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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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Will It Lead to Justice?

On October 28, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Karim Khan, on a visit to Bogota, announced that his office is closing down its preliminary examination in the country. The decision was cast as heralding a new chapter in the…
President Ivan Duque
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Clarita Alia remains anguished, nearly 20 years after I first heard her express her grief. “His name was Danilo Lugay,” she told me over the phone recently from Davao City, in the southern Philippines. Police killed Lugay in September 2020 during a…
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Afghanistan is Emblematic of Crises the ICC Was Created to Address

The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan has magnified concerns about an accelerating human rights crisis in the country. Already the world’s deadliest conflict since 2017, Afghanistan had seen a steady rise in attacks on civilians…
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After more than two years combatting the Trump administration’s egregious attacks on the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is refreshing to contemplate a possible return to a constructive U.S. policy toward the Court. The American Society…
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, November 7, 2019. 
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The Biden administration’s move to rescind former President Trump’s punitive sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor is a positive step, but it in no way resolves the difficult and complex relationship between…
Permanent premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands.
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Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
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Susan Robinson, a 68-year-old resident of a United States nursing facility, was lying awake one night in March when she heard her neighbor gasping for breath. “She was dying,” Robinson said. “They took her to the hospital. They didn’t tell us anything…
Caterina Salvi, 90, waits for a visitor inside a protective inflatable plastic tunnel at the Martino Zanchi nursing home in Alzano Lombardo, northern Italy, February 24, 2021.
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The United States government's decision to "reengage" with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that President Joe Biden promised in his major foreign policy speech.…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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As Joe Biden settles into his presidency, in addition to facing a pandemic and economic crisis, he will hear demands for accountability. If President Biden is going to help restore a robust commitment to the rule of law, he will need to reach…
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Laetitia Bader, Human Rights Watch’s Horn of Africa Director, recently returned from a research mission in Sudan to interview refugees who fled the fighting that broke out in Ethiopia’s Tigray region in early November 2020. For several weeks, federal…
People who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region ride a bus to the Village 8 temporary shelter near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, December 1, 2020. 
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UK nationals committed abuses in Iraq after 2003 on a significant scale. The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Final Report on the UK and Iraq on December 9 is the latest official report to find that members of UK…
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My heart sank as my colleague told me recently about the latest torture victim from Iraq who had contacted us to share his story. I had heard the same kinds of accounts from other victims of torture in detention, including the same names of two…
Juveniles’ cell at Tal Kayf prison, taken in April 2019 and shared confidentially with Human Rights Watch, shows extreme overcrowding at the prison.
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No Time to Trim the Sails

INTRODUCTION In the fifteen years since its inception, the International Criminal Court (ICC), the intended centerpiece of a worldwide “system” of justice for the most serious international crimes, has had serious problems. Some of these have been…
ICC permanent premises
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The perversity of what passes for a criminal justice system in Bahrain will be on full display on  July 13, when Mohamed Ramadan and Hussein Moosa make their final bid to escape execution. The two are scheduled to appear before the country’s…
Mohamed Ramadan (left) and Hussein Ali Moosa (right).