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Tag Archives: Human Rights Watch

Autonomous Weapons: Is an Arms Race Really a Threat?

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Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM

There has certainly been much written about the controversy over autonomous weapons systems, but in my preparation for a Chatham House conference on autonomous weapons, I found one argument made by advocates of a ban on such weapons, however,  that merits some close examination.  These advocates make the point that there will be a robotics arms race . . .
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Whose Fault is it if China and Iran Restrict Free Speech? NSA’s—Of Course

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Monday, November 18, 2013 at 3:23 PM

That, at least, seems to be what Ken Roth—executive director of Human Rights Watch—is arguing in this essay on the New York Review of Books web site. Entitled “The NSA’s Global Threat to Free Speech,” the piece is devoted to decrying not merely the implications for privacy of NSA spying but what Roth terms “the global threat . . .
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A Global Human Right to Privacy?

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Monday, November 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Over at the Guardian today, Kenneth Roth—executive director of Human Rights Watch—argues for a worldwide human right of privacy: It’s time for governments to come clean about their practices, and not wait for the newest revelations. All should acknowledge a global obligation to protect everyone’s privacy, clarify the limits on their own surveillance practices (including surveillance . . .
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Killer Robots and the Laws of War in Monday’s Wall Street Journal

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Monday, November 4, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Today’s Wall Street Journal carries an op-ed piece by Matt and me on the regulation of autonomous weapon systems, “Killer Robots and the Laws of War: Autonomous Weapons Are Coming and Can Save Lives. Let’s Make Sure They’re Used Ethically and Legally.”  Although the topic has not been especially visible in the United States (at . . .
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Human Rights Watch Responds

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Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Not to be outdone by Amnesty International, which responded earlier to my post on reports by Amenesty and Human Rights Watch, Letta Taylor of Human Rights Watch writes in with the following response as well: In his posting “Thoughts on the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Reports,” Benjamin Wittes notes that the both organizations “raise . . .
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A Meta-Study of Drone Strike Casualties: Version 2.0

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Friday, October 25, 2013 at 6:29 PM

I’ve been thinking about the recent Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports in the context of my Meta-Study of Drone Strike Casualties from this summer, in which I examined the different methodologies used by the New America Foundation (NAF), the Long War Journal (LWJ), the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic (CHRC) to count the number of civilian casualties from drone . . .
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More on the Amnesty and Human Rights Watch Reports

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Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Over at Security States today, Ken and I have a piece adapted in part from my post of Wednesday (to which Amnesty International responds here) on the recent Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports on civilian casualties in drone strikes. The piece combines some of my analysis from the earlier Lawfare post with thoughts of Ken’s added later. . . .
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Thoughts on the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Reports

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I have now read both of the two major human rights reports released yesterday on civilian casualties in drone strikes—one by Amnesty International on strikes in Pakistan and the other by Human Rights Watch on strikes in Yemen. I have a few thoughts on them. First, it is impossible for a modestly-moral person to read . . .
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Readings: The Case for Drones (Now Available at SSRN, No Paywall)

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

With reports released this week critical of US drone strikes and targeted killing from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, this seems like a good moment to mention my own article from the June 2013 issue of Commentary magazine, “The Case for Drones“.  (It has just been posted to SSRN, . . .
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New Reports on Drone Strike Casualties in Pakistan and Yemen

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Two human rights groups released reports today on civilian casualties from selected drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Amnesty International’s “Will I Be Next?” US Drone Strikes in Pakistan investigates nine drone strikes in North Waziristan between January 2012 and August 2013. Human Rights Watch’s “Between a Drone and Al Qaeda” The Civilian Cost of US Targeted Killings in . . .
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The Return of the Detainees to Algeria

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Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 9:31 PM

The White House announcement on Friday that the Defense Department plans to transfer two Algerian detainees held at Guantanamo to Algeria represents the most recent action in a long series of efforts by both the Bush and Obama Administrations to repatriate Algerian detainees from Guantanamo.  In previous years, both Administrations focused their public messaging on the . . .
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Tom Malinowski Nominated to be Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy Human Rights and Labor

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Last night, President Obama nominated Tom Malinowski, the director of Human Rights Watch’s Washington office, to be Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy Human Rights and Labor, succeeding Michael Posner, who stepped down earlier this year. Tom is well-qualified for the position.  Prior to his twelve years at Human Rights Watch, he served on the State . . .
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A Crash Course on Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan

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Friday, April 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

It has been widely reported that the two prime suspects in the Boston marathon bombings—one who was killed in a shootout early this morning—are ethnic Chechens. The brothers allegedly lived in Kyrgyzstan with their family before moving to the United States in 2002, and reports say they are citizens of that country. Here is a running . . .
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Pillage and Plunder in South Asia

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Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Don’t look now, but a populous Muslim country in the Indian subcontinent is simmering with tension between its Islamist parties and its ruling civilian government. No, I’m not talking about Pakistan. I’m talking about Bangladesh, which has carried out a little-noticed effort over the last few weeks to prosecute major Islamist figures for war crimes . . .
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Greg McNeal on Human Rights Watch and “Killer Robots”

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Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6:51 AM

Over at Forbes.com, Greg McNeal takes a break from guest blogging for Lawfare to body slam Human Rights Watch over its “killer robots” campaign. Last week, I published a grass roots letter from Human Rights, along with Tom Malinowski’s candid reflections on how its tone jives with Tom’s desire for a “serious conversation” on the subject of . . .
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Rolling Stone Doesn’t Like Lawfare’s Day on the Hill

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Over at Rolling Stone, John Knefel pans the House Judiciary Committee hearing today for being too Lawfare-heavy: The House Judiciary Committee held a full member hearing today on when it is acceptable for the government to designate a U.S. citizen for targeted killing – the first hearing to focus specifically on this hot-button issue. Despite the session’s . . .
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Human Rights Watch Campaign on Killer Robots—and Tom Malinowski’s Response

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Friday, February 22, 2013 at 5:53 PM

A few weeks ago, Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch had a thoughtful and serious—if sometimes playful—exchange with Matt, Ken, and me over fully autonomous weapons systems. But there seems to be another, less serious, side of Human Rights Watch’s advocacy on the subject, a grass-roots campaign that is quite extreme in its rhetoric and . . .
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VOA Urdu Webcast on Drone Policy

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Friday, February 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Voice of America Urdu produces a weekly webcast called “Access Point with Ayesha Tanzeem,” which, this week, focused on U.S. drone policy and the legality of targeted killing in light of President Obama’s (very brief) remarks on transparency in his State of the Union address. The segment features Philip Mudd of the New America Foundation and Maria McFarland of Human . . .
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Tom Malinowski Ups the Game in Lawfare’s Discussion of Killer Robots

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Monday, January 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch writes in with the latest salvo in our ongoing debate about robots with autonomous firing power—in a post that, I’m afraid, sets a new standard for multi-media guest posting. Please make sure to read to the end and watch the video clip Tom has included. I promise it will . . .
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Jen Daskal Argues Against Closing Guantanamo

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Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Jennifer Daskal—who is a fellow at Georgetown law these days, after serving as NSD and working for Human Rights Watch—has a genuinely brave oped in the New York Times this morning entitled “Don’t Close Guantanamo.” It argues, against all current orthodoxy in the human rights movement, that at least in the short term, Guantanamo should remain. . . .
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