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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
News

Unlimited Surveillance Powers Are Among a Series of Attacks on Freedoms

(New York) – Nepal’s Special Service Bill risks giving the national intelligence agency unlimited surveillance and search powers, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed law, which permits communications interception without judicial oversight,…
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli attends this year's fiscal policy and programs during complete nationwide lockdown at federal parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday, May 15, 2020.
News

Government Should Reform the Law and Police Response to Address Rising Tide of Abuse

Imagine discovering private – and perhaps intimate – photos of yourself online. Strangers are posting humiliating comments, with personal details, making you identifiable to the world. This is increasingly a reality for women and girls in…
Women hold placards during a protest against sexual violence in Kathmandu, Nepal
News

Online Fraud Laws Used to Crack Down on Free Speech

The recent crackdown on journalists in Nepal is bad enough, but now the authorities have gone one step further and jailed a comedian for critiquing a film. Pranesh Gautam, 24, an architect and part-time comedian who posts on…
A journalist protests a set of laws that threaten to curb free speech, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 19, 2018.
News

Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
News
Growing up in Soviet Azerbaijan, Zohrab Ismayil learned first-hand how people barely benefited from the country’s natural resource wealth. Witnessing this inequality prompted Zohrab to join the fight for his country’s independence, which came…
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News

Foreign Journalists, Rights Advocates Denied Entry

(Berlin) –The first European Games will open in Azerbaijan on June 12, 2015, in an atmosphere of government repression unprecedented in the post-Soviet era, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have detained dozens of critics of the government…
News

Council of Europe’s Leadership Should Take Action

(Strasbourg) – Azerbaijan’s longstanding repression of independent voices has reached crisis levels, even as it nears the end of its six-month chairmanship of the Council of Europe. The situation puts to the test the council’s standing as Europe’s…
News
Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
News
Today is the official “day of silence” in Azerbaijan, when all election campaigning stops before Wednesday’s presidential vote. But for the past nine months, the government has worked overtime to silence the political opposition. President Ilham Aliyev is…
News

HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the Universal Periodic Review report on Azerbaijan, which includes critical recommendations to improve the situation with regard to freedom of expression, assembly, and association. Its leadership needs to take immediate steps…
News

Dozens of Activists and Journalists Jailed, Restrictive Laws Adopted

(Berlin) – The Azerbaijani government is engaged in a deliberate, abusive strategy to limit dissent. The strategy is designed to curtail opposition political activity, limit public criticism of the government, and exercise greater control over…
News

Changes on Criminal Libel, Detention Harshen Atmosphere for Civil Society

(Berlin) – Recent amendments to Azerbaijani legislation violate the government’s international commitments and limit free expression. President Ilham Aliyev should veto the amendments and ensure that no one is punished for exercising fundamental rights.…
News

Release Jailed Activists as Country Hosts Internet Forum

(Berlin) – At least eight journalists and three human rights defenders are in jail, and freedom of expression is severely limited in Azerbaijan, the host of the upcoming United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF), Human Rights Watch said in…
News

Appeal Court Should Examine Possibility of a Set-Up

(New York) - The criminal convictions of two young activist bloggers are a step backward for free expression in Azerbaijan, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the Azerbaijani government to ensure that the appeal against their…