Chilean courts during the year since Pinochet's arrest. Before Pinochet's arrest, the courts stifled most prosecutions of human rights violations from the military government through application of a 1978 amnesty law. However, the Supreme Court of Chile recently allowed prosecutions in "disappearance" cases to proceed, despite the amnesty, on the grounds that such cases are continuing crimes. Courts have charged several high-ranking military officers in "disappearance" cases over the past year. A Chilean judge investigating more than forty criminal complaints against General Pinochet is preparing to send him a list of questions he is obliged to answer. Human Rights Watch has applauded Spain's effort to prosecute General Pinochet for crimes against humanity and Britain's cooperation. The Spanish and British actions have set vital precedents establishing the personal criminal responsibility of former heads of state for atrocities committed under their rule.
(B1101), 10/99, 57pp., $7.00
"As Fragile as a Crystal Glass:" Press Freedom in Iran
October 1999 (E1101)
Independent newspaper editors, publishers, and journalists in Iran are suffering arbitrary detention, assault and prosecution. These attacks have become more frequent during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami, as conservatives within the government have sought to suppress what has emerged as the major mobilizing tool of reformists. The closure of Neshat (Happiness) newspaper in early September is the fourth time this year that the courts have closed down a major independent newspaper that supports President Khatami's reform agenda. This closure, and the sentencing of Neshat's publisher, Latif Safari, to a 30-month suspended prison term, has again demonstrated the vulnerability of the press to politically-motivated attacks. Human Rights Watch calls on the Iranian government to replace the Press Law of 1985, which restricts freedom of press, with legislation that protects and upholds the right to freedom of expression. The Iranian parliament is currently considering amendments to the 1985 law which would, on the contrary, weaken its limited safeguards for press freedom. They would make journalists liable for prosecution in exceptional courts such as the Special Court for the Clergy, or the Revolutionary Court, where international fair-trial standards are disregarded.
(E1101), 10/99, 21pp., $3.00
Hostile to Democracy: The Movement System and Political Repression in Uganda
October 1999 (2394)
Government harassment and discriminatory legislation are suppressing independent political activity in Uganda, Human Rights Watch charged in a report released today. President Yoweri Museveni and his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) are likely to entrench this restrictive system even further in a referendum scheduled for June 2000. This report, entitled "Hostile to Democracy: The Movement System and Political Repression in Uganda," charges that Museveni's NRM has outlawed most activities of political parties, including holding meetings and public rallies and sponsoring candidates for election. At the same time, the report recognizes that Uganda had made significant progress in many reas of human rights. Although police and army abuses persist, the NRM has forged an army which is more disciplined than its predecessors. Uganda has also established a credible Human Rights Commission. But the progressive policies pursued by the Ugandan government in some areas of human rights protection contrast sharply with its policies in the political arena.
(2394), 10/99, 163 pp., $15.00
Kazakhstan -- Freedom of the Media and Political Freedoms in the Prelude to the 1999 Elections
October 1999 (D1111)
In a new report released ahead of this week's parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan, Human Rights Watch charged that the government was repeating the manipulation used in the January election of President Nazarbaev. These tactics, which include the banning of opposition candidates and censoring the media will taint the polls for the lower house of parliament, to be elected on October 10. In this report, the international monitoring group methodically documents how the Kazakh government succeeded in curtailing freedom of expression, association, assembly and the right to political participation in the run-up to Presidential elections held in January. Human Rights Watch says that the government has repeated these methods in the run-up to the parliamentary elections.The 39-page report, which is based on a fact-finding mission conducted in December 1998, details the various means used to silence independent news media, to thwart efforts by opposition groups to organize, and to prevent critically-minded individuals from standing for election. The report further shows how the government directed state agencies to coerce public support for President Nazarbaev, in violation of international standards on free participation and of Kazakhstan's own election law.
(D1111), 10/99, 42 pp., $5.00
Politics by other Means: Attacks Against Christians in India
October 1999 (C1106)
The Indian government has failed to prevent increasing violence against Christians and is exploiting communal tensions for political ends, Human Rights Watch charged in a report released today. This 37-page report details violence against Christians in the months ahead of the country's national parliamentary elections in September and October 1999, and in the months following electoral victory by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party, known as the BJP) in the state of Gujarat. Attacks against Christians throughout the country have increased significantly since the BJP began its rule at the center in March 1998. They include the killings of priests, the raping of nuns, and the physical destruction of Christian institutions, schools, churches, colleges, and cemeteries. Thousands of Christians have also been forced to convert to Hinduism. The report concludes that as with attacks against Muslims in 1992 and 1993, attacks against Christians are part of a concerted campaign of right-wing Hindu organizations, collectively called the sangh parivar, to promote and exploit communal clashes to increase their political power-base. The movement is supported at the local level by militant groups who operate with impunity.
(C1106), 10/99, 37pp., $5.00
Angola Unravels: The Rise and Fall of the Lusaka Peace Process
September 1999 (2335)
Angola returned to all-out war in December 1998, the fourth period of open warfare in living memory. The human cost since fighting resumed is impossible to determine with precision, but the United Nations estimates that nearly one million people have become internally displaced persons because of the renewed conflict, 10 percent of Angola's population. This return to war also represented the end of the uneasy peace process that began with the Lusaka Protocol in Zambia in November 1994. The Lusaka Protocol provided for a cease-fire, the integration of UNITA generals into the government's armed forces (which were to become nonpartisan and civilian controlled), demobilization (later amended to demilitarization) under U.N. supervision, the repatriation of mercenaries, the incorporation of UNITA troops into the Angolan National Police under the Interior Ministry, and the prohibition of any other police or surveillance organization. As a backdrop to the protocol, a Security Council embargo on arms and oil transfers to UNITA had been in place since 1993, while both the government and UNITA had agreed to halt new arms acquisitions as part of the accords. But the embargo on UNITA was not enforced, and both sides openly continued major arms purchases throughout the process.
(2335) 9/99, 205pp., $15.00
Kenya -- Spare the Child: Corporal Punishment in Kenyan Schools
September 1999 (A1106)
For most Kenyan children, violence is a regular part of the school experience. Teachers use caning, slapping, and whipping to maintain classroom discipline and to punish children for poor academic performance. The infliction of corporal punishment is routine, arbitrary, and often brutal. Bruises and cuts are regular by-products of school punishments, and more severe injuries (broken bones, knocked-out teeth, internal bleeding) are not infrequent. At times, beatings by teachers leave children permanently disfigured, disabled or dead. Such routine and severe corporal punishment violates both Kenyan law and international human rights standards. According to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, school corporal punishment is incompatible with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the world's most widely-ratified human rights treaty. Other human rights bodies have also found some forms of school-based corporal punishment to be cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and a practice that interferes with a child's right to receive an education and to be protected from violence.
(A1106), 9/99, 59pp., $7.00
China and Tibet: Profiles of Tibetan Exiles
September 1999 (C1105)
This report profiles five Tibetans living in exile in Dharamsala, India. All are in their late twenties or thirties, and all are originally from the areas known to Tibetan nationalists as Amdo and Kham. Today almost all of this territory lies in what Tibetans call "eastern Tibet" and Chinese call the Tibetan regions of Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai, and Yunnan provinces. Their stories show a common pattern: all had unusual access to education; all became involved in political activities through discussions at state schools or academies; all were arrested and detained by Chinese security forces for possession or circulation of published materials about the Dalai Lama or Tibetan independence; and some were tortured. The men's stories are similar to many others we heard in Dharamsala, and while we do not claim that five cases are illustrative of a broader pattern of repression, their accounts suggest that peaceful political activity in Tibetan areas outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region (T.A.R.) and its capital, Lhasa, is no more acceptable to authorities than it is in the T.A.R.
(C1105), 9/99, 29pp., $5.00
Landmine Monitor Report 1999
April 1999 (2319)
Landmine Monitor is an unprecedented initiative by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. It is the first time that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are coming together in a coordinated, systematic and sustained way to monitor a disarmament or humanitarian law treaty, in this case the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and to assess more generally the efforts of the international community to resolve the global landmine crisis which sees thousands of innocent people maimed or killed every year.Researchers in more than eighty nations gathered information to produce this 1,100-page book, which contains reports on the landmines situation inevery country of the world. It has the most complete and accurate information available. The report assesses the policies and actions of treaty States Parties, signatories and non- signatories, in order to establish whether the Mine Ban Treaty and the norm it has established is making a difference today to the people who need their land cleared of this weapon and their lives, communities and societies rebuilt. To date, 135 governments have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and 74 have ratified. It became binding international law on 1 March 1999. It is now online.
(2319), 4/99, 1106pp., $45.00
Azerbaijan: Impunity for Torture
August 1999 (D1110)
Azerbaijani security forces regularly torture those in custody, and get away with it, according to a this report. The international monitoring group charged that Azerbaijan has failed to enact legal reforms and that corruption is rampant in the criminal justice system. The 57-page report, Azerbaijan describes how the Ministry of Internal Affairs often keeps detainees in a state of isolation from the outside world, including from lawyers and relatives, allowing torture to take place in virtual secrecy. In more than twenty cases investigated by Human Rights Watch, no judge ruled inadmissible confessions or testimony reported to have been gained through torture. The report found that torture and physical abuse of detainees is widespread and systematic for both those detained under suspicion of committing political offenses and those suspected of non-political crimes.
(D1109), 8/99, 57pp., $7.00
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: Abuses against Serbs and Roma in the New Kosovo
August 1999 (D1110)
This report documents how ethnic Serbs and Roma (Gypsies) face fear, uncertainty, and violence in Kosovo. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 164,000 Serbs have left Kosovo during the seven weeks since Yugoslav and Serb forces withdrew and the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) entered the province. Many others have moved to Serb or Roma enclaves under KFOR protection within Kosovo. A wave of arson and looting of Serb and Roma homes throughout Kosovo has ensued. Serbs and Roma remaining in Kosovo have been subject to repeated incidents of harassment and intimidation, including severe beatings. Most seriously, there has been a spate of murders and abductions of Serbs since mid-June, including the late July massacre of Serb farmers.
(D1110) 08/99, 18 pp., 3.00
Israel/Lebanon -- Persona Non Grata: The Expulsion of Civilians from Israeli-Occupied Lebanon July 1999
For more than a decade, Israel and its auxiliary Lebanese militia have been expelling innocent civilians from their homes and villages in south Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today. Inthis report, Human Rights Watch says that entire families have been expelled from the occupied zone in a summary and often cruel manner, without due process law. The victims, who have included elderly men and women as well as children, have been forced to leave their homes and villages without any advance notice and were generally not permitted to bring any personal possessions with them.The expulsions are carried out in secrecy. Israel bears ultimate responsiblity for both its own actions and those of its proxy militia.Human Rights Watch called on the U.S. and the member states of the European Union to publicly condemn the expulsions, and to press Israel to allow the expelled Lebanese civilians to return to their homes and recover their property under safe conditions, free of any form of coercion or initimidation from occupation security authorities.
(2378), 7/99, 104pp., $7.00
Forgotten Children of War: Sierra Leonean Refugee Children in Guinea
July 1999 (A1105)
Sierra Leonean refugee children in Guinea are among the most vulnerable children in the world. They have lived through an extremely brutal war-most have witnessed or suffered unspeakable atrocities including widespread killing, mutilation, and sexual abuse. The human rights abuses that drove these children into flight are only the first chapter of hardship for many Sierra Leoneans affected by the crisis. Even after traveling across an international border to seek refuge in Guinea, they remain vulnerable to hazardous labor exploitation, physical abuse, denial of education, sexual violence and exploitation, cross-border attacks, militarization of refugee camps, and recruitment as child soldiers. Human Rights Watch visited Guinea in February and March 1999. In the refugee camps, they interviewed dozens of refugee teachers, social workers, and other community leaders as well as forty-nine refugee children: thirty-three girls and sixteen boys ranging in age from six to seventeen. This report relates the testimony of these children, whose names have been changed to protect their privacy.
(A1105), 7/99, 55 pp., $7.00
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: "Ethnic Cleansing" in the Glogovac Municipality
July 1999 (D1108)
On June 15, 1999, Serbian and Yugoslav forces withdrew from the town of Glogovac in the Drenica region of central Kosovo, in accordance with the agreement signed by NATO and Yugoslavia's military leadership. Thousands of traumatized ethnic Albanian civilians, as well as members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), promptly emerged from their homes and the nearby hills for the first time since NATO raids began on March 24. This report documents some of the abuses and war crimes that took place in the Glogovac region between March 19 and June 15. It is based on extensive interviews with ethnic Albanians while they were refugees in neighboring Macedonia, as well as on interviews with those who returned to the Glogovac area in late June. The testimonies from the two groups, as well as the physical evidence in the region, are remarkably consistent and, taken together, paint an undeniable picture of systematic abuse by Serbian and Yugoslav forces.
(D1108), 7/99, 26 pp., $5.00
Cuba's Repressive Machinery: Human Rights Forty Years After the Revolution
July 1999 (2343)
Over the past forty years, Cuba has developed a highly effective machinery of repression. The denial of basic civil and political rights is written into Cuban law. In the name of legality, armed security forces, aided by state-controlled mass organizations, silence dissent with heavy prison terms, threats of prosecution, harassment, or exile. Cuba uses these tools to restrict severely the exercise of fundamental human rights of expression, association, and assembly. The conditions in Cuba's prisons are inhuman, and political prisoners suffer additional degrading treatment and torture. In recent years, Cuba has added new repressive laws and continued prosecuting nonviolent dissidents while shrugging off international appeals for reform and placating visiting dignitaries with occasional releases of political prisoners. This report documents Cuba's failures to respect the civil and political rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as well as the international human rights and labor rights treaties it has ratified.
(2343) , 6/99, 274pp., $15.00
"Nobody's Children:" Jamaican Children in Police Detention and Government Institutions
July 1999 (2300)
In the island nation of Jamaica, many children-often as young as twelve or thirteen-are detained for long periods, sometimes six months or more,in filthy and overcrowded police lockups, in spite of international standards and Jamaican laws that forbid such treatment. The children are often held in the same cells as adults accused of serious crimes, vulnerable to victimization by their cellmates and to ill-treatment by abusive police; and virtually always, they are held in poor conditions, deprived of proper sanitary facilities, adequate ventilation, adequate food,exercise, education, and basic medical care. Some of these children have not been detained on suspicion of criminal activity but have been locked up only because they are deemed "in need of care and protection." Human Rights Watch visited five working police lockups in Jamaica in late August to early September 1998 and interviewed more than thirty children about their experiences in the lockups.
(2300), 7/99, 165pp., $15.00
Behind the Kashmir Conflict: Abuses by Indian Security Forces and Militant Groups Continue
July 1999 (C1104)
In this report, Human Rights Watch charges that human rights violations by all parties in Kashmir have been a critical factor behind the current conflict. The report says that if those violations had been seriously addressed at any time over thelast ten years, the risk of amilitary confrontation between India and Pakistan might have been reduced. The escalation in fighting has made it urgent that the international community put pressure on India to end widespread human rights violations by its security forces in Kashmir, and on Pakistan to end its support for abusive militant groups. The 44-page report, Behind the Conflict in Kashmir, focuses on the border areas in southern Kashmir where militant forces have been crossing over from Pakistan. The report documents several of the massacres of Hindu civilians carried out by these groups and their local counterparts, in which more than 300 civilians were killed between 1997 and mid-1999.
(C1104), 7/99, 44pp. $5.00
Sierra Leone: Getting Away with Murder, Mutilation, and Rape
July 1999 (A1103)
This sixty-page report documents how, as rebels took control of the city in January 1999, they made little distinction between civilian and military targets. Testimonies from victims and survivors describe numerous massacres of civilians gathered in houses, churches and mosques. One massacre in a mosque on January 22 resulted in the deaths of sixty-six people. A woman describes how she escaped from a burning house after rebels set her mother and daughter on fire. A child recounts how, from her hiding place, she watched rebels execute seventeen of her family and friends. The report also includes testimonies from girls and women who describe how they were systematically rounded up by the rebels, brought to rebel command centers and then subjected to individual and gang-rape. Young girls under seventeen, and particularly those deemed to be virgins, were specifically targeted, and hundreds of them were later abducted by the rebels. Human Rights Watch documents how entire families were gunned down in the street, children and adults had their limbs hacked off with machetes, and girls and young women were taken to rebel bases and sexually abused.
(A1103), 6/99, 56pp., $7.00
The Internet in the Middle East and North Africa: Free Expression and Censorship
July 1999 (2351)
The Internet dramatically empowers persons in the exercise of their right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers. Online communication must therefore be fully protected by international guarantees of the right to freedom of expression. In the Middle East and North Africa, Internet use is growing rapidly after a slow start. Today, all countries except Libya, Iraq, and Syria allow the public to access the Internet through a local service provider. But in a region where nearly all governments abridge the right to freedom of expression in significant ways, many have taken a cautious approach toward a medium that permits persons easily, inexpensively, and rapidly to exchange information in ways that elude state control.Governments have adopted various means to restrict the flow of information online. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates impose censorship via proxy servers, devices that are interposed between the end-user and the Internet in order to filter and block specified content.
(2351), 7/99, 104pp., $7.00
Republic of Belarus: Violations of Academic Freedom
July 1999 (D1107)
This report by Human Rights Watch details how President Aleksandr Lukashenka's government has suppressed research on controversial topics, re-centralized academic decision- making, and maintained a ban on political activity on campuses. At the same time, a systematic crackdown on political dissent on campus has targeted outspoken students and lecturers who are threatened with expulsion, often for their off-campus political activity. Since President Lukashenka's election in 1994, the government has hounded or disbanded opposition political parties and nongovernmental organizations, and has stripped independent lawyers of their accreditation. His regime has also harassed and arrested peaceful political activists, and has severely curtailed the independent media. State university authorities issue reprimands and warnings to politically active lecturers, independent historians, and other academics. University employees who challenge the status quo are told to curtail political activities or change the focus of their academic enquiry.
(D1107), 7/99, 50pp., $5.00
Tanzania -- In the Name of Security: Forced Round-Ups of Refugees in Tanzania
July 1999 (A1104)
Tens of thousands of refugees, some of whom have lived in Tanzania for more than two decades, have been rounded up by the Tanzanian army and confined to camps for the past year in the western part of the country, Human Rights Watch charges in this report.This new report from Human Rights Watch charges that the Tanzanian army separated the refugees from their families and stripped them of their belongings in an indiscriminate response to security risks from outside the country. With little or no notice, the Tanzanian army swept through villages close to the Burundian and Rwandan borders, apprehending thousands of refugees from their homes and sending them to the refugee camps. This report contains testimonies from Burundian refugees, many of whom had built homes, farms, and livelihoods in the government-provided settlements for over two decades, who spoke with regret about their destroyed communities, empty looted homes, and ruined crops.
(A1104), 7/99, 36pp., $5.00
Reports from January - June 1999