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Concerted Action Needed to Counter Rule of Law Threats in Poland and Hungary

(Brussels) – European Union affairs ministers should put the governments of Hungary and Poland on notice that there is no place for attacks on the rule of law in the EU and step up scrutiny of their human rights-abusive policies, Amnesty International…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Mark Istanbul Convention’s 10th Anniversary with Action

(Berlin) – Council of Europe member states should reinforce efforts to combat violence against women by swiftly ratifying and carrying out a landmark regional convention on women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released…
People gathered in Istanbul in March 2021 to protest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty designed to safeguard women from gender-based violence. 
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Human Rights Groups Submit Brief to Constitutional Court

(Washington, DC) – Colombian authorities should respect the right of peaceful assembly and ensure independent and impartial investigations of police use of force, including killings against protesters, Human Rights Watch and Robert F. Kennedy Human…
Police detain an anti-government demonstrator during a nationwide strike in Bogota, Colombia, on November 21, 2019.
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Over 400 Killings of Community, Other Leaders Since 2016

(Washington, DC) – Armed group killings of human rights defenders are pervasive across Colombia, yet the government is dragging its feet in carrying out policies to prevent them, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 127-page…
Indigenous peoples and others participate in a demonstration calling for better government protection of people in the country’s remote communities, on October 21, 2020, in Bogotá, Colombia. Indigenous people have been disproportionately affected by killings of human rights defenders in Colombia.
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No Accountability for 24 Detainee Deaths in March

(New York) – A new report by international forensic experts commissioned by Human Rights Watch points to the intentional killing of detainees during a prison riot in March 2020 in Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 21, 24 prisoners…
Inmates point from inside of La Modelo prison in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, March 22, 2020.
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(Berlin) – The Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling to invalidate the constitutionality of access to abortion on the ground of “severe and irreversible fetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the fetus’ life” will further harm women and…
Protestors prepare to take part in a car demonstration organized by Women's Strike against imposing further restrictions on abortion law in Poland.
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Salvatore Mancuso Oversaw Large-Scale Abuses, Has Critical Information

(New York) – The Colombian government should urgently exhaust all legal avenues to secure the extradition of a former paramilitary commander, Salvatore Mancuso, from the United States, Human Rights Watch said today. Mancuso, a former top…
Colombian paramilitary warlord Salvatore Mancuso is escorted by US DEA agents on May 13, 2008 upon his arrival to Opa-locka, Florida.
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Respect Freedom of Expression, Equality for Everyone

(Brussels) – Polish authorities should stop trying to silence activists who support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people’s rights, and instead promote and protect the right to equality, Human Rights Watch said today. In recent weeks,…
The Mermaid of Warsaw statue is seen holding the LGBT rainbow flag and wearing a pink mask with the anarcha-queer symbol in Warsaw, Poland July 29, 2020 in this image taken from social media.
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Government, Ruling Party Should Respect Judicial Independence

(New York) – The Supreme Court’s August 3, 2020 decision to order the pretrial house arrest of former president and senator Alvaro Uribe is a critical test for the rule of law in Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. The administration of President…
Alvaro Uribe, Colombia's former president, attends a debate as a senator at the Congress in Bogota, Colombia, October 3, 2016. © 2016 Reuters
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Ensure That All Who Qualify Are Able to Vote

(Budapest) – Poland should demonstrate that it can both ensure a free and fair vote and protect public health in upcoming presidential elections, Human Rights Watch said today. If not, Poland should postpone the vote for the shortest time necessary…
Polish lower house of Parliament, Sejm,  April 15, 2020.
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Don’t Manipulate Pandemic to Endanger Women, Adolescents

UPDATE: On April 16, 2020, the Polish Parliament sent both the “Stop Abortion” bill and the “Stop Pedophilia” bill to committee for “further work.” This decision means neither bill has been rejected, but further consideration has been postponed…
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Unsanitary Cells Prime Condition for Spreading Virus Outside Walls

(New York) – The unsanitary, overcrowded prisons and juvenile detention centers in most Latin American and Caribbean countries offer prime conditions for outbreaks of COVID-19 that could severely affect the health of detainees and of…
Inmates point from inside of La Modelo prison in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, March 22, 2020.
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Beatings, Expulsions of Venezuelans, Arbitrary Detentions

(New York) – The Colombian National Police, in a number of instances, abused the mostly peaceful demonstrators protesting throughout the country in late 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Efforts to ensure accountability have been limited.…
Police detain an anti-government demonstrator during a nationwide strike in Bogota, Colombia, on November 21, 2019.
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Human Rights Watch Submits Brief to Constitutional Court

(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s Constitutional Court should uphold women’s rights in deciding a case regarding access to abortion, Human Rights Watch today. Human Rights Watch submitted an amicus brief in the case to the court on January 30, 2020.…
Women organize green cloth banners to be placed on sculptures of Colombian artist Fernando Botero during a protest in Medellin, Colombia on September 28, 2019.
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New Draconian Restrictions on Judicial Independence

(Budapest) – President Andrzej Duda of Poland should veto a law allowing the government to punish or even fire judges who criticize its restrictions on the courts. The measure would even apply to judges who are performing their obligations in…
Polish judges, joined by judges from other European countries, wear their robes during a January 11 protest against proposed reforms that would undermine judicial independence.
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Killings, Forced Labor, Child Recruitment

(Bogotá) – Armed groups use brutal violence to control peoples’ daily lives in the eastern Colombian province of Arauca and the neighboring Venezuelan state of Apure, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report…
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Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished

(Bogotá) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report, “…
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Response to LGBT-Themed Artwork Threatens Free Speech, Gender Equality

(Berlin) – The arrest of a woman over a picture of a religious icon with a rainbow halo on May 6, 2019 is the latest attempt by Polish authorities to target LGBT and gender equality activists. Government officials allege the work is blasphemous and…
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Move Could Delay Badly Needed Progress

(Washington, DC) – Colombian President Iván Duque’s partial veto of a transitional justice bill could undermine and delay progress toward justice for wartime atrocities, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 10, 2019, Duque announced that he…
President Ivan Duque
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Toxic Message to Troops; Blow for Victims

(Washington, DC) – The Colombian government has appointed at least nine officers credibly implicated in extrajudicial executions and other abuses to key positions of the army, Human Rights Watch said today. At least three of the…
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