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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
News
When President Jair Bolsonaro presented a draft bill to Congress, on February 5, to regulate mining, hydroelectric power projects, and other commercial enterprises in Indigenous territories, he recognized that it would “face pressure…
Krimej indigenous Chief Kadjyre Kayapo, looks out at a path created by loggers, in Altamira, Para state, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019.
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Summary The mayor said, “All thieves must be killed.” He said it was an order. −Witness to the execution of Fulgence Rukundo on December 6, 2016 Rwandan security forces summarily executed at least…
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The killing of 33 inmates in the Brazilian state of Roraima is another sign that the country's prisons are disgracefully out of control. Many of the bodies were decapitated, a practice widely used by gangs to terrorize their enemies. …
A relative of a prisoner holds a local newspaper, which shows a headline about a deadly prison riot, in front of Anisio Jobim prison in Manaus, Brazil, on January 3, 2017.
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The United States is providing early release this weekend for 6,000 inmates who have been serving federal sentences for non-violent drug crimes -- the biggest one-time release of inmates in US history. It's a sign of a tectonic shift occurring in the…
U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff depart a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 30, 2015.
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Pernambuco’s prisons have become a haven of private enterprise. Imagine, if you can, what it is like to be imprisoned there. For 2,000 reais (USD530), you could buy a place to sleep, a narrow wooden cubicle where you can throw a mattress and prop a fan.…
Makeshift “barracos,” or cubicles, inside Pavilion 7 at Presídio Juiz Antônio Luiz L. de Barros (PJALLB), in Recife.
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Among Brazil’s Overpacked Prisons, Pernambuco Tops the List

(São Paulo) – The Brazilian state of Pernambuco has effectively turned over its vastly overcrowded prisons to hand-picked inmate “keyholders,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Pernambuco prison system holds more than three times as…
Penitenciária Agro-Industrial São João
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“Custody Hearings” Improve Due Process, Reduce Prison Overcrowding

(São Paulo) – The Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Commission in Brazil’s Senate should approve a bill that would introduce basic due process procedures to prevent arbitrary detention, Human Rights Watch said today. The measure can also reduce prison…
A judge holds a custody hearing for a detainee in São Paulo on May 11, 2015, with the participation of a prosecutor and a public defender.
News

Custody Hearings Help Curb Overcrowding

(São Paulo) – A pilot program in northeastern Brazil is reducing the number of people sent to pretrial detention, a major factor in prison overcrowding and gang recruitment, Human Rights Watch said today. The program in Maranhão state promptly brings…
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The New Brics Bank is an Opportunity to Learn Lessons and Ensure Every Infrastructure Project Protects Human Rights

The emerging Brics economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – struck an agreement this month to establish a development bank with an initial capital of $100bn. The Brics want the bank to mobilise resources for…
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Can the emerging economic powerhouses of the so-called BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – underwrite development in a way that doesn’t stamp on the rights of people who are supposed to benefit? That’s the big question following an…
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General Assembly Should Pass Strong Resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

(New York) – The United Nations General Assembly should approve a new resolution and make clear that indiscriminate surveillance is never consistent with the right to privacy, five human rights organizations said in a November 20, 2013 letter to members…
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Today, Facebook issued its first transparency report, surprising no one in saying that the US government has made more requests for user data than any other country. US surveillance practices are only one of the reasons the country leads the pack:…
News

Country’s Citizens Denied Free, Fair Elections

(Washington, DC) – Latin American and African officials participating in a cross-regional meeting in Equatorial Guinea should press their host, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago, to undertake serious human rights and democratic reforms ahead of…
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Mr. Makhtar Diop Vice President for Africa World Bank 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA Cc: Ms. Carrie Turk, Country Manager, Rwanda Board of Executive Directors Re: Concerns About World Bank Financing in Rwanda Dear Vice President Diop…
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Business, government and development agencies should combat discrimination, which can drive poverty and conflict

"They come every day … four or five cars usually – 20 to 60 soldiers. They say, 'We need this land for sugar, so you shouldn't be here' … We say, 'We don't want [sugar]', but that is not the right answer. They hit us or they take us to jail." These are…
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Final Document Falls Short on Corporate Accountability and Reproductive Rights

(Rio de Janeiro) – Global economic troubles are being matched by a recession in human rights with worryingly minimal commitments coming out of the United Nations Rio+20 conference on Sustainable Development, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and…