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As Joe Biden settles into his presidency, in addition to facing a pandemic and economic crisis, he will hear demands for accountability. If President Biden is going to help restore a robust commitment to the rule of law, he will need to reach…
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Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
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As I sat behind the safety glass of a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay in mid-January, for the pre-trial hearings of the five men charged as conspirators in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, my mind kept wandering to a different prison, halfway…
In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
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  Across rural Brazil, ordinary people are being poisoned from highly hazardous pesticides sprayed near their homes, schools, and workplaces. This was one of the main findings of a report released by Human Rights…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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I met Yara, a teenager who was 3-months pregnant, a few months ago in an impoverished indigenous community in Mato Grosso do Sul state. I was there to talk to her parents, Irupe and Pinon, about how toxic pesticides sprayed in the large…
Veja Pesticides
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Much concern has been raised, for good reason, about President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Haspel allegedly was involved in reckless, illegal torture under the agency’s “rendition,…
Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by U.S. President Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is shown in this handout photograph released on March 13, 2018. © 2018 CIA handout
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“It’s like there’s fog across the whole town,” said Othman, a resident of Kfar Zabad in the Bekaa Valley. “We’re coughing all the time, unable to breathe, sometimes we wake up and see ash in our spit.” Othman was describing…
Garbage is piled near a highway in Beirut, Lebanon January 19, 2016. © 2017 Reuters
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As of today, the United States has used its Guantanamo Bay facility for 16 years to detain people it alleges pose a security threat without charge or fair trial. The number of people locked up has been reduced from 780 at the peak to 41…
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Lebanon’s waste crisis gained international recognition in 2015, when garbage overflowed in the streets of Beirut. But in fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. My organization, Human Rights Watch, found that Lebanon’s mismanagement…
Open burning of waste in Majadel, south Lebanon.
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Lebanon is once again staring down a waste management crisis, with news that the Costa Brava and Bourj Hamoud landfills will reach capacity in 2018—two years before the government’s initial estimate of 2020. In response, the cabinet is reportedly…
Garbage is piled near a highway in Beirut, Lebanon January 19, 2016. © 2017 Reuters
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As Attacks on Environmental Rights Defenders Escalate, the Stakes Are High for the Upcoming Climate Change Talks in Germany.

At a time when people across the Caribbean, the United States, and South Asia are still suffering from the devastating impacts of floods and hurricanes, the stakes are high for the  talks on climate changeplanned for early November.…
Indigenous peoples demand their rights at climate negotiations in Marrakesh
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20 Million Lives at Risk

Last month, three UN human rights experts released a joint letter to the Bangladesh government about the country’s failing response to deadly arsenic in drinking water. Two decades after the problem came to international attention, an estimated…
Hands of Selina Aktar, a woman in her late 30s with arsenic-related health conditions that first began appearing 20 years ago.
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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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The killing of 33 inmates in the Brazilian state of Roraima is another sign that the country's prisons are disgracefully out of control. Many of the bodies were decapitated, a practice widely used by gangs to terrorize their enemies. …
A relative of a prisoner holds a local newspaper, which shows a headline about a deadly prison riot, in front of Anisio Jobim prison in Manaus, Brazil, on January 3, 2017.
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  Malita had high hopes when she first heard that foreign and domestic companies would start mining in her area of Malawi. The government and the companies promised jobs, better schools and improved access to healthcare in her village. They…
Malcoal mine in Kayelekera.