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May 19, 2022 The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada Langevin Block, 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A3 Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Human Rights Watch writes to you today to highlight the urgent need for action…
Fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces deploy around al-Sina’a prison in the Ghweran district of al-Hasakah, northeast Syria, on January 25, 2022, midway through the 10-day battle to recapture it from the Islamic State (ISIS). © 2022 AFP Photo via Getty Images
News

Missteps Show Need for Congressional Oversight to Catalyze Change

(Washington, DC, May 19, 2022) – The US military’s review of a 2019 airstrike in Syria highlights fundamental and ongoing flaws in US handling of accountability for civilian harm, Human Rights Watch said today. The US Defense Department on May 17,…
Black smoke billows from the last small piece of territory held by Islamic State forces as US-backed fighters attack the area with artillery and airstrikes in Baghouz, Syria, March 3, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo/Andrea Rosa
News

Economist Died in Custody After Enforced Disappearance

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should urgently release the autopsy report and investigate the suspicious death of economist Ayman Hadhoud, Human Rights Watch said today. Hadhoud was forcibly disappeared on February 5 or 6, 2022, and died in the…
Ayman Hadhoud
News

90th pre-sessional, 2022

We write in advance of the 90th pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child relating to Canada’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This supplementary submission is primarily based on research conducted from 2019 onward…
News

Four Dozen Canadians Languish in Squalid Camps

April marks the beginning of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide, a month of fasting, patience, and compassion that many here in Canada will mark surrounded by friends and family. But for some Canadian-Muslims, there is little to celebrate given the…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
News

Obstructing Care for Detained Woman, Child Flouts Government Policy

Canada is effectively preventing a Canadian woman and a young Canadian child detained in northeast Syria from coming home for life-saving medical care despite a Canadian policy allowing them to do so, Human Rights Watch said today. That policy allows…
A woman poses wearing a hijab
News

Protect and Clarify Conditions of Detainees Recaptured from ISIS

(New York) – The Kurdish-led armed force in northeast Syria should ensure the humane treatment of all men and boys it has evacuated or recaptured from a prison that the Islamic State (ISIS) assaulted and held for several days, Human Rights Watch said…
Fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces deploy around al-Sina’a prison in the Ghweran district of al-Hasakah, northeast Syria, on January 25, 2022, midway through the 10-day battle to recapture it from the Islamic State (ISIS). © 2022 AFP Photo via Getty Images
News

International Action Needed to Resolve Broader Detention Crisis

(Beirut) – Kurdish-led regional fighters backed by US and UK military forces recaptured a prison in northeast Syria that Islamic State (ISIS) fighters had held for six days on January 26, 2022. At least 284 people died during the assault and…
News

Bloc Should Try to Block Cairo Membership Quest, Not Support It

The European Union (EU) may be about to present a joint bid with Egypt to co-lead the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, a multilateral platform with far-reaching influence on global counterterrorism policy, according to a recently leaked document. Given…
An Egyptian intelligence security detail member stands guard near a banner showing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
News

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News

Vienna Academic Faces Abusive ‘Terrorism’ Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should immediately release an anthropology master’s degree student at Central European University (CEU), or present evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested the student,…
Ahmed Samir Santawy, an anthropology master’s student at Central European University (CEU) detained in February 2021.
News

All Countries Should Urgently Repatriate Citizens

On the surface, it seems like a happy ending: a 4-year-old Canadian girl is flown home to Canada on Sunday after living the first half of her life under the Islamic State (ISIS) and the second in a squalid detention camp in northeast Syria. But her…
A 4-year-old Canadian girl after her rescue from a detention camp
News

Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
News

Monitoring, Tough Message on Dire Rights Situation Long Overdue

(Geneva) – Egypt’s human rights community is facing “annihilation” by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, more than 100 leading human rights organizations from around the world have warned today in a letter to foreign ministers. The groups…
Egyptian security forces have been involved in systematic abuses such as enforced disappearance and torture and have used abusive counterterrorism laws and measures to crush peaceful dissent. Egyptian security forces stand guard outside one of the entranc
News

Ottawa Should Repatriate 46 Others Held in Northeast Syria

After months of inaction, the Canadian government announced Monday that it had repatriated a 5-year-old orphan, Amira, who was trapped in a camp for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria. Amira’s overdue rescue should not…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
News

Relatives, Witnesses, Journalists Detained

Update: On the morning of October 6, Prosecutor General Hamada al-Sawi said in an official statement that he ordered journalist Basma Mostafa released pending investigation. Lawyers said she was ordered to pay bail of 2,000 EGP (US$128). Her release has…
Islam al-Australi, 26, who died in police custody.
Report
  Summary “Please, bring me back to Canada. … Please, forgive me. Let me be who I am, a Canadian.” —Kimberly Polman, Canadian detained in camp for ISIS family members in Northeast Syria More than one year ago, in March 2019, local…
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