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Despite their mandate to maintain peace and protect people in war-torn countries, some UN peacekeepers have themselves been abusers. Highly publicized allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic have…
Women walk by a United Nations peacekeeping armored vehicle guarding the outer perimeter of a school used as an electoral center at the end of the presidential and legislative elections, in the mostly muslim PK5 neighborhood of Bangui.
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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 October, 2011, the Obama administration said it would send 100 US military advisers to central Africa to help the region’s armies combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a vicious Ugandan rebel group. Human Rights Watch has pressed the US government…
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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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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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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.
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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…
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Human Rights Watch and partner NGOs scored a victory for free expression in Turkey with the February 13 acquittal of Turkish publisher Fatih Tas. Tas had been charged with dispensing "separatist propaganda" for publishing a book by Noam Chomsky that…
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On June 22, King Mswati III of Swaziland issued a royal decree that allows banning of publications without appeal, eliminates bail for some crimes, and increases the punishment for defamation. The royal edict was issued shortly after the banning of two…
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Freedom of expression in Chile remains shackled by military-era restraints. Although the country has recently made strides in prosecuting the abuses of the Pinochet dictatorship, the same repressive defamation laws that the military regime regularly…