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Since 1998, Human Rights Watch researchers extensively documented serious human rights violations committed by all warring factions in Sierra Leone, and pressed for the perpetrators of the crimes to be held accountable. Human Rights Watch maintained a…
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The conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia were characterized by extensive use of child soldiers. Until a few years ago it was almost unheard of for an individual commander to face penalties for using child soldiers. Today, recruiting or using children…
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The 14-year armed conflict in Liberia was characterized by serious crimes in violation of international law. Since the end of the conflict in 2003, Liberia has made tangible progress in addressing endemic corruption by creating the legislative framework…
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The devastating eleven-year armed conflict in Sierra Leone was characterized by extreme brutality and widespread human rights abuses against civilians. The majority of the crimes were perpetrated by rebels from the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC…
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Following the end of the conflict in Sierra Leone in 2002, the domestic justice system lacked the capacity to hold perpetrators of crimes accountable. Prompted by a request from Sierra Leone President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to the United Nations, the Special…
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The Taylor trial and judgment reflect a major departure from the impunity that heads of state have traditionally enjoyed when they are implicated in the gravest crimes. It also builds on the precedent set by the trial of former Serbian president Slobodan…
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The two policemen hustled Joshua roughly into their patrol car. At the station in Tegucigalpa, Joshua and others endured beatings from officers armed with batons. “They also tried to push us down the stairs,” Joshua said. “They called us culeros (faggots…
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Below is a compilation of important, international jurisprudence rendered from 1986 - 2009 regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. European Court  | Inter-American System  |  United Nations  |  National Courts European Court 2009…
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As a candidate, Barack Obama signaled his clear intention to break with the Bush administration's abusive counterterrorism policies. Once sworn in as president, Obama immediately issued executive orders that set a course toward reform. Human Rights…
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Fact sheet issued by IHRA, Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Institute

IHRA, Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Institute distributed this fact sheet on why Drug Policy is an issue for the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to members of the council at its March 2009 session.
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Prohibition of homosexual conduct The 2005 Constitution bans marriage between persons of the same sex, but no previous law prohibited homosexual conduct in Burundi. By adopting such a prohibition, the Assembly has gone against the worldwide trend of…
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The newly-established United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is charged with overseeing and addressing the human rights situation around the world. Created in March 2006 the Council has 47 state members. It replaces the UN Commission on Human Rights…
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The task of the intergovernmental working group on review of mandates is wide-ranging and important. The following six key points should help guide the working group’s review: The independence of the special procedures must be respected. The…
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Human Rights Watch's Concerns

With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility. Sudan, which was re-elected to the Commission last…
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(Washington, DC) - Under President Bush's November 13th Military Order on military commissions, any foreign national designated by the President as a suspected terrorist or as aiding terrorists could potentially be detained, tried, convicted and even…