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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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Rightly Charged in Federal Court, Not Guantanamo Military Commissions

(Washington, DC) – The United States government should ensure that Ahmed Abu Khatallah, apprehended for his alleged role in the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is brought promptly before a judge and provided access to a…
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New Video Captures Anguish of Detainees’ Families

(Washington, DC) – The US should expedite the return of Yemeni detainees cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Barack Obama. Human Rights Watch released a video showing the plight of families of…
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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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President Should Sign Defense Act, Work Towards Prison’s Closure

The US Congress’ passage of a defense bill that will ease restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees is an important step towards closing the detention facility, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 19, 2013, the Senate passed the 2014…
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Obama Should Follow-Up With Action, Adherence to International Law

(Washington, DC) – United States President Barack Obama’s new call to transfer detainees from Guantanamo and wind down the “war” with al-Qaeda could jumpstart a US counterterrorism policy more consistent with US human rights obligations. However, in his…
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On May 23, 2013, US President Barack Obama will give a speech at the National Defense University on counterterrorism policy. Human Rights Watch has long reported on US counterterrorism policy, and has recently made a number of recommendations that address…
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Kenneth Roth Challenges Senator James Inhofe on Closing Guantanamo

(New York) – Seven days after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), a joint resolution passed by Congress that empowered the president to use force against…
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Force Feeding Compounds Harms of Indefinite Detention

US President Barack Obama should move swiftly to fulfill newly repeated promises to end indefinite detention without trial at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
 
 At a White House press briefing on April 30, 2013, Obama said the prison at…
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‘Indisputable’ Evidence Requires Declassification, Official Inquiry

A bipartisan study finding “indisputable” evidence of torture for which the highest United States officials bear responsibility should spur the US government to thoroughly investigate detainee abuse since September 11, 2001, and provide redress to victims…
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Letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

The Honorable Charles Hagel
 Secretary of Defense
 US Department of Defense
 1000 Defense Pentagon, Room 3E880
 Washington, DC 20301-1000
 
 Via Facsimile
 
 Re: Continuing Indefinite Detention and Hunger Strike at…
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Terrorism Suspects Should be Prosecuted in Federal Court

(New York) – The Obama administration’s decision to try an alleged al Qaeda figure in federal court rather than before a military commission at Guantanamo best serves the interests of justice. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who had…
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Counterterrorism Violations Blight US Record

(Washington, DC) – The enormous prison population in the United States partly reflects harsh sentencing practices contrary to international law, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. The sentencing practices include disproportionately…
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The movie Zero Dark Thirty, which depicts the hunt for Osama bin Laden, wrongly suggests that torture was an ugly but useful tactic in the fight against terrorism. It also falsely implies that information obtained through torture was critical to finding…
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President Should Renew Efforts to Transfer Cleared Detainees

(Washington, DC) – US President Barack Obama’s refusal to veto a defense spending bill restricting detainee transfers from Guantanamo undercuts his pledge to close the prison, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 2, 2013, Obama signed the 2013…
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Assist Former Guantanamo Detainee Omar Khadr’s Return to Society

(Toronto) – The government of Canada should rehabilitate and reintegrate into society former child soldier Omar Khadr, and seek to remedy abuses he suffered during a decade in United States custody, Human Rights Watch said today. Khadr, who is now 26,…
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Adnan Latif’s Death Highlights Trauma of Indefinite Detention Without Trial

(Washington, DC) – The death of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay on September 8, 2012, underscores the need for the United States government to either charge detainees in civilian court or release them. The death of Adnan Latif, a Yemeni who suffered severe…