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Creating a Criminal Offense Essential to Police Reform

(New York) – Pakistan’s National Assembly should urgently pass a bill that would make torture a criminal offense, Human Rights Watch and Justice Project Pakistan said today. The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Act 2019, which…
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Proposed Law First Step to Curb Impunity, Reform Police

Pakistan is moving to make torture a criminal offense, an important step in stemming widespread abuses by the police. A bill submitted to parliament this week by Senator Sherry Rehman – The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment…
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Summary I have no hope of getting justice in this crooked system. —Umar Daraz, Karachi, January 2016 How do you expect us to recover stolen items from hardened criminals? Do you think they will agree if we say, ‘Be nice to us and return…
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Lack of Accountability, Outdated Methods Contribute to Rights Violations

(New York) – The Pakistani government should overhaul its police system that enables and even encourages serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Successive Pakistani governments have for…
A police officer is framed by the architecture of Lahore's Badshahi Mosque while standing guard during a prayer session on Eid al-Adha November 7, 2011. Copyright Reuters
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Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week recognized the enormity of the country’s problem of enforced disappearances with a simple directive: identify the bodies. On February 10, the Supreme Court asked federal and provincial governments to ensure that “…
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Need for Consistent, Impartial Reporting

All parties implicated in a new United Nations’ report about abuses of children during armed conflict should call an immediate halt to these crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN secretary-general’s annual report on children in armed conflict was…
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Global Campaign to Finalize, Implement Protection Guidelines

Geneva - The Norwegian government’s leadership to promote international standards to protect schools and universities from military use during armed conflict could spare students and teachers the horrors of war, the Global Coalition to Protect Education…
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  Torturers can run but they can’t hide. And regardless of who they are or how powerful, they will be named, shamed and forever pursued. In February 2011, former US president George W Bush cancelled a trip to Switzerland, where alleged victims of torture…
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“We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years” Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan Map of Balochistan Summary Key Recommendations Methodology      Background: Conflict and Abuses in…
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British Government Should Stop Stonewalling

(London) - The UK government should immediately order an independent judicial inquiry into the role and complicity of British security services in the torture of terrorism suspects in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 46-…
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Cruel Britannia British Complicity in the Torture and Ill-treatment of Terror Suspects in Pakistan Cruel Britannia Summary Key Recommendations The British government should: Methodology I. Background…
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Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

Summary Ongoing human rights concerns in Pakistan include arbitrary detention (including of lawyers and human rights defenders); lack of fair trials; mistreatment, torture and enforced disappearances of terrorism suspects and political opponents;…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…
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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…
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List of Detainees Published by Human Rights Watch

(New York) – The United States is holding at least twenty-six persons as “ghost detainees” at undisclosed locations outside of the United States, Human Rights Watch said today, as it released a list naming some of the detainees. The detainees are being…
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List of Detainees Published by Human Rights Watch

The following is a list of persons believed to be in U.S. custody as "ghost detainees" -- detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel, and who are likely not reported to or seen by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The…
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Torture is common in China’s criminal justice system. Recent HRW research suggests that abuses are particularly likely in Tibet and Xinjiang. In Tibet, authorities have subjected religious figures and activists to mistreatment in detention.    In…
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(New York) -- Human Rights Watch today reiterated its call to the U.S. government to respect the fundamental rights of individuals detained in connection with investigations into the September 11 attacks. Most of those detained are from the Middle East…