Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights Watch’

Azerbaijan: Appeal Court Leaves Bloggers in Jail

March 11, 2010

Government Should Free Young Activists Convicted After Staged Attack

Human Rights Watch, March 10, 2010

Today’s ruling is yet another setback for freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. The case is blatantly part of a pattern of prosecutions in which the authorities have brought trumped-up charges against outspoken journalists and activists in Azerbaijan.

Giorgi Gogia, South Caucasus researcher for Human Rights Watch

(New York) – The Azerbaijani government should release two bloggers who have been detained since July 2009 as the result of a staged fight designed to frame them, Human Rights Watch said today. The bloggers, Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade, lost their appeal against their conviction today.

In a hearing that lasted two and a half hours, the Baku Appeal Court upheld the trial court’s decision in November, convicting Milli and Hajizade of hooliganism and inflicting minor bodily harm. The Appeal Court did not examine the two bloggers’ central contention, that the attack that led to their conviction had been deliberately staged to frame them, even though multiple witnesses would corroborate their claim.

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Sri Lanka: End Indefinite Detention of Tamil Tiger Suspects

February 13, 2010

Incommunicado ‘Rehabilitation’ Raises Fears of Torture and Enforced Disappearances

Human Rights Watch, February 1, 2010

Tamil women in a camp for displaced persons in Sri Lanka asking for news of their relatives who were taken away by the army, allegedly for rehabilitation.

© 2009 Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images

The government has been keeping 11,000 people in a legal limbo for months. It’s time to identify who presents a genuine security threat and to release the rest.

–Brad Adams, Asia director

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government should end its indefinite arbitrary detention of more than 11,000 people held in so-called rehabilitation centers and release those not being prosecuted, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 30-page report, “Legal Limbo: The Uncertain Fate of Detained LTTE Suspects in Sri Lanka,” is based on interviews with the detainees’ relatives, humanitarian workers, and human rights advocates, among others. The Sri Lankan government has routinely violated the fundamental rights of the detainees, Human Rights Watch found. The government contends that the 11,000 detainees are former fighters or supporters of the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

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Iran: Crackdown’s Torrent of Abuses

February 11, 2010

Rights Violations Mounting as Government Celebrates Revolution’s Anniversary

Human Rights Watch, February 10, 2010

“The Iranian government’s effort to use anniversary celebrations to deflect attention from its human rights violations isn’t going to work.  Instead, it should use the occasion to finally hold the abusers accountable.”

Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director

(Washington, DC) – The scope of the Iranian government’s crackdown on dissent since the disputed June 2009 elections is even broader and the abuses more flagrant than previously reported, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today that documents numerous instances of abuse. The government should immediately release all those still being held for peacefully expressing dissent and make certain that those responsible for human rights abuses are held accountable, Human Rights Watch said.

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Egyptian ‘President’ Mubarak rejects even ‘debate’ on Gaza barrier

January 24, 2010

Middle East Online, Jan 24, 2010

Under heavy public criticism inside and outside Egypt

HRW calls on Egypt to revoke its ‘draconian emergency law’, slams ‘thuggery’ police state.

CAIRO – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday defended the construction of an underground barrier on the border with the Gaza Strip as a matter of national security and sovereignty.

“The works and reinforcements on our eastern border are a matter of Egyptian sovereignty. We do not accept a debate on the issue with anyone,” Mubarak said in a speech to mark Police Day.

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Israel: End Arbitrary Detention of Rights Activist

December 7, 2009
Mohammed Othamn held without charge for 72 days
Human Rights Watch, December 4, 2009

“The only reasonable conclusion is that Othman is being punished for his peaceful advocacy…The authorities interrogated him for months, then ordered him held some more, but they won’t say why they are holding him and haven’t accused him of any crime.”

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director

(Jerusalem) – The Israeli military appeals court should end the administrative detention of Mohammed Othman, a West Bank rights activist, and order his release, Human Rights Watch said today.

Israeli authorities have detained Othman without charge for more than two months on what appear to be politically motivated grounds. On the basis of secret evidence that Othman and his lawyers were not allowed to see, a military court confirmed a military order that consigned Othman to three months administrative detention without charging him with any crime. Othman has no criminal record and, to the knowledge of Human Rights Watch, has never advocated or participated in violence. His detention period, which may be renewed, ends on December 22.

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Indonesia: New Aceh Law Imposes Torture

October 12, 2009
Law Violates Basic Rights, Fails to Protect Victims of Sexual Violence
Human Rights Watch, October 11, 2009

Stoning and flogging constitute torture in any circumstances. Imposing these draconian punishments on private, consensual conduct means the government can dictate people’s intimate lives.

said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch

(New York) – A new criminal bylaw passed by the provincial parliament of Aceh imposes torture, violates basic rights to privacy, and fails to protect victims of sexual violence, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch urged the Indonesian government to review and reject all provisions relating to the death penalty, stoning, and flogging, and called on the Ministry of Home Affairs to overturn the law immediately.

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Women in Trousers, Torture, and a Compassionate, Merciful God

September 14, 2009

Nadia Hijab, Agence Global, Sep 14, 2009

Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein’s courage in challenging the absurdity of her trial, sentencing, and imprisonment for wearing trousers has spotlighted the penal codes still in force in many Arab and Muslim states. These not only violate the internationally recognized rights of women in several respects but also international laws against torture.

I still shudder when I remember the provisions of one Arab code that described the appropriate techniques to use with someone sentenced to crucifixion and how to position a person for flogging, using a chair. What made it worse was that this was a revised code passed in 1994 and not some holdover from medieval times. The Sudanese criminal code under which Ms. Hussein was charged was passed in 1991.

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Any chance for justice for victims of the Gaza war?

September 12, 2009

by Joe Stork, published in Al-Sijjil, September 2009

Human Rights Watch, September 11, 2009

Over the past few months, international and local human rights groups have documented numerous serious violations of the laws of war, some of them amounting to war crimes, before, during, and since Israel’s military offensive in Gaza last December and January. My own organization, Human Rights Watch, strongly criticized Israel for the shooting deaths of Palestinian civilians  carrying white flags and the illegal use of white phosphorus munitions, and Hamas for firing rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas of Israel.

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Egypt: Stop Killing Migrants in Sinai

September 11, 2009
September 10, 2009
2:59 PM
CONTACT: Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Tel: +1-212-216-1832

Israel Should Stop Returning Migrants to Egypt Without Allowing Asylum Claims

NEW YORK – September 10 – Egyptian authorities should bring an immediate end to the unlawful killings of migrants and asylum seekers near Egypt’s Sinai border with Israel, Human Rights Watch said today. According to news reports, Egyptian border guards shot and killed four migrants on September 9, 2009, bringing to at least 12 the number killed since May as they tried to cross into Israel.General Muhammad Shousha, the governor of North Sinai, was quoted after the recent killings justifying the policy of shooting at the migrants as “necessary.” The latest killings come just days before President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel are scheduled to hold high-level talks in Cairo on September 13.

“Egypt has every right to manage its borders, but using routine lethal force against unarmed migrants – and potential asylum seekers – would be a serious violation of the right to life,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These individuals appeared to post no threat to the lives of the border guards or anyone else. Attempted border crossings are not a capital offense.”

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President Carter: Many Children Were Tortured Under Bush

July 18, 2009


Ralph Lopez,, July 17, 2009

“You have the power to hold your leaders accountable.” – President Obama, Ghana, July 14, 2009

While congress says it is gearing up to investigate what is old news, that CIA and Special Ops forces are killing Al Qaeda leaders, a decision of far different gravity is being contemplated by Attorney General Eric Holder.  The new insistence of Congress on its oversight role, conspicuously absent throughout 8 years of Bush, is suddenly rearing its head in the form of questioning a policy which has been in place with no controversy for years.  The U.S. has been hunting and killing Al Qaeda leaders outside of official war zones since 2004, when the New York Times reported that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had signed an order authorizing Special Forces to kill Al Qaeda where they found them.

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