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Proposed New York City Law a Model for Regulation

Elected officials and local authorities across the United States and around the world should consider replicating an innovative legislative proposal that would prohibit police from arming robots used in their law enforcement operations. The bill,…
A black robot with four legs resembling a dog stands on a stage in front of a shite background.
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Reveal How Asylum Seekers at Border Were Short-Changed on Rights

(Washington) – Two years after the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, newly released government records reveal US immigration agencies’ efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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New Law Needed to Retain Meaningful Human Control Over the Use of Force

(Geneva) – Russia, the United States, and a handful of other nations investing in autonomous weapons are preventing efforts to start negotiations on a new treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, Human Rights Watch said…
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Government Still Rejects Regulations Preventing ‘Killer Robots’

As the United States Department of Defense releases a strategy on artificial intelligence (AI), questions loom about whether the US government intends to accelerate its investments in weapons systems that would select and engage targets…
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US and Russia Among States Who Object to Prohibition

Opposition to the creation of so-called “killer robots” – weapons systems that could select and attack targets without any human intervention – is growing. The issue has been hotly debated since 2013, when the Campaign to Stop Killer…
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Courts Need to Be Able to Rule on Legality of New Biometric, AI Technologies

US law enforcement agencies’ use of Rekognition, an Amazon surveillance system that uses facial recognition powered by artificial intelligence, poses threats to the rights to peaceful assembly and respect for private life, among others…
An Amazon.com Inc driver stands next to an Amazon delivery truck in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 21, 2016.
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Much concern has been raised, for good reason, about President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Haspel allegedly was involved in reckless, illegal torture under the agency’s “rendition,…
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. © 2018 CIA handout
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Unnamed US Detainee Held 2 Months in Iraq

(Washington, DC) – The US government has been holding a US citizen suspected of fighting with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) for two months in an undisclosed military prison in Iraq without access to legal counsel, Human Rights…
The American flag flies next to a statue of the scales of justice at United States Court House, February 6, 2002.
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The killing of 33 inmates in the Brazilian state of Roraima is another sign that the country's prisons are disgracefully out of control. Many of the bodies were decapitated, a practice widely used by gangs to terrorize their enemies. …
A relative of a prisoner holds a local newspaper, which shows a headline about a deadly prison riot, in front of Anisio Jobim prison in Manaus, Brazil, on January 3, 2017.
News

President-elect Should Leave Divisive Rhetoric Behind and Set New Tone

(Washington, DC) – United States President-elect Donald Trump should abandon campaign rhetoric that seemed to reject many of the United States’ core human rights obligations and put rights at the heart of his administration’s domestic and foreign policy…
US President-elect Donald Trump addresses supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, November 9, 2016.
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A Tunisian man formerly held in secret United States Central Intelligence Agency custody have described previously unreported methods of torture that shed new light on the earliest days of the CIA program. Lotfi al-Arabi El Gherissi, 52, recounted being…
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Senegal Shows Leadership, Compassion in Accepting Libyan Detainees

(New York) – The United States government’s release of two Libyan detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to Senegal on April 4, 2016, shows meaningful progress on closing the prison, Human…
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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The United States is providing early release this weekend for 6,000 inmates who have been serving federal sentences for non-violent drug crimes -- the biggest one-time release of inmates in US history. It's a sign of a tectonic shift occurring in the…
U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff depart a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 30, 2015.
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Pernambuco’s prisons have become a haven of private enterprise. Imagine, if you can, what it is like to be imprisoned there. For 2,000 reais (USD530), you could buy a place to sleep, a narrow wooden cubicle where you can throw a mattress and prop a fan.…
Makeshift “barracos,” or cubicles, inside Pavilion 7 at Presídio Juiz Antônio Luiz L. de Barros (PJALLB), in Recife.
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Among Brazil’s Overpacked Prisons, Pernambuco Tops the List

(São Paulo) – The Brazilian state of Pernambuco has effectively turned over its vastly overcrowded prisons to hand-picked inmate “keyholders,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Pernambuco prison system holds more than three times as…
Penitenciária Agro-Industrial São João
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“Custody Hearings” Improve Due Process, Reduce Prison Overcrowding

(São Paulo) – The Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Commission in Brazil’s Senate should approve a bill that would introduce basic due process procedures to prevent arbitrary detention, Human Rights Watch said today. The measure can also reduce prison…
A judge holds a custody hearing for a detainee in São Paulo on May 11, 2015, with the participation of a prosecutor and a public defender.
News
When it comes to banning “killer robots,” the United States is going to take some convincing. That was one major take-away from April’s multilateral meeting on the matter where a US delegation joined 90 other nations at the United Nations in Geneva to…
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Custody Hearings Help Curb Overcrowding

(São Paulo) – A pilot program in northeastern Brazil is reducing the number of people sent to pretrial detention, a major factor in prison overcrowding and gang recruitment, Human Rights Watch said today. The program in Maranhão state promptly brings…