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An international organization dedicated to exposing human rights abuses across the globe has turned its attention to the nation's capital, accusing the D.C. police department in a blistering report issued Thursday of failing to investigate cases of rape and sexual assault and urging an outside oversight of the department's handling of those cases.
At least 170 reported sexual assaults — and possibly more — went uninvestigated by the D.C. police department between 2008 and 2011, according to a long-awaited report from a human rights group.
"Human Rights Watch has worked on law enforcement issues in the United States for over a decade and we've never received a response as hostile and defensive as this one," said the study's author, Sara Darehshori. "The tone was surprising. Of course we get that kind of response all the time from dictators overseas when we do our international human rights abuse reporting but this was not really what I expected."
"There is an obligation to investigate all these cases and take them seriously, and no victim should feel worse for having reported to the police," Ms. Darehshori said.