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Despite US Federal Court Ruling, Continued Detention Likely

In a small step toward justice, a United States federal judge ruled this week that because Haroon Gul, an Afghan held at Guantanamo Bay, was not a member of Al-Qaeda or an associated force, the US had no legal basis for detaining him. The US…
Afghan refugee Roman Khan at a refugee camp near Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar in September 2020, displays a photograph of his brother Asadullah Haroon, who is detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
News

IMF Meetings Bring Hope, Despair

This was a year like no other for the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank Annual Meetings, which took place virtually earlier this month. A crush of panels, briefings, and townhalls painted a searing picture of the havoc the Covid-19 pandemic…
Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva participates in a panel discussion on post Covid-19 recovery and resilience during the 2020 Annual Meetings at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, October 13, 2020.  
News

Independent Review Recommends Funding to Address Harms

An external review of the World Bank Group’s private funding institutions found that social and environmental abuses caused by their development projects went largely unaddressed, leaving victims without remedies. The review focused on the…
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Need to Turn Progress into Effective Reform

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has justifiably given itself high marks on implementing the anti-corruption framework it adopted two years ago. In an internal review published last week, the IMF celebrates real progress. But the report and…
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Economic Reform Shouldn’t Come at Expense of People in Poverty

As poverty increases, inflation skyrockets, and unemployment soars, Lebanon is facing the worst economic crisis in its history. Last week, the government began formal negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss a …
People wave a Lebanese national flag during a protest in Central Beirut December 11, 2006.
News

Empower Monitoring Groups to Track Corruption Using Covid-19 Funds

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has responded to the collapse of the global economy from the Covid-19 pandemic with an unprecedented speed and scale of spending. Since March 26, it has approved over US$8 billion in emergency assistance and…
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News

Guantanamo Testimony on Waterboarding, Black Sites

In his testimony last week in the pre-trial hearing of five men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States, Dr. James Mitchell vividly described his role in torturing detainees in the program he helped design…
The closed Camp X-Ray detention facility is seen in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, April 16, 2019.
News

Court Hears from Architects of CIA Torture Program

In the gallery at the back of the courtroom at Guantanamo Bay’s military commission hearing, I could open a copy of Enhanced Interrogation, James Mitchell’s widely available book chronicling his role in the United States Central…
In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
News

Reforms Need to Target the Underlying Soviet-Era System Encouraging Forced Labor

Despite a slew of steps taken to curb the practice, forced labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields remains widespread, according to a recently released report. The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), which has been monitoring…
Women carrying bags of cotton to be weighed and loaded onto a truck in Jizzakh region during the 2016 cotton harvest. The government typically requires people to meet a daily quota of cotton picked, from which the costs of food and transport are deducted.
News

Hundreds of Cases of ‘Disappearances’ and Torture Reported Under al-Sisi’s Government

Instead of protecting its citizens from torture and forced disappearances, the Egyptian government prefers to criticize and attack groups calling for investigations. Human Rights Watch published evidence several weeks ago…
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World Bank President Jim Kim Should Press to Eliminate Labor Abuses

Despite recent reforms, systematic forced labor was still rampant in 2017 in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector, new research shows. A report by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), a German-based nongovernmental…
A woman picks cotton during the 2015 cotton harvest, which runs from early September to late October or early November annually.
News

US Supreme Court Challenge Calls Legal Immunity Into Question

The private sector arm of the World Bank has long come under fire for funding projects that run afoul of human rights. But, because it enjoys full legal immunity in the United States, it has not been possible for anyone to hold the…
Police officers stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2018.
News

New Policy Aims to Assist Countries in the Fight Against Corruption

The International Monetary Fund has unveiled a new blueprint for tackling the global scourge of corruption, conceding that its approach to the issue has been “uneven” in the past. The new policy isn’t perfect, but, if…
International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2017.
News

Human Rights Are ‘Also Your Job’ World Bank Gathering Told

Last week the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein reminded a room of World Bank economists that human rights are “also your job,” and called on the institution to “marry human rights and economics…
Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, addresses the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland February 26, 2018.
News

Draft Sidesteps Instructions to Prevent Harm From Bank Projects

The World Bank has spent the past four years overhauling the rules it applies to prevent or mitigate social and environmental harm from the development projects it finances. But human rights are all but absent in its new rules. …
Members of the Boeung Kak Lake community in Cambodia demonstrate at a police blockade in December 2012 on the second day of community activist Yorm Bopha’s trial.