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Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
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UN Inquiry Needed into Alleged Violations by Warring Parties

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian federal forces carried out apparently indiscriminate shelling of urban areas in the Tigray region in November 2020 in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. Artillery attacks at the start of the armed…
A woman stands in a metal sheet room that was damaged by shelling in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020. In that residential compound, two women and an elderly man were killed by shelling and gunfire, and two women were wounded.
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Trafficking, Exploitation, Torture, Abusive Prison Conditions

(Addis Ababa) – Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison…
African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. © AFP/Getty Images
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Summary No one here reports to police because they fear for their lives. . . . There are people who have been missing for more than nine months. Some are taken for a few weeks or days for questioning and then returned, so it is…
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Kenyan security forces have forcibly disappeared at least 34 people in the past two years during abusive counterterrorism operations in Nairobi and in northeastern Kenya. The military was actively involved in raiding homes and compounds to arrest people…
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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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Response of Kenyan Security Forces Should Protect Rights

(Nairobi) – The abominable attack on Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya requires a measured response by Kenyan security forces to bring to justice those responsible and prevent further attacks. At least 147 have been confirmed dead and 80…
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We, the undersigned organisations, call upon the 41 Governments that compose the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, to take action and address the alarming proliferation of surveillance…
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Donors Should Suspend Support for Abusive Units

(Nairobi) – There is strong evidence that Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch also found evidence of arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of terrorism…
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They came in the night, truckloads of armed gunmen, spraying gunfire and burning buildings in the tiny Kenya coastal town of Mpeketoni. At two hotels where guests were watching the World Cup, attackers wearing black bandanas questioned residents about…
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Before he was arrested last year in Uganda on terrorism charges, Al Amin Kimathi was hailed as an outspoken activist who challenged East African governments to conduct lawful counterterrorism operations. The Kenyan human rights defender had gone to Uganda…
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Case Raises Concern That Prosecution Is Politically Motivated

(Kampala) ­­- Prominent Kenyan human rights activist Al-Amin Kimathi is among 17 defendants whose cases were sent to the Ugandan High Court on November 30, 2010, for trial for the July bombings in Kampala, Human Rights Watch said today. Another 17 were…
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(New York) – Ugandan authorities should either release a Kenyan human rights activist who is being held on terrorism charges or provide details of the charges, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today in a joint letter to the Ugandan…
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Three Kenyans now sit in Ugandan custody, charged with terrorism for their alleged role in the twin bomb blasts that killed scores of World Cup soccer fans in Kampala a few weeks ago. It is unclear what relationship - if any - these three might have had…
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Your Excellency, In advance of the 15th African Union Summit, scheduled for July 19-27, 2010 in Kampala, we are writing to draw your attention to a few of Africa's most pressing human rights concerns and to provide input into some of the discussions…
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By Leslie Lefkow before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health

Thank you, Chairman Payne, and members of the subcommittee, for inviting me to participate in this hearing. My name is Leslie Lefkow. I am a senior researcher with the Africa division of Human Rights Watch and I lead our work on the Horn of Africa. Mr…