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Since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have carried out targeted killings that frequently kill and injure civilians.

On September 17, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, gave an extraordinary news conference in which he admitted that the United States had killed an aid worker in Kabul and his family; McKenzie apologized, adding that…
The Pentagon, Washington, DC, United States.
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US, Afghan Forces Need to Visit Sites, Obtain Witness Accounts

(New York) – The United States and Afghan governments are not adequately investigating possibly unlawful airstrikes in Afghanistan, which may contribute to rising civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent…
An Afghan woman receives medical treatment after being injured during an airstrike in Herat province, Afghanistan, August 29, 2017.
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Slight Fall in Ground Fighting Civilian Casualties by Government Forces

When I was in Kabul a few days ago, I caught up with an old Afghan friend, who remarked that the relentless violence in Afghanistan is hard for outsiders to comprehend. The mounting toll of dead and wounded has become abstract, he said, hard…
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ISIS Affiliates Target Shia Minority

(New York) – The attack on a Shia mosque in Kabul claimed by the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) on August 25, 2017, is a serious violation of the laws of war, and an apparent war crime, Human Rights Watch…
A man inspects a Shia mosque after an attack claimed by the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 25, 2017.
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Summary No one here reports to police because they fear for their lives. . . . There are people who have been missing for more than nine months. Some are taken for a few weeks or days for questioning and then returned, so it is…
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MSF Hospital Attack Demands Compensation, Independent Investigation

(Washington, DC) – The United States military’s statement that US forces “mistakenly struck” a Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders, MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan needs to be followed up by a credible, independent, and transparent…
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The latest reports of targeted US attacks on  militant leaders abroad – one in Libya and one in Yemen —once again raise the issue of the secrecy around these attacks, especially the drone attacks under CIA jurisdiction.   But Congress may be…
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Demonstrate ‘Targeted Killings’ Adhere to International Law

(Washington, DC) – The US government should transfer Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) command of aerial drone strikes to the armed forces and clarify its legal rationale for targeted killings, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Barack…
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Following the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush began a campaign of “targeted killings” against suspected members of al Qaeda and other armed groups. It has continued under the administration of President…
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Council Action Also Needed on Iran, Afghanistan, and Elsewhere

(Geneva) - The United Nations Human Rights Council took positive steps to respond to human rights emergencies in Kyrgyzstan and Somalia in its session that ended on June 18, 2010, Human Rights Watch said today. But the council's failure to act on Iran and…
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To Help Women, Leaders Should Dig Deeper than Religious Clothing

President Sarkozy of France has reignited the debate about how Muslim women in Europe should dress by calling for a ban on clothing that, as he puts it, imprisons women and undermines their dignity. But in this burqa debate the voices of Muslim women…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…
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As delegates gather in Germany to discuss the composition of a transitional government in Afghanistan, it is crucial to ensure that principles of international human rights and accountability are incorporated in security and governance arrangements. The…
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Secretary of Defense cannot afford to turn a blind eye to abuses by Uzbekistan

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should exercise caution in dealing with Uzbekistan, America’s newest ally in the fight against terrorism, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on Rumsfeld to make clear that Uzbekistan should…