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The SC Order is Welcome, But More Needs to Be Done for People with Disabilities

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green uniforms, their heads shaved because of the…
Women with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities at a mental hospital in Mumbai
News

Significant Victory Requires Holistic Approach to Implementation

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green…
Women lying on the ground in a room.
News

Opportunity for Expanding Access to Justice for People with Disabilities

A recent judgment by India’s Supreme Court is a watershed moment for women with disabilities in India and worldwide. The case involved a 19-year-old blind woman who was raped by her brother’s friend. The court in its April judgment, rendered by…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
News

Protect Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities, Impose Death Penalty Moratorium

On September 21, the Pakistan Supreme Court directed a medical board to examine two death row prisoners with psychosocial disabilities, or mental health conditions, seeking expert opinion on mental health as a mitigating factor in capital punishment…
The Supreme court building is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 17, 2017.
News

Enforce Decision, Protect Rights of People with Disabilities

A recent decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court directs the federal and provincial governments to take steps to fully realize equal participation of people with disabilities. The court ruling was in response to a petition…
The Supreme court building is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 17, 2017.
News

Trafficking, Exploitation, Torture, Abusive Prison Conditions

(Addis Ababa) – Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison…
African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. © AFP/Getty Images
News

Provide Roadmaps for Reform Ahead of Elections

(New York) – Candidates and political parties contesting India’s parliamentary elections, slated for April and May 2019, should commit to strengthening human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter. Human Rights Watch…
Government officers distribute postal ballot papers to a election presiding officer ahead of the country's general elections in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
News

Some Survivors of Sexual Violence Spend Years Awaiting Compensation

Good things happen to those who wait – or so the saying goes. However, women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence in India can spend years waiting for justice. In 2014, 13-year-old “Razia,” who lives in a…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
News

Protect Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities, Impose a Complete Moratorium on Death Sentence

This week, a medical board confirmed that Saleem Ahmad, a prisoner on death row for 14 years, has chronic schizophrenia. Ahmad, 50, had been scheduled to be executed in November 2017, but a court suspended his execution and…
Imdad Ali, who is aged around 50, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious cleric in 2002 and is set to be hanged tomorrow.
Report
Summary The police asked me very nasty things like how it felt for me. I told them I was totally unconscious, so how would I know? The police said things like, ‘She’s mental, why should I pay attention to her?’  —Susmita, 26, a…
News

Reforms on Sexual Violence Not Implemented for ‘Invisible Victims’

(New Delhi) – Women and girls with disabilities in India who survive sexual violence face high barriers to access the justice system, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Five years ago, the government adopted significant…
When she was 13, Razia (not her real name), who has an intellectual disability and difficulties in speaking, was raped by her brother’s tutor in 2014.
Video
This is a guide for people with disabilities. In India, if you experience sexual abuse (bad touch) or rape, the police, hospital, and courts are supposed to help you. These are your rights. It is wrong for someone to touch you when you don’t want them to…
Video
Women and girls with disabilities in India who survive sexual violence face high barriers to access the justice system, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Five years ago, the government adopted significant legal reforms for sexual violence…
Report
Summary This is what I have to say about the wounds on the body of the said accused. Since he was a hard core criminal, he refused to give any information. It was essential to get that information from him, that’s why [the police] used the “truth…
News

Recognize Rights of Women Forced Into Mental Health Centers in India

Around the world, simply being a woman means you’re more likely to be discriminated against and to experience violence than men. But women with disabilities are even more susceptible to abuse. Through December 10, activists worldwide are uniting to raise…
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News

Imdad Ali’s Execution Imminent

Does Imdad Ali, a 50-year-old Pakistani with schizophrenia, understand that he will be executed in the next few days? It’s hard to tell. The death penalty is inherently cruel – but even more so for those who may not recognize their crimes. Ali’s…
Imdad Ali, who is aged around 50, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious cleric in 2002 and is set to be hanged tomorrow.
Report
Summary I have no hope of getting justice in this crooked system. —Umar Daraz, Karachi, January 2016 How do you expect us to recover stolen items from hardened criminals? Do you think they will agree if we say, ‘Be nice to us and return…