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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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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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Obama says the U.S. won't spy on foreign leaders — but what about spying for them?

President Barack Obama appeared to have good news on Jan. 17 for foreign citizens appalled by months of revelations of U.S. surveillance overseas. The United States, he assured them in his much-awaited speech on new controls on snooping by the…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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In mid-June, a group of U.S. soldiers entered the cells of Abdullah al-Hajji and Lofti Lagha at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they had been held without charge for five years. The Americans cuffed the detainees' hands, shackled their ankles, muffed their…