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A federal judge in California ruled on April 21 that the Iraqi extradition case against Omar Ameen, a resettled refugee in the U.S., was based on an alleged series of events that is "simply not plausible." The evidence the government presented,…
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2 Miscarriages From Lack of Hospital Access

(Beirut) - Security forces for Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have arbitrarily imposed restrictions on movement for most residents of Makhmour refugee camp for Turkish Kurds since mid-July 2019, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Makhmour Refugee Camp.
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Notify Families; Allow Contact

(Beirut) – New cases have emerged of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) authorities detaining men and boys fleeing Mosul on suspicion of affiliation with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today. …
Displaced persons who fled fighting in Mosul gather at Khazir camp, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
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Civilians are Fleeing the So-called "Caliphate" – Only to be Detained By Iraqi Security Forces

As the Mosul operation approached, the Iraqi security forces were concerned not only with the Islamic State fighters they would face on the battlefield, but the people trying to escape the extremist group’s grasp. The Nineveh Operations Command, the…
Displaced Iraqi civilians hold white flags as they flee a battle with the Islamic State in Kokjali village near Mosul, November 03, 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
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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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Two high-level figures have mischaracterized the European refugee crisis at a critical moment when the rights of asylum seekers are in great danger of being short-circuited. On March 1, NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Philip…
Refugees and migrants line up to receive aid in a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the Greek village of Idomeni March 4, 2016.
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Using schools for shelter was a natural. When the Islamic State drove waves of people from the Sinjar area of Iraq in early August, most of them members of the Yazidi minority group, they fled first to the mountains and then to the relative safety of…
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Armed Group Targeting Christian Nuns, Turkmen, Shabaks, Yazidis

(Duhok) – The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) is killing, kidnapping, and threatening religious and ethnic minorities in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Since capturing Mosul on June 10, 2014, the armed Sunni extremist group has seized…
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Deter Attacks With Investigations, Not Harassment

(Baghdad) – Iraqi security forces have been surrounding and closing off majority Sunni neighborhoods, effectively shutting residents inside, raiding homes, and carrying out mass arrests in advance of the Muslim holy month of Muharram, Human Rights Watch…
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Sectarianism in the Muslim world is dividing people who have lived together for centuries.

The last month hasn't been a good one for religious tolerance. As Egypt teetered on the edge of chaos following the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, unknown assailants killed a Coptic Christian priest in Sinai and Muslim extremists…
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The Iraqi government has hurled the country to the brink of a new civil war. In under a month, Baghdad launched a vicious assault on a Sunni protest camp, resulting in 44 deaths; executed 21 alleged Sunni terrorists in one day, and suspended the licenses…
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At Least 10,000 Stranded in Difficult, Dangerous Conditions

(Beirut) – The Iraqi and Turkish authorities should immediately re-open border crossings where more than 10,000 Syrians have been stranded for weeks and allow all those wishing to seek asylum to cross without delay, Human Rights Watch said today. Tens of…
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Women, Journalists, Detainees, Marginalized Groups Under Threat 8 Years After Invasion

(Beirut) - The rights of Iraq's most vulnerable citizens, especially women and detainees, are routinely violated with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Human Rights Watch conducted research in seven cities across Iraq during…
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A Human Rights Platform for Candidates

On March 7, Iraq's voters will head to the polls nationwide to select all 325 members of parliament. The election will be a key indicator on whether the country is moving toward greater political stability and respect for human rights and away from the…
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Five Killed in Mosul in One Week

Update: Three more Christians were killed on February 23 after armed men shot a father and his two sons at their home in Mosul. (Washington, DC, February 23, 2010) - Iraq's government should bolster security to protect the lives of Christians in Mosul,…
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Yazidis, Shabaks, and Christians Caught in Kurdish-Arab Contest for Control

(Erbil) - Iraq's central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government should protect besieged minorities in the disputed territories of Nineveh province, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Human Rights Watch documented attacks by…