Human Rights Watch

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Submitting to Rape Is a 'Necessity' in North Korea

HRW report describes widespread abuses of women at highest levels

(Newser) - "Having sex with men who have power over you or letting them touch all over your body is a necessity to survive." Such is the assessment of one of 62 North Korean defectors who left the country after Kim Jong Un took power in 2011 and was interviewed... More »

In a First, Saudis May Behead Female Human-Rights Activist

Canada continues to push back

(Newser) - In the midst of a fight with Canada over female human-rights activists, Saudi Arabia plans to behead one. The country's public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty against five activists, including Israa al-Ghomgham of the Shia Muslim minority, who documented mass protests in the Eastern Province beginning in 2011,... More »

Human Rights Watch Presses Arab Ruler on Fate of His Daughter

Sheikha Latifa was detained in March

(Newser) - Human Rights Watch on Saturday asked Dubai's ruling sheikh to reveal the whereabouts of his daughter after a French ex-spy and others say she fled the emirate, only to be arrested off the coast of India , reports the AP . A statement by the organization marks the latest twist in... More »

In Philippines, 'Ludicrous' Claims From Government in Drug War

Human rights groups push back at Duterte rep's claim that they're assisting drug lords

(Newser) - Human rights groups shining a spotlight on mounting deaths in the Philippines' drug war now have the added chore of denying the government's claims they're involved. Following one of the bloodiest weeks in President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown on drugs—13 people were killed in a single night,... More »

Pot Arrests in US Outnumber Violent Crime Arrests

There's a drug arrest every 25 seconds

(Newser) - Law enforcement agencies made more arrests for marijuana possession last year than for all violent crimes combined, despite decriminalization and outright legalization in some states, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch and the ACLU. The report is harshly critical of drug policies that have 137,000 Americans... More »

Filipino Kids Risk Lives in Country's Deadly Gold Mines

Some mines are 80 feet deep, some are underwater

(Newser) - Thousands of children in the Philippines are working in the country's gold mines, where conditions are deadly and "absolutely terrifying," according to a report published Tuesday by Human Rights Watch. According to Time , the report includes interviews with 65 child miners—some of whom started working in... More »

China Ignores Own Reform, Rampantly Tortures: HRW

Prisoners electrocuted, deprived of sleep, sprayed with chili oil

(Newser) - China promised years ago to reform its legal system so suspects wouldn't be abused in custody, but according to a Human Rights Watch report out today authorities are flouting the rules and continuing their brutal methods, the AP reports. "Police are torturing criminal suspects to get them to... More »

The NSA Just Got Sued by a Whole Bunch of Groups

Wikimedia, ACLU, Amnesty on same side of suit vs. 'dragnet surveillance'

(Newser) - The NSA and the Justice Department made an impressive and diverse list of enemies this morning, via a lawsuit filed over its spying. Not surprisingly filing the suit: the ACLU. But as Reuters reports, it filed Wikimedia v. NSA on behalf of: Amnesty International, the Global Fund for Women, Human... More »

HRW: Sudan Troops Raped 221 in Darfur; Gov't Says 0

Alleges mass coverup by Sudan govt in calculated attack on village

(Newser) - Sudanese army troops raped at least 221 women and girls in a Darfur village in a series of organized, house-to-house attacks last year, Human Rights Watch says in a report today. The organization's Africa director called it "a new low in the catalog of atrocities in Darfur."... More »

Top General in Cambodia: 'I Learned From Hitler'

Sao Sokha admires Vietnamese guerrillas, too

(Newser) - A word of advice for officials: Leave Hitler out of it. Days after a Texas Republican compared President Obama to Hitler , a Cambodian internal security honcho has praised the Nazi dictator during a speech in Phnom Penh. "Speaking frankly, I learned from Hitler," Commander General Sao Sokha said,... More »

Coming to Netflix: Documentary Filmed by James Foley

He shot scenes for E-Team before disappearance

(Newser) - Before disappearing in Syria in 2012, American journalist James Foley wrapped filming on a documentary called E-Team, which earned rave reviews at this year's Sundance Film Festival, reports the Daily Beast . The film focuses on Human Rights Watch's Emergencies Team, which documents war crimes firsthand. Rolling after the... More »

Rights Group: FBI Turned Muslims Into Terrorists

Human Rights Watch points finger at federal agents

(Newser) - The FBI has been coaxing and even paying American Muslims to commit acts of terror as part of the agency's domestic sting operations, a human rights group said today. According to Human Rights Watch, the FBI may have sometimes "created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the... More »

Did This Guy Flood Villages to Get Slave Labor?

Displaced villagers in Zimbabwe forced to work on ranch owned by Mugabe's party

(Newser) - Robert Mugabe isn't known for his human rights record, but is the Zimbabwean leader villainous enough to flood whole villages to create a source of cheap labor? Some 20,000 villagers were displaced from a region in southern Zimbabwe earlier this year and resettled on a ranch that just... More »

Young Kids Working in US Tobacco Fields

Human Rights Watch issues scathing report

(Newser) - Children are toiling in unsafe conditions, suffering everything from breathing problems to vomiting, and putting in 12-hour days and 72-hour weeks. Think we're talking a third-world sweatshop? It's what's happening right now on US tobacco farms, Human Rights Watch alleges in a report today. The group spoke... More »

Iraq Forces Torture, Rape Women Prisoners: Report

And they're often jailed for their husband's alleged crimes

(Newser) - Women in Iraq's prisons face beatings, electrical shocks, and sexual assault, among other horrors—and they're often detained for the actions of their male relatives, not their own, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch. Sometimes the abuses were carried out while those male relatives looked... More »

Syria Intentionally Demolishing Neighborhoods

Regime claims it's just 'urban planning,' not retaliation

(Newser) - Syrian military forces have been systematically using bulldozers and controlled explosions to level entire neighborhoods in Damascus and Hama, in what appears to be an attempt to punish citizens for their rebel sympathies, Human Rights Watch alleges in a new report based on satellite images and witness testimony. The imagery... More »

US Forces Guilty Pleas on Drug Defendants: Group

Human Rights Watch puts spotlight on mandatory minimums

(Newser) - Defendants in federal drug cases are getting unfairly sentenced, thanks to mandatory minimums and unchecked power wielded by the Justice Department, according to a Human Rights Watch report. Prosecutors basically "force" defendants into pleading guilty with threats of lengthy sentences and stacked-up charges if the case goes to trial,... More »

Putin's Op-Ed: Joke or Masterstroke?

Russian president's Syria piece riles up Human Rights Watch, others

(Newser) - If nothing else, Vladimir Putin's New York Times op-ed certainly got people talking. Here's what they're saying about it:
  • Human Rights Watch Associate Director Anna Neistat calls the piece "worrisome," mostly because of what Putin didn't say. He neglected to mention, for example, "
... More »

Syria Rebel Filmed Biting Into Soldier's Heart

Human Rights Watch calls it a war crime

(Newser) - A Syrian rebel has been caught on video apparently cutting a dead soldier's heart from his body then taking a bite from it. "I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog," says the rebel, identified by Human... More »

Israel 'Violated Laws of War': Rights Group

Human Rights Watch says it targeted media in Gaza conflict

(Newser) - Israel broke the laws of war by targeting media facilities and journalists "that were making no apparent contribution to Palestinian military operations" during its November offensive against Gaza, Human Rights Watch argues in a statement released today. The group recorded four attacks by Israeli forces over the eight-day conflict... More »

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