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Government financial support for fossil fuels, including through subsidies, presents a key obstacle to achieving emissions reductions urgently needed to address the climate crisis. Subsidies artificially reduce the costs of fossil fuel production and…
Pumpjacks at an oil well site near Epping, N.D., Oct. 1, 2018. © 2018 Jim Wilson/The New York Times/GDA via AP Images
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Bill Would Have Criminalized Wide Range of Peaceful Expression

In a win for online freedom in Iraq, in February the Iraqi parliament said it will stop pushing forward a cybercrimes draft law until after it is amended so that it protects rather than infringes upon free speech. As it stood, the law would have…
Woman holding up a sign in Arabic
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Those Arrested Have a Right to Speedy and Fair Trails

Several members of Iraq’s parliament and the province’s deputy governor visited prisons near Mosul, Iraq, calling what they found a “humanitarian catastrophe.” This happened two days after Human Rights Watch released research detailing…
Women’s cell at Tal Kayf prison, taken in April 2019 and shared confidentially with Human Rights Watch, shows extreme overcrowding at the prison.
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Questions and Answers

The European Union (EU) is facing unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants arriving by boat. In 2014, 220,000 people arrived, almost double the combined total of 121,000 from 2011 through 2013. During just the first six…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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1.     What is female genital mutilation (FGM)? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as "all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs for non-medical…
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On October 6, the British government announced that it will allow Iraqi interpreters and other key support staff to settle in the United Kingdom. Iraqis who worked for British forces are particularly vulnerable to being targeted by insurgents and militia…
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Following high-profile media reports about Iraqi interpreters whose lives are threatened because they worked for British forces, the British government announced on August 7 that it will review its policy of non-preferential treatment for Iraqi employees…
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On July 27 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF announced a $129 million joint appeal to provide education for Iraqi refugee children in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Jordan also announced that it will give all Iraqi…
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Following intense advocacy by Human Rights Watch, Democratic leaders from the House of Representatives announced on June 29 that they would oppose a US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) until Colombia shows evidence of sustained results in addressing…
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1. What was the Anfal?    The Anfal (meaning the “the Spoils” in Arabic) was an eight-stage military campaign that resulted in the deliberate murder of at least 50,000 and possibly 100,000 Kurds. During the Anfal, Iraqi forces used chemical weapons on…
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On May 17, the United Nations General Assembly rejected a bid by Belarus, which has an appalling human rights record, for a seat on the Human Rights Council, signaling that the rights records of Council members matter. Working with a global coalition of…
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(New York, May 10, 2007) – On May 17, the United Nations General Assembly will hold elections for 14 of the 47 seats on the new Human Rights Council. Shockingly, among the states seeking election is Belarus, a state that does not come close to meeting the…
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The US Army in January ordered the court-martial of Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Jordan, a key official allegedly implicated in detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Jordan is the first military officer to be charged under the doctrine of command…
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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on January 8 that it would double the amount of aid it will request in 2007 for Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons. In November Human Rights Watch released a major report highlighting…
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What is the M26 rocket and how does it function?     The M26 is a 227mm unguided artillery rocket delivered by the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) to a range of thirty-two to thirty-eight kilometers. Once it is over the target area, the rocket…
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In a new report by Human Rights Watch, United States soldiers have for the first time come forward to describe torture and other abuse by the U.S. military in Iraq, and the failure of superior officers to stop it. Human Rights Watch's report has…
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In response to our reports, the United States is paying closer attention to human rights concerns in the process of paramilitary demobilization in Colombia. Our work helped to spark interest in the issue by the U.S. Congress, which led to an unprecedented…