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Major Advance for Victims of Abuses During Yahya Jammeh Rule

(Berlin) – The arrest in Germany on March 16, 2021, of an alleged former Gambian “death squad” member suspected of crimes against humanity is an important step for Gambian victims and international justice, Human Rights Watch said today. “Bai…
Members of the Gambian paramilitary group known as the Junglers. The Junglers have been implicated in serious human rights violations including torture, enforced disappearances, and killings.
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Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice

  (Berlin) – The start of a landmark trial in Germany of two people alleged to be former Syrian intelligence officials on crimes against humanity charges is an important chance for victims to see justice done, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Illustration © 2017 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch
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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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In 2004, four Iraqis filed a criminal complaint with the German federal prosecutor against senior United States officials alleging torture by US armed forces in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The US government strongly protested and warned that the complaint…
CIA torture pic 3
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Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should…
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More Governments Should Set up Specialized War Crimes Units

(The Hague) - Governments wanting to limit impunity for the most serious international crimes should look to the examples of three European countries showing leadership in this area. Specialized war crimes units composed of police, prosecutors, and…
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US military commissions revoke for al-Qaida suspects the standard of justice extended to Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg In the course of three days in late August, I travelled from Courtroom 600 in Nuremberg, Germany, where an international…
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Resettling Those No Longer Considered a Threat Helps Advance Effort to Close the Prison

(Berlin) - The German government's decision on July 7, 2010, to accept two Guantanamo Baydetainees for resettlement is an important step in closing down the prison, Human Rights Watch said today. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced that…
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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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European governments should take concrete steps to help close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter sent to EU foreign ministers. sent to EU foreign ministers. In the letter, Human Rights Watch commends…
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Regarding the EU Call to Close Guantanamo

Human Rights Watch commends the collective call by the European Union to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center that was made at the E.U.-U.S. summit last month. The closing of Guantanamo would be a positive and welcome development. But the closing…
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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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German Chancellor Should Call for New Rights Strategy in Afghanistan, Iraq

(New York) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder should not sacrifice human rights concerns when mending fences with the United States, Human Rights Watch said ahead of Schröder’s meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House today.   "…