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After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the US government authorized the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” on terrorism suspects in US custody. For years US officials, pointing to Department of Justice memorandums…
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As a candidate, Barack Obama signaled his clear intention to break with the Bush administration's abusive counterterrorism policies. Once sworn in as president, Obama immediately issued executive orders that set a course toward reform. Human Rights…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

On November 7, the Supreme Court agreed to review the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who is challenging the lawfulness of the U.S. government trying him for alleged war crimes before a military commission at Guantánamo Bay. The Court is expected to render a…
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List of Detainees Published by Human Rights Watch

The following is a list of persons believed to be in U.S. custody as "ghost detainees" -- detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel, and who are likely not reported to or seen by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The…
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Submission from Human Rights Watch to Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee Inquiry

Human Rights Watch respectfully offers the following submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee’s inquiry into the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Bill (No. 2) 2005 (hereafter “the Bill”).
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The following is a compilation by Human Rights Watch of accounts by thirty-three former detainees at Guantanamo of their experiences there. Human Rights Watch interviewed sixteen of the detainees, reviewed press reports containing statements by former…
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The interrogation techniques used by U.S. personnel on detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba remain shrouded in mystery. While U.S. policy is that the detainees be treated “humanely,” the Department of Defense has never revealed publicly how…
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The following provides brief outlines of the military commissions, the combatant status review panels, and the administrative review procedures adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for use at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I. Military Commissions…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

The U.S. government is moving closer to convening the military commissions authorized by President Bush in November 2001 to try suspected terrorists. Despite President Bush's oft-repeated insistence that the war on terror is a war to affirm and protect…
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This background paper highlights the international law issues surrounding the status and treatment of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan in U.S. custody. It cites the need for a formal and individualized determination of prisoner of war status…
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(Washington, DC) - Under President Bush's November 13th Military Order on military commissions, any foreign national designated by the President as a suspected terrorist or as aiding terrorists could potentially be detained, tried, convicted and even…