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Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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How has the situation on Lesbos changed since your last visit? When I was here in 2016, I couldn’t imagine things being worse. We saw a lawless situation in Moria refugee camp. There were around 6,000 people in the camp,…
Migrants who arrived yesterday to Greece from Turkey eat bread as they try to warm themselves at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, March 6, 2020.
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Kyrgyzstan’s Crackdown on ‘Extremist Material’

Tell me about your new report on Kyrgyzstan’s crackdown on “extremist” material. This report documents the use of a little-known measure in Kyrgyzstan, article 299-2 of the criminal code, which allows authorities to throw people in prison for…
An airplane trace is seen behind a Kyrgyzstan national flag fluttering in a central square in Bishkek March 11, 2013.
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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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A court ruling in London yesterday marked a rare victory in the search for justice for torture and other abuses by the UK, US, and allies in the years after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The London case involves Abdul Hakim Belhadj, a former…
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Is some sense of sanity finally slipping into the torture debate in the US? Yesterday, after years of criticism for failing to call it by its name, the New York Times finally decided it would use the word “torture” to describe when US interrogators use…
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Cops Stop Harrassing Sex Workers for Carrying Condoms

Sex workers in San Francisco, Washington DC, and part of New York State can now carry condoms – protecting themselves and their clients from HIV/AIDS – without fearing that police will use the condoms as evidence of prostitution. In July, Human Rights…
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Council of Europe Convention calls for hotlines, shelters, medical and forensic services

Hamiyet, a member of Turkey’s Kurdish minority, was a 15-year-old newlywed when her husband began beating her every evening after work. He hit her when she was pregnant with each of their nine children, and he raped her almost nightly. She sought help…
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Protecting the health of vulnerable, displaced people

This fall, the European Commission (EC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) began closing down lead-contaminated camps in Kosovo, where displaced Roma were living in abysmal health conditions for a decade. Human Rights Watch…
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Mohamed Jawad was a teenager living in a Pakistani refugee camp when he was recruited by Afghan militia, drugged and forced into combat in Afghanistan. Eventually, he was captured. Afghan authorities beat him and made him confess to throwing a grenade at…
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Four years after Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) launched a campaign to stop the misuse of the material witness statute to detain people indefinitely, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled the practice “…
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On the heels of a Human Rights Watch report urging Greece to stop its abuse of migrants, the government announced the release of 1,200 migrants from holding cells and pledged to “drastically improve the country’s human rights record.” After the crackdown…
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On August 24, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a federal prosecutor to review cases of post-9/11 detainee abuse and determine whether or not a criminal investigation is warranted.  Human Rights Watch has collected information on some 330 cases…
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Improve Safeguards to Ensure Rights to Liberty and Fair Hearings

(London) - The United Kingdom's system of "control orders" to restrict the day-to-day activities of terrorism suspects should be amended to comply with international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Parliament released today…
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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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In an unprecedented step forward, a federal judge blocked the Pentagon from returning a Tunisian national being held at Guantanamo on the grounds that he could face grave harm if sent back to Tunisia. The judge pointed to the types of abuses documented in…
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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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The US Army in January ordered the court-martial of Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Jordan, a key official allegedly implicated in detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Jordan is the first military officer to be charged under the doctrine of command…
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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…