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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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Zimbabwe’s disastrous sanitation situation has left it in grave danger of waterborne disease outbreaks – something its government publicly acknowledged in a press conference yesterday. In fact, the government officials who announced Zimbabwe’s new…
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Area Residents Suffer from Serious Health Problems Caused by the Pollution

For probably the first time, Bangladesh’s government has leveled pollution-related fines against two leather tanneries in Hazaribagh, a Dhaka neighborhood so polluted with waste from its roughly 150 tanneries that residents and workers are plagued by…
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Suzanne, an 11-year-old who lives in Mali, eagerly explained how she handles deadly mercury to mine gold to help support her family. “Once the ore is panned, you put a bit of mercury in. You rub the ore and the mercury with your two hands,” Suzanne told…
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Join Social Media Campaign to Save Lives

Lead poisoning in Zamfara State, Nigeria, has taken the lives of over 400 children and left thousands more with permanent life-long disability. In May, President Goodluck Jonathan pledged $4 million to clean up the lead contamination. Today, that money…
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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 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 July 27 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF announced a $129 million joint appeal to provide education for Iraqi refugee children in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Jordan also announced that it will give all Iraqi…
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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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The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and the Lebanon-based Palestinian Organization for Human Rights (PHRO) recently submitted an unprecedented joint statement to the U.N. Human Rights Council in advance of its special session on the war…