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Indiscriminate Attacks by Gaza-Based Armed Groups Are War Crimes

(Jerusalem) – Palestinian armed groups’ rocket and mortar attacks during the May 2021 fighting in the Gaza Strip, which killed and injured civilians in Israel and Gaza, violated the laws of war and amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.
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Israeli, Palestinian Violations Show Need for International Criminal Court Inquiry

Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups carried out attacks during the May 2021 fighting in the Gaza Strip and Israel that violated the laws of war and apparently amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The Israeli military and…
Members of the Palestinian civil defense remove the body of one of the 44 civilians killed after three multi-story residential buildings collapsed as a result of Israeli airstrikes in central Gaza City
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(Jerusalem, July 27, 2021) – Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups carried out attacks during the May 2021 fighting in the Gaza Strip and Israel that violated the laws of war and apparently amount to war crimes, Human Rights…
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Scenes from Sayed ul-Shuhada High School in Kabul, Afghanistan, where as many as 85 people including many schoolgirls were killed in an attack this weekend, should break anyone’s heart. They certainly broke mine. In 2017 a filmmaker and I spent a week at…
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Both Sides Should Abide by Laws of War

Update: On May 3, 2021, Tajik authorities reported that 14 houses were fully destroyed, 4 buildings including a secondary school were damaged, and 15,000 people were evacuated from the three districts of Isfara, in Tajikistan’s Sughd region,…
Cars damaged during a firefight on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border are seen near the settlement of Koi-Tash, Batken region, Kyrgyzstan, April 30, 2021.
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Unlawful Shelling in Marib Spurs Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis

(Beirut) – Houthi forces have indiscriminately fired artillery and missiles into heavily populated areas in Yemen’s Marib governorate since February 2021, causing mass displacement and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis, Human Rights Watch said…
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Investigate Recent Insurgent Attacks on Women, Religious Minorities

(New York) – Insurgent groups in Afghanistan have escalated their targeted killings of women and religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent attacks have killed at least five women, mostly journalists and media workers, and seven…
Security personnel inspect the site of a bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, March 15, 2021. 
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Delivered by Steve Goose, Executive Director, on behalf of the International Network on Explosive Weapons

Section 3, and especially 3.3, is the heart of the Political Declaration. The strength of Section 3 – of the operative commitments – will determine the eventual effectiveness and success of the Declaration. Clarity and boldness are needed here more than…
MENA Syria Aleppo old city destruction October 2016
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New Research on Three Incidents from 2020 Conflict

Three unlawful attacks on medical facilities by Azerbaijani forces during the six-week armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh have come to light in recent Human Rights Watch research in the region. Human Rights Watch documented multiple unlawful…
View from the window of the Martakert military hospital, which was struck by Azerbaijani rocket artillery on October 14, 2020.
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Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
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When history reflects on the Syrian conflict, a defining hallmark will be the Syrian government’s deliberate targeting of civilians. Backed by Russian forces, the government has rained bombs on markets, hospitals, schools, and homes. In 2019 and 2020,…
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UN Inquiry Needed into Alleged Violations by Warring Parties

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian federal forces carried out apparently indiscriminate shelling of urban areas in the Tigray region in November 2020 in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. Artillery attacks at the start of the armed…
A woman stands in a metal sheet room that was damaged by shelling in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020. In that residential compound, two women and an elderly man were killed by shelling and gunfire, and two women were wounded.
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Calamitous Year for Human Rights

(Tunis) – Armed groups that support competing Libyan governments and their international benefactors have been responsible for massive civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction during 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) during clashes at the Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli, with the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
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Pandemic, Obstruction of Aid Expose Devastated Healthcare System

(Beirut) – The parties to Yemen’s armed conflict continued to violate the laws of war over the past year, including with new apparent war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. In 2020, the United Nations Group of Eminent…
Women and children are pictured at a camp for people recently displaced by fighting in Yemen's northern province of al-Jawf between government forces and Houthis, in Marib, Yemen March 8, 2020.
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On October 20, 2011, a Libyan revolutionary commander from Misrata called me jubilantly to break the news personally that Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s long-time dictator, had finally been caught by rebel fighters near the coastal city of Sirte, his…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
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Investigate Indiscriminate Attacks, Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

(Berlin) – Armenian military forces carried out unlawfully indiscriminate rocket and missile strikes on Azerbaijan during the hostilities from September to November 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. During on-site investigations in Azerbaijan in…
Shaira Guliyeva, 47, stands in front of her destroyed home and shows a photograph of her nephew, Arthur Guliyev, 13, who was killed there by a ballistic missile attack on October 17.