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What are some of the misconceptions around being born intersex? Unfortunately, in our society we’re still at a point where most people don’t know the basic facts about being intersex. People think it is very rare, but really, up to two percent of the…
A poster by intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis
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It’s public knowledge that following the 9-11 attacks on the United States, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detained and tortured terrorism suspects in secret sites around the world. But new Human Rights Watch research provides…
CIA detainee torture abuse 2
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Amicus Curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court

Human Rights Watch and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an amicus brief in the case of Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd before the Supreme Court. The case challenges the US government's misuse of the material witness statute to investigate…
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Questions and Answers About the Murder of Natalia Estemirova

Q. Why was Natalia Estemirova murdered? A. We believe that Estemirova's killing was a brazen attempt to silence those telling the truth about human rights violations in Chechnya. She was the link between victims and the rest of the world. She connected…
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Questions and Answers

Introduction After the attacks of September 11, 2001, US officials approved various interrogation methods that were illegal under both US and international law. These included such brutal practices as painful "stress positions," prolonged exposure to…
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Human Rights Watch and JUSTICE Amicus Brief to the UK House of Lords

The British government has sought to deport terrorism or national security suspects in reliance on diplomatic assurances against torture from the men's home governments. In two important cases to be heard in October 2008-RB and U v. Secretary of State…
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Amicus Brief to the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Khouzam v. Secretary Chertoff, et al.

Despite evidence that he would be tortured on return, the US government seeks to deport Sameh Sami S. Khouzam to Egypt on the basis of diplomatic assurances from the Egyptian government that Khouzam will not be tortured in Egyptian custody.  Human Rights…
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Argument to the US Court of Appeals on Suing Foreign Torturers in the US

Human Rights Watch filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the case of Yousuf v. Samantar, which is now before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In the brief, Human Rights Watch argues that when Congress passed the Torture Victim…
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For the first time since the Bush administration launched its global campaign against terrorism, the United States this week will answer internationally for its record on torture. On May 5 and May 8, the United Nation’s Committee Against Torture will…
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Brief of Amici Curiae in re: Hill v. McDonough

Human Rights Watch joined with other amici insisting that Florida’s protocol for lethal injections violated fundamental human rights prohibitions against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
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Supreme Court of the United States, January 6, 2006

The detention and military commission systems created by the Executive to hold and try persons seized in the “war on terror” and implemented at the United States Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (“Guantánamo”) violate the well-established norms of…
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  1. What are the judges in the House of Lords being asked to decide?   A special nine-judge panel of the House of Lords Judicial Committee will convene on October 4 to consider the lawfulness of government powers that allow foreign…
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Last Updated on June 1, 2004 What is torture?What laws prohibit torture?Do non-citizens in the U.S. have the same right not to be tortured as U.S. citizens?Can a person be compelled to provide evidence?Can limited physical force be used during…