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The psychologist at the LGBT youth shelter waited for me in a small side street in the city center of Tirana, Albania’s capital. “No one knows our exact address, we want to avoid arson and havoc,” she told me.
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LGBT Program Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich (2nd from Left) with the psychologist and the social workers from an LGBT youth shelter, STREHA, in Tirana, Albania.
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Albanians older than 40 know about militarized schools. For years during communism, children took time from classes to march, dig, and shoot in preparation for an onslaught from the “imperialist West” or “revisionist East.” Last week they drew on that…
A boy stands in a classroom at his school after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa July 20, 2015.
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(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
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Six years ago I was invited to Tirana, Albania’s capital, to meet with human rights activists who told me stories of rampant homophobia and a dire lack of legal protections for LGBT people. Yesterday, Albania took an important step forward combatting both…
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(Nairobi) – Somali authorities should order a new, impartial, and transparent investigation into an alleged gang-rape by African Union (AU) soldiers. The case has been marred by mismanagement, opacity, and the harassment of the female rape survivor and…
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On September 17, a court in Kosovo acquitted Fatmir Limaj, a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander and high-ranking politician, and nine others of war crimes related to the 1998 torture and killings of Serbian and Albanian civilians in a makeshift…
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(London) – The Albanian government should publicly reprimand Deputy Defense Minister Ekrem Spahiu for homophobic remarks and endorsing violence against people participating in a Gay Pride parade, Human Rights Watch said today. Asked what he thinks of…
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(London) - The government of Djibouti should immediately end its systematic crackdown on peaceful critics and the political opposition, Human Rights Watch said today.  Presidential elections are scheduled for April 8, 2011, but since February, the…
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(New York) - Prime Minister Sali Berisha of Albania should not interfere with the criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of three anti-government protesters on January 21, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The three protesters were killed…
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Human Rights Watch protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who are subject to discrimination and violence—and sometimes even torture or execution—because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We advocate for the principles…
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Ask people what they know about Somalia and most will probably start talking about pirates, terrorists, and Black Hawk Down. Not many would think to mention democracy or free elections as well, but they should. Last month, Somaliland--an impoverished…
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(New York) - The anti-discrimination bill approved by Albanian lawmakers on February 4, 2010, is an important step toward ensuring equality for all, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Sali Berisha. The bill, which Albania's…
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Dear Prime Minister Berisha, I write you on behalf of Human Rights Watch, in response to the broad anti-discrimination bill approved in the Albanian parliament on February 4, 2010. Human Rights Watch is an independent organization dedicated to…
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(Brussels) - Human rights protections in the Western Balkans lag behind aspirations for European integration, Human Rights Watch said today. In its World Report 2010, Human Rights Watch documents human rights conditions and issues in Bosnia, Croatia,…