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Focus on Justice, Refugees, Education

(Brussels) - The Friends of Syria Group meeting in Brussels on April 24-25, 2018, should address the war crimes and impunity that characterize the Syria conflict and meet urgent protection and humanitarian needs, Human Rights Watch said…
People walk with their belongings as they flee the rebel-held town of Hammouriyeh, in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta, Syria March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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‘They will kill us all,” “Ahmad,” a Syrian aid worker, told me last month, referring to the many armed parties to the Syrian conflict. We were talking about Idlib, a province in northwest Syria that is home to around 2…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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Pressure is building on Afghan and Somali refugees to go home, even if they no longer have homes to return to. It is not surprising that this pressure is coming from governments that have been hosting huge numbers of refugees and want…
Member of Greek Red Cross helps an Afghan refugee who has just arrived from Turkey with an inflatable boat in the area of airport of Mytilene, Lesvos Island, Greece.
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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.
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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…
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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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  1. What's going on in South Ossetia?  2. What's the background to the latest round of fighting?  3. Is this an internal or international armed conflict? What law governs it?  4. What is a lawful target under international humanitarian law?  5. What…
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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” (…
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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…
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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…
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Kenya's electoral crisis is spinning out of control, threatening the country's future, and exacting a terrible toll on thousands of ordinary Kenyans. Hundreds have been killed and thousands more chased out of their homes by mobs made up of former…
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Kenyan Authorities Should Ensure Accountability for Post-Election Violence

(Washington, DC) - African leaders attending the African Union summit in Addis Ababa on February 1-2, 2008 should call for an independent inquiry into post-election violence and election fraud in Kenya, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the African…
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Police Should Protect Displaced Persons Camps

Human Rights Watch investigations indicate that, after Kenya's disputed elections, opposition party officials and local elders planned and organized ethnic-based violence in the Rift Valley, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks, targeting mostly…
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Government Should End Curbs on Peaceful Demonstrations and Press

An independent investigation of the presidential elections is needed to avert further violence in Kenya, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch urged the government to end unnecessary restrictions on the media and peaceful assembly. "…
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel should use her January 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin to signal a shift in Germany’s Russia policy that puts more emphasis on international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. “…
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Khodorkovsky’s trial occurs at a time when the Russian authorities—guided by President Putin’s seemingly benign concept of “managed democracy”—are exhibiting extraordinary determination to reestablish control over numerous spheres of public life—business…
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European Union leaders should use Friday’s summit with Russia to raise concerns about the country’s deteriorating human rights record and secure concrete commitments for improvements, Human Rights Watch said today. As the European Union prepares for its…