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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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Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
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Thousands Held More Than a Month Without Charge

(New York) – Indian authorities should immediately release detained Kashmiris who have not been charged with a recognizable offense. Several thousand Kashmiris, including politicians and opposition activists, have been held in…
A paramilitary trooper stands guard during shutdown in Srinagar, Kashmir.
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Free Political Leaders, Restore Communications, Exercise Restraint

(New York) – Indian authorities have adopted measures in anticipation of unrest in Jammu and Kashmir state that raise serious human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. The government announced on August 5, 2019 that it was altering the…
Tourists walk past Indian security forces during curfew like restrictions in Jammu, India, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019.
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India, Pakistan Should Accept Findings, Ensure Justice

(New York) – India and Pakistan should act on the recommendations of the United Nations human rights office to protect basic rights in the contested region of Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The 43-page report by the Office of the UN…
Relatives of disappeared persons participate in a silent protest, demanding an investigation into the disappearances of people in Kashmir.
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Authorities Should Allow International Investigation, Provide Redress for Abuses

(New York) – The Indian government should immediately act on the recommendations in the first-ever report by the United Nations on human rights in Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. India has long accused Pakistan of providing…
An Indian police officer fires a tear gas shell toward demonstrators, during a protest against the recent killings in Kashmir, in Srinagar, May 8, 2018.
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When Major Leetul Gogoi was recently detained in Srinagar after a brawl involving civilians, the army chief vowed “exemplary punishment.” “If anyone in the Indian Army, at any rank, does any wrong and it comes to our notice then strict action will…
An Indian police officer walks past a burning tire during a protest after Friday prayers in Srinagar, May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Ismail
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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…
News

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.
News

Prosecute Assailants, Protect Targeted Minorities

(New York) – Indian authorities should promptly investigate and prosecute self-appointed “cow protectors” who have committed brutal attacks against Muslims and Dalits over rumors that they sold, bought, or killed cows for beef, Human…
India: ‘Cow Protection’ Spurs Vigilante Violence PHOTO1
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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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Summary This is what I have to say about the wounds on the body of the said accused. Since he was a hard core criminal, he refused to give any information. It was essential to get that information from him, that’s why [the police] used the “truth…
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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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International Criminal Court Seeking His Arrest

(Nairobi) – India should not welcome Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, 21 international and African nongovernmental organizations said today. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has warrants out for his arrest to face charges of war crimes, crimes…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
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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…