Tag Archives: Human Rights Watch

Report Shows How Governments Reach Beyond Their Borders to Crush Dissent

Human Rights Watch examines how repressive governments use harassment, surveillance, and assassination to target dissidents.

By Jake Johnson. Published 2-22-2024 by Common Dreams

Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Kremlin/Wikimedia Commons

report published Thursday by Human Rights Watch details how governments around the world relentlessly target dissidents, journalists, and others beyond their borders, resorting to threats, harassment, and even abduction and assassination to silence those perceived as threats.

“Transnational repression looks different depending on the context,” notes the new report. “Recent cases include a Rwandan refugee who was killed in Uganda following threats from the Rwandan government; a Cambodian refugee in Thailand only to be extradited to Cambodia and summarily detained; and a Belarusian activist who was abducted while aboard a commercial airline flight. Transnational repression may mean that a person’s family members who remain at home become targets of collective punishment, such as the Tajik activist whose family in Tajikistan, including his 10-year-old daughter, was detained, interrogated, and threatened.”

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‘Death Sentence’: Reports Call for End to Big Oil’s US Sacrifice Zones

“People’s lives and the environment are being devastated at the hands of big business,” one human rights researcher said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-25-2024 by Common Dreams

Cancer Alley. Photo: Gines A. Sanchez/flickr/CC

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both published reports on Thursday detailing how the fossil fuel industry has harmed the health and environment of communities in Texas and Louisiana, and how state and federal regulators have failed to protect them.

The Amnesty report, The Cost of Doing Business? The Petrochemical Industry’s Toxic Pollution in the USA, focused on the Houston Ship Channel, which has some of the worst air pollution measurements in the U.S. The HRW report, “We’re Dying Here”: The Fight for Life in a Louisiana Fossil Fuel Sacrifice Zone, looked at the state’s Cancer Alley, an 85-mile zone along the Mississippi that reportedly has the highest concentration of fossil fuel and petrochemical plants in the Western Hemisphere.

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Human Rights Watch to Mexico: Don’t Help US ‘Tear Apart’ Its Asylum System

The group sent a letter to the Mexican president Thursday asking him not to agree to any deal that would see more asylum seekers expelled to Mexico without having their cases considered.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Asylum seekers arrive in Tijuana, Mexico in 2018. Photo: Daniel Arauz/flickr/CC

Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday asking him not to broker any deal with the United States that would allow more asylum seekers to be sent to Mexico without due process.

The letter, also addressed to Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, was sent one day before the pair were set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C.

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Israel’s Killing of Journalists in Gaza ‘Unparalleled,’ Says Watchdog

The Committee to Protect Journalists—which recorded 68 media professionals killed since October 7—said it is particularly concerned by Israel’s “apparent pattern of targeting journalists and their families.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 12-22-2023 by Common Dreams

Palestinian journalists Muhammad Sobh and Saeed Al-Taweel were killed during their work by Israeli airstrikes on October 10, 2023 in Gaza City, Gaza Photo: Ahmed Shameya/X

Journalists are being slain during Israel’s current assault on Gaza at a rate unseen in modern history—with more killed in the last 10 weeks alone than have been killed in any country in any whole year since records began, the Committee to Protect Journalists revealed on Thursday.

CPJ said that at least 68 media professionals—61 Palestinians, four Israelis, and three Lebanese—have been killed since the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel and the Israeli military’s retaliatory obliteration of the Gaza Strip.

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Indigenous Australians Mourn Failure of Referendum to Recognize Groups in Constitution

“It is a blight on Australia’s history that successive governments of various political persuasions have failed to uphold the rights of First Nations people,” said the Australia director for Human Rights Watch.

By Julia Conley. Published 10-15-2023 by Common Dreams

Image: @Jonathan_Witt/X

Indigenous groups in Australia on Sunday called for a “Week of Silence” beginning Saturday night to protest what one campaigner called the “gut-wrenching” outcome of a referendum that would have formally recognized Indigenous Australians in the country’s Constitution and created a body to advise the government on policies that affect them.

Communities with large populations of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders voted overwhelmingly for the referendum, but nationwide, 60.4% of voters sided with the “No” campaign that relied on misleading the public about how the new policies would be implemented.

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‘Important Step’: Biden Admin to Track Foreign Forces Killing Civilians With US Weapons

“Of course, its impact will come down to the details of implementation,” said one expert.

By Jessica Corbett Published 9-13-2023 by Common Dreams

Child Observing Sana’a Ruins. Photo: Felton Davis/flickr/CC

Human rights advocates and some congressional Democrats on Wednesday cautiously welcomed Washington Post reporting that the Biden administration has created a program to track and investigate allegations of foreign forces harming or killing civilians with weapons provided by the United States.

“The United States clearly has a vested interest in knowing what harm its weapons sales and security assistance cause to civilians,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) deputy Washington director Nicole Widdersheim told the newspaper. “Let’s see if the Biden administration puts political will behind this good idea.”

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‘Like Killing Fields’: Report Says Saudi Border Guards Killed Hundreds of Ethiopian Migrants

“If committed as part of a Saudi government policy to murder migrants, these killings, which appear to continue, would be a crime against humanity,” said Human Rights Watch.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 8-21-2023 by Common Dreams

Saudi soldiers occupy a position on Mt. Doud, near the Yemen border. Photo: VOA

Saudi border guards allegedly killed at least hundreds of Ethiopian migrants and asylum-seekers—including women and children—who tried to enter the kingdom from Yemen between March 2022 and June 2023, sometimes by blowing them to bits with mortars and rockets, Human Rights Watch revealed Monday.

In a report entitled ‘They Fired on Us Like Rain’: Saudi Arabian Mass Killings of Ethiopian Migrants at the Yemen-Saudi Border, HRW described how “Saudi border guards have used explosive weapons to kill many migrants and shot other migrants at close range, including many women and children, in a widespread and systematic pattern of attacks.”

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Biden Administration Poised to Supply Ukraine With Banned Cluster Bombs

An official announcement is expected very soon.

By Common Dreams. Published 7-1-2023

Allegedly out of date NATO CBU-87 cluster bomb used in bombing of Yugoslavia; in 1999. Photo: Petar Milošević/Wikimedia Commons/CC

The Biden administration is considering providing Ukraine with cluster bombs and may announce this decision in early July, NBC News reports.

“We have been thinking about DPICM for a long time,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday at the National Press Club. “Yes, of course, there’s a decision-making process ongoing.”

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‘Incredibly Alarming’: Peaceful Protests Not Fit For a King

‘We’re now living in a dystopian nightmare’

By Common Dreams. Published 5-6-2023

Protesters from climate protest group ‘Just Stop Oil’ are arrested by police officers close to where Britain’s King Charles III and Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort were crowned at Westminster Abbey in central London on May 6, 2023. Photo: Just Stop Oil/Twitter

Thousands of King Charles III’s subjects protested against the monarchy Saturday in London — and heavy-handed police detained many of them for “suspicion of breaching the peace.”

Earlier this week, the Metropolitan Police tweeted that they would have an “extremely low tolerance” of those seeking to “undermine” King Charles III’s coronation day.

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Elon Musk’s Twitter is more dangerous than you think

Beyond Musk’s oft-repeated rants about free speech, may lie shadier plans to recoup the $44bn he paid for the site

By Adam Ramsay  Published 11-11-2022 by openDemocracy

The world is burning and Ukraine is trudging into a winter of war. Prices are spiralling and the NHS is limping. The US and Brazil have held the line against fascism, just, while Italy has fallen to the far right. Watching the disastrous takeover of Twitter by the world’s richest bam can feel a little frivolous. So what if it becomes a rich boy’s toy? It often felt like that anyway.

But the thing is, we can’t solve the world’s problems without talking, and social media has become the way we do that. At its best, a space beyond the increasingly oligarch-owned press where citizens of the world can chatter, gossip, joke and revolt; can organise into new collectives and explore new identities and senses of self. At its worst, well, I don’t need to tell you. Continue reading

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