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Journalists Threatened; New ‘Religious Guidelines’ Ban Women Actors

(New York) – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan are threatening journalists and imposing strict new media guidelines that especially harm women, Human Rights Watch said today. Taliban intelligence officials have made death threats against…
Taliban guards at the entrance of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, which oversees the implementation of religious regulations, Kabul, Afghanistan on September 21, 2021. 
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New Law Could Lead to Journalists Being Jailed

(Athens) – A criminal code provision that Greece’s parliament adopted on November 11, 2021, makes it a criminal offense to spread “fake news,” Human Rights Watch said today. The Greek government should immediately move to revoke the provision,…
A woman reads newspaper's headlines referring to the killing of a Greek journalist in Athens on April 10, 2021.
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Deposed Political Leaders and Journalists Remain Detained

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar junta’s recent prisoner releases are limited in scope and do not reflect a broader change in the military’s respect for human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 18, 2021, the State Administrative Council…
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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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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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Proposed Amendments Threaten Media Freedom, Free Expression

(Seoul) - South Korea’s National Assembly should reject proposed amendments to the law on media arbitration that would undermine media freedom and freedom of expression, Article 19, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, Open Net Association, and…
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Harasses Supreme Court, Signals He May Cancel Elections, Violates Free Speech

President Jair Bolsonaro is threatening democratic rule in Brazil, Human Rights Watch said today on International Day of Democracy. He is pursuing campaigns to intimidate the Supreme Court, signaling that he may attempt to cancel the 2022 election or…
The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, at a rally on September 07, 2021 in São Paulo, Brazil.
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New Restrictions Indicate Crackdown on Free Speech

(New York) – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have been detaining and assaulting journalists and imposing new restrictions on media work, Human Rights Watch said today. The Taliban should call a halt to the assaults, drop the restrictions, and…
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President Violates Free Speech, Access to Information Rights

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is blocking social media followers who criticize him, violating their rights to free speech and access to information, and to participate in the conduct of public affairs, Human Rights Watch said today. Human…
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro uses his cellphone during at event at the presidential palace in Brasilia on June 13, 2019.
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Release Journalists Wrongfully Detained, Sentenced

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta should stop prosecuting journalists and end its assault on independent media, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video about the media crackdown. Since the February 1, 2021 coup, Myanmar’s junta has…
Anti-coup protesters hold a banner that reads "What are these? We are Yangon residents!" as they march during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Tuesday April 27, 2021.
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Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
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Lack of Transparency, Corruption Allegations Mar Covid-19 Spending

(Nairobi) – The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board should ensure that a three-year loan sought by Cameroon is used to meet its human rights obligations and not lost to corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. It should require the…
CDC Cameroon Associate Director for Program and Science, Dr. Clement Ndongmo, observes Covid-19 testing procedures for passengers arriving at Nsimalen International Airport in Yaoundé. 
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
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Authorities Should Stop Stifling Dissent, Protect the Media

(New York) – A recent series of attacks and growing pressure on journalists who criticize the Pakistan government is a cause for serious concern, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists said today. Those…
 Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor, center, speaks during a demonstration to condemn the attack on journalists, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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Detention of Rozina Islam a Major Strike Against Media Freedom

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should drop all oppressive charges against the renowned Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, Human Rights Watch said today. Islam’s colleagues believe she was detained over her reporting on corruption and…
A protester holds a placard reading "Free Rozina Islam " during a demonstration in PLACE on DATE. © 2021 Md Manik/SOPA Images/Sipa USA
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Surge in Police Harassment of Journalists, Activists, Protesters

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities are increasingly using criminal investigations to harass journalists, protest leaders, and various other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are facing potential prosecution and have…
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Stop Threatening Families, Respect Freedom of Expression

(Vienna) – Turkmen security officials have questioned and threatened a 14-year-old boy in retaliation for the outspoken views of his uncle, a Turkmen activist and journalist who lives in Turkey, four independent human rights groups said today. The…
Rozybai Jumamadov, whose 14-year-old nephew and family were harassed and threatened by authorities in Turkmenistan, May 2020.
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Adds to Severe Restrictions on the Internet, Media

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar junta added a ban on satellite television to existing restrictions on the internet and media, tightening its grip over information in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 4, 2021, the ruling State Administration…
Anti-coup protesters flash the three-finger sign of defiance during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on April 23, 2021.
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Family Members Face Trial for Criticizing Government

(New York) – The Vietnamese authorities should immediately release the democracy campaigner Can Thi Theu and her two sons and drop all charges against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Can Thi Theu and her younger son, Trinh Ba Tu, face trial on…
Trịnh Bá Tư and Cấn Thị Thêu 
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Free Expression Under Serious Threat

(New York) – The Bangladesh government’s increasingly violent crackdown on media freedom is of urgent concern on World Press Freedom Day, nine nongovernmental organizations said in a letter today to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High…
Journalists work in front of a Covid-19 Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 20, 2021.