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Reveal How Asylum Seekers at Border Were Short-Changed on Rights

(Washington) – Two years after the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, newly released government records reveal US immigration agencies’ efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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Requires Attorney Consultation on Rights

(Sacramento) – A new California law will protect children in police custody, Human Rights Watch said today. The measure, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30, 2020, will make sure youth talk with an attorney while deciding whether to waive…
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Known releases approximately 5% of global prison population

(New York) – Governments are releasing from jails and prisons far too few people whose continued detention in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic is not justified, Human Rights Watch said today, based on a global media survey. Available…
Inmates sitting in an overcrowded jail in Manila, Philippines, February 2019.
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Disband All Irregular Paramilitary Forces, Cooperate With Independent Investigations

(New York) – United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed Afghan forces have committed summary executions and other grave abuses without accountability, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These strike forces…
A car burned during a raid by the Khost Protection Force in Tani district, Khost province, Afghanistan, July 28, 2019.
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Trump Nominee Oversaw Torture of Detainees, Destruction of Evidence

(Washington, DC) – The US Senate should oppose the nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Senate leadership and Select Committee on Intelligence. She was closely…
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.
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(Washington, DC) – In response to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State and Gina Haspel as CIA Director please find the following response from Sarah Margon, Washington Director at Human Rights…
Pompeo presser
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Unnamed US Detainee Held 2 Months in Iraq

(Washington, DC) – The US government has been holding a US citizen suspected of fighting with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) for two months in an undisclosed military prison in Iraq without access to legal counsel, Human Rights…
The American flag flies next to a statue of the scales of justice at United States Court House, February 6, 2002.
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State Will Limit Prison Terms, Offer Second Chances

  (Sacramento) – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law three bills that recognize young people’s vulnerability to abuse and their capacity to grow and mature, Human Rights Watch said today. The bills,…
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On December 6, 2016, US President Barack Obama delivered a speech on US counterterrorism policy at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Below is the reaction from Laura Pitter, US national security counsel at Human Rights Watch: President…
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Trump Should Continue Disclosures, Uphold Legal Obligations

(Washington) – The Obama administration’s comprehensive report on standards applicable to US counterterrorism policy will help the public understand and assess United States government actions, Human Rights Watch said today. The report will…
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Michael Flynn Unwilling to Reject Trump’s Call for Waterboarding

(Washington, November 18, 2016) – President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has refused to rule out proposals by Trump that would constitute torture despite his having spoken out against the use…
Donald Trump speaks alongside retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn during a campaign town hall meeting in Virginia, US, on September 6, 2016.
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Update: On August 23rd, the California state assembly passed this important bill, approving it with a vote of 50 to 28. The bill will next be heard by the state senate, where 21 votes are needed to pass. The senate is expected take up the matter this week…
A still from a police interrogation video shows a 13-year-old boy being handcuffed. The pressure of the interrogation caused him to confess to a murder he did not commit.
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Newly Released Documents Show Need for Accountability

The recent release of documents related to the US Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program provide excruciating new details about CIA torture, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2016, Human Rights Watch…
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (L) discusses a newly released Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's anti-terrorism tactics.
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Senegal Shows Leadership, Compassion in Accepting Libyan Detainees

(New York) – The United States government’s release of two Libyan detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to Senegal on April 4, 2016, shows meaningful progress on closing the prison, Human…
Camp delta
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Let Judges, Not Prosecutors, Decide on Trying Youth as Adults

Sacramento – California Governor Jerry Brown announced a smart and humane ballot measure on January 27, 2016, that would dramatically reform both juvenile and criminal justice laws in the state, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed changes to…
California State Prison, Centinela in Imperial County, California.
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Year After Senate Report, Still No Criminal Inquiry, Redress Provided

(Washington, DC) – Obama administration claims that legal obstacles prevent criminal investigations into torture by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are unpersuasive, and risk leaving a legacy of torture as a policy option, Human Rights Watch said in…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Parole Eased for 18 to 23-Year-Olds Convicted of Serious Crimes

(Sacramento) – A landmark California law giving thousands of young adult offenders the chance to earn parole recognizes their potential to mature and rebuild their lives, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 3, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into…
California State Prison, Centinela in Imperial County, California.
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Rights Groups, 111,788 Individuals Press for Special Prosecutor

(Washington, DC) – Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International called on United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a June 23, 2015 letter to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate torture and other…
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Legislation is No Substitute for Criminal Investigations, Prosecutions

UPDATE: On June 15, 2015, the Senate passed, with strong bi-partisan support by a vote of 78-21, the below amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016:  (Washington, DC - June 9, 2015) – Proposed legislation to…
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Legislation is No Substitute for Criminal Investigations, Prosecutions

(Washington, DC) – Proposed legislation to reinforce the US prohibition on torture could help prevent the United States from again engaging in torture, Human Rights Watch said today. However, until the US criminally investigates and prosecutes past…
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