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Summary In late 2014, police officers entered the home of Lim Ok Kyung, a smuggler in her forties from North Korea’s South Hwanghae province. The police were looking for, and found, home appliances smuggled from China. Lim Ok Kyung was detained at a…
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Torture, Lack of Due Process, Arbitrary Punishment, Corruption Rampant

(Seoul) – The North Korean pretrial detention and investigation system is arbitrary and lacks any semblance of due process, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Former detainees described systematic torture, dangerous and unhygienic…
An overhead illustration of people in a crowded jail cell
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Joint Open Letter on Japan’s Recent Disengagement in Addressing Human Rights Abuses in North Korea

February 13, 2020   Shinzo Abe Prime Minister of Japan Cabinet Secretariat Government of Japan 1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8968 Japan   Re:  Joint…
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June 6, 2018   Kim Jong Un Chairman, State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Building of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pyongyang  Democratic People’s Republic of…
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Parliament Should Ensure Fair Trial Rights for All Suspects

(Paris) - The National Assembly should amend a bill to reform police custody procedures in France to improve safeguards and to ensure that they apply to all detained suspects, Human Rights Watch said today. The Assembly is scheduled to begin debate on the…
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Letter to the French government regarding findings of international human rights mechanisms on counterterrorism policies

Dear Ministers Dati and Alliot-Marie,     We are writing to call your attention to the conclusions of two recent reviews of France's human rights record by authoritative international human rights bodies. In July, the United Nations Human Rights…
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(New York) – The Central Intelligence Agency secretly operated illegal prisons for terrorism suspects in multiple locations in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005, according to a report released today by the Council of Europe, a European…
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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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Report Stresses Further Need to Investigate Secret Detention and Rendition to Torture

A new report by the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on illegal CIA activity in Europe is a powerful indictment of European governments’ complicity in CIA abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. “The report shows how European governments acted as…
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Council of Europe Rejects Minimum Standards for Diplomatic Assurances

A Council of Europe expert group has rightly decided not to develop guidelines for the acceptable use of diplomatic assurances to justify sending people to places where they are at risk of torture, Human Rights Watch said today. “We welcome this decision…
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Council of Europe Deadline Is Today; European Parliament to Begin Hearings

European governments must provide detailed information about their participation in or knowledge of the Central Intelligence Agency’s unlawful detention and transfer of terrorist suspects. Two European bodies are investigating the CIA’s activities in…