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Taliban Now Control Systems with Sensitive Personal Information

The Taliban control systems holding sensitive biometric data that Western donor governments left behind in Afghanistan in August 2021, putting thousands of Afghans at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. These digital identity and payroll systems…
A United States military official takes the fingerprints of a man in Afghanistan
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Questions and Answers on Platform Accountability and Human Rights Responsibilities

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, companies providing social media and messaging services have taken a wide array of steps to counter harmful disinformation, to label or block state-sponsored or state-affiliated media, and to…
Two women from Kharkiv, Ukraine, watch news on a mobile phone, just after having crossed the border into Moldova, on March 10, 2022.
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Governments Should Urgently Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – The targeting of a Human Rights Watch staff member with Pegasus spyware underscores the urgent need to regulate the global trade in surveillance technology, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should ban the sale, export, transfer…
NSO Group Protest
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Risk of Illegal Racial Profiling and Other Abuses

(Athens) – Greece is planning a new police program to scan people’s faces and fingerprints that is inconsistent with international human rights standards on privacy and likely to amplify ongoing discrimination, Human Rights Watch and Homo Digitalis…
Police officers check the documents and permissions of people in the streets of Athens, Greece, March 23, 2020. 
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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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Oil and Gas Firm PTT Should Cut Ties with Military Enterprises, Abusive Cronies

(Bangkok) – Thailand’s majority state-owned oil and gas company, PTT, is partnering with military-linked companies to expand its engagement in Myanmar, Human Rights Watch said today. This growth comes on top of the half a billion dollars PTT already…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
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Who is Dominic Ongwen? What is the Lord’s Resistance Army? How did the ICC come to bring charges against Ongwen? What are the charges against Ongwen? How does Ongwen’s experience as a child soldier affect judicial proceedings against…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
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Leaked List of Over 2,000 Detainees Demonstrates Automated Repression

(New York) – A big data program for policing in China’s Xinjiang region arbitrarily selects Turkic Muslims for possible detention, Human Rights Watch said today. A leaked list of over 2,000 detainees from Aksu prefecture provided to Human Rights Watch…
2020 Badiucao for Human Rights Watch
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Arrests, Jail for Violating ‘Family Values'

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities have since late April 2020 carried out an abusive campaign targeting female social media influencers on charges that violate their rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and nondiscrimination, Human Rights Watch said…
Egyptian influencers Hanin Hossam and Mawadda al-Adham, who were sentenced to two years in prison on charges of violating public morals, on the video-sharing app TikTok in Egypt's capital Cairo.
News

Authorities Regulate Infrastructure, Block Content

Note: This article features explainers. Click on the highlighted terms to see a short explainer. (Moscow) – Russia has significantly expanded laws and regulations tightening control over internet infrastructure, online content, and the privacy of…
Demonstrators, with a poster on the right reading "internet is our only chance," attend the Free Internet rally in response to a bill making its way through parliament calling for all internet traffic to be routed through servers in Russia— making VPNs (virtual private networks) ineffective, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 10, 2019.
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Introduction Governments and the private sector are increasingly relying on data-driven technologies to help contain the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. While some see technological solutions as a critical tool for contact tracing, quarantine…
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New Government Should Suspend Abusive Laws

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s new government, approved by Parliament on February 27, 2020, should make human rights a priority, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should protect fundamental rights in eight key areas: ending criminal…
A general view of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People in Tunis, Tunisia, May 2016.
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Unlawful Lethal Force, Families Threatened, Cover-Ups

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities have failed to hold security forces accountable for excessive and unlawful use of lethal force in confronting large-scale protests that began on November 15, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Members of the…
Iranian protesters gather around a burning car during a demonstration against an increase in gasoline prices in the capital Tehran, on November 16, 2019.
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Credible Allegations of Government Involvement, Acquiescence

(New York) – Residents of Venezuela’s southern Bolívar state are suffering amputations and other horrific abuses at the hands of armed groups, including Venezuelan groups called “syndicates” in the area and Colombian armed groups operating in…
202002AME_Venezuela_PP1
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Leaders Arrested Ahead of Disputed Presidential Elections

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities have arrested scores of pro-democracy movement activists since September 2019. Many remain detained on vague charges such as “harming national unity” and “undermining the morale of the army.” The…
201911MENA_Algeria_Protests
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Total Security Force Killings Since Protests Resumed at Over 100

(Beirut) – Security forces have fired teargas cartridges directly at protesters in Baghdad, Iraq on numerous occasions since protests resumed on October 25, 2019, killing at least 16, Human Rights Watch said today. The dead are among the…
Protesters in Tahrir Square arrange the tear gas canisters that security forces fired at them in Tahrir Square in different patriotic constellations.
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Repressive Laws Sap Free Expression

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities are using laws on criminal defamation, “spreading false information,” and “harming others via public telecommunications networks” to prosecute people for their online commentary, Human Rights Watch said…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.
News

Lift Unlawful Restrictions Blocking Thousands

(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is preventing about 4,200 Sunni Arabs from returning home to 12 villages east of Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. More than three years after the Hamdaniya district was retaken…
A destroyed home near Ashqala al-Sagheer village in Hamdaniya, July 2019. Hasansham camp is in the background.  © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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