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Independent Investigation, Alignment with International Standards Needed

(Washington, DC) – Facebook has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including about human rights abuses carried out in Israel and Palestine during the May 2021 hostilities. The company’s acknowledgment of…
A Palestinian demonstrator holds a banner of the Facebook logo.
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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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Leaked List of Over 2,000 Detainees Demonstrates Automated Repression

(New York) – A big data program for policing in China’s Xinjiang region arbitrarily selects Turkic Muslims for possible detention, Human Rights Watch said today. A leaked list of over 2,000 detainees from Aksu prefecture provided to Human Rights Watch…
2020 Badiucao for Human Rights Watch
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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.…
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Arrests, Jail for Violating ‘Family Values'

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities have since late April 2020 carried out an abusive campaign targeting female social media influencers on charges that violate their rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and nondiscrimination, Human Rights Watch said…
Egyptian influencers Hanin Hossam and Mawadda al-Adham, who were sentenced to two years in prison on charges of violating public morals, on the video-sharing app TikTok in Egypt's capital Cairo.
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Authorities Regulate Infrastructure, Block Content

Note: This article features explainers. Click on the highlighted terms to see a short explainer. (Moscow) – Russia has significantly expanded laws and regulations tightening control over internet infrastructure, online content, and the privacy of…
Demonstrators, with a poster on the right reading "internet is our only chance," attend the Free Internet rally in response to a bill making its way through parliament calling for all internet traffic to be routed through servers in Russia— making VPNs (virtual private networks) ineffective, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 10, 2019.
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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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Unlawful Lethal Force, Families Threatened, Cover-Ups

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities have failed to hold security forces accountable for excessive and unlawful use of lethal force in confronting large-scale protests that began on November 15, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Members of the…
Iranian protesters gather around a burning car during a demonstration against an increase in gasoline prices in the capital Tehran, on November 16, 2019.
News

Leaders Arrested Ahead of Disputed Presidential Elections

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities have arrested scores of pro-democracy movement activists since September 2019. Many remain detained on vague charges such as “harming national unity” and “undermining the morale of the army.” The…
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Total Security Force Killings Since Protests Resumed at Over 100

(Beirut) – Security forces have fired teargas cartridges directly at protesters in Baghdad, Iraq on numerous occasions since protests resumed on October 25, 2019, killing at least 16, Human Rights Watch said today. The dead are among the…
Protesters in Tahrir Square arrange the tear gas canisters that security forces fired at them in Tahrir Square in different patriotic constellations.
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Repressive Laws Sap Free Expression

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities are using laws on criminal defamation, “spreading false information,” and “harming others via public telecommunications networks” to prosecute people for their online commentary, Human Rights Watch said…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.
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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
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Disproportionately Huge Fines; Ban on Links with Foreign Groups

(Beirut) – Egypt’s parliament approved a new law governing nongovernment organizations on July 14, 2019 that would maintain many of the existing restrictions on their work, Human Rights Watch said today. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi…
Prominent rights activist and journalist Hossam Baghat, center, leaves a courtroom at the Cairo Criminal Court on March 24, 2016. In recent years, Egyptian authorities have relentlessly prosecuted leading human rights and civil society activists for their
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Olympic Officials Should Ensure Reporters’ Safety

(Berlin) – Belarusian authorities have carried out concerted attacks on media freedom over the past two years that directly affect the climate in which news media will cover the country before, during, and after the upcoming European Games,…
The office of the Belarusian news website, Tut.by. The Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus has ordered the detention of some Tut.by staff, along with other media workers, alleging they had unauthorized access to information owned by governm
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Referendum Set in Grossly Unfree, Rights-Abusive Environment

(Beirut) – The Egyptian government should withdraw proposed constitutional amendments that will consolidate authoritarian rule, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said today. The amendments will…
People walk past a banner supporting proposed amendments to the Egyptian constitution with a poster of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi  in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. © 2019 AP Images/Amr Nabil
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Arrests, Charges Lead to Self-Censorship

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities are investigating, charging, and in some cases detaining bloggers and social media activists merely for their peaceful criticism of public officials, Human Rights Watch said today. Several said they have begun to…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.
News

Students on Trial Despite Right to Free Speech

(Berlin) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has chosen to drop a complaint against four Ankara students he accused of “insulting the president” for holding up a satirical banner, Human Rights Watch said today. The students’ trial is due to…
The graduation ceremony at Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, July 6. 2018. The banner carried by students accused of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is among the hundreds laid out at the ceremony.
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Detention, Prosecutions Over Criticisms of Turkish Army Actions in Syria

(Berlin) – Turkish authorities have detained and prosecuted large numbers of people in recent weeks over social media posts criticizing Turkey’s military operation in the northwest Syrian district of Afrin, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Nurcan Baysal, journalist; Ali Erol, LGBT activist; Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, medical doctor;  Kutay  Meriç, executive member of rights group "Halkevleri" (from upper left corner clockwise)
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NetzDG is Wrong Response to Online Abuse

(Berlin) – The new German law that compels social media companies to remove hate speech and other illegal content can lead to unaccountable, overbroad censorship and should be promptly reversed, Human Rights Watch said today. The law sets a…
Session of the German lower house of Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, February 1, 2018.
News

Russians Targeted for Links to Foreign ‘Undesirable’ Groups

(Berlin) – The Russian government has intensified enforcement of the country’s repressive legislation on foreign “undesirable” organizations to intimidate Russian nationals and groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials are penalizing Russian…
Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 2010.