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Release All Kidnapped and Detained Peaceful Activists

(Beirut) – Eight organizations released the following statement today calling on the Iraqi government to investigate the detention of activists and others since the start of the 2019 protests and to free all those held arbitrarily for peaceful…
Protesters marching in Al-Tahrir Square Tunnel in Baghdad, Iraq.
News
My heart sank as my colleague told me recently about the latest torture victim from Iraq who had contacted us to share his story. I had heard the same kinds of accounts from other victims of torture in detention, including the same names of two…
Juveniles’ cell at Tal Kayf prison, taken in April 2019 and shared confidentially with Human Rights Watch, shows extreme overcrowding at the prison.
News

Iraq’s Abuse of Civilians Will Make it Easy for the Next Version of the Extremist Group to Recruit

(Baghdad) – As the grim scene played out on my computer screen in Baghdad on July 12, my stomach sank. I was watching a video clip of men in Iraqi army uniforms throwing a detainee off a cliff onto the banks of a river and…
Popular Mobilization Force members on the frontline with the Islamic State in al-Fatha, northeast of Baiji, Iraq on October 18, 2015.
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The videos and photographs that have emerged of Iraqi soldiers from the Interior Ministry’s elite Emergency Response Division brutally taunting, torturing, and executing alleged supporters of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) and their family members…
An Iraqi special forces soldier stands beside graffiti, which reads: "The Islamic State will remain", in Bartalla, east of Mosul, Iraq October 27, 2016. . © 2016 Reuters
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The British government is still fighting case after case concerning allegations of abuses by its forces during the 2003 Iraq conflict. This month it had a rare victory. The European Court of Human Rights found no human rights violations by the United…
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How Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki plans to defeat the horribly abusive Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and other Sunni groups that have seized control of large swathes of Iraq remains unclear. And under his government’s new media regulations,…
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It’s been a year now since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive US and UK spying operations sent much of the world into a tailspin. The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to…
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There have been repeated claims of UK complicity in the alleged torture of individuals detained abroad. The government’s latest move in the saga does not suggest a desire to get to the bottom of them. In July 2010, the British prime minister, David…
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The Arab uprisings have been a poignant reminder of how the Internet can promote free expression and assembly, but also how governments can try abuse it. The medium used by demonstrators to organize protests and bring medical supplies to Tahrir Square,…
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If Theresa May is serious about protecting Abu Qatada, she must press for real change in Jordan

Torture occupies a special place in international law – it is banned at all times and in all places, no exceptions. Most countries, including the UK and Jordan, have signed up to the UN Convention Against Torture, which means they agree not only to the…
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Confronted with fresh evidence unearthed by Human Rights Watch that the UK security services were complicit in the rendition and possible torture of opponents of the Gaddafi regime, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a confident performance in the House of…
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William Hague is right to put human rights at the heart of the UK's foreign policy – for practical as well as ethical reasons

The foreign secretary William Hague said last week that human rights should be the "irreducible core" of the UK's foreign policy. But he did not spell out why, or what that would mean in practice. Ethical arguments aside, there are three practical…
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Torture is prohibited under international law, at anytime and anywhere. No exceptions are allowed. Yet the UK, France and Germany are engaged in ongoing counterterrorism cooperation with foreign intelligence services in countries that routinely use…
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The Chilcot inquiry must examine what took place in Britain's name during a war supposedly in the name of human rights

In his speech to parliament on the eve of the Iraq war, Tony Blair referred to "the brutality of the repression" of Saddam Hussein, "the death and torture camps, the barbaric prisons for political opponents, the routine beatings for anyone or their…
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President Obama visited the CIA headquarters this week to try to reassure staff that their intelligence-gathering work would not be compromised by the release of the so-called ‘torture’ memos. But the revelations cast a shadow over the work of the US inte

Last week's release of four top-secret United States Justice Department memos on torture demonstrates the readiness of the new administration to swap the secrecy and lies that have surrounded the treatment of terrorism suspects by the US Government in…
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This Wednesday, unless the UK foreign secretary takes rapid action, Britain’s High Court will hold a hearing to assess whether the UK government should be ordered to hand over secret documents to lawyers for a Guantanamo detainee. The detainee in question…
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Even as the UK was negotiating its assurances with Jordan, the United States was knowingly sending terrorism suspects to Jordan for purposes of interrogation under torture. The evidence of US complicity in the torture of terrorism suspects in Jordan also…
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Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

This submission summarizes Human Rights Watch’s key concerns with the United Kingdom’s compliance with international human rights law in the context of the fight against terrorism. Diplomatic assurances One of the most damaging counterterrorism policies…