Tag Archives: Human Rights Watch

Bringing Back ‘Archaic and Gruesome Weapons,’ Trump Reverses US Restrictions on Landmines

“The United States is doing a 180 on the near-global consensus to ban the abhorrent and inhumane use of landmines.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-31-2020

Pita Roque, a land mine victim in Mozambique. Photo: Ton Rulkens/CC

The Trump administration announced Friday that it was officially rolling back restrictions on the U.S. military’s ability to use landmines.

“In case you didn’t know, because they’re from one of the most draconian chapters of 20th century, the victims of landmines are mostly innocent civilians and especially children,” said immigration attorney Curtis Morrison. Continue reading

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‘Stop This Sale’: 11 NGO Leaders at Davos Warn Against Pending Private Equity Takeover of .Org Domain

“The security of civil society should not be entrusted to private equity.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-22-2020

Leaders of top NGOs are protesting the pending sale of the registry that operates the .org domain to a private equity firm. (Image: Andrew Stroehlein/Human Rights Watch/Twitter)

The executive directors of 11 major international nongovernmental organizations on Wednesday added their voices to a swelling chorus opposed to the pending sale of the nonprofit registry that operates the .org top-level domain to a recently established private equity firm.

The NGO leaders came together at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland to unveil a letter (pdf) they sent Tuesday to Andrew Sullivan, president and CEO of the Internet Society (ISOC), and Göran Marby, president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Continue reading

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‘Naked Violation’ of Human Rights: Global Condemnation Over New US Position on Israeli Occupation

“The American government’s decision to jettison international law and to legitimise the illegal Israeli settlements is probably the very last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution.”

By Eoin Higgins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-19-2019

International voices condemned the U.S. decision to no longer consider the Israeli settlements in Palestine a war crime. (Photo: rpb1001/flickr/cc)

A worldwide chorus of condemnation continued Tuesday over the U.S. decision to no longer ofiicially consider Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank illegal.

Michael Lynk, U.N. Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory, said the decision was “not a step towards peace or justice in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Continue reading

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‘Shameful’: Trump Admin Revokes ICC Prosecutor’s Visa Over Probe of Potential US War Crimes in Afghanistan

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s office said she will continue her work for the Hague-based tribunal “without fear or favor.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-6-2019

The Trump administration revoked a visa this week for International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (Photo: ICC)

In a move human rights defenders decried as “shameful,” the Trump administration revoked the visa of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor this week for trying to investigate alleged war crimes committed by American forces in Afghanistan.

“What we can confirm is that the U.S. authorities have revoked the prosecutor’s visa for entry into the U.S.” Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s office said in a statement. The decision, per her office, shouldn’t interfere with her travel to the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Continue reading

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‘Not a Good Answer’: Privacy Advocates Reject Democratic Proposal for ‘Technological Wall’ With Expanded Border Surveillance

“‘More surveillance’ has become the default answer to far too many difficult policy questions.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-11-2019

A U.S. surveillance tower seen from Nogales, Mexico, near the wall that runs between Mexico and the United States. (Photo: Jonathan McIntosh/Flickr/cc)

Progressives in recent weeks have applauded Democrats’ refusal to bend to President Donald Trump’s demands for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, a key component of his xenophobic anti-immigration agenda. But on Friday, digital rights advocates called on Democratic lawmakers to expand their fight against the wall into a fight for all human and constitutional rights—instead of suggesting alternative “border security” proposals that would infringe on civil liberties.

Fight for the Future launched a campaign Friday to fight against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) suggestion on Thursday that a so-called “technological wall” would be an appropriate alternative to Trump’s planned concrete or steel wall. Continue reading

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Saudis Move to Behead Female Activist as Facebook Censors Anti-Saudi Content

Although Saudi Arabia has killed or injured several thousand women in neighboring Yemen, beheading a female is completely unprecedented inside the Kingdom thus far.

By Randi Nord. Published 8-23-2018 by Geopolitics Alert

Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 29-year-old woman activist for crimes such as chanting slogans at a protest. Beheading a woman is unprecedented in the kingdom. Meanwhile, Facebook has sprung into action to protect Riyadh’s back by initiating a crackdown on hundreds of accounts posting anti-Saudi content.

  • Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for five activists with non-violent charges.
  • All of the activists belong to the kingdom’s historically oppressed Shia minority. One is a woman.
  • Facebook has coincidentally begun removing anti-Saudi accounts under the guise of fighting “Iranian interference.”
  • A private cybersecurity firm with ties to the US military tipped off Facebook to the accounts.

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Intensifying ‘Genocidal Policies of Collective Punishment,’ Israel Shuts Down Gaza’s Main Cargo Crossing

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, called the move “a new Israeli crime against humanity.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-10-2018

Israel announced on Monday new restrictions for the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main cargo entry point into Gaza. (Photo: David Katz/The Israel Project/Flickr)

In a move condemned by human rights advocates as another of the Israeli government’s “genocidal policies of collective punishment” in Gaza, Israel has announced stringent new import rules for the territory’s main cargo crossing.

As Israel and Egypt have maintained a naval, aerial, and land blockade of the occupied territory for more than a decade, the Kerem Shalom crossing is how most commercial goods and foreign aid reach Gazans. Under the new restrictions, only food, medicine, and “humanitarian equipment” can come through the entry point. Continue reading

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Complicit in Civilian Carnage, US Support for War in Yemen Called ‘Indefensible’

Citing pending arms deal for Saudis, sharply-worded NYT editorial says “American support for war” must end

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-17-2016

Photo: Fahd Sadi

Photo: Fahd Sadi

Amid an escalation of violence, increasing numbers of civilian casualties, and a nearly unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the New York Times editorial board on Wednesday called the United States “complicit in the carnage” and demanded the Obama administration end its support for the Saudi-led coalition which has repeatedly been accused of war crimes by critics.

The editorial reads: Continue reading

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American Bombs Killing Civilians in Yemen, Report Finds

“One of the deadliest strikes against civilians in Yemen’s year-long war involved U.S.-supplied weapons”

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-7-2016

The market in Yemen that was destroyed by U.S.-made bombs on March 15. (Photo: Amal al-Yarisi/Human Rights Watch)

The market in Yemen that was destroyed by U.S.-made bombs on March 15. (Photo: Amal al-Yarisi/Human Rights Watch)

The year-long campaign of Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen reached a new low last month with a deliberate attack on a marketplace full of civilians that killed over 100, including 25 children, and a new report has found that the bombs that did the killing came from the United States.


Human Rights Watch released the report on Thursday. Its findings detailed how the March 15 airstrike on a civilian target was made with U.S.-supplied weaponry, and renewed calls for an embargo on weapons to Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

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HRW Issues Groundbreaking Call to Shut Down Israeli Settlement Businesses

‘The only way for businesses to comply with their own human rights responsibilities is to stop working with and in Israeli settlements.’

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-19-2016

Barkan, located in the occupied West Bank, is an Israeli residential settlement and industrial zone that houses around 120 factories that export around 80 percent of their goods abroad. In the background is the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan. (Photo: David Silverman/HRW)

Barkan, located in the occupied West Bank, is an Israeli residential settlement and industrial zone that houses around 120 factories that export around 80 percent of their goods abroad. In the background is the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan. (Photo: David Silverman/HRW)

Decrying “an inherently unlawful and abusive system that violates the rights of Palestinians,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday called for all businesses to stop operating in and dealing directly with Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.

The report, Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights, also calls on third-party states such as the U.S. to “ensure that any import of settlement goods into their territory is consistent with their duty under international humanitarian law not to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territories.” This includes requiring exporters to accurately label goods produced in settlements as such. Continue reading

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