The Systematic Undermining of Media Freedom in Hungary

The 29-page report, “‘I Can’t Do My Job as a Journalist’: The Systematic Undermining of Media Freedom in Hungary”, documents the increased obstacles and constraints independent journalists and media face under the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

A man holds a banner showing the eyes of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a protest


  • July 28, 2022

    Morocco’s Playbook to Crush Dissent

    In the 129-page report, “They’ll Get You No Matter What: Morocco’s Playbook to Crush Dissent,” Human Rights Watch documents a range of tactics that, when used together, form an ecosystem of repression, aiming not only to muzzle dissenting voices but to scare off all potential critics. The tactics include unfair trials and long prison terms for nonspeech criminal charges, harassment and smear campaigns in state-aligned media, and targeting dissidents’ relatives. Critics of the state were also subjected to video and digital surveillance, and in some cases to physical intimidation and assault that the police failed to investigate properly.

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  • April 14, 2022

    Stymied Reforms in the Maldives

    The 56-page report, “‘I Could Have Been Next’: Stymied Reforms in the Maldives,” finds that the Solih administration, more than halfway into its five-year term, has not fulfilled election promises to reform the criminal justice system to address threats to free expression. The government has reduced its repression of free speech and the media, so reporters say they no longer fear state censorship or worry about facing criminal cases or fines for doing their jobs. Yet, the government has often relented to pressure from politicians and powerful religious groups, instead of upholding free speech and association

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  • February 17, 2022

    Movement Restrictions on Rights Activists in Vietnam

    The 65-page report, “Locked Inside Our Home: Movement Restrictions on Rights Activists in Vietnam,” documents the Vietnamese government’s routine violation of the right to freedom of movement and other basic rights by subjecting activists, dissidents, human rights defenders, and others to indefinite house arrest, harassment, and other forms of detention. The authorities have detained activists just long enough to prevent them from attending protests, criminal trials, meetings with foreign diplomats and a US president, and other events.

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  • October 28, 2019

    Threats to Independent Media and Civil Society in Tanzania

    This report found that President John Magufuli’s government has adopted or enforced a raft of repressive laws that stifle independent journalism and severely restrict the activities of nongovernmental organizations and the political opposition.

  • March 28, 2018

    Censorship and Freedom of the Media in Uzbekistan

    This report examines the situation for journalists, media outlets, and the exercise of free speech since Mirziyoyev assumed the presidency in September 2016. Human Rights Watch found that despite positive moves such as easing certain restrictions on free expression, censorship remains a potent force and the authorities selectively prosecute journalists, writers, and ordinary citizens expressing critical views. 

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    Cover of the Uzbekistan report in English
  • June 18, 2017

    Assaults on Bloggers and Democracy Campaigners in Vietnam

    This report highlights 36 incidents in which unknown men in civilian clothes beat rights campaigners and bloggers between January 2015 and April 2017, often resulting in serious injuries. Many victims reported that beatings occurred in the presence of uniformed police who did nothing to intervene.

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    Cover of the Vietnam Report
  • May 30, 2017

    Threats to Free Expression Ahead of Kenya’s 2017 Elections

    This report documents abuses by government officials, police, county governors, and other government officials against the media. Human Rights Watch and ARTICLE 19 examined government attempts to obstruct critical journalists and bloggers with legal, administrative, and informal measures, including threats, intimidation, harassment, online and phone surveillance, and in some cases, physical assaults.

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    cover of the Kenya report
  • May 4, 2017

    Morocco's Reforms of its Speech Laws

    This report compares the new laws with those they replaced, and urges Morocco’s recently formed government and the parliament elected in October 2016 to adopt legislation decriminalizing all nonviolent speech offenses. Restrictions under the country’s penal code undercut the positive features of the new laws, Human Rights Watch said. Notably, the revised penal code maintains prison as punishment for speech that harms the monarchy, the person of the king, Islam, and Morocco’s “territorial integrity” – the “red lines” that limit critical discussion of some of the key issues in the kingdom.

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  • December 15, 2016

    The Government’s Deepening Assault on Critical Journalism

    This report documents five important components of the crackdown on independent domestic media in Turkey, including the use of the criminal justice system to prosecute and jail journalists on bogus charges of terrorism, insulting public officials, or crimes against the state. Human Rights Watch also documented threats and physical attacks on journalists and media organizations; government interference with editorial independence and pressure on media organizations to fire critical journalists; the government’s takeover or closure of private media companies; and restrictions on access to the airwaves, fines, and closure of critical television stations.

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  • November 2, 2016

    Gambia’s 2016 Presidential Election

    This report describes how the government of President Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup, has used a crackdown on the opposition, domination of state media, and state resources for campaigning to ensure a political advantage in the election. Authorities have threatened, arbitrarily arrested, jailed, and tortured members of opposition political parties. Since April, more than 90 opposition activists have been arrested for participating in peaceful protests, with 30 sentenced to three-year prison terms. Two opposition activists have died in custody.

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  • October 25, 2016

    Turkey’s Post-Coup Suspension of Safeguards Against Torture

    This report documents how the weakening of safeguards through decrees adopted under the state of emergency has negatively affected police detention conditions and the rights of detainees. It details 13 cases of alleged abuse, including stress positions, sleep deprivation, severe beatings, sexual abuse, and rape threats, since the coup attempt.

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  • October 20, 2016

    Azerbaijan’s Continuing Crackdown on Government Critics, Lawyers, and Civil Society

    This report documents the government’s concerted efforts to undermine civil society. Human Rights Watch found that in 2016, the authorities used false, politically motivated criminal and administrative charges to prosecute political activists, journalists, and others. The government has built a restrictive legal and policy framework to paralyze the work of independent groups. Lawyers willing to defend critics have faced retaliation and disbarment. Although the authorities released several human rights defenders and others in early 2016, many others remain in prison or fled into exile.

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    Cover of Venezuela report
  • June 29, 2016

    The Criminalization of Peaceful Expression in Burma

    This report documents the use and abuse of a range of broad and vaguely worded laws to criminalize peaceful expression, including debates on matters of public interest, and provides specific recommendations for the repeal or amendment of those laws.

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  • May 26, 2016

    The Cambodian Government's Role in the October 2015 Attack on Opposition Politicians

    This report shows that the three officials charged in the mob attack were not acting alone. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) transported protesters to the National Assembly in Phnom Penh a day after Hun Sen threatened to retaliate against the CNRP for demonstrating against him in Paris. Police stood by during the assault that inflicted serious injuries on assemblymen Kung Sophea and Nhay Chamraoen. After the attack, the mob went to the home of deputy CNRP leader Kem Sokha and threw stones and menaced those inside.


  • May 22, 2016

    Detention and Prosecution of Tibetans under China’s “Stability Maintenance” Campaign

    This report shows how changing patterns of unrest and politicized detentions, prosecutions, and convictions from 2013-2015 correlate with the latest phase of the government’s “stability maintenance” campaign – a policy that has resulted in unprecedented surveillance and control in Tibetan villages and towns.

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