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When history reflects on the Syrian conflict, a defining hallmark will be the Syrian government’s deliberate targeting of civilians. Backed by Russian forces, the government has rained bombs on markets, hospitals, schools, and homes. In 2019 and 2020,…
201905mena_syria_idlib
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Civilians Bear the Brunt of Renewed Fighting

Libya began descending into chaos after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Could you summarize the complex situation in Libya today? The latest conflict started in April 2019, when an armed group in eastern Libya called…
Government of National Accord fighters take positions during clashes with east-based fighters from the Libyan National Army at Al-Yarmouk frontline in Tripoli, Libya on August 29, 2019.
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Madam Secretary Grapples with Dilemmas Posed by Fully Autonomous Weapons

One of my favorite TV shows, Madam Secretary, aired an episode on Sunday focusing on “killer robots” or fully autonomous weapons, an issue Human Rights Watch has worked on since 2012. It was heartening to see a mainstream…
Photo from an episode of Madam Secretary that aired on CBS on October 20, 2019.
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Prisoners with Disabilities Serving Time in Solitary, Face Physical, Sexual Abuse

How is it that 50 percent of Australia’s prison population has a disability? Eighteen percent of Australia’s general population has a disability. The most common type of disabilities found in prisons are mental health conditions. People with…
A prisoner lies in his solitary confinement cell in the safety unit at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, northern Queensland.
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Kenya’s Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake in the world. Anthropologists consider it the cradle of civilization, where some of the earliest hominid fossils were found. Roughly 300,000 people live around Lake Turkana, and most…
dirt road
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More impact as of July 12, 2012: Saudi Arabia has said that it will send two female athletes to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Saudi Arabia has announced that it will allow women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time,…
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Government Pledged to Not Use Mines and to Help Clear Mines

Last week in Libya, Human Rights Watch witnessed the destruction of nearly 100 Chinese-made antivehicle landmines – weapons that kill or maim civilians, often children, long after the fighting has stopped. Human Rights Watch discovered a year ago that…
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Tweet This Story, Donate Your Facebook Status

On March 1st, Human Rights Watch and other members of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL) are organizing on Twitter and Facebook to tell both the administration and Congress that the US needs to relinquish antipersonnel mines and get on board the…
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View Photos of Cluster Munitions A child lying on a hospital bed, his face blank with shock, his stomach ripped open. Bloodied bodies of civilians strewn in the streets. The look of panic and anguish on a woman's face as she falls under a rain of…
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Contents Overview Conventionon the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Convention on the Rights of the Child Convention against Enforced Disappearance Mine Ban Treaty Convention on Cluster Munitions Convention on…
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Submitted in Advance of the EU-Georgia Human Rights Dialogue

This note aims to outline key areas of concern in Georgia's human rights record that we hope to see addressed on the occasion of the European Union's upcoming Human Rights Dialogue with Georgia. We believe this dialogue is a crucial opportunity to…
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On March 11, 2009 President Barack Obama signed legislation banning the export of any cluster munitions with a “dud rate” of greater than one percent. Only a tiny fraction of the US arsenal can meet that standard, so the ban is nearly comprehensive. The…
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Revise Policies to Ensure Fair Hearing

(London) - The ruling today by the European Court of Human Rights on the United Kingdom's detention policy for foreign terrorism suspects confirms that indefinite detention violates basic rights, Human Rights Watch said. The court ruled that the…
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US Campaign to Ban Landmines Press Release

The Pentagon announced Monday that the US military would continue to use and export even the most unreliable cluster bombs over the next decade. This policy decision comes shortly after 111 countries, including major NATO allies, agreed to a global treaty…
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On September 19, a majority of US senators voted to approve an amendment that would restore the right to habeas corpus, one of the oldest and most important checks on the arbitrary exercise of government power. Last year’s Military Commissions Act…
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On June 8, the Council of Europe released a report confirming allegations first made by Human Rights Watch in 2005 that the CIA used locations in Poland and Romania for the secret detention of terror suspects. During several years of research, we combed…
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On February 23, the Canadian Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the provisions of a Canadian immigration law that enabled the government to detain foreign terrorism suspects, often for years, without charge or trial and to deport them. Human Rights…
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On February 22-23 the government of Norway and some three dozen other governments—as well as Human Rights Watch and other nongovernmental organizations—will launch a process aimed at developing an international treaty prohibiting the use of cluster…
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After Human Rights Watch issued a press release on Israel’s use of cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon and sent a letter to the U.S. National Security Advisor, the U.S. State Department blocked the transfer to Israel of 1,300 artillery…