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Summary Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Afghanistan, and others who do not conform to rigid gender norms, have faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety and lives since the Taliban took full…
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Surge in Threats, Rape, Assault, Wrongful Detention

(New York) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Afghans and people who do not conform to rigid gender norms in Afghanistan have faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety and lives under the Taliban, Human…
Drawing of two men holding hands
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Partners Should Press for Investigation into Abusive Response to Protests, Unrest

(Berlin) – Kazakh security forces used excessive force on at least four occasions, including lethal force such as shooting at protesters and rioters, during recent demonstrations and subsequent civil unrest, Human Rights Watch said today. An analysis…
Riot police officers holding 12-gauge shotguns, which can fire both lethal and less-lethal ammunition, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022.
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Rainbow Railroad Operates in Secret to Bring People to Safety

The human rights and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan threatens everyone there, but lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and other sexual and gender minorities, face an acute threat of violence and even death from the Taliban…
Taliban fighters at checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan
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Legal Reform Needed to Protect LGBT Rights

Namibia’s High Court ruled last week that it could not require that the marriages of two same-sex couples conducted outside of the country be granted legal recognition. The couples, legally married in South Africa and Germany, had been unable to…
A group of men and women wearing face masks
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Reject Discrimination; Bolster Protections for LGBT People

(New York) – A group of lawmakers in Guatemala has advanced a bill that would stigmatize transgender people and curtail children’s and adolescents’ rights to education, information, and health, Human Rights Watch said today. Congress should reject the…
Legislators attend a session of Congress in Guatemala City, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. © AP Photo/Moises Castillo
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Why President Biden should fulfill his pledge to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay

Two decades ago, on Jan. 11, 2002, the US military began detaining Global War on Terror (GWOT) prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, opening one of the longest and darkest chapters of its abusive responses to the 9/11 attacks. The US has unlawfully…
The first foreign Muslim men imprisoned by the US military at the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in the so-called “global war on terror.” Since January 2002, the US has held nearly 800 men and boys at Guantánamo. Of the 39 who currently remain, 27 have never been charged. © 2002 Shane McCoy/Greg Mathieson/Mai/Getty Images
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Role of Military Doctor in State Torture at Issue

(Berlin) – Judges in Frankfurt, Germany will begin hearing evidence on January 19, 2022 in a trial involving allegations of torture and murder by state agents during Syria’s decade-long brutal armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. The start…
Entrance of the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court.
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Risk of Illegal Racial Profiling and Other Abuses

(Athens) – Greece is planning a new police program to scan people’s faces and fingerprints that is inconsistent with international human rights standards on privacy and likely to amplify ongoing discrimination, Human Rights Watch and Homo Digitalis…
Police officers check the documents and permissions of people in the streets of Athens, Greece, March 23, 2020. 
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Anti-Death Penalty Group Condemns Sentence, Seeks Action on Prison Conditions

(New York) – Human Rights Watch on January 18, 2022 joined other organizations in condemning Sri Lanka’s ongoing use of the death penalty after a prison official was sentenced to death on January 12. The groups said that the conviction appeared to be an…
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Translation Could Engage More Syrians in European Justice Process

This past two years, a landmark criminal trial was held in Koblenz, Germany. It was the first-ever trial held in Europe where alleged Syrian government agents were charged with crimes against humanity committed during Syria’s decade-long conflict.…
Illustration of a court proceeding
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Former Syrian Intelligence Officer Found Guilty

(Berlin) – The conviction of a former Syrian intelligence officer for crimes against humanity by a German court is a ground-breaking step toward justice for serious crimes in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The judgment is a meaningful…
Photos of Syrians who have been detained or disappeared set up by Families for Freedom, as part of a protest in front of the court in Koblenz, July 2, 2020. 
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Response to Covid-19 Chaotic and Inadequate, While Impunity Undermines Rule of Law

(New York) – Inadequate and unequal access to health care in Nepal was exacerbated during 2021 by government failures to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. The government’s failures led…
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High-Level Pronouncements Marred by Systemic Racism, Abuse of Asylum Seekers

(Washington, DC) – The administration of President Joe Biden has made slow progress protecting human rights in the United States, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. "The Biden administration has made some big-picture…
Hughes Van Ellis (left), a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor and World War II veteran, and Viola Fletcher (second right), oldest living survivor of the massacre, testify about the massacre’s ongoing impact before the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on May 19, 2021.
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Ruling Highlights Need for Legislative Protections

A court in Seoul, South Korea has rejected a same-sex couple’s bid for spousal health insurance benefits, underscoring the lack of legal protections for same-sex couples in the country. Although South Korea does not recognize same-sex partnerships…
Participants march with a rainbow flag during a gay pride parade in Seoul, South Korea.
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The Costs of Unlawful US Detentions and Interrogations Post-9/11

By Letta Tayler and Elisa Epstein[1] This report was published on January 9, 2022 by Costs of War, a project at the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University Summary “We also have to work, though, sort of the…
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Global Costs of Unlawful Detention and Interrogation Post-9/11

(New York) – Twenty years after Guantánamo Bay detention operations commenced on January 11, 2002, a new report assesses the massive costs of US unlawful transfers, secret detention, and torture after the September 11, 2001, attacks. The report, from…
The first foreign Muslim men imprisoned by the US military at the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in the so-called “global war on terror.” Since January 2002, the US has held nearly 800 men and boys at Guantánamo. Of the 39 who currently remain, 27 have never been charged. © 2002 Shane McCoy/Greg Mathieson/Mai/Getty Images
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Watershed Moment for Syrian Torture Survivors

(Berlin) – A verdict by a court in Germany in a watershed case for torture survivors and international justice is expected in January 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. The trial, involving charges of crimes against humanity against an alleged…
A view of a courtroom from the back
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Questions and Answers about the trial in Koblenz, Germany

Who are Anwar R. and Eyad A.? What are the charges against the two defendants? Are the charges against the defendants representative of crimes committed in Syria? How did allegations against Anwar R. and Eyad A. specifically come to…
A view of a courtroom from the back