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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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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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(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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On July 7, Brazil along with 121 other countries adopted a new treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, which will open for signature at the General Assembly this September. In an op-ed this month, Foreign Minister…
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Brazil Should Stop Producing Banned Weapon, Join Ban Treaty

(São Paulo) – The Saudi-led coalition launched Brazilian-made cluster munition rockets that struck a farm in northern Yemen in late February 2017, wounding two boys, Human Rights Watch said today. “The Saudi-led coalition’s continued use of widely…
Photo of part of the bursting mechanism from an ASTROS cluster munition rocket lies where it reportedly landed at Qahza, Saada governorate on February 22, 2017.
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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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Deadly Attacks in Syria as Treaty Members Meet

(Geneva) – Nations attending the annual meeting of the international treaty banning cluster munitions on September 7, 2016, condemned the continued use of these weapons in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. During the three-day meeting in Geneva, first…
During President Obama's historic visit to Laos, he met with cluster bomb victims and toured the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) visitors' centre in Vientiane with its operations manager Soksai Sengvongkham.
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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.
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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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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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This briefing note was first issued by HRW on May 10, 2011. An updated version was issued on June 3, 2011. This briefing note looks at the threat posed to civilians, including deminers, from landmines used or abandoned in the current conflict between…
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Three Antivehicle and Antipersonnel Minefields Discovered

(Zintan) - Libyan government forces have placed at least three minefields containing antipersonnel and antivehicle landmines outside the village of al-Qawalish in the western Nafusa Mountains, Human Rights Watch said today. "The government's blatant…
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Proposed Tank Sale Sends Wrong Signal

(Berlin) - Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany should consider the political signals her government is sending to Saudi Arabia before approving a deal to sell 200 German-made tanks to the kingdom, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi Arabia has a dismal…
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Placement of More Than 150 Antipersonnel Mines Confirmed

(Cairo) - Libyan government forces placed more than 150 antipersonnel landmines in at least one location in the Nafusa Mountains, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch visited the site, inspected mines that had been removed, and interviewed…