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At least 60 investigated for social media posts since October 17

(Beirut) – Fourteen Lebanese and international organizations announced on July 13, 2020 the formation of a “Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression in Lebanon” to oppose the Lebanese authorities’ attempts to stifle free speech and opinion in the…
Lebanese protesters wave national flags during demonstrations to demand better living conditions on October 21, 2019 in downtown Beirut.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Repeal Criminal Sanctions for Defamation, Criticizing Officials

(Beirut) – A Lebanese activist was arrested on March 21, 2017, and faces charges over a Facebook post criticizing public officials, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrest and detention of the activist, Ahmad Amhaz, is incompatible with Lebanon’s human…
Lebanese security forces block a street leading to the parliament building in downtown Beirut, Lebanon September 9, 2015.
News

Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Ruthless Assault on Press Freedom Shields State from Scrutiny

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s government has all but silenced independent media in an effort to prevent scrutiny or criticism of its ruthless crackdown on perceived enemies, Human Rights Watch said today. The assault on critical journalism sharpened in…
Journalists targeted in Turkey’s media crackdown. From top left: Aslı Erdoğan, Ahmet Altan, Kadri Gürsel, Necmiye Alpay; Erdem Gül, Ceyda Karan, Can Dündar, Hatice Kamer; Refik Tekin, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Nedim Oruç, Nazlı Ilıcak
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Cumhuriyet Journalists Held; Kurdish Media Closed; Mayors Jailed

(Istanbul) – The detention of journalists from independent newspaper Cumhuriyet, the closure of the remaining Kurdish media, and the jailing of elected mayors in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir in the space of two days is evidence of the deepening…
2016-10-31-turkey-newspaper-protest
News

Protect Free Speech, Right to Protest, Rule of Law

(Istanbul) – Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is taking far-reaching steps to weaken the rule of law, control the media and Internet, and clamp down on critics and protestors, Human Rights Watch said…
News

Powers to Block Websites, Collect Online Data Violate Rights

(Istanbul) – New legal amendments giving the Turkish authorities broad powers to block websites and to amass users’ internet activity data should be overturned, Human Rights Watch said today. The new measures deepen existing internet censorship in Turkey…
News
The choice of Turkey as the location for the world’s annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) might have been the conference’s most fundamental problem. But it was not the only one. Thousands of stakeholders from around the globe gathered to discuss how to…
News

Roll Back Regressive Laws

(Istanbul) – Turkey, the host of a UN-sponsored Internet forum September 2-5, 2014 in Istanbul, has an abysmal record of protecting free expression online. In recent months, the Turkish government has expanded its powers to censor online content and to…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
News

Jail for Journalists Publishing Leaks, Immunity for Intelligence Personnel

(Istanbul) – A new law on Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency greatly increases its surveillance powers while threatening journalists who expose its abuses with prison terms, Human Rights Watch said today. The law would decrease state accountability,…
News

Twitter Remains Restricted Despite Court Ruling

(Istanbul) – The Turkish government’s decision to close down YouTube by administrative order is a disastrous move for freedom of expression and the right to access information in Turkey. The government similarly closed down Twitter on March 21. The…
News

Changes Raise Privacy, Free Expression Concerns

(London) - President Abdullah Gul should veto a swathe of new amendments to Turkey’s already restrictive Internet Law. The Turkish parliament on the evening of February 5, 2014, voted into law a series of measures that will tighten government control over…
News

European Court Rules Against Government in Google Sites Case

(Istanbul) – The Turkish government should promptly stop unlawfully blocking websites. On December 18, 2012, the European Court of Human Rights ruled, in the case of Ahmet Yıldırım v. Turkey, that blocking Google Sites in Turkey violated the right to…