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Use September 7 Meeting to Address Arbitrary Detentions, Disappearances, Abductions

(Beirut) – The Astana working group on detentions and abductions in the Syrian conflict should take immediate steps to address the Syrian government’s arbitrary detentions, torture of detainees, and enforced disappearances, 11 human…
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. © 2018 Tolga Bozoglu/Pool Photo via AP
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Statement prepared by Tanya Lokshina, Russia Program Director at Human Rights Watch for the January 28, 2016 meeting of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Esteemed Chairperson, Esteemed Members of the Committee, Human Rights Watch has been documenting human rights abuses in Russia’s turbulent North Caucasus region for close to two decades. In recent years, our work in the region has been largely…
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The Russian media has been teeming with reports this month about a middle-aged Chechen police chief’s plan to marry a girl from a small village in the region. Nazhud Guchigov, who is known as a close associate of the republic’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, is…
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Stand up for Persecuted Human Rights Activists; Shut Guantanamo

(New York) - The award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama should encourage him to apply his stated principles to both foreign and domestic human rights policy, Human Rights Watch said today. The Nobel committee awarded the prize…
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Unconfirmed reports by Russian and foreign media indicate that a former Guantanamo Bay inmate, Ruslan Odizhev, was killed in a police raid this morning in Nalchik, capital of the Russian Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Odizhev was on a federal wanted list…
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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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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…
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Despite what the Prime Minister says, the rules of the game have not changed

In the days after the bombings of 7 July, there were many reasons to feel proud to be a Londoner. Politicians responded with dignity to the terrible events. People of all faiths stood together in the knowledge that those who had commissioned these crimes…
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In two recent reports, Human Rights Watch has exposed the increasing reliance by Western governments on a practice called "diplomatic assurances," which enable those governments to return terror suspects to their home countries, many of which are known to…
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U.N. Committee Rebukes Sweden for Sending Terror Suspect to Torture

Sweden violated the absolute ban on torture by expelling a terrorism suspect to Egypt, the United Nations Committee Against Torture ruled today. Sweden justified the transfer saying it secured assurances from Egypt that the suspect would not be tortured…
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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…
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(Geneva) — With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva next week must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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"Diplomatic Assurances" will not Protect Deportees

The British government has said it is seeking “diplomatic assurances” that terrorism suspects deported to their home countries will not be tortured there. It argues that, on receipt of such assurances, the men—many of whom have been held without trial for…
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Egypt Violated Diplomatic Promises of Fair Trial and No Torture for Terrorism Suspect

The Egyptian military court conviction of accused terrorism suspect Ahmed Agiza, who was convicted on April 27, violated fair trial standards and failed to address his allegations that he was tortured, Human Rights Watch said today. Sweden expelled Agiza…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

In its annual resolution on torture, the Commission on Human Rights should reaffirm the absolute obligation of states not to return (“refouler”) a person to a country where he or she is at risk of being subjected to torture or other cruel or inhuman…