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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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New Video Captures Anguish of Detainees’ Families

(Washington, DC) – The US should expedite the return of Yemeni detainees cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Barack Obama. Human Rights Watch released a video showing the plight of families of…
Report
Summary On the evening of August 29, 2012, five men gathered in a grove of date palms behind the local mosque in Khashamir, a village in southeast Yemen. Moments later, US remotely…
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The family of a Gitmo detainee twice cleared for transfer remains pessimistic, despite Obama's speech vowing reform

Muhammad al-Baidhani, an 11-year-old Yemeni boy with a mop of brown curls, only knows his father from photos and a one-hour video conference every two months. Before Muhammad was born, his father was captured and sent to the U.S. military prison at…
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The last time Amina al-Rabeii video conferenced from Yemen with her brother Salman, a detainee at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, she barely recognized the skeletal man on the screen. “His eyes were sunken into dark recesses,” al-…
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The US should reveal its legal rationale for drone attacks

As leaders from around the world gather this month for the Munich Security Conference, they should think about 10-year-old Dawlah Nasser Saleh of Yemen. Dawlah and her parents were among 12 civilians killed in a botched airstrike on Sept. 2 last year near…
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As the world was gripped this week by the storming of U.S. diplomatic compounds in the Middle East, another troubling event that coincided with the September 11 anniversary unfolded largely unnoticed at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. …
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During meetings with young, reform-minded activists last month in Yemen, the talk invariably turned to accelerating CIA drone strikes against Islamist militants, and the temperate voices quickly turned angry. The youths’ comments underscored how swiftly…
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Ensure Intelligence Agency Abides by International Law

(New York, NY) – Remarks by a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official suggesting the agency is not legally bound by the laws of war underscore the urgent need for the Obama administration to transfer command of all aerial drone strikes to the armed…
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New York - Even as US President Barack Obama declared that "the world is safer" without Osama bin Laden, his Homeland Security office was bracing for a possible revenge attack. The United States and other potential targets are right to be…
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(New York) - Last May, following several apparent suicide attempts, Adnan Latif, a Yemeni detainee at the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba, sent his lawyer a letter in which he renounced all hope in the U.S. justice system. "You are still looking…
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(New York) - The apparent suicide of a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay underscores the urgent need for the United States to reach agreement with Yemen on sending uncharged prisoners home, Human Rights Watch said today.  Mohammad Ahmed Abdullah Saleh…
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Release Orders Could Be Important Step Toward Closing Guantanamo

(New York) - The Obama administration should ensure that two Yemenis ordered released from Guantanamo by the US Justice Department and a federal court this week do not face further illegal detention or other mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Omar Fawza can't find a wife. The 20-something Yemeni reveals his bachelor status with a sigh that suggests it's the most painful experience of his life--worse even than the five years he spent in U.S. captivity at Guantanamo Bay and in Afghanistan, where…
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Nearly 100 Yemeni Detainees Pose Biggest Obstacle to Closing Prison

(New York) - The United States and Yemen should quickly move to develop a humane repatriation plan for the nearly 100 Yemeni prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Unless the impasse in repatriation…
Report
No Direction Home Returns from Guantanamo to Yemen Summary Recommendations To the Government of the United States To the Government of Yemen To the League of Arab States, Member States of the European…
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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…