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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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Before he was arrested last year in Uganda on terrorism charges, Al Amin Kimathi was hailed as an outspoken activist who challenged East African governments to conduct lawful counterterrorism operations. The Kenyan human rights defender had gone to Uganda…
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Human Rights Watch Oral Statement at the 16th Session of the Human Rights Council

(Geneva) - Human Rights Watch would like to thank the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) for its Opinion 20/2010 on the arbitrary detention of Judge María Lourdes Afiuni of Venezuela. The decision to prosecute Judge Afiuni for upholding…
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Three Kenyans now sit in Ugandan custody, charged with terrorism for their alleged role in the twin bomb blasts that killed scores of World Cup soccer fans in Kampala a few weeks ago. It is unclear what relationship - if any - these three might have had…
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By Leslie Lefkow before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health

Thank you, Chairman Payne, and members of the subcommittee, for inviting me to participate in this hearing. My name is Leslie Lefkow. I am a senior researcher with the Africa division of Human Rights Watch and I lead our work on the Horn of Africa. Mr…
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As one would expect from so eloquent a leader, Barack Obama has brought a marked improvement in presidential rhetoric on human rights compared with his predecessor. In a series of speeches around the world, carefully tailored for each audience, the…
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"I kindly beg you to ensure that you keep our children. I don't think I will be coming back." Those were the last words of Saidi Lutaaya, spoken over the phone to his wife. He had been picked up from Old Taxi Park in Kampala in November 2007 by men…
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Pirates have put Somalia back on the international agenda, but Somalia's people have yet to receive as much protection as the international tankers off-shore. The brutal, widely ignored conflict in Somalia has crept back into the headlines only after…
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The US-backed Ethiopian military has secreted away scores of "suspects" – including pregnant women and children – and fueled anti-American rancor in Africa

Ifo Refugee Camp, Kenya - Ishmael, a 37-year-old shepherd from the Ogaden region in Ethiopia, looked at me with tears in his eyes. Ethiopian forces – who had already killed his mother, father, brothers and sisters – murdered his wife days after they were…
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Statement prepared by Human Rights Watch for the “Arria formula” meeting on Somalia

Human Rights Watch welcomes this initiative by the United Nations Security Council to discuss the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Somalia. The situation in Somalia is one of the world's starkest and most neglected tragedies. In basic human terms…
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Human Rights Watch Testimony at a Hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health

Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, for providing Human Rights Watch this opportunity to voice our concerns about the dire, and deteriorating, human rights and humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa, and particularly in regard to…
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The west's policy in Somalia is fuelling rather than resolving a devastating conflict.

The west's policy in Somalia is fuelling rather than resolving a devastating conflict. Getting reliable information from Somalia is difficult and dangerous. But a clear pattern has emerged of serious violations, including indiscriminate use of heavy…
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CDDH Questionnaire on Diplomatic Assurances

Introduction Austria Case of Mohamed Bilasi-Ashri (2001 to present) Germany Repatriation of Seven Sudanese Nationals (1995)Case of Metin Kaplan Lithuania Netherlands Case of Nuriye KesbirCase of X: Netherlands to MoldovaCase of Ramzy v.…
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Despite what the Prime Minister says, the rules of the game have not changed

In the days after the bombings of 7 July, there were many reasons to feel proud to be a Londoner. Politicians responded with dignity to the terrible events. People of all faiths stood together in the knowledge that those who had commissioned these crimes…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

In its annual resolution on torture, the Commission on Human Rights should reaffirm the absolute obligation of states not to return (“refouler”) a person to a country where he or she is at risk of being subjected to torture or other cruel or inhuman…
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