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Government Should Prioritize Prevention, Eradication, and Services for Survivors

On August 14, Ecuador commemorated the country’s first national day against sexual violence in schools. A year ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Ecuador responsible for the violations of Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s rights. Paola, who…
Judges at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hear the case Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s mother brought against Ecuador in San José, Costa Rica on January 28, 2020.
News

President Should Veto Problematic Provisions of New Law

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has until June 10, 2021 to act on the recently-passed Law to Prevent Violence, Digital Harassment, and Violation of Privacy. The law addresses important issues regarding gender-based violence and violence against…
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso attends the change of military command
News

EU Should Press for Inquiry Over Death of Rights Defender

On July 25, 2020, Azimjon Askarov, a 69-year-old human rights defender from Kyrgyzstan, died in prison after contracting pneumonia. Askarov had been in prison for 10 years, having been given a life sentence following an unjust and unfair trial in 2010…
Azimzhan Askarov Pictured here during hearings at the Bishkek regional court, Kyrgyzstan, October 4th, 2016.  
News

Both Sides Should Abide by Laws of War

Update: On May 3, 2021, Tajik authorities reported that 14 houses were fully destroyed, 4 buildings including a secondary school were damaged, and 15,000 people were evacuated from the three districts of Isfara, in Tajikistan’s Sughd region,…
Cars damaged during a firefight on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border are seen near the settlement of Koi-Tash, Batken region, Kyrgyzstan, April 30, 2021.
News

Authorities Should Provide Justice, End to Deadly Crime Against Women

On April 5, several men abducted 27-year-old Aizada Kanatbekova in broad daylight in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek. One of them had allegedly been stalking her for months. Two days later, a farmer found Kanatbekova’s body in a car outside Bishkek…
People attend a rally for the protection of women's rights in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, protesting the kidnapping and killing of Aizada Kanatbekova, April 8, 2021. The banner reads, "The Authorities are Responsible for Femicide."
News

Authorities Should Investigate Attacks, Ensure Accountability

Riots that broke out in four large prisons in Ecuador on February 23 have left at least 79 detainees dead. The prisons, located in Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Latacunga, host 70 percent of Ecuador’s prison population nationwide. These violent events are an…
Tear gas rises from parts of Turi jail where an inmate riot broke out in Cuenca, Ecuador, February 23, 2021.
News

Self-Defence Against Domestic Violence Should Count at Trial

Gulzhan Pasanova could spend 10 years in prison because in defending herself from her abusive husband, he died. On October 22, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan will consider her case on appeal. In November 2019, Pasanova’s husband, accusing her of…
Cartoon about Domestic Violence by Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Authorities Need to Safeguard Democratic Processes

It has been a week since people in Kyrgyzstan took to the street to contest the outcome of Kyrgyzstan’s October 4 parliamentary elections. While protesters succeeded in pushing the Central Election Committee to annul the outcome of the elections,…
Protesters react waving Kyrgyz national flags as they wait for Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sadyr Zhaparov speech in front of the government building in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020.
News

Proposed Health Code Would Improve Protection for Women, Girls, LGBTI People

Ecuador’s National Assembly has approved a new health code that would help all in Ecuador enjoy better access to health care. The bill, nearly 8 years in the making, was approved on August 25 by a vote of 79 to 58, and now requires the signature of…
The flag of Ecuador. 
News

Government Should Fully Implement Inter-American Court Ruling

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights last week ruled against Ecuador in its first ever case on school-related sexual violence in the Americas. In 2001, a public school vice principal in the city of Guayaquil began raping a 14-year-old pupil,…
The flag of Ecuador. 
News

Ministerial Resolution Endangers Protesters

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court holds a public hearing today to discuss whether a recent ministerial resolution giving the military broad powers to use lethal force is constitutional. The resolution also allows armed forces to participate in public…
Soldiers in riot gear arrive to reinforce authorities after street merchants protested the seizure of their merchandise by the municipal police of Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, May 21, 2020.
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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…
News

Man Who Abused Wife in Viral Video Sentenced to Probation Only

After years of monitoring violence against women in Kyrgyzstan, and seeing little done to punish abusers, we thought this time might finally be different. It wasn’t. It looked like an open and shut case. The horrific abuse was captured on video…
An artistic representation of a domestic violence case in Kyrgyzstan. © Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Calls to Strengthen Justice and Support for Abuse Survivors

A video depicting horrific domestic abuse, circulating recently on social media in Kyrgyzstan, shows a man slapping his wife and pouring water over her head. The woman’s hands are tied behind her back, and tires, weighted down with stones, hang over her…
An artistic representation of a domestic violence case in Kyrgyzstan.
News

Authorities should investigate and bring those responsible to justice

Police in Guayaquil, Ecuador – the heart of the country’s coronavirus epidemic – used apparent excessive force to break up a peaceful protest held on May 14 by civil society groups, beating and injuring demonstrators.  The 40…
People transporting the remains of deceased loved ones wait in a slow moving line outside Jardines de la Esperanza Cemetery to hold burials in Guayaquil, Ecuador, April 6, 2020.
News

Afro, Indigenous Communities Especially at Risk

  Internally displaced people in Colombia often live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to water and food. These families, who fled violence in their home regions and often struggle economically, face further risk from Covid-19.…
A photograph sent to Human Rights Watch showing the living conditions of a displaced indigenous community in Buenaventura, Colombia. Their limited access to water and health services means that Covid-19 could spread quickly through the community.
News

Azimjon Askarov’s Final Appeal to Be Heard May 13

After nearly 10 years in prison, an ailing human rights defender will plead his case for freedom before Kyrgyzstan’s highest court this week.   Azimjon Askarov, who is serving a lifetime sentence after multiple, egregious …
Ethnic Uzbek journalist Azimzhan Askarov, who was arbitrarily arrested, tortured, convicted after an unfair trial and jailed for life looks through metal bars during hearings at the Bishkek regional court, Kyrgyzstan.
News

State of Emergency Can’t Bar Access to Justice

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has issued an important decision upholding the fundamental right to an effective remedy for human rights violations amidst the country’s current state of emergency. The April 28 ruling comes after a series of…
Families wearing masks wait outside their homes in the neighborhood of Cristo del Consuelo for food handouts from the local government in Guayaquil, Ecuador, April 14, 2020.
News

Domestic Violence Services Need to Be Classified As “Essential”

Under Kyrgyzstan’s present state of emergency, which includes a curfew from 8pm to 7am, it has become a lot more difficult for women to escape domestic violence. Many are too afraid to call the police or help centres, says Tolkun Tulekova, acting…
Cartoon about Domestic Violence by Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Unjust Detention of Azimjon Askarov Puts His Health at Risk

Governments in Central Asia have in recent days stepped up measures to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. On March 22, Kyrgyzstan’s government declared a state of emergency and introduced restrictions on public life. Such measures are…
Ethnic Uzbek journalist Azimzhan Askarov, who was arbitrarily arrested, tortured, convicted after an unfair trial and jailed for life looks through metal bars during hearings at the Bishkek regional court, Kyrgyzstan.