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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.
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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…
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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.
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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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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.
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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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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.
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Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Refugees Assist Investigations in France, Germany and Sweden

As Bashar al-Assad’s forces ramped up their bombing campaign on rebel-held territory over the past year, his government may not have realized that they were cracking its shield against accountability for crimes committed in the Syrian conflict since 2011…
Shelters burning in Iqdah displaced persons camp near the closed Turkish border north of Aleppo after ISIS took over the camp on April 14.
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Rolls Back Refugee Rights; Could Harm Children

(Stockholm) – The Swedish Parliament is expected to approve a restrictive new asylum bill on June 21, 2016, that could harm the well-being of migrant children in need of protection and undermine their opportunity to effectively integrate into Swedish…
Nour T., a 16-year-old Syrian girl, at a group home in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Delays, Difficulties for Care, Asylum Claims

(Stockholm) – Unaccompanied migrant children in Sweden are experiencing delays and difficulties in getting critical care and support, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sweden has had an unprecedented increase in the arrival of…
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I met Tabish P. on a cold day in February at the group home where he lives in Gothenburg. A 16-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, Tabish told me that if he could speak to the Swedish government, he would tell them he is happy here. Tabish…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
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Summit Needs Rights-Based Approach to Boat Migration, Syria Refugees

(Brussels) – European Union heads of state meeting in Brussels on October 24 and 25, 2013, should urgently adopt measures to improve sea rescues of migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Europe, Human Rights Watch said today. The summit should also…
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Allow Access to EU Territory, Step Up Assistance in Region

(Brussels) – The European Union and its member states should do more to help the thousands of Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Europe as the Syrian crisis worsens and winter sets in, Human Rights Watch said today. Between March 2011 and September…