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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.
News

Arrests Focus Spotlight on Anti-Free Speech Laws

The arrests of three demonstrators in Singapore who were protesting the plight of transgender students highlights the extent of free speech restrictions in the city-state. Authorities arrested the trio on January 26 as they picketed outside…
201801wr_singapore_human_rights A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017.
News

Keeping a Law on the Books Just to Demonize a Minority is Clearly Wrong

  On March 30, 2020, the Singapore High Court has dismissed three cases seeking to strike down a colonial-era law that makes consensual gay sex a crime. With a highly technical reading of the law, High Court Justice…
Participants at the annual Pink Dot Singapore event, in Singapore on June 28 2014.
News

Authorities Repress Critical Voices, Independent Media

(New York) – Singapore used broad laws in 2018 to intensify already severe restrictions on free speech and assembly, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The government appears poised to introduce legislation on “deliberate…
Jolovan Wham participates in a silent protest with eight other activists on an MRT train in Singapore, June 3, 2017
News

Reject Changes to Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act

(Bangkok) – Singapore’s parliament should reject proposed revisions to the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act extending detention without trial and allow the law to lapse, Human Rights Watch said in a January 31, 2018 letter to…
The parliament house in Singapore, August 2016.
News

Rights Record on Free Expression, Assembly Worsens

(New York) – Singapore’s government imposed further restrictions on free speech and peaceful assembly while harassing and prosecuting critical voices in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. In the 643-page…
201801wr_singapore_human_rights A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017.
Report
Summary The mayor said, “All thieves must be killed.” He said it was an order. −Witness to the execution of Fulgence Rukundo on December 6, 2016 Rwandan security forces summarily executed at least…
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Government Hurdle for International Corporate Sponsors Leads to Local Business Support

Pink Dot, Singapore’s annual event bringing people together in support of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, proved extra special this year when over 100 local businesses sponsored the gathering. This year,…
A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017.
News

Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News
Recent moves by Singapore's government to change its notoriously narrow public order law to further restrict free speech came as no surprise. But the specificity and persistence of the moves by the country's home affairs ministry -- first, in June, a…
Participants at the annual Pink Dot Singapore event, in Singapore on June 28 2014.
News

Premier’s Visit is Chance to Address Censorship, LGBT Protections

(Washington, DC) – United States President Barack Obama should press visiting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to address the Singapore government’s severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. President Obama will meet with…
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and US President Barack Obama deliver remarks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on November 22, 2015.
News

Re: State Visit by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Dear President Obama, As you prepare for the state visit of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on August 2, 2016, we write to highlight key human rights concerns that we hope you will raise in both public and private…
News

Government Presses Foreign Sponsors of PinkDot Festival

(New York) – The government of Singapore should rescind its call for foreign corporations to cease sponsorship of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) diversity event, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the home affairs minister. The…
© 2014 Reuters. Participants gather for the 2014 PinkDot celebration in Singapore.
News

Repeal Retrograde Law Banning Consensual Sex Relations Between Adult Men

(Berlin) – A Singapore Supreme Court ruling on October 29, 2014 to uphold the country’s ban on same-sex relations between consenting adult men is a major setback for equal rights in Singapore, Human Rights Watch said today. The court decision sends a…
News
And Tango Makes Three is a children’s book about two adult male penguins who hatch an egg and raise a youngster. It is based on the true story of two penguins, Roy and Silo, of New York’s Central Park Zoo. And, in the view of Singapore’s National Library…