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New Research on Three Incidents from 2020 Conflict

Three unlawful attacks on medical facilities by Azerbaijani forces during the six-week armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh have come to light in recent Human Rights Watch research in the region. Human Rights Watch documented multiple unlawful…
View from the window of the Martakert military hospital, which was struck by Azerbaijani rocket artillery on October 14, 2020.
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Investigate Indiscriminate Attacks, Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

(Berlin) – Armenian military forces carried out unlawfully indiscriminate rocket and missile strikes on Azerbaijan during the hostilities from September to November 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. During on-site investigations in Azerbaijan in…
Shaira Guliyeva, 47, stands in front of her destroyed home and shows a photograph of her nephew, Arthur Guliyev, 13, who was killed there by a ballistic missile attack on October 17.
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Investigate Alleged Indiscriminate Attacks, Use of Explosive Weapons

Azerbaijani forces carried out apparently indiscriminate attacks in Stepanakert in violation of the laws of war during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Human Rights Watch said today. A Human Rights Watch on-site investigation in Stepanakert,…
Impact crater in a residential neighborhood in Stepanakert
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(Berlin, December 11, 2020) – Azerbaijani forces carried out apparently indiscriminate attacks in Stepanakert in violation of the laws of war during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Human Rights Watch said today. A Human Rights Watch on-site…
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Stop Using Banned Weapons; Secure and Destroy Stocks

Armenian forces either fired or supplied internationally banned cluster munitions and at least one other type of long-range rocket used in an attack on Barda city, 230 kilometers west of Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku on October 28, 2020, Human Rights…
Residents of Barda examine the remnants of a Smerch cluster munition rocket
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Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch.  The report, “The War in Catatumbo: Abuses by Armed Groups Against…
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Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished

(Bogotá) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report, “…
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(Berlin, July 12, 2019) – Russian authorities have brought unfounded terrorism charges against 24 Crimean Tatars, 20 of whom were arrested during heavily armed raids on their homes in the spring of this year, Human Rights Watch said today. Security…
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Arbitrary Detentions; Separatism, Terrorism Charges

(Berlin) – Russian authorities in Crimea have intensified persecution of Crimean Tatars, under various pretexts and with the apparent goal of completely silencing dissent on the peninsula, Human Rights Watch said today. Crimean Tatars are a Muslim…
Law enforcement officials during a search in Bakhchysarai, Crimea on January 26, 2017
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Ensure Due Process; Investigate Torture, Liberty Violations

(Berlin) – Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) arbitrarily detained a Ukrainian woman, held her incommunicado, and tortured her, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities charged the woman, Daria Mastikasheva, with treason, and a court in Dnipro has…
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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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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Protect Students, Schools by Joining Safe Schools Declaration

(Berlin) – Hostilities in eastern Ukraine have damaged or destroyed hundreds of schools, many of which were used by parties to the conflict for military purposes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  …
Cover imageA former student, 13, stands in a damaged school in Vuhlehirsk.
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Late in the evening of 1 September, an Iraqi air force plane dropped a bomb on a school in Alam, near Tikrit, which had recently fallen under the control of Islamic State (IS). Dozens of displaced families were sheltering there. The immense explosion and…
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“Is this what they call a ceasefire?” a woman asked me as workers cleaned debris from a small grocery store in central Donetsk in eastern Ukraine that had been destroyed in a recent rocket attack. Since September 5, there has supposedly been a…
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At least 300 Civilians Killed since May, Many in Indiscriminate Bombings

(Berlin) – Unlawful government and insurgent attacks in and around Luhansk are contributing to rising civilian casualties. According to a morgue doctor in Luhansk, explosive weapons have killed more than 300 civilians in the city since May. …
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Forces Should Respect Special Protection Requirements

(Berlin) – Insurgent forces in eastern Ukraine have threatened medical staff, stolen and destroyed medical equipment and hospital furniture, and compromised the ability of civilian patients to receive treatment, Human Rights Watch said today. Insurgent…
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The use of Grad rockets in populated areas is a violation of the laws of war.

"When we first heard one explosion we ran to the basement. And then suddenly, boom, boom, boom - countless explosions. I will never forget that sound." With a broken hand and shrapnel still lodged in her chest, Sveta, 55, had just survived a…
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Stop Use of Grads in Populated Areas

(Donetsk) – Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more in insurgent-controlled areas of Donetsk and its suburbs in at least four attacks…
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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…