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Baraa Zayani, a 4-year-old Tunisian boy, has been held for the past two years in a militia-run prison in Libya. In 2016, a bullet tore through his stomach during clashes between armed groups that killed his father, a member of the…
View from hill overlooking Ain Issa displacement camp in Syria, May 2018. © Human Rights Watch
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As the G20 Summit approaches and world leaders get ready to meet in Buenos Aires on Friday, a cloud of suspicion looms over Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. His visit to Argentina was supposed to help him rebuild his shattered…
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(London) – The attack at the Manchester Arena on the night of May 22, 2017, was a despicable act of violence, Human Rights Watch said today. According to official sources, at least 22 people were killed in the bombing, and 59…
A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples
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The systems of surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed in both the UK and US depend on law for their justification, and are facing legal challenges in both countries’ legislatures. This might give the impression that, whatever the merits of these…
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One month after the worst terrorist attack in Europe since Anders Breivik’s murder of 77 people in Norway, the contours of the response are becoming clear. Three areas stand out – new counterterrorism laws and policies; the related, though distinct,…
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Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should…
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Summary Background Recommendations Areas of Concern Overly Broad Definition of Terrorism and Terrorists Overly Broad Definition of “Praising” Terrorism. Fair Trial Guarantees and Due Process Special Protective Measures Closed Hearing Anonymous Witnesses…
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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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Saudi Arabia's new terrorism law might look like a step forward, if only because it's written down. Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries with no written criminal penal code, and the penal regulations that authorities have issued are so vague that…
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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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UK plan to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan

Listening to Theresa May’s statement to Parliament today, it seems the British government is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan to face terrorism charges. A new treaty with Jordan aims to address the risk that Abu…
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Oral Statement Under Item 6

The Universal Periodic Review of the United Kingdom addressed a range of concerns including counterterrorism legislation and policies, as well as ways in which the UK is failing to its obligations to promote and protect women’s human rights. The UK…
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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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Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

Summary UK counterterrorism policy and legislation continues to undermine fundamental human rights. The UK is failing to meet its obligations to promote and protect women’s human rights. Since the coming into office of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat…
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The implications of Mousa's death in British custody stretch wider and higher up than the inquiry has been able to reach

The name Baha Mousa has become the most famous in the history of abuses by the British army in Iraq. Thursday's publication of the report of the inquiry into his death in British custody in Basra in 2003 is a remarkable conclusion to the persistent…
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Memorandum on Saudi Arabia’s Draft Law of Sanctions for Crimes of Terrorism and Its Financing of 2011

Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned by the human rights implications of the draft Penal Law for Crimes of Terrorism and Its Financing of 2011 (the “draft counterterrorism law”). The flaws of the draft counterterrorism law can be summed up under the…
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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…