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Calamitous Year for Human Rights

(Tunis) – Armed groups that support competing Libyan governments and their international benefactors have been responsible for massive civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction during 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) during clashes at the Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli, with the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
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The strange boat drew alongside them, and as they had feared, their rescuers were Libyan. They were miles off the coast with a puncture somewhere in their inflatable craft and no hope left of reaching Europe. The Libyans had guns. “Abdi” knew the…
Migrant detention center in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura.
News

Death Row, then Arbitrary Detention, Now Exile

(Beirut) – Mauritania’s authorities freed a blogger on July 29, 2019, who had been held in a blasphemy case for five and-a-half years, Human Rights Watch said today. Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was freed three days before the…
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed.
News

Release, Evacuate Detained Refugees and Migrants

(Brussels) –  European Union foreign ministers gathering in Brussels on July 15, 2019, should issue a clear call to Libyan authorities to close their migrant detention centers, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the European…
Debris covers the ground after an airstrike on the Tajoura migrant detention center in Tajoura east of Tripoli in Libya where 53 migrants were killed, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
News

Ordered Released 19 Months Ago but Remains in Solitary Confinement

(Tunis) – Mauritania’s president should, in his final days in office, ensure the immediate release of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, who remains in detention since a court ordered his release in November 2017, Human Rights Watch…
201906MENA_Mauritania_Logos
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Both Wrote About Alleged Corruption Scheme

(Tunis) – Mauritanian authorities should free two bloggers arrested on March 22, 2019, and drop all charges related to their peaceful expression, Human Rights Watch said today. The bloggers, Abderrahmane Weddady and Cheikh Ould Jiddou,…
Abderrahmane Weddady and Cheikh Ould Jiddou.
News

EU and Italy Bear Responsibility, Should Condition Cooperation

(Brussels) – European Union policies contribute to a cycle of extreme abuse against migrants in Libya, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The EU and Italy’s support for the Libyan Coast Guard contributes significantly to the…
A detainee stands outside a toilet stall in the Ain Zara detention center, Tripoli, July 5, 2018.
News

Urgent Need for Legislative Reform

(Geneva) –Mauritanian authorities used a litany of harsh and overbroad laws on terrorism, cybercrime, apostasy, and criminal defamation to prosecute and jail human rights defenders, activists, bloggers, and political dissidents during…
People wait to cast their vote on September 1, 2018 outside a polling station in Nouakchott for the country's legislative, regional and local elections. © 2018 Ahmed Ould Mohamed Ould Elhadj/AFP/Getty Images
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Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
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Allow European Rescues, Agree on Safe Disembarkation

(Milan) – The European Union’s obstruction of nongovernmental rescues and handover of responsibility to Libyan coast guard forces is a recipe for even greater loss of life in the Mediterranean and a continuing cycle of abuse for people…
SOS MEDITERRANEE crew rescue people off an over-crowded rubber boat in the Mediterranean, June 9, 2018.
News

Law Passed as Country Hosts African Human Rights Body

(Tunis) - Mauritanian authorities should reverse the recent adoption of a law on apostasy related crimes making the death penalty mandatory for “blasphemous speech” and “sacrilegious acts,” 21 national and international nongovernmental organizations said…
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Attacks, Threats, and Harassment

(Beirut) – Human rights defenders, activists, and social media bloggers have been physically attacked, detained, threatened, harassed, and disappeared by armed groups, some of whom are affiliated with the state authorities, in Tripoli and…
Demonstrators gather to protest against the presence of militias in the Libyan capital in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square on March 17, 2017.