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One Year On, No Justice in Military Tribunal Proceedings

(Nairobi) – A military tribunal in Cameroon has sentenced four people to death, in a trial marked by procedural irregularities, for an attack on a school in Kumba, the South-West region, one year ago. The attack killed seven children and injured at…
screenshot of school sign. image is outdoors. mother francisca massacre
News

Anniversary Marks Ongoing Assault on Women’s Rights, Rule of Law

(Brussels) – Women, girls, and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since…
Women take part in a demonstration against the Polish abortion law, in Wroclaw, Poland, on March 17, 2021.
News

Decision Shows Need for Decisive Action to Defend EU Founding Values

An October 8 decision by Poland’s politically compromised Constitutional Tribunal came as a shock in the country and across Europe. In its ruling, the court decided that two core articles of the European Union’s founding treaties are incompatible with…
Cover for Poland Report
News

Withhold Votes for Serious Rights Violators Cameroon, Eritrea, UAE

(New York) – A noncompetitive United Nations election for Human Rights Council members virtually guarantees seats for candidate countries with abysmal rights records. UN member countries should refrain from voting for Cameroon, Eritrea, United Arab…
UN General Assembly Hall
News

The ostensible assault on LGBT+ rights in Hungary, Poland and Russia has a very big target—anyone who signs up to universal norms.

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, used the visit by the pope to Budapest last month to advance his populist agenda. He said he had been encouraged by his meeting with Frances to advance ‘family values’. Indeed, Orbán claimed to have…
An activist holding the EU flag during a protest in Warsaw against “LGBT ideology free zones”. ©2021 Attila Husejnow / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
News

Release Political Prisoners; Respect Right to Peaceful Assembly

(Dakar) – Cameroon’s authorities should ensure accountability for their security forces’ crackdown on opposition leaders, supporters, and peaceful protesters in September 2020, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. They should…
Demonstrators stopped by gendarmes and police in Bafang, West Cameroon, on September 22, 2020.
News

Polish Authorities Should Allow Access to Territory and Asylum Process

While Poland’s government touts its role in the airlift of at-risk Afghans from Kabul, it has trapped 32 Afghans for over 3 weeks at its border with Belarus, preventing them from entering Poland to exercise their right to seek asylum and denying them…
Polish security forces surround migrants at the border with Belarus in Usnarz Gorny, Poland on September 1, 2021. 
News

Senate Should Reject Bill Preventing Foreign Media Owners

Poland’s lower house unleashed a major threat to media pluralism on August 11, approving a bill that prevents non-European shareholders from owning a majority stake in Polish media companies. While the government has argued it needs to strengthen…
A woman holds a sign with the words "Free media" in Warsaw, Poland on August 11, 2021.
News

Repeal Anti-Homosexuality Law, Protect LGBT People

A brutal attack on two transgender women in Cameroon occurred just weeks after a court ordered the women, Shakiro and Patricia, released from prison pending their appeal of a five-year sentence on arbitrary “homosexuality” charges. The attack is a…
Patricia and Shakiro, two transgender women who were convicted in May of "attempted homosexuality," record a video after their release to thank those who supported them in Douala, Cameroon, July 16, 2021.
News

Protect Civilians in Anglophone Regions, Hold Attackers Accountable

(Nairobi) – New abuses in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions by both government security forces and armed separatists highlight the urgent need to protect communities at risk and to hold those responsible for abuses to account, Human Rights Watch said…
A Cameroonian elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) member patrols in the city of Buea in the anglophone South-West region, Cameroon, on October 4, 2018.
News

Reporting Not Matched by Action to Protect Democratic Institutions

The launch of the European Commission’s latest report on the state of rule of law in the European Union should be a milestone. It contains dozens of pages of analysis for each EU country on threats to democratic institutions, covering judicial…
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders delivers the opening statements during a plenary session on the Commissions 2020 Rule of law report at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on June 23, 2021. 
News

Compromised Tribunal Rejects EU Rulings

The rule of law in Poland sustained another blow on July 14. The country’s politically compromised Constitutional Tribunal, acting at the behest of the Polish government, ruled that an April 2020 decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union…
A pro-EU protestor stands outside the Constitutional Tribunal in Warsaw, Poland, on April 28, 2021 with posters that say Rule of Law and No Polexit!
News

RE: Challenges to Implementation of GCM Objectives #4, 10, 13, 15, 17, 21 in Cameroon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, December 2018 – June 2021

Contents: I. Introduction II. Human trafficking (Nigeria, Senegal) III. Migrant detention (Mauritania, South Africa) IV. Migrant returns (Cameroon, Mauritania, Tanzania) V. Discrimination, xenophobia, access to services and documentation (South…
News

Lack of Transparency, Corruption Allegations Mar Covid-19 Spending

(Nairobi) – The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board should ensure that a three-year loan sought by Cameroon is used to meet its human rights obligations and not lost to corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. It should require the…
CDC Cameroon Associate Director for Program and Science, Dr. Clement Ndongmo, observes Covid-19 testing procedures for passengers arriving at Nsimalen International Airport in Yaoundé. 
News

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.
News

Leaders Show Little Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Last week, an appeals panel of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) upheld the 2017 genocide conviction of Bosnian Serb wartime military commander Ratko Mladić. Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said of Mladić, “His name…
A woman among the graves of victims of the Srebrenica genocide, at the memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
News

Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
News

Release Unjustly Jailed Critics, Human Rights Defenders

Today marks one week since prominent Cameroonian human rights lawyer, Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus, was thrown behind bars on bogus charges of inciting terrorism. He should be released immediately. Gendarmes arrested Amungwa on May 31 at the Groupement…
A patrol of Cameroonian gendarmes during a political rally in the Omar Bongo Square, Buea, capital of the South-West region, on October 3, 2018. © 2018 Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images
News

Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
News

To the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the challenges and risks facing climate defenders for the upcoming report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. While recognizing that…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons