This 23rd annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide in 2012. It reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff has undertaken during the year, often in close partnership with domestic human rights activists.

Two years into the Arab Spring, much of the excitement of the early days of protest has waned and frustration at the slow pace of change has set in. Those now in power face a daunting task: building rights-respecting democracies that uphold the rule of law and protect the rights of all citizens, even those who are unpopular and suppressed. Governments that support human rights have an important role to play in this critical, transitional period by providing critical, principled support to post-authoritarian regimes to ensure that the promise of the Arab Spring is realized.

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Without Rules

By Christopher Albin-Lackey

Lives in the Balance

By Juliane Kippenberg and Jane Cohen

World Report 2013

Events of 2012

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