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“This place guarantees you lose your sanity, your dignity, your humanity one way or another…It’s exhausting trying to protect myself all day, all night. I can’t do it anymore."  Kimberly Polman, a 49-year-old Canadian woman, wrote these words in…
A woman poses wearing a hijab
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Mistreatment and Medical Neglect

(Beirut) – Horrific reported details of Iranian authorities’ mistreatment in detention of Payam Derafshan, a respected human rights lawyer, show the Iranian intelligence agencies’ central role in repressing human rights activism, Human Rights Watch…
Payam Derafshan
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(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch…
News

Authorities Deny Afghans Right to Seek Asylum

(New York) – Turkish authorities are summarily pushing Afghan asylum seekers crossing into the country from Iran back to Iran, in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said today. Six Afghans, five of whom were pushed back, told Human…
A Turkish soldier stands at the Turkish border with Iran
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Member Countries Should Ensure Publicity of Process

Further leadership changes are underway at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as its member countries approach the December election of the court’s next deputy prosecutors. On October 10, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan submitted two shortlists of…
ICC permanent premises
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National Campaign Urges Provinces to Cancel Contracts Enabling Abuses

(Ottawa) – Provincial governments should sever their contracts to hold immigration detainees in provincial jails, where many experience abusive conditions, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today in opening a joint national campaign, #…
Red and black illustration of people in detention
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Confirmation of Charges Hearing in Commander Case Starts Today

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) begins the pretrial hearing in the case of a former commander of the Seleka rebel group, who is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. The case is an important…
An ICC billboard in Bangui in September 2021, announcing Said’s confirmation of charges hearing.
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Théoneste Bagosora Sentence a Lesson in Accountability

Late last month, Malian officials announced that a former Rwandan army colonel convicted of masterminding the slaughter of at least half a million people during the 1994 genocide had died. Théoneste Bagosora, who was 80, was serving a 35-year sentence…
Théoneste Bagosora reacts as he sits in the court at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in Arusha, Tanzania on December 18, 2008.
News
Human Rights Watch has joined 16 other groups in support of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances’ call for a hybrid court to prosecute crimes during the presidency of Yahya Jammeh in Gambia and for a new international inquiry of a…
News
Clarita Alia remains anguished, nearly 20 years after I first heard her express her grief. “His name was Danilo Lugay,” she told me over the phone recently from Davao City, in the southern Philippines. Police killed Lugay in September 2020 during a…
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Challenge Chokehold on Desperately Needed Humanitarian Aid, Call for Independent Inquiry

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to consider its response to yesterday’s decision by Ethiopia’s federal government to declare seven senior UN officials as “persona non grata,” unwelcome in the country. The…
An organizer asks displaced Tigrayans to queue as they wait to receive food at a school in Mekele, in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, May 5, 2021.
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Myanmar’s Coup Built on Years of Failed Accountability

On August 1, Myanmar’s commander-in-chief, Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, dressed in civilian clothes, made a televised speech six months to the day after leading a coup that thrust the country back under brutal military rule. Amid claims of establishing a…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
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Efficient, Fair Trial Should Hold 2009 Stadium Abusers Accountable

(Conakry) – The trial of suspects in the massacre of more than 150 people and the rape of dozens of women in a Guinea stadium on September 28, 2009, should begin as soon as possible, six human rights groups said today. Twelve years later, victims and…
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Chased by Border Agents on Horseback; Returned to Danger in Haiti

(Washington, DC) – The US deployment of border agents on horseback against Haitian migrants on September 19, 2021, stems from abusive and racially discriminatory immigration policies by the administration of President Joe Biden, Human Rights Watch…
Two Customs and Border Protection agents on horseback approach three Haitian migrants standing in the river. The migrants are holding bags and shoes.
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Parliament Begins to Deliberate Long-Awaited Law

(Bangkok) – The Thai government and parliament should promptly act to pass a law that fulfills previous pledges to make torture and enforced disappearance criminal offenses in Thailand, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 16, 2021, the…
Billy Thai Presser 20170206
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Afghanistan is Emblematic of Crises the ICC Was Created to Address

The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan has magnified concerns about an accelerating human rights crisis in the country. Already the world’s deadliest conflict since 2017, Afghanistan had seen a steady rise in attacks on civilians…
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Special Criminal Court Charges Sanctioned Commander

(Bangui) – The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic, in an important step for justice, has brought charges against Capt. Eugène Ngaïkosset, known within the country as “The Butcher of Paoua,” Human Rights Watch said. His…
Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (right) and five other judges of Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) sit at the National Assembly in Bangui, having been sworn in on June 30, 2017.
News

Attacks on Schools During the Nagorno-Karabakh War

  The first children died on the first day of the war. On September 27, 2020 a shell killed Victoria Gevorgyan. She was just 9 years of age. The shell landed in the yard of her home in the Martuni region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On the same…
A collage of eight images showing damage to schools