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Ankara Should Investigate Attacks Harming Civilians, Compensate Victims

(Beirut) - A Turkish military attack on an Iranian armed group in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in late June 2020 failed to take adequate precautions to minimize civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. The apparent airstrike, on June 25…
Payman Thalib Thaher lost her left leg in the Turkish airstrike at Kuna Masi water resort on June 25, 2020.
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UN Report Finds Unfair Trials, Torture, Overreliance on Confessions

Over the past two years, Iraqi courts have processed more than 20,000 terrorism cases against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects, including hundreds of children. But a new United Nations report finds that far from…
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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
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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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Children Should Be Rehabilitated, Reintegrated

(Geneva) – Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities have charged hundreds of children with terrorism for alleged Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The prosecutions are…
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  Summary “Nasim” grew up in Mosul, Iraq, and attended school for five years until the Islamic State (ISIS) took control of the city in 2014. Nasim, who was 13 at the time, didn’t like the curriculum ISIS imposed in his school, so he dropped…
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He was just a 14-year-old schoolboy when the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) took over his city, Mosul, in northern Iraq. His school soon shut down. With little else to do, he said, he joined ISIS to make money. He said he received twenty days of…
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Beatings, Electric Shock to Coerce ISIS Confessions

(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq is torturing children to confess to involvement with the Islamic State (ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today.  Children told Human Rights Watch that in…
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State Department Restores Burma and Iraq to its Annual List of Violators

I held my breath yesterday, waiting for the US State Department to issue its latest annual list of governments implicated in the use of child soldiers. Last year’s list was a disaster: then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson overruled his…
Child soldiers put down their guns in a disarmament and release ceremony in Jonglei state, South Sudan, February 10, 2015.
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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Tillerson Takes Burma, Iraq Off List Despite Evidence

Dozens of children were part of Burma’s armed forces as recently as last week. In Iraq, children have died fighting the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) with Iraqi government military units. But United States Secretary of State Rex…
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S. June 21, 2017.
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Tillerson Undermines US Law by Removing Violators

(Washington, DC) – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should return Burma and Iraq to the US list of governments using child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today. Reuters reported that Tillerson overruled State Department officials and senior US…
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
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Take All Needed Measures to Minimize Civilian Harm

(Washington, DC) – The use of artillery-delivered white phosphorus by the United States-led coalition fighting Islamic State (also known as ISIS) forces in Syria and Iraq raises serious questions about the protection of civilians, Human Rights…
Photo of smoking and burning white phosphorus streaking to the ground in west Mosul on June 2, 2017.
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Warring Parties Should Minimize Harm to Civilians

(Beirut) – The expected battle involving Iraqi and US-led coalition forces against the Islamic State (ISIS) in west Mosul’s Old City poses a considerable threat to civilians and civilian objects, international humanitarian and human rights organizations…
Two Emergency Response Division IRAM launchers in Badoush, May 2017.
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Families Displaced as Groups Dispute Control of River

(Washington, DC) – Two armed groups competing for control over stretches of Colombia’s San Juan river are committing serious abuses against Afro-Colombian and indigenous Wounaan riverside communities, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Wounaan people gather in a community building by the San Juan river, in Chocó, Colombia, March 2017.
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Coalition, Iraqi Forces Taking Inadequate Precautions

(Beirut) – The civilian death toll from a series of apparent Iraqi Security Force or United States-led coalition attacks between February and April 2017 suggests that the forces took inadequate precautions to avoid civilian casualties and that…
Smoke rising from west Mosul where Iraqi Security Forces are fighting Islamic State fighters to retake the city. © May 8, 2017 Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
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Mosul Civilians Describe Deadly Attack

(Erbil) – Procedural changes for authorizing airstrikes in Iraq raise concerns about the protection of civilians, especially following airstrikes in Mosul on March 17, 2017, that allegedly caused dozens of civilian deaths, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Relatives carry the bodies of civilians killed in an attack in New Mosul neighborhood of west Mosul on March 17, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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No Apparent Military Necessity for Home Demolitions

(Erbil) – Armed forces fighting Islamic State (also known as ISIS) to retake a town and four villages near Mosul looted, damaged, and destroyed homes, Human Rights Watch said today. There was no apparent military necessity for the demolitions, which may…
•	Map of recently constructed security network and building demolition in the villages of Khoytlah, Mashirafat al-Jisr, and Ashwa between December 2016 and February 2017.