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Broad Law Threatens Freedom of Expression, Association

(New York) – The Singapore government should withdraw a proposed law that significantly undermines the rights of activists, academics, journalists, and others to freedom of expression, association, and participation in public affairs and to…
Reporters record a speech by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as it is streamed on Facebook live during vote counting in the general election in Singapore, July 11, 2020.
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Today, eleven undersigned organizations called on the Government of Singapore to withdraw the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill (‘FICA’). FICA’s provisions contravene international legal and human rights principles – including the rights to…
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Restrictions on Media Freedoms, Political Participation in Upcoming Vote

(Berlin) – Uzbek authorities have ramped up restrictions on media freedoms and kept opposition candidates off the ballot for the presidential election scheduled for October 24, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. In releasing a question-and-…
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev receives Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (not pictured) in Tashkent.
News
On October 24, 2021, Uzbekistan will hold its first presidential election since President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in September 2016, following the death of Islam Karimov, the country’s longtime authoritarian president. Uzbekistan has garnered…
Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev speaking in Qingdao, China on June 9, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko.”
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Report by Human Rights Watch Associate Director for Women’s Rights, Heather Barr

The plight of Afghan women under the Taliban was used in many countries to convince voters to support the US-led military intervention in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks on the US. “Only the terrorists and the Taliban forbid education to women,”…
Women gather to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 3, 2021.
News

Protect Hindus, Sikhs in Muslim-Majority Region

(New York) – Indian authorities should take urgent steps to protect minority communities that are being targeted by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s failure to address serious allegations of human…
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard next to teachers at a government school where suspected militants fatally shot two teachers on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, October 7, 2021.
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Delivered by Bonnie Docherty, Senior Researcher

On behalf of: Article 36, Asociación para Políticas Públicas, Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas, Conflict and Environment Observatory, Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic, Human Rights Watch, Mines Action Canada, PAX, Seguridad Humana en…
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Independent Investigation, Alignment with International Standards Needed

(Washington, DC) – Facebook has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including about human rights abuses carried out in Israel and Palestine during the May 2021 hostilities. The company’s acknowledgment of…
A Palestinian demonstrator holds a banner of the Facebook logo.
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Revoke Decree; Allow Pregnant Girls, Young Mothers to Attend School

(Nairobi) – Tanzania’s ban on pregnant students and adolescent mothers attending school has denied tens of thousands of girls their right to education, Human Rights Watch said today. Public schools across mainland Tanzania conduct compulsory pregnancy…
The flag of the United Republic of Tanzania.
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Legislators Need to Ensure Access to Safe, Legal Abortion Care for All

I had an abortion in the US state of Illinois as a young woman. I had support from friends and family, and I was able to access timely, compassionate care from a clinic 20 minutes from my home. I was treated with dignity and respect. It was the kind…
 People rally downtown for the Second Annual Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
News

Journalists Arbitrarily Detained, Beaten

(New York) – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have imposed wide-ranging restrictions on media and free speech that are already stifling criticism and dissent, Human Rights Watch said today. During a late September meeting with journalists in…
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Five More Sub-Saharan Countries Act to Protect Girls’ Education; Barriers Remain

(Nairobi) – African countries have taken important steps in recent years to protect the right to education of pregnant students and adolescent mothers, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2019, at least five sub-Saharan African countries –…
Young mothers at secondary school in Kenya
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Situation Worsening Every Day

There is no better symbol for the disappearance of women’s rights in Afghanistan than the end of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the return of the Ministry for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. When the Taliban on September 7 announced…
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Justice Ministry Suing to Liquidate Belarusian Helsinki Committee

Update: On September 30, the Belarusian Supreme Court upheld the government’s move to liquidate the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. The ruling cannot be appealed. (Berlin) – The Belarusian Justice Ministry has filed a lawsuit to dissolve the…
A riot police officer guards the area in State Flag Square, Minsk, Belarus, with the Supreme Court building in the background.
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In the first Taliban news conference after the group regained control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid sought to reassure women. “Our sisters, our men have the same rights,” he said. But Afghan women know the…
Women gather to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 3, 2021.
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September 22, 2021 Oleg Slizhevsky Minister of Justice Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus 10 Kolletornaya Street 2200004 Minsk Belarus Dear Mr. Slizhevsky, We are writing to urge you to withdraw the Justice Ministry’s lawsuit to…