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February 28, 1993 | Paul Hoffman and Gara LaMarche, Paul Hoffman is legal director of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and a member of the executive committee of Human Rights Watch/California. Gara LaMarche is associate director of Human Rights Watch, based in New York.
Unlike many nations, the United States has a Bill of Rights and civil-rights laws, along with independent courts available to remedy abuses. What has been lacking until recently, when the United States finally ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights after more than 25 years' delay, is any recognition that this country must account to the world for its human-rights practices.
March 22, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - Syrian army units ambushed and killed a group of opposition fighters near Damascus, the capital, state media reported Saturday, saying that the group had crossed into the country from neighboring Jordan. The rebels, which Syria's state-run news agency said were attached to Islamist factions including the Islamic Front and Al Qaeda -linked Al Nusra Front, were monitored as they crossed the Syria-Jordan border before being engaged by army units in the city of Adra , 11 miles northeast of Damascus.
March 21, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.N. human rights chief accused the Sudanese army of looting towns and raping girls and women during attacks carried out in West Darfur with the help of Arab militias. The Feb. 8 attacks on Sirba, Sileia and Abu Suruj, with helicopter gunships and fixed-wing craft, killed at least 115 people and caused 30,000 to flee their homes, Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said in a report. "The scale of destruction . . . suggests that the damage was a deliberate and integral part of a military strategy," the nine-page report says.
March 17, 2014 | By Amro Hassan
CAIRO  - A state-appointed human rights panel on Monday blamed both sides for the deadly violence seven months ago when security forces broke up protest camps set up by supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. The National Council for Human Rights, releasing its findings at a news conference, said it had confirmed the deaths of 632 people, most of them protesters. Egyptian and international human rights groups have put the toll over several days in mid-August at nearly double that.
March 1, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Southeast Asian leaders are wrapping up a summit today they hoped would highlight their championship of human rights, but instead suffered a setback when military-ruled Myanmar and Cambodia refused to talk to two pro-democracy activists. The prominent activists were barred from a meeting on human rights in the region, after the leaders of the two countries threatened to walk out. The activists had been selected as delegates for their countries. The two-day summit of the 10-nation bloc is to end with a general declaration and a document on the region's economy and the global financial crisis.
May 12, 2004 | Mark Magnier, Times Staff Writer
China's state-monitored Internet has been having a field day with the scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, even as some analysts here warned that the issue could alter the Sino-U.S. human rights debate. "It could strengthen China's position, putting the political dialogue between the U.S. government and the Chinese government at least on an equal footing," said Yan Xuetong, an expert at Qinghua University here on relations between the nations.
May 18, 2009
The Obama administration says it is committed to protecting human rights and supporting multilateral institutions, and the decision to seek a place on the United Nations Human Rights Council was a step in that direction. We are pleased that the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly last week to seat the United States on the council for the first time since its creation in 2006. The council was set up to replace the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which was ineffective.
December 4, 2012 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN -- Jailed Iranian human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh has halted her hunger strike after the Iranian judiciary agreed to drop a travel ban against her daughter, her husband said Tuesday. Sotoudeh had endured nearly seven weeks without food, drinking salt and sugar solutions, to protest her 12-year-old daughter Mehrave being banned from leaving the country. The couple claimed their daughter was being punished for the alleged crimes of her mother, who has defended dissidents.
March 1, 2012
If foreign victims of human rights abuses can use U.S. courts to seek justice from their tormentors, it shouldn't matter whether they were mistreated by an individual or a corporation. But the Supreme Court was urged this week by an international oil company to insulate it from a law against torture and other violations of the "law of nations. " In 1789, Congress enacted the Alien Tort Statute, which gave federal district courts jurisdiction over "any civil action by an alien for a tort committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.
April 23, 2012 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama defended his administration's work to prevent mass atrocities Monday while speaking to Holocaust survivors. The U.S. government has worked with international partners to protect civilians in Cote D'Ivoire, Libya and South Sudan, Obama told an audience at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. And he has sent American advisors to central Africa in an effort to contain Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army and secure the region, Obama noted. Obama said those advisors would continue their efforts to “bring this madman to justice” and that the world must continue to stand with the people of Syria under the oppression of the regime of Bashar Assad.
February 26, 2014
Chokwe Lumumba, 66, a human rights activist and nationally prominent attorney who became mayor of Jackson, Miss., last year, died Tuesday at a Jackson hospital, city officials said. The cause wasn't immediately clear. As an attorney, Lumumba represented Tupac Shakur in cases including one in which the rapper was cleared of aggravated assault in the shootings of two off-duty police officers who were visiting Atlanta from another city when they were wounded. Shakur died in 1996. Lumumba also represented Lance Parker, one of the defendants in the attack on truck driver Reginald O. Denny at the beginning of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
February 16, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - President Obama warned Sunday that a harsh new anti-gay law in Uganda would “complicate our valued relationship” with the east African country, which receives hundreds of millions of dollars a year in U.S. aid. In a last-ditch effort to derail the measure, national security advisor Susan Rice called Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni over the weekend and urged him not to sign the measure. The law includes a provision of life in prison for “aggravated homosexuality.” But amid news reports that Museveni was intent on pressing forward, Obama said Sunday that the move would be “a step backward for all Ugandans” and would reflect poorly on the country's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people.
February 13, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
When Omar Naasir wants a restful night's sleep in Aleppo, he says, he stays as close as possible to the front line of the ongoing clashes between Syrian rebel and government forces. Farther back in his rebel-controlled neighborhood, Naasir says, the risk of death greatly increases because of the barrel bombs and other explosives raining down daily amid the government's bombardment campaign. "Between us and the regime army is sometimes less than 100 meters, so they don't drop barrel bombs there so they don't strike their positions," he said via Skype, referring to the deadly oil drums filled with TNT. "With barrel bombs, there is a feeling of paralysis that is indescribable," said the former peace activist turned rebel.
February 12, 2014 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The presence of three words on a letterhead - "State of Palestine" - is keeping Palestinian patients from being transferred from the Gaza Strip to hospitals in East Jerusalem or Israel, officials on both sides acknowledged Wednesday. Israel informed the  Palestinian Authority on Tuesday that it would no longer accept the patients if the transfer letter issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health contains those words. Palestinian authorities expressed surprise, saying the phrase had been used on official documents since late 2012, when the United Nations upgraded the Palestinian Authority's status to that of a nonmember observer "state" rather than "entity.
February 6, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - A former Salvadoran general accused of overseeing the torture and killing of thousands of civilians during a 12-year civil war appealed a U.S. deportation order Thursday on the grounds that his nation's anti-communist campaign was backed and funded by the American government. An attorney for Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, who was El Salvador's defense minister and leader of the National Guard in the 1980s, repeatedly cited the U.S. support for his country's right-wing government during its war against leftist guerrillas.
January 21, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
The highest court in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday convicted 30 Islamists of establishing an "international branch" of the banned Muslim Brotherhood in the wealthy Persian Gulf federation, a case slammed by rights advocates as politically motivated and marred by a catalog of legal abuses. Ten Emiratis and 20 Egyptians were given sentences ranging from three months to five years. There is no right to appeal. Charges included allegations that the men stole classified documents, operated a secret organization and collected aid and donations without government permission, according to the charge list and sentencing details published by Gulf News.
October 2, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- The Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador has abruptly closed its important human rights and legal aid office, which for years, and sometimes at great risk, denounced and investigated the most egregious atrocities surrounding that country's civil war. The surprise decision became known Tuesday, when employees showed up for work at the Tutela Legal office in the capital, San Salvador, and found padlocks on the doors and guards who...
January 18, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN -- Iranian attorney and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh was  freed for three days from a Tehran prison after more than two years behind bars. "She is suffering from digestive system disorder, her mom is recently deceased, so she needs to be out of jail to spend time with her children and family and restore her health," her husband, Reza Khandan, told The Times. Sotoudeh herself did not speak with the media. Sotoudeh, who is known for defending Iranian dissidents, was convicted of undermining national security and spreading propaganda against the government after she spoke out against the unannounced execution of one of her clients.
January 16, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Both sides in South Sudan's new war have committed "appalling crimes," according to a Human Rights Watch report Thursday, offering a grim picture of massacres, ethnic killings and looting of humanitarian aid. The organization said a credible independent investigation was required, calling on the African Union to broaden its planned inquiry into atrocities to make it "truly independent and credible. " It also called for United Nations sanctions against individuals found to be responsible for crimes.
January 9, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT -- A car bomb detonated Thursday near a school in the the central Syrian province of Hama, killing as many as 18 people, according to the Syrian government and opposition sources. The bomb exploded outside the town of Salmiyah, killing mostly women and children, the reports said. The Syrian state news agency SANA said the attack left dozens wounded and had caused “very significant” property damage. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based pro-opposition watchdog group, said the casualty toll was likely to increase.
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