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Julia adopted a baby girl born four months premature in 2008. The baby weighed just 1.5 pounds and had to be resuscitated. Julia and her partner longed to have more time with their baby during the 110 days she spent in the hospital, but had to save their…
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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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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 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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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…
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The European Parliament on November 29 released a report condemning European governments for facilitating illegal CIA operations in Europe. Human Rights Watch was the first human rights organization to report on secret CIA detention centers, and has…
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Following months of advocacy by Human Rights Watch, senior defense officials have said that the Pentagon in a forthcoming Army Field Manual has likely dropped its plans to make interrogation techniques classified information. Last year, we supported…
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In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that President Bush did not have authority to set up military commissions at Guantanámo Bay, Cuba. The court also found the military commissions illegal under both U.S.…
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The United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) issued a strong critique of the United States' record on torture, which included calling for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. The Committee is the first international body to hold…
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After Human Rights Watch released a report on the extortion of members of the Tamil diaspora by the militant Sri Lankan rebel group the LTTE (also known as the Tamil Tigers), the Canadian government listed the group as a “terrorist organization,”…
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A report by U.N. human rights experts confirms what Human Rights Watch and other nongovernmental organizations have long documented-that the United States is violating international human rights law and the Geneva Conventions by indefinitely detaining,…
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In a new report by Human Rights Watch, United States soldiers have for the first time come forward to describe torture and other abuse by the U.S. military in Iraq, and the failure of superior officers to stop it. Human Rights Watch's report has…
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In two recent reports, Human Rights Watch has exposed the increasing reliance by Western governments on a practice called "diplomatic assurances," which enable those governments to return terror suspects to their home countries, many of which are known to…
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The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed an amendment offered by Representative Edward J. Markey that reaffirms the government's opposition to torture and prohibits the use of U.S. funds for the practice of "extraordinary rendition." The…
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On December 26, the Washington Post reported that persons held at a CIA interrogation center in Bagram air base in Afghanistan were being subjected to "stress and duress" techniques such as "standing or kneeling for hours" and "being held in awkward,…
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On August 15, HRW released "Presumption of Guilt: Human Rights Abuses of Post-September 11 Detainees." The report is based on interviews with scores of detainees and their attorneys, documenting cases of arbitrary detention…