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Global Costs of Unlawful Detention and Interrogation Post-9/11

(New York) – Twenty years after Guantánamo Bay detention operations commenced on January 11, 2002, a new report assesses the massive costs of US unlawful transfers, secret detention, and torture after the September 11, 2001, attacks. The report, from…
The first foreign Muslim men imprisoned by the US military at the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in the so-called “global war on terror.” Since January 2002, the US has held nearly 800 men and boys at Guantánamo. Of the 39 who currently remain, 27 have never been charged. © 2002 Shane McCoy/Greg Mathieson/Mai/Getty Images
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But Momentum for New Treaty on Autonomous Weapons is Growing

(Geneva, December 20, 2021) – Major military powers are preventing efforts by a majority of countries to prohibit autonomous weapons systems through a new international treaty, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 17, 2021, governments at the…
Illustration of missiles being fired at a person
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Healthcare Professionals, Burn Survivor Organizations Seek Stronger Rules

(Geneva, December 9, 2021) – The cruel consequences of incendiary weapons warrant reviewing and strengthening international legal rules governing their use, Human Rights Watch said today. Countries will decide whether to initiate talks on these…
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Governments Should Protect Civilians, Investigate Abuses

(Bamako) – Governments in the Sahel should adopt measures to better protect civilians, ensure that counterterrorism operations respect rights, and fully investigate abuses by all sides, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations High…
Map of the Sahel region
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Legal Uncertainty, Growing Concerns Show Urgent Need for Regulation

Governments should open negotiations to adopt new international law on lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as “killer robots.” Existing international law is not adequate to address the urgent threats posed by such weapons, which several…
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‘Landmine Monitor 2021’ Spotlights Rising Casualties

The annual Landmine Monitor 2021 report recorded at least 7,073 casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war during 2020, up from the 5,853 recorded in 2019. Myanmar government forces have used antipersonnel mines in 2021, while non-…
Clearance operator from the Halo Trust clearing a steep, rocky hillside in Afghanistan.
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UN Security Council Should Urge Investigations of Abuses by All Sides

(Bamako) – Malian authorities should investigate a spate of alleged summary executions, enforced disappearances, and incommunicado detentions by government security forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations Security Council, visiting…
Col. Assimi Goïta is sworn in as Mali’s interim president on June 7, 2021. On May 24, Goïta overthrew the previous coup government, led by Bah Ndaw.
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Global Report Tracks Progress in Eradicating the Widely Rejected Weapons

The US policy on cluster munitions is outdated and dangerous. Cluster munitions spread bomblets indiscriminately over a wide area, leaving many “duds” that function as landmines and can kill or maim people for years. The Biden administration…
Submunición M77 DPICM sin explotar tendida en el suelo.
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Shared Vision Forms Sound Basis for Creating a New Ban Treaty

Governments should move urgently to begin negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit and restrict autonomous weapons systems, known as “killer robots.” A small number of powerful countries that are developing autonomous weapons have been holding up…
A graphic piece by Brian Stauffer depicting an outstretched hand catching a rocket in its palm while shielding a mother and a young boy beneath it.
News

Pass Amendments to Protect Peaceful Dissent

(Nairobi) – Senegal’s new counterterrorism laws could punish political speech and peaceful protest as “terrorist acts,” target union leaders, and dangerously expand police surveillance powers, Human Rights Watch said today. The government and…
People flee teargas thrown by riot police during a protest against the proposed counterterrorism law and penal code reform at the Cheikh Anta Diop University campus in Dakar, Senegal, June 25, 2021.
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Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
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Repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act to Meet International Commitments

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government’s pardon of 16 prisoners convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), however welcome, does not address the urgent need to repeal the draconian law, Human Rights Watch said today. The European…
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's addresses parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 20, 2020.
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Vienna Academic Faces Abusive ‘Terrorism’ Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should immediately release an anthropology master’s degree student at Central European University (CEU), or present evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested the student,…
Ahmed Samir Santawy, an anthropology master’s student at Central European University (CEU) detained in February 2021.
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Unlawful Shelling in Marib Spurs Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis

(Beirut) – Houthi forces have indiscriminately fired artillery and missiles into heavily populated areas in Yemen’s Marib governorate since February 2021, causing mass displacement and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis, Human Rights Watch said…
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Investigate Recent Insurgent Attacks on Women, Religious Minorities

(New York) – Insurgent groups in Afghanistan have escalated their targeted killings of women and religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent attacks have killed at least five women, mostly journalists and media workers, and seven…
Security personnel inspect the site of a bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, March 15, 2021. 
News

Punish Officers Responsible; Improve Training; Halt Use of Rubber Bullets

(Johannesburg) – The South African police unlawfully used excessive and disproportionate force to disperse student protesters at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) on March 10, 2021, killing a bystander, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Three protesters were arrested and taken to the Hillbrow police station on Wednesday.
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Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Adel al-Hasani Apparently Detained for Critical Reporting

(Sanaa) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) security forces in southern Yemen have arbitrarily detained a Yemeni journalist since September 17, 2020, apparently for his critical news reporting, Human Rights…
Members of UAE-backed southern Yemeni separatist forces stand by a tank during clashes with government forces in Aden, Yemen August 10, 2019.