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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…
News

Police, Civil Servants Detained Incommunicado in Ghazni, Malistan, Kandahar

(New York) – Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government, Human Rights Watch said today. Residents from various…
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Re: Support for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Call for a Fact-Finding Mission in Afghanistan

The undersigned organisations welcome the call you made to the Human Rights Council on June 21, 2021, to consider “mechanisms for an effective prevention response” to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. We are writing to urge you to take…
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Twenty Rights Groups Call for Justice and Accountability

Human Rights Watch today joined Afghan and international human rights organizations calling for a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission to investigate escalating attacks on civilians in Afghanistan to promote justice and accountability.…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
News

Amid Persistent Abuses by All Sides, Talks Shouldn’t Endanger Freedoms

(New York) – Afghan government and Taliban officials meeting in Doha, Qatar for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations should publicly commit to uphold international human rights, including women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The United…
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, center left, wears a protective face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, on the last day of an Afghan Loya Jirga or traditional council, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, August 9, 2020. © 2020 AP Photos
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Trump Executive Order Seeks to Thwart Justice for Victims

(Washington, DC) – The Trump administration’s announced action against the International Criminal Court (ICC) escalates its efforts to thwart justice for victims of serious crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 11, 2020, President Donald…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
News
  The impending start of the intra-Afghan peace negotiations has raised hopes for an end to Afghanistan’s long war. Among the many grave anxieties remaining, however, is whether a future agreement will address past human rights abuses or if…
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, February 6, 2020. 
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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Ensure Due Process, Victim Role in War Crimes Trial

(New York) – The Afghan government should bring appropriate war crimes charges against Aslam Farooqi, leader of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), an affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS), for his alleged role in directing attacks…
The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) released this image of Abdullah Orakzai, also known as Aslam Farooqi, the leader of an ISIS affiliate. © 2020 National Directorate of Security
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ABC Investigation Exposes Alleged 2012 War Crimes in Afghanistan

(Sydney) – Australia’s Defence Department should reexamine previously dismissed cases of alleged summary executions and other war crimes in Afghanistan in light of new evidence, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Defence…
Australian SAS search operation in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, in May 2012. Screenshot from ABC News, Four Corners, March 16, 2020.
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Court Allows Prosecutor to Investigate Alleged War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity

Afghans who are skeptical about whether the US-Taliban agreement and planned intra-Afghan peace talks can deliver a better future, now have reason to believe that justice might not be squandered in the process. Today, judges on the International Criminal…
Afghan family leaves site of attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 22, 2016. © 2016 Reuters
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Member Countries Should Strongly Support Court’s Independence

The International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to approve an investigation in Afghanistan gives atrocity victims hope for future justice, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 5, 2020, ICC appeals chamber judges unanimously approved…
A member of the Afghan security forces stands at the site of a truck bomb attack in Kabul, May 31, 2017.
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Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
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  Recently, a panel of International Criminal Court (ICC) judges unanimously rejected Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s November 2017 request to open an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity…
The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
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Victims Denied Path to Justice; Decision Benefits Obstructionist States

  (The Hague) – The decision by International Criminal Court (ICC) judges not to open a formal investigation into alleged grave crimes in Afghanistan denies the country’s victims a path to justice, Human Rights Watch…
The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
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Human Rights Council Panel commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, I wish to address the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in realizing its ideals. This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the ICC’s…
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This potential investigation sounds like big news, especially if alleged US crimes are examined. What kinds of crimes have taken place in Afghanistan since 2003? The prosecutor said she is seeking permission to investigate alleged crimes against…
Afghan family leaves site of attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 22, 2016. © 2016 Reuters
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Could Bring Victims Long Overdue Path to Justice

(Brussels) – The International Criminal Court prosecutor’s request for an investigation in Afghanistan on November 20, 2017, could begin a long overdue path to justice for victims of grave international crimes, Human Rights Watch said…
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