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Allegations Against NY Governor Cuomo Highlight Need for Real Protections

The sexual harassment accusations against New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo are mounting as women turn to the media — on Twitter, in a personal essay, and in high-profile interviews with national news outlets — to detail their allegations against…
Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development adviser for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaks in front of microphones and a crowd of people holding signs at a rally in New York City, March 20, 2021. 
News

Abortion Restrictions Defeated; Paid Family Leave, Mandatory Sex Education Adopted

With all eyes seemingly on the US presidential election, it’s easy to miss some of the exciting progress made on gender equality at the state level. Colorado voters had two big initiatives on their ballot, one to expand paid family and medical…
Boxes of vote-by-mail ballot envelopes are shown at the King County election headquarters in Renton, Washington, October 23, 2020. 
News

Guantanamo Testimony on Waterboarding, Black Sites

In his testimony last week in the pre-trial hearing of five men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States, Dr. James Mitchell vividly described his role in torturing detainees in the program he helped design…
The closed Camp X-Ray detention facility is seen in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, April 16, 2019.
News

Court Hears from Architects of CIA Torture Program

In the gallery at the back of the courtroom at Guantanamo Bay’s military commission hearing, I could open a copy of Enhanced Interrogation, James Mitchell’s widely available book chronicling his role in the United States Central…
In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
News

Recent Attacks Show Need to Re-Examine Priorities

If there is one thing the massacre at a Jewish synagogue, the pipe bombs mailed to leading Democratic party figures, and the racist violence that claimed the lives of two African-Americans in a Louisville Kroger store last week show, it…
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Supporting Land Rights an Important Step

Earlier this week, the House Foreign Affairs committee approved a new bipartisan bill addressing women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. It’s not comprehensive legislation on women’s economic empowerment – it doesn’t address…
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Holds Hearings on State’s Role in CIA Secret Renditions Program

There’s been no justice for victims of the US Central Intelligence Agency’s rendition, torture, and secret detention program created after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. But a unique citizen-led initiative in North…
The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, U.S. on August 14, 2008.
News

Robot Visits US, Afghan Girls Stuck at Home

We want to make a difference and most breakthroughs in science, technology, and other industries normally start with the dream of a child to do something great.  – Team Afghanistan’s statement on the competition website They…
Members of Afghan robotics girls team which was denied entry into the United States for a competition, work on their robots in Herat province, Afghanistan July 4, 2017.
News

Evidence of US Complicity in Abuses by UAE and Yemeni Forces

The Associated Press reported today that US forces were involved in the interrogation of detainees held in secret prisons in Yemen where torture is widespread. The centers are run by United Arab Emirati (UAE) and UAE-backed Yemeni…
An Emirati and South Yemen flag painted in Yemen’s port city of Aden. By 2017, Emirati and South Yemen flags flew in many parts of Aden, which President Hadi declared the temporary capital of Yemen after Houthi-Saleh forces took over Sanaa in 2014.
News

The Paycheck Fairness Act Would Help Protect Working Women’s Rights

Today is “Equal Pay Day,” symbolizing how far past 2016 and into 2017 women in the United States, on average, have to work to earn as much as men did in 2016. In other words, to bring home what men earn in 12 months, women have to work for more than 15…
A mother and her daughter participate in the International Women's Day "A Day Without a Woman" protest in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 8, 2017.
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Gina Haspel’s Troubling History with ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’

At his confirmation hearing last month, Mike Pompeo, now head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, made clear that US law bars the CIA from using “enhanced interrogation techniques” – methods more commonly known as “torture.” So his hiring yesterday of…
The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, U.S. on August 14, 2008.
News

Rebranding US Counterterrorism Program is Discriminatory, Alienating

Amid the uproar over President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, along comes yet another proposal in the same discriminatory spirit: to revamp a United States government program created to counter all violent ideologies so that it would focus solely on…
Muslim women listen to remarks during a news conference held by House Democrats to introduce legislation "to ensure that no one is denied entry into the United States because of their religion" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington February 2, 2017.
News

No Hope of Entering US, At Least for Now

On Saturday, I spent a damp, cold day at Khazir camp, about an hour outside of Erbil, which houses thousands of Iraqi civilians who have fled Islamic State control and recent fighting to retake Mosul. I was there to learn more about the detention of  many…
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Future Whistleblowers Are Watching

Update: On Friday, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama urging that he commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning. On January 17, President Obama ordered Manning be freed, having served nearly 7 years of her sentence, on May 17, 2017, rather…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
News

Keeping Facility Open Threatens US National Security

US president-elect Donald Trump’s tweet yesterday that everyone held at Guantanamo Bay is “extremely dangerous” is ill-informed. What’s worse, his proposed course of action – stopping all releases – shows a lack of understanding about the danger of…
A detainee paces around a cell block while being held in Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Camp VI at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba March 22, 2016.
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Trump Should Not Reinstate Them

President Barack Obama did the right thing today by repealing federal counterterrorism regulations that required tens of thousands of non-citizen Muslims to register with the government. The action may slow down President-elect Donald Trump if he moves to…
Protesters march past the White House during a protest to shut down the existing Muslim registry program NSEERS in Washington U.S., December 12, 2016.
News

Real Justice Requires Due Process

Following last week’s bombing in New York City that wounded 31 people, some politicians are calling on US authorities to take the accused bomber, Ahmad Khan Rahami, out of the federal court system and instead treat him as a so-called “enemy combatant” …
Ahmad Khan Rahami, New York bombings suspect
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Real Oversight and Reform on Surveillance Needed in the US

What a coincidence – just as we launch a Campaign to Pardon Edward Snowden, and as the new Oliver Stone movie opens, the House Intelligence Committee issues a report arguing against clemency for Snowden, alleging overwhelming damage he supposedly caused…
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Sign Petition to Bring Whistleblower Home

Today, Human Rights Watch joins the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International in launching a public campaign urging President Obama to pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden. It’s been more than three years since…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
News

Judge orders evidence destroyed related to defendants’ secret detention, torture

A trial of the five men charged with the 9/11 attacks is still years away – a fact that became obvious while sitting in on last week’s pre-trial hearings in the Guantanamo Bay military commissions. The co-defendants were arraigned in May 2012, yet…
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, (2nd R) the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, addresses the judge during the third day of pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 war crimes prosecution as depicted in this Pentagon-approved courtroom sketch at the U.S. Naval