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Camp Closure Threat Triggers Thousands Returning to Danger

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s repatriation program for Somali refugees, fueled by fear and misinformation, does not meet international standards for voluntary refugee return. Many refugees living in Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab camp, home to at least 263,000 Somalis,…
Photo of Somali refugees getting on buses to leave Dadaab refugee camp.
News

Flawed Practices Stoke Communal Tension as Elections Near

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan government has discriminated based on ethnicity in assisting displaced people from the Rift Valley. The discriminatory practices are stoking inter-ethnic tensions ahead of the March 2013 elections. Human Rights Watch research in…
News

Government’s Failure to Free Displaced Civilians Worsens Situation

(New York) - Floods caused by heavy rains unnecessarily threaten more than 260,000 displaced Tamil civilians whom the Sri Lankan government has unlawfully detained in camps in northern Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch said today. Permitting displaced…
News
Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam was slated to be a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in the fall of 1999. A renowned constitutional lawyer from Sri Lanka, Neelan was better known to me as a leading Tamil human rights activist who had thrown his hat into the…
News

Government Should Provide Land and Donors More Funds for New Camps

(Geneva) - The Kenyan government should rapidly fulfill its February 2009 pledge to provide more land for its mushrooming Somali refugee population, and donors should step up their financial support for the refugee camps, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Government Threats, ‘Disappearances’ After Past Military Victories Are Cause for Concern

(New York) - The Sri Lankan government should ensure that military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam does not result in new "disappearances," unlawful killings or the jailing of government critics, Human Rights Watch said today.  The Sri…
News
Dear Secretary-General, We are writing in advance of your upcoming visit to Sri Lanka on May 23. The Sri Lankan government's victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) signals an end to the devastating 25-year-long war in Sri Lanka.  We…
News
The scenes witnessed in the Vanni are devastating: Dead bodies of civilians lie strewn along dusty roads. Hospitals, playgrounds and houses stand ravaged by heavy artillery and rockets fired from multi-barrel launchers. Civilians who remain in the…
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Government and Tamil Tigers Should Allow Civilians to Flee Conflict Area

(New York) - The Sri Lankan government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should immediately agree to a plan of action to allow civilians trapped in the Vanni to leave the conflict area, Human Rights Watch said today. Some 150,000…
Report

 
 War on the Displaced
 Sri Lankan Army and LTTE Abuses against Civilians in the Vanni
 Map of Sri Lanka
 I. Summary
 A Note on Civilian Casualties
 II. Methodology
 III. Violations of the Laws of War
 Violations by…
News

Tamil Tigers Also Preventing Civilians From Fleeing Fighting

(New York) - A Sri Lankan government statement that it is not responsible for the safety of civilians who remain in areas controlled by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) indicates an appalling disregard for the well-being of the…
News
When the fifty-ninth division of Sri Lanka's army entered Mullaitivu on 25 January 2009, it marked the fall of the last major town under the control of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The end may be in sight for the conventional…
Report

 
 Besieged, Displaced, and Detained 
 The Plight of Civilians in Sri Lanka's Vanni Region
 Map of Sri Lanka
 I. Summary
 Note on Methodology
 II. Background: Return to War
 Concerns about Civilian Casualties
 III.…
News

Government Illegally Holding Civilians Fleeing Fighting in the North

(New York) - The Sri Lankan government should end the arbitrary detention of more than 400 civilians displaced by recent fighting at a newly established camp in northern Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch said today. Since March 2008, the government of Sri…
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Government Should Ensure Returns Are Voluntary and Secure

(London) - The Kenyan government should immediately stop forced returns of internally displaced people and ensure that all returns are safe and voluntary, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 5, the Kenyan government launched Operation “Rudi Nyumbani” (…
News

Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

Summary Major hostilities between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) resumed in mid-2006 and in January 2008 the government formally withdrew from the ceasefire in place since 2002. Since then the fighting has…
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Prosecutions Key to Ending Violence, Police Abuses

The new coalition government should bring to justice individuals responsible for recent and past episodes of political violence, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The new coalition government can help stabilize the country by…
News

Positive Steps in Agreement on Election Review, Constitutional Reform

The political agreement in Kenya mediated by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is a step forward, but Kenyan politicians must take immediate steps to ensure accountability for human rights violations if further negotiations are to build lasting…