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Surge in Police Harassment of Journalists, Activists, Protesters

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities are increasingly using criminal investigations to harass journalists, protest leaders, and various other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are facing potential prosecution and have…
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With GE15 on the horizon, there is a grave risk that arrests will continue to rise. Respect for freedom of speech in Malaysia is in free fall - a decline illustrated by two recent arrests. On the evening of Friday, April 23, seven police…
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attending parliament session at parliament lower house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
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New Law Criminalizes Expression, Violates Privacy Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should revoke a new “fake news” ordinance that poses a serious threat to freedom of expression and privacy and the right to a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2)…
A television shows a live broadcast of Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at a shopping outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. 
News

Decision Holding Portals Liable Poses Serious Risk to Freedom of Speech

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian Federal Court decision holding an online news site responsible for reader comments contravenes international human rights standards and will chill free speech in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today. The court on…
Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief Steven Gan speaks to the media at the Federal Court in in Putrajaya, Malaysia on February 19, 2021. 
News

China's Official Covid Rates Are Down. But Has That Come at the Cost of Human Rights?

I imagine January has been a relatively good month for Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Covid-19 pandemic appears to be largely under control in his country, and China's is the only major economy in the world expected to report growth for…
Chinese paramilitary police wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus stand guard near the portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Saturday, January 9, 2021. 
News

Immunity, Police Powers for Military Raise Risk of Abuse

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s recently announced Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance is overly broad and should urgently be revised to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The ordinance, announced on January 14,…
Perdana Menteri Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin berbicara dalam sebuah konferensi pers setelah pertemuan kabinet pertama di kantor perdana menteri di Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 Maret 2020.
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Arbitrary Detentions for Independent Reporting, Criticizing Government

(New York) – The Chinese authorities have stepped-up arbitrary detentions of journalists and activists reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues, or criticizing the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the beginning of…
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Like Global Tech Companies Before It, Zoom Caved to the Chinese Government, Even When it Meant Overlooking Basic Human Rights.

On Dec. 18, prosecutors from the U.S. Justice Department charged a China-based Zoom executive with conspiring to terminate Zoom meetings this year that commemorated the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre at the Chinese government’s…
Signage at the headquarters of videoconferencing, remote work, and webinar technology company Zoom (ZM) in the Silicon Valley, San Jose, California, March 28, 2020.
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Letter to International Olympic Committee Urges Human Rights Risk Assessment

(New York) –The Chinese government’s heightened repression from Xinjiang to Hong Kong threatens its hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. The…
Photo of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games logo in Zhangjiakou City where the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will take place, September 17, 2020, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, China. © 2020 Imaginechina via AP Images
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Prominent Activists Jailed for Peaceful Protests Amid Widening Crackdown

(New York) – Hong Kong authorities should drop all criminal cases and release from custody those arrested or convicted for their peaceful participation in pro-democracy protests, Human Rights Watch said today. These include Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow,…
Joshua Wong, center right, and Ivan Lam, center left, were led into a prison van before their court appearance in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
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China Moves Toward Full Control of Territory

(New York) – China’s top legislative body should reverse its decision effectively disqualifying four pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong, triggering the resignation of 15 others, Human Rights Watch said today. Beijing’s action marked a watershed…
Hong Kong's pro-democracy legislators pose for a photo before a press conference at Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. 
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Drop Charges Against Joshua Wong, Others

(New York) – Hong Kong authorities should cease politically motivated prosecutions of pro-democracy activists, Human Rights Watch said today. They should immediately drop charges and quash convictions in cases involving Hong Kong’s Public Order…
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong displays a bail paper outside Central Police Station in Hong Kong, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.
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Australia Should Press for Greater Scrutiny of Beijing at UN Rights Council

The Australian government helped two Australian journalists living in China leave the country yesterday after a five-day diplomatic standoff.  Amid fears for their safety, Bill Birtles of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation sheltered in…
In this image made from a video, Australian Broadcasting Corp. journalist Bill Birtles speaks to the media on his arrival at Sydney airport, Australia, September 8, 2020.
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The Hong Kong government has wasted no time in using its new national security law to arrest critics and attack press freedom. Monday’s arrest of 10 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures, including 71-year-old Jimmy Lai, founder and owner of the pro-…
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Police Arrest Pro-Democracy Activists, Critics; Raid Prominent Independent Newspaper

(New York) – Hong Kong authorities should immediately release 10 pro-democracy figures arrested on August 10 for vague “national security” crimes and drop all charges against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should support the call by…
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Arrest of Bangladeshi in Documentary Violates Free Speech Rights

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities’ arrest of a Bangladeshi migrant worker who was featured in an Al Jazeera documentary is clear retaliation for his criticism of government policies towards migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities…
News

Abusive Investigations for Critical Speech on the Rise

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities are increasingly responding to criticism of the government by initiating criminal investigations, Human Rights Watch said today. Journalists, civil society activists, and ordinary people have all recently faced…
Perdana Menteri Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin berbicara dalam sebuah konferensi pers setelah pertemuan kabinet pertama di kantor perdana menteri di Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 Maret 2020.
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Reporters at Major US Outlets to be Expelled, Hong Kong Reporting Restricted

  (New York) – The Chinese government should immediately reverse its decision to expel reporters from three major US media outlets, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 18, 2020, the Chinese government…
Chinese Foreign Ministry new spokesman Zhao Lijian gestures as he speaks during a daily briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing, February 24, 2020.
News

Backtracking on Free Expression, Accountability, LGBT Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s promised human rights reforms stalled in 2019 as the government either backed away from or delayed action on its campaign commitments, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. “Malaysia’s reform…
Protesters hold placards reading " Save Malaysia, Arrest the Thief " during a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, April 14, 2018.