• At least 142 people are being held in the Sanaa Central Prison in Yemen because of a debt or fine they are unable to pay. The prison director says he is holding 142 people for those reasons, though prisoners say there are many more. Yemeni authorities should release people imprisoned solely because they are unable to pay debts or fines.

Reports

Middle East/N. Africa

  • Apr 21, 2014
    At least 142 people are being held in the Sanaa Central Prison in Yemen because of a debt or fine they are unable to pay. The prison director says he is holding 142 people for those reasons, though prisoners say there are many more. Yemeni authorities should release people imprisoned solely because they are unable to pay debts or fines.
  • Apr 18, 2014
    Algerian authorities on the eve of the April 17, 2014, presidential election forcibly dispersed a demonstration against a fourth term for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The authorities should abandon such repressive practices by rescinding the 2001 decree banning all demonstrations in Algiers, the capital, and by allowing people to exercise their right to peaceful assembly anywhere in Algeria.
  • Apr 17, 2014
    Saudi authorities should immediately release prominent human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair and drop all charges against him.
  • Apr 16, 2014

    Last year, the Bulgarian government felt the sting of criticism from Brussels, Geneva and other quarters for mishandling an influx of mostly Syrian refugees. Many were confined in cold, filthy camps without government-provided food, medical care or minimally adequate shelter. The problem got so bad that the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR called on European Union member states not to send asylum seekers back to Bulgaria, as they are generally allowed to do under the Dublin Regulation. It says that the EU country an asylum seeker first enters is usually responsible for examining the person’s claim.

  • Apr 14, 2014

    Politicians in many well-to-do countries speak in exaggerated terms about being threatened by potential hordes of refugees as they make populist appeals that feed on fears and prejudices. The truth is that the less-developed countries, many of them with significant problems of their own, bear a much heavier burden.

  • Apr 14, 2014
    This past week, Libya's official television station broadcasted a series of videos featuring al-Saadi Gaddafi, a son of the deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, from what appears to be his jail in Tripoli. Al-Saadi, who is awaiting trial and is wearing a blue prison suit, "apologizes" to Libya's people and the authorities for any "destabilization" he may have caused, asks for "forgiveness" and "confesses" to working against the current political system, while giving detailed accounts of his interactions with prominent figures in Libya before he was extradited.
  • Apr 14, 2014
    France’s steps at the UN Security Council toward an ICC referral for Syria give momentum to international efforts to ensure justice there, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Apr 14, 2014
    I recently traveled to the Bab Al-Salam camp in northwestern Syria, so why couldn’t the aid trucks? My journey from the Turkish border to this makeshift site housing more than 16,000 displaced Syrians took only 10 minutes on foot. Yet, when I arrived at the camp, the absence of basic assistance couldn’t have been clearer.
  • Apr 14, 2014
    The trial of 37 mostly Gaddafi-era officials accused of serious crimes during Libya’s 2011 uprising raises serious due process concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. The trial, which began on March 24, 2014, resumed on April 14 in a specially designated courtroom in Al-Hadba Corrections Facility in Tripoli.
  • Apr 14, 2014
    Human Rights Watch urges the Security Council, when it votes on renewing the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) this month, to extend the mandate to incorporate human rights monitoring in Western Sahara and in the Polisario Front-run refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria.