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Over 420 Civilians Killed During Attacks, Massacres in 2021

(Bamako) – Islamist armed groups have killed over 420 civilians and driven tens of thousands from their homes during attacks in western Niger since January 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. The armed Islamist groups should cease all abuses against…
Villagers at a mass grave containing the remains of civilians killed during the March 21, 2021 attack by armed Islamist groups on villages in Tahoua region, Niger. More than 170 Tuareg villagers were killed in the attack, Niger’s worst atrocity in recent history.
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Enforced Disappearances, Incommunicado Detention, Groundless Deportation

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities have forcibly disappeared at least four Pakistani men since October 2020 and deported at least six others without explanation, apparently based solely on their religious background, Human Rights Watch said…
201911mena_uae_skyline
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New Human Rights Watch Campaign Against Whitewashing Rights Violations

(Beirut) – The Saudi government has spent billions of dollars hosting major entertainment, cultural, and sporting events as a deliberate strategy to deflect from the country’s image as a pervasive human rights violator, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Identify Remains of 180 Men Found in Djibo; Prosecute Those Responsible

(Bamako) – Common graves containing at least 180 bodies have been found in a northern town in Burkina Faso in recent months, and available evidence suggests government security force involvement in mass extrajudicial executions, Human Rights…
Djibo, Burkina Faso
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Overturning Acquittals in Terrorism Cases

(Beirut) – A close study of appeals court decisions in terrorism-related cases in Iraq shows that judges in close to two dozen cases in an 18-month period appeared to ignore torture allegations or to rely on uncorroborated…
Presidency of the Federal Court of Cassation of Baghdad
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Lift Unlawful Restrictions Blocking Thousands

(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is preventing about 4,200 Sunni Arabs from returning home to 12 villages east of Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. More than three years after the Hamdaniya district was retaken…
A destroyed home near Ashqala al-Sagheer village in Hamdaniya, July 2019. Hasansham camp is in the background.  © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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47 Yemeni Fishermen Killed, Dozens Detained Since 2018

(Beirut) – Saudi-led coalition naval forces have carried out at least five deadly attacks on Yemeni fishing boats since 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. Coalition warships and helicopters have been involved in attacks that killed…
Fishermen rest on their boats in Hodeida, Yemen before going out to sea, September 2018. Since 2018, Saudi-led coalition naval forces have attacked fishing boats in the Red Sea, killing at least 47 Yemeni fishermen. © 2018 Hani Mohammed/AP Photo
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Trafficking, Exploitation, Torture, Abusive Prison Conditions

(Addis Ababa) – Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison…
African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. © AFP/Getty Images
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Countries Should Support Citizens’ Returns, Increase Aid

(Al-Hol, Northeast Syria) – The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration for northeast Syria is holding more than 11,000 foreign women and children related to Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects in appalling and sometimes deadly…
A girl stands in the annex of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, where more than 11,000 women and children from nearly 50 nationalities are confined as family members of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects. The Kurdish-led coalition controlling north
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International Norms Ignored as Civilians Suffer

(Beirut) – The Russian-Syrian joint military operation has used internationally banned and other indiscriminate weapons in unlawful attacks on civilians in northwest Syria in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. According to the…
A man inspects the destruction left by overnight air strikes targeting residential areas at Kafr Nabl in the rebel-held Idlib Province, Syria, May 20 2019.
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Media, Aid Workers, Activists, and Families Targeted

  (Beirut) – Syrian intelligence branches are arbitrarily detaining, disappearing, and harassing people in areas retaken from anti-government groups, Human Rights Watch said today. The abuse is taking place even…
A checkpoint in the Syrian city of Daraa.
News

Cease Use of Banned Weapons; Expand and Improve Demining

(Beirut) – Houthi forces’ widespread use of landmines along Yemen’s western coast since mid-2017 has killed and injured hundreds of civilians and prevented aid groups from reaching vulnerable communities, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A deminer works with children following him in Zuheiri, a town on the western coast. © 2018 Private
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200 Held in Squalid Camps and Prisons in Libya, Syria, Iraq

(Tunis) – Tunisian officials have been dragging their feet on helping bring home Tunisian children held without charge in foreign camps and prisons for families of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members, Human Rights Watch said…
A woman walks with a child in Roj camp, which holds foreign wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) members, in northeast Syria, September 2018. © 2018 Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
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Lack of Coordination Between 2 Justice Systems

(Beirut) – Sunni Arab boys who serve prison time in Iraq’s Kurdistan region for Islamic State (also known as ISIS) connections risk rearrest after their release if they try to reunite with their families in areas controlled by Baghdad,…
Cigarette burns cover the hands and arms of 18-year-old “Karim.” Kurdish authorities held him for 13 months.  He then returned home and was rearrested by authorities under Baghdad’s control, who tortured and held him for months. © 2018 San Saravan
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Blocks Services for ISIS Suspects and Their Families

(Erbil) – Iraqi security officers are threatening, and in some cases arresting, lawyers seen to be providing legal assistance to Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and families perceived to be related to ISIS members, effectively denying…
Mosul’s Civil Status Directorate. © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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Investigate Abuse During Interrogations in Mosul

(Beirut) – Two former detainees and the father of a man who died in detention have provided details of ill-treatment, torture, and death in facilities run by the Iraqi Interior Ministry in the Mosul area, Human Rights Watch said today…
Mahmoud said he was hung in the “bazoona” position at least six times while in detention, for hours. He said that at least four of those times, he lost consciousness before being taken down. Sometimes officers threw water at him before beating his back wi
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Ex-Detainee Describes Degrading Conditions

(Beirut) – Iraq’s National Security Service (NSS), an Iraqi intelligence agency reporting to Iraq’s prime minister, has acknowledged for the first time that it is detaining individuals for prolonged periods of time, despite not having a clear mandate to…
A blank NSS arrest warrant provided to Human Rights Watch. © 2018 Private
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Emergency Courts Used to Prosecute Activists, Journalists, Bloggers

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities are increasingly using counterterrorism and state-of-emergency laws and courts to unjustly prosecute journalists, activists, and critics for their peaceful criticism, Human Rights Watch said today.…
In this file photo, Egyptian security forces stand guard outside a court in Cairo, Egypt, January 3, 2018. © REUTERS
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Rushed Proceedings, Lack of Due Process, Disproportionate Sentences

  (Beirut) – Iraq’s judiciary should change its approach to dealing with detained foreign women and children who are accused of affiliation with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said…
Russian women, sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining ISIS, sit with children in a hallway of Baghdad's Central Criminal Court, April 29, 2018. © 2018 Ammar Karim/AFP/Getty Images
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Destroys Homes, Farmland Around ‘Buffer Zones’

(Beirut) – The Egyptian army has vastly expanded widespread destruction of homes, commercial buildings, and farms in the North Sinai governorate since February 9, 2018, as part of its military campaign against an affiliate of the…
A house that the Egyptian army demolished in March 2018 in al-Arish as “retaliation” against suspects. © 2018 Private