• Asylum seekers and refugees regularly protest against conditions in reception centers and restrictions on freedom of movement. Parliament rejected bills to enhance penalties for racially-motivated crimes as well as a bill to introduce hate crimes as specific offences. Following violent clashes with protesters, Hamburg police imposed in January 2014 a ten-day “danger zone” in much of the city, allowing them to stop anyone without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. Opposition parties raised questions about the involvement of German government agencies in mass surveillance by the US authorities. At least three German states forcibly return Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians to Kosovo despite concerns about discrimination and inadequate integration measures upon return.

  • Rasul Jafarov, a leading Azerbaijani human rights defender and government critic, is escorted by police officers into a van in Baku, Azerbaijan.
    In a month’s time, on June 12, Baku, the capital of oil-rich Azerbaijan, will be putting on another glitzy show for international visitors. Three years ago it was the Eurovision Song Contest, now it’s the European Games, an Olympics-style multi-sport event for which Baku was the only bidder.

Reports

Germany

  • Jun 24, 2015
    Politicians are not well known for going out of their way to change their attitudes. Yet the plight of refugees is spurring them to do just that. Politicians need to convince voters that refugees are not a burden, but people in need of protection, with names and rights, who should be treated with respect. Moreover, equitably distributing refugees in the EU means that European politicians will have to give up their national egoism. Can they rise to the challenge?
  • Jun 24, 2015
    German authorities should urgently investigate the detention of the Egyptian journalist Ahmed Mansour in Berlin.
  • Jun 1, 2015
    Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany should tell visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that closer ties between Germany and Egypt require addressing pervasive human rights violations by his government, Human Rights Watch and four other international rights organizations said in a June 1, 2015 letter to the chancellor. President al-Sisi is scheduled to confer with Chancellor Merkel in Berlin on June 3.
  • Jun 1, 2015
    We, the undersigned international human rights organizations, write to you in advance of your scheduled meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt. The government headed by President al-Sisi presides over the gravest human rights crisis Egypt in decades. We urge you in the strongest terms to make clear in your meetings with President al-Sisi, and in public remarks you or other German officials may make in connection with this visit, that the nature and extent of Germany’s relations with Egypt going forward will depend on the Egyptian authorities taking prompt and concrete measures to put an end to government policies that systematically violate Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law as well as the Egyptian Constitution of 2014.
  • May 27, 2015
  • May 27, 2015
  • May 13, 2015
    Ten years ago security forces gunned down hundreds of protesters in the city of Andjian, eastern Uzbekistan. The massacre on May 13, 2005 was one of the largest mass killings in the former Soviet Union outside of an armed conflict since the fall of Communism. It sent shockwaves around the world, highlighting the brutal human rights record of Uzbekistan’s authoritarian president, Islam Karimov, who remains in power.
  • May 12, 2015
  • May 12, 2015
    In a month’s time, on June 12, Baku, the capital of oil-rich Azerbaijan, will be putting on another glitzy show for international visitors. Three years ago it was the Eurovision Song Contest, now it’s the European Games, an Olympics-style multi-sport event for which Baku was the only bidder.
  • Apr 29, 2015
    So far this year, at least 1,750 people have died in the Mediterranean trying to reach European shores on unseaworthy, overcrowded boats. More than 1,000 people died in a single week in April, making it the deadliest month on record on the world’s most dangerous migration route.