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“I felt like the world was ending for me,” an asylum seeker told us, describing her experience in immigration detention after fleeing her home country in Africa. “I thought, ‘Maybe I should have stayed back home and died there.’” She is only one of…
Image in shades of red with a fence in front of seated people.
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“The reason I came [to Canada] is to seek refuge, but the punishment I got for that – I never experienced that anywhere else,” Ebrahim Toure testified on November 16th from the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre at his detention review hearing, which…
People wait in a temporary detention center in Blackpool, Quebec, August 5, 2017.
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Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
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A Case-Study on the Treatment of Ethiopian Migrants

*From the IDC report Covid-19 Impacts on Immigration Detention: Global Responses* Saudi Arabia introduced measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 beginning in March 2020, including suspending religious pilgrimages and halting international and…
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My mobile phone vibrating next to my head far too early on a Sunday morning was the first indication someone was in trouble. Even in an organization such as Human Rights Watch, that spans time zones across the globe, people don’t usually call at that hour…
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It’s been 15 years since Ajith Debagama Kankanalamage, fled Sri Lanka after a decade of torture and sexual abuse by the military.  He thought he was headed to Canada, but he was abandoned by brokers without his passport or money in Hong…
Two mothers hold their children in their arms as they wait outside the immigration department's building in Hong Kong, China.
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‘They will kill us all,” “Ahmad,” a Syrian aid worker, told me last month, referring to the many armed parties to the Syrian conflict. We were talking about Idlib, a province in northwest Syria that is home to around 2…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Under a new agreement Somalia is sending between 600 and 1,000 domestic workers to Saudi Arabia in time for Ramadan. The month of fasting usually brings an increase in the demand for domestic workers as employers often host large iftar meals to break…
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Iran’s judiciary claims it has no political prisoners. Human Rights Watch set out to prove them wrong. Researcher Faraz Sanei speaks with Amy Braunschweiger about the new Human Rights Watch report, who Iran is persecuting and why, and if President Hassan…
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King Juan Carlos is visiting Kuwait and Bahrain this week, after Abu Dhabi and Qatar two weeks ago in a series of visits to the gulf region that will also take him to Oman and Saudi Arabia over the next two months. He is traveling with a high-level…
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Mohamed, a 22-year old Somali, was in Saudi Arabia and made a living washing cars. In late 2013, due to increasing government pressure on employers of undocumented workers, Mohammed was fired. In December, after several weeks without a job, he handed…
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Saudi Arabia's new terrorism law might look like a step forward, if only because it's written down. Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries with no written criminal penal code, and the penal regulations that authorities have issued are so vague that…
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Rizana Nafeek was a child herself -- 17 years old according to her birth certificate -- when a four-month-old baby died in her care in Saudi Arabia. She had migrated from Sri Lanka only weeks earlier to be a domestic worker for a Saudi family. Although…
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Parliament is currently debating legislation that would require one-year, mandatory detention for certain migrants arriving in Canada, including 16- and 17-year-old children. Ostensibly intended to prevent human smuggling, this bill in fact punishes…
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In the wake of the attacks against civilians in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s rulers pledged to make foreigners and citizens safe from terror. But there is another campaign that needs to be fought with similar vigour, against the exploitation and abuse of…