Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For more than 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.

Telephone: 1-(212) 290-4700
Website: www.hrw.org
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
NY 10118-3299 New York
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Videos

République Démocratique du Congo : Les victimes de Minova en attente de justice

Cette vidéo relate les graves crimes commis par des soldats congolais, en novembre 2012, dans le village de Minova, dans l’est de la RD Congo, notamment des crimes de guerre, des actes de pillage et des viols de masse. En décembre 2013, 39 soldats ont fait l’objet d’un procès à Goma, mais seuls deux accusés, de rang inférieur, ont été jugés coupables. HRW, avec cette vidéo et un rapport, vise à tirer des enseignements de ce procès et de mettre fin à l’impunité encore trop présente en RD Congo.

Lien vers la vidéo: RD Congo : Les victimes de Minova en attente de justice

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Revelations of Surveillance from Colombia's Top Commander

On 14 April 2017, the Colombian magazine Semana ran a damning story about a group of senior military officers who it said were involved in corruption and illicit surveillance activities. It indicated that General Juan Pablo Rodríguez Barragán, the country’s then-top commander and now ambassador to South Korea, did not like Human Rights Watch's insistence on justice for killings of innocent people by the army during its long battle against rebel groups. So in 2017, Semana said, the general apparently asked other officers to establish cyber surveillance and monitoring on José Miguel Vivanco, Human Rights Watch's Americas Director, and discussed ways to censor his tweets.

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Policy and Research Papers

“We Have Lived in Darkness” A Human Rights Agenda for Guinea’s New Government

In this report, Human Rights Watch identifies the key rule of law challenges faced by the new administration, explores some of the factors which have contributed to them, and makes recommendations on how to end this history of abuse and impunity and ensure Guinea’s successful transformation from an abusive state into one that guarantees the rights of its people. The report calls on the new administration to adequately support and reform the judiciary; ensure those responsible for state-sponsored massacres in 2007 and 2009 are brought to justice; establish a
truth-telling mechanism to explore the dynamics that gave rise to and sustained successive repressive regimes; rein in, professionalize, and reform the security sector; and ensure Guinea’s population can benefit from the country’s abundant natural resources by establishing an independent anti-corruption commission.

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Pour que la justice compte : enseignements tirés du travail de la CPI en Côte d’Ivoire

En octobre 2011, les juges de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) ont autorisé le Procureur de la Cour à ouvrir une enquête sur des crimes commis pendant la crise postélectorale de 2010-2011 qui a secoué la Côte d’Ivoire. À ce jour, le Bureau du Procureur (BdP) de la CPI a engagé des poursuites contre trois personnes, y compris Laurent Gbagbo, pour des crimes prétendument commis par des forces fidèles à Gbagbo. 

Ce rapport publié par Human Rights Watch examine l’engagement de la Cour en Côte d’Ivoire et, dans une moindre mesure au Mali, où le BdP a ouvert des enquêtes en 2013. Ces recherches qui se sont appuyées sur des entretiens avec des représentants de la société civile et des journalistes ivoiriens et maliens ainsi que sur l’examen des décisions de justice et documents policiers pertinents révèlent que la Cour n’a pas encore saisi toutes les opportunités qui s’offrent à elle pour renforcer l’impact de ses procédures en Côte d’Ivoire.

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Human Rights Watch report | Guinea: Security Force Excesses, Crimes

As detailed in this report, Human Rights Watch accuses some members of Guinea’s security forces of using excessive lethal force, engaging in abusive conduct, and displaying a lack of political neutrality when responding to election-related opposition protests in April and May 2015. It reports that members of the police force were most frequently implicated in the abuses, revealing an urgent need for accountability, better command responsibility, and training.

Read the report online.

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Le succès de la CPI dépend de son impact local

Elizabeth Evenson, Conseillère juridique senior au Programme Justice internationale de Human Rights Watch, signe un commentaire sur le rôle de la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI). Elle argumente que son importance se joue dans les pays et les communautés affectés par les crimes que la Cour va juger, mettant ainsi en lumière que les victimes sont les premières concernées et devraient être au coeur du travail mené par la CPI. 

Le commentaire est disponible en ligne, en anglais et en français. 

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Kosovo Criminal Justice Scorecard

The report analyzed the failure to bring to justice many of those responsible for the violence in March 2004. Key factors included: the failure of a special international
police operation disconnected from the rest of the justice system, and ineffective policing generally; an insufficient response to allegations of Kosovo Police Service
misconduct during the riots; passivity on the part of prosecutors; poor case management and lenient sentencing practices in the courts; and inadequate oversight.

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“We Will Beat You to Correct You”: Abuses Ahead of Burundi’s Constitutional Referendum

The present report documents violations and abuses by state forces and actors close to the ruling party which occurred between January 2017 and the constitutional referendum in May 2018. Results are based upon interviews with abuse victims, witnesses, family members of victims, and five former members of the Imbonerakure. Victims are reported to have included opponents or suspected opponents of the ruling party, human rights activists, and journalists. An estimated 1,700 people were killed alongside further reports of forced disappearances, rape, torture, beatings, arbitrary detainment, and intimidation.

For full access to the report “We Will Beat You to Correct You” Abuses Ahead of Burundi’s Constitutional Referendum, please kindly follow the link.

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Mali: Deaths, Torture in Army Detention

The government of Mali should urgently conduct credible investigations into abuses against suspects its army detained during a major military operation against armed Islamist groups, Human Rights Watch said. The army high command should suspend officers implicated in abuse pending investigations and ensure that all detainees are treated humanely and are promptly turned over to government gendarmes.

The investigations should include the deaths in detention of 27 men and the severe torture of two others in February, March, and April 2018 during Operation Dambe, a major offensive that ramped up in early 2018 in the Mopti region of Central Mali. The army has said that it is investigating two of the reported cases. In light of the failure of the military to hold accountable soldiers implicated in past abuses, an independent Justice Ministry investigation for the current spate of abuses is crucial, Human Rights Watch said.

“Multiple accounts of mass arrests followed by the discovery of common graves point to the army running amok in central Mali,” said Corinne Dufka, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Prompt government action is needed to stop the abuses and bring those responsible to justice.”

For further reading the article on Mali: Deaths, Torture in Army Detention, please kindly follow the link. 

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Military Might Alone Won’t Pull Mali From Quagmire

“The jihadists are the law now,” an elder from central Mali told me. “The very day the French-supported operation finished, the Islamists were back in the villages,” confided another villager last week, referring to a military operation near the Mali-Burkina Faso border in April.

The endurance of the jihadist recruitment success and their appeal to many villagers suggests that military operations on their own will not be sufficient to defeat the threat. President Emmanuel Macron should keep this in mind when he visits the country this Friday.

For further reading the article on Military Might Alone Won’t Pull Mali From Quagmire, please kindly follow the link. 

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« Ils m’ont dit de garder le silence » - Obstacles rencontrés par les survivantes d’agressions sexuelles pour obtenir justice et réparations en Mauritanie

En Mauritanie, peu de survivantes d’agressions sexuelles osent s’exprimer. Celles qui les dénoncent aux autorités doivent se frayer un chemin dans un système dysfonctionnel qui décourage les victimes de porter plainte, peut leur valoir d’être à nouveau traumatisées, voire punies, et manque de services adéquats d’aide aux victimes.

Ce rapport fait état des obstacles institutionnels, juridiques et sociaux que rencontrent les survivantes lorsqu’elles veulent rapporter à la police des incidents d’agressions sexuelles, amener les coupables devant la justice et obtenir un soutien médical et psychosocial. Human Rights Watch a mené des entretiens avec 12 filles et 21 femmes qui ont décrit un ou plusieurs incidents d’agressions sexuelles. Nos chercheurs se sont rendus à la prison nationale pour femmes et se sont entretenus avec trois femmes détenues après avoir été inculpées de zina, dont deux ont déclaré avoir subi des violences sexuelles.

Afin d'accéder à l'analyse, « Ils m’ont dit de garder le silence » - Obstacles rencontrés par les survivantes d’agressions sexuelles pour obtenir justice et réparations en Mauritanie, veuillez suivre le lien.

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“By Day We Fear the Army, By Night the Jihadists” - Abuses by Armed Islamists and Security Forces in Burkina Faso

Since 2016, armed Islamist groups have dramatically increased their presence in Burkina Faso, creating an environment of fear throughout the country. They have attacked government buildings and schools, intimidated teachers, conducted brutal assaults on cafés and other gathering places, and executed those suspected of collaborating with authorities. In response, Burkinabè security forces have conducted counterterrorism operations in 2017 and 2018 that resulted in numerous allegations of extrajudicial killings, abuse of suspects in custody, and arbitrary arrests.

Victims of violence by both the armed Islamists and security forces complained about the slow pace, or complete lack, of investigations into human rights cases since 2016. Community leaders from the north complained about what they perceived to be a partial response to abuses by the authorities. They said killings and abuses by armed Islamists almost always triggered an investigation and, often arrests, while alleged abuses by security force personnel were rarely, if ever, investigated by the security forces or the judiciary.

To access the report, “By Day We Fear the Army, By Night the Jihadists” - Abuses by Armed Islamists and Security Forces in Burkina Faso, please follow the link.

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Other Documents

Justice on Trial

Lessons from the Minova Rape Case in the Democratic Republic of Congo

A new Human Rights Watch report highlights the need to reform the Democratic Republic of Congo's justice system to better prosecute atrocities. The report focuses on the Minova rape trial to show how this is 'emblematic of the deficiencies of Congo’s military justice system in dealing with grave international crimes that persist despite years of international assistance'

Report on Justice on Trial available 

Other Document

World Report 2017: Demagogues Threaten Human Rights

World Report 2017 summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2016, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in focus. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights not as an essential check on official power but as an impediment to the majority will.

For full access to the World Report 2017: Demagogues Threaten Human Rights, kindly follow the link.

Other Document