United States

11/30/2021

The United States revoked its designation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as a “foreign terrorist organization,” allowing US officials to work with members of the Colombian rebel group as they continue to shift into political life.

This move comes days after the rebel group and Colombia’s government celebrated the five-year anniversary of a peace deal. The US had officially designated the FARC as a “foreign terrorist” organization in 1997, the halfway point of the rebels’ six-decade conflict with the government.

11/18/2021

Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, who served decades in prison for their alleged role in the assassination of Malcolm X are exonerated. The two men are having their convictions cleared 56 years after the fiery civil rights leader’s murder.

The exonerations are expected to provide a measure of closure in a case that has drawn deep skepticism among scholars and laypeople alike and inspired conspiracy theories about the possible culpability of law enforcement. 

11/3/2021

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States have urged the restoration of the civilian government in Sudan following last week's coup.

11/3/2021

The Biden administration has blacklisted Israeli firm NSO Group, accusing the technology company of developing and supplying spyware to foreign governments "that used these tools to maliciously" target a range of actors, including journalists and activists. 

10/22/2021

A United States judge has ruled the United States has no legal basis for holding an Afghan man, Asadullah Haroon Gul, at the notorious US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2007, setting the stage for his potential release.

Gul was held for 14 years at Guantanamo without charge and denied access to a lawyer for the first nine years of his detention, according to Reprieve, a US legal advocacy group. In 2016, his lawyers filed a petition in federal court in Washington, DC, arguing his detention was unlawful.

Senior Expert, Programs

10/22/2021

The Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission held its first public hearing in Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland, on October 2, 2021. The event, broadcast live from Emmanuel Episcopal Church, brought together commissioners, panelists, and guests to acknowledge and memorialize the tragic lynching of 18-year-old Robert Hughes (aka William Burns) in Cumberland in 1907. In the coming months, the commission will convene several more of these public hearings in counties across the state of Maryland.

10/15/2021

A working paper by the international Human Rights Clinic at the University of California Berkeley School of Law shows San Francisco’s police department historically mired in deep racism and violence.

The report is meant to aid the work of the city’s forthcoming Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission, which is being designed to give voice to victims harmed by decades of racist law enforcement and prosecutorial practices.

10/8/2021

Patrick Ball’s nonprofit, Human Rights Data Analysis Group, will be awarded the Rafto Prize, a Norwegian award bestowed on defenders of human rights around the world.

Ball and his team have been called in during or after conflict to examine human rights abuses in a long list of countries from Ethiopia to Haiti to Kosovo to Timor-Leste, but the “heart” of the work lies in Central America.

10/5/2021

The Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission hosted its first regional public hearing focused on the Allegany County lynching of Robert Hughes (also known as William Burns) in 1907.

Cumberland Police Chief Chuck Ternent talked of the role a police department can play in helping communities heal from racial trauma and assist communities as they strive to realize justice.

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