Search Results

Sort by
News

Kim Jong Un Uses Pandemic to Further Isolate Population

(New York, January 13, 2021) – North Korea’s government used unnecessary and opaque Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 to reinforce its standing as one of the world’s most repressive countries, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Under…
Kim Song Ju Primary school students have their temperatures checked before entering the school in Pyongyang, North Korea. 
Report
Summary In late 2014, police officers entered the home of Lim Ok Kyung, a smuggler in her forties from North Korea’s South Hwanghae province. The police were looking for, and found, home appliances smuggled from China. Lim Ok Kyung was detained at a…
News

Torture, Lack of Due Process, Arbitrary Punishment, Corruption Rampant

(Seoul) – The North Korean pretrial detention and investigation system is arbitrary and lacks any semblance of due process, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Former detainees described systematic torture, dangerous and unhygienic…
An overhead illustration of people in a crowded jail cell
News
  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
News

Joint Open Letter on Japan’s Recent Disengagement in Addressing Human Rights Abuses in North Korea

February 13, 2020   Shinzo Abe Prime Minister of Japan Cabinet Secretariat Government of Japan 1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8968 Japan   Re:  Joint…
News

Forced Return Exposes Them to Risk of Torture, Other Abuses

(New York) – China should not forcibly deport seven detained North Koreans who face a grave risk of torture and other abuses if returned to North Korea, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should grant asylum to the members of the group…
Pedestrians walk by a statue of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong outside the railway station in the Chinese city of Dandong bordering North Korea in northeastern China's Liaoning Province, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.
News

Repeal Draconian Sedition Act

(New York) – The Malaysian authorities should halt the investigation targeting organizers of the Women’s March in Kuala Lumpur on March 9, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The march’s organizers are being investigated for possible violations of…
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, left, passes the opening speech to King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah during the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 11, 2019.
News

New Government Faces Challenges in Carrying Out Reforms

(New York) – Malaysia’s human rights situation improved significantly in 2018 after the election of a new government that ran on a manifesto promising make the country’s rights record “respected by the world,” Human Rights Watch said today in…
Attendees hold up smartphones and wave Malaysian national flags and People's Justice Party flags at a Pakatan Harapan alliance event in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
Report
  Summary Oh Jung Hee is a former trader in her forties from Ryanggang province. She sold clothes to market stalls in Hyesan city and was involved in the distribution of textiles in her province. She said that up until she left the country in…
News

Impunity for Assault and Rape by Men in Power

North Korean officials commit sexual violence with little concern for the consequences, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government fails to investigate and prosecute complaints, or to provide protection and…
Woman being questioned by a secret police investigator. Former detainees say that secret police investigators can easily harass female detainees during questioning.
News

Ban Marriage for Anyone under 18

When the news broke last week that a 41-year-old man from Kelantan had married an 11-year-old girl, alarm bells went off in Malaysia’s newly elected government as well as among nongovernmental groups. The Kelantan state police started …
Jina, a 22-year-old transgender woman, sports a tattoo of a butterfly—a transgender symbol signifying transformation.
News
June 6, 2018   Kim Jong Un Chairman, State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Building of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pyongyang  Democratic People’s Republic of…
News

Press North Korea to Engage With UN Special Rapporteur, Allow Country Visit

(Seoul) – South Korea should raise the dire human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) during the April 27 summit between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Human Rights…
South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during a ceremony celebrating the 99th anniversary of the March First Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule, at Seodaemun Prison History Hall in Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2018. REUTERS
News

Repression Intensifies as Crimes Against Humanity Continue

(Seoul) – Kim Jong-Un intensified repressive measures against his own people even while grabbing world attention through aggressive weapons testing throughout the year. The government tightened travel restrictions, hunted down fleeing…
201801wr_northkorea_human_rights   North Korean leader Kim Jong-un participates in the opening of the 5th Conference of Cell Chairpersons of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central New
News

Women’s Rights Protections Still Absent Despite Rhetoric

North Korean officials were asked recently what measures have been taken to address the UN Commission of Inquiry’s 2014 findings that women forcibly returned from China had been abused and tortured. The delegation dismissed the findings…
A woman stands before pictures of former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il visiting the Kim Jong Suk Pyongyang textile mill during a government organised visit for foreign reporters to the factory in Pyongyang, North Korea May 9, 2016.
News

Women Prisoners Face Physical and Sexual Abuse by Interrogators and Prison Guards

(Geneva) – The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women should press the North Korean government to stop security officials and prison guards from physically and sexually abusing female prisoners,…
A North Korean soldier stands guard at the entrance of a women’s prison near Chongsong, North Korea, May 31, 2009.
News

Government Should End Discrimination and Exploitation of Women

(Seoul, April 14, 2017) – North Korea is betraying the pledge to protect the rights of women and girls and promote gender equality made by its former leader and “perpetual” president, Kim Il-Sung, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch is…
Pictures of former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il decorate April 25 House of Culture, the venue of Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) congress in Pyongyang, North Korea May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
News

Men Try to Avoid Rape Charges Through Forced Child Marriage

Survivors of rape often say they are left with devastating, sometimes lifelong, trauma. One woman who was sexually assaulted in Iraq described her feelings this way: “I have no past and no future at the moment. I am stuck in my anger and…
A woman walks past birdcages after she crossed the border from Malaysia into Thailand in Sungai Kolok in southern Narathiwat province March 8, 2013.