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José Fernando Reyes Cuartas Colombian Constitutional Court Palace of Justice Bogotá, D.C. – COLOMBIA   Case: T8018193, 11001310304520200002500 Subject: Human Rights Watch Amicus Curiae on abuses against human rights defenders…
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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
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How has the situation on Lesbos changed since your last visit? When I was here in 2016, I couldn’t imagine things being worse. We saw a lawless situation in Moria refugee camp. There were around 6,000 people in the camp,…
Migrants who arrived yesterday to Greece from Turkey eat bread as they try to warm themselves at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, March 6, 2020.
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Washington, D.C., January 30, 2020 Honorable Alejandro Linares Cantillo Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia Bogotá, D.C. – ColombiaCase: D-13255Subject: Human Rights Watch amicus curiae brief Introduction…
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Colombians, Venezuelans at the Mercy of Armed Groups

Who are the armed groups and what are they fighting over?  F: There are three armed groups in Catatumbo. The largest one and most powerful is the Army of National Liberation (ELN), a left-wing guerilla group formed in the 1960s. The second…
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Honorable Cristina Pardo Schlesinger Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia Rapporteur of Case T-6.612.909   Case: T-6.612.909 Subject: Human Rights Watch amicus curiae brief …
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New Book Details the Bloody Rise of Paramilitaries With Government Ties

Why did you write this book? When I finished working in Colombia in 2010, I had a lot of stories that I hadn’t been able to tell. I had met many brave ordinary Colombians who stood up to the paramilitaries and other armed…
Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno at a community meeting in Curvaradó, Chocó, 2009
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Human Rights Watch filed the following amicus curiae to the Colombian Constitutional Court regarding Constitutional Amendment 1 of 2017, which created the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, a judicial system negotiated with the FARC as part of the talks that…
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Yesterday's damning ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in İzci v Turkey has thrown the spotlight on Turkey's persistent policing problem, which sees police move in quick and heavy with violent force and tear gas to disperse peaceful…
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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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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…
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Nuriye Kesbir, a Kurdish rights activist who has expressed nonviolent dissident opinions, will not be extradited to Turkey, where she could face torture if she were returned. In its reasoning, the District Court at The Hague prohibited extradition of…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should recommend the expansion of the United Nation’s human rights work in Colombia, including an increase in the number of permanent staff of the Office of the High Commissioner in Colombia, renegotiation of…
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In Colombia’s armed conflict, more than 11,000 child combatants fight for guerrilla and paramilitary groups, and account for one-fourth of the groups’ armed forces. The Colombian government took new steps toward ending the use of child combatants on…
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Turkey took an important step toward curbing torture on June 19 when it abolished a criminal procedure code provision that denied detainees, held for offenses under the jurisdiction of State Security Courts, the right to legal counsel for the first forty-…
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On February 3, Turkey’s president Ahmet Necdet Sezer ratified the most recent "adjustment law," aimed at bringing the country closer to meeting European Union membership requirements pertaining to human rights. According to the new law, when the European…