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Arms Sales to Rights-Abusing Countries Fuel Atrocities Against Civilians

Last week, the French government published its latest report on arms exports, documenting sales and transfers throughout 2019. After Qatar, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt received the greatest amounts, accounting for €1.4 billion and €1.0…
French-made Leclerc tanks of the Saudi-led coalition are deployed on the outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden during a military operation, August 3, 2015.
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Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, More Than 70 Countries Participate in Online Meeting

This week, Germany convened the first-ever major digital disarmament meeting for governments and civil society. Representatives from more than 70 countries logged on to participate in the two-day meeting on lethal autonomous weapons…
Artists and activists participate in a Campaign to Stop Killer Robots event outside Germany’s parliament, February 2020.
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M. Edouard Philippe Premier Ministre Hôtel de Matignon 57 rue de Varenne 75007 Paris Paris, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Mr. Prime Minister, The Saudi cargo ship Bahri Yanbu is due to arrive in Cherbourg…
French human rights activists wave flags as they demonstrate in front of Saudi cargo ship Bahri Tabuk docked at le "Grand Port Autonome de Marseille" GPAM in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhone, on May 29, 2019.
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Other Dangerous Crowd Control Weapons Remain in Use

This week, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that French police would stop using the controversial GLI-F4 tear gas grenade. This move is long overdue, but doesn’t address serious concerns about other weapons…
Protester picks up a tear gas grenade during a police charge on December 8, 2019 on the Champs Elysees, Paris.
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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New International Law Is Essential to Retain Human Control Over Use of Force

(New York) – France, Germany, and other nations that are committed to a rules-based international order should begin negotiations on a new international treaty to ban preemptively lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as fully autonomous…
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17 Organizations Denounce Threats to Prosecute Journalists Investigating French Arms Sales

(Paris) – Seventeen humanitarian and human rights organizations denounced threats to press freedom after three French journalists were summoned by French intelligence services for investigating the presence of French weapons in the conflict in Yemen,…
People are seen near a bus destroyed by an airstrike that killed dozens of children, in a photograph taken on August 12, 2018 in Saada, Yemen.
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(Berlin) – Germany should cooperate with like-minded countries to open negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit weapons systems that would select and attack targets without human intervention, Human Rights Watch said today. Germany’s foreign…
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French Arms Sales to Coalition Raise Complicity Concerns

(Paris) – President Emmanuel Macron of France should raise serious concerns with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince regarding laws-of-war violations in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Faj Attan, a densely populated neighborhood in Sanaa, on August 25, 2017. Two of the buildings were completely destroyed and the third suffered extensive damage. Saudi-led coalition aircraft
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Campaign to Stop Killer Robots Press Release

(Paris) – The French members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots on November 7, 2018 published a report "Why France Must Oppose the Development of Killer Robots," which recalls the risks arising from the development of lethal…
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Lack of Transparency Underscores Need for International Inquiry

  (Beirut) – Members of the Saudi-led coalition have sought to avoid international legal liability by refusing to provide information on their role in alleged unlawful airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. In 2017, Human…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
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Shun Rosoboronexport, Leading Weapons Supplier to Syria

(Paris) – France should reconsider allowing Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-owned arms trading company, to participate in Euronaval, a major international arms show being held outside of Paris from October 17 to 21, 2016, human rights groups EuroMed…
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A Leader in Rejecting Weapons So Deadly to Civilians

France has completed the destruction of its stockpile of 34,876 cluster munition rockets and artillery projectiles that contained 14.9 million explosive submunitions, meeting a key obligation of the international ban treaty. It has also strongly condemned…
A pile of shoes during the annual demonstration by NGO Humanity and Inclusion denouncing antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions in Lyon on September 20, 2014.
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“Urban areas have become death traps for thousands of civilians,” says a new report issued by the United Nations Secretary-General ahead of the first World Humanitarian Summit, which opens May 23, 2016, in Istanbul. The report describes the widespread use…
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But Treaty Grows Stronger as Countries Join, Destroy Stockpiles

(Geneva) – Cluster munitions have been used during 2015 in Libya, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen, causing unacceptable harm to civilians, Human Rights Watch said today at the release of Cluster Munition Monitor 2015. None of these countries have…
Photo of 9N235 submunitions that failed to explode during a cluster munition attack collected and displayed in Starobesheve, photo taken on October 11, 2014. © 2015 Human Rights Watch
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Dying From Attacks, Hunger, Disease

(Nairobi) – The Sudanese government’s persistent indiscriminate air attacks in the Nuba Mountains area of Southern Kordofan are killing and maiming children. An aid blockade is causing a health and education crisis in the conflict-affected region. …
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End Indiscriminate Bombing

(Nairobi) – Evidence indicates that Sudan dropped cluster bombs on civilian areas of Southern Kordofan’s Nuba Mountains in February and March 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. Cluster munitions are indiscriminate weapons banned under the Convention on…
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In Berlin Meeting, Merkel Should Emphasize Investigations, Commitments

(Berlin) – Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany should press Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk to ensure that Ukrainian forces take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians. Merkel and Yatseniuk are scheduled to meet in Berlin on…
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Late in the evening of 1 September, an Iraqi air force plane dropped a bomb on a school in Alam, near Tikrit, which had recently fallen under the control of Islamic State (IS). Dozens of displaced families were sheltering there. The immense explosion and…