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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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“Between Two Sets of Guns” Attacks on Civil Society Activists in India’s Maoist Conflict Map of India Summary Key Recommendations Methodology I. The …
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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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"These Fellows Must Be Eliminated" Relentless Violence and Impunity in Manipur Manipur District Map I. Summary Continuing Security Force Abuses Police Abuses Armed Groups Impunity Key Recommendations Methodology II. Background: Conflict in…
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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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India Must Halt Arms Sales and Training to Burmese Army

(New York) - The Indian government is offering a package of military assistance to the Burmese army, which is likely to use such arms and training to attack against civilians in its war against ethnic insurgents, Human Rights Watch said today. Human…
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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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Most States Report Progress in Banning Mines

(New York) A marked reduction in the number of governments using antipersonnel landmines in the past year has been offset by widespread use by a few others, most notably India and Pakistan, according to a global report released today by the International…
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(New York) -- India and Pakistan should halt the use of antipersonnel landmines along their common border, Human Rights Watch urged today. It also cautioned that the latest tensions could lead to additional mine-laying. In a new backgrounder released…
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A Human Rights Watch Backgrounder

As part of the military buildup resulting from the December 13, 2001, attack on the Indian parliament, both India and Pakistan have emplaced large numbers of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines along their common border.
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The massive proliferation of small arms and light weapons in South Asia is directly linked to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and the subsequent creation by the United States of a system, commonly known as the Afghan pipeline, to funnel…