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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Video, Q&A Highlight Cases Spurred by Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch released a question-and-answer document and video on October 20, 2016 that highlight the groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in European countries of people accused of kidnappings, ill-treatment, and torture in…
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Kenya’s Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake in the world. Anthropologists consider it the cradle of civilization, where some of the earliest hominid fossils were found. Roughly 300,000 people live around Lake Turkana, and most…
dirt road
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Stand up for Persecuted Human Rights Activists; Shut Guantanamo

(New York) - The award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama should encourage him to apply his stated principles to both foreign and domestic human rights policy, Human Rights Watch said today. The Nobel committee awarded the prize…
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Secret Detainees Interrogated by US Officials Are Still in Custody

Two days after this report was issued, eight of the ten rendition victims known to be in Ethiopian jails were released to Kenya. The whereabouts of 22 others remains unknown. (Washington, DC) - At least 10 victims of the 2007 Horn of Africa rendition…
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"Why Am I Still Here?" The 2007 Horn of Africa Renditions and the Fate of Those Still Missing Map of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia Summary Recommendations To the Ethiopian Government To the Kenyan Government To the US Government To the Somali Government…
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Three Groups File Lawsuit Seeking Information about ‘Ghost’ Detention

(New York) – In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The…
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Kenya, US and Ethiopia Cooperate in Secret Detentions and Renditions

Kenya, Ethiopia, the United States and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia cooperated in a secret detention program for people who had fled the recent conflict in Somalia, Human Rights Watch said today. In a March 22 letter to the Kenyan…
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Thomas Amolo Director of Political Affairs  Ministry of Foreign Affairs  Nairobi, Kenya  Dear Mr. Amolo, Human Rights Watch's research has found that the governments of Kenya, Ethiopia, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and the United…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
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Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture Offer No Protection From Abuse

The United Nations’ ruling that Sweden violated the global torture ban in its involvement in the CIA transfer of an asylum seeker to Egypt is an important step toward establishing accountability for European governments complicit in illegal US renditions…
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Council of Europe Deadline Is Today; European Parliament to Begin Hearings

European governments must provide detailed information about their participation in or knowledge of the Central Intelligence Agency’s unlawful detention and transfer of terrorist suspects. Two European bodies are investigating the CIA’s activities in…
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Rwandan armed groups, like many other armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), kill, rape, and otherwise injure civilians and often loot or extort their property. Under the terms of the Lusaka Accords and the Pretoria Agreement…
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(Brussels) - As rising ethnic tensions fuel the risk of renewed war in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local government officials have reportedly delivered guns to civilians despite a United Nations embargo, Human Rights Watch said today. U.N.…
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(New York) - The global spread and rampant misuse of small arms and light weapons requires a reinvigorated international response, Human Rights Watch said today. More than 100 governments will gather in New York July 7-11 to assess progress in stemming…
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For years Kenya has been a conduit for arms shipments destined to nearby areas of violent conflict. More recently, the flood of weapons has spilled back into Kenya, making the resort to violence more likely -- and more deadly. The spread of small arms…