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New Human Rights Watch Campaign Against Whitewashing Rights Violations

(Beirut) – The Saudi government has spent billions of dollars hosting major entertainment, cultural, and sporting events as a deliberate strategy to deflect from the country’s image as a pervasive human rights violator, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Nicki Minaj
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Safety Concerns for Activists, Ex-Crown Prince, Cleric

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia has denied some prominent detainees contact with their family members and lawyers for months, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter requesting access to the country and private prison visits with detainees. The situation…
Prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul had been on hunger strike for six days before Saudi authorities finally allowed her parents to visit on August 31, according to family members. Al-Hathloul had spent almost three months before that in incommunicado detention.
News

Palestinians, Jordanians Face Vague Charges, Allege Torture

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s mass trial of 68 Jordanian and Palestinian residents raises serious due process concerns amid accusations of abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. In March 2018, Saudi authorities carried out a wave of arrests…
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Previous Campaign Marred by Lack of Due Process, Torture Allegations

  (Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s new mass arrest of 298 government employees on suspicion of corruption raises human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi…
Women walk past a poster of Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during Janadriyah Cultural Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 12, 2018.
News

7 Missing, 2 Known Arrested

(Beirut) – At least seven people, including a boy of 16, were reported missing since October 7 from or near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where they were participating in ongoing protests in Iraq’s capital, Human Rights Watch said today.…
An image that a friend of Mustafa Munthir Ali, who was arrested from a Baghdad protest on November 15, posted to an Instagram account, lostiraqiprotesters2, where people across Iraq are posting information about protesters who have gone missing, asking fo
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Overturning Acquittals in Terrorism Cases

(Beirut) – A close study of appeals court decisions in terrorism-related cases in Iraq shows that judges in close to two dozen cases in an 18-month period appeared to ignore torture allegations or to rely on uncorroborated…
Presidency of the Federal Court of Cassation of Baghdad
News

Lift Unlawful Restrictions Blocking Thousands

(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is preventing about 4,200 Sunni Arabs from returning home to 12 villages east of Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. More than three years after the Hamdaniya district was retaken…
A destroyed home near Ashqala al-Sagheer village in Hamdaniya, July 2019. Hasansham camp is in the background.  © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Some Forced Back to Home Regions Despite Safety Threats

  (Beirut) – Local authorities have forcibly expelled more than 2,000 Iraqis from camps for displaced people in Nineveh governorate since August 23, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Some were forced to return to their home regions,…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Affects Thousands Who Lived Under ISIS Rule

(Beirut) The Iraqi government is denying thousands of children whose parents have a perceived Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation of their right to access an education, Human Rights Watch said today. The children, who were…
The school at Hammam al-Alil 1 camp for displaced people south of Mosul that security forces occupied on July 6, 7 and 9 in order to conduct security screenings of camp residents. © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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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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Women, Children With Perceived ISIS Ties to Be Transferred from Syria

(Erbil) – A local Iraqi organization managing a camp for displaced people is making preparations to unlawfully confine families scheduled to be transferred from northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The Jadah 5 camp…
The beginnings of a gate erected in Jadah 5 camp intended to enclose a section of the camp to prevent free movement. © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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Displaced People Fear Arrest Over Actions of their Relatives

(Erbil) – Iraqi military have accompanied police in entering a camp for displaced people south of Mosul and started “screening” over 3,500 households there, Human Rights Watch said today. The screenings appear to include questioning…
The school at Hammam al-Alil 1 camp for displaced people south of Mosul that security forces occupied on July 6, 7 and 9 in order to conduct security screenings of camp residents. © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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Government Should Pursue Full Investigations, Fair Trials

The Australian government is taking an important step by helping eight Australian children of suspects of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) return home from northeast Syria. The children were held for months without charge under horrific…
Rusafa Central Criminal Court in Baghdad.
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Western European intransigence on ensuring that citizens detained abroad as ISIL suspects or their family members can return home made world headlines recently when an Iraqi court sentenced nine French citizens to death following trials…
A woman walks with a child in Roj camp, which holds foreign wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) members, in northeast Syria, September 2018. © 2018 Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
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Reject Plan to ‘Intern’ Up to 280,000 Women, Children

(Baghdad) – The Iraqi government should reject a plan that would unlawfully detain families with perceived Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation, Human Rights Watch said today. In early 2019, Iraq’s Implementation and Follow Up National…
Graffiti that reads "Daesh (ISIS)," marks the home of relatives of an ISIS member in a west Mosul neighborhood, Iraq. © 2018 Private.
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But Changes Needed in Laws, Response to Torture, Other Courts

(Beirut) – Prosecutions of Islamic State (ISIS) suspects in Iraq are proceeding based on a deeply flawed and vague counterterrorism law, but the Nineveh governorate’s counterterrorism court has made improvements in recent months, Human…
An empty courtroom at Nineveh’s counterterrorism court in Tal Kayf, north of Mosul.
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Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities have charged hundreds of children with terrorism for alleged Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation. The prosecutions are often based on dubious accusations and forced confessions obtained…
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Corruption and Discrimination Intertwined

  (Beirut) – Iraqi authorities in Nineveh are harassing, threatening, and arresting aid workers, even bringing bogus terrorism charges against them, undermining their work, Human Rights Watch said today. In some cases…
Graffiti that reads "Daesh (ISIS)," marks the home of relatives of an ISIS member in a west Mosul neighborhood, Iraq. © 2018 Private.
News

200 Held in Squalid Camps and Prisons in Libya, Syria, Iraq

(Tunis) – Tunisian officials have been dragging their feet on helping bring home Tunisian children held without charge in foreign camps and prisons for families of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members, Human Rights Watch said…
A woman walks with a child in Roj camp, which holds foreign wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) members, in northeast Syria, September 2018. © 2018 Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images