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Protect Asylum Seekers, Press Myanmar to End Persecution

(Bangkok) – Southeast Asian leaders should urgently adopt concrete plans for addressing the crisis facing ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar and abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. Leaders of the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (…
Local fishermen help Rohingya asylum seekers as they arrive in North Aceh, Indonesia, June 25, 2020.
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End Pushbacks, Grant Access to Aid and Asylum

(Bangkok) – Malaysia and Thailand should urgently rescue Rohingya refugees stranded at sea and provide them with assistance and access to asylum, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 8, 2020, Malaysian authorities detained 269 Rohingya refugees who…
A boat carries Rohingya refugees off the coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, April 5, 2020.
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Covid-19 No Basis for Pushing Back Boats

  (Bangkok) – Malaysia’s government is risking lives by pushing back overloaded boats of Rohingya refugees, Human Rights Watch said today. The government can appropriately respond to the Covid-19 pandemic without blocking life-saving rescues…
A screenshot of an exhausted Rohingya refugee receiving aid from the Bangladeshi coast guard. ©2020 Bangladeshi Coast Guard/Facebook
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Lacks Specificity, Full Range of Protections Urgently Needed

(Moscow) – A draft law made public on November 29, 2019 fails to address serious gaps in Russia’s response to domestic violence , Human Rights Watch said today. In a December 6 letter to the Federation Council, the upper…
At a Moscow rally in support of domestic violence legislation, a woman holds a banner that reads "We demand a law against domestic violence. We are not killed yet, but we're close", Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.
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Activist Faces Likely Persecution for Her Peaceful Protests in Thailand

(New York) – Malaysian authorities forcibly returned a Thai asylum seeker to Thailand where she faces likely persecution for her peaceful political activities, Human Rights Watch said today. Praphan Pipithnamporn, who was…
Praphan Pipithnamporn, a UNHCR-recognized asylum seeker, was sent back by Malaysian authorities to Thailand to face persecution for her peaceful protests. © 2019 Private
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Legislative Changes, Stronger Police Action Needed

(Moscow) – Russian authorities often fail to protect women from domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Serious gaps in Russia’s laws, the lack of protection orders, and inadequate police and judicial responses leave…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
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Use September 7 Meeting to Address Arbitrary Detentions, Disappearances, Abductions

(Beirut) – The Astana working group on detentions and abductions in the Syrian conflict should take immediate steps to address the Syrian government’s arbitrary detentions, torture of detainees, and enforced disappearances, 11 human…
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. © 2018 Tolga Bozoglu/Pool Photo via AP
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Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
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Repressive Laws, Charges Against Critics, Impunity for Abuse

(Moscow) – The Russian government escalated its crackdown on the political opposition and peaceful protesters during 2017, in advance of the 2018 elections, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. The government also took…
Riot police detain a man during an anti-corruption protest on Tverskaya Street in central Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2017.
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Risk of Torture, Ill-Treatment

  UPDATE: On August 4, the European Court of Human Rights issued a preliminary injunction ordering Russia not to deport Khodoberdi Nurmatov to Uzbekistan, until the court can review his case.   (Moscow) – An Uzbek…
Ali Feruz at Basmanny district court in Moscow waiting for his hearing in the evening of August 1, 2017.
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Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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Parliament Should Reject Measure That Harms Families

Update: On February 7, 2017, President Putin signed the bill into law. On February 1, 2017, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament adopted the amendments. On January 27, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament adopted the…
Russian activist protesting decriminalization of domestic violence in front of Russia’s state parliament building.
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I started working to help refugees in 1975 after watching TV images of Vietnamese refugees hanging from the landing skids of helicopters that took off from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon. As an American, I was acutely aware these refugees…
US Secretary of State Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, and UN Envoy for Syria de Mistura address the media in Vienna.
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Fast-Track Returns Put Refugees at Risk

(Moscow) – Norway should stop using fast-track procedures to return asylum seekers to Russia based on the presumption that it is a safe country of asylum for them, Human Rights Watch said today. Russian and Norwegian authorities plan to meet on February 3…
Refugees and migrants gather near a checkpoint on the Russian-Norwegian border in Murmansk region, Russia on October 30, 2015.
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Demand End of Abuses in Burma, Access for Refugee Protection

(Bangkok) – Governments gathering in Bangkok on May 29, 2015, to discuss the Southeast Asia boat people crisis should reach binding agreements to save people at sea, permit them to disembark without conditions, and ensure unimpeded access for United…
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Return of 3 At-Risk Tamils Violates Malaysia’s International Obligations

(Kuala Lumpur) – Sri Lankan authorities should ensure the safety of two refugees and an asylum seeker whom Malaysiaforcibly returned to Sri Lanka in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said today. All three were under the protection of the…
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Don’t Extradite Refugee to Country Where he Risks Unfair Trial

January 9, 2014 Update On January 9, 2014, a court in Aix-en-Provence, France approved extradition requests filed by both Russia and Ukraine for the former BTA bank chairman and opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov. The court said Russia should take…
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Statement on Meeting in Moscow

(Moscow) – After meeting with Edward Snowden on July 12, 2013, Human Rights Watch reiterated its call for his asylum claims to receive fair treatment. Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director at Human Rights Watch, met with the former United States…
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More Uighur Asylum Seekers Denied Basic Protections

(New York) – Malaysia’s secret forced return to China of six Uighurs with pending asylum claims on December 31, 2012, was a grave violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the Malaysian government today.  An upcoming February…
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Russian Opposition Activist Vanished in Kyiv, Turned Up in Russia

(Moscow) – Ukrainian authorities should initiate a prompt and impartial investigation into the disappearance from Ukraine on October 19, 2012, of a Russian asylum seeker, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed serious concern that…