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Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice for Long-Ignored Crimes

(Stockholm) – The opening of a landmark trial in Sweden on August 10, 2021 of an Iranian citizen accused of participating in the mass execution of political prisoners is an important moment for victims long denied recognition and justice. On July…
A human rights exhibition on Iran during the international campaign to demand justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre, held near the French National Assembly in Paris, November 14, 2017.
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Summary These cases are important. We need to know that these trials are happening because these are the crimes we are fleeing. —Hassan, Syrian refugee in Germany, February 2017 Over the last six years the Syrian crisis has claimed the lives of an…
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Efforts to bring those responsible for atrocities in Syria before European courts are starting to bear fruit, notably in Swedish and German courts, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While various authorities in Europe have opened…
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Small Case in Sweden a Worthy Start

The photograph is disturbing. A young man in military fatigues is standing on dead bodies looking victorious. The posture of the Syrian soldier, with a grin suggesting pride and his military boot on a victim’s chest, suggests domination…
Stockholm District Court, where most of Sweden’s war crimes cases are adjudicated.
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Video, Q&A Highlight Cases Spurred by Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch released a question-and-answer document and video on October 20, 2016 that highlight the groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in European countries of people accused of kidnappings, ill-treatment, and torture in…
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Refugees Assist Investigations in France, Germany and Sweden

As Bashar al-Assad’s forces ramped up their bombing campaign on rebel-held territory over the past year, his government may not have realized that they were cracking its shield against accountability for crimes committed in the Syrian conflict since 2011…
Shelters burning in Iqdah displaced persons camp near the closed Turkish border north of Aleppo after ISIS took over the camp on April 14.
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For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people the law is a paradox. The law can operate as an instrument of repression and control, but also as a tool for resistance and liberation. We find fragments of our collective histories in court records…
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General Assembly Should Reverse Ban on Human Rights and Sexual Health Groups

(New York) - The United Nations General Assembly should reverse its decision to exclude three human rights and sexual health nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from its June 10 high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS, a coalition of human rights groups and…
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Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture Offer No Protection From Abuse

The United Nations’ ruling that Sweden violated the global torture ban in its involvement in the CIA transfer of an asylum seeker to Egypt is an important step toward establishing accountability for European governments complicit in illegal US renditions…
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U.N. Committee Rebukes Sweden for Sending Terror Suspect to Torture

Sweden violated the absolute ban on torture by expelling a terrorism suspect to Egypt, the United Nations Committee Against Torture ruled today. Sweden justified the transfer saying it secured assurances from Egypt that the suspect would not be tortured…
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On January 22, 2005, a large group of law professors, politicians, and artists gathered in Belgrade’s Sava Center to support Vojislav Seselj, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). A number of participants…
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Washington Daily and a Former US Ambassador Launch Misguided Attack on the UN War Crimes Tribunal

This month, the Hague tribunal’s many opponents in Belgrade believed they had a reason to be jubilant. In the space of ten days, a former United States ambassador and a newspaper supposedly close to the current administration criticised the UN court and…
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(New York) - The global spread and rampant misuse of small arms and light weapons requires a reinvigorated international response, Human Rights Watch said today. More than 100 governments will gather in New York July 7-11 to assess progress in stemming…
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Foreign Minister Anna Lindh Ministry of Foreign Affairs  Dear Foreign Minister Lindh: We have appreciated the willingness of the European Union to press Belgrade for meaningful cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former…
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Both the Macedonian authorities and the armed ethnic Albanians operating as a group called the National Liberation Army (NLA) must comply with basic principles of international humanitarian law applicable to internal armed conflicts. Last week Macedonian…
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President Boris Trajkovski Your Excellency, Human Rights Watch is a privately funded international non-governmental organization dedicated to documenting human rights abuses throughout the world. In the past ten years, we have committed substantial…
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Prime Minister Ljupce Georgijevski Your Excellency, Human Rights Watch is a privately funded international non-governmental organization dedicated to documenting human rights abuses throughout the world. In the past ten years, we have committed…