Tag Archives: Human Rights Watch

New: HRW World Report 2014

World Report 2014: Events of 2013
Published by Human Rights Watch.

World Report 2014 is Human Rights Watch’s 24th annual review of human rights practices around the globe. It summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide, drawing on events from the end of 2012 through November 2013.

Further Information:

From the Press Release, entitled, “Rights Struggles of 2013: Stopping Mass Atrocities, Majority Bullying, and Abusive Counterterrorism”:

Looking back at human rights developments in 2013, several themes stand out. The unchecked slaughter of civilians in Syria elicited global horror and outrage, but not enough to convince world leaders to exert the pressure needed to stop it. That has led some to lament the demise of the much-vaunted “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, which world governments adopted less than a decade ago to protect people facing mass atrocities. Yet it turned out to be too soon to draft the epitaph for R2P, as it is known, because toward the end of the year it showed renewed vitality in several African countries facing the threat of large-scale atrocities: Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Democracy took a battering in several countries, but not because those in power openly abandoned it.  Many leaders still feel great pressure to pay lip service to democratic rule. But a number of relatively new governments, including in Egypt and Burma, settled for the most superficial forms—only elections, or their own divining of majoritarian preferences—without regard to the limits on majorities that are essential to any real democracy. This abusive majoritarianism lay behind governmental efforts to suppress peaceful dissent, restrict minorities, and enforce narrow visions of cultural propriety. Yet in none of these cases did the public take this abuse of democracy sitting down.

Since September 11, 2001, efforts to combat terrorism have also spawned human rights abuses. The past year saw intensified public discussion about two particular counterterrorism programs used by the United States: global mass electronic surveillance and targeted killings by aerial drones. For years, Washington had avoided giving clear legal justifications for these programs by hiding behind the asserted needs of secrecy. That strategy was undermined by whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the surveillance program, as well as by on-the-ground reporting of civilian casualties in the targeted-killing program. Both now face intense public scrutiny.

In the midst of all this upheaval, there were also important advances in the international machinery that helps to defend human rights. After a slow and disappointing start, the United Nations Human Rights Council seemed to come onto its own, most recently with significant pressure applied to North Korea and Sri Lanka. And two new multinational treaties give hope for some of the world’s most marginalized people: domestic workers and artisanal miners poisoned by the unregulated use of mercury.

Full Article:-  Rights Struggles of 2013: Stopping Mass Atrocities, Majority Bullying, and Abusive Counterterrorism.

 

Re-blog: World Report 2013: Challenges for Rights After Arab Spring

(London) – The euphoria of the Arab Spring has given way to the sobering challenge of creating rights-respecting democracies, Human Rights Watch said today in issuing its World Report 2013. The willingness of new governments to respect rights will determine whether those uprisings give birth to genuine democracy or simply spawn authoritarianism in new forms.

In the 665-page report, its23rd annual review of human rights practices around the globe, Human Rights Watch summarizes major issues in more than 90 countries. With regard to events in the Middle East and North Africa known as the Arab Spring, Human Rights Watch said the creation of a rights-respecting state can be painstaking work that requires building effective institutions of governance, establishing independent courts, creating professional police, and resisting the temptation of majorities to disregard human rights and the rule of law. But the difficulty of building democracy does not justify seeking a return to the old order, Human Rights Watch said.

“The uncertainties of freedom are no reason to revert to the enforced predictability of authoritarian rule,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The path ahead may be treacherous, but the alternative is to consign entire countries to a grim future of oppression.”
The tension between majority rule and respect for rights poses perhaps the greatest challenge for the new governments, Human Rights Watch said. Leaders in the Middle East are naturally eager to exercise their new electoral clout, but they have a duty to govern without sacrificing fundamental freedoms or the rights of minorities, women, and other groups at risk.

Full article available here:  World Report 2013: Challenges for Rights After Arab Spring

 

New Human Rights Watch Report Published for 2013

The Human Rights Watch organisation have published the 2013 edition of their flagship World Report 2013: Events of 2012.

Further information is provided in the Human Rights Watch press release detailed below and a copy of this report has been ordered for the Refugee Council Archive here at UEL.  The report is also available online:

Human Rights Watch press release:

World Report 2013: Challenges for Rights After Arab Spring:  How to Build Rights-Respecting Democracies After the Dictator Falls

(London) – The euphoria of the Arab Spring has given way to the sobering challenge of creating rights-respecting democracies, Human Rights Watch said today in issuing its World Report 2013. The willingness of new governments to respect rights will determine whether those uprisings give birth to genuine democracy or simply spawn authoritarianism in new forms.

In the 665-page report, its23rd annual review of human rights practices around the globe, Human Rights Watch summarizes major issues in more than 90 countries. With regard to events in the Middle East and North Africa known as the Arab Spring, Human Rights Watch said the creation of a rights-respecting state can be painstaking work that requires building effective institutions of governance, establishing independent courts, creating professional police, and resisting the temptation of majorities to disregard human rights and the rule of law. But the difficulty of building democracy does not justify seeking a return to the old order, Human Rights Watch said.

“The uncertainties of freedom are no reason to revert to the enforced predictability of authoritarian rule,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The path ahead may be treacherous, but the alternative is to consign entire countries to a grim future of oppression.”
The tension between majority rule and respect for rights poses perhaps the greatest challenge for the new governments, Human Rights Watch said. Leaders in the Middle East are naturally eager to exercise their new electoral clout, but they have a duty to govern without sacrificing fundamental freedoms or the rights of minorities, women, and other groups at risk.

Other countries can be supportive both by setting positive examples in their own practices, respecting human rights themselves, and by consistently promoting rights in their relations with the new government and others. Turning a blind eye to repression may be politically convenient but it does enormous damage to the quests for rights-respecting democracies, Human Rights Watch said.

The full press release is available online – [here].

New Publications from Human Rights Watch

Waiting for Justice: Accountability before Guinea’s Courts for the September 28, 2009 Stadium Massacre, Rapes, and Other Abuses.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 58-page report analyzes Guinea’s efforts to hold those responsible for the crimes to account. On that day, several hundred members of Guinea’s security forces burst into a stadium in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and opened fire on tens of thousands of opposition supporters peacefully gathered there. By late afternoon, at least 150 Guineans lay dead or dying, and dozens of women had suffered brutal sexual violence, including individual and gang rape. More than three years later, those implicated have yet to be held accountable.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release: Guinea: Step Up Efforts to Ensure Justice for Stadium Massacre

Under Siege: Indiscriminate Bombing and Abuses in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States
By Human Rights Watch.

This 39-page report is based on five research missions to the hard-to-access rebel-held areas in the two states and to refugee camps in South Sudan. It documents the government’s indiscriminate bombing and other attacks on civilians since conflict between the government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) broke out in June 2011 in Southern Kordofan following disputed state elections. The report also describes the effect of Sudan’s refusal to allow humanitarian assistance into rebel-held areas. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced inside the two states, surviving on very little, while more than 200,000 have fled to refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release: Sudan: Civilians Describe Toll of Attacks

Why They Left: Stories of Iranian Activists in Exile
By Human Rights Watch.

The 60-page report documents the experiences of dozens of rights defenders, journalists and bloggers, and lawyers whom security and intelligence forces targeted because they spoke out against the government. Some who took part in anti-government protests after the 2009 election had never been politically active before, but suddenly found themselves in the crosshairs of security and intelligence forces. Many Iranian refugees and asylum seekers interviewed by Human Rights Watch described difficult conditions and long processing times for their asylum applications during their stay in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release:  Iran: Activists Fleeing Assault on Civil Society

Race Against Time: The Need for Legal and Institutional Reforms Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections
By Human Rights Watch.

This report assesses the legislative and electoral reforms undertaken by the unity government, which was established in 2009 after the 2008 elections resulted in violence. The unity government consists of the former ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the two factions of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Human Rights Watch stated the deeply fractured unity government has failed to reform key laws or the justice system, which remains extremely partisan toward ZANU-PF. It has also failed to hold accountable those responsible for past human rights abuses, including during the 2008 electoral violence.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release:  Zimbabwe: Rights Reforms Needed Before Elections

Hear No Evil: Forced Labor and Corporate Responsibility in Eritrea’s Mining Sector
By Human Rights Watch.

The 29-page report describes how mining companies working in Eritrea risk involvement with the government’s widespread exploitation of forced labor. It also documents how Nevsun – the first company to develop an operational mine in Eritrea – initially failed to take those risks seriously, and then struggled to address allegations of abuse connected to its operations.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release:  Eritrea: Mining Investors Risk Use of Forced Labor

Turned Away: Summary Returns of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adult Asylum Seekers from Italy to Greece
By Human Rights Watch.

This report documents the failure of Italian border police at the Adriatic ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, and Venice to screen adequately for people in need of protection, in violation of Italy’s legal obligations. Human Rights Watch interviewed 29 children and adults who were summarily returned to Greece from Italian ports, 20 of them in 2012.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release:  Italy: Summary Returns to Greece Violate Rights

 

New Publications from Human Rights Watch

Rights Out of Reach

Rights Out of Reach

Rights Out of Reach: Obstacles to Health, Justice, and Protection for Displaced Victims of Gender-Based Violence in Colombia
By Human Rights Watch.

This 101-page report documents how recent improvements in Colombia’s laws, policies, and programs on rape and domestic violence have not translated into more effective justice, healthcare, and protection for displaced women and girls. More than half of the country’s roughly four million displaced are female.

[Download Full Report]
Read the Press Release – Colombia: Obstacles to Care for Abused, Displaced Women

Lonely Servitude

Lonely Servitude

Lonely Servitude: Child Domestic Labor in Morocco.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 73-page report found that some child domestic workers – who are overwhelmingly girls – toil for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, for as little as US$11 a month. Some girls told Human Rights Watch that their employers frequently beat and verbally abused them, denied them education, and sometimes refused them adequate food.‬

[Download Full Report]
Read the Press Release – Morocco: Abuse of Child Domestic Workers

"A Long Way from Reconciliation"

“A Long Way from Reconciliation”

“A Long Way from Reconciliation”: Abusive Military Crackdown in Response to Security Threats in Côte d’Ivoire.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 73-page report details the brutal crackdown that followed a series of violent attacks on military installations around the country in August. The attacks were allegedly committed by militants loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo. The resulting crackdown recalled the grave crimes committed during the 2010-2011 post-election crisis, in some cases under the same commanders previously identified as responsible for brutal abuses, Human Rights Watch found. The government of President Alassane Ouattara needs to ensure the prompt investigation and prosecution of forces who committed serious human rights abuses, including torture and inhuman treatment, in response to these security threats, Human Rights Watch said.

[Download Full Report]
Read the Press Release – Côte d’Ivoire: New Spate of Abuses by Military

Losing Humanity

Losing Humanity

Losing Humanity: The Case against Killer Robots.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 50-page report outlines concerns about these fully autonomous weapons, which would inherently lack human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians. In addition, the obstacles to holding anyone accountable for harm caused by the weapons would weaken the law’s power to deter future violations.

[Download Full Report]
Read the Press Release – Ban ‘Killer Robots’ Before It’s Too Late

 

New Publications from Human Rights Watch and Selected Advance Access Articles

Human Rights Watch Reports:

“Tell Them That I Want to Kill Them”

“Tell Them That I Want to Kill Them”

“Tell Them That I Want to Kill Them”:Two Decades of Impunity in Hun Sen’s Cambodia.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 68-page report documents key cases of unsolved killings of political activists, journalists, opposition politicians, and others by Cambodian security forces since the 1991 Paris Agreements, which were signed by 18 countries, including the five permanent United Nations Security Council members. The Paris Agreements and the subsequent United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission were supposed to usher in a new era of democracy, human rights, and accountability in Cambodia. More than 300 people have been killed in politically motivated attacks since then, yet not one case has resulted in a credible investigation and conviction.

[Download the full report]

“The Law Was Against Me”

“The Law Was Against Me”

“The Law Was Against Me”:Migrant Women’s Access to Protection for Family Violence in Belgium.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 59-page report found three major protection gaps for migrant women who experience domestic violence in that country. Women who migrate to Belgium to join a husband or partner may face deportation if they report the violence during the period when their status is being confirmed, as do undocumented migrant women. And domestic violence victims, especially undocumented women, lack adequate access to shelters.

[Download the report]
Read the Press Release – Belgium: Abused Migrant Women Fear Deportation

Death of a Dictator

Death of a Dictator

Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte
by Human Rights Watch

This 58-page report details the final hours of Muammar Gaddafi’s life and the circumstances under which he was killed. It presents evidence that Misrata-based militias captured and disarmed members of the Gaddafi convoy and, after bringing them under their total control, subjected them to brutal beatings. They then executed at least 66 captured members of the convoy at the nearby Mahari Hotel. The evidence indicates that opposition militias took Gaddafi’s wounded son Mutassim from Sirte to Misrata and killed him there.

Under the laws of war, the killing of captured combatants is a war crime, and Libyan civilian and military authorities have an obligation to investigate war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law.

[Download the full report]
Read the Press Release – Libya: New Proof of Mass Killings at Gaddafi Death Site

Selected Advance Access Articles

Creating a Frame: A Spatial Approach to Random Sampling of Immigrant Households in Inner City Johannesburg
By Gayatri Singh and Benjamin D. Clark
Journal of Refugee Studies.
Link:-  http://jrs.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/27/jrs.fes031.1.short?rss=1

Sampling in an Urban Environment: Overcoming Complexities and Capturing Differences.
By Joanna Vearey
Journal of Refugee Studies
Link:-  http://jrs.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/27/jrs.fes032.1.short?rss=1

Gutters, Gates, and Gangs: Collaborative Sampling in ‘Post-Violence’ Johannesburg.
By Jean-Pierre Misago and Loren B. Landau.
Journal of Refugee Studies.
Link:-  http://jrs.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/27/jrs.fes033.1.short?rss=1

Quantitative Methodological Dilemmas in Urban Refugee Research: A Case Study of Johannesburg.
By Darshan Vigneswaran and Joel Quirk.
Journal of Refugee Studies
Link:-  http://jrs.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/27/jrs.fes035.1.short?rss=1

Readmission Agreements of EU Member States: A Case for EU Subsidiarity or Dualism?
By Marion Panizzon.
Refugee Survey Quarterly.
Link:- http://rsq.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/11/02/rsq.hds014.short?rss=1

 

New Publications from Human Rights Watch

The following reports have recently been published by the Human Rights Watch organization:

Spiraling Violence

Spiraling Violence

Spiraling Violence: Boko Haram Attacks and Security Force Abuses in Nigeria
By Human Rights Watch.

This 98-page report catalogues atrocities for which Boko Haram has claimed responsibility. It also explores the role of Nigeria’s security forces, whose own alleged abuses contravene international human rights law and might also constitute crimes against humanity. The violence, which first erupted in 2009, has claimed more than 2,800 lives.

The report, which includes a photo essay, is based on field research in Nigeria between July 2010 and July 2012, and the continuous monitoring of media reports of Boko Haram attacks and statements since 2009. Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 135 people, including 91 witnesses and victims of Boko Haram violence or security forces abuses, as well as lawyers, civil society leaders, government officials, and senior military and police personnel.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

Toxic Tanneries

Toxic Tanneries

Toxic Tanneries: The Health Repercussions of Bangladesh’s Hazaribagh Leather
By Human Rights Watch.

This report documents an occupational health and safety crisis among tannery workers, both men and women, including skin diseases and respiratory illnesses caused by exposure to tanning chemicals, and limb amputations caused by accidents in dangerous tannery machinery. Residents of Hazaribagh slums complain of illnesses such as fevers, skin diseases, respiratory problems, and diarrhea, caused by the extreme tannery pollution of air, water, and soil. The government has not protected the right to health of the workers and residents, has consistently failed to enforce labor or environmental laws in Hazaribagh, and has ignored High Court orders to clean up these tanneries.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

Abusive System

Abusive System

Abusive System: Failures of Criminal Justice in Gaza
By Human Rights Watch

This 43-page report documents extensive violations by Hamas security services, including warrantless arrests, failure to inform families promptly of detainees’ whereabouts, and subjecting detainees to torture. It also documents violations of detainees’ rights by prosecutors and courts. Military courts frequently try civilians, in violation of international law. Prosecutors often deny detainees access to a lawyer, and courts have failed to uphold detainees’ due process rights in cases of warrantless arrest and abusive interrogations, Human Rights Watch found.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

“Like a Death Sentence”

“Like a Death Sentence”

“Like a Death Sentence”: Abuses against Persons with Mental Disabilities in Ghana.
By Human Rights Watch

This report describes how thousands of people with mental disabilities are forced to live in psychiatric institutions and spiritual healing centers, often against their will and with little possibility of challenging their confinement. In psychiatric hospitals, people with mental disabilities face overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. In some of the spiritual healing centers, popularly known as prayer camps, they are often chained to trees, frequently in the baking sun, and forced to fast for weeks as part of a “healing process,” while being denied access to medications.

The report also highlights the challenges of people with mental disabilities who live in the community, who face stigma and discrimination and often lack adequate shelter, food, and healthcare.

 

For a Better Life

For a Better Life

For a Better Life: Migrant Worker Abuse in Bahrain and the Government Reform Agenda
By Human Rights Watch

This 123-page report documents the many forms of abuse and exploitation suffered by migrant workers in Bahrain and details the government’s efforts to provide redress and strengthen worker protections. Bahraini authorities need to implement labor safeguards and redress mechanisms already in place and prosecute abusive employers, Human Rights Watch said. The government should extend the 2012 private sector labor law to domestic workers, who are excluded from key protections.

[Download Full Report and also Download the Appendices and also Download the summary and recommendations: Photo feature]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

“Will I Get My Dues … Before I Die?”

“Will I Get My Dues … Before I Die?”

“Will I Get My Dues … Before I Die?”: Harm to Women from Bangladesh’s Discriminatory Laws on Marriage, Separation, and Divorce
By Human Rights Watch

This 109-page report documents how the country’s discriminatory and archaic personal laws impoverish many women at separation or divorce, and trap some women in violent marriages because they fear destitution. Current laws deprive women of an equal right to marital property. The limited entitlements these laws offer women are poorly enforced by family courts and local government arbitration councils. Female-headed households and women facing domestic violence struggle to access critical state support and social assistance. Together, these problems mean there is scant economic protection or security for women when marriages break down.

[Download Full Report and also Download the Report in Bengali]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

Ad Hoc and Inadequate

Ad Hoc and Inadequate

Ad Hoc and Inadequate: Thailand’s Treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers
By Human Rights Watch

This 143-page report finds that Thai refugee policies are not grounded in law and cause refugees of all nationalities to be exploited and unnecessarily detained and deported. The report focuses on the plight of Burmese refugees, the largest current refugee group in Thailand. It examines treatment and conditions of both Burmese refugees inside the camps on the Thai-Burma border and Burmese outside the camps, who are not officially recognized as refugees. The report also looks at the impact of political changes in Burma on the prospects for repatriation and the obstacles to resolving this protracted refugee situation.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

Classrooms in the Crosshairs

Classrooms in the Crosshairs

Classrooms in the Crosshairs: Military Use of Schools in Yemen’s Capital
By Human Rights Watch

This 46-page report details the occupation of schools by government security forces, militias, and opposition armed groups, risking the lives and education of tens of thousands of students. Forces on both sides used schools as barracks, bases, surveillance posts, and firing positions. Combatants also stored weapons and ammunition, detained prisoners, and in some cases tortured or otherwise abused detainees on school grounds or in school buildings.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

“Between Two Sets of Guns”

“Between Two Sets of Guns”

“Between Two Sets of Guns”: Attacks on Civil Society Activists in India’s Maoist Conflict
By Human Rights Watch

The 60-page report documents human rights abuses against activists in India’s Orissa, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh states. Human Rights Watch found that grassroots activists who deliver development assistance and publicize abuses in Maoist conflict areas are at particular risk of being targeted by government security forces and Maoist insurgents, known as Naxalites. Maoists frequently accuse activists of being informers and warn them against implementing government programs. The police demand that they serve as informers, and those that refuse risk being accused of being Maoist supporters and subject to arbitrary arrest and torture. The authorities use sedition laws to curtail free speech and also concoct criminal cases to lock up critics of the government.

[Download Full Report and Download the full report in Oriya]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

"Even a 'Big Man' Must Face Justice"

“Even a ‘Big Man’ Must Face Justice”

“Even a ‘Big Man’ Must Face Justice”: Lessons from the Trial of Charles Taylor
By Human Rights Watch

This 55-page report analyzes the practice and impact of Taylor’s trial by the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. The report examines the conduct of the trial, including issues related to efficiency, fairness, and witnesses and sources. It also examines the court’s efforts to make its proceedings accessible to communities most affected by the crimes, and perceptions and initial impact of the trial in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

[Download Full Report and Télécharger le résumé et les recommandations en français]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

Torture in the Name of Treatment

Torture in the Name of Treatment

Torture in the Name of Treatment: Human Rights Abuses in Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and Lao PDR
By Human Rights Watch

More than 350,000 people identified as drug users are held in compulsory drug “treatment” centers in China and Southeast Asia. Detainees are held without due process for periods of months or years and may be subjected to physical and sexual abuse, torture, and forced labor. International donors and UN agencies have supported and funded drug detention centers, while centers have systematically denied detainees access to evidence-based drug dependency treatment and HIV prevention services. “Torture in the Name of Treatment,” summarizes Human Rights Watch’s findings over five years of research in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Lao PDR.

[Download the Brochure]
See Also – Further Details and Press Release.

 

New Publications from Human Rights Watch; UK Home Office; and the UK Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee

 

Hate on the Streets

Hate on the Streets

Hate on the Streets:Xenophobic Violence in Greece.
By Human Rights Watch.

The 99-page report documents the failure of the police and the judiciary to prevent and punish rising attacks on migrants. Despite clear patterns to the violence and evidence that it is increasing, the police have failed to respond effectively to protect victims and hold perpetrators to account, Human Rights Watch found. Authorities have yet to develop a preventive policing strategy, while victims are discouraged from filing official complaints. No one has been convicted under Greece’s 2008 hate crime statute.

[Download Full Report]
Read the Press Release – here.
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

 

Iraq’s Information Crimes Law

Iraq’s Information Crimes Law

Iraq’s Information Crimes Law:  Badly Written Provisions and Draconian Punishments Violate Due Process and Free Speech.
By Human Rights Watch.

This report analyzes Iraq’s new draft law on information technology crimes. It finds that the draft law is part of a broad effort by authorities to suppress peaceful dissent by criminalizing legitimate information sharing and networking activities.

[Download Full Report]
Read the Press Release – here.
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

 

Tightening the Grip

Tightening the Grip

Tightening the Grip:  Concentration and Abuse of Power in Chávez’s Venezuela.
By Human Rights Watch.

This report documents how the accumulation of power in the executive and the erosion of human rights protections have allowed the Chávez government to intimidate, censor, and prosecute critics and perceived opponents in a wide range of cases involving the judiciary, the media, and civil society.

Human Rights Watch’s last major report on Venezuela, released in September 2008, documented how democratic institutions and human rights guarantees had suffered during the first decade of Chávez’s presidency. Since then, the human rights situation in the country has become even more precarious.

[Download Full Report]
Read the Press Release – here.
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

 

Boat Ride to Detention

Boat Ride to Detention

Boat Ride to Detention: Adult and Child Migrants in Malta
By Human Rights Watch.

This report details treatment of migrants, typically from sub-Saharan Africa, who arrive in Malta after treacherous boat journeys across the Mediterranean, in unseaworthy boats, without enough food, water, or fuel. Upon arrival in Malta, virtually all irregular migrants are detained – and the conditions in detention can exacerbate the trauma of the journey. The July 2012 death of Mamadou Kamara, a 32-year-old Malian migrant who was found dead inside a Maltese Detention Services van, has increased concern over the country’s treatment of migrants.

[Download Full Report]
Read the Press Release – here.
See Also – HRW Report on Malta’s Migrant Detention Policy: “Boat Ride to Detention” by the Migrants At Sea blog.
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

 

Torture in the Name of Treatment

Torture in the Name of Treatment

Torture in the Name of Treatment :  Human Rights Abuses in Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and Lao PDR.
By Human Rights Watch.

More than 350,000 people identified as drug users are held in compulsory drug “treatment” centers in China and Southeast Asia. Detainees are held without due process for periods of months or years and may be subjected to physical and sexual abuse, torture, and forced labor. International donors and UN agencies have supported and funded drug detention centers, while centers have systematically denied detainees access to evidence-based drug dependency treatment and HIV prevention services. “Torture in the Name of Treatment,” summarizes Human Rights Watch’s findings over five years of research in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Lao PDR.

[Download Brochure]
Read the Press Release – here.
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

Tier 4 Student credibility Pilot Analysis of Quantitative and Qualitative Data.
Home Office Occasional Paper 104.
By Paul Hill, Home Office Science: Migration and Border Analysis.
[Download Full Report]
(Source: Home Office).

British foreign policy and the ‘Arab Spring’: Second Report of Session 2012–13: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence.
Written and Published by the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

From the press release:

Mr Richard Ottaway said:”Eighteen months since the Arab Spring began, there has been extraordinary progress in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Yet many challenges still lie ahead, not least the need to support and reform the economies of these Arab Spring states. In 2011, the G8 Deauville Partnership identified $38 billion of funding available to support reform. The UK must use its leadership in the EU and G8, particularly once it takes over the G8 presidency in 2013, to ensure that we deliver on our promises.”

[Download Full Report]
(Source: British foreign policy and the ‘Arab Spring‘).

 

New Publications on Bangladesh; UKBA; Undocumented Women; Understanding Society; and Syria

"The Fear Never Leaves Me"

“The Fear Never Leaves Me”

“The Fear Never Leaves Me”: Torture, Custodial Deaths, and Unfair Trials after the 2009 Mutiny of the Bangladesh Rifles.
By the Human Rights Watch.

The 57-page report provides a detailed account of the mutiny and documents serious abuses in the aftermath, including torture by security forces of people in custody on suspicion of planning the mutiny, and of ongoing concerns about fair trial violations in mass trials of hundreds of suspects at a time. The notorious Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has allegedly been involved in many of the abuses.

[Download Full Report]
Human Rights Watch Press Release – Bangladesh: Torture, Deaths of Jailed Mutiny Suspects.
(Source: Human Rights Watch)

Monthly asylum application tables – April 2012.
Published by the UK Home Office.
[Access]
(Source: Memo Issue 313 – Access)

Children entering detention held solely under Immigration Act powers May 2012.
Produced by the UK Home Office.
[Access]
(Source: Memo Issue 313 – Access)

Strategies to End Double Violence Against Undocumented Women – Protecting Rights and Ensuring Justice.
Produced by The Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants – PICUM.
[Download Full Report]
(Source: Memo Issue 313 – Access and Migrants’ Rights Network.)

Understanding Society: Findings 2012.
A new report edited by Stephanie L. McFall for the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex.
[Download Full Report]
See Also News Story in The Guardian – Ethnic minorities in UK feel most British, research finds.
(Source: Memo Issue 313 – Access)

Torture Archipelago

Torture Archipelago

Torture Archipelago: Arbitrary Arrests, Torture, and Enforced Disappearances in Syria’s Underground Prisons since March 2011.
By Human Rights Watch.

This report is based on more than 200 interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch since the beginning of anti-government demonstrations in Syria in March 2011. The report includes maps locating the detention facilities, video accounts from former detainees, and sketches of torture techniques described by numerous people who witnessed or experienced torture in these facilities.

Human Rights Watch called on the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to adopt targeted sanctions against officials credibly implicated in the abuses.

[Download Full Report]
Human Rights Watch Press Release –Syria: Torture Centers Revealed).
(Source: International Criminal Law Bureau – New report unveils systematic nature of torture in Syria).

 

New Publications from Human Rights Watch

The following publications have recently been published by Human Rights Watch.  Further details are as follows:

Isolated in Yunnan

Isolated in Yunnan

Isolated in Yunnan: Kachin Refugees from Burma in China’s Yunnan Province.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 68-page report describes how at least 7,000 to 10,000 ethnic Kachin refugees have fled war and abuses in Burma since June 2011, seeking refuge in southwestern China. The report is based on more than 100 interviews with refugees, displaced persons in Burma, victims of abuses, relief workers, and others.

[Download Full Report]

 

In the Name of Security

In the Name of Security

In the Name of Security: Counterterrorism Laws Worldwide since September 11.
By Human Rights Watch.

The 112-page report says that while terrorist attacks have caused thousands of deaths and injuries, that is no justification for counterterrorism laws that violate the basic rights of suspects and that are also used for politically motivated purposes.

[Download Full Report]

 

“Prison Is Not For Me”

“Prison Is Not For Me”

“Prison Is Not For Me”: Arbitrary Detention in South Sudan.
By Human Rights watch.

This 105-page report documents violations of due process rights, patterns of wrongful deprivation of liberty, and the harsh, unacceptable prison conditions in which detainees live. The research was done during a 10-month period before and after South Sudan’s independence, on July 9, 2011.

[Download Full Report]

 

“What Will Happen if Hunger Comes?”

“What Will Happen if Hunger Comes?”

“What Will Happen if Hunger Comes?”: Abuses against the Indigenous Peoples of Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley
By Human Rights Watch.

This report documents how government security forces are forcing communities to relocate from their traditional lands through violence and intimidation, threatening their entire way of life with no compensation or choice of alternative livelihoods. Government officials have carried out arbitrary arrests and detentions, beatings, and other violence against residents of the Lower Omo valley who questioned or resisted the development plans.

[Download Full Report]

 

Out of Control

Out of Control

Out of Control: Mining, Regulatory Failure, and Human Rights in India.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 70-page report finds that deep-rooted shortcomings in the design and implementation of key policies have effectively left mine operators to supervise themselves. This has fueled pervasive lawlessness in India’s scandal-ridden mining industry and threatens serious harm to mining-affected communities. Human Rights Watch documented allegations that irresponsible mining operations have damaged the health, water, environment, and livelihoods of these communities.

[Download Full Report]

 

Building a Better World Cup

Building a Better World Cup

Building a Better World Cup: Protecting Migrant Workers in Qatar Ahead of FIFA 2022.
By Human Rights Watch.

This report examines a recruitment and employment system that effectively traps many migrant workers in their jobs. The problems they face include exorbitant recruitment fees, which can take years to pay off, employers’ routine confiscation of worker passports, and Qatar’s restrictive sponsorship system that gives employers inordinate control over their employees. Workers’ high debts and the restrictions they face if they want to change employers often effectively force them to accept jobs or working conditions they did not agree to in their home countries, or to continue work under conditions of abuse. Workers face obstacles to reporting complaints or seeking redress, and the abuses often go undetected by government authorities.

[Download Full Report]

 

“Beat Him, Take Everything Away”

“Beat Him, Take Everything Away”

“Beat Him, Take Everything Away”: Abuses by China’s Chengguan Para-Police.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 76-page report documents abuses by the chengguan Urban Management Law Enforcement (城管执法) forces, including assaults on suspected administrative law violators, some of which lead to serious injury or death, illegal detention, and unlawful forceful confiscation of property.

[Download Full Report]

 

“If You Come Back We Will Kill You”

“If You Come Back We Will Kill You”

“If You Come Back We Will Kill You”: Sexual Violence and other Abuses against Congolese Migrants during Expulsions from Angola.
By Human Rights Watch.

This report describes an alarming pattern of human rights violations by members of Angolan security forces against Congolese migrants. Women and girls, who are often detained with their children, have been victims of sexual abuse including gang rape, sexual exploitation, and being forced to witness sexual abuse of other women and girls. Beatings, degrading and inhumane treatment, arbitrary arrests, and denial of due process have been common practices during roundups of undocumented migrants, and in custody before their deportation.

Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 100 victims and witnesses to abuses, during expulsions from the Cabinda enclave and the diamond-rich Lunda Norte province to the Congolese provinces of Bas-Congo and Kasai-Occidental in 2009 and 2011. Most of those migrants enter Angola to work in alluvial diamond mines or in informal markets.

[Download Full Report]

 

Cultivating Fear

Cultivating Fear

Cultivating Fear: The Vulnerability of Immigrant Farmworkers in the US to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 95-page report describes rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power. Most farmworkers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals. Those who had filed sexual harassment claims or reported sexual assault to the police had done so with the encouragement and assistance of survivor advocates or attorneys in the face of difficult challenges.

[Download Full Report]

 

"I Want to be a Citizen Just like Any Other"

“I Want to be a Citizen Just like Any Other”

“I Want to be a Citizen Just like Any Other”: Barriers to Political Participation for People with Disabilities in Peru.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 89-page report documents the legacy of a policy, changed only in October 2011, that arbitrarily denied people with sensory, intellectual, and psychosocial disabilities their right to vote, considering them legally incompetent to exercise such a decision. Human Rights Watch also examined the barriers that people with these and other disabilities face when exercising their political rights, including the difficulty of getting identity documents essential for voting, and the absence of support mechanisms to help people with disabilities make voting decisions.

[Download Full Report]

 

Unacknowledged Deaths

Unacknowledged Deaths

Unacknowledged Deaths: Civilian Casualties in NATO’s Air Campaign in Libya.
By Human Rights Watch.

This report examines in detail eight NATO air strikes in Libya that resulted in 72 civilian deaths, including 20 women and 24 children. It is based on one or more field investigations to each of the bombing sites during and after the conflict, including interviews with witnesses and local residents.

NATO’s military campaign in Libya, from March to October 2011, was mandated by the United Nations Security Council to protect civilians from attacks by security forces of then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

[Download Full Report]

 

New Reports from Human Rights Watch

 

"I had to run away"

“I had to run away”

“I Had To Run Away”: The Imprisonment of Women and Girls for “Moral Crimes” in Afghanistan.
By Human Rights Watch.

Further Information on the Report:

This 120-page report is based on 58 interviews conducted in three prisons and three juvenile detention facilities with women and girls accused of “moral crimes.” Almost all girls in juvenile detention in Afghanistan had been arrested for “moral crimes,” while about half of women in Afghan prisons were arrested on these charges. These “crimes” usually involve flight from unlawful forced marriage or domestic violence. Some women and girls have been convicted of zina, sex outside of marriage, after being raped or forced into prostitution.

[Access]
(Source: Human Rights Watch)

 

Second Class Citizens

Second Class Citizens

Second Class Citizens: Discrimination against Roma, Jews, and Other National Minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
By Human Rights Watch.

Further Information on the Report:

This 62-page report highlights discrimination against Roma, Jews, and other national minorities in politics and government. Much of this discrimination stems from Bosnia’s 1995 Constitution, which mandates a system of government based on ethnicity and excludes these groups from high political office. The report also shows the wider impact of discrimination on the daily lives of Roma in accessing housing, education, healthcare, and employment.

[Access]
(Source: Human Rights Watch)

 

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood: Summary Executions by Syrian Security Forces and Pro-Government Militias.
By Human Rights Watch.

Further Information on the Report:

This 23-page report documents more than a dozen incidents involving at least 101 victims since late 2011, many of them in March 2012. Human Rights Watch documented the involvement of Syrian forces and pro-government shabeeha militias in summary and extrajudicial executions in the governorates of Idlib and Homs. Government and pro-government forces not only executed opposition fighters they had captured, or who had otherwise stopped fighting and posed no threat, but also civilians who likewise posed no threat to the security forces.

[Access]
(Source: Human Rights Watch)

 

“You Will Not Have Peace While You Are Living”

“You Will Not Have Peace While You Are Living”

“You Will Not Have Peace While You Are Living”: The Escalation of Political Violence in Burundi.
By Human Rights Watch.

Further Information on the Report:

This 81-page report documents political killings stemming from the 2010 elections in Burundi. These killings, which peaked toward the middle of 2011, often took the form of tit-for-tat attacks by members of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (Conseil national pour la défense de la démocratie-Forces pour la défense de la démocratie, CNDD-FDD) and the opposition National Liberation Forces (Forces nationales de libération, FNL). In the vast majority of cases, justice has been denied to families of the victims.

[Access]
(Source: Human Rights Watch)

 

“They Burned My Heart”

“They Burned My Heart”

“They Burned My Heart”: War Crimes in Northern Idlib during Peace Plan Negotiations.
By Human Rights Watch.

Further Information on the Report:

This report documents dozens of extrajudicial executions, killings of civilians, and destruction of civilian property that qualify as war crimes, as well as arbitrary detention and torture. The report is based on a field investigation conducted by Human Rights Watch in the towns of Taftanaz, Saraqeb, Sarmeen, Kelly, and Hazano in Idlib governorate in late April.

[Access]
(Source: Human Rights Watch)

 

Criminal Reprisals

Criminal Reprisals

Criminal Reprisals: Kenyan Police and Military Abuses against Ethnic Somalis.
By Human Rights Watch.

Further Information on the Report:

This report provides detailed documentation of human rights abuses by the Kenya Defence Forces and the Kenyan police in apparent response to a series of grenade and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks that targeted both the security forces and civilians in North Eastern province. Rather than conducting investigations to identify and apprehend the perpetrators, both the police and army responded with violent reprisals against Kenyan citizens and Somali refugees.

[Access]
(Source: Human Rights Watch)

 

Event: Documentary Film ‘Special Flight’

Apologies for cross-posting.  Message forwarded on behalf of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Dear Colleagues,

The documentary film ‘Special Flight’ is showing Tuesday 27 March, at the Ritzy Cinema and Wednesday 28 March at the ICA.

Fernand Melgar’s intimate and emotionally charged portrait of the rejected asylum seekers and illegal migrants in Switzerland’s Frambois detention centre reveals a world that few know from the inside. With amazing access to his subjects, Melgar introduces us to a community of men who share friendships, fears, and a similar fate. There are three possibilities for every resident: to leave free with asylum granted, to leave the country by choice on a regular flight, or to leave in custody on a so-called ‘special flight’ back to their country of origin. As planes come and go in the background, the staff—who are caretakers, counsellors, and friends to the men there—have heart-felt dialogues about the well-being of residents. In the end though, the staff reflect society’s attitudes towards migrants, and are also recipients of the residents’ resentment—making them simultaneously friend and foe. And that fact is most evident when staff must prepare one of the men to leave on a special flight.

Screenings at the Ritzy on 27 March, 21:00. Tickets available at http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Ritzy_Picturehouse/film/Hrwff_Special_Flight_Q_A_With_Filmmaker/

and 28 Mar at the ICA, 18:15. Tickets at http://www.ica.org.uk/31978/Film/Special-Flight-QA.html

Please circulate as we would like the film to be as widely known as possible.

Many thanks,

Helen

Helen Muggeridge
Outreach Coordinator
Human Rights Watch Film Festival
londonff@hrw.org

New Reports from Human Rights Watch

The following list of reports have recently been published by Human Rights Watch.  Further information is available as follows:

 

The Island of Happiness Revisited

The Island of Happiness Revisited

The Island of Happiness Revisited  A Progress Report on Institutional Commitments to Address Abuses of Migrant Workers on Abu Dhab ’s Saadiyat Island

The United Arab Emirates is converting Saadiyat Island into an international tourist destination, and will house a campus of New York University and museums, including branches of the Guggenheim and the Louvre. In 2009, Human Rights Watch documented the exploitation of South Asian migrant workers on the island and the lack of legal and institutional protections for workers, urging the developers and institutions to pledge to address the abuses. Three years later, this progress report notes that while these entities have made important efforts to address employer abuses, protection gaps remain.

[Download Full Report]

 

Justice for Atrocity Crimes

Justice for Atrocity Crimes

Justice for Atrocity Crimes:  Lessons of International Support for Trials before the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina

This 47-page report highlights key lessons from the involvement of international judges and prosecutors to boost national staff capacity to try sensitive and complex cases stemming from the 1992-1995 war. In the seven years since the State Court began operations, its chamber and the Special Department for War Crimes (SDWC) in the Prosecutor’s Office have completed more than 200 cases.

[Download Full Report]

 

“They Took Everything from Me”

“They Took Everything from Me”

“They Took Everything from Me”:  Forced Evictions, Unlawful Expropriations, and House Demolitions in Azerbaijan’s Capital

This report documents the Azerbaijani authorities’ illegal expropriation of properties and forcible evictions of dozens of families in four Baku neighborhoods, at times without warning or in the middle of the night. The authorities subsequently demolished homes, sometimes with residents’ possessions inside. The government has refused to provide homeowners fair compensation for the properties, many of which are in highly desirable locations. Azerbaijani law stipulates that market value should be paid in compensation for a forced sale.

[Download Full Report]

 

No Justice in Bahrain

No Justice in Bahrain

No Justice in Bahrain:  Unfair Trials in Military and Civilian Courts

This report documents serious due process violations in high-profile trials before Bahrain’s special military courts in 2011 – including one trial of 21 prominent political activists and another of 20 doctors and other medical personnel – and in politically motivated trials before ordinary criminal courts since 2010. Serious abuses included denying defendants the right to counsel and to present a defense, and failure to investigate credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment during interrogation.

[Download Full Report]

 

No Place for Children

No Place for Children

No Place for Children:  Child Recruitment, Forced Marriage, and Attacks on Schools in Somalia

This 104-page report details unlawful recruitment and other laws-of-war violations against children by all parties to the conflict in Somalia since 2010. The report is based on over 164 interviews with Somali children, including 21 who had escaped from al-Shabaab forces, as well as parents and teachers who had fled to Kenya.

[Download Full Report]

 

“No Safe Places”

“No Safe Places”

“No Safe Places”:  Yemen’s Crackdown on Protests in Taizz

When Yemenis took to the streets in January 2011 to demand an end to Saleh’s 33-year rule, Taizz, 250 kilometers south of the capital, Sanaa, became a center of both peaceful and armed resistance – and the scene of numerous human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war. “No Safe Places”is based on more than 170 interviews with protesters, doctors, human rights defenders, and other witnesses to attacks in Taizz by state security forces and pro-Saleh gangs from February to December 2011.

[Download Full Report]

 

“Forget About Him, He’s Not Here”

“Forget About Him, He’s Not Here”

“Forget About Him, He’s Not Here”:  Israel’s Control of Palestinian Residency in the West Bank and Gaza.

This report describes the arbitrary exclusion by the Israeli military of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians since 1967 and documents the impact that exclusion continues to have on individuals and families. The way Israel’s military has exercised its control over the Palestinian population registry – the list of Palestinians whom it considers to be lawful residents of the West Bank and Gaza territories – has separated families, caused people to lose jobs and educational opportunities, barred people from entering the Palestinian territories, and trapped others inside them. Egypt also has problematic policies on Palestinians trying to enter Gaza that are based on the Israeli-controlled population registry.

[Download Full Report]

 

“The Root of Humiliation”

“The Root of Humiliation”

“The Root of Humiliation”:  Abusive Identity Checks in France

This 55-page report says that minority youth, including children as young as 13, are subjected to frequent stops involving lengthy questioning, invasive body pat-downs, and the search of personal belongings. These arbitrary stops can take place even in the absence of any indication of wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch found. Insulting language, including racial slurs, are not uncommon, and some stops involve excessive use of force by the police.

[Download Full Report]

 

“Steps of the Devil”

“Steps of the Devil”

“Steps of the Devil”:  Denial of Women’s and Girls’ Rights to Sport in Saudi Arabia.

This report documents discrimination by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education in denying girls physical education in state schools, as well as discriminatory practices by the General Presidency for Youth Welfare, a youth and sports ministry, in licensing women’s gyms and supporting only all-male sports clubs. The National Olympic Committee of Saudi Arabia also has no programs for women athletes and has not fielded women in past Olympic Games.

In its interviews with Saudi women and international sporting officials, the report found that Saudi government restrictions put athletics beyond the reach of almost all women. There is no government sports infrastructure for women, with all designated buildings, sport clubs, courses, expert trainers, and referees limited exclusively to men. The ban on women’s private, for-fee sports clubs has forced women to restrict themselves to fitness gyms that rarely feature swimming pools, a running track, or playing fields for team sports. Membership fees there are beyond the means of many ordinary Saudi women and girls. Official sporting bodies hold no competitive sports for Saudi women athletes in the kingdom and do not support Saudi sportswomen in regional or international competitions.

[Download Full Report]

 

Human Rights Rights – New Publications

Human Rights Watch World Report

Human Rights Watch World Report

The following publications have recently been published by Human Rights Watch:

Human Rights Watch World Report 2012: Events of 2011.
This is the flagship annual report produced by Human Rights Watch.  “This 22nd annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide in 2011. ”

Human Rights Watch state that:

The introductory essay examines the Arab Spring, which has created an extraordinary opportunity for change. The global community has a responsibility to help the long suppressed people of the region seize control of their destiny from often-brutal authoritarian rulers. Standing firmly with people as they demand their legitimate rights is the best way to stop the bloodshed, while principled insistence on respect for rights is the best way to help these popular movements avoid intolerance, lawlessness, and summary revenge once in power.

[Download Full Report]
Human Rights Watch Press Release.
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead: A Human Rights Agenda for Egypt’s New Parliament

This 45-page report sets out nine areas of Egyptian law that the newly elected parliament must urgently reform if the law is to become an instrument that protects Egyptians’ rights rather than represses them. Egypt’s existing laws – the penal code, associations law, assembly law, and emergency law – limit public freedoms necessary for a democratic transition, challenge respect for the rule of law, and impede accountability for abuses by the police and the military.

[Download Full Report]
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

Justice for Serious Crimes before National Courts

Justice for Serious Crimes before National Courts

Justice for Serious Crimes before National Courts: Uganda’s International Crimes Division

This 29-page briefing paper provides a snapshot of progress from Uganda’s complementarity-related initiative: the International Crimes Division (ICD). The ICD is a division of the High Court with a mandate to prosecute genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, in addition to crimes such as terrorism. Based on research by Human Rights Watch in Uganda in September 2011, this briefing paper analyzes the ICD’s work to date, the obstacles it has encountered, and challenges both for the future work of the ICD and for national accountability efforts more broadly.

[Download Full Report]
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

“They Hunt Us Down for Fun”

“They Hunt Us Down for Fun”

“They Hunt Us Down for Fun”: Discrimination and Police Violence Against Transgender Women in Kuwait

This 63-page report documents the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and persecution that transgender women – individuals who are born male, but identify as female – have faced at the hands of police. The report also documents the discrimination that transgender women have faced on a daily basis – including by members of the public – as a result of the law, an amendment to penal code article 198. Based on interviews with 40 transgender women, as well as with ministry of interior officials, lawyers, doctors, and members of Kuwaiti civil society, the report found that the arbitrary, ill-defined provisions of the law has allowed for numerous abuses to take place.

[Download Full Report]
(Source: Human Rights Watch).

New Reports from Human Rights Watch

The following reports have been published in December (2011) by Human Rights Watch:

Tunisia’s Repressive Laws

Tunisia’s Repressive Laws

Tunisia’s Repressive Laws: The Reform Agenda

Abstract:

This report identifies freedom of speech and independent courts as two of ten priorities for legal reform. The others are freedom of movement, association and assembly, freedom to form political parties, the right of citizens to run for public office and choose candidates, the protection of rights while fighting terrorism, internet freedom, and immunity for the president of the republic – all areas where harsh laws inherited from the presidency of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali remain in effect.

[Download Report]

“By All Means Necessary!”“By All Means necessary!”  Individual and Command Responsibility for Crimes against Humanity in Syria.

Abstract:

This report is based on more than 60 interviews with defectors from the Syrian military and intelligence agencies. The defectors provided detailed information about their units’ participation in attacks, abuses against Syrian citizens, and the orders they received from commanders and officials at various levels, who are named in the report.

[Download Report]

No Way to Live

No Way to Live

No Way to Live: Alabama’s Immigrant Law

Abstract:

This 52-page report documents the effect of the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer Citizen and Protection Act, commonly known as HB 56, on unauthorized immigrants and their families, as well as the larger Alabama communities in which they live. It is based in part on first-hand accounts by 57 Alabama residents, including citizens and permanent residents, who reported abuse or discrimination under the law.

[Download Report]

“Turning Pebbles”

“Turning Pebbles”

“Turning Pebbles”: Evading Accountability for Post-Election Violence in Kenya

Abstract:

This report examines the police and judicial response to the violence following the 2007 elections, which pitted ruling party supporters and the police against opposition-linked armed groups and civilians. Human Rights Watch found that of the 1,133 or more killings committed during the violence, only two have resulted in murder convictions. Victims of rape, assault, arson, and other crimes similarly await justice. Police officers, who killed at least 405 people during the violence, injured over 500 more, and raped dozens of women and girls, enjoy absolute impunity.

[Download Report]

“How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”

“How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”

“How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”: Child Marriage in Yemen

Abstract:

This 54-page report documents the lifelong damage to girls who are forced to marry young. Yemeni girls and women told Human Rights Watch about being forced into child marriages by their families, and then having no control over whether and when to bear children and other important aspects of their lives. They said that marrying early had cut short their education, and some said they had been subjected to marital rape and domestic abuse. There is no legal minimum age for girls to marry in Yemen. Many girls are forced into marriage, and some are as young as 8.

[Download Report]

Adding Insult to Injury

Adding Insult to Injury

Adding Insult to Injury: Continued Impunity for Wartime Abuses in Nepal

Abstract:

This 59-page report calls for the government to stand by its public commitments and international treaty obligations to conduct credible investigations and prosecute those responsible for abuses. The report follows three previous joint reports by Human Rights Watch and Advocacy Forum on impunity in Nepal and provides a detailed look at six emblematic cases of killings, disappearances, and torture. A separate appendix provides an update on the lack of progress in 62 wartime cases pending before the courts.

[Download Report]