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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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Farmworker Children Under 18 Need Better Protection

This week, the US Department of Labor (DOL) published its annual global report evaluating 131 countries and territories on their efforts to end the worst forms of child labor. The 1,365-page report found that while 79 countries had made moderate or…
A 15-year-old girl works on a tobacco farm in North Carolina. July 2013.
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After more than two years combatting the Trump administration’s egregious attacks on the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is refreshing to contemplate a possible return to a constructive U.S. policy toward the Court. The American Society…
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, November 7, 2019. 
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Biden Should Support Global Court of Last Resort

(Washington, DC) – US President Joe Biden’s cancellation of punitive sanctions targeting the International Criminal Court (ICC) removes a serious obstacle to the court’s providing justice to the victims of the world’s worst crimes, Human Rights Watch…
ICC permanent premises
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The United States government's decision to "reengage" with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that President Joe Biden promised in his major foreign policy speech.…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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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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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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Trump Administration’s Action Tries to Block Justice for World’s Worst Crimes

(Washington, DC) – The Trump administration’s unprecedented imposition of asset freezes on prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) shows an egregious disregard for victims of the world’s worst crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
News
    This Q&A addresses key questions regarding the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the relationship between the court and the United States. 1. What is the International Criminal Court? 2. Is the US a member…
ICC permanent premises
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Trump Executive Order Seeks to Thwart Justice for Victims

(Washington, DC) – The Trump administration’s announced action against the International Criminal Court (ICC) escalates its efforts to thwart justice for victims of serious crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 11, 2020, President Donald…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Secretary of State Dismisses Concerns over Recent Police Abuses

Comments this week by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo show little recognition that United States human rights violations in its own backyard have implications for its foreign policy. While all US administrations have downplayed US violations of…
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, April 29, 2020.
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Secretary of State Pompeo Riled by Possible Palestine Investigation

United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo once again threatened the International Criminal Court (ICC), this time saying the Trump administration will “exact consequences” if the ICC “continues down its current course” – that is, if the court…
Then-Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2018. © 2018 Reuters
News

Member Countries Should Signal Support

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 17 threatened two staff members of the International Criminal Court (ICC). He called them out by name, claimed they were putting Americans at risk, and intimated that the US could act against…
ICC permanent premises