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Displaced People Fear Arrest Over Actions of their Relatives

(Erbil) – Iraqi military have accompanied police in entering a camp for displaced people south of Mosul and started “screening” over 3,500 households there, Human Rights Watch said today. The screenings appear to include questioning…
The school at Hammam al-Alil 1 camp for displaced people south of Mosul that security forces occupied on July 6, 7 and 9 in order to conduct security screenings of camp residents. © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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Inform Families of Whereabouts; Allow Outside Contact

(Erbil) – Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces have detained at least 37 men from areas around Mosul and Hawija suspected of being affiliated with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) since the beginning of the Mosul operation, Human…
Three suspected ISIS members who travelled alongside families escaping areas around Mosul recently retaken from the group are held by KRG’s security forces at a checkpoint east of the city. November 4, 2016.
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Indiscriminate Attacks Strike Government-Held Areas

(New York) – Opposition armed groups in Syria have indiscriminately attacked civilians in government-held territory with car bombs, mortars, and rockets, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The attacks have killed and maimed hundreds of…
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Kept Hostage for One Month

(New York) – The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) should immediately release the estimated 133 Kurdish boys it has held hostage in northern Syria for a month. ISIS abducted 153 children, ages 13 and 14, from the mostly Kurdish town of Ain…
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Recruitment Under the Guise of ‘Education’

Non-state armed groups in Syria have used children as young as 15 to fight in battles, sometimes recruiting them under the guise of offering education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The groups have used children as young as 14 in…
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Global Campaign to Finalize, Implement Protection Guidelines

Geneva - The Norwegian government’s leadership to promote international standards to protect schools and universities from military use during armed conflict could spare students and teachers the horrors of war, the Global Coalition to Protect Education…
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Need Swift Implementation to Ensure Safe Delivery Across Frontlines

(New York) – A coalition of 18 international humanitarian, human rights and peace groups welcome the unanimous UN Security Council resolution demanding safe and unhindered humanitarian access – including across conflict lines and across borders – to…
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Powerful Conventional Weapon Kills at Least 12 Students in Raqqa

(New York ) – A Syrian government airstrike using fuel-air explosive bombs hit outside a secondary school in the opposition-held city of Raqqa on September 29, 2013, killing at least 14 civilians. At least 12 of those killed were students attending their…
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Children Interrogated, Arrested; Schools Shelled

(London) – The Syrian government has interrogated students and carried out violent assaults on their protests and military attacks on schools, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.Both government forces and opposition armed groups have…
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Boys Report Serving as Fighters, Guards, and Lookouts

(New York) – Armed opposition groups fighting in Syria are using children for combat and other military purposes, Human Rights Watch said today. Children as young as 14 have served in at least three opposition brigades, transporting weapons and supplies…
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Military Use Risks Students Lives, Safety, Education

(New York) – The use of schools and other education institutions for military purposes by armed forces and non-state armed groups during wartime endangers students and their education around the world, said the Global Coalition to Protect Education from…
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Security Forces Also Attacked Women and Girls in Raids on Homes

(New York) – Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Witnesses and victims also told Human Rights Watch that soldiers and pro-government armed militias have sexually abused…
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Security Council Should Impose Sanctions for Targeting Children, Teachers

(New York) – Armed forces and armed groups that attack schools and teachers should face consequences from the United Nations Security Council, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said today. The UN Secretary-General’s annual…
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Secretary General’s Report Should Prompt Security Council Sanctions

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council should impose an arms embargo and other targeted sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, on the Syrian leadership in response to widespread killings and other grave violations against children.…
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Security Forces Detain Juveniles, Occupy Schools

(New York) – Syrian army and security officers have detained and tortured children with impunity during the past year, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has documented at least 12 cases of children detained under inhumane conditions and…
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Proposed Law Would Violate Rights, Endanger Women’s Lives

(Warsaw) – The Polish parliament should reject the proposed absolute ban on abortion that is up for a vote on August 31, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The draft bill, “On the Protection of Human Life from the Moment of Conception,” would impose an…
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Bill Shows Commitment to End Violence Against Women

(Beirut) - A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) law that bans female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crucial step in eradicating the practice, Human Rights Watch said today. The Family Violence Bill, approved by the Kurdistan parliament on June 21, 2011,…
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The Kurdistan Islamic Scholars Union, the highest Muslim authority in Iraqi Kurdistan for religious pronouncements and rulings, issued a fatwa or religious edict last month. This would not have been particularly newsworthy, except that this particular…
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Edict Says Female Genital Mutilation not Prescribed by Islam but Doesn’t Ban It

(Beirut) - A religious edict  by the Kurdistan Islamic Scholars Union on female genital mutilation (FGM) sends a clear signal that the practice is not prescribed by Islam, Human Rights Watch said today. The edict, however, does not call for an outright…