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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

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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Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
News

Urge to Press the Government for Action Is Long Gone

“This is not a side event. This is the main event,” several speakers said at the – yes – side event on women’s empowerment the day before the October 5 donor conference on Afghanistan in Brussels. The donor session, for all its warm glow, highlighted the…
DATE IMPORTED:October 05, 2016(Front Row L-R) Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani, European Council President Donald Tusk, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, U.S.
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The photo is shocking. A young woman – 20 years old – lies in a hospital bed, cradling her infant. Where her nose should be is instead a ragged bandage. Her eyes gaze out from over the bandage, looking far away and numb. This is…
Afghan woman Raiza Gul, 20, and whose nose was sliced off by her husband in an attack, lies on a bed with her baby as she receives treatment at a hospital in the northern province of Faryab on January 19, 2016.
News

Kerry Should Press to Free Activists, Let Independent Groups Operate

(Washington, DC) – United States Secretary of State John Kerry should publicly express concern over Central Asian governments’ distinctly poor human rights records during his Central Asia visits, beginning October 31, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today…
2015-10-eca-john-kerry-vienna
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Congress, or at least parts of it, is getting restless with the White House approach to human rights abuses in Central Asia. A recent hearing by the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the region’s terrible human rights record…
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President Karzai Should Enforce Violence Against Women Law

(New York) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai should take urgent action to fight child marriage and domestic violence or risk further harm to development and public health in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the president. In the 15…
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Proposed Criminal Law Revision Latest Rollback in Protections

(Kabul) – Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament, the Wolesi Jirga, should reject a proposed criminal law revision that would effectively deny women legal protection from domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said today. A new draft of the criminal…
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Review of Afghanistan by the Committee scheduled for 10 July 2013

We write in advance of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s upcoming initial and second periodic review of Afghanistan to highlight areas of concern. We hope our submission will inform your consideration of Afghanistan’s…
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“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
News

Implement Elimination of Violence Against Women Law

(New York) - The Afghan government should hold accountable those who seek to impose brutal customary punishments such as baad, where women and girls are given as compensation for crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. In order to eradicate such abusive…
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Foreigners Arrested Outside Afghanistan Can't Challenge Detention in US Courts

(Washington, DC) - A US federal appeals court ruling today that bars the courts from hearing the claims of detainees arrested outside of Afghanistan and brought to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan leaves them without legal recourse against unlawful…
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Extremist Threat to Women Increasing, Government Failing to Protect

(New York) - Eight years after the fall of the Taliban, women and girls suffer high levels of violence and discrimination and have poor access to justice and education, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.  The Afghan government has…
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Foreign Nationals Arrested Outside of Afghanistan Granted Right to Challenge Detention in US Courts

(New York) - A US federal court ruling that three detainees in US custody at the Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan who were arrested abroad be given the same legal protections as Guantanamo detainees expands the role of federal courts in protecting detainee…
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Child Is Too Young to Be Treated as Criminal Suspect

(New York) - The Afghan government should immediately relinquish 11-year-old Ahmed Siddiqui to the custody of his family, Human Rights Watch said today. Siddiqui, a US citizen, is believed to be the son of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman held on US…
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US Contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan Must Be Held Liable for Criminal Activity

(Washington, DC) - Congress should quickly pass legislation that would ensure US government contractors who commit felonies in Iraq and Afghanistan can be prosecuted in US federal courts, Human Rights Watch said today. A vote on such legislation is…
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Three Groups File Lawsuit Seeking Information about ‘Ghost’ Detention

(New York) – In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The…