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Police abuse is a chronic human rights problem that Human Rights Watch has worked on for decades in Brazil. In the last five years, Brazilian police killed 22,000 people, most of them Black. We have documented extrajudicial executions and other…
Police officers patrol the Rocinha slum after violent clashes between drug gangs, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 29, 2017. The banner reads: "The Rocinha asks for peace."
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Accurate Data Key to Protecting the Forest Defenders

For the first time, Brazils’ Attorney General’s office has produced a report analyzing violence against Indigenous peoples, Afro-Brazilian rural communities, and other at-risk rural communities by people engaged in illegal logging, mining, and land…
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Brazilian officials proposed a new initiative that could improve prison conditions and reduce the sometimes years-long delays people face before seeing a judge. This change followed the release of a Human Rights Watch report on extreme overcrowding and…
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Background 1) The former Libyan government headed by Muammar Gaddafi controlled and repressed civil society and promised but failed to deliver much-needed human rights reforms. Under Gaddafi, Libya maintained harsh restrictions on rights to freedom of…
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Libya is finally set to begin collecting evidence of crimescommitted by militias from the town of Misrata and people from Tawergha during the 2011 uprising to oust Muammar Gaddafi. This may be a first, hopeful step towards justice – but much needs to be…
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Yesterday's damning ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in İzci v Turkey has thrown the spotlight on Turkey's persistent policing problem, which sees police move in quick and heavy with violent force and tear gas to disperse peaceful…
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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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Following intense advocacy by Human Rights Watch, Democratic leaders from the House of Representatives announced on June 29 that they would oppose a US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) until Colombia shows evidence of sustained results in addressing…
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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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On March 2, the Libyan government, following a direct request by Human Rights Watch, released 132 political prisoners, many of whom had been unfairly tried and detained for more than seven years. The prisoners were pardoned five weeks after Human Rights…
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Ahead of the release of a Human Rights Watch report on the arbitrary detention of women and girls in "social rehabilitation" facilities, the Libyan government in meetings with executive director Kenneth Roth promised to investigate these abuses. Aisha al…
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In response to our reports, the United States is paying closer attention to human rights concerns in the process of paramilitary demobilization in Colombia. Our work helped to spark interest in the issue by the U.S. Congress, which led to an unprecedented…
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Nuriye Kesbir, a Kurdish rights activist who has expressed nonviolent dissident opinions, will not be extradited to Turkey, where she could face torture if she were returned. In its reasoning, the District Court at The Hague prohibited extradition of…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should recommend the expansion of the United Nation’s human rights work in Colombia, including an increase in the number of permanent staff of the Office of the High Commissioner in Colombia, renegotiation of…
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In Colombia’s armed conflict, more than 11,000 child combatants fight for guerrilla and paramilitary groups, and account for one-fourth of the groups’ armed forces. The Colombian government took new steps toward ending the use of child combatants on…
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Turkey took an important step toward curbing torture on June 19 when it abolished a criminal procedure code provision that denied detainees, held for offenses under the jurisdiction of State Security Courts, the right to legal counsel for the first forty-…
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On February 3, Turkey’s president Ahmet Necdet Sezer ratified the most recent "adjustment law," aimed at bringing the country closer to meeting European Union membership requirements pertaining to human rights. According to the new law, when the European…
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Human Rights Watch effectively urged the US Congress to continue to require the State Department to certify Colombia's compliance with human rights conditions twice annually (not the reduction to once proposed by Republicans in the House of…
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Human Rights Watch assisted several threatened human rights prosecutors in Colombia, one of whom became the first Colombian prosecutor involved with human rights cases to receive direct assistance from the United States to gain political asylum and…