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Reveal How Asylum Seekers at Border Were Short-Changed on Rights

(Washington) – Two years after the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, newly released government records reveal US immigration agencies’ efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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Much concern has been raised, for good reason, about President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Haspel allegedly was involved in reckless, illegal torture under the agency’s “rendition,…
Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by U.S. President Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is shown in this handout photograph released on March 13, 2018. © 2018 CIA handout
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Unnamed US Detainee Held 2 Months in Iraq

(Washington, DC) – The US government has been holding a US citizen suspected of fighting with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) for two months in an undisclosed military prison in Iraq without access to legal counsel, Human Rights…
The American flag flies next to a statue of the scales of justice at United States Court House, February 6, 2002.
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Senegal Shows Leadership, Compassion in Accepting Libyan Detainees

(New York) – The United States government’s release of two Libyan detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to Senegal on April 4, 2016, shows meaningful progress on closing the prison, Human…
Camp delta
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High-Profile Cases Highlight Longstanding Problems

(Washington, DC) – State and local officials in the United States should address racial discrimination and police abuse in the criminal justice system that sparked widespread demonstrations last year, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015…
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In any normal case, in any ordinary court, judges hold preliminary hearings to narrow the issues and move the case closer to trial. But there is nothing ordinary about the prosecution of the five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. And the…
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Rightly Charged in Federal Court, Not Guantanamo Military Commissions

(Washington, DC) – The United States government should ensure that Ahmed Abu Khatallah, apprehended for his alleged role in the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is brought promptly before a judge and provided access to a…
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If the Taliban prisoners released could have been prosecuted, they should have been

Though questions have been raised about whether the Obama administration should have exchanged five Guantanamo detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, one thing is clear: The decision shouldn’t impede U.S. efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.…
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New Video Captures Anguish of Detainees’ Families

(Washington, DC) – The US should expedite the return of Yemeni detainees cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Barack Obama. Human Rights Watch released a video showing the plight of families of…
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The sight of a man, free, who used to be in chains, is breathtaking. And so I gasped as Salim Hamdan walked into the lobby of my hotel in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, one evening in January. Now in his mid-40s, he looked heavier and happier than I remembered…
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UN Rights Body Concerned Over Surveillance Activities, Other Issues

(Washington, DC) – The United States should heed calls issued on March 27, 2014, by an important UN human rights body to ensure that its surveillance activities are consistent with the right to privacy, both within and outside its borders, Human Rights…
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Terrorists face real consequences in US civilian courts

The American public has had a pretty good demonstration over the last couple of weeks in how a US federal court handles a big terrorism case. The New York City trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, on charges of conspiring to kill…
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President Should Sign Defense Act, Work Towards Prison’s Closure

The US Congress’ passage of a defense bill that will ease restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees is an important step towards closing the detention facility, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 19, 2013, the Senate passed the 2014…
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You know something is wrong when defense lawyers have to hike to Starbucks to find Internet access they feel they can—relatively, anyway—trust. But that’s exactly what lawyers for the five men accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 attacks felt they…
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With Congress back in session, Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester will soon consider whether to adopt new provisions in a defense-spending bill allowing Guantanamo Bay detainees to be transferred to the U.S. for trial by federal courts. …
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The family of a Gitmo detainee twice cleared for transfer remains pessimistic, despite Obama's speech vowing reform

Muhammad al-Baidhani, an 11-year-old Yemeni boy with a mop of brown curls, only knows his father from photos and a one-hour video conference every two months. Before Muhammad was born, his father was captured and sent to the U.S. military prison at…
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Obama Should Follow-Up With Action, Adherence to International Law

(Washington, DC) – United States President Barack Obama’s new call to transfer detainees from Guantanamo and wind down the “war” with al-Qaeda could jumpstart a US counterterrorism policy more consistent with US human rights obligations. However, in his…
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On May 23, 2013, US President Barack Obama will give a speech at the National Defense University on counterterrorism policy. Human Rights Watch has long reported on US counterterrorism policy, and has recently made a number of recommendations that address…