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Switzerland and Liberia Should Build on Important Progress

(Geneva) – The conviction of a former Liberian rebel leader by a Swiss court for war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war is a landmark step for Liberian victims and Switzerland’s efforts to hold those responsible for grave crimes to account, Human…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
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Victims, Witnesses to Testify

(Geneva) – The trial of a former Liberian rebel leader arrested in Switzerland for alleged war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war will start its second important phase on February 15, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch issued…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
News

Switzerland Should Bolster Efforts in Cases of Serious International Crimes

(Geneva) – The trial of a former Liberian rebel leader arrested in Switzerland for alleged war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war is an important step forward for victims, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 3, 2020, a criminal…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
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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
Report
Summary Since they destroyed [the Calais camp] last year, there is no place to sleep or eat. It’s like living in hell. —Yeakob S., 29-year-old Ethiopian man, Calais, June 30, 2017 [T]he women and the men who first were coming from Syria,…
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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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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
News

Video, Q&A Highlight Cases Spurred by Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch released a question-and-answer document and video on October 20, 2016 that highlight the groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in European countries of people accused of kidnappings, ill-treatment, and torture in…
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(Milan) - The European Union (EU) should act immediately to prevent further deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said. As many as 700 migrants and asylum seekers are feared dead in a single shipwreck in the Mediterranean north of Libya on April 19, 2015,…
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More Governments Should Set up Specialized War Crimes Units

(The Hague) - Governments wanting to limit impunity for the most serious international crimes should look to the examples of three European countries showing leadership in this area. Specialized war crimes units composed of police, prosecutors, and…
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Officials from Serbia and Kosovo met in Brussels last week for a second round of negotiations aimed at establishing a formal relationship. Because of the potential for the talks to be politically fraught, negotiators have agreed to limit themselves to…
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People with disabilities, minorities, remain exposed to grave abuses

For many in Europe, the western Balkans still evoke images of the brutal conflicts that followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The legacy of those wars continues to shape European Union and US policy toward the region. Repairing the damage…
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Protecting the health of vulnerable, displaced people

This fall, the European Commission (EC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) began closing down lead-contaminated camps in Kosovo, where displaced Roma were living in abysmal health conditions for a decade. Human Rights Watch…
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With Brussels increasingly the most influential actor in Kosovo, the European Commission annual progress report is a key benchmark for its performance on human rights. The latest report, published yesterday, rightly highlights the ongoing weakness of…
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Western Europe Should Halt Deportations and Assist Roma Forced Back to Kosovo

(Pristina) - Roma and related minority groups deported from Western Europe to Kosovo face discrimination and severe deprivation amounting to human rights abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 77-page report, "Rights Displaced:…
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Law Commission Should Alter Text Ahead of National Assembly Debate

(Paris) - The Law Commission should amend the text of the proposed immigration bill to protect all asylum seekers from the risk of being deported before their asylum claims have been fully examined, Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture-France…
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When Kosovo declared independence in February 2008, there was optimism that after almost a decade of drift, greater self-government and a newly energized international presence led by the EU might finally move it in the right direction.  Two years on,…
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