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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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Flawed Asylum Denials; Abuses in Detention and After Deportation

(Washington, DC) – Cameroonian authorities subjected dozens of asylum seekers deported by the United States to serious human rights violations between 2019 and 2021, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 149-page report, “‘How…
A hand reaches through bars
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Asylum seekers sent to Mexico by the administration of former US president Donald Trump have suffered violence and extortion by Mexican police, immigration agents, and criminal groups. Since January 2019, the United States has effectively closed its…
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(Washington, DC, January 12, 2017) – The rise of populist leaders in the United States and Europe poses a dangerous threat to basic rights protections while encouraging abuse by autocrats around the world, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth…
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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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Dozens of transgender women, including asylum seekers who have come to the United States seeking protection from abuse in their home countries, are locked up in jails or prison-like immigration detention centers across the country. Many have been…
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World Report 2016 summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2015, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the…
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World Report 2016 summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2015, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the…
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(December 1, 2015) – Obama administration claims that legal obstacles prevent criminal investigations into torture by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are unpersuasive, and risk leaving a legacy of torture as a policy option. Sufficient evidence…
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Serious Flaws in Border Screening of Fleeing Central Americans

(San Pedro Sula) – The US government’s rapid-fire screening of unauthorized migrants at the border is sending Central Americans back to the risk of serious harm, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  The 44-page report, “‘You Don…
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Independent Oversight Needed to Ensure Proper Investigation

(Washington, DC) – Victims of sexual assault in Washington, DC, are not getting the effective response they deserve and should expect from the district’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sexual…
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(Washington) – The United States government during the Bush administration tortured opponents of Muammar Gaddafi, then transferred them to mistreatment in Libya, according to accounts by former detainees and recently uncovered CIA and UK Secret Service…
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(New York) – The US Congress should reject provisions in a defense spending bill that would permit long-term indefinite detention without trial of terrorism suspects, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch, along with the American Civil…
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Defendant in Attack on US Embassies Receives Life Sentence

(New York) - The sentence of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani to life in prison without the possibility of parole underscored the value of trying terrorism suspects in civilian courts rather than in discredited military commissions, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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