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Attacks on Education Rose 33 Percent Globally, Prompting Calls for Urgent Action

(New York) – Explosive weapons were used to attack about 40 schools in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2021, as Taliban forces took over key territories, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said in a report…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
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Abuses Persist, Protections Fragile as Peace Talks Begin

(New York) – The Taliban in Afghanistan have imposed severe restrictions on rights in areas under their control despite claims of reform, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Residents reported an inability to criticize or question…
Two children walk by armed soldiers in the countryside
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Trump Executive Order Seeks to Thwart Justice for Victims

(Washington, DC) – The Trump administration’s announced action against the International Criminal Court (ICC) escalates its efforts to thwart justice for victims of serious crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 11, 2020, President Donald…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Member Countries Should Strongly Support Court’s Independence

The International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to approve an investigation in Afghanistan gives atrocity victims hope for future justice, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 5, 2020, ICC appeals chamber judges unanimously approved…
A member of the Afghan security forces stands at the site of a truck bomb attack in Kabul, May 31, 2017.
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Victims Denied Path to Justice; Decision Benefits Obstructionist States

  (The Hague) – The decision by International Criminal Court (ICC) judges not to open a formal investigation into alleged grave crimes in Afghanistan denies the country’s victims a path to justice, Human Rights Watch…
The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
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Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
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Could Bring Victims Long Overdue Path to Justice

(Brussels) – The International Criminal Court prosecutor’s request for an investigation in Afghanistan on November 20, 2017, could begin a long overdue path to justice for victims of grave international crimes, Human Rights Watch said…
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Press for Education, Civilian Protection at Brussels Conference

(Brussels) – Afghanistan’s foreign donors should press the government to safeguard gains in education and promote civilian protection, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to foreign leaders. Participating countries to the Brussels…
President Ashraf Ghani speaks to delegates and ministers during the London Conference on Afghanistan on December 4, 2014.
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Security Forces, Taliban Threaten Children’s Lives, Education

(New York) – Afghan security forces are increasingly using schools as bases during military operations in Taliban-held areas, putting children at risk and depriving thousands of an education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Afghan…
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Adopt Strategy at Summit to Curb Military Abuses

(Brussels) – North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries should endorse concrete measures to improve the protection of civilians in the conflict in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to government leaders. The NATO…
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speak at a news conference in Kabul on March 15, 2016.
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Cooperate With International Criminal Court Inquiry

(Kabul) – The Afghan government should deliver on promises to cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s ongoing analysis of the grave crimes committed in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch and the Transitional Justice Coordination…
President Ashraf Ghani attends Afghan Independence Day celebrations in Kabul on August 19, 2015.
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President Ghani Should Back Sweeping Reforms Now

(New York) – Afghanistan’s new government should take urgent steps to combat sexual harassment of women in education, employment, and public life, Human Rights Watch said today. There are no laws in Afghanistan that specifically prohibit sexual harassment…
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Need for Consistent, Impartial Reporting

All parties implicated in a new United Nations’ report about abuses of children during armed conflict should call an immediate halt to these crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN secretary-general’s annual report on children in armed conflict was…
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Finding Should Trigger Full Analysis, Fact-Finding Mission

The prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should expedite its preliminary inquiry on grave international crimes committed in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today. In its November 2013 Report on Preliminary Examination…
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Military Use Risks Students Lives, Safety, Education

(New York) – The use of schools and other education institutions for military purposes by armed forces and non-state armed groups during wartime endangers students and their education around the world, said the Global Coalition to Protect Education from…
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Security Council Should Impose Sanctions for Targeting Children, Teachers

(New York) – Armed forces and armed groups that attack schools and teachers should face consequences from the United Nations Security Council, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said today. The UN Secretary-General’s annual…
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Any Deals With Insurgents Should Guarantee Women's Rights

(Kabul) - Ongoing Taliban attacks on women in Afghanistan show why women's rights should be a priority in any political agreement with insurgent forces, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Afghan government and its international…
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Foreigners Arrested Outside Afghanistan Can't Challenge Detention in US Courts

(Washington, DC) - A US federal appeals court ruling today that bars the courts from hearing the claims of detainees arrested outside of Afghanistan and brought to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan leaves them without legal recourse against unlawful…
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Foreign Nationals Arrested Outside of Afghanistan Granted Right to Challenge Detention in US Courts

(New York) - A US federal court ruling that three detainees in US custody at the Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan who were arrested abroad be given the same legal protections as Guantanamo detainees expands the role of federal courts in protecting detainee…
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Child Is Too Young to Be Treated as Criminal Suspect

(New York) - The Afghan government should immediately relinquish 11-year-old Ahmed Siddiqui to the custody of his family, Human Rights Watch said today. Siddiqui, a US citizen, is believed to be the son of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman held on US…