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Limited Community Outreach Blunts Impact of Accountability Efforts

A German court in the town of Koblenz this week will render its first verdict in a historic trial of two former Syrian officials for atrocities during Syria’s decade-long brutal armed conflict. The two accused in the case are an alleged former…
Photos of Syrians who have been detained or disappeared set up by Families for Freedom, as part of a protest in front of the court in Koblenz, July 2, 2020. 
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Guantanamo Testimony on Waterboarding, Black Sites

In his testimony last week in the pre-trial hearing of five men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States, Dr. James Mitchell vividly described his role in torturing detainees in the program he helped design…
The closed Camp X-Ray detention facility is seen in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, April 16, 2019.
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Court Hears from Architects of CIA Torture Program

In the gallery at the back of the courtroom at Guantanamo Bay’s military commission hearing, I could open a copy of Enhanced Interrogation, James Mitchell’s widely available book chronicling his role in the United States Central…
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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Hundreds of Cases of ‘Disappearances’ and Torture Reported Under al-Sisi’s Government

Instead of protecting its citizens from torture and forced disappearances, the Egyptian government prefers to criticize and attack groups calling for investigations. Human Rights Watch published evidence several weeks ago…
Khaled Hassan
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Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
201707Asia_Indonesia_Nigeria
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Apology, Compensation to Former Guantanamo Child Detainee a Break with the Past

Today the government of Canada issued a formal apology and provided compensation to Omar Khadr for Canada’s complicity in his abusive interrogation at Guantanamo Bay, where he was detained at the age of 15. For many Canadian Muslims,…
Omar Khadr listens to a question during a news conference after being released on bail in Edmonton, Alberta, May 7, 2015.
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Keeping Facility Open Threatens US National Security

US president-elect Donald Trump’s tweet yesterday that everyone held at Guantanamo Bay is “extremely dangerous” is ill-informed. What’s worse, his proposed course of action – stopping all releases – shows a lack of understanding about the danger of…
A detainee paces around a cell block while being held in Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Camp VI at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba March 22, 2016.
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Judge orders evidence destroyed related to defendants’ secret detention, torture

A trial of the five men charged with the 9/11 attacks is still years away – a fact that became obvious while sitting in on last week’s pre-trial hearings in the Guantanamo Bay military commissions. The co-defendants were arraigned in May 2012, yet…
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, (2nd R) the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, addresses the judge during the third day of pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 war crimes prosecution as depicted in this Pentagon-approved courtroom sketch at the U.S. Naval
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The US Defense Department reportedly meted out only administrative punishments to 11 military personnel involved in the October 3, 2015 airstrikes on a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed 42…
MSF Hospital Ruins
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Today marks another grim milestone for the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay – the 14th anniversary since the first detainees arrived there, hooded and shackled. On his first full day in office in 2009, United States President Barack Obama signed an…
Camp delta
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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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Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week recognized the enormity of the country’s problem of enforced disappearances with a simple directive: identify the bodies. On February 10, the Supreme Court asked federal and provincial governments to ensure that “…
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“I hope to be the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisition.” Today marks four years since Oslo’s City Hall reverberated with these words of Liu Xiaobo, along with his calm but fierce defense of the freedom of expression and his bedrock belief…
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Where is Sam Mugumya? This question is plaguing his family and Uganda’s opposition leadership. Sam, an ardent opposition party activist, disappeared from his home district of Rukungiri, on Uganda’s western border with Congo, in early November. His friends…
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A high-level Chinese official who’s overseen numerous rights abuses has come under official investigation. But hopes for real justice aren’t high. When the news broke today that the Chinese Communist Party will investigate China’s former domestic security…
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It’s been more than two years since the five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks were arraigned before military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and still the case is not even close to trial, stymied by novel and often bizarre issues unlikely to…
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Nineteen minutes. That’s how long the review hearing for a Guantanamo detainee lasted this morning. Or, to be more exact, that’s as much of the proceeding as nine reporters and four representatives from nongovernmental organizations were permitted to…