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Human Rights Watch Oral Statement

34th Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council 12 May 2022 Human Rights Watch has documented grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by Russian military forces in occupied areas of Ukraine, including summary…
News

Russia, Ukraine Should Join International Ban Treaty

Russian armed forces have used at least six types of cluster munitions in attacks in Ukraine, and Ukrainian forces also appear to have used them at least once. Cluster munitions spread multiple explosive submunitions or bomblets over a wide area…
202205arms_ukraine_clustermunition
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Killings, Torture of Civilians

(Nairobi) – Forces in the Central African Republic, whom witnesses identified as Russian, appear to have summarily executed, tortured, and beaten civilians since 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. National authorities, the country’s Special Criminal…
A UN peacekeeper alongside a member of Russian security forces and a member of Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s presidential guard in Bangui, December 27, 2020.
News

Civilians Killed Trying to Flee, Approaching Checkpoints

(Kyiv) – Russian forces have fired on civilian vehicles in three separate incidents in Ukraine’s Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, killing six civilians and wounding three, Human Rights Watch said today. In one case, they pulled a man from a van and…
Maksym Maksymenko’s shot-up car in Hostomel, Ukraine. Russian forces opened fire on the vehicle on February 28, 2022 while Maksym was trying to evacuate with his mother, mother-in-law, wife, and their toddler son. Maksym and his wife were wounded, his mother died.
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Preserving Evidence Critical for War Crimes Prosecutions

Russian forces committed a litany of apparent war crimes during their occupation of Bucha, a town about 30 kilometers northwest of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, from March 4 to 31, 2022, Human Rights Watch said in a detailed report released today. Human…
Women watch and embrace each other as bodies are exhumed from a mass grave by the authorities
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Video Appears to Show Fighters Shooting Russian POWs

(New York) – Ukraine should ensure an effective investigation into alleged abuse by Ukrainian fighters of Russian prisoners of war (POWs), Human Rights Watch said today. If confirmed, the beating and shooting of captured combatants in their legs would…
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Landmines Threaten Civilian Lives, Prolong Recovery

(Berlin, March 29, 2022) – Russian forces fighting in Ukraine have used banned antipersonnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region, Human Rights Watch said today.  The antipersonnel mines were located by Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal…
POM-3 antipersonnel mines that failed to deploy and remnants of its delivery canister found by deminers in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on or around March 28.
News

Cluster Munitions Used, Vacuum Bombs Spotted in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues, Human Rights Watch has been busy investigating what’s happening on the ground – including scrutinizing the weapons being used in the conflict. Under the laws of war, parties to the conflict must do everything feasible to…
An apartment building explodes
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Residents Describe Harsh Conditions During Russian Attack

Thirty-two civilians who managed to escape southeastern Ukraine’s besieged city of Mariupol last week told Human Rights Watch how they struggled to survive in below-freezing temperatures as Russian forces relentlessly attacked the city. They described…
A woman and her family try to get a signal over medium wave radio
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Civilians Killed, Injured in Multiple Attacks That May Amount to War Crimes

(Berlin) – Russian forces repeatedly fired cluster munition rockets into the densely populated city of Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, during separate attacks on March 7, 11, and 13, 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. An attack on March 13…
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Published Footage of Captured Soldiers Violates Geneva Conventions

(Berlin) – Ukrainian authorities should stop posting on social media and messaging apps videos of captured Russian soldiers that expose them to public curiosity, in particular those that show them being humiliated or intimidated, Human Rights Watch said…
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Dozens Killed and Wounded in Apparent War Crime in Chernihiv

Russian aircraft dropped multiple unguided bombs simultaneously on March 3, 2022, that hit an intersection in a residential neighborhood of Chernihiv, a city in northeastern Ukraine, Human Rights Watch said today. The attack, at about 12:15 p.m.…
A residential building in Chernihiv, Ukraine damaged by Russian aerial attack on March 3, 2022.
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(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch…
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Millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, if Russia vetoes reauthorizing the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey into opposition-held northwest Syria, Human Rights Watch…
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UN Report Shows Transfers of Banned Landmines in Conflict

Buried in a new report by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya comes disturbing news about recent transfers of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines. The report shows that antipersonnel mines manufactured in Russia were likely brought…
PMN-2 blast mines recovered from Tripoli, Libya, December 2020. 
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(Geneva, October 15, 2020) – The Syrian and Russian armed forces’ repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure in Idlib in northwest Syria were apparent war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
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The authorities in Syria should address as a priority what happened to people who disappeared in the custody of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) while the group controlled parts of Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
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Syrian government and Russian forces have escalated their airstrikes on Eastern Ghouta, a suburb approximately 15 kilometers from the center of Syria’s capital, Damascus, killing dozens of civilians in apparently unlawful attacks. Syrian forces have…
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New evidence supports the conclusion that Syrian government forces have used nerve agents on at least four occasions in recent months: on April 4, 2017, in a chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun that killed at least 90 people, and on three other occasions in…