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Missteps Show Need for Congressional Oversight to Catalyze Change

(Washington, DC, May 19, 2022) – The US military’s review of a 2019 airstrike in Syria highlights fundamental and ongoing flaws in US handling of accountability for civilian harm, Human Rights Watch said today. The US Defense Department on May 17,…
Black smoke billows from the last small piece of territory held by Islamic State forces as US-backed fighters attack the area with artillery and airstrikes in Baghouz, Syria, March 3, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo/Andrea Rosa
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The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may seem a world away from Florida, but it’s only 700 miles from Orlando. Growing up here myself, I never thought twice about what Guantanamo’s high financial and moral cost meant for me as a Floridian…
In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
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Human Rights Watch Statement for the Record

Statement of Human Rights Watch on  “‘Targeted Killing’ and the Rule of Law:  The Legal and Human Costs of 20 Years of U.S. Drone Strikes" before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 9, 2022. Human Rights Watch thanks the Senate…
The dome of the US Capitol seen through a glass ceiling in Washington, DC, April 29, 2021.
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Why President Biden should fulfill his pledge to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay

Two decades ago, on Jan. 11, 2002, the US military began detaining Global War on Terror (GWOT) prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, opening one of the longest and darkest chapters of its abusive responses to the 9/11 attacks. The US has unlawfully…
The first foreign Muslim men imprisoned by the US military at the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in the so-called “global war on terror.” Since January 2002, the US has held nearly 800 men and boys at Guantánamo. Of the 39 who currently remain, 27 have never been charged. © 2002 Shane McCoy/Greg Mathieson/Mai/Getty Images
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Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
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Majid Khan Publicly Describes Torture at Sentencing Hearing

For the first time, a United States military commission jury urged clemency for a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Majid Khan, at a sentencing hearing. The jury’s recommendation, noting the severe abuse Khan endured while in detention, highlights the profound…
Photo of a man with black hair and a bear
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Despite US Federal Court Ruling, Continued Detention Likely

In a small step toward justice, a United States federal judge ruled this week that because Haroon Gul, an Afghan held at Guantanamo Bay, was not a member of Al-Qaeda or an associated force, the US had no legal basis for detaining him. The US…
Afghan refugee Roman Khan at a refugee camp near Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar in September 2020, displays a photograph of his brother Asadullah Haroon, who is detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
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Since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have carried out targeted killings that frequently kill and injure civilians.

On September 17, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, gave an extraordinary news conference in which he admitted that the United States had killed an aid worker in Kabul and his family; McKenzie apologized, adding that…
The Pentagon, Washington, DC, United States.
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President Joe Biden was determined to end U.S. involvement in the Afghan "forever war" by the twentieth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He should also use the anniversary to announce a definitive end to the forever "global war on terror."…
Detainees apprehended after September 11, 2001 in a holding area under surveillance of the US military at Camp X-Ray at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba on January 11, 2002. 
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On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda hijackers turned four commercial airliners into instruments of terror, killing nearly 3,000 people and devastating the lives of thousands more. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States…
Bellevue Hospital memorial to victims of the World Trade Center attacks in New York, September 19, 2001. 
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Victims of Attacks Still Await Justice

The September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States were foremost a tragedy for the nearly 3,000 victims and their families. Lives were snuffed out, destinies forever changed, in acts of violence that elicited shock and outraged the world over. Many…
A man stands in the rubble after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower in New York City on September 11, 2001.
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Hospital Should Halt Medically Unnecessary Surgeries

Protesters picketed Weill-Cornell, a private institution that is part of the New York Presbyterian Hospital system, earlier this month, demanding the hospital cease medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex traits, and investigate…
Demonstrators gather for an #EndIntersexSurgery protest outside Weill-Cornell hospital in New York City in August 2021. 
News

Sixth US State to Explicitly End Practice; Rest Should Follow Suit

New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Thursday to end child marriage, making New York the sixth state in the United States to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 without exceptions. When the law goes into effect next…
Women protest child marriage at the New York state capitol in Albany, on Feb. 14, 2017.
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Fifth US State Ends Marriage Under 18; UK Pledges to do the Same

Last week, a breakthrough in the global fight to end child marriage came when the United Kingdom government pledged to raise the minimum age of marriage in England and Wales to 18, without exception. Just days before, Rhode Island became the fifth US…
A demonstrator wearing a bridal gown takes part in a protest urging legislators to end Massachusetts child marriage
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Cuomo Can Help US State Lead by Joining Four Others that Have Banned the Practice

On June 2, the New York State Assembly voted unanimously to approve a law ending all marriage before the age of 18 in New York State. The bill had already been approved by the state senate in May. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, should now sign the…
Women protest child marriage at the New York state capitol in Albany, on Feb. 14, 2017.
News

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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As Joe Biden settles into his presidency, in addition to facing a pandemic and economic crisis, he will hear demands for accountability. If President Biden is going to help restore a robust commitment to the rule of law, he will need to reach…
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Hospital is First Institution to Make This Change and Apologize for Harm Done

In a victory for intersex people, a hospital in Chicago pledged earlier this year to stop performing medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex traits. The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital also became the first…
Intersex activist Sean Saifa Wall protests outside Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago for Intersex Awareness Day on October 26, 2017.
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