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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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Bill Would Have Criminalized Wide Range of Peaceful Expression

In a win for online freedom in Iraq, in February the Iraqi parliament said it will stop pushing forward a cybercrimes draft law until after it is amended so that it protects rather than infringes upon free speech. As it stood, the law would have…
Woman holding up a sign in Arabic
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This Q & A from Human Rights Watch explains what human rights law says about how federal elections are administered in the United States including whether or not the process for certifying election results is aligned with international standards. It…
A man in a beanie and face mask stands in front of a sign that says "Vote Here"
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World Leaders, Journalists Should Demand Accounting for Rights Abuses

  (Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s admission that government representatives killed Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate on October 2, 2018 has sparked intensified and overdue scrutiny of the country’s human…
 Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
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Questions and Answers

Comprehensive data protection laws are essential for protecting human rights – most obviously, the right to privacy, but also many related freedoms that depend on our ability to make choices about how and with whom we share information about ourselves.…
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“It cannot be over-emphasized that when it comes to democracy, liberty of thought and expression is a cardinal value that is of paramount significance.” With these words, India’s Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment on March 24, struck down Section 66A…
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This week I had expected to be writing about a defamation case brought by Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Committee against an independent journalist in Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan. To my surprise, the committee withdrew its complaint, and the court…
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This week, the European Union’s top court invalidated the EU’s data retention law, calling into question whether blanket data retention can ever be consistent with human rights requirements. This decision is a major victory for digital rights groups which…
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Finally, a voice of reason in Russia’s legal system on the Pussy Riot case. Today Russia’s Supreme Court ordered the Pussy Riot verdict to be re-examined by the Moscow City Court. The legal representatives for one of the two still-imprisoned Pussy Riot…
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1. Why is HRW focusing on discrimination against women in sports? Saudi Arabia has one of the worst records on women’s rights, as Human Rights Watch has extensively documented, notably in its report “Perpetual Minors” of 2008. The government does not…
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What concerns does Human Rights Watch have about the latest release of thousands of US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks? Should Julian Assange be prosecuted? Does international law address situations like the WikiLeaks releases? How is "national…
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The search engine stops censoring information and ideas in China

Last month, Google - one of the world's most important technology companies - stood up to the Chinese government by making it clear that it will not be complicit in censoring information and ideas. For years, corporations - including Google, Yahoo!,…
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1. Is Kazakhstan the right choice for the OSCE chair in 2010? Kazakhstan was a highly controversial choice because of its poor record of adherence to OSCE human rights principles. For that reason, Kazakhstan was unsuccessful in its chairmanship bids in…
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Revise Policies to Ensure Fair Hearing

(London) - The ruling today by the European Court of Human Rights on the United Kingdom's detention policy for foreign terrorism suspects confirms that indefinite detention violates basic rights, Human Rights Watch said. The court ruled that the…
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Damascus Declaration Trial a Transparent Bid to Silence Critics

(Damascus) – Syria’s sentencing of a dozen leading democracy advocates to more than two years in prison is the latest evidence of Syria’s repression of opposition groups. The democracy activists, including doctors, lawyers, writers, and an artist, were…
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  UPDATE:    Turkey's Ruling Party Escapes Court Ban   On July 30, 2008, Turkey's Constitutional Court announced its decision not to close down the ruling Justice and Development Party, nor to impose a five-year ban from political life on Prime Minister…