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Common Visions for a Killer Robots Treaty

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to advancing Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) discussions on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), also known as fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots.” Before the global lockdown, states…
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Shared Vision Forms Sound Basis for Creating a New Ban Treaty

Governments should move urgently to begin negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit and restrict autonomous weapons systems, known as “killer robots.” A small number of powerful countries that are developing autonomous weapons have been holding up…
A graphic piece by Brian Stauffer depicting an outstretched hand catching a rocket in its palm while shielding a mother and a young boy beneath it.
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Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
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Enforced Disappearances, Incommunicado Detention, Groundless Deportation

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities have forcibly disappeared at least four Pakistani men since October 2020 and deported at least six others without explanation, apparently based solely on their religious background, Human Rights Watch said…
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
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Humanitarian Organization Warns Weapons Threaten ‘Our Shared Humanity’

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on governments to ban fully autonomous weapons. ICRC President Peter Maurer said yesterday that he hopes the humanitarian organization’s public backing for new legally…
An ambulance covered in bullet holes
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Proposed New York City Law a Model for Regulation

Elected officials and local authorities across the United States and around the world should consider replicating an innovative legislative proposal that would prohibit police from arming robots used in their law enforcement operations. The bill,…
A black robot with four legs resembling a dog stands on a stage in front of a shite background.
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Vienna Academic Faces Abusive ‘Terrorism’ Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should immediately release an anthropology master’s degree student at Central European University (CEU), or present evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested the student,…
Ahmed Samir Santawy, an anthropology master’s student at Central European University (CEU) detained in February 2021.
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Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours as prevention measures due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Adel al-Hasani Apparently Detained for Critical Reporting

(Sanaa) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) security forces in southern Yemen have arbitrarily detained a Yemeni journalist since September 17, 2020, apparently for his critical news reporting, Human Rights…
Members of UAE-backed southern Yemeni separatist forces stand by a tank during clashes with government forces in Aden, Yemen August 10, 2019.
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Monitoring, Tough Message on Dire Rights Situation Long Overdue

(Geneva) – Egypt’s human rights community is facing “annihilation” by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, more than 100 leading human rights organizations from around the world have warned today in a letter to foreign ministers. The groups…
Egyptian security forces have been involved in systematic abuses such as enforced disappearance and torture and have used abusive counterterrorism laws and measures to crush peaceful dissent. Egyptian security forces stand guard outside one of the entranc
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Stalled Diplomatic Talks Highlight Urgent Need for Political Leadership

(Washington, DC) – More than three in five people responding to a new online survey in 28 countries oppose using weapons systems, commonly called “killer robots,” that select and attack targets without further human intervention, Human Rights Watch…
Campaign to Stop Killer Robots press briefing at the United Nations in New York in October 2019.
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Reveal How Asylum Seekers at Border Were Short-Changed on Rights

(Washington) – Two years after the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, newly released government records reveal US immigration agencies’ efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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Human Rights Violations at Home, Abroad

(Beirut) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was responsible for serious human rights violations at home and abroad in 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. The government held peaceful critics in jail, fostered labor abuses…
Workers clean the exterior of the Museum of the Future, currently under construction, in Dubai on November 19, 2020.
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Arbitrary Detentions for Independent Reporting, Criticizing Government

(New York) – The Chinese authorities have stepped-up arbitrary detentions of journalists and activists reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues, or criticizing the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the beginning of…
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Letter to International Olympic Committee Urges Human Rights Risk Assessment

(New York) –The Chinese government’s heightened repression from Xinjiang to Hong Kong threatens its hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. The…
Photo of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games logo in Zhangjiakou City where the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will take place, September 17, 2020, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, China. © 2020 Imaginechina via AP Images
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Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
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Removing human control from the use of force is a grave threat to humanity that deserves urgent multilateral action

When the international debate over fully autonomous weapons began in 2013, a common question was whether robots or machines would perform better than humans. Could providing more autonomy in weapons systems result in greater accuracy and precision? Could…
Killer robots