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May 19, 2022 The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada Langevin Block, 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A3 Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Human Rights Watch writes to you today to highlight the urgent need for action…
Fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces deploy around al-Sina’a prison in the Ghweran district of al-Hasakah, northeast Syria, on January 25, 2022, midway through the 10-day battle to recapture it from the Islamic State (ISIS). © 2022 AFP Photo via Getty Images
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90th pre-sessional, 2022

We write in advance of the 90th pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child relating to Canada’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This supplementary submission is primarily based on research conducted from 2019 onward…
News

Four Dozen Canadians Languish in Squalid Camps

April marks the beginning of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide, a month of fasting, patience, and compassion that many here in Canada will mark surrounded by friends and family. But for some Canadian-Muslims, there is little to celebrate given the…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
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Obstructing Care for Detained Woman, Child Flouts Government Policy

Canada is effectively preventing a Canadian woman and a young Canadian child detained in northeast Syria from coming home for life-saving medical care despite a Canadian policy allowing them to do so, Human Rights Watch said today. That policy allows…
A woman poses wearing a hijab
News

Children Should be Reintegrated, Not Face Prosecution

Iraqi authorities detained over 1,000 children, some as young as nine years old, last year on national security charges, primarily for suspected links with the Islamic State (ISIS), according to a new United Nations report. Although ISIS attacks have…
Juveniles’ cell at Tal Kayf prison, taken in April 2019 and shared confidentially with Human Rights Watch, shows extreme overcrowding at the prison.
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
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All Countries Should Urgently Repatriate Citizens

On the surface, it seems like a happy ending: a 4-year-old Canadian girl is flown home to Canada on Sunday after living the first half of her life under the Islamic State (ISIS) and the second in a squalid detention camp in northeast Syria. But her…
A 4-year-old Canadian girl after her rescue from a detention camp
News
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
News

Ottawa Should Repatriate 46 Others Held in Northeast Syria

After months of inaction, the Canadian government announced Monday that it had repatriated a 5-year-old orphan, Amira, who was trapped in a camp for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria. Amira’s overdue rescue should not…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
Report
  Summary “Please, bring me back to Canada. … Please, forgive me. Let me be who I am, a Canadian.” —Kimberly Polman, Canadian detained in camp for ISIS family members in Northeast Syria More than one year ago, in March 2019, local…
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Inadequate Steps to Assist 47 Canadians in Dire Conditions

Canada is failing to take adequate steps to assist and repatriate dozens of Canadians unlawfully detained in dire conditions for alleged Islamic State (also known as ISIS) links in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
News

Increasing Concern Under Covid-19 Measures

(Beirut) –The death on April 18 of a 20-year-old woman in Najaf, possibly at the hands of her husband, should act as a wake-up call for Iraqi legislators to pass a law against domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said today. Iraqi…
Demonstrators in Baghdad call International Women's Day a "day of mourning" in protest of Iraq's new draft Jaafari Personal Status Law.
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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