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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
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The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may seem a world away from Florida, but it’s only 700 miles from Orlando. Growing up here myself, I never thought twice about what Guantanamo’s high financial and moral cost meant for me as a Floridian…
In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
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New York Lawmakers Should Co-sponsor the Eliminate Mandatory Minimums (S.7871/ A.9166), Second Look (S.7872/A.8894), and Earned Time Act (S.7873A/ A.8462B)

Memorandum of Support Human Rights Watch urges New York lawmakers to co-sponsor the Eliminate Mandatory Minimums (S.7871/ A.9166),[1] Second Look (S.7872/A.8894),[2] and Earned Time Act (S.7873A/ A.8462B).[3] Human Rights Watch is an international…
The front gate is pictured at the Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, New York April 8, 2016.
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Written Testimony by Bonnie Docherty Before The House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber

"Chair Keating, Ranking Member Fitzpatrick, and Members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to participate in this hearing today. I would like to highlight two types of weapons that Russian forces are using widely and with devastating effects…
Smoke rises after shelling by Russian forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 4, 2022.
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HRW Submission to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

December 6, 2021 1. Introduction This submission is based on Human Rights Watch’s research on human rights issues impacting older people, with a focus on rights in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, the right to live independently and…
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Human Rights Watch Statement for the Record

Statement of Human Rights Watch on  “‘Targeted Killing’ and the Rule of Law:  The Legal and Human Costs of 20 Years of U.S. Drone Strikes" before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 9, 2022. Human Rights Watch thanks the Senate…
The dome of the US Capitol seen through a glass ceiling in Washington, DC, April 29, 2021.
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Pregnancy Increases Risk of Serious Heat-Related Health Problems

US President Joe Biden tasked the US Labor Department to write regulations to better protect workers from heat, partly because climate change is making more and more days dangerously hot. The department asked for expert and public input, and last…
Farmworkers, considered essential workers under the current Covid-19 pandemic guidelines, work a strawberry field in Santa Paula, California, April 15, 2020. 
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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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Can Advance Economic Justice, Fix Broken Safety Net, But More Needed

(Washington, DC) – The Build Back Better Act would bring the United States closer to meeting international human rights standards and begin to repair a badly broken social safety net, Human Rights Watch said today. The Senate should strengthen…
Children and teachers complete a mural in celebration of the launch of the Child Tax Credit on July 14, 2021 at the KU Kids Deanwood Childcare Center in Washington, DC.
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Majid Khan Publicly Describes Torture at Sentencing Hearing

For the first time, a United States military commission jury urged clemency for a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Majid Khan, at a sentencing hearing. The jury’s recommendation, noting the severe abuse Khan endured while in detention, highlights the profound…
Photo of a man with black hair and a bear
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Despite US Federal Court Ruling, Continued Detention Likely

In a small step toward justice, a United States federal judge ruled this week that because Haroon Gul, an Afghan held at Guantanamo Bay, was not a member of Al-Qaeda or an associated force, the US had no legal basis for detaining him. The US…
Afghan refugee Roman Khan at a refugee camp near Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar in September 2020, displays a photograph of his brother Asadullah Haroon, who is detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
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Lawmakers Have Opportunity to Get Services to Hundreds of Thousands on Waitlists

The overwhelming majority of older people and people with disabilities in the United States, no matter how they vote, prefer to live at home rather than in a residential institution like a nursing home. Accordingly, millions of people access home and…
Disability rights activists and caregiving advocates hold a vigil in front of the US Capitol to urge Congress to include full federal funding for home and community-based care services in the budget reconciliation package on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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“For weeks, the smoke covers the sky,” a doctor told me last year, when we investigated how forest fires affect the health of Brazilians in the Amazon. Thousands of people in Indigenous and Ribeirinho communities living on the banks of one…
202001AME_Brazil_photo01
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Since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have carried out targeted killings that frequently kill and injure civilians.

On September 17, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, gave an extraordinary news conference in which he admitted that the United States had killed an aid worker in Kabul and his family; McKenzie apologized, adding that…
The Pentagon, Washington, DC, United States.
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High Temperatures Top Weather-Related Killer in US

The administration of US President Joe Biden announced yesterday a major interagency initiative to respond to the impacts of extreme heat in the United States. This effort, which closely follows the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, will seek to…
Workers harvest cantaloupe on a farm during a drought in Firebaugh, California, US, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
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