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Since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have carried out targeted killings that frequently kill and injure civilians.

On September 17, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, gave an extraordinary news conference in which he admitted that the United States had killed an aid worker in Kabul and his family; McKenzie apologized, adding that…
The Pentagon, Washington, DC, United States.
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On Feb. 9, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained Irvin González, an undocumented transgender woman, inside a courthouse in El Paso, Texas, where she had just obtained a protection order against her abusive former partner. She had…
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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More Questions Than Answers in Obama’s Civilian Toll Data

The Bedouins were sleeping in their huts when US cruise missiles struck the hamlet of Al-Majalah in southern Yemen, showering them with hundreds of cluster munitions and thousands of shards of steel. Sheikh Saleh bin Fareed, a tribal…
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Congress, or at least parts of it, is getting restless with the White House approach to human rights abuses in Central Asia. A recent hearing by the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the region’s terrible human rights record…
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The latest reports of targeted US attacks on  militant leaders abroad – one in Libya and one in Yemen —once again raise the issue of the secrecy around these attacks, especially the drone attacks under CIA jurisdiction.   But Congress may be…
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Trade and the crisis in Ukraine are likely to dominate the agenda during US President Barack Obama’s first official visit to Brussels on March 26. But the European Union and Nato leaders also should use the summit to press Obama on another…
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When United States President Barack Obama made a major speech last May on US lethal airstrikes against alleged terrorists, he said one aim was to “facilitate transparency and debate” about their use. Observers would be hard pressed, however, to find…
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Many Yemeni people justifiably fear the U.S. more than they fear al Qaeda. Here's the shameful reason why While most of the world is focused on turmoil in Syria and Egypt, a less publicized but critically important drama is playing out in Yemen…
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What stops the U.S. government from declaring war on a person it perceives as a security threat and summarily attacking and killing him? The fact that doing so would violate the target’s right to life and fundamental due process, you might say. But in war…
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As bits and pieces of the Obama administration’s legal justifications for its drone attacks trickle out, what is most striking is their deliberate ambiguity. The recent Justice Department “White Paper,” for example, is meant to give the impression that,…
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In the 50 years since Betty Friedan’s "Feminine Mystique" opened a discussion of the oppression behind the American ideal of domesticity, we have seen significant progress in how society views violence against women, particularly violence in the home. The…
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In spring 2011, a federal government employee in her 30s was sexually assaulted in the District by a man she met on an Internet dating site. At Washington Hospital Center, where she went for a forensic exam so medical personnel could collect evidence from…
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Activists around the world are engaged in the “16 Days of Activism to End Gender Violence” campaign, calling on governments to take action on crimes from rape in war to domestic abuse by International Human Rights Day on December 10. In the United States…
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“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
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"He moves things around in the diaper bag," Elsa M. says and her eyes anxiously shift from the child on her lap to the bag by the door. "Even this scares me. I get scared about little things like that because I don't know what his intentions are, after…
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The bill to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) faces a likely vote in the Senate next week, but its provisions that would assist immigrant women who are victims of violence have drawn some inexplicable opposition. The country’s single most…