• October 10, 2014
    Human Rights Watch has over 160 staff tweeting human rights developments from around the world. Here are some of their most popular tweets from the last seven days.
  • October 10, 2014
    On October 11, National Coming Out Day around the world, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people will seize the opportunity to speak about their coming out and the importance of equality and non-discrimination. Their visibility might inspire other LGBT people to throw open their closet door and start a life without hiding their sexual orientation. Often a coming out feels like a liberation for LGBT people. Many cannot imagine a life in secrecy and denial anymore.
  • October 10, 2014
    A court order finally addresses the secrecy at Guantanamo; a suicide bombing in Pakistan signals a worrying climate for the Shia community there; and the one-year anniversary of the shipwreck off Lampedusa is time to reflect on the EU's efforts to prevent more from happening - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • October 10, 2014
    When I visited the small-scale — or “galamsey” — gold mines in the Ashanti Region earlier this year, I met “Kwame,” a quiet but self-assured 12-year-old. He dropped out of primary school about a year ago to help his mother feed his five younger siblings.
  • October 10, 2014

    The European Union staunchly supports the International Criminal Court. It advocates universal ICC membership to extend the reach of justice for grave abuses and to contribute to “peace and the strengthening of international security.” Yet EU member states are pressing Palestine not to seek ICC membership.

  • October 10, 2014
  • October 9, 2014
  • October 9, 2014
    The October 9 visit by Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbaev, to Brussels will serve as a pointed reminder of the European Union’s colossal failure to secure human rights improvements as part of its engagement with this government, whose human rights record has gone from bad to worse in recent years.
  • October 8, 2014
    The United States government made a mistake this month in relaxing a ban on lethal arms sales and transfers to Vietnam — a non-democratic, one-party state with an abysmal human rights record.
  • October 8, 2014
  • October 7, 2014
    In February, the World Bank delayed a $90 million loan for health care in Uganda out of concern over its new Anti-Homosexuality Act. Since then, the Constitutional Court nullified the law for lack of a parliamentary quorum during the vote. But the government quickly filed a notice of appeal. Members of parliament are also pressing to bring the law back to the floor, swearing they can gather the constitutionally-required numbers.
  • October 7, 2014
    The depiction by Azerbaijan’s foreign minister of summer 2014“as a particularly dark time” in an October 2 speech at the Council of Europe couldn’t have been more fitting to describe the state of human rights in his own country.
  • October 7, 2014
  • October 6, 2014
  • October 6, 2014
    On his way to the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York last month, President Barack Obama stopped at the Clinton Global Initiative, where he announced a ban on U.S. use of antipersonnel landmines everywhere except the Korean Peninsula due to its “unique circumstances.” He pledged, “We’re going to continue to work to find ways that would allow us to ultimately comply fully and accede to the Ottawa Convention,” as the U.S. government prefers to call the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.
  • October 6, 2014
  • October 5, 2014
    Myanmar recently confirmed to the United Nations that it is on the verge of completing a plan that would grant Rohingya Muslims citizenship if they change their ethnicity to suggest Bangladeshi origin.
  • October 3, 2014
    President Obama has the clout to get child soldiers off the battlefields in countries around the world. But he has been too reluctant to use it. As the fiscal year ended on Sept. 30, he gave some countries a pass to get U.S. military aid—in some cases millions of dollars – that he should have held back until they change their ways.
  • October 3, 2014
    A political earthquake in Hong Kong, the right to water in Detroit, and a grim anniversary on the Mediterranean- these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches, our daily forum for breaking human rights news and commentary.
  • October 3, 2014
    In mid-September a London-based public relations agency made an appeal to “Free Gulnara NOW,” claiming that Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbek president Islam Karimov, was “under house arrest” and “being held for purely political reasons.
  • October 3, 2014
  • October 3, 2014
    The Obama administration announced on Oct. 2 that it was relaxing a decades-old ban on sales of lethal military equipment to Vietnam. The United States will now allow the Pentagon and U.S. companies to provide Vietnam with "maritime security-related defense articles." The move coincided with a visit to Washington by Deputy Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh -- where he met with Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel -- and came without much warning. This may have been intentional given the controversy surrounding it.
  • October 2, 2014
  • October 1, 2014
  • October 1, 2014
    In Kasserine's graveyard two new tombstones have been added to the roll of people who have died a violent death in this Tunisian city close to the Algerian border. Ahlem Dalhoumi, 22, and her cousin Ons Dalhoumi, 18, were both killed with bullets to the head the night of August 23 on their way home from a party with five other family members.
  • October 1, 2014
    The British government is still fighting case after case concerning allegations of abuses by its forces during the 2003 Iraq conflict.
  • September 30, 2014
  • September 29, 2014
  • September 29, 2014
    Ceremony and cliché will abound as India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, visits Washington on September 29-30 to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House. There will be photo ops, gifts, and recitations about the leader of the world's largest democracy sitting with the leader of the world's oldest. But substantive matters are also to be discussed: Business. Weapons deals. Counterterrorism. Human rights and regional security issues will also be on the table.
  • September 28, 2014
    Discussions about the latest turns in U.S. military policy in Iraq have centered on President Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Yet that conversation doesn’t seem to include the elephant in the room – how to end abuses by the Iraqi government and its allies.
  • September 26, 2014
  • September 26, 2014
    Sanjar Umarov lifted his pants legs and rolled down his socks to show the scars that criss-crossed his ankles. Umarov, a former political prisoner from Uzbekistan, said the scars served as a permanent reminder of his time in the “monkey cage,” a cell that left prisoners exposed to the outdoors. His first time in that cell, the frigid winter almost killed him. He and the other prisoners, wearing only lightweight shirts and pants, rocked back and forth to keep warm and stay alive.
  • September 26, 2014
    The status quo over North Korea is changing; A tragedy on the Mediterranean - and the need to prevent more; and the harsh reality for Syria's civil society activists - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • September 26, 2014
    Shia militias, still operating under the control of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, are laying siege to Latifiyya, especially the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq militia. Failure to address the broader effects of international assistance in Iraq’s fight promises to further polarize Iraq’s communities.
  • September 25, 2014
  • September 25, 2014
    Fiji’s September 17 elections, the first in nearly eight years, were widely held to have restored democratic rule. An estimated 600,000 voters went to the polls, many casting their ballots for the very first time.
  • September 24, 2014
  • September 24, 2014

    Tucked inside the continuing resolution the United States Congress passed late last week was a provision to authorize the training and equipping of “moderate, vetted” elements of the Syrian opposition. The CIA has been carrying out a covert, small-scale version of this program, according to media reports.

  • September 24, 2014
  • September 23, 2014
  • September 23, 2014
    On September 24, following a weekend of heavy fighting in Sanaa between the government and Houthi forces, the Friends of Yemen meet in New York. This group of 39 countries and 8 international organizations, created in 2010 to help address the political and economic problems that made Yemen fertile ground for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has now to grapple with the implementation of a peace deal, signed September 21, that requires the formation of a new government within a month and a range of other measures, including the restoration of recently cut fuel subsidies and increases in civil service pay.
  • September 23, 2014
    If you were told the Chinese government — an unelected, one-party state — will decide who you can vote for, what would your response be? Not only would you likely object, you would expect others, especially democracies, to loudly condemn the idea. But Britain has done just the opposite to the people of Hong Kong, when it failed to call China out for breaking its promise of greater democracy for the island territory.
  • September 22, 2014
  • September 22, 2014

    It is apt too that my country took the initiative at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 by tabling a precedent-setting resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. This resulted in a report on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide. A heated council debate on that report in 2012 made the simple point that LGBT rights are human rights, and should be part of the routine work of the council.

  • September 22, 2014
    Sweeping laws to gag publication of sensitive materials are dangerous for democracy – Abbott should not let hysteria over terrorism be used to thwart the freedom agenda
  • September 19, 2014
  • September 19, 2014
    Another tragedy on the Mediterranean - and the need to prevent more; sentencing without justice in Afghanistan; and Hungary's alarming efforts to stifle civil society - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • September 19, 2014
    With many hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the violence in Syria, the focus—as it should be—has been on finding them safety, shelter and aid. But some governments are also looking to hold those responsible for the underlying mass murder and torture to account for their crimes. This requires an proactive approach, with appropriate laws to pursue suspects, skilled professionals to investigate these crimes and strong political will to support accountability efforts.
  • September 18, 2014
  • September 18, 2014
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, a large number of Afghans fled to the Netherlands to escape the dire situation in their own country. But they weren't the only ones who left. Senior government officials, including agents of the secret service - the dreaded KhAD - who had engaged in human rights violations also landed on Dutch soil.