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Police, Civil Servants Detained Incommunicado in Ghazni, Malistan, Kandahar

(New York) – Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government, Human Rights Watch said today. Residents from various…
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Continued Assistance for Education, Health, Media Essential

(Geneva) – Afghanistan’s foreign donors meeting in Geneva, beginning November 23, 2020, should prioritize funding for education and health, especially for girls and women, and for independent media, Human Rights Watch said today. The pledging…
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Ensure Due Process, Victim Role in War Crimes Trial

(New York) – The Afghan government should bring appropriate war crimes charges against Aslam Farooqi, leader of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), an affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS), for his alleged role in directing attacks…
The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) released this image of Abdullah Orakzai, also known as Aslam Farooqi, the leader of an ISIS affiliate. © 2020 National Directorate of Security
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Law Retains Death Penalty for Private Consensual Sex

Brunei should immediately repeal its newly enacted penal code, which violates a range of human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter to the sultan of Brunei and a report, “Brunei’s Pernicious New Penal Code.” …
The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah listens during the first executive session of the CHOGM summit at Lancaster House in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.
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Brunei’s Syariah Penal Code (2013) went into effect on April 3, 2019.[1] The new code poses grave threats to fundamental human rights and discriminates against the country’s most vulnerable groups, including children, women, and religious and sexual…
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Immediately Suspend Highly Abusive Law

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Brunei government’s introduction of a new Sharia penal code poses grave threats to basic rights, especially for the country’s most vulnerable people, Human Rights Watch said today. The penal code, which goes into effect…
The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah listens during the first executive session of the CHOGM summit at Lancaster House in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.
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Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
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Inquiry, Officers’ Arrests Positive First Steps

The Gambian authorities should thoroughly investigate the alleged excessive use of force by police causing the deaths of two anti-sand mining demonstrators on June 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The…
Gambian security officers at the Supreme Court in Banjul, December 5, 2016.
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US Should Stop Supporting Kandahar Strongman

When it comes to cosying up to alleged torturers in Afghanistan, the United States military has been a slow learner. The US-led NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan just published a photo of Gen. John Nicholson, commander…
A photo depicting General John Nicholson, Commander of United States forces in Afghanistan (C) with Kandahar's General Abdul Raziq (R).
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UN Committee Calls for Action against Gen. Abdul Raziq

When the United Nations Committee against Torture grilled Afghanistan’s delegation last month about government efforts to curb torture, members asked about one person in particular: Gen. Abdul Raziq. That was no accident. Raziq, the…
General Abdul Raziq, Afghan National Police chief for the southern city of Kandahare, addresses officers during their graduation ceremony at the Kandahar Regional Training Center in southern Afghanistan, Jun. 7, 2012.
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Country’s New Leaders Fail to Ease Up on Repression

(New York) – The Vietnamese government engaged in a broad crackdown on freedom of speech, opinion, association, assembly, and religion in 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. Rights bloggers and activists faced constant police…
Farmers from Duong Noi village protest during the trial of Can Thi Theu, a farmer and land rights activist in Hanoi. The placards read "Can Thi Theu is innocent," "Justice for innocent Can Thi Theu" and "Make arrest - grabbing land is criminal," September
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UK Should Assist in Relocating Those at Risk

(New York) – The deportation of Commander Faryadi Zardad from the UK to Afghanistan on December 14 poses a clear danger for witnesses who testified against the former warlord in his 2005 conviction for torture and hostage taking, Human Rights Watch said…
A undated picture released on July 18, 2005, by London's Scotland Yard shows former Afghan warlord Faryadi Sarwar Zardad.
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Hekmatyar Deal an Affront to Victims of Grave Abuses

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of Afghanistan’s most notorious war crimes suspects, who as prime minister in 1992 shelled his own capital, is coming home after decades in exile, thanks to a peace deal with the national unity government. His return will compound…
Former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar speaks to a Reuters correspondent in Tehran Febuary 5, 2002.
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Respect Rights to Demonstrate and Freedom of Expression

(New York) – Vietnam’s government should immediately stop all harassment, intimidation, and persecution of environmental activists, said Human Rights Watch today. The government should respect their right to peaceful protest and release anyone still…
Plainclothes security forces drag away blogger Huynh Ngoc Chenh.
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The Afghan government has struggled to explain an incident of police torture documented in a video  circulated this week on social media. The two-minute video, filmed on a smart phone, shows police dragging a suspect…
Screenshot of a video apparently showing Afghan police in Kandahar abusing a detainee.
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Allow Families, Including Infant, to go to South Korea

(Seoul) – China should ensure that nine North Korean refugees are not returned to North Korea, where they would be at grave risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The refugees, including an 11-month-old baby, who were transferred to China from Vietnam…
A barbed-wire fence separating North Korea from China is seen in this photo taken from the Chinese border city of Hunchun, China on March 18, 2015.
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 Gambia’s government commits serious human rights violations against perceived critics and political opponents, perpetuating a climate of fear and repression.  The human rights situation in Gambia has deteriorated since President Yahya Jammeh…
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UN Expert Says Donors Should Stop Funding Drug Detention Centers

(Geneva) –A United Nations report about torture and other abuses in healthcare settings points to the need for donors to withdraw funds to compulsory drug detention centers, Human Rights Watch and Harm Reduction International said today. The report was…
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The Afghanistan government appears to have a new policy for dealing with government officials accused of sadistic torture: it rewards them with job promotions. President Hamid Karzai has announced that he will appoint Asadullah Khalid as chief of…
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UN, Donors Should Push for Immediate Closure and Community-Based Services

(New York) – Hundreds of thousands of people identified as drug users in China and across Southeast Asia are held without due process in centers where they may be subjected to torture, and physical and sexual violence in the name of “treatment,” Human…