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Human Rights Official Returns to her Hometown to Help Change its Track Record

Anny Castillo’s job is to help change all of this. Castillo is head of the Tumaco “personeria,” a human rights agency. In Colombia, each municipality has a personeria, an office designed to promote access to public services, address human…
Tumaco, Colombia
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Even Government Offices in Iran Are Inaccessible for People With Disabilities

“I know it’s very dangerous,” she said. “Each time I get on an escalator with my wheelchair, I prepare myself for death. But I have no other choice. I have nobody to help me.”  In a new report, “‘I Am Equally Human’:…
© 2018 John Holmes for Human Rights Watch
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Last February, when Iran hosted a major international beach volleyball competition, Mina took a huge risk. She traveled to the games, in an attempt to enter the stadium and cheer Iran’s team on in person. It was a risk because Iran has banned…
Iran women FIVB
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In the end, the family was deported to Afghanistan over pink sneakers and platform sandals. Zohrah, 17, and her sister Hasina, 15, sounded furious, in a teenager kind of way, when they talked about their arrest and how it led them, their father…
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How Iran's Crackdown on Rights Compelled One Man to Leave His Home

The Iranian activist Kaveh Kermanshahi was free on bail in 2010 when an Iranian court sentenced him to four years in prison for his work on Kurdish and women’s rights. Kermanshahi, who was 26 at the time, decided he couldn’t return to prison, where he had…
News

As Women Flee Violence in Rural Areas, Cities Offer No Safe Haven

I sat down with Mercedes on a sleepy afternoon in Medellin, Colombia. She was nervous. I was exhausted. Mercedes was my 60th interview with women and girls in Colombia – all of whom survived sexual or family violence, and all of whom had fled their close-…
News

Sussan Tahmesebi Receives the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

Sussan Tahmasebi returned to her native Iran in 1999 for what she thought was a quick trip to reconnect with her roots, but she ended up staying for nearly 10 years, helping develop civil society to defend women’s rights. She helped to start one of the…
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The Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch supports Iranian women activists and feminists in their call for freedom and equality.  For over three decades, Iranian women have resisted gender discrimination and been at the forefront on the struggle…
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Following advocacy by Human Rights Watch, the head of Iran’s Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi, suspended the sentence of a jailed women’s rights activist on November 10. The activist, Delaram Ali, was detained in 2006 after participating in a peaceful…
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Following testimony by Human Rights Watch, an immigration judge in New Jersey granted a gay Jamaican man’s request to stay in the United States under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), permitting him to remain in the country. The September 20 decision…
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Following intense advocacy by Human Rights Watch, Democratic leaders from the House of Representatives announced on June 29 that they would oppose a US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) until Colombia shows evidence of sustained results in addressing…
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Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has granted special asylum rights to lesbian and gay Iranians. According to the ministry’s October 18 statement, the decision was motivated by Human Rights Watch’s forthcoming report on serious and systematic abuse…
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Human Rights Watch will honor Omid Memarian, an Iranian human rights activist who has creatively used the internet to press for a more open and democratic political regime in Iran, with it highest honor, the Human Rights Watch Defender Award, on November…
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Citing Human Rights Watch’s work, Dutch members of parliament successfully pressured Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk not to deport lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) asylum-seekers back to Iran, where they face the threat of torture, ill-…
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In response to our reports, the United States is paying closer attention to human rights concerns in the process of paramilitary demobilization in Colombia. Our work helped to spark interest in the issue by the U.S. Congress, which led to an unprecedented…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should build upon the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution on the human rights situation in Iran by re-establishing a Special Procedure to monitor and report on Iran’s implementation of the resolution’s…
News

Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should recommend the expansion of the United Nation’s human rights work in Colombia, including an increase in the number of permanent staff of the Office of the High Commissioner in Colombia, renegotiation of…
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In Colombia’s armed conflict, more than 11,000 child combatants fight for guerrilla and paramilitary groups, and account for one-fourth of the groups’ armed forces. The Colombian government took new steps toward ending the use of child combatants on…