The gunning down of peaceful protesters in Ethiopia. Animations depicting the devastation of Saudi Arabia’s male ‘guardianship’ system on women’s lives. From these to child brides and LGBT rights, here are the year’s most-watched videos from Human Rights Watch on YouTube and Facebook.

1. When we pieced together cell phone footage showing the deaths of peaceful protesters in Ethiopia, it became by far our most-watched video this year – both in English and Amharic. 

Peaceful Protesters Gunned Down in Ethiopia

Ethiopian security forces have killed more than 400 protesters and others, and arrested tens of thousands more during widespread protests in the Oromia region since November 2015. 


2. Under Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system, women need a male guardian’s permission to marry, go to school, work, or even undergo certain medical procedures. This holds true even if a guardian – a father, husband, or even son – is abusive. 

Trapped with Abuse - End Male Guardianship in Saudi Arabia

Adult women from Saudi Arabia must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel abroad, marry, or be released from prison, and may be required to provide guardian consent to work or get health care.


3. People who don’t conform to traditional ideas of gender in Sri Lanka face discrimination and abuse. 

Sri Lanka: Transgender People, Sexual Minorities Face Discrimination

Transgender people and others who don’t conform to social expectations about gender face discrimination and abuse in Sri Lanka, including arbitrary detention, mistreatment, and discrimination accessing employment, housing, and health care. These abuses take place within a broader legal landscape that fails to recognize the gender identity of transgender people without abusive requirements; makes same-sex relations between consenting adults a criminal offense; and enables a range of abuses against LGBTI people by state officials and private individuals. The Sri Lankan government should protect the rights of transgender people and others who face similar discrimination.


4. Thirty-seven percent of girls in Nepal marry before age 18, and 10 percent are married by age 15. 

Video - Child Marriage in Nepal: Our Time to Sing and Play

Many children in Nepal are seeing their futures stolen from them by child marriage. Nepal’s government promises reform, but in towns and villages across the country, nothing has changed.


5. In Saudi Arabia, the permission of male guardians is required for women to be released from prison. 

Imprisoned - End Male Guardianship in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system remains the most significant impediment to women’s rights in the country despite limited reforms over the last decade. 


6. … and to travel. 

No Freedom to Travel - End Male Guardianship in Saudi Arabia

Women in Saudi Arabia face formal and informal barriers when attempting to make decisions or take action without the presence or consent of a male relative.


7. How LGBT students are bullied in Japan… 

LGBT Students Bullied in Japan

The Japanese government has failed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students from school bullying.


8. A victim shares how he escaped Boko Haram, and talks of those who couldn’t… 

Boko Haram Massacre in Damasak


9. This man tells how he was tortured in a CIA-run detention center.  

Video: Ex-Detainee Describes Unreported CIA Torture

A Tunisian man formerly held in secret United States Central Intelligence Agency custody have described previously unreported methods of torture that shed new light on the earliest days of the CIA program. Lotfi al-Arabi El Gherissi, 52, recounted being severely beaten with batons, threatened with an electric chair, subjected to various forms of water torture, and being chained by his arms to the ceiling of his cell for a long period. 


10. And at number 10, how tobacco companies make money off the backs -- and health -- of Indonesian child workers.

Hazardous Child Labor on Indonesian Tobacco Farms

Thousands of children in Indonesia, some just 8 years old, are working in hazardous conditions on tobacco farms.