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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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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 the…
A view of a courtroom from the back
News

Justice for 3R Abuses an Important Step Toward Accountability

On December 17, the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) announced it will send its first case to trial. This is a significant moment in the difficult effort to see justice for heinous abuses committed in the most recent conflicts…
Judges from the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) listen to arguments in a hearing
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Will It Lead to Justice?

On October 28, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Karim Khan, on a visit to Bogota, announced that his office is closing down its preliminary examination in the country. The decision was cast as heralding a new chapter in the…
President Ivan Duque
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Duterte Administration Stalling Tactic Should Not Delay Justice

(New York) – The International Criminal Court prosecutor should seek to proceed with his office’s investigation into alleged crimes against humanity related to unlawful killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” in the Philippines, Human…
202112asia_philippines_protest
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UN Rights Body Should Create International Inquiry into War Crimes

(Nairobi) – Tigrayan forces summarily executed dozens of civilians in two towns they controlled in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region between August 31 and September 9, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. These killings highlight the urgent need for…
The shallow grave of an unidentified person killed during fighting in the village of Chenna, in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Residents said it was dug in early September 2021 after Tigrayan fighters left the area. © 2021 Tom Gardner
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‘The lack of consequences for the crimes committed in Tigray has made it easier for warring parties to commit further atrocities.’

A full year has passed since Eritrean government forces massacred Tigrayan civilians in Ethiopia’s historical town of Axum. But survivors of the massacre and of other atrocities in Tigray are still no closer to accessing justice and redress – an…
Priest on his way to church in Axum, Tigray region, Ethiopia on January 25, 2011.
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Unlawful Syrian-Russian Alliance Attack Strikes Civilians

Update December 13, 2021: After publication, Human Rights Watch interviewed a knowledgeable source who said he observed at least seven large-caliber artillery shells being fired into Ariha on October 20 at 8 a.m.. He said they had been fired from a…
A man stands amongst rubble in an apartment building
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Justice, Solidarity Crucial to Confront Abuses Past and Present

On December 10, 2019, Abubacarr Tambadou, then Gambia’s justice minister, posed a question to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. “Why is the world standing by and allowing such horrors again in our lifetime?” It was the first…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
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Police and soldiers have killed more than 1,300 people and arrested more than 10,000 protesters, journalists, and others in Myanmar. The methodical and systematic post-coup abuses, like those inflicted on the Rohingya, amount to crimes against…