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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
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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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HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 10

The human rights situation in Somalia, particularly in the south-central part of the country, remains dire. The Islamist armed group al-Shabaab continues to commit serious abuses including targeted killings, executions and punishments amounting to torture…
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Demonstrate ‘Targeted Killings’ Adhere to International Law

(Washington, DC) – The US government should transfer Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) command of aerial drone strikes to the armed forces and clarify its legal rationale for targeted killings, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Barack…
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Following the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush began a campaign of “targeted killings” against suspected members of al Qaeda and other armed groups. It has continued under the administration of President…
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 December 16, 2011
 
 Dear President Obama,
 
 We previously wrote to you on December 7, 2010, to express our concerns regarding the US targeted killing program.  We made recommendations that would minimize harm to civilians…
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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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In Pursuing Kampala Bombers, Government Should Respect Rights

(New York) -The bomb blasts that killed at least 76 people in Kampala on July 11, 2010, were a heinous attack on civilians and an assault on the basic tenet of the right to life, Human Rights Watch said today. Uganda and other regional governments should…
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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…
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The US and the UN are doing everything but keeping the peace in Mogadishu

As with most mortar attacks in Somalia, the shelling that turned 14-year-old Abdi into a war orphan struck without warning. Returning from school one day in the shattered capital of Mogadishu, the boy found his house blasted to bits and his parents dead…
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Cairo Meeting Offers Opportunity to Reform Failed Intervention Policies

(New York) - Participants to this week's international meeting on Somalia should press for an immediate end to abuses against civilians by Somalia's transitional government, African Union forces, and armed opposition groups, Human Rights Watch said in an…
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Civilians are caught between al-Shabaab and US-backed forces in a ravaged state

The Somali war widow shuddered as she recounted how al-Shabaab insurgents jailed her for a week and whipped her 185 times, doling out lashes during prayer calls. She received this punishment for selling cups of tea. Al-Shabaab routinely gives women…
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Indiscriminate Attacks by Opposition, Government, and African Union Forces Devastate Mogadishu

(New York) - The Islamist armed group al-Shabaab is subjecting inhabitants of southern Somalia to killings, cruel punishments, and repressive social control, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Al-Shabaab, the Transitional Federal…