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Need Better Protection for Holy Sites and Comprehensive Efforts to Combat Rising Hate

The attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, is a terrifying reminder that the scourge of anti-Semitism persists in Europe today. A woman and a man were killed…
People mourn in front of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
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The list of attacks against centers for asylum seekers in Germany is alarming. During the first six months of this year alone, the German Interior Ministry registered 173 such offences, the majority of which were arson attacks. And the list is getting…
 Caption: Right wing protesters who are against bringing asylum seekers to an accommodation facility run down a street in Heidenau, Germany August 22, 2015
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Politicians are not well known for going out of their way to change their attitudes. Yet the  plight of refugees is spurring them to do just that. Politicians need to convince voters that refugees are not a burden, but people in need of protection, with…
On Kos, children and adults alike sleep in tents provided by Doctors without Borders, while waiting for processing, which can take three weeks or more.
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Rogge’s Failure to Uphold Olympic Charter Led to Preventable Rights Crises in Beijing, Sochi

(New York) – The election of Thomas Bach as the new International Olympic Committee (IOC) president should open a new day in the enforcement of human rights principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter. Bach succeeds Jacques Rogge, whose 12-year tenure as…
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Human Rights Are an Integral Part of the Olympic Spirit

Many in Germany seem to be getting ready for a German to become the next president of the International Olympic Committee. Thomas Bach, president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), has, according to local and international media, a good…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Summary Racist and other hate violence is a problem in Germany—as it is in many European Union countries— with hundreds of violent attacks recorded by authorities and civil society groups each year. Germany has made progress in…
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To Help Women, Leaders Should Dig Deeper than Religious Clothing

President Sarkozy of France has reignited the debate about how Muslim women in Europe should dress by calling for a ban on clothing that, as he puts it, imprisons women and undermines their dignity. But in this burqa debate the voices of Muslim women…
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Excluding Muslim women who wear headscarves from the public sphere does nothing for gender equality or peaceful integration

Throughout Europe, over the past decade, there has been a loud - and at times openly xenophobic - debate about whether a Muslim woman should be allowed to wear a headscarf while on duty in a government job. Various types of bans have been enacted in…
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State Restrictions on Religious Dress for Teachers Target Muslim Women

(Berlin) - German state bans on religious symbols and clothing for teachers and other civil servants discriminate against Muslim women who wear the headscarf, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 67-page report, "Discrimination in the…
Report
I. Executive Summary To use the language of sports, the law you put forward essentially says, "Ball games are forbidden in the schoolyard." But then comes the second sentence: "Soccer is not a ball game." …
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Letter to the President of the Federal Republic of Germany upon his visit to Uganda and Rwanda

Professor Dr. Horst Köhler   President of the Federal Republic of Germany   Berlin, Germany       Dear President Köhler, We write to ask you to use the opportunities offered by your visits to Uganda and Rwanda to contribute, as Germany has so often done…
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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 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.   "…