Special Collections

Human Rights Collection

Description: Bookshare presents a selection of titles published by Human Rights Watch. These titles aim to shed light human rights conditions around the globe, in order to press for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice. #adults #general


Showing 76 through 100 of 136 results

Bringing Justice

by Human Rights Watch

The devastating eleven year civil war in Sierra Leone, which lasted from 1991 until 2002, was characterized by unspeakable brutality and serious crimes. Forces failed to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Families were gunned down in the street, children and adults had their limbs hacked off with machetes, and girls and women were taken to rebel bases and subjected to sexual violence. The civil war was notable for the systematic use of mutilation, abduction, sexual violence, and murder of civilians. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed and up to one-quarter of the population was displaced. The majority of crimes were perpetrated by rebels from the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). However, government forces and their allies, including the Civil Defense Forces (CDF), also committed serious crimes, albeit on a smaller scale and of a different nature than those by the rebel alliance. Following the end of the conflict, the Sierra Leone justice system lacked the capacity to hold perpetrators of the crimes accountable. Corruption and political manipulation plagued the judiciary. Hundreds of criminal suspects suffered from extended and unlawful detention, many without the due process guarantees stipulated in the constitution. The numbers of judges, magistrates, and prosecutors were inadequate and numerous courtrooms and police stations were destroyed during the war. Prompted by a request from Sierra Leone President Tejan Kabbah to the United Nations, a national-international court, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (Special Court or SCSL), was established in 2002 by agreement between the Sierra Leone government and the United Nations to prosecute serious crimes committed during the war. The Special Court's mandate is limited to prosecuting those who "bear the greatest responsibility" as opposed to those "who bear responsibility." The Special Court's authority is also restricted to prosecuting crimes committed during less than half of the conflict. Whereas the Special Court has so far indicted thirteen individuals and is not expected to issue more than a few additional indictments at most, the ICTR has indicted over seventy individuals, while the list of indictees at the ICTY tops one hundred.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Black Hole

by Human Rights Watch

The 53-page report, "Black Hole: The Fate of Islamists Rendered to Egypt," identifies some 60 individuals, mostly alleged Islamist militants of Egyptian origin, whom other states rendered to Egypt since 1994. The sending states have mainly been Arab and South Asian countries, but include Sweden as well as the United States. The Egyptian government has held many of the suspects in prolonged incommunicado detention. In some cases, Egypt has refused to acknowledge the whereabouts of those persons, and even the fact that they were in custody, raising concerns that some of the suspects have been forcibly "disappeared." Human Rights Watch said that sending wanted individuals to Egypt is a clear violation of the international law that prohibits extraditing or otherwise transferring persons to a country where they face likely torture.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


A Return To The New Order?

by Human Rights Watch

On October 24, 2002, Nanang and Muzakkir, two young political activists, were found guilty by a Jakarta court and sentenced to one year in prison. Their case gained widespread domestic media coverage and prompted much editorial debate about the validity of the prosecution. Unlike the protagonists of many other high profile news stories in contemporary Indonesia, Nanang and Muzakkir were neither suspected terrorists nor disgraced military figures. Rather, they were ordinary Indonesians, frustrated by Indonesia's political system, eager for reform. They became politically engaged and attended a non-violent, anti-government protest a few months earlier. Their crime? They expressed their dissatisfaction with the Indonesian government by stamping on pictures of President Megawati Sukarnoputri and Vice-President Hamzah Haz.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Decisions Denied

by Human Rights Watch

The 85-page report, "Decisions Denied: Women's Access to Contraceptives and Abortion in Argentina," documents how judges, doctors and health workers prevent women from making independent reproductive decisions in violation of women's internationally recognized human rights. The report also exposes some of the detrimental effects of domestic violence on women's reproductive health. The Argentine government has not done enough to remedy these abuses and their effects on women's health, Human Rights Watch said. Women's severely limited access to safe and legal abortions in Argentina is inconsistent with international law because it threatens the rights to life, health, equality, privacy, physical integrity, and freedom of religion and conscience. Amid continuing barriers to contraception, an estimated 40 percent of all pregnancies end in an illegal and therefore unsafe abortion in Argentina today. The consequences of illegal abortions have been the leading cause of maternal mortality for two decades. Human Rights Watch called on the Argentine government to protect women's human rights to health, life, nondiscrimination, privacy, physical integrity, information, freedom of religion and conscience, equal enjoyment of rights, equal protection under the law, and the right to make decisions about the number and spacing of children.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Still at Risk

by Human Rights Watch

The 91-page report, Still at Risk: Diplomatic Assurances No Safeguard against Torture, documents the growing practice among Western governments-including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands-of seeking assurances of humane treatment in order to transfer terrorism suspects to states with well-established records of torture. The report details a dozen cases involving actual or attempted transfers to countries where torture is commonplace. States that offer such assurances include some of the most abusive regimes in the world-Syria, Egypt and Uzbekistan. Transfers have also been effected or proposed to Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Russia, and Turkey, where certain people-for example, suspected Islamists, Chechens, or Kurds-are singled out for particularly brutal abuse. As the cases show, evidence is mounting that people who are returned to states that torture are in fact tortured, regardless of diplomatic assurances. And courts are increasingly recognizing the problem, and subjecting diplomatic assurances to greater scrutiny.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Failure to Protect

by Human Rights Watch

On March 17 and 18, 2004, violent rioting by ethnic Albanians took place throughout Kosovo, spurred by sensational and ultimately inaccurate reports that Serbs had been responsible for the drowning of three young Albanian children. For nearly forty-eight hours, the security structures in Kosovo-the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), the international U.N. (UNMIK) police, and the locally recruited Kosovo Police Service (KPS)-almost completely lost control, as at least thirty-three major riots broke out across Kosovo, involving an estimated 51,000 participants.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Claims in Conflict

by Human Rights Watch

A crisis of serious proportions is brewing in northern Iraq, and may soon explode into open violence. Since 1975, the former Iraqi government forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of Kurds, Turkomans, and Assyrians from their homes, and brought in Arab settlers to replace them, under a policy known as "Arabization." With the overthrow of that government in April 2003, the Kurds and other non-Arabs began returning to their former homes and farms. Ethnic tensions between returning Kurds and others and the Arab settlers escalated rapidly and have continued to do so, along with tensions between the different returning communities-particularly between Kurds and Turkomans-over control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. In the absence of a speedy implementation of plans to address the conflicting land and property claims and the needs of the different communities, ownership disputes may soon be settled through force.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


How to Fight, How to Kill

by Human Rights Watch

Over the last fourteen years, Liberians have known little but warfare. Conflict and civil war have devastated the country and taken an enormous toll on the lives of its citizens, especially children. Thousands of children have been victims of killings, rape and sexual assault, abduction, torture, forced labor and displacement at the hands of the warring factions. Children who fought with the warring parties are among the most affected by the war. Not only did they witness numerous human rights violations, they were additionally forced to commit abuses themselves.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


"Political Shari'a"? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria

by Human Rights Watch

Since 2000, twelve states in northern Nigeria have added criminal law to the jurisdiction of Shari’a (Islamic law) courts. Shari’a has been in force for many years in northern Nigeria, where the majority of the population is Muslim, but until 2000, its scope was limited to personal status and civil law. The manner in which Shari’a has been applied to criminal law in Nigeria so far has raised a number of serious human rights concerns. It has also created much controversy in a country where religious divisions run deep, and where the federal constitution specifies that there is no state religion.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Morocco

by Human Rights Watch

Morocco has made impressive strides in human rights over the last fifteen years. These advances have included greater respect for basic civil and political rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of association. This period, especially since the accession of King Mohamed VI in 1999, has also witnessed efforts to address issues of impunity for serious and systematic past crimes, including "disappearances" and torture. But Morocco has been no exception to the global backsliding in the protection of civil liberties and basic freedoms in the name of counter-terrorism. Important elements of the progress made during the last fifteen years are now endangered by the way that authorities have rounded up and imprisoned thousands of Moroccans accused of links to terrorism. The credible reports of torture and mistreatment of these suspects, and the clear denial of their civil rights during the judicial process, suggest that the broader freedoms Moroccans have enjoyed during the last decade and-a-half can be reversed. The stakes of the recent crackdown are high, not only for those suspected of involvement in militant or extremist groups, but for all Moroccans who have benefited from the reforms. This report, based on a research visit to Morocco during January and February 2004, first surveys the steps that the government has taken to address issues of impunity for past human rights crimes, with particular attention to the role of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission established in January 2004 and the structural and political limitations within which it operates. The report then documents basic violations of due process rights of detainees who were arrested in the course of the authorities' crackdown on suspected Islamist militants. These arrests began after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, and escalated significantly in the weeks and months that followed May 16, 2003. On that day, twelve suicide bombers killed thirty-three people, in addition to themselves, and wounded another 100 in coordinated attacks in Morocco's largest city, Casablanca.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Country on a Precipice

by Human Rights Watch

The 35-page report, "Country on a Precipice: The Precarious State of Human Rights and Civilian Protection in Côte d'Ivoire," documents recent military incidents that demonstrate the precariousness of the situation in Côte d'Ivoire. The report also shows how the continued proliferation of militias and the government's practice of using hate speech to incite violence puts civilians at continued risk. The report examines the government offensive against the rebel-held north in November, which was followed by widespread anti-French riots in Abidjan and ethnic clashes in Gagnoa. It also details how the February 28 attack by government-backed militia on the rebel-held town of Logouale sparked ethnically motivated attacks between indigenous groups and immigrant farm workers that resulted in some 16 deaths, caused more than 13,000 villagers to flee, and left several villages in flames. Human Rights Watch found that government forces in the first three months of the year were training and equipping militia forces, including Liberian mercenaries, to renew the war against the rebel New Forces (Forces Nouvelles). The government has been making increasing use of thousands of poorly-trained and ill-disciplined militias that have committed serious crimes with impunity, particularly targeting northerners, Muslims and West African immigrants. The report also notes recent abuses committed by the New Forces rebels against perceived government opponents, including torture and summary execution.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Warri Crisis

by Human Rights Watch

Conflict in Nigeria's Delta State during 2003 has led to the killing of hundreds of people, the displacement of thousands, and the destruction of hundreds of properties. Among the dead are probably dozens killed by the security forces. Although the violence has both ethnic and political dimensions, it is essentially a fight over money. In Nigeria, control of government often represents virtually unaudited control over resources. Delta State, which produces 40 percent of Nigeria's oil and receives 13 percent of the revenue from production in the state, has a particularly controversial division of political and government positions and structures, over which representatives of different ethnic groups are struggling. The wholly fraudulent nature of the 2003 state and federal elections in Delta State, as in 1999, means that there is little hope of changing political structures by democratic means, and elections become a focus for violence. In addition, the warring factions are fighting for control of the theft of crude oil, siphoned from pipes owned by the joint ventures that operate Nigeria's oil industry, known as "illegal oil bunkering." Illegally bunkered oil accounts for perhaps 10 percent of Nigeria's oil production, and those who sell the stolen oil, who have low capital costs, make enormous profits from this trade. Both politicians and those who head the illegal bunkering rackets (sometimes the same people) have armed youth militia to ensure their reelection or defend their operations. Among the other factors contributing to the conflict are the widespread availability of small arms, and ongoing impunity for abuses by all sides, including the security forces, since the first round of serious fighting in Delta State in 1997. Finally, the corruption and mismanagement in government that has left the region from which Nigeria derives its wealth poor and underdeveloped, has created a large class of young men who have no hope of legitimate work that would fulfill their ambitions, and are easily recruited into violence.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Out of Sight, Out of Mind

by Human Rights Watch

The policy of the Royal Thai Government towards Burmese refugees and migrants is in a state of flux. On the one hand, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s forging of closer economic and political ties with the Burmese government has resulted in an increasingly hardline stance by Thailand towards Burmese exiles, refugees, and migrants—especially those who are visibly and vocally opposed to the military government in Rangoon. This has included the arrests and intimidation of Burmese political activists living in Bangkok or along the border, harassment of Burmese human rights and humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), deportations of Burmese asylum seekers, migrants, and refugees to Burma, and the government’s suspension of screening of new applicants for asylum from Burma by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).At the same time, Thailand has signaled a new receptivity to pressure by the United States and the United Nations to broaden resettlement opportunities for Burmese refugees now living in Bangkok and other urban centers in Thailand. While this should help to improve the situation, Human Rights Watch is concerned that Thailand may offset its agreement to resettle urban refugees by intensifying its crackdown on undocumented Burmese migrants and sealing the border to new asylum seekers from Burma. In addition, with the January 2004 ceasefire agreement between Rangoon and one of the main rebel factions, the Karen National Union (KNU), Thai authorities may begin to pressure increasing numbers of the 142,000 Burmese living in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border to “voluntarily” repatriate to Burma.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Blood, Sweat, And Fear

by Human Rights Watch

In Blood, Sweat, and Fear we focus on workers' rights violations in the beef, pork, and poultry slaughtering and processing industry. The report concentrates on workplace health and safety, workers' compensation, workers' organizing rights, and the status of immigrant workers because our research uncovered systemic violations in these areas. The report draws from research, interviews, and visits in 2003 and 2004 to three geographic centers of the industry: Omaha, Nebraska for beef; Tar Heel, North Carolina for pork; and Northwest Arkansas for poultry. It also draws from research undertaken during 1999-2000 for Unfair Advantage. Although major areas of beef, pork, and poultry production exist in other parts of the United States, these three locations were selected for the geographic diversity among them and their reflection of each of the three major product segments in the industry. Human Rights Watch researchers conducted in-person interviews with dozens of meat and poultry workers and telephone interviews with several others. Most current employees did not want to be identified, fearing retaliation by their employer if their names appeared in the report. Workers who agreed to the use of their names are identified in the report. The report also draws on interviews with community organization and union representatives, workers' compensation attorneys, ergonomics experts, government officials, and other professionals with relevant experience and expertise.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Nigeria's 2003 Elections

by Human Rights Watch

Both Nigeria's federal and state elections in 2003 and local government elections in 2004 were marred by serious incidents of violence, which left scores dead and many others injured. The scale of the violence and intimidation, much of which went unreported, called into question the credibility of these elections. In April and May 2003, at least one hundred people were killed and many more injured during federal and state elections in Nigeria. The majority of serious abuses were perpetrated by members or supporters of the ruling party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP). In a number of locations, elections simply did not take place as groups of armed thugs linked to political parties and candidates intimidated and threatened voters in order to falsify results. The violence and climate of intimidation facilitated widespread fraud, invalidating the results of the elections in many areas. Nevertheless, the elections were hailed as peaceful by Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was re-elected, and were widely praised by foreign governments, including Nigeria's key foreign allies. The 2003 elections were significant for Nigeria as the country's first sustained transition from one civilian government to another.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Into Harm's Way

by Human Rights Watch

The conflict in Chechnya continues to take a huge toll on civilians. The October 2002 hostage crisis in Moscow, which left 129 dead, has been followed by reports of abuses by Russian and rebel forces in Chechnya, and accelerated efforts by Russian authorities to force displaced people living in tent camps in Ingushetia back to Chechnya. Russian authorities have also significantly restricted access to the region, blocking access for international monitors, including those from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Rigging the Rule of Law

by Human Rights Watch

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías faced a coup d'état in April 2002, advocates of democracy in Venezuela and abroad roundly condemned the assault on the country's constitutional order. Today Venezuela faces another constitutional crisis that could severely impair its already fragile democracy. This time, though, the threat comes from the government itself. Over the past year, President Chávez and his allies have taken steps to control the country's judicial branch, undermining the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary in ways that violate basic principles of Venezuela's constitution and international human rights law.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Struggling to Survive

by Human Rights Watch

The 58-page Human Rights Watch report, “Struggling to Survive: Barriers to Justice for Rape Victims in Rwanda,” investigates the persistent weaknesses in the Rwandan legal system that hamper the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence. The report also documents the desperate health and economic situation of rape survivors. Many of the women who were raped became infected with HIV. Women who were raped during the Rwandan genocide and afterwards are still struggling to find justice. Rwanda’s legal system remains ill-equipped to address sexual violence cases. Weaknesses in the legal system include insufficient protection for victims and witnesses, lack of training for authorities on sexual violence crimes, and poor representation of women among police and judicial authorities. Genocide survivors, including women and girls who were raped in 1994, have not been able to obtain reparations such as monetary compensation or other assistance for the human rights abuses they suffered. The report recommends that the Rwandan government enact pending legislation to provide reparations in the form of monetary compensation or other assistance, which would allow rape victims to seek the care they require. The government should also better train doctors and other medical personnel to collect medico-legal evidence, and it should regularly train prosecutors and judges on how to prosecute and try cases of sexual violence.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Empty Promises

by Human Rights Watch

This report analyzes the use of diplomatic assurances by governments and commentary on their use from the U.N. system, North America, and the Council of Europe region. It includes Human Rights Watch’s research on several cases that involve the use of diplomatic assurances. The report examines cases in which courts have ruled on the adequacy of such assurances, frequently finding that diplomatic assurances are not an effective safeguard against torture. The report highlights returns or proposed returns based on diplomatic assurances from Austria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States to countries where torture is a serious or systematic human rights problem, including Egypt, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Uzbekistan. This is not an exhaustive survey, but reflects relevant information available to Human Rights Watch indicating inherent problems and dangers with respect to the use of diplomatic assurances and how select legal systems have addressed the use of such assurances.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Flight From Iraq

by Human Rights Watch

This report documents the plight of refugees and other non-nationals in Iraq after the fall of the government of Saddam Hussein on April 11, 2003. As of April 30, 2003, more than 1500 people, of whom some 560 were Palestinians had fled Iraq for Jordan, where they were being held in refugee camps in difficult conditions at the border. For a variety of reasons, all foreigners, but particularly Palestinians, are especially vulnerable to abuse by segments of the Iraqi population in U.S. occupied Iraq. In research in Baghdad and two refugee camps in Jordan, Human Rights Watch documented harassment and insecurity amongst many nationalities of foreigners in Iraq. Human Rights Watch also documented physical threats against and forced evictions of Palestinians by Iraqis who expressed resentment for the preferential treatment afforded Palestinians under the Saddam Hussein government.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Bad Dreams

by Human Rights Watch

This report is the first comprehensive examination of the variety of human rights abuses that foreign workers experience in Saudi Arabia. The voices of these migrants provide a window into a country whose hereditary, unelected rulers continue to choose secrecy over transparency at the expense of justice. The stories in this report illustrate why so many migrant workers, including Muslims, return to their home countries deeply aggrieved by the lack of equality and due process of law in the kingdom. In an important sense, this report is an indictment of unscrupulous private employers and sponsors as well as Saudi authorities, including interior ministry interrogators and shari'a court judges, who operate without respect for the rule of law and the inherent dignity of all men and women, irrespective of gender, race, and religion.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Honoring The Killers

by Human Rights Watch

In 2003, a man fatally stabbed his daughter twenty-five times because she refused to tell him where she had been following a three-week absence. In 2002, a man killed his sister after seeing her "talking to a strange man during a wedding party." In 2001, a man killed his sister "after seeing a man leave her house." In none of these cases, nor dozens more such "honor" killings in Jordan in recent years, did the perpetrators serve more than six months in prison. Unfortunately, neither the violent killings nor the weak response to these crimes are exceptional. In Jordan today, as in many other countries in the Mediterranean and Muslim worlds, "honor" killings of girls and women by their male relatives remain among the most prevalent physical threats to women. It is the most extreme form of domestic violence, a crime based in male privilege and prerogative and women's subordinate social status. Although the absolute number of murders is not high (though the numbers are very likely underreported), the effects are felt throughout society. "Honor" killings are the most tragic consequence and graphic illustration of deeply embedded, society-wide gender discrimination.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


In the Name of Security

by Human Rights Watch

Nearly one hundred men currently languish in Malaysia's Kamunting detention center-some have been there for more than two years-without being charged with a crime or any prospect of a trial. Almost all are accused of being involved with organizations implicated in terrorist activity. While in detention, detainees report that they have been mistreated, some subjected to sexual humiliation, others slapped and kicked. All were held incommunicado for several weeks after they were first detained. Family members report that detainees showed signs of more extensive physical abuse when they first were able to meet with them. These men are being held under Malaysia's Internal Security Act (ISA), a form of administrative detention that permits the government to detain individuals without charge or trial, denying them even the most basic due process rights. The ISA allows the government to hold detainees for two years after arrest, and then renew this period indefinitely without meaningful judicial approval or scrutiny:

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Iraq

by Human Rights Watch

The report focuses on two major sources of that evidence, documentary and forensic. It surveys what’s been done—and not done—by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority and the interim Iraqi authorities since the invasion of March-April 2003 to preserve the evidence, and assess the implications for justice for Ba`thist era abuses and for some resolution regarding the fate of victims whose families live with uncertainty.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Demolished

by Human Rights Watch

This report, based largely on published Chinese-language sources—including press accounts, Internet discussions, expert commentary, and government laws, regulations, and statements—details the problems many Chinese citizens face as they are evicted from their homes, sometimes violently, by state and private actors. Many of these forced evictions violate basic human rights protections in both Chinese and international law. The report also provides an overview of current eviction and demolition practices in China’s cities, the regulations governing such practices, and the parties involved. It traces the emergence over the past several years of a vibrant tenants’ rights movement and the government’s recent crackdown on some of the leading figures. The issue of forced evictions in China has begun to receive attention in official circles, and has even prompted a constitutional amendment, but significant hurdles remain. If the deficiencies in implementation of laws are not remedied and rights of evictees not upheld, eviction practices can be expected to serve as a continuing source of high profile social unrest and at times extreme forms of protest. In Beijing, the clearing of new sites for Olympics venues likely will continue to be a flashpoint.

Date Added: 05/25/2017



Showing 76 through 100 of 136 results