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Saudi Arabia and UAE Fight for Impunity in Yemen Conflict

Last month, the Netherlands’ ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva said the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had “failed the people of Yemen” by rejecting the renewal of an investigation into alleged human rights abuses and war crimes…
People stand in front of a damaged building
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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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UN Review a Chance to Address Abysmal Rights Record

Tajikistan has made the news recently for its opposition toward the Taliban in Afghanistan, with which the mountainous Central Asian country shares more than 1300 kilometers of border. What’s been less in the spotlight, however, is the Tajik…
A man on two video screens in the UN general assembly hall
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Just Four Out of 109 Judges Have Been Female

What’s 76 years old, and 3.7 percent female? Sounds like a joke, right? But it’s not funny at all, especially when it refers to a global judicial body. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial arm of the United Nations, has…
Judges are pictured during the second day of hearings in the case brought by Gambia against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, December 11, 2019.
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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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43 Countries Join Unprecedented UN Declaration

A broad group of 43 countries at the United Nations has strongly condemned the Chinese government’s widespread human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. The declaration also calls on the UN high commissioner for…
Chinese security personnel patrol near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in China's Xinjiang region, November 4, 2017.
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Governments at COP26 Should Follow Suit

Less than three weeks ahead of the global COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow, two key United Nations human rights bodies in Geneva have taken action to strengthen the human rights framework around the climate crisis. The decisions are a clear…
Dry climate and wildfires create a residual layer of thick pollutants that cover the city of São Paulo, Brazil on September 17, 2020.
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Governments Should Prioritize Addressing Global Environmental Crisis

When the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke to the UN Human Rights Council at the beginning of its current session, three weeks ago, she told governments: “Addressing the world's triple environmental crisis is a…
A woman walks through a flooded street during heavy rains in Mumbai, India on June 12, 2021.
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Renewing Vital Mandate Essential to Support Victims, Stem Abuse

The latest report by the United Nations Group of Eminent Experts (GEE) on Yemen details “over six years of unnecessary suffering” by people in the country. First established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2017, the group is the only international,…
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Challenge Chokehold on Desperately Needed Humanitarian Aid, Call for Independent Inquiry

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to consider its response to yesterday’s decision by Ethiopia’s federal government to declare seven senior UN officials as “persona non grata,” unwelcome in the country. The…
An organizer asks displaced Tigrayans to queue as they wait to receive food at a school in Mekele, in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, May 5, 2021.
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Sudan and the UN Human Rights Council Should Work Together to Deliver Reforms

Next week Sudan’s human rights record will be discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The session comes at a critical time for Sudan, which is still in a difficult transition period following the ousting of ex-president Omer al-Bashir in…
Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok chairs a cabinet meeting in the capital Khartoum, Sudan on September 21, 2021. 
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Donors Shouldn’t Engage in Whitewashing Horrendous Rights Record

The United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Egypt office issued a press release last week lavishing praise on President al-Sisi’s government’s supposed “good governance and accountability.” This is a very different Egypt from the one Human Rights…
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on September 14, 2021.
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Listing Achievements at UN Won’t Hide Failures to Protect Rights

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week, to address global issues and list his government’s “achievements on the domestic front.” But back home, authorities are targeting…
Farmers participate in a protest against farm laws in Haryana, India on September 7, 2021. 
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Major Step Could Be Beginning of End for Beijing’s Reign of Impunity

In just two sentences, the United Nations human rights chief signaled this week that time is up on the Chinese government’s attempts to evade international scrutiny for its sweeping human rights abuses. After noting possible areas of cooperation, High…
Police officers stand at the outer entrance of the Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China's Xinjiang region on April 23, 2021.
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New Law Prohibits Nearly All Abortion Essentially After Six Weeks of Pregnancy

The US state of Texas and the United States Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to women’s (and pregnant people’s) human rights last week. Dozens of US states have been passing destructive laws limiting abortion access for years, but courts usually…
Protesters march from City Hall to the federal courthouse in protest of the new state abortion law in Houston, Texas on September 5th, 2021.
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Human Rights Council’s Credibility Hinges on Taking Strong Action at Emergency Session

As reports mount of grave human rights abuses by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an emergency session this week. It should immediately mandate the strongest possible monitoring mechanism. Before their…
22 اگست، 2021 کو کابل، کے نواحی علاقے وزیر اکبر خان میں ایک چیک پوسٹ پر طالبان جنگجو ڈیوٹی دے رہے ہیں۔
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Pyongyang Blames Problems on Everything but Own Abusive Policies

  Hypocrisy is commonplace at the United Nations. Delegates routinely stand at UN podiums and blame everyone and everything but their own governments for their countries’ problems. North Korea took this practice to new level on Tuesday at a…
Visitors pay homage to the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il ahead of the 27th anniversary of the death of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, North Korea, on July 7, 2021. 
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Human Rights Council Should Adopt Resolution on Abuses in Tigray

As reports of grave rights abuses continue to emerge from the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the United Nations Human Rights Council is considering a resolution to add Tigray to its agenda. It should do so immediately. Communities in Tigray have…
Tigrinyan refugee women prepare bread for their family in Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan on December 11, 2020 
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Human Rights Monitoring Mechanism Still Urgently Needed

Human rights has long been the weakest of the four pillars of the 2006 United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, an international roadmap for addressing terrorist threats. Many UN member countries have quashed peaceful dissent, dangerously…
A wide view of the Security Council meeting on peace and security in Africa, with a focus on countering terrorism and extremism in Africa on March 3, 2020 
News

States Need to Grapple with Colonial Pasts, Address Root Causes of Systemic Racism

Within the next week, the United Nations Human Rights Council will consider whether to adopt a resolution by its African Group on systemic racism and police brutality, a landmark effort to deal with the deeply rooted legacy of racism around the world…
Delegates attend a session on racism and police brutality resolution in the wake of the death of George Floyd, at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on June 19, 2020.