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Both Sides Should Abide by Laws of War

Update: On May 3, 2021, Tajik authorities reported that 14 houses were fully destroyed, 4 buildings including a secondary school were damaged, and 15,000 people were evacuated from the three districts of Isfara, in Tajikistan’s Sughd region,…
Cars damaged during a firefight on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border are seen near the settlement of Koi-Tash, Batken region, Kyrgyzstan, April 30, 2021.
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

UN Secretary-General Should Return Government to ‘List of Shame’

On October 5, Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, allegedly forced a group of farmers including several boys to walk ahead of their troops to clear a path through mines in an operation against the insurgent Arakan Army in Rakhine State. Fighting broke…
Myanmar military officers salute at their national flag during a ceremony to mark the 72nd anniversary of Independence Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. 
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I was confused by the horizontal strips of red tape stuck to the walls of School Number 1 in Marinka, a small city in the government-controlled area of eastern Ukraine. The principal explained that in case of attack, students should…
Two men carry replacement windows through a school in eastern Ukraine. The old windows were blown out when the school was hit by an explosive weapon
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Suicide Bombing Latest Attack Targeting Shia Community

Madina, 17, headed off to class last Wednesday as she had always done, pursuing her hope to go to university and earn a business degree so she could start her own company. But for Madina and 39 other students – all under 20 years old –…
Men carry the coffin of a relative who died in the suicide bombing at Mawoud Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2018.
News

Amid Ongoing Bombings, More Protection Needed for Education

In areas of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus held by anti-government armed groups, schools have closed for fear that Syrian and Russian warplanes will bomb them. Instead, local residents have opened informal schools…
Children walk through the rubble of the Tamayuz (“Excellence”) kindergarten in the town of Hamouriyeh after it was hit by a Syrian-Russian airstrike on November 8, 2017. © 2017 Private
News

Slight Fall in Ground Fighting Civilian Casualties by Government Forces

When I was in Kabul a few days ago, I caught up with an old Afghan friend, who remarked that the relentless violence in Afghanistan is hard for outsiders to comprehend. The mounting toll of dead and wounded has become abstract, he said, hard…
201710Asia_Afghanistan_Shia
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

Future Whistleblowers Are Watching

Update: On Friday, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama urging that he commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning. On January 17, President Obama ordered Manning be freed, having served nearly 7 years of her sentence, on May 17, 2017, rather…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
News

Horrors in Syria’s Besieged Eastern Aleppo Continue, But Civilians in the West Under Fire Too

The small child cries hysterically on the hospital bed, covered in dust and blood. The video, posted by the pro-Syrian government news agency al-Akhbariya, shows scene after scene of civilian men, women, and children injured from what they say were…
MENA Syria Aleppo old city destruction October 2016
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Ground Fighting Taking Horrific Toll on Civilians

Children represent the fastest growing group among civilians killed and injured in Afghanistan’s long-running armed conflict. The latest update from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) documents 639 conflict-related deaths and 1,…
Afghan boys look out from behind a damaged wall after a Taliban attack in Kabul, Afghanistan October 6, 2015.
News

Real Oversight and Reform on Surveillance Needed in the US

What a coincidence – just as we launch a Campaign to Pardon Edward Snowden, and as the new Oliver Stone movie opens, the House Intelligence Committee issues a report arguing against clemency for Snowden, alleging overwhelming damage he supposedly caused…
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Sign Petition to Bring Whistleblower Home

Today, Human Rights Watch joins the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International in launching a public campaign urging President Obama to pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden. It’s been more than three years since…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
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.
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The fighting in Yemen over the past year has been unimaginably grim – yet has largely gone unnoticed. At least 2,000 civilians have been killed since March 2015, according to the United Nations human rights office – the majority of them in…
yemen attack site sanaa
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Today marks two years since the first of Edward Snowden’s revelations about United States government surveillance shocked the world. Yet despite the international debate on privacy and the proper role of government surveillance that his disclosures set in…
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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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Back in 2008, just minutes after President George W. Bush signed amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into law, Human Rights Watch and other human rights, media, and legal groups brought a constitutional challenge to the sweeping powers…
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It speaks volumes when the leader of a country feels emboldened to respond with humor when asked on television about a deadly weapon that is responsible for the deaths and maiming of thousands of his citizens. In a BBC interview broadcasted…
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“Is this what they call a ceasefire?” a woman asked me as workers cleaned debris from a small grocery store in central Donetsk in eastern Ukraine that had been destroyed in a recent rocket attack. Since September 5, there has supposedly been a…