• September 22, 2014
  • 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 20, 2014
    The Thai government and military authorities should immediately end its crackdown on academic seminars and respect freedom of expression.
  • 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
    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.
  • 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 19, 2014
    The Belgian authorities’ arrest of a Liberian for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during Liberia’s first civil war is a major advance for justice. It is the first arrest for crimes that violate international law committed during the conflict in Liberia from 1989 to 1996, which left tens of thousands dead.
  • 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.
  • September 18, 2014
    Bulgarian border police have in the past month forced Syrian asylum seekers back to Turkey and beaten some of them.
  • September 17, 2014
    The Obama administration should urge Ukraine’s leadership to stop human rights violations by Ukrainian forces in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
  • September 17, 2014
    Saudi Arabia’s failure to include women on its team to compete in the Asian Games in South Korea in September 2014 is a backward step for women’s participation in sport, Human Rights Watch said today. A member of the Saudi Olympic committee said on September 4 that the kingdom plans to send women to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But Saudi officials should make clear what steps they are taking to ensure that women are included in other future competitions and are able to participate in sports generally.
  • September 17, 2014
  • September 17, 2014
    The Italian Navy’s twitter feed contained joyous news last week: a pregnant mother among the 90 people rescued from the sea by a Navy frigate had given birth on board to a little girl, Yambambi. Over that weekend more than 1,600 people were rescued.
  • September 17, 2014
    The Obama administration has made curbing nicotine use by kids a public health priority, with efforts including mass media campaigns to reduce teen smoking and a proposed ban on selling e-cigarettes to minors. But when it comes to the serious health risks run by thousands of children who work each summer on tobacco farms in the United States, the administration has been conspicuously silent.
  • September 17, 2014
    IBM and Ai Weiwei, L’Oreal and Liu Xiaobo, Daimler and the Dalai Lama. In many senses these aren’t likely pairings, but suddenly it seems major international corporations and critics of the Chinese government have more in common than previously thought.
  • September 16, 2014
    Governments wanting to limit impunity for the most serious international crimes should look to the examples of three European countries showing leadership in this area, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Specialized war crimes units composed of police, prosecutors, and immigration officials have the means to bring those responsible for atrocity crimes worldwide to justice and to ensure that war criminals don’t find safe haven when they flee their own country.
  • September 16, 2014
    The Pakistani government should immediately halt a planned execution and officially reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. The execution of Shoaib Sarwar, scheduled for September 18, 2014, will end Pakistan’s unofficial six-year death penalty moratorium by civilian courts and return Pakistan to the dwindling ranks of countries imposing capital punishment.
  • September 16, 2014
  • September 16, 2014
    Seated on a folding chair in a health centre near the mosque where she prays, Salima, a soft-spoken hijab-clad mother of four, told me how unidentified gunmen shot her husband one morning in November 2013 as he returned from prayers with a friend. She is convinced that Kenya’s anti-terrorism police killed her husband and she is not alone. During research in Mombasa and Nairobi earlier this year, we found evidence that the anti-terrorism unit, or ATPU, had been involved not just in the death of Salima’s husband but at least nine other extra-judicial killings and ten enforced disappearances since 2011.
  • September 16, 2014
    When a Somali interpreter from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) approached Idil in July 2013 asking her to “befriend” a Ugandan soldier in exchange for money, she was struggling to survive.
  • September 16, 2014
  • September 16, 2014
    Four courageous and tireless advocates for human rights have been selected as 2014 recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • September 15, 2014
    Police throughout Vietnam abuse people in their custody, in some cases leading to death, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Vietnamese government should take immediate action to end suspicious deaths in custody and torture of detainees by police, Human Rights Watch said.
  • September 15, 2014
    The prosecution of China’s most prominent Uighur scholar, the economist Ilham Tohti, is a disturbing example of politicized show trials and intolerance for peaceful criticism, Human Rights Watch said today. The trial only serves to deepen perceptions of discrimination against Uighurs, Human Rights Watch said.
  • September 15, 2014
  • September 15, 2014

    Since January 2013 - six months after Israel introduced an unlawful policy of indefinitely detaining as many "infiltrators" as possible to coerce them into leaving - almost 7,000 people, mostly Sudanese, have buckled under the pressure and returned home. Another 44,000 Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel's cities live in constant fear of receiving orders to report to a remote desert detention centre near the Egyptian border where, the authorities say, they will be confined until they also agree to leave the country.

  • September 15, 2014
    West African governments should ensure rights protections as a crucial element in controlling the unprecedented Ebola epidemic ravaging the region. Human Rights Watch expressed its sympathy to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have died as a result of the Ebola outbreak, and recognized the courage of many health workers and others in caring for the sick.
  • September 15, 2014
    The new United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic should urgently improve protection for civilians in eastern and central parts of the country where sectarian violence is increasing, Human Rights Watch and Stichting Vluchteling, a Netherlands refugee foundation, said today. The new mission is to take over peacekeeping responsibilities from African Union forces on September 15, 2014.
  • September 15, 2014
    New legal amendments giving the Turkish authorities broad powers to block websites and to amass users’ internet activity data should be overturned.
  • September 15, 2014
    Nearly 30 percent of all children with disabilities in Russia live in state orphanages where they may face violence and neglect.
  • September 15, 2014
    Seven year-old Nika brims over with life, dancing and singing her way around the kitchen of her family’s home outside Moscow. All smiles, she pauses to tell a visitor about the ballerinas she saw perform at a recent Christmas show, recites bits of poetry and then scampers off to the living room – littered with toys and children’s books – to play with her younger sister. It’s hard to believe that hours after Nika’s birth, doctors told her mother, Mila, that as a Down's syndrome baby, Nika would never develop – that in the best-case scenario, she would say “Mama” by age 36.
  • September 14, 2014
    The Malaysian government should cease using the country’s sedition law to arbitrarily arrest opposition lawmakers, activists, and critical academics.
  • September 14, 2014
    Yemeni authorities should immediately investigate the use of unnecessary lethal force against demonstrators in Sanaa on September 7 and 9, 2014. It should hold military personnel and other security forces found responsible to account. Altogether eight protesters and an ambulance driver were killed and at least 67 were wounded.
  • September 13, 2014
    The Iraqi government should promptly investigate an airstrike that hit a school housing displaced people near Tikrit on September 1, 2014. The attack killed at least 31 civilians, including 24 children, and wounded 41 others. According to three survivors, no fighters from the armed group Islamic State or other military objects were in or around the school at the time.
  • September 12, 2014
  • September 12, 2014
    Hungary slides further backward with intimidation of NGOs; the Obama administration goes anti-family in new immigration policies; and a new law in Uganda threatens to derail that country's progress on HIV prevention - these were among the most popular posts to Dispatches...
  • September 12, 2014
    The morning roll call will be a particularly morbid affair on the first day of school in Gaza this Sunday. Hundreds of students, killed in the recent fighting, will be forever marked absent.
  • September 11, 2014
    The Chinese government should release the activists Guo Feixiong and Sun Desheng, who are to go on trial on September 12, 2014, in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, Human Rights Watch said today. Guo and Sun face charges for their peaceful advocacy against corruption and for human rights.
  • September 11, 2014

    Growing up with two moms in the San Francisco Bay Area, I thought a family was defined by loud dinners, birthday parties, overprotective parents and unconditional love.

  • September 11, 2014
  • September 11, 2014
    Three Israeli attacks that damaged Gaza schools housing displaced people caused numerous civilian casualties in violation of the laws of war.
  • September 10, 2014
    President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia should not sign a new Criminal Code amendment that would increase the punishment for “aggravated homosexuality” to life in prison, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.
  • September 10, 2014
  • September 10, 2014
    Uganda’s authorities have never investigated killings by security forces during two days of rioting in September 2009 that left at least 40 people dead. Despite numerous promises to investigate over the past five years, no police or military members have been held accountable for the killings.
  • September 10, 2014
    Saudi courts have sentenced two men to death and five others to long prison terms after trials that made a mockery of due process. Authorities charged all seven following protests by members of the Shia minority in 2011 and 2012 in Eastern Province towns that resulted in hundreds of arrests.
  • September 9, 2014
  • September 9, 2014
    The Thai government should immediately disclose the whereabouts of an opposition supporter arrested by soldiers in Bangkok on September 5, 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. Efforts by Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission to locate Kittisak Soomsri, 47, a supporter of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), also known as the Red Shirts, have been unsuccessful.
  • September 9, 2014
    Egyptian authorities should immediately release seven men arrested on September 6, 2014 for allegedly “inciting debauchery,” Human Rights Watch said today.