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The United States government's decision to "reengage" with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that President Joe Biden promised in his major foreign policy speech.…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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July 17, International Justice Day, is a reminder both of how difficult it is to bring the people responsible for the world’s worst crimes to justice and of how crucially important it is not to give up. Over the past two decades, trials for…
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The Israel exception to Western governments' human rights principles has been starkly on display in the reaction to the Palestinian Authority's decision to join the International Criminal Court. In Washington, Ottawa, Paris and London, as well as Tel Aviv…
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The European Union staunchly supports the International Criminal Court. It advocates universal ICC membership to extend the reach of justice for grave abuses and to contribute to “peace and the strengthening of international security.” Yet EU member…
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Secretary of State John Kerry called the collapse of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks “reality-check time” for the peace process. That reassessment should include the self-defeating U.S. policy of opposing steps toward justice and…
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For almost a year, since obtaining upgraded status at the UN, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has had a chance to open the door to justice for serious international crimes committed on Palestinian territory.  They could seize this chance to deter…
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…
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Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov correctly pointed out in a recent article that human rights problems are one of the “main causes of the ‘Arab revolutions.’” As an investigator for Human Rights Watch who has interviewed hundreds of people in Syria…
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But policy of detaining hundreds of Palestinians for years without charges remains in effect

Khader Adnan may live to see his 34th birthday after all. He has been on hunger strike for 66 days to protest against his “administrative detention,” which allows the Israeli military to detain Palestinians without charge, indefinitely, on the basis of…
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Late last week the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah sent a cruel message to the civilian victims of laws-of-war violations during the Gaza conflict: we won't demand justice for your suffering. The message came in the form of a resolution drafted by…
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Two months ago in this column I raised the issue of accountability for war crimes committed in the Gaza conflict. I wrote that the findings and recommendations of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, and its reception by Israel,…
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Yesterday the US Congress gravely insulted hundreds of civilians who were wounded or killed in the most recent war in the Middle East. By a vote of 344 to 36, the House condemned the report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, also known…
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Justice matters to the US in Kenya, Darfur, and Congo... Kenya: "And I have urged that the Kenyan government try to find the way forward to handle this themselves, but if that is not possible, and people think it is not, then the names that have been…
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Over the past few months, international and local human rights groups have documented numerous serious violations of the laws of war, some of them amounting to war crimes, before, during, and since Israel's military offensive in Gaza last December and…
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If the UN fails to further investigate crimes committed during the conflict it will ensure stalemate, and more suffering for civilians

The Israeli government and its supporters have lashed out at the report of the UN board of inquiry into Israeli attacks on UN installations during Israel's latest offensive in Gaza. The report, they say, is biased, tendentious and inaccurate. According to…
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Human Rights Watch has gathered disturbing testimony that Hamas is responsible for brutal sectarian attacks in Gaza

The young man asked us not to identify him. He had "made a mistake", he said, when someone apparently overheard him criticising a Hamas leader in a street conversation with friends. "We call them 'drones' - people Hamas pays to listen for them." This was…