• May 23, 2015

    The “yes” vote in Ireland’s referendum on May 22, 2015, will guarantee marriage equality and diminish discrimination against Ireland’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens.

  • May 22, 2015
    Burundi's violence is making news around the world, but not so much in Burundi; Qatar is silencing negative reporting ahead of the next World Cup; and what the Russian government can do for a child bride in Chechnya - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • May 22, 2015
    EU High Representative Federica Mogherini should publicly urge Gulf countries to release immediately and unconditionally activists detained for exercising their rights.
  • May 22, 2015
  • May 22, 2015
  • May 22, 2015
  • May 22, 2015
    One year after seizing power, Thailand’s military junta has used dictatorial power to systematically repress human rights throughout the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), led by Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, has prosecuted critics of military rule, banned political activity, censored the media, and tried dissidents in unfair military courts.
  • May 21, 2015
  • May 21, 2015
  • May 21, 2015
    The world is facing a massive refugee crisis. Yet there's something missing from the international response: compassion.
  • May 21, 2015
    Kyrgyzstan’s parliament should resolutely reject a “foreign agents” bill when it goes to a first reading, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 19, 2015, the parliamentary human rights committee voted to send the bill to parliament for consideration, and the first reading could be as early as this week.
  • May 21, 2015
    European leaders should use a high-level gathering with “Eastern partners” to insist that the Azerbaijan government unconditionally release anyone held on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch said today. Azerbaijan has detained dozens of journalists, human rights defenders, and other critics of the government.
  • May 21, 2015

    A new short documentary narrated by the French actress Juliette Binoche shines a light on the upcoming trial of Hissène Habré, the former dictator of Chad.

  • May 21, 2015
    European Union military action against human smuggling networks should not put the lives and rights of migrants and asylum seekers in jeopardy, Human Rights Watch said. The Council of the European Union agreed on May 18 to create a naval operation, dubbed EUNAVFOR Med, to identify, capture, and destroy boats used by smugglers in the Mediterranean.
  • May 20, 2015
  • May 20, 2015
    Following the executions of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia, the Australian government should redouble efforts to end the death penalty around the world, and overhaul the way it campaigns for global abolition, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all circumstances because of its inherent cruelty.
  • May 20, 2015
    A new Russian bill on ‘undesirable organisations’ has been endorsed today which will allow the government to ban foreign NGOs. But are they the real targets?
  • May 20, 2015

    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.

  • May 20, 2015
    (Geneva) – Attacks on medical facilities, health workers, and patients have occurred in at least 17 countries undergoing conflict and civil unrest since January 2014, Human Rights Watch and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition said in a joint report issued today. The report was released at the annual meeting of health ministers from around the world in Geneva from May 18-26, 2015.
  • May 19, 2015
  • May 19, 2015
  • May 19, 2015
    The opening ceremony of the inter-governmental organization’s biennial world conference taking place from Sunday till Friday at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center reaped platitudes from Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Kalla praised the ICMM conference as an opportunity to maintain “the relationship of brotherhood and neutrality” between military doctors. That relationship between the representatives of the ICMM’s 110 member states appears to exclude any willingness to condemn the discrimination and suffering the Indonesian Military (TNI) imposes on female recruits and fiancees of military officers through painful and humiliating “virginity testing.”
  • May 19, 2015
    Nine months since the end of major fighting in Gaza, a dispute still rages over how and why so many civilians died – 1,563, according to the United Nations. Israel says it did everything possible to minimize civilian casualties and blames Hamas for deploying its fighters in populated areas. Hamas says that Israel attacked without restraint and even targeted civilians.
  • May 19, 2015
    Separate Israeli Supreme Court decisions issued on May 5, 2015, open the way for state authorities to forcibly evict residents of two Arab villages from their homes. The inhabitants of both villages, one in Israel and the other in the occupied West Bank, have previously been displaced following actions by Israeli authorities.
  • May 19, 2015
    Turkmen authorities have expanded their campaign to remove private satellite dishes from private homes in residential areas even where the satellites are not readily visible.
  • May 19, 2015
    Tunisian authorities should conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into the death in custody of a man who accused police of torturing him during an earlier arrest.
  • May 19, 2015
    The Philippine government should investigate Davao City’s Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for his possible role in summary executions in the city over the past decade, Human Rights Watch said today. Duterte has continued to espouse the killing of criminal suspects to combat crime in a city that has long had high numbers of apparent “death squad” killings – more than 1,000 since the late 1990s.
  • May 18, 2015
    South Sudan’s military and National Security Service have unlawfully detained dozens of civilians, some for as long as 10 months.
  • May 18, 2015
    Representatives of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission came to New York this month to shed light on the dire situation in the border region between India and Burma. Describing the ongoing crisis to the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, they expressed one clear and simple ask: to finally implement the terms of a peace accord established almost two decades ago between the government and local armed groups.
  • May 18, 2015
    Five years on, the Thai government has not prosecuted those responsible for the 2010 political violence in Thailand.
  • May 18, 2015
  • May 18, 2015
    US military service members who report sexual assault frequently experience retaliation that goes unpunished. The report is the result of an 18-month investigation by Human Rights Watch with the support of Protect Our Defenders, a human rights organization that supports and advocates for survivors of military sexual assault. Despite extensive reforms by the Defense Department to address sexual assault, the military has done little to hold retaliators to account or provide effective remedies for retaliation.
  • May 18, 2015
    As a little girl, Ruth Riviera (not her real name) loved to step into her dad’s army boots and strut around the house with pride and self-importance. Her dad, a Non-Commission Officer in the US Army, was her childhood hero. She admired pretty much everything about him: his creativity, his courage and his attitude that one can accomplish anything one puts one’s mind to. It felt natural to Riviera to follow in his footsteps and sign up for the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), a military program for students, when enrolling in college at 18.
  • May 18, 2015
    Fifteen years ago, I helped interview some 140 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students in seven U.S. states about their day-to-day life in middle and high school. We heard grim reports of unchecked verbal abuse escalating into violence and of school administrators’ deliberate indifference when abuses were brought to their attention.
  • May 18, 2015

    The recent attack on a Kabul hotel that killed at least 12 civilians is a grim reminder of the Taliban's contempt for the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law (IHL) -- the laws of war -- which ban targeting noncombatants.

  • May 17, 2015
    Sri Lanka’s promotion of a senior officer whose division was implicated in serious human rights abuses casts doubt on government pledges to credibly investigate alleged war crimes.
  • May 16, 2015
    Burma’s parliament should vote down a draft population law that authorities could use to repress religious and ethnic minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. Burma’s donors and other concerned governments should publicly call on the government to withdraw the bill.
  • May 15, 2015
    It's the time of year when politicians line up to praise mothers. Last year, President Barack Obama even issued a lighthearted public service announcement reminding his audience not to forget the holiday. But this year, thanks to some of those same politicians, more than a thousand migrant mothers and children in the United States will spend Mother’s Day behind bars.
  • May 15, 2015
    Human Rights Watch has over 190 staff tweeting human rights developments from around the world. Here are some of their most popular tweets from the last seven days.
  • May 15, 2015
    Russia is set to bolster an ongoing draconian crackdown which is squeezing the life out of civil society by adopting the “undesirable organizations” law, said Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
  • May 15, 2015
    The Shia Hazaras were persecuted by Taliban and are hated by the followers of ISIS now cropping up in Afghanistan. As they’re targeted for kidnap, ransom and murder, fear is spreading.
  • May 15, 2015
    Without much debate or fanfare, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee both approved amendments to a bill late last month that fly in the face of longstanding U.S. policy and international law.
  • May 15, 2015
    Indefinite detention of asylum-seeking mothers and their children in the United States takes a severe psychological toll, Human Rights Watch said today. Mothers from 25 detained families, including 10 who had been locked up for 8 to 10 months, described to Human Rights Watch their family’s trauma, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
  • May 15, 2015
    May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It’s a particularly pertinent day for Russia, where life is rapidly becoming unsafe for LGBT children and adults.
  • May 15, 2015
  • May 15, 2015

    “What is ‘the love that dare not speak its name’?” asked Charles Gill, prosecutor in the trial of Oscar Wilde in London in 1895. It is a question that remains relevant today: laws from around the world that target lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are often sweeping in application and vague in definition. Throughout history, one can chart how language has been used to stigmatize and persecute same-sex relations. 

  • May 15, 2015
    On the Andaman Sea, west of the Siam peninsula in Asia, a tragic scandal is unfolding. Thousands of Rohingya asylum seekers who had recently fled Burma or Bangladesh on boats—mostly small open fishing boats and larger trawlers—and a smaller number of Bangladeshis, have been trying to reach Malaysia, where many Rohingya have previously sought refuge.
  • May 14, 2015
  • May 14, 2015
    The leadership of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) should insist that the government of Azerbaijan release journalists and activists ahead of the European Games, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Azerbaijan will host the games, a multi-sport event for over 6,000 athletes, in Baku from June 12-28, 2015.
  • May 14, 2015
    Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia should end their pushbacks of boats with Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants and asylum seekers, and instead bring them ashore and provide desperately needed aid, Human Rights Watch said today.