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A protester in Istanbul, Turkey, holds a portrait of Mahsa (Jina) Amini during a demonstration on September 20, 2022.

Top Human Rights Videos of 2022

A protester in Istanbul, Turkey, holds a portrait of Mahsa (Jina) Amini during a demonstration on September 20, 2022. The death of Amini in Tehran, Iran, after being arrested by the “morality police” for wearing an “improper hijab” sparked protests in Iran and around the world.  © 2022 Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images

What were your favorite human rights videos of 2022? Millions of you watched our reels on topics ranging from the United States Supreme Court’s blow against reproductive rights to Ethiopia’s ruthless ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans. We counted the views on social media and YouTube, and below are our top ten videos of the year – with the number one video, hitting on a story we bet you know, garnering nearly 4 million views.

10. The US Supreme Court Strikes Down Roe v. Wade 

In a predicted but nonetheless stunning discission, the United States Supreme Court overturned the constitutional guarantee of abortion access in the United States, opening the door for government control of one of the most private decisions someone can consider.


9. No Justice, No Freedom for Rohingya 5 Years On

Rohingya Muslims are still awaiting justice and protection of their rights five years after the Myanmar military began a sweeping campaign of massacres, rape, and arson in northern Rakhine State in 2017.

Read a text description of this video

Unknown Rohingya refugee (Voice over)

[Please] open the road [border]. They [Myanmar military] are destroying everything. They are not listening to any governments. Thousands are being killed inside their houses. We do not know the count. Please look at today’s situation.

Text on screen

This video contains images of dead bodies and descriptions of violence. Viewer discretion advised.

Voice Over

This video was filmed by a Rohingya refugee whose village was attacked by the Myanmar military in August 2017. He was pleading for media attention to get international help.

Five years ago, Myanmar’s military launched a sweeping campaign of massacres, rape, and arson against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority who have lived for generations in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State. Security forces killed thousands of Rohingya in crimes against humanity and genocidal acts.  

Hundreds of thousands fled to neighboring Bangladesh, while others remained under apartheid conditions. 

Abdul Halim

We walked for three days.

Researcher (Voice Over)

Walked for three days?

Abdul Halim

The houses of our [village] were burned yesterday. An Islamic scholar from Tula Toli was shot dead.

Voice Over

This is Abdul Halim with his mother. They are Rohingya refugees crossing into Bangladesh to escape the Myanmar military’s atrocities in 2017.

They were some of the 730,000 Rohingya who managed to reach refugee camps in Bangladesh, joining hundreds of thousands who had fled earlier violence.

Abdul Halim

When I was carrying my mother on my back, “My child, may you live long and never face any sorrow in your entire life. Might you have a perfect life.” my mother always blessed me.

After arriving here in Bangladesh with my mother, at the hospital, the doctor said to me that her condition is not good, and she may not survive. My mother died on the 16th of Zil Hajj [Arabic lunar calendar].

Now I have three children. The oldest is a daughter and the younger ones are sons.

For the past five years, the schools are not up to the standard for Rohingya children to attend. There is no formal schooling like classes 1, 2, 3, 4… so our children can’t be properly educated.

In Myanmar, they called me “Nowa kalar”, to say we are like animals. They could call us that because we had no education. Here too, we can’t give our children an education.

Voice Over

Bangladesh banned all Rohingya-led schools in December 2021. Teachers and parents were threatened with relocation to Bhasan Char, an isolated island, or having their ID cards revoked. The Myanmar curriculum is now being introduced, but only up to Grade 9, and is not certified.

Five years on from the atrocities against the Rohingya in Myanmar, nearly a million refugees live in overcrowded camps struggling to survive in increasingly repressive conditions.

Bangladesh should be recognized, and provided international support, for assisting Rohingya refugees.

Bangladesh authorities should respect the rights of Rohingya refugees to freedom of movement and access to work, education, and health care. 

In August 2017, Myanmar security forces massacred and raped hundreds of men, women, and children in the village of Tula Toli.

Mohammad Ayaz was shot while trying to flee. At least 12 members of his family, including his parents, were killed.

Mohammad Ayaz

Our mother and sisters were killed [in my village]. The houses were burned. They [soldiers] were shooting at us. Some of us with bullet wounds managed to escape to this area [Bangladesh].

Voice Over

Mohammad is now 21, and lives in a refugee camp with his aunt and uncle. 

Mohammad Ayaz

Because of sickness and the bullet wound, I’m not able to do any heavy work. I don’t know what to do.

The hospital here only prescribes paracetamol, but that doesn’t help cure me. We need to go to Cox’s Bazar or Palong Khali, but that would cost us a lot of money. The hospital inside the camp doesn’t provide proper health care.

Voice Over

The lack of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene has increased the risk of disease for the refugees. Restrictions on space and resources have left the camps prone to landslides, flooding, and fires, without permission to leave.

Concerned governments should step up support for Rohingya refugees.

Hasina Hatu

My father died by falling down a slope because of the raining and chaos.

Voice Over

Hasina Hatu fled Myanmar in 2017 with her son and husband, Abul Hossain, who suffered from chest pain.

Hasina Hatu

The first three years of life in the camp were so distressing. Arranging treatment for my husband was very tough. Then he died. I don’t have an adult son or husband now, so there’s no breadwinner. We are two people in the family. We have to buy extra five kilos of rice. [The aid ration] isn’t enough. Now I do some sewing work to make money for food. If we had our house and land again, if we could go back [to Myanmar], we would be happy.

Voice Over

In Myanmar, about 600,000 Rohingya remain trapped under a system of apartheid and persecution.

In 2021, the generals responsible for the atrocities against the Rohingya launched a coup and brutal nationwide crackdown.

The international community should pursue every avenue to hold the Myanmar military accountable and deliver justice for the Rohingya.


8. Russian Forces Tortured Detainees in Izium, Ukraine

Russian forces routinely tortured detainees during their six-month occupation of Izium, a city in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine. The cruel violence and abuse in Izium were not random incidents and must be investigated accordingly.

Read a text description of this video

We just spent three weeks in Izium in eastern Ukraine, which Ukrainian forces recaptured from Russian forces in early September after 6 months of occupation. 

Russian forces and their subordinates routinely used torture to extract information from the people they detained. 

This man, an electrician, was detained and tortured in a garage at a hospital that Russian forces turned into a military base and prison. 

We went to this facility where he and 7 others we spoke to, were tortured.  

We spoke to 8 more people who were also detained and tortured, in other locations. 

They were severely beaten, electrocuted, water boarded, and held in painful stress positions.

The electrician was held multiple times in the “parrot position” where he was hanging from a metal bar.

Victims identified 7 locations in total in which they believe Russian forces held and tortured them while blindfolded.

Izium’s residents desperately need support and services, and those responsible need to be held to account for these war crimes.




7. Ethiopia's Ruthless Ethnic Cleansing of Tigrayans

Ethiopian authorities have severely restricted access and independent scrutiny of the Western Tigray Zone, keeping the government’s campaign of ethnic cleansing largely hidden.

Read a text description of this video

Women resident, Division

Voiced by and actor

“The Dansha mayor… he kept telling us that we need to move, that we don’t belong to stay here.”


Man, Farmer, Division

Voiced by and actor

“They took all my cattle, burned my sorghum (crops) and house, and told us this is not our region. They said our land is east of the Tekeze River.”


Woman resident, Baeker

Voiced by and actor

“They kept saying every night… ‘We will kill you. Go out. Go out of the area.”



This video contains violent and disturbing events.

Viewer discretion advised.



In early November 2020, conflict broke out between the Ethiopian military and regional security forces from the country’s northern Tigray region.


Voice Over

The fighting followed years of growing tensions between the Ethiopian federal government, led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and leaders of Tigray’s ruling political party.  

Government forces were soon joined by security forces from the Amhara region, which neighbors Tigray, as well as soldiers from the country of Eritrea.

The conflict has resulted in numerous abuses on both sides and millions of people displaced.  



Individuals responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the conflict should be fairly prosecuted.


Voice Over

Initially, heavy fighting between the Ethiopian military with their allies against Tigrayan fighters took place around Western Tigray.

Electricity, banking, and telecommunications, including the internet and phone lines to Tigray were cut off.

Residents described heavy shelling and gunfire as Ethiopian and allied forces entered their towns. 


Man, Animal trader, Adebai

Voiced by and actor

“When the Ethiopian and Amhara forces entered the town, people were panicked and began running to the farms. They started killing people, no warning just shooting. They shot at people running.”


Voice Over

Soon, an interim administration for Western Tigray, was established by forces from the neighboring Amhara region. An administration hostile to the presence of Tigrayans.


Man, Farmer, Ruwassa

Voiced by and actor

“Papers said Tigrayans need to leave the town immediately. They were thrown everywhere, so when we woke up in the morning, you would see it on your door, or on the way to church, everywhere.”


Woman, Hairdresser, Dansha

Voiced by and actor

“I was in Dansha town where I have a hair dressing shop. Six militia came to loot my shop. Two of them raped me. They said ‘You Tigrayan, you should disappear from the land west of Tekeze. You are evil and we are purifying your blood.’”


Man, Farmer, Division

Voiced by and actor

“In the first 2 months of their control, they looted everything in the town. All the crops, they took our cows, we had nothing to eat, everything we had was taken.”


Woman resident, Humera

Voiced by and actor

“The militia would even write on the houses that belonged to Tigrayans. This is ours; this is Amhara house. They told us not to speak in Tigrinya.”


Voice Over

Meanwhile, as reports of atrocities became widespread, Ethiopian authorities limited access to Western Tigray for international journalists, and human rights and humanitarian groups.


Text on screen

Humanitarian organizations should have immediate and independent access to Tigray, including to all detention facilities.


Voice Over

In Adi Goshu town in January 2021, Amhara special forces and militias rounded up around 60 residents, transported them to the Tekeze bridge and shot them.


Man, Survivor, Adi Goshua

Voiced by and actor

“The Amhara Special Forces told us to disembark… They lined us up in rows, cocked their guns and sprayed us with bullets. We fell in the ditch below. After that, they said… ‘the Tigrayans don’t die easily. Shoot again.’”


Voice Over

As abuses in Western Tigray continued, hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans were forced to flee their homes. Some fled to Sudan, while many more were forcibly displaced to other parts of Tigray in a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign.


Text on screen

Ethiopia’s federal and regional authorities have dismissed allegations of acts of ethnic cleansing and human rights violations in Western Tigray.


Woman, Beer Seller, May Humer

Voiced by and actor

“After seeing this and other incidents, I thought: What are we expecting? Are we waiting for them to kill all of us? Why don’t we cross the Tekeze River while we still have our lives?”


Text on screen

Throughout this conflict, thousands of Tigrayans have been arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned.

In June 2021, Ethiopian and allied forces withdrew from much of Tigray, but not Western Tigray.

Detentions of Tigrayans in Western Tigray escalated.


Man, Manual worker, Humera

Voiced by and actor

“We couldn't access the toilets; they didn't give us any food or water. A lot of people were falling ill. There were some people that died from torture. They tie your hands and feet, they hit you in your testicles, your head, your chest, all of us went through it.”


Voice Over

Tigrayans in Western Tigray continue to be subjected to torture, arbitrary detention, and other grave human rights abuses.


Man, Farmer, Sheglil

Voiced by and actor

“All I want is peace. All I want to do is to be able to speak Tigrinya freely, my mother tongue. I am a beekeeper, and all I want to do is work.”


Text on screen

The ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans from Western Tigray, which began in November 2020, needs to stop.

All communities in Western Tigray need protection.

Safe conditions should be established to allow Tigrayans to voluntarily return to their homes.


6. FIFA/Qatar: Compensate Migrant Workers for Abuses

Migrant workers and their families are demanding compensation from FIFA and Qatar authorities for abuses that workers suffered preparing for the 2022 World Cup. We stand with them.


5. Mannequin Heads in Afghanistan

The Taliban dealt another blow to women's rights -- although this time it involved  inanimate women. 


4. The Last British Colony in Africa

Did you know that Britain still has a colony in Africa? The UK rules over a group of islands in Eastern part of Africa called the Chagos Archipelago. Chagossians should have the right to return to their homes and live free from stigma and discrimination.


3. Pakistan: Floods have killed more than 1,000 people

Catastrophic floods in Pakistan have caused billions of dollars in damages to crops, houses, and other buildings, severely impacting the lives of 33 million people, many of whom have been displaced.  


2. Israeli Airstrikes in Gaza

The Israeli military’s airstrikes in Gaza City have violated the laws of war and may amount to war crimes. The long-term effects of the attacks extend beyond the immediate destruction of the buildings, leaving many people displaced and unemployed.

And the most watched video of 2022:


1. Iran: Woman Dies in Custody of Iran’s ‘Morality Police’ 

“Women, life, freedom.” In a country where expressing autonomy as a woman is extremely dangerous, thousands of protestors swept through the streets of Iran, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa (Jina) Amini while in custody of Iran’s notorious morality police, who arrested her for “improperly” wearing her headscarf.

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