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Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice for Long-Ignored Crimes

(Stockholm) – The opening of a landmark trial in Sweden on August 10, 2021 of an Iranian citizen accused of participating in the mass execution of political prisoners is an important moment for victims long denied recognition and justice. On July…
A human rights exhibition on Iran during the international campaign to demand justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre, held near the French National Assembly in Paris, November 14, 2017.
News

Switzerland and Liberia Should Build on Important Progress

(Geneva) – The conviction of a former Liberian rebel leader by a Swiss court for war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war is a landmark step for Liberian victims and Switzerland’s efforts to hold those responsible for grave crimes to account, Human…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Victims, Witnesses to Testify

(Geneva) – The trial of a former Liberian rebel leader arrested in Switzerland for alleged war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war will start its second important phase on February 15, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch issued…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
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Switzerland Should Bolster Efforts in Cases of Serious International Crimes

(Geneva) – The trial of a former Liberian rebel leader arrested in Switzerland for alleged war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war is an important step forward for victims, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 3, 2020, a criminal…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
News

End to Institutional Living, Implement Right to Live in the Community

(Brussels) – Serbia’s government should collect and make public the data on Covid-19 infections and deaths inside institutions for people with disabilities, six organizations for people with disabilities and human rights groups said today in a letter…
A room in the Sremčica Home for children and adults with disabilities where 292 persons, including 49 children, with disabilities live. Up to 10 people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News

Witness Protection Essential

(Brussels) – The indictment made public on June 24, 2020 against Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and other former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders advances justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human…
Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. © 2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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‘She Decides’ Summit to Counter Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’

(Brussels) – Governments should pledge political and financial support for sexual and reproductive health to counter the United States’ “Global Gag Rule,” Human Rights Watch said today. The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden are hosting a summit in…
Women and girls wait with their children outside a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal.
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Asylum Seekers Denied Access to Protection; Subject to Violence

(Budapest) – Croatian police are forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia from inside Croatia, in some cases using violence, without giving them an opportunity to lodge claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today. Human…
Migrants wait in line to receive free food during a snowfall outside a derelict customs warehouse in Belgrade, Serbia January 9, 2017.
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End Curbs on Media; Deliver Justice for War Crimes

(Berlin) – Governments in the Western Balkans should revitalize their efforts to strengthen human rights and create a rights respecting environment for all, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. Human Rights Watch…
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Investigate Crimes against Journalists, Protect Independent Press

(Berlin) – Journalists across the Western Balkans face a hostile environment that impedes their ability to do critical reporting. More than a year after Human Rights Watch documented impediments to media freedom in Bosnia and…
Balkan media under threat
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Video, Q&A Highlight Cases Spurred by Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch released a question-and-answer document and video on October 20, 2016 that highlight the groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in European countries of people accused of kidnappings, ill-treatment, and torture in…
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Deadly Attacks in Syria as Treaty Members Meet

(Geneva) – Nations attending the annual meeting of the international treaty banning cluster munitions on September 7, 2016, condemned the continued use of these weapons in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. During the three-day meeting in Geneva, first…
During President Obama's historic visit to Laos, he met with cluster bomb victims and toured the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) visitors' centre in Vientiane with its operations manager Soksai Sengvongkham.
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Ensure Asylum Access; Investigate Cruel, Violent Pushbacks

(Budapest) – Migrants at Hungary’s border are being summarily forced back to Serbia, in some cases with cruel and violent treatment, without consideration of their claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today. New…
Asylum seekers in Roszke waiting for days and weeks to be admitted to the transit zone, Hungary, March 31, 2016.
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Rolls Back Refugee Rights; Could Harm Children

(Stockholm) – The Swedish Parliament is expected to approve a restrictive new asylum bill on June 21, 2016, that could harm the well-being of migrant children in need of protection and undermine their opportunity to effectively integrate into Swedish…
Nour T., a 16-year-old Syrian girl, at a group home in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Delays, Difficulties for Care, Asylum Claims

(Stockholm) – Unaccompanied migrant children in Sweden are experiencing delays and difficulties in getting critical care and support, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sweden has had an unprecedented increase in the arrival of…
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Government Should Invest in Community-Based Services

(Belgrade) – Hundreds of Serbian children with disabilities face neglect and isolation in institutions that may lead to stunted intellectual, emotional, and physical development, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Serbian government…
A room in the ward for the “most severely disabled” in Veternik home for children and adults with disabilities. Children are placed in the same rooms as adults and up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch