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An Opportunity to Help Victims Obtain Justice

The British government is expected to announce this week whether an independent inquiry will resume into the UK’s involvement in overseas torture and transfers (known as “renditions”) in US-led counterterrorism operations after the 9/11 attacks. If…
A motorboat passes by the MI6 building in London August 25, 2010.
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Parliamentary Reports Underscore Lack of Accountability and Scant Learning from Past Mistakes

Today, the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee confirmed that, while cooperating with US-led post-2001 counterterrorism operations, the UK took and tolerated actions that were “inexcusable”. For those unfamiliar with…
A motorboat passes by the MI6 building in London August 25, 2010.
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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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On January 6, a retired 36-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistleblower, William Binney, cautioned United Kingdom lawmakers against legalizing mass surveillance in the proposed Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. Binney told the…
A man and woman use their mobile phones as commuters walk past the columns of the Bank of England in the City of London, July 3, 2012.
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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
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You might think that, with decades of experience in dealing with the threat of terrorism, the UK would have learned to avoid the obvious mistakes in rushed legislation that abuses rights and alienates the communities whose support is needed to tackle the…
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Counterterrorism proposals aimed at preventing British citizens from becoming foreign fighters with groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) were announced by UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday. Unless accompanied by strict safeguards, these measures…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
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Today’s Westminster debate on the role of the UK intelligence and security services is long overdue. Four months after the Guardian newspaper first published details of mass surveillance by the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the US…
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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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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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Second Reading of the Coroners and Justice Bill

This submission sets out Human Rights Watch's concerns with provisions in the Coroners and Justice Bill 2009 giving the Secretary of State broad scope to declare an inquest closed to public scrutiny.  Human Rights Watch believes that secret inquests are…
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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…