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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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Where is Sam Mugumya? This question is plaguing his family and Uganda’s opposition leadership. Sam, an ardent opposition party activist, disappeared from his home district of Rukungiri, on Uganda’s western border with Congo, in early November. His friends…
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…
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Government Must Prosecute Abuses by Counterterrorism Forces

(Kampala) - The Ugandan government should demonstrate its commitment to prosecuting security force abuses by appointing a court-ordered coroner to look into the death of a detainee, Human Rights Watch said today. No one has been held accountable for the…
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"I kindly beg you to ensure that you keep our children. I don't think I will be coming back." Those were the last words of Saidi Lutaaya, spoken over the phone to his wife. He had been picked up from Old Taxi Park in Kampala in November 2007 by men…
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Prosecutions and Civilian Oversight Needed to Deter Abuses

(Kampala) - The Ugandan government should take prompt action to end unlawful arrest and torture by its anti-terrorism unit, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 89-page report, "Open Secret: Illegal Detention and Torture by the Joint…
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Allows Detention in Violation of Geneva Conventions

President George W. Bush’s new executive order on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program is contrary to the Geneva Conventions, Human Rights Watch said today. The new order, issued today, purports to determine that the CIA’s…
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Human Rights Watch reiterated its call to President George W. Bush in a letter today to close immediately the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Human Rights Watch said the continued detention of hundreds of men without charge has undermined US efforts…
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No Need to Wait for Transfers or Creation of Military Commissions

Human Rights Watch reiterated its call to President George W. Bush in a letter today to close immediately the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Human Rights Watch said the continued detention of hundreds of men without charge has undermined US efforts…
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Hicks Pleads Guilty; New Detainee Arrives

Two defense lawyers for Guantanamo detainee David Hicks were barred from representing their client yesterday, highlighting the failure of US military commissions to meet fair trial standards, Human Rights Watch said today. Hicks, the first person to be…
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Civilians in Darfur, Sri Lanka Need Protection

(Geneva) – The new U.N. Human Rights Council must take urgent action to address crises from Darfur to Sri Lanka and expand its focus beyond the Middle East, Human Rights Watch said today. The council begins its second regular session today. Thus far the…
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The Bush administration's get out of jail card for torturers

If the Bush administration is still good at anything, it's this: distracting its opponents and seizing little victories from what might have been big defeats. Take the administration's recent efforts to respond to the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v…
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The Ugandan authorities have arrested two key opposition members of parliament on what appear to be politically motivated charges, chilling the political climate ahead of next year’s elections, Human Rights Watch said today. Two MPs from the…
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(Geneva) — With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva next week must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Poor Interpretation, Panel Bias Highlight Flaws

The military commission proceedings against the first four detainees at Guantanamo Bay were mired in confusion because of fundamentally flawed legal procedures and inadequate interpreters, Human Rights Watch said today. The military commissions, held in…
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The Ugandan government must immediately investigate the reported recent execution of four detainees by state security agents, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should also reveal the whereabouts of 10 others arbitrarily detained, and must…