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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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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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Questions and Answers

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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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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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…
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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…