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2014 Recipient of the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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Is some sense of sanity finally slipping into the torture debate in the US? Yesterday, after years of criticism for failing to call it by its name, the New York Times finally decided it would use the word “torture” to describe when US interrogators use…
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Human Rights Watch calls on the Uzbek government to immediately and unconditionally release all wrongfully imprisoned activists, several of whom suffer from serious illness and at least seven of whom have been ill-treated or subjected to torture in…
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Preventing needless suffering of the terminally ill in India

In January, years of joint advocacy by Human Rights Watch and Indian palliative care groups culminated in the Medical Council of India recognizing palliative care as a specialization of medicine and approving an MD Palliative Care program. Over time, this…
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On August 24, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a federal prosecutor to review cases of post-9/11 detainee abuse and determine whether or not a criminal investigation is warranted.  Human Rights Watch has collected information on some 330 cases…
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On October 30, 2008, justice for victims of atrocities committed during the course of Liberia's long and brutal years of armed conflict took a major step forward in a very unlikely location: Miami, Florida. On that afternoon, an American jury issued its…
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Human Rights Watch and JUSTICE Amicus Brief to the UK House of Lords

The British government has sought to deport terrorism or national security suspects in reliance on diplomatic assurances against torture from the men's home governments. In two important cases to be heard in October 2008-RB and U v. Secretary of State…
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Amicus Brief to the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Khouzam v. Secretary Chertoff, et al.

Despite evidence that he would be tortured on return, the US government seeks to deport Sameh Sami S. Khouzam to Egypt on the basis of diplomatic assurances from the Egyptian government that Khouzam will not be tortured in Egyptian custody.  Human Rights…
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Argument to the US Court of Appeals on Suing Foreign Torturers in the US

Human Rights Watch filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the case of Yousuf v. Samantar, which is now before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In the brief, Human Rights Watch argues that when Congress passed the Torture Victim…
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On November 5, a Cairo court sentenced police Capt. Islam Nabih and Reda Fathi, a noncommissioned officer, to three years in prison for sexually assaulting `Imad al-Kabir, a microbus driver from the Giza neighborhood of Bulaq al-Dakrur, while he was in…
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Following testimony by Human Rights Watch, an immigration judge in New Jersey granted a gay Jamaican man’s request to stay in the United States under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), permitting him to remain in the country. The September 20 decision…
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On August 27, Jordanian authorities suspended the director of the country’s largest prison after we notified them that hundreds of inmates had injured themselves to protest rampant beatings. Shortly after Human Rights Watch visited the Swaqa Correction…
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On December 6 the US Department of Justice took a major step in bringing its first-ever criminal charges for torture committed outside the United States against Charles “Chuckie” Taylor, Jr. The son of the former Liberian president Charles Taylor and a…
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The United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) issued a strong critique of the United States' record on torture, which included calling for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. The Committee is the first international body to hold…
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Brief of Amici Curiae in re: Hill v. McDonough

Human Rights Watch joined with other amici insisting that Florida’s protocol for lethal injections violated fundamental human rights prohibitions against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
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In a letter to Human Rights Watch, the Chadian government declared that it would remove all accomplices of former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré from their posts in Chad's government. This action follows Human Rights Watch's July report identifying the 41…