Human Rights Watch

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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 »

Rights Group: Time to Ban Killer Robots

International treaty needed before it's too late, group says

(Newser) - The world needs to ban robots capable of killing without human input before they become a reality on the battlefield, a human rights group warns. Human Rights Watch and Harvard's International Human Rights Clinic are calling for an international treaty to ban the "development, production and use of... More »

Libya Rebels 'Executed' Gadhafi Loyalists

Report on dictator's final hours suggests he was executed, too

(Newser) - Libyan rebels appear to have "summarily executed at least 66 captured" fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi, and probably the dictator himself, when they overran his hometown a year ago, a human rights group said today. The report by Human Rights Watch on alleged rebel abuses that followed the October... More »

Rights Group: Syria Dropping Cluster Bombs in Civilian Areas

Widely banned munitions pose long-term risk

(Newser) - Human Rights Watch today blasted Syria, saying it has new evidence that the Assad regime is dropping cluster bombs into populated areas, reports the AP . "Syria's disregard for its civilian population is all too evident in its air campaign, which now apparently includes dropping these deadly cluster bombs... More »

Claim: CIA Waterboarded Gadhafi's 'Enemies'

And delivered them to him 'on a silver platter': Human Rights Watch

(Newser) - Human Rights Watch has uncovered evidence that waterboarding—and other severe abuse of detainees—was practiced more widely during the Bush administration than has been acknowledged, according to an investigation by the organization. The newly discovered incidents expose close cooperation between Washington and Libya's late dictator Moammar Gadhafi in... More »

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