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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…
News

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…
News

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
It’s been 15 years since Ajith Debagama Kankanalamage, fled Sri Lanka after a decade of torture and sexual abuse by the military.  He thought he was headed to Canada, but he was abandoned by brokers without his passport or money in Hong…
Two mothers hold their children in their arms as they wait outside the immigration department's building in Hong Kong, China.
News

Hong Kong Threatens to Deport Families Who Aided US Whistle-Blower

(New York) – The Canadian government should fast-track its consideration of the refugee claims of seven people who sheltered US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he left Hong Kong in 2013. The Hong Kong…
News

Apology, Compensation to Former Guantanamo Child Detainee a Break with the Past

Today the government of Canada issued a formal apology and provided compensation to Omar Khadr for Canada’s complicity in his abusive interrogation at Guantanamo Bay, where he was detained at the age of 15. For many Canadian Muslims,…
Omar Khadr listens to a question during a news conference after being released on bail in Edmonton, Alberta, May 7, 2015.
News

Abuse, Neglect Raise Safety Concerns; Fuel Mistrust of Law Enforcement

(Saskatoon) – Indigenous women’s accounts of police abuse in Saskatchewan raise serious concerns about their safety in the province, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to the Government of Canada. The National Inquiry into Missing and…
Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers talk at a blockade on a country road in the province of Alberta. © 2012 Reuters
News
It isn’t often that Margaret Atwood, the celebrated, left-leaning Canadian author of The Handmaid’s Tale, joins forces with 60 of her country’s most prominent conservatives, including the heads of Canada’s National Firearms Association and its Libertarian…
News

Proposed Law Unnecessary, Threatens Basic Rights

Canada’s proposed new counterterrorism act is unnecessary and would imperil fundamental rights enshrined in international law and the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Canadian Senate. Senators…
News

Omar Khadr Conditionally Released, Needs Rehabilitation

(Toronto) – The Canadian court’s release on bail of the former child soldier and Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr on May 7, 2015, is a significant step toward ending his ordeal, which began almost 13 years ago, Human Rights Watch said today. The Canadian…
News

General Assembly Should Pass Strong Resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

(New York) – The United Nations General Assembly should approve a new resolution and make clear that indiscriminate surveillance is never consistent with the right to privacy, five human rights organizations said in a November 20, 2013 letter to members…
News

Assist Former Guantanamo Detainee Omar Khadr’s Return to Society

(Toronto) – The government of Canada should rehabilitate and reintegrate into society former child soldier Omar Khadr, and seek to remedy abuses he suffered during a decade in United States custody, Human Rights Watch said today. Khadr, who is now 26,…
News

Letter to Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety

The Honourable Vic Toews, P.C., Q.C., M.P. Minister of Public Safety Suite 306, Justice Building House of Commons Ottawa. Ontario KlA 0A6 Dear Minister: We are writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch to request that you take immediate steps to…