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Disband All Irregular Paramilitary Forces, Cooperate With Independent Investigations

(New York) – United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed Afghan forces have committed summary executions and other grave abuses without accountability, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These strike forces…
A car burned during a raid by the Khost Protection Force in Tani district, Khost province, Afghanistan, July 28, 2019.
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Trump Nominee Oversaw Torture of Detainees, Destruction of Evidence

(Washington, DC) – The US Senate should oppose the nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Senate leadership and Select Committee on Intelligence. She was closely…
Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by U.S. President Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is shown in this handout photograph released on March 13, 2018.
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(Washington, DC) – In response to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State and Gina Haspel as CIA Director please find the following response from Sarah Margon, Washington Director at Human Rights…
Pompeo presser
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On December 6, 2016, US President Barack Obama delivered a speech on US counterterrorism policy at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Below is the reaction from Laura Pitter, US national security counsel at Human Rights Watch: President…
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Trump Should Continue Disclosures, Uphold Legal Obligations

(Washington) – The Obama administration’s comprehensive report on standards applicable to US counterterrorism policy will help the public understand and assess United States government actions, Human Rights Watch said today. The report will…
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Michael Flynn Unwilling to Reject Trump’s Call for Waterboarding

(Washington, November 18, 2016) – President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has refused to rule out proposals by Trump that would constitute torture despite his having spoken out against the use…
Donald Trump speaks alongside retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn during a campaign town hall meeting in Virginia, US, on September 6, 2016.
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Newly Released Documents Show Need for Accountability

The recent release of documents related to the US Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program provide excruciating new details about CIA torture, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2016, Human Rights Watch…
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (L) discusses a newly released Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's anti-terrorism tactics.
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Year After Senate Report, Still No Criminal Inquiry, Redress Provided

(Washington, DC) – Obama administration claims that legal obstacles prevent criminal investigations into torture by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are unpersuasive, and risk leaving a legacy of torture as a policy option, Human Rights Watch said in…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Rights Groups, 111,788 Individuals Press for Special Prosecutor

(Washington, DC) – Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International called on United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a June 23, 2015 letter to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate torture and other…
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Legislation is No Substitute for Criminal Investigations, Prosecutions

UPDATE: On June 15, 2015, the Senate passed, with strong bi-partisan support by a vote of 78-21, the below amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016:  (Washington, DC - June 9, 2015) – Proposed legislation to…
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Legislation is No Substitute for Criminal Investigations, Prosecutions

(Washington, DC) – Proposed legislation to reinforce the US prohibition on torture could help prevent the United States from again engaging in torture, Human Rights Watch said today. However, until the US criminally investigates and prosecutes past…
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High-Profile Cases Highlight Longstanding Problems

(Washington, DC) – State and local officials in the United States should address racial discrimination and police abuse in the criminal justice system that sparked widespread demonstrations last year, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015…
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(New York) – Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union have written to US Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to order a criminal investigation into torture and other serious abuses relating to the Central Intelligence Agency’s…
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Release Full Study; Investigate Senior Officials

(Washington, DC) – The US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report summary on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detention and interrogation program is a powerful denunciation of the agency’s extensive and systematic use of torture, Human Rights Watch…
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Treaty Prohibitions Apply Wherever State Has ‘Effective Control’

(Geneva) – A US statement on compliance with the Convention against Torture on November 12, 2014, improves on previous US positions on the treaty’s application but falls short of international obligations, Human Rights Watch said today. The US is…
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Underscore Unfinished Accountability for Abuses in Europe

(London) - The landmark rulings against Poland by the European Court of Human Rights on July 24, 2014, underscore the need for wider European accountability for involvement in US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counterterrorism abuses, Human Rights…
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(New York, April 8, 2014) – The former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has told the Council of Europe that the NSA spied on human rights organizations, but did not identify which groups. If Snowden’s assertion is accurate, it…
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Senate Committee Should Declassify, Release Full Document

(Washington, DC) – The US Senate Intelligence Committee’s vote to declassify part of its report on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detention and interrogation is an important first step toward public accounting of torture by the United States, Human…
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UN Rights Body Concerned Over Surveillance Activities, Other Issues

(Washington, DC) – The United States should heed calls issued on March 27, 2014, by an important UN human rights body to ensure that its surveillance activities are consistent with the right to privacy, both within and outside its borders, Human Rights…
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Feinstein Describes CIA Efforts to Block Oversight

(Washington, DC) – Senator Dianne Feinstein’s account of CIA efforts to obstruct congressional oversight underscores the urgency of declassifying a Senate report on the CIA secret detention and interrogation program, Human Rights Watch said today. The…