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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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In 2004, four Iraqis filed a criminal complaint with the German federal prosecutor against senior United States officials alleging torture by US armed forces in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The US government strongly protested and warned that the complaint…
CIA torture pic 3
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Germany should make sure that Ramstein is not used for illegal attacks

One balmy August night in 2012, a US drone strike killed five men gathered behind a mosque in Khashamir, a village in southeast Yemen. Three were suspected members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The other two were pillars of their community…
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One month after the worst terrorist attack in Europe since Anders Breivik’s murder of 77 people in Norway, the contours of the response are becoming clear. Three areas stand out – new counterterrorism laws and policies; the related, though distinct,…
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Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should…
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We, the undersigned organisations, call upon the 41 Governments that compose the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, to take action and address the alarming proliferation of surveillance…
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Obama says the U.S. won't spy on foreign leaders — but what about spying for them?

President Barack Obama appeared to have good news on Jan. 17 for foreign citizens appalled by months of revelations of U.S. surveillance overseas. The United States, he assured them in his much-awaited speech on new controls on snooping by the…
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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…
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US military commissions revoke for al-Qaida suspects the standard of justice extended to Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg In the course of three days in late August, I travelled from Courtroom 600 in Nuremberg, Germany, where an international…
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(Washington, DC) – The Colombian government should ensure prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations into two bomb attacks against police stations in southwestern Colombia, which are reported to have killed at least 10 civilians and wounded more than…
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Alarming Decline in Europe’s Record

(Brussels) – The European Union and member governments proved unwilling to tackle human rights abuse at home during 2011, even as they proclaimed the issue’s importance in inspiring the Arab Spring, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2012…
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Resettling Those No Longer Considered a Threat Helps Advance Effort to Close the Prison

(Berlin) - The German government's decision on July 7, 2010, to accept two Guantanamo Baydetainees for resettlement is an important step in closing down the prison, Human Rights Watch said today. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced that…
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Torture is prohibited under international law, at anytime and anywhere. No exceptions are allowed. Yet the UK, France and Germany are engaged in ongoing counterterrorism cooperation with foreign intelligence services in countries that routinely use…
Report
 “No Questions Asked” Intelligence Cooperation with Countries that Torture Executive Summary Background International Law on Torture The obligation to prevent and punish torture Torture material as evidence…
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Don’t Accept Torture Intelligence From Abusive Countries

(London) - France, Germany, and the United Kingdom use foreign intelligence obtained under torture in the fight against terrorism, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 62-page report, "'No Questions Asked': Intelligence Cooperation…
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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…