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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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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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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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During its Consideration of the Third to Fifth Periodic Reports of the United States of America CAT 53rd Session


 I. Summary
 
 
  
 
 Human Rights Watch would like to express its appreciation to the United Nations
 
 Committee against Torture (the “Committee”) for this opportunity to provide information on the compliance of the…
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In any normal case, in any ordinary court, judges hold preliminary hearings to narrow the issues and move the case closer to trial. But there is nothing ordinary about the prosecution of the five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. And the…
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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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If the Taliban prisoners released could have been prosecuted, they should have been

Though questions have been raised about whether the Obama administration should have exchanged five Guantanamo detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, one thing is clear: The decision shouldn’t impede U.S. efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.…
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A lot can happen in a year. And a lot can't.
 
 Twelve months ago today, Barack Obama gave a landmark national security speech in which he frankly acknowledged that the United States had at least in some cases compromised its values in the years…
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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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The sight of a man, free, who used to be in chains, is breathtaking. And so I gasped as Salim Hamdan walked into the lobby of my hotel in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, one evening in January. Now in his mid-40s, he looked heavier and happier than I remembered…
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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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Terrorists face real consequences in US civilian courts

The American public has had a pretty good demonstration over the last couple of weeks in how a US federal court handles a big terrorism case. The New York City trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, on charges of conspiring to kill…