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Police Reform Urgently Needed to Prevent Future Violations

(Washington, DC) – Members of the Colombian National Police have committed egregious abuses against mostly peaceful demonstrators in protests that began in April 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Colombia’s government should take urgent…
A member of ESMAD throws a tear gas grenade by hand at protesters on May 28, 2021 in Bogota, Colombia.
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Armed groups operating in the eastern Colombian state of Arauca and the neighboring Venezuelan state of Apure control people’s everyday lives through threats, kidnappings, forced labor, child recruitment, murder, and extortion. In Venezuela, they…
People disembark in Colombia after fleeing Venezuela's Apure state due to a Venezuelan military operation against armed groups in the region, as well as egregious abuses by Venezuelan security forces.
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Extrajudicial Executions, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture in Anti-Guerrilla Operation

(Washington, DC) – Venezuelan security forces have committed egregious abuses against local residents during a weeks-long operation against armed groups on the border with Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuelan security forces opened…
Venezuelans flee from security forces.
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Stop Prosecutions, Guarantee Freedom of Press

(Moscow) – Belarusian authorities have escalated repression against independent journalists in the past five months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have arbitrarily detained and beaten journalists, imposed fines and prison sentences on…
Katsiaryna Barysevich, a journalist for the independent TUT.BY news website enters a court room during a trial in Minsk on 19 February, 2021.
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Even before her 15-month-old daughter, Yamilet, died of malnutrition, María Clara Palmar Fernandez would sometimes have days when she could not provide any food for her children. “I’d hug them and cry because I could only give them water,” she told us…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.
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A case pending before Colombia’s Constitutional Court, brought by Causa Justa, creates a landmark opportunity to end an approach to abortion that violates the rights of women and health workers by decriminalizing this critically important health care…
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As the crackdown continues in Belarus, protesters have responded with humour - but UN action, or sanctions, could really help.

The brutal response to widespread post-electoral protests in Belarus has brought one tragic account after another of violence by security forces and torture in detention. But some Belarusians have been turning to dark humour on Google Reviews to…
Riot police stand guard during demonstrations against police violence in Minsk, Belarus, September 6, 2020. 
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Belarus woman
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It happened again on Sunday: Six young Colombians killed on a sidewalk in broad daylight, in an attack that reportedly involved rifles and grenades, in the troubled department of Cauca. There have been dozens of such mass killing nationwide this year…
A member of the security forces aims during a demonstration against police brutality in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 13, 2020.
News

International Scrutiny Is the Way to Get it

It is unusual for Belarus to feature in international news headlines, but it’s now been doing so for six weeks. Massive, popular and overwhelmingly peaceful protests have swept the country since the Aug. 9 contested re-election of the…
Belarusian security forces dragging protester
News

OSCE, UN Human Rights Council Inquiries Needed

(Berlin) – Belarusian security forces arbitrarily detained thousands of people and systematically subjected hundreds to torture and other ill- treatment in the days following the August 9, 2020 presidential election, Human Rights Watch said today…
Protesters objecting to the flawed August presidential election and the government's brutality, in march along the Independence Prospect during the "March of Unity" rally in Minsk, Belarus on Sunday, Sep. 6, 2020, Belarus.© 2020 SIPA USA via AP
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For weeks, hundreds of thousands of democracy demonstrators from all walks of life have taken to the streets in cities across Belarus. Their messages and demands are straightforward: release jailed dissenters, provide justice for the serious security…
Protesters in Belarus, Minsk, holding up their smartphones. August 25, 2020.
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“It’s change you wanted? Here is some change for you! Want some more? Next time you’ll know when to stay home!” This is what police shouted at the men at one of Minsk’s main detention centres, as they beat them mercilessly. Witnessing this was only…
People argue with police during a rally after the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, late Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020.
News
Colombia is facing the most critical stress test for its rule of law in the last decade. The international community should pay attention. On August 4, the country’s Supreme Court announced that it had ordered the pretrial house arrest of Senator…
Former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe arrives at the Supreme Court for questioning in a case about his alleged involvement in witness tampering in Bogotá, Colombia, Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
News

Improve Wayuu’s Access to Food, Water, Health During Covid-19

(New York) – The Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdown are making it even harder for the Wayuu, an indigenous group in Colombia and Venezuela, to survive, Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health said in a joint report…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.
News

Arrests, Criminal Charges, Police Beatings Ahead of August 9 Presidential Vote

(Berlin) – Police in Belarus have arbitrarily arrested journalists, bloggers, and political activists ahead of the August 9, 2020 presidential election and pressed charges against two potential candidates, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests…
Man waving Belorussian flag
News

Killings, Threats, and Social Control

(Washington, DC) – Armed groups in Colombia have committed killings and other abuses against civilians in an effort to enforce their own measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the arrival of the novel…
National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla members line up in their camp on the banks of the San Juan River, Chocó state, Colombia, on November 21, 2017. 
News

Vulnerable, Poor Communities at Risk of Further Abuse

  In parts of Colombia, armed groups exercise a frightening amount of control over the population. Now, some groups are threatening to brutally enforce measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Armed groups have issued threatening…
Colombia ELN soldiers