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Revoke Decree; Allow Pregnant Girls, Young Mothers to Attend School

(Nairobi) – Tanzania’s ban on pregnant students and adolescent mothers attending school has denied tens of thousands of girls their right to education, Human Rights Watch said today. Public schools across mainland Tanzania conduct compulsory pregnancy…
The flag of the United Republic of Tanzania.
News

Criminal Charges Brought Against Group Alleging Corruption

Today marks three months since Congolese authorities detained Parfait Muhani, a 31-year-old pro-democracy activist, in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, following a complaint brought by a foundation established by the wife of Congo’s…
Parfait Muhani (left),  Ghislain Muhiwa
News

Five More Sub-Saharan Countries Act to Protect Girls’ Education; Barriers Remain

(Nairobi) – African countries have taken important steps in recent years to protect the right to education of pregnant students and adolescent mothers, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2019, at least five sub-Saharan African countries –…
Young mothers at secondary school in Kenya
News

Full Investigation Needed into Ignored Riot Warnings, Sexual Violence

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several…
Kasapa Prison
Video
Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several dozen female detainees,…
News

At Least 739 Civilians Killed in Ituri, North Kivu Provinces Since May

(Kinshasa) – Attacks on civilians by armed groups have continued in two conflict-ridden provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the government imposed martial law in May 2021, Human Rights Watch said. Various armed groups, some…
Congolese army soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers patrol the area of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kilometers from Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, July 23, 2021.
News

Policing Sportswomen’s Bodies Undermines Rights of Women and Girls

This week, at a ceremony hosting the Tanzania men’s football team, President Samia Suluhu made remarks that cast aspersions on the “femininity” and gender of Tanzanian women footballers. Her comments have received widespread condemnation from women…
Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks during a tour of the Tanga region of Tanzania on March 16, 2021. 
News

Appointment Risks Undermining Disarmament and Recovery

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi recently announced the launch of a long-awaited Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization program, meant to encourage thousands of fighters from more than 100 armed…
Militiamen of the armed group URDPC/CODECO in the village of Wadda, Ituri Province, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on September 19, 2020.
News

Exiled Activist Jean-Jacques Lumumba Targeted in Europe and Kinshasa

Last week, Jean-Jacques Lumumba, former banker and well-known whistleblower from the Democratic Republic of Congo, believed that he was being followed while en route to Brussels’ main train station. Yet, he stuck to his plans and took a train to…
Congolese whistleblower Jean-Jacques Lumumba near Paris, France, October 2019.
News

Rising Opposition to Discriminatory Nationality Bill

On July 18, Jacky Ndala, youth leader for the political party Together for the Republic (Ensemble pour la République), noticed unusual activity outside his house in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a message widely…
Jacky Ndala.
News

Authorities Backsliding on Rights Reforms

On Wednesday morning, police in Mwanza, in northern Tanzania, surrounded the hotel occupied by members of the country’s main opposition party, Chadema, and arrested 11 party members, including the party chairman, Freeman Mbowe. While the other party…
Tanzania Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe (center) arrives at the party's headquarters after being released from Segerea prison in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 13, 2020.
News

Three Months On, Elisée Lwatumba, Eric Muhindo Unjustly Detained

(Goma) – Congolese authorities should immediately and unconditionally release two activists who were arbitrarily arrested on April 19, 2021, after peacefully demonstrating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said. Elisée…
Youth activists Eric Muhindo, left, and Elisée Lwatumba, center, at Butembo’s central prison, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
News

Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Was Champion of Democracy and Human Rights

Tributes have been pouring in from all corners of the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond for Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, a fearless human rights defender who died July 11 at age 81. A few days earlier, he had been flown from Congo to Versailles,…
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo from the Democratic Republic of Congo arrives at the Synod hall in the Vatican on February 13, 2015.
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

President Suluhu Should Support Education of Pregnant Girls

Tanzania’s first woman president, Samia Suluhu, took office in March 2021. Her administration has the opportunity to call on education authorities to end the exclusion of pregnant and married girls from public schools. She should urge them to adopt a…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News
Three years ago, the Tanzanian human rights activist Vicky Ntetema and I sat down at a quiet Dar es Salaam restaurant to talk about the human rights situation in her country. I ordered a meal, but she didn't. She said she didn't eat at…
Samia Suluhu Hassan, center, made history when she was sworn in as Tanzania's first female president at a ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam, March 19, 2021. 
News

Military Empowered to Curtail Protests and Other Rights in Embattled Provinces

Martial law went into force yesterday in two conflict-ridden provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo to “swiftly end the insecurity which is killing our fellow citizens on a daily basis,” a government spokesman said. This means the military has…
Congolese soldiers stand in a field camp in Paida, near Beni, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo, on December 7, 2018.
News

New Lukonde Government Should Set Transitional Justice Roadmap

(Kinshasa) – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s newly appointed government should adopt a clear strategy for holding those suspected of criminal responsibility for grave human rights violations accountable, a coalition of over 50 Congolese and…
Women demonstrate for peace in Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, April 23, 2021.