Iranian Authorities’ Crime of Persecution Against Baha’is in Iran

The 49-page report, “‘The Boot on My Neck’: Iranian Authorities’ Crime of Persecution Against Baha’is in Iran,” documents Iranian authorities’ systematic violation of the fundamental rights of members of the Baha’i community through discriminatory laws and policies that target them. Human Rights Watch found that Baha’is face a spectrum of abuses. Government agencies arrest and imprison Baha’is arbitrarily, confiscate their property, restrict their education and employment opportunities, and even deny them dignified burial.

Overturned tombstones in a rural area


  • July 6, 2021

    China’s Crackdown on Tengdro Monastery and Restrictions on Communications in Tibet

    The 61-page report, “‘Prosecute Them with Awesome Power’: China’s Crackdown on Tengdro Monastery and Restrictions on Communications in Tibet ,” details, for the first time, the government’s crackdown on Tibetan monks in the little-known Tengdro monastery. In September 2019, police in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, found private messages on a cell phone lost by Choegyal Wangpo, a Tibetan monk. Several messages had been exchanged with Tibetan monks living in Nepal, including records of donations after the 2015 Nepal earthquake. The police responded with a raid on the monastery that resulted in multiple arrests, a suicide, and, in 2020, a secret trial of four monks.

  • 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.

    Cover of the Turkey Report
  • 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.

    Report cover for Turkey
  • 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
  • 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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    Tibet cover image
  • May 18, 2016

    Life under ISIS in Sirte, Libya

    The report, “‘We Feel We Are Cursed’: Life under ISIS in Sirte, Libya,” also finds that ISIS is inflicting severe hardship on the local population by diverting food, medicine, fuel, and cash, along with homes it seized from residents who fled, to fighters and functionaries it has amassed in the Mediterranean port city. As the de facto government in Sirte, ISIS has the duty to ensure that all residents are able to exercise their basic human rights, including the rights to food and health.

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  • July 13, 2015

    China’s Restrictions on Foreign Travel by Tibetans and Others

    This 53-page report shows the evolution of a discriminatory two-track system for passports applications: a fast-track system is available in areas that are largely populated by the country’s ethnic Chinese majority, but only a slow-track system is allowed for those in most ethnic and religious minority areas. 
  • June 26, 2015

    Abuses against Montagnards in Vietnam

    This 33-page report is based on official Vietnamese media reports and Human Rights Watch interviews with Montagnards seeking asylum abroad. It describes religious and political persecution of Montagnards, highlanders who practice De Ga and Ha Mon forms of Christianity that the government calls “evil way” religions.

    Report Cover - Persecuting "Evil Way" Religion: Abuses against Montagnards in Vietnam
  • June 29, 2014

    Killings of Shia Hazara in Balochistan, Pakistan

    The 62-page report documents Sunni militant group attacks on the mostly Shia Hazara community in Balochistan. Since 2013, several hundreds of Hazara have been killed in steadily worsening targeted violence, including two bombings in the provincial capital, Quetta, in January and February 2013 that killed at least 180 people.
  • December 17, 2013

    Stories of Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia

    This 48-page report presents the stories of 11 prominent Saudi social and political rights activists and their struggles to resist government efforts to suppress them.
  • May 16, 2013

    Assessing the Impact of Hungary’s New Constitution and Laws

    This 29-page report analyzes the new constitution and laws and their negative effects on human rights and the rule of law. It shows how the government has largely ignored criticism from the EU and the Council of Europe and, through further constitutional changes, sought to reverse binding rulings by Hungary’s Constitutional Court upholding fundamental rights.
  • April 22, 2013

    Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Arakan State

    This 153-page report describes the role of the Burmese government and local authorities in the forcible displacement of more than 125,000 Rohingya and other Muslims and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

  • February 28, 2013

    Abuses against Religious Minorities in Indonesia

    The 107-page report documents the government’s failure to confront militant groups whose thuggish harassment and assaults on houses of worship and members of religious minorities has become increasingly aggressive. Those targeted include Ahmadiyahs, Christians, and Shia Muslims.

  • August 28, 2012

    An Assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code

    This report says that many problematic provisions of the current penal code remain unaddressed in the proposed amendments. Some of the amendments would weaken further the rights of criminal defendants and convicts and allow judges wide discretion to issue punishments that violate the rights of the accused.

  • March 30, 2011

    A Case Study in Religious Repression

    This 46-page report details the latest government crackdowns on these indigenous peoples, known collectively as Montagnards. The report documents police sweeps to root out Montagnards in hiding. It details how the authorities have dissolved house church gatherings, orchestrated coerced renunciations of faith, and sealed off the border to prevent asylum seekers from fleeing to Cambodia.