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On January 25, 2019, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program. The policy allows US border officers to return non-Mexican…
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Thousands of asylum seekers are trapped in crowded and filthy processing centers on the Greek islands, with many spending the winter in lightweight tents or even sleeping outside on the ground. Greece contends it has to keep the…
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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…
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On April 17, 2013, a group of eight US senators introduced a bill to reform the United States immigration system. The proposed Senate Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744) would make significant changes to the…
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Following the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush began a campaign of “targeted killings” against suspected members of al Qaeda and other armed groups. It has continued under the administration of President…
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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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Omar Khadr, a Canadian national, was 15-years old when he was captured and seriously injured in a firefight in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002. The US has accused Khadr of throwing the grenade that killed US Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer and injured…
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Seeks to Exclude Material Support for Terrorism Charge from Military Commission Jurisdiction

Human Rights Watch joins partners in this brief arguing that the charge of material support for terrorism is not a violation of the laws of war and therefore such a charge falls outside the limited jurisdiction of military commissions. The brief further…
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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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The Issue On his second day in office, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order committing to close the US military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010 and authorizing a review by the attorney general of each detainee's status…
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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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Questions and Answers

  What are "diplomatic assurances" against torture? Why is the use of diplomatic assurances growing? Why do governments seek these assurances? Do diplomatic assurances work? Have people who were sent back with diplomatic assurances actually been…