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Police Reform Urgently Needed to Prevent Future Violations

(Washington, DC) – Members of the Colombian National Police have committed egregious abuses against mostly peaceful demonstrators in protests that began in April 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Colombia’s government should take urgent…
A member of ESMAD throws a tear gas grenade by hand at protesters on May 28, 2021 in Bogota, Colombia.
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(Washington, DC, April 26, 2021) – Venezuelan security forces have committed egregious abuses against local residents during a weeks-long operation against armed groups on the border with Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuelan security…
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Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
News

UN Inquiry Needed into Alleged Violations by Warring Parties

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian federal forces carried out apparently indiscriminate shelling of urban areas in the Tigray region in November 2020 in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. Artillery attacks at the start of the armed…
A woman stands in a metal sheet room that was damaged by shelling in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020. In that residential compound, two women and an elderly man were killed by shelling and gunfire, and two women were wounded.
News

Blocking Access Could Cost Lives

UPDATE: Ethiopia announced that it would restore phone and internet service to western Oromia after a three-month shutdown. (New York) – Intentionally shutting down or restricting access to the internet violates multiple…
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News

Refusal to Restore Communications Threatens Public Health

Every time you place a call in Ethiopia, you get an educational message about coronavirus prevention – but that only helps if you can make a call. Millions of Ethiopians living under a months-long government-imposed shutdown of internet and…
A volunteer provides hand sanitizer to passengers entering a bus
Report
Summary In the eastern Colombian province of Arauca and the neighboring Venezuelan state of Apure, non-state armed groups use violence to control peoples’ daily lives. They impose their own rules, and to enforce compliance they threaten civilians on…
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Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch.  The report, “The War in Catatumbo: Abuses by Armed Groups Against…
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Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished

(Bogotá) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report, “…
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News

Criminalizing Speech Won’t Solve Problem

Hate and dangerous speech is a serious and growing problem in Ethiopia, both online and offline. It has contributed to the growing ethnic tensions and conflicts across the country that have created more than 1.4 million new internally…
Internet café in Lalibela, Amhara Region, Ethiopia.
News

Spyware Industry Needs Regulation

Ethiopian authorities have carried out a renewed campaign of malware attacks, abusing commercial spyware to monitor government critics abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should immediately cease digital attacks on activists and…
Surveillance computer hacker business
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Last June, Facebook locked the account of “Happy Addis”, an Ethiopian LGBT activist who runs Facebook groups for gay Ethiopians. The reason? His Facebook profile does not list his real name. But Happy Addis had good reason not to want his real name…
Facebook real name
News

Leaked Documents Show Need to Regulate Surveillance Sales

Update: Hacking Team provided further comment to this release, which can be found here. (New York, August 13, 2015) – The Italian spyware firm Hacking Team took no effective action to investigate or stop reported abuses of its…
Internet café in Lalibela, Amhara Region, Ethiopia.
News

Spyware Firm Should Address Alleged Misuse

(New York) – The Ethiopian government has renewed efforts to silence independent voices abroad by using apparent foreign spyware, Human Rights Watch said today. The Ethiopian authorities should immediately cease digital attacks on journalists, while…
News
An open Internet offers both benefits and risks for human rights. It has allowed activists anywhere to have global impact and hold institutions accountable. But digital technologies have enabled surveillance on an unprecedented scope and scale. When…
News
We, the undersigned organisations, call upon the 41 Governments that compose the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, to take action and address the alarming proliferation of surveillance…