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Brunei’s Syariah Penal Code (2013) went into effect on April 3, 2019.[1] The new code poses grave threats to fundamental human rights and discriminates against the country’s most vulnerable groups, including children, women, and religious and sexual…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Summary Racist and other hate violence is a problem in Germany—as it is in many European Union countries— with hundreds of violent attacks recorded by authorities and civil society groups each year. Germany has made progress in…
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Applying International Human Rights Standards to Drug Detention Centers

The widespread ill-treatment and abuse experienced by people who use illicit drugs has received increasing attention as a human rights issue.One area of particular concern is the violation of human rights in the course of— and sometimes even in the name…
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A Human Rights Platform for Candidates

On March 7, Iraq's voters will head to the polls nationwide to select all 325 members of parliament. The election will be a key indicator on whether the country is moving toward greater political stability and respect for human rights and away from the…
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Legal guarantees     The absence of legal guarantees is one of the main causes of Saudi Arabia’s serious human rights problems. Without specific legal protections, neither the government nor judges, not to mention ordinary citizens, can…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

On June 17, 2005, Iran holds its ninth presidential election, as well as mid-term elections for the seventh parliament. As in all previous elections, candidates wishing to compete in these elections must first win approval by the powerful Guardian Council…
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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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Human Rights Watch has repeatedly tried to gain access to U.S. detention facilities in Iraq but U.S. military officials in Baghdad have denied requests for visitation rights. Human Rights Watch is able to have regular access to prisons and detention…
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One year after the adoption of the country strategy, it is clear that the benchmarks did not trigger the necessary reforms. This failure is attributable, first and foremost, to the Uzbek government's flagrant disregard for human rights and democracy, an…
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Since the mid-1990s, Armenian authorities have used administrative detention as a tool of repression, locking up protesters and activists at times of political tension. The 2003 presidential election and its aftermath mark the most sustained, extensive…
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A Human Rights Watch Backgrounder

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, more than two million men and women are now behind bars in the United States. The country that holds itself out as the "land of freedom" incarcerates a higher percentage of its people…
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In a 16-page briefing paper, “The Iraqi Government Assault on the Marsh Arabs,” Human Rights Watch documents how systematic bombardment of villages, widespread arbitrary arrests, torture, “disappearances,” summary executions, and forced displacement have…
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Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

For years the government of Uzbekistan has violated the right to freedom of conscience by imprisoning and persecuting independent Muslims—Muslims whose peaceful practice of their faith falls beyond government controls. This briefing paper describes…
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During much of 2001, there was increased tension between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Burma, at times erupting into violence. News of the violence was quickly suppressed, however, and little detailed information about what took place reached the…
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A Human Rights Watch Press Backgrounder

In this briefing, we present new figures documenting racial disparities state-by-state in the incarceration of African Americans and Latinos.1 We hope they will help state residents and public officials to understand their state-specific…
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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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Human Rights Watch Backgrounder

In the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, the People's Republic of China has offered strong support for Washington and affirmed that it "opposes terrorism of any form and supports actions to combat terrorism." Human Rights Watch is…
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A Human Rights Watch Background Briefing

International humanitarian law categorically prohibits hostage-taking. On April 12, 2000 Israel's highest court ruled that the administrative detention of Lebanese nationals as "bargaining chips" -- hostages -- was illegal under Israeli domestic law,…
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Press Backgrounder on Human Rights

President Mohammed Khatami of Iran is scheduled to visit the United Nations next week. On the occasion of this newsworthy trip, Human Rights Watch has prepared the following backgrounder on the domestic situation in Iran. We also attach a recent press…