Thanks to the overhaul of a Soviet-era law, Georgia’s police can no longer detain people for up to 90 days for minor offenses like traffic violations or disturbing public order at a protest – laws that authorities have used in the past to harass activists. Now, anyone taken into police custody for such a misdemeanor has the right to know the reasons for detention, choose a lawyer, alert family, and be held for no more than 15 days – all new protections. These changes largely reflect recommendations Human Rights Watch made in a 2012 report on Georgia’s flawed system of administrative – or misdemeanor – detention.
This memorandum provides an overview of Human Rights Watch’s main concerns with respect to the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, submitted to the European Union External Action Service in advance of the EU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue to be held on November 18, 2014.
Dozens of people have been forcibly disappeared in Turkmenistan, some for more than a decade, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. The government of Turkmenistan should immediately inform the relatives of the disappeared of their fate and whereabouts and allow them access to their loved ones.
In advance of next month’s conference on Afghanistan—as you consider the policy and resource commitments that you will make there—we urge the UK government to strengthen its support for the protection and promotion of human rights.
Afghanistan’s foreign donors should press the new Afghan government to address the country’s persistent human rights problems at a major upcoming international donor conference, Human Rights Watch said today in letters to representatives of more than a dozen donor countries.
The Spanish Congress should amend a deeply flawed public security bill that would curb spontaneous protest and formalize abusive expulsions of asylum seekers. The congressional committee on home affairs is due to adopt the bill on November 25, 2014, after which the bill will go the plenary for debate and vote in the coming days.
The bold activists around the world who stand up to corporate and government economic interests frequently face a harsh backlash. Individuals and communities are threatened, and activists may be arrested or killed with impunity in retaliation for speaking out against abuses of worker rights, hazardous environmental conditions, and displacement from large-scale infrastructure projects, to name some all-too-common examples.
In early March 2013 the Russian government launched an unprecedented, nationwide campaign of inspections of thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to identify advocacy groups the government deems “foreign agents” and force them to register as such. This list tracks the legal consequences of the law on dozens of NGOs.
We write to you in connection with the death of Rémi Fraisse on the night of October 25 during a demonstration against the construction of the Sivens dam in the Tarn area. We would be grateful if you could provide us with further information on the investigations that have been opened into his death, and the steps you have taken to ensure those investigations are effective.