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Bill Would Have Criminalized Wide Range of Peaceful Expression

In a win for online freedom in Iraq, in February the Iraqi parliament said it will stop pushing forward a cybercrimes draft law until after it is amended so that it protects rather than infringes upon free speech. As it stood, the law would have…
Woman holding up a sign in Arabic
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Those Arrested Have a Right to Speedy and Fair Trails

Several members of Iraq’s parliament and the province’s deputy governor visited prisons near Mosul, Iraq, calling what they found a “humanitarian catastrophe.” This happened two days after Human Rights Watch released research detailing…
Women’s cell at Tal Kayf prison, taken in April 2019 and shared confidentially with Human Rights Watch, shows extreme overcrowding at the prison.
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The Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch supports Iranian women activists and feminists in their call for freedom and equality.  For over three decades, Iranian women have resisted gender discrimination and been at the forefront on the struggle…
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Following advocacy by Human Rights Watch, the head of Iran’s Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi, suspended the sentence of a jailed women’s rights activist on November 10. The activist, Delaram Ali, was detained in 2006 after participating in a peaceful…
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On October 6, the British government announced that it will allow Iraqi interpreters and other key support staff to settle in the United Kingdom. Iraqis who worked for British forces are particularly vulnerable to being targeted by insurgents and militia…
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Following high-profile media reports about Iraqi interpreters whose lives are threatened because they worked for British forces, the British government announced on August 7 that it will review its policy of non-preferential treatment for Iraqi employees…
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On July 27 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF announced a $129 million joint appeal to provide education for Iraqi refugee children in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Jordan also announced that it will give all Iraqi…
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Following intense advocacy by Human Rights Watch, Democratic leaders from the House of Representatives announced on June 29 that they would oppose a US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) until Colombia shows evidence of sustained results in addressing…
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On May 17, the United Nations General Assembly rejected a bid by Belarus, which has an appalling human rights record, for a seat on the Human Rights Council, signaling that the rights records of Council members matter. Working with a global coalition of…
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(New York, May 10, 2007) – On May 17, the United Nations General Assembly will hold elections for 14 of the 47 seats on the new Human Rights Council. Shockingly, among the states seeking election is Belarus, a state that does not come close to meeting the…
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The US Army in January ordered the court-martial of Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Jordan, a key official allegedly implicated in detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Jordan is the first military officer to be charged under the doctrine of command…
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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on January 8 that it would double the amount of aid it will request in 2007 for Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons. In November Human Rights Watch released a major report highlighting…
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Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has granted special asylum rights to lesbian and gay Iranians. According to the ministry’s October 18 statement, the decision was motivated by Human Rights Watch’s forthcoming report on serious and systematic abuse…
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Human Rights Watch will honor Omid Memarian, an Iranian human rights activist who has creatively used the internet to press for a more open and democratic political regime in Iran, with it highest honor, the Human Rights Watch Defender Award, on November…
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Citing Human Rights Watch’s work, Dutch members of parliament successfully pressured Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk not to deport lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) asylum-seekers back to Iran, where they face the threat of torture, ill-…
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In a new report by Human Rights Watch, United States soldiers have for the first time come forward to describe torture and other abuse by the U.S. military in Iraq, and the failure of superior officers to stop it. Human Rights Watch's report has…
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In response to our reports, the United States is paying closer attention to human rights concerns in the process of paramilitary demobilization in Colombia. Our work helped to spark interest in the issue by the U.S. Congress, which led to an unprecedented…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should continue a special procedure with regard to human rights violations in Iraq. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Iraq should be extended and broadened so that it expressly authorizes monitoring and…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should build upon the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution on the human rights situation in Iran by re-establishing a Special Procedure to monitor and report on Iran’s implementation of the resolution’s…