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Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
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UN Inquiry Needed into Alleged Violations by Warring Parties

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian federal forces carried out apparently indiscriminate shelling of urban areas in the Tigray region in November 2020 in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. Artillery attacks at the start of the armed…
A woman stands in a metal sheet room that was damaged by shelling in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020. In that residential compound, two women and an elderly man were killed by shelling and gunfire, and two women were wounded.
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His Excellency José Eduardo dos Santos President of the Republic of Angola Re: Prosecution of Rafael Marques de Morais Dear President dos Santos, We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are writing to you to express our strong concerns about…
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The bold activists around the world who stand up to corporate and government economic interests frequently face a harsh backlash. Individuals and communities are threatened, and activists may be arrested or killed with impunity in retaliation for speaking…
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Repression of Civil Society Contravenes Organization’s Rules

(New York) – A major global initiative to encourage governments to better manage natural resource revenues should reject Ethiopia’s bid for membership due to its harsh restrictions on civil society, Human Rights Watch said today. The governing board of…
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Human Rights and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

Update: A response from the EITI Secretariat is available at this link. ContentsSummaryBackground: EITI’s Purpose, Structure, and RulesEITI’s Founding PrinciplesStructure of the InitiativeThe Central Role of Civil Society ParticipationCurrent…
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Projects Financed by State Oil Company Require Close Scrutiny

(Washington, DC) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should insist that Angola’s government explain how it spent more than US$41.8 billion in unaccounted oil revenues from 2007 to 2011, Human Rights Watch, Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (…
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Require Detailed Explanation of $32 Billion Accounting Gap

(Washington, DC) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should withhold a scheduled $130 million loan disbursement to the government of Angola until Angolan authorities fully and publicly justify a US$32 billion discrepancy in Angola’s public accounts,…
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Update: The IMF sent a response to Human Rights Watch on April 9, 2012. It is available as a downloadable resource on this page. Ms. Christine Lagarde Managing Director International Monetary Fund 700 19th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20431 Re: March…
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Clarify US$32 Billion Accounting Gap

Update: On January 17 2012, the government of Angola acknowledged the discrepancy in public accounts. In a statement issued through state media, the government emphatically denied that any funds were "missing" and said that, although its investigation…
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H.E. Mr. Carlos Alberto Lopes Minister of Finance Edifício do MinFin Largo da Mutamba Luanda, República de Angola Your Excellency, I am writing to you on behalf of Human Rights Watch to urge you to publicly account for the US$32 billion unexplained…
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State Oil Company is Main Focus of Investigation

(Washington, DC) – The government of Angola should promptly provide a full public accounting for US$32 billion in missing government funds thought to be linked to the state oil company, Human Rights Watch said today. A December 2011 report by the…
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Global Initiative Expels 2 Countries That Lagged on Reform; Retains 16 Others

(Washington, DC) - The decision today to end two countries' quests for membership in a global initiative on openness about natural resource profits shows that the initiative will not automatically accept governments that lack the political will to improve…
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Government Needs to Take Effective Action to Combat Corruption, Mismanagement

(Washington, DC) - The government of Angola has not done enough to combat pervasive corruption and mismanagement, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Even though the oil-rich country's gross domestic product has increased by more than 400…
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Most Countries Miss Deadline to Demonstrate Openness on Petroleum, Mining Revenues

(Washington, DC) - An international initiative that seeks to promote more openness about how countries profit from their oil, gas, and mining resources should not weaken its modest membership standards because governments are unable or unwilling to meet…
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Senators’ Investigation Follows the Hidden Money Trail from Foreign Kleptocrats

(Washington, DC) - The Obama administration should adopt recommendations in a report issued today to help stop the flow of stolen money into the United States, Human Rights Watch said. The report is the result of a detailed investigation by Senators Carl…
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Explain Spending of Oil Revenue

The government of Angola, which yesterday joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), should publicly account for how it spends the country’s massive oil wealth instead of harassing citizens who criticize corruption, Human Rights…
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(Bratislava) - The government of Slovakia must do more to bring its arms trade under control, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Slovakia adopted some legal reforms in 2001 and 2002, but serious problems remain that allow arms to be…
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Disappearance of $4.2 Billion Undermines Fundamental Rights

More than four billion dollars in state oil revenue disappeared from Angolan government coffers from 1997-2002, roughly equal to the entire sum the government spent on all social programs in the same period, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…