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International Community Needs to Increase Efforts to Help Afghans at Risk

A set of bombing attacks at the southeast gate of Kabul’s international airport on Thursday killed over 60 Afghans and at least 12 US soldiers, and wounded many more. The airport’s gates have reportedly now been closed, apparently bringing an end to…
Smoke rises from an explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.
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August 31 Departure Leaves Many Fearing Persecution Behind

Thousands of Afghans fearing persecution by the Taliban remain waiting outside Kabul’s airport, or sheltering in their homes, hoping be evacuated out of Afghanistan. But the United States-led multinational airlift is about to wrap up.…
People inside an aircraft line up to disembark
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Police, Civil Servants Detained Incommunicado in Ghazni, Malistan, Kandahar

(New York) – Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government, Human Rights Watch said today. Residents from various…
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Re: Support for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Call for a Fact-Finding Mission in Afghanistan

The undersigned organisations welcome the call you made to the Human Rights Council on June 21, 2021, to consider “mechanisms for an effective prevention response” to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. We are writing to urge you to take…
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Twenty Rights Groups Call for Justice and Accountability

Human Rights Watch today joined Afghan and international human rights organizations calling for a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission to investigate escalating attacks on civilians in Afghanistan to promote justice and accountability.…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
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(Washington, DC, April 26, 2021) – Venezuelan security forces have committed egregious abuses against local residents during a weeks-long operation against armed groups on the border with Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuelan security…
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Unsanitary Cells Prime Condition for Spreading Virus Outside Walls

(New York) – The unsanitary, overcrowded prisons and juvenile detention centers in most Latin American and Caribbean countries offer prime conditions for outbreaks of COVID-19 that could severely affect the health of detainees and of…
Inmates point from inside of La Modelo prison in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, March 22, 2020.
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He carried his sister’s limp body over the mountain to escape the fighting. Bullets flew around them and her blood stained his clothes. “There was no chance of taking her to the hospital, we had to care for the others,”…
A man sits in the yard at a mental health facility in the city of Herat, April 2014. © 2014 Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images
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Government, Donors Should Expand Mental Health Programs

(Amsterdam) – The Afghan government is failing to provide sufficient psychosocial, or mental health, support to Afghans who have experienced traumatic events, Human Rights Watch said today. More than half the…
A man sits in the yard at a mental health facility in the city of Herat, April 2014. © 2014 Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images
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Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
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Over more than ten years of research in Europe and beyond, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented serious violations of children’s rights arising from immigration detention of children.[i] Children may be arbitrarily detained, held in cells with…
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“My children asked and asked, ‘When can we go outside?’ but we could not answer,” Safia A., an Afghan refugee, told me. “We are responsible parents, but we have no answers for them.” Safia was speaking of the year when the Indonesian government detained…
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Detained, Beaten in Squalid Facilities, or Left to Fend for Themselves

(Jakarta) – Indonesia detains and neglects migrant and asylum-seeking children, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Each year, hundreds are detained in sordid conditions, without access to lawyers, and sometimes beaten. Others are…
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'We kept climbing higher and higher as the boat was sinking,'' Arif B. told me, describing how he spent three nights clinging to a sinking boat as he tried to reach Australia. Many of his fellow passengers died, he said.   Arif was only 15 when he fled…
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Backgrounder on History of the War

The U.S- led military intervention in Afghanistan marks the fourth phase in the country's twenty-three-year-old civil war. In every phase foreign powers have intensified the conflict by supporting one side against another.
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The United States-led alliance began its air campaign in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. While the Pentagon has been reluctant to talk of specific weapons used in the bombing, U.S. military sources have told Human Rights Watch that the Air Force began…
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Human Rights Watch Backgrounder

Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Landmines pose an ever-present danger to civilians now attempting to flee the country or areas of conflict. If United States forces engage in ground combat in Afghanistan, they will face…