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Republic of Cyprus Should Process Their Claims

(Beirut) – Turkish Cypriot authorities should immediately release 175 detained Syrian asylum seekers, and Greek Cypriot authorities should allow them to cross the line into their territory and process their asylum claims, Human Rights Watch said…
175 Syrian asylum seekers were held in a sports hall in the Turkish controlled part of northern Cyprus for two days before being transferred to apartment buildings where they continue to be detained. Photo taken in March 2020.
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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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Rolls Back Refugee Rights; Could Harm Children

(Stockholm) – The Swedish Parliament is expected to approve a restrictive new asylum bill on June 21, 2016, that could harm the well-being of migrant children in need of protection and undermine their opportunity to effectively integrate into Swedish…
Nour T., a 16-year-old Syrian girl, at a group home in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Delays, Difficulties for Care, Asylum Claims

(Stockholm) – Unaccompanied migrant children in Sweden are experiencing delays and difficulties in getting critical care and support, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sweden has had an unprecedented increase in the arrival of…
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I met Tabish P. on a cold day in February at the group home where he lives in Gothenburg. A 16-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, Tabish told me that if he could speak to the Swedish government, he would tell them he is happy here. Tabish…
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Two weeks ago, the Netherlands deported Said Ahmed Said to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The Dutch government has been saying for nearly a year that the situation on the ground has improved to the point where they can safely return failed asylum seekers.…
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Returns to South-Central Somalia Would Contravene UN Refugee Guidelines

The Dutch government should not deport Somalis to any part of south-central Somalia, including Mogadishu, until security improves substantially, and the UN refugee agency has issued new guidelines. In mid-February 2013, Dutch authorities said they planned…
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Allow Access to EU Territory, Step Up Assistance in Region

(Brussels) – The European Union and its member states should do more to help the thousands of Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Europe as the Syrian crisis worsens and winter sets in, Human Rights Watch said today. Between March 2011 and September…
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Foreign Minister Carl Bildt Ministry for Foreign Affairs Gustav Adolfs torg 1 SE-103 39 Stockholm Sweden   Dear Foreign Minister Bildt: We are writing to you before the December 31 announced closure of Camp Ashraf (also known as Camp New Iraq) to urge the…
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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…
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Officials Must Not Return Gay and Lesbian Asylum Seekers to Iran

As the Netherlands mulls resuming deportations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender asylum seekers back to Iran, and Sweden begins such deportations again, both European governments must adhere to their international legal obligations not to send…
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Letter to Foreign Ministry

On behalf of Human Rights Watch, I write to protest Sweden’s decision, announced on September 29, to resume deportations of rejected lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) asylum-seekers to Iran. The decision reflects a fundamental…
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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…
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Growing Trend Defies International Law

Governments in Europe and North America are increasingly sending suspects to abusive states on the basis of flimsy “diplomatic assurances” that expose the detainees to serious risk of torture and ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said in a new report…