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Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
News

Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
News

Arms Sales to Rights-Abusing Countries Fuel Atrocities Against Civilians

Last week, the French government published its latest report on arms exports, documenting sales and transfers throughout 2019. After Qatar, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt received the greatest amounts, accounting for €1.4 billion and €1.0…
French-made Leclerc tanks of the Saudi-led coalition are deployed on the outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden during a military operation, August 3, 2015.
News

Other Dangerous Crowd Control Weapons Remain in Use

This week, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that French police would stop using the controversial GLI-F4 tear gas grenade. This move is long overdue, but doesn’t address serious concerns about other weapons…
Protester picks up a tear gas grenade during a police charge on December 8, 2019 on the Champs Elysees, Paris.
News

Libya Could Have Used Ships to Commit Abuses Against Migrants and Asylum Seekers

France’s decision last week to withdraw its offer of six boats to the Libyan Coast Guard is good news, as Libya could have used this “gift” to subject even more migrants and refugees to serious abuses in Libya. In February,…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News

Conduct in Yemen War Means UK Government Should Not Resume Arms Sales

“The future for our defence sector is a very bright one.” So said Fleur Thomas, head of exports for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, as her government prepares to help host Europe’s biggest arms fair in London this…
Yemen apartment destroyed by airstrike.
News

Arms Sales Suspensions and Damning Report on Khashoggi Murder Are a Strong Signal to Riyadh

In a powerful rebuke to the Trump administration and a strong signal to Gulf states, the US Senate voted yesterday, 53 to 45, to block arms sales worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), among other…
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News

UK Suspends New Arms Licenses to Saudis After Losing Appeal in Face of Yemen War Violations

Yesterday I walked a route I know well from my former days as a trainee lawyer, through the cavernous Royal Courts of Justice in London, to hear three judges issue a ruling. It was all over in 15 minutes, but my colleagues and I left…
 Destruction at the location of an air strike at Radfan Ceramics Factory, west of Sanaa, Yemen, on September 23, 2015.
News

Controversial tests to determine age of unaccompanied migrant children should go

France’s highest court recently ruled that controversial bone tests to assess the age of unaccompanied migrant children are flawed, but nevertheless comply with France’s Constitution. The Constitutional Council acknowledged that such…
Unaccompanied teens queue outside the Paris evaluation facility (Dispositif d’evaluation des mineurs isolés étrangers, DEMIE) to seek formal recognition as unaccompanied migrant children, October 3, 2018.
News

French Assistance Could Lead to Gross Rights Violations

People shackled, beaten, burned, crushed, hung upside down, threatened, and detained in horrendous conditions: the images broadcast recently by Channel 4 News apparently showing the torture and inhumane conditions suffered by some…
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Fate of Asylum Seekers in Curaçao Continues to Cause Concern

The devastating crisis in Venezuela has triggered the largest migration flow of its kind in recent Latin American history. But not all those who flee seeking safety in the Americas will get a fair hearing.  For example,…
Colombian police officers stand in front of people queueing to try to cross into Colombia from Venezuela through the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia. January 24, 2018.
News

New provisions risk undermining asylum seekers’ rights while not solving ongoing issues

In France, asylum seekers are sleeping rough, and flawed procedures often leave unaccompanied migrant children adrift, homeless, and excluded from the care they need. But instead of addressing these challenges or correcting…
Tents are seen at a makeshift migrant camp on a street near the metro stations of Jaures and Stalingrad in Paris, France, October 28, 2016
News

‘Fraternity’ Ruling Offers Wider Lessons for Europe

France’s highest court has just ruled that helping others in need, including undocumented migrants, is protected by the country’s constitution. The decision comes at a time when people and groups trying to help undocumented migrants – in…
Migrants rest after having crossed part of the Alps mountain range from Italy into France, near the town of Nevache in southeastern France, December 21, 2017.
News

Authorities Should End Abuse of Migrants, Open Shelters for Winter

Shortly after he became president of France last year, Emmanuel Macron had a hopeful vision for humanely addressing the country’s asylum crisis. “By the end of the year, I do not want to have men and women on the streets, in the woods. I want…
A migrant walks past the slogans which read "refugees welcome" written on a wall near the former "jungle" in Calais, France, August 23, 2017.
News

Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News
Just as temperatures are dropping below freezing in France, police violence against migrants in Paris has intensified. Migrants are being forced to give up their blankets and quilts, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the local association P’tis déj à…
French riot police officer stands guard next to tents of a dismantled makeshift camp in a street near Stalingrad metro station, Paris, France, November 4, 2016.
News

A Leader in Rejecting Weapons So Deadly to Civilians

France has completed the destruction of its stockpile of 34,876 cluster munition rockets and artillery projectiles that contained 14.9 million explosive submunitions, meeting a key obligation of the international ban treaty. It has also strongly condemned…
A pile of shoes during the annual demonstration by NGO Humanity and Inclusion denouncing antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions in Lyon on September 20, 2014.
News
At the end of May, the Obama administration quietly suspended transfers of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia following concern raised by evidence showing that the Saudi-led coalition had used US cluster munitions in or near civilian areas in Yemen. A…
A failed BLU-108 canister, with two submunitions still attached, that was delivered by a CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon during an attack on the quarry of the Amran Cement Factory on February 15, 2016.
News
The devastation of Yemen should be at the top of the agenda when US President Barack Obama visits Saudi Arabia today to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh. Five GCC members, led by Saudi Arabia and armed in part by the US, are part…
The home of Muhammad Munfarih, which was destroyed in a fourth airstrike on the residential neighborhood of al-Hassaba in Sanaa, the capital, on September 21, 2015. The airstrike killed Munfarih and 17 other members of his family.
News
Two weeks from now will mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Yemen – when nine countries led by Saudi Arabia began an aerial bombing campaign in Yemen. Many of the airstrikes over the past year appear to have been unlawful – including 36 attacks…
A boy stands in a classroom at his school after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa July 20, 2015.