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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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Can Advance Economic Justice, Fix Broken Safety Net, But More Needed

(Washington, DC) – The Build Back Better Act would bring the United States closer to meeting international human rights standards and begin to repair a badly broken social safety net, Human Rights Watch said today. The Senate should strengthen…
Children and teachers complete a mural in celebration of the launch of the Child Tax Credit on July 14, 2021 at the KU Kids Deanwood Childcare Center in Washington, DC.
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US, German Governments Should Press Vaccine Makers to Transfer Technology Widely

(Washington, DC) – The new Covid-19 variant underscores the dangers of severely unequal access to Covid-19 vaccines and the concentration of production in the US and Europe, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch and other groups wrote to…
Vaccine Tech Share Protest
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In a public letter to Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Partnership and Engagement Eva Millona, Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ur M. Jaddou, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Tae D. Johnson, and…
Report
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.
News

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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Spending Package Would be Groundbreaking Expansion of Social Safety Net

Critics in the United States who argue about the cost of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package pending in the US Congress, which would expand government investment in the country’s broken social safety net and protections for workers, are missing…
US President Joe Biden speaks on how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
News

Proposed Plan Could Improve Medicine Access for Millions

Last week, the administration of US President Joe Biden released a much-anticipated policy agenda for addressing exorbitant prescription drug costs in the United States. Congress and the White House should seize this opportunity to implement reforms…
President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
News
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. 
News

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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Reinvestment Needed to Protect Residents’ Rights

(Washington, DC) – The United States Congress should appropriate sufficient funding to allow local public housing authorities to fully address the growing backlog of repair needs, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the US Senate Committee on…
First Houses in Manhattan, one of the earliest public housing developments in the United States
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Reinvest in Public Housing to Protect Residents’ Rights

Dear Chairman Brown, Ranking Member Toomey, Chairwoman Waters, and Ranking Member McHenry, I write on behalf of Human Rights Watch to urge you to increase appropriations to public housing, under Section 9 of the US Housing Act, as part of the $339…
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Restoring “Ability to Repay” Rule Would Help Protect Human Rights in the US

Millions of people in the US do not have enough money to cover basic needs and may be forced to turn to so-called payday lenders – short-term, small-dollar lenders who charge interest rates that can exceed 390 percent – to survive. Borrowers often…
A manager of a financial services counts cash being paid to a client as part of a loan in Ballwin, Missouri on August 9, 2018
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Federal Rule Allowing Payday Lenders to Avoid Interest Rate Limits Overturned

The US House of Representatives last week joined the Senate in voting to overturn a federal regulation that allowed payday and other small-dollar and short-term lenders to skirt limits on what interest rates they could charge for loans. This is a major…
The window of a payday loan store
News

Solutions to Identity Verification Errors Urgently Needed to Help Those Facing Hardship

Lucy* (not her real name), a 29-year-old grocery delivery worker and mother of two in the US city of Houston, Texas, was under enormous financial strain when we interviewed her in May. She said her income had dropped steeply during the pandemic; she…
Workers in Texas may apply for unemployment benefits on the Texas Workforce Commission website.
News
The Covid-19 pandemic in the United States has left millions of people struggling to make ends meet. Massive government spending, especially the stimulus checks, has provided crucial relief. But the checks are just a band-aid for a U.S. social safety…
Gina Stanton, of the Homewood neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attends a rally held by the Mon Valley  Unemployed Committee and Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid Group at Governor Tom Wolf’s regional office on March 10, 2021, downtown Pittsburgh.