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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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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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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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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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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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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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High-Profile Cases Highlight Longstanding Problems

(Washington, DC) – State and local officials in the United States should address racial discrimination and police abuse in the criminal justice system that sparked widespread demonstrations last year, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015…
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(New York) – Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union have written to US Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to order a criminal investigation into torture and other serious abuses relating to the Central Intelligence Agency’s…
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Release Full Study; Investigate Senior Officials

(Washington, DC) – The US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report summary on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detention and interrogation program is a powerful denunciation of the agency’s extensive and systematic use of torture, Human Rights Watch…
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After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the US government authorized the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” on terrorism suspects in US custody. For years US officials, pointing to Department of Justice memorandums…
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Treaty Prohibitions Apply Wherever State Has ‘Effective Control’

(Geneva) – A US statement on compliance with the Convention against Torture on November 12, 2014, improves on previous US positions on the treaty’s application but falls short of international obligations, Human Rights Watch said today. The US is…
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Underscore Unfinished Accountability for Abuses in Europe

(London) - The landmark rulings against Poland by the European Court of Human Rights on July 24, 2014, underscore the need for wider European accountability for involvement in US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counterterrorism abuses, Human Rights…