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Important Problems Remain

UK troops who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity overseas, can still be prosecuted in UK courts. In May the UK government reversed course on a plan that would have effectively immunized from prosecution UK forces who allegedly committed…
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, November 7, 2019. 
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This week I had expected to be writing about a defamation case brought by Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Committee against an independent journalist in Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan. To my surprise, the committee withdrew its complaint, and the court…
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In this age of austerity, the nearly 27 percent budget boost requested by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its prosecutor’s office leaps out. It’s the clearest sign yet of fresh thinking coming out of the office’s new leadership. The ICC…
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Former President Gbagbo Charged With Crimes Against Humanity

Late in the afternoon on November 29, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo was removed from his prison cell in the dusty northern town of Korhogo and served with an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He was then put aboard a…
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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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Damascus Declaration Trial a Transparent Bid to Silence Critics

(Damascus) – Syria’s sentencing of a dozen leading democracy advocates to more than two years in prison is the latest evidence of Syria’s repression of opposition groups. The democracy activists, including doctors, lawyers, writers, and an artist, were…
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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 May 30, Egypt’s General Public Prosecutor ordered the release of Abd al-Monim Mahmud, a prominent TV journalist and blogger who was arrested April 14 for criticizing torture. Immediately following his arrest, Human Rights Watch publicly called for his…
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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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In an important step toward justice for the victims of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, on February 27, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo named Ahmed Haroun and Ali Kosheib, the first suspects accused of committing war crimes and…
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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 January 22, the Justice Committee of the Belgian Senate passed two important proposals. The first aims at restoring the 1993 universal jurisdiction law to its original scope, while the second aims to adapt the same law to the new International Criminal…
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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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Human Rights Watch has played a critical role in persuading the Chilean government to move forward with legal reforms aimed at scrapping the country's repressive laws on "insult to authority" (known as desacato). Such laws, which criminalize strongly…
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A Human Rights Watch press release expressing concern about an upsurge in harassment of media in Albania has triggered a lively debate on press freedom in the country.