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Ensure Justice, Abolish Blasphemy Laws

A female student, Deborah Samuel, was gruesomely murdered in Nigeria’s northwestern Sokoto state last week after she was accused of blasphemy. Efforts by the authorities to identify and arrest those involved in her murder have been met with protests,…
A burned-out building
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Azimjon Askarov at Risk of Covid-19 Exposure, Requires Urgent Medical Care

Human rights defender Azimjon Askarov has spent 10 years in prison in Kyrgyzstan. He is now seriously ill and at extreme risk of contracting Covid-19. Askarov’s lawyer, Valeryan Vakhitov, visited him in prison on July 22. He told me that Askarov is…
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Proposal Would Criminalize Criticism of Government

Nigerian campaigners are speaking out against a bill that would regulate engagement on social media with the campaign #SayNoToSocialMediaBill. The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 was presented in the Senate…
Two men check their phones in Kaduna, Nigeria
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Broad Claims of National Security Threaten Rights

Nigerian authorities appear to be on a renewed drive to muzzle free speech. Earlier this month, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) suspended the broadcast licenses of two subsidiaries of Daar Communications, the…
Two men check their phones in Kaduna, Nigeria
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Merkel should Raise Rights Concerns, Call for Activist’s Release

It’s been four years since a Kyrgyz president visited Germany, a period of change and some progress. In October 2017, Kyrgyzstan held competitive, peaceful elections ushering in a new president. The country has started negotiations to upgrade…
Kyrgyz President-elect Sooronbai Jeenbekov (front) attends an inauguration ceremony at the Ala-Archa state residence outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan November 24, 2017.
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Kyrgyz Government Flagrantly Denies Activist’s Rights, Violates Their Obligations

  Kyrgyzstan has extradited a Kazakhstan activist back to his country – even though he faces politically-motivated criminal charges and is at risk of being tortured. It is utterly outrageous. Kyrgyz officers took Murat Tungishbaev away…
A man taking a photo
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During Kyrgyzstan Presidential Visit, EU Leaders Should Press for Greater Media Freedom

Six months after being elected president and taking power in the first peaceful transition between democratically elected leaders in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbai Jeenbekov is this week making his first official visit to Europe as head of…
Kyrgyz President-elect Sooronbai Jeenbekov (front) attends an inauguration ceremony at the Ala-Archa state residence outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan November 24, 2017.
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Lawsuits Mar Former President’s Record

Kyrgyzstan’s Supreme Court dealt a heavy blow to freedom of speech today by upholding three defamation rulings punishing critics for apparently insulting the “honor and dignity” of the now former president, Almazbek Atambaev. …
Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev addresses a news conference in Berlin, April 1, 2015.
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Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
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Authorities Seek to Dodge International Rights Commitments

Kyrgyz authorities seem determined to amend the country’s constitution despite some strong opposition from within Kyrgyzstan. Legislation that will allow authorities to hold a referendum on constitutional amendments this coming December could go to third…
Members of Kyrgyzstan's parliament attend first session in Bishkek, November 10, 2010.
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Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is visiting Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan this week – three countries plagued by serious human rights abuses. Uzbekistan has one of the world’s worst human rights records; Tajikistan is in the…
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attends a news conference after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) in Moscow, Russia, March 23, 2016.
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This week, Nigeria’s senators moved a bill designed to muzzle free speech on social media one step closer to becoming law. The proposed law could affect an estimated 15 million plus Nigerians who use social media, not to mention the doubtless high numbers…
A man looks at smartphones on display at a shop at Wuse II business district in Abuja, Nigeria, December 9, 2014.
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Kyrgyzstan, a country of 4.75 million people with few natural resources, received minimal attention from the United States government prior to the Bush administration's declaration of a global campaign against terrorism and the decision to base U.S.…
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(Washington, DC) - Under President Bush's November 13th Military Order on military commissions, any foreign national designated by the President as a suspected terrorist or as aiding terrorists could potentially be detained, tried, convicted and even…
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