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Rainbow Railroad Operates in Secret to Bring People to Safety

The human rights and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan threatens everyone there, but lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and other sexual and gender minorities, face an acute threat of violence and even death from the Taliban…
Taliban fighters at checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan
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Improve Shelter Funding; Increase Access for Sex Workers, LGBT, Undocumented Survivors

(Johannesburg) – The South African government has taken important steps but did not provide adequate funding for shelters and other services for gender-based violence survivors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many survivors have been made more…
General view during the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) protest march organized by the Office of The Premier in collaboration with Phepha Foundation on April 26, 2021 in Durban, South Africa.
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Detention, Ill-Treatment of Poor, Gay, and Transgender People

(Nairobi) – Rwandan authorities rounded up and arbitrarily detained over a dozen gay and transgender people, sex workers, street children, and others in the months before a planned June 2021 high-profile international conference, Human Rights…
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left), then Foreign Secretary, and Paul Kagame (right), President of Rwanda, meet during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, April 17, 2018.
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Extreme Anti-LGBT Bill Stokes Hostility

(Johannesburg) – Arbitrary arrests and detention of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Ghana, and a proposed draconian anti-LGBT bill are causing serious economic hardship and psychological stress for LGBT people, Human Rights…
Area 51 Police Station, Ho, Ghana: A.G, a lesbian, was held here for 22 days from May 20, 2021 with four other lesbians after being arbitrarily arrested at a human rights workshop in Ho, Volta region. © 2021 Wendy Isaack/Human Rights Watch, 15 July 2021
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Enforced Disappearances, Incommunicado Detention, Groundless Deportation

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities have forcibly disappeared at least four Pakistani men since October 2020 and deported at least six others without explanation, apparently based solely on their religious background, Human Rights Watch said…
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Repeal Law, Protect LGBT Rights

(Nairobi) – Cameroonian security forces have arbitrarily arrested, beaten, or threatened at least 24 people, including a 17-year-old boy, for alleged consensual same-sex conduct or gender nonconformity, since February 2021,…
Njeuken Loic (known as “Shakiro”) and Mouthe Roland (known as “Patricia”), two transgender women, in a Douala prison.
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Investigate, Protect Rights Defenders, End Hateful Rhetoric

Update: Poland’s Ministry of the Interior responded to Human Rights Watch’s request for information and comment on our findings in a four-page letter dated April 8, 2021. The letter states that the government adheres to international law guaranteeing…
Protesters hold a banner of Strajk Kobiet (Women's Strike) during a protest in Warsaw on March 8,  International Women's Day, organized by the Women's Strike (Strajk Kobiet) against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the decision of the Constitutional Court.
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Ensure Rights to Personal Security, Privacy, Nondiscrimination

(Berlin) – Men in Uzbekistan who engage in consensual same-sex sexual conduct face arbitrary detention, prosecution, and imprisonment as well as homophobia, threats, and extortion, Human Rights Watch said today. Uzbekistan should guarantee rights to…
The Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Independence Square, Mustakillik Maydoni, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
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UN Experts Should Investigate

(Beirut) – Tunisian security forces have repeatedly targeted protesters, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) activists at protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The targeting involved arbitrary arrests, physical…
Protesters gather in Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, Tunisia on February 6, 2021.
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Women Athletes Undergoing Invasive Medical Procedures without Consent

After training for hours on end, year after year, some women athletes – particularly those competing on the world stage – are getting their careers and successes ripped away because of “sex testing,” practices, which are invasive and medically unnecessary…
A woman holds a photo of a group of female runners competing
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Discrimination Follows them from Home to the US Border

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, sometimes called the Northern Triangle, often face violence and discrimination from their families, gangs, and even the police. When they try to seek asylum…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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New Human Rights Watch Campaign Against Whitewashing Rights Violations

(Beirut) – The Saudi government has spent billions of dollars hosting major entertainment, cultural, and sporting events as a deliberate strategy to deflect from the country’s image as a pervasive human rights violator, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Nicki Minaj
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Arbitrary Arrests, Discrimination, Entrapment, Privacy Violations

(Beirut) – Egyptian police and National Security Agency officers arbitrarily arrest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and detain them in inhuman conditions, systematically subject them to ill-treatment including torture, and often…
© 2020 John Holmes for Human Rights Watch
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Men, Transgender Women Particularly Vulnerable, Lacking Services

During Syria’s civil war, many people have been subjected to sexual violence, resulting in ongoing trauma. Many of these victims are men and they have described how such violence gets worse if they are considered gay, or “soft” as the local term…
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Government Needs to Clarify Gender-Based Quarantine System

(Washington DC) – Six transgender people have been stopped by security officials in Panama in recent weeks for allegedly violating Covid-19 curfew rules based on gender, even though the government had promised to resolve the problem, Human Rights…
Women practice social distancing as they wait in line to enter a supermarket, on a day that men must stay indoors in Panama City on April 3, 2020.
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Fumino Sugiyama is a father, a business owner, a trans rights activist, and the director of Tokyo Pride. But before all that, he was an international athlete and a member of Japan’s women’s fencing team.  This summer, Japan was supposed to be…
Fumino Sugiyama, a transgender man, holds his Japanese ID card, which reads “female,” at his home in Tokyo.
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New Government Should Suspend Abusive Laws

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s new government, approved by Parliament on February 27, 2020, should make human rights a priority, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should protect fundamental rights in eight key areas: ending criminal…
A general view of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People in Tunis, Tunisia, May 2016.
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Collective Sanctions on 2018 Participants

(Beirut) – Lebanese General Security has banned a group of activists and academics from re-entering Lebanon following their participation in a September 2018 conference on gender and sexuality, Human Rights Watch, the Arab Foundation…
People wave a Lebanese national flag during a protest in Central Beirut December 11, 2006.
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Trafficking, Exploitation, Torture, Abusive Prison Conditions

(Addis Ababa) – Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison…
African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. © AFP/Getty Images
News

Police Detain, Torture Men in Grozny

(Moscow) – Police in Chechnya have carried out a new round of unlawful detentions, beatings, and humiliation of men they presume to be gay or bisexual, Human Rights Watch said today. The new abuses come against a backdrop of…
Illustration based on a detainee's testimony about abuse inflicted on him in detention in the Grozny Internal Affairs Department compound, in Chechnya because of his presumed sexual orientation.