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Russia, Ukraine Should Join International Ban Treaty

Russian armed forces have used at least six types of cluster munitions in attacks in Ukraine, and Ukrainian forces also appear to have used them at least once. Cluster munitions spread multiple explosive submunitions or bomblets over a wide area…
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Landmines Threaten Civilian Lives, Prolong Recovery

(Berlin, March 29, 2022) – Russian forces fighting in Ukraine have used banned antipersonnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region, Human Rights Watch said today.  The antipersonnel mines were located by Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal…
POM-3 antipersonnel mines that failed to deploy and remnants of its delivery canister found by deminers in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on or around March 28.
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Incendiary weapons are among the cruelest weapons used in contemporary armed conflict. These weapons, which produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable substance, cause immediate and lifelong human suffering in addition to…
Remnants of a misfired 9M22S incendiary 122mm Grad rocket
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Serious Concerns for Civilians Remaining in the City

Update: Local officials in Mariupol reported on March 25, 2022, that about 300 people died during the March 16 attack on the theater. Human Rights Watch has not been able to verify the casualty figures. A mother and son who sheltered in the theater…
Satellite image recorded on March 14
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Dozens Killed and Wounded in Apparent War Crime in Chernihiv

Russian aircraft dropped multiple unguided bombs simultaneously on March 3, 2022, that hit an intersection in a residential neighborhood of Chernihiv, a city in northeastern Ukraine, Human Rights Watch said today. The attack, at about 12:15 p.m.…
A residential building in Chernihiv, Ukraine damaged by Russian aerial attack on March 3, 2022.
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Thousands Arrested on March 6; Protesters Abused in Detention

Update: On March 13, police detained, at times brutally, more than 850 people allegedly for participation in peaceful anti-war protests. On March 15, the mayor of Moscow, where the majority of people were detained, lifted all major…
Police officers detain a protester in Manezhnaya Square, Moscow, Russia on March 6, 2022.
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Continuous Shelling of Evacuation Route Suggests Laws of War Violations

For several hours on March 6, 2022, Russian forces bombarded an intersection on a road that hundreds of civilians were using to flee the Russian army’s advance in northern Ukraine to Kyiv, Human Rights Watch said today. The repeated nature of the…
Ukrainian soldiers help a woman in the town of Irpin, Ukraine on March 6.
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Russian Forces’ Indiscriminate Attacks May Amount to War Crimes

Russian forces fired cluster munitions into at least three residential areas in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, on February 28, 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. These attacks killed at least three civilians. Interviews with 2 witnesses…
Cluster munitions attacks in Kharkiv on February 28, 2022.
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4 Civilians Killed, 10 Wounded

(Berlin) – A Russian ballistic missile carrying a cluster munition struck just outside a hospital in Vuhledar, a town in the Ukrainian government-controlled Donetska region, on February 24, 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. The attack killed four…
Damage from a cluster munition attack outside the Central City Hospital in Vuhledar.
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Punish Officers Responsible; Improve Training; Halt Use of Rubber Bullets

(Johannesburg) – The South African police unlawfully used excessive and disproportionate force to disperse student protesters at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) on March 10, 2021, killing a bystander, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Three protesters were arrested and taken to the Hillbrow police station on Wednesday.
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Unlawful Attacks on Hospitals, Schools, Markets Forced Idlib Population Out

The Syrian and Russian armed forces’ repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure in Idlib in northwest Syria were apparent war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Dozens of unlawful air…
A woman in a black niqab and face mask walks through a deserted street with a child
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12 killed on first day of new decade

(Beirut) – A ballistic missile equipped with a banned cluster munition warhead launched by Syrian forces killed 12 civilians, including 5 children, at a school on January 1, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The attack…
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White Phosphorus Should Be Included on the List

(Geneva) – Russia should support, not block, diplomatic talks about possible action to address the civilian harm caused by the use of incendiary weapons, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  Issued…
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New Law Needed to Retain Meaningful Human Control Over the Use of Force

(Geneva) – Russia, the United States, and a handful of other nations investing in autonomous weapons are preventing efforts to start negotiations on a new treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, Human Rights Watch said…
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Authorities Should Enhance Security to Ensure Free and Fair Vote

(New York) – Pakistan’s interim government should take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of candidates and political party activists who are at risk of attack from the Taliban and other militant groups, Human Rights Watch said…
A political party worker comforts another after a suicide attack during an election campaign meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan, July 10, 2018.
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Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
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UN Should Immediately Deploy Monitors to Prevent Reprisal Executions

(Beirut) – With Russia’s continued support, the Syrian government is using unlawful tactics in its assault on Eastern Ghouta, including what appears to be the use of internationally banned weapons, Human Rights Watch said today. There…
People walk with their belongings as they flee the rebel-held town of Hammouriyeh, in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta, Syria March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Syrians Under Siege, Airstrikes as Leaders Gather in Sochi

(Beirut) – Russia, Turkey, and Iran should make protecting civilians a priority when they meet in Sochi, Russia on November 22, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent airstrikes by the Russian-Syrian joint military operation that…
The Atarib public market after the strike
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But Civilians Harmed by Use in Syria

(Geneva) – Most countries are making steady progress to eradicate cluster munitions, but stronger effort is required to deter use in countries that have not joined the international treaty to ban these weapons, Human Rights Watch said…
Trained technicians from Syria Civil Defense (“White Helmets”) identify and mark unexploded submunitions and other explosive remnants of war for clearance and destruction in Idlib governorate on June 8, 2017.
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UN Security Council Vote Expected

(New York) – Russia and other United Nations Security Council members should support a proposed resolution that would impose sanctions on Syrian government officials responsible for chemical attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. The Security Council is…
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