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Report Corroborates Human Rights Watch Findings

(Abuja) – A judicial panel has found that army and police officers shot, injured, and killed unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria during nationwide protests against police brutality in 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. This…
Demonstrators protesting against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, on October 15, 2020.
News

Would Allow Unchecked Powers to Punish News Outlets, Journalists

The Pakistani government is seeking broad new powers to control the media as part of its crackdown on freedom of expression. Journalists, human rights activists, and political leaders across that country have raised the alarm about proposed…
Pakistani journalists and activists at a demonstration called by the journalists union to condemn attacks on the media, in Islamabad, Pakistan, on May 28, 2021.
News

Authorities Should Stop Stifling Dissent, Protect the Media

(New York) – A recent series of attacks and growing pressure on journalists who criticize the Pakistan government is a cause for serious concern, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists said today. Those…
 Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor, center, speaks during a demonstration to condemn the attack on journalists, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
News

Government Should Protect Journalists, Not Suppress Free Speech

As part of its crackdown on freedom of expression, the Pakistani government is seeking sweeping new powers to control the media. Journalists across Pakistan have raised the alarm about proposed legislation that would augment the powers of the Pakistan…
Pakistani journalists hold nationwide protests to denounce rampant censorship, and hold a banner that reads: "black day," in Karachi, Pakistan, July 16, 2019.
News

Promptly Investigate All Attacks, Prosecute Those Responsible

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should urgently and impartially investigate a surge in violent attacks on members of the Ahmadiyya religious community, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists…
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News
In 2016, Pakistan’s parliament passed the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), a set of laws which supporters contended would restrict online extremist content, prosecute hate speech, and curb harassment of women on the internet. Four years on, has…
News

Editor’s Jailing Shows Reality of Media Crackdown

Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan asserted there is no media crackdown in Pakistan, and that he and his government are far more “unprotected” than the media. Mir Shakilur Rehman, editor-in-chief of the Jang group, the largest media organization in…
Pakistani police escort Mir Shakilur Rehman to court following his arrest in Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2020.
News

Anti-Corruption Laws Abused to Silence Critics

Pakistani authorities should immediately drop politically motivated charges and release Mir Shakilur Rehman, an editor with Pakistan’s largest media group, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should also stop harassing Rehman’s…
Pakistani police escort Mir Shakilur Rehman to court following his arrest in Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2020.
News

Proposal Would Criminalize Criticism of Government

Nigerian campaigners are speaking out against a bill that would regulate engagement on social media with the campaign #SayNoToSocialMediaBill. The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 was presented in the Senate…
Two men check their phones in Kaduna, Nigeria
News

Repeal Law Used Against Religious Minorities, Vulnerable Communities

(New York) – The Pakistan Supreme Court’s decision to quash the conviction of a man who had spent almost 18 years in prison for blasphemy spotlighted abuses inherent in the law, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 25, 2019, the…
Protesters burn a poster of Aasia Bibi after the Supreme Court overturned her conviction under the blasphemy law, Hyderabad, Pakistan, November 1, 2018.
News

Broad Claims of National Security Threaten Rights

Nigerian authorities appear to be on a renewed drive to muzzle free speech. Earlier this month, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) suspended the broadcast licenses of two subsidiaries of Daar Communications, the…
Two men check their phones in Kaduna, Nigeria
News

Uphold Rights of Region’s Pashtun Population

(New York) – Pakistan authorities should impartially investigate the deaths of at least three people during violence between Pashtun activists and the army in North Waziristan on May 26, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Both the army and…
Pakistani President Arif Alvi, center on a military vehicle, reviews a military parade to mark Pakistan National Day, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, March 23, 2019.
News

Protect Minorities, Women, Journalists

(New York) – Pakistani authorities have muzzled dissenting voices of activists and journalists on the pretext of national security, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The government has also failed to ensure the…
Pakistani transgender people and civil society activists in Peshawar condemn the August 16, 2018 fatal shooting of a transgender woman,  August 20, 2018. ©2018 Muhammad Sajjad/AP Images
News

Repeal Discriminatory Laws Against Religious Community

(New York) – The Pakistani government should immediately act to allow the full and equal participation of members of the Ahmadiyya religious community in the general elections scheduled for July 25, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Women walk out of a community center of the Ahmadiyya community in Rabwah, Pakistan, October 19, 2017.
News

Militant Killings of Besieged Shia Muslims Escalate

Unidentified assailants killed shopkeepers Jaffar and Muhammad Ali on Saturday in Quetta, Pakistan, apparently because they belonged to the Hazara community. This was the fourth attack this April on the Hazara, a Shia Muslim…
Shi'ite Muslim men from Pakistan's ethnic Hazara minority mourn around the coffins of their relatives, who were killed in a shooting attack, in Quetta, Pakistan October 9, 2017.
News

Repeal Abusive Law Carrying Death Sentence

On January 2, Pakistan’s judiciary transferred the blasphemy case against university professor Junaid Hafeez from one judge to another, the sixth time it has changed hands since his trial began. The delay in the case – it has been five years since Hafeez…
Junaid Hafeez.
News

Stiffer Punishments Don’t Appear to be Deterring Crimes

On September 20, a man in Peshawar killed his two daughters because he thought they had boyfriends, and felt “ashamed” – the latest in a series of recent horrific acts of violence perpetrated in the name of “honor.” In a…
Members of civil society hold placards during a protest in Islamabad, Pakistan against a recent "honor" killing on May 29, 2014.
News

Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
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News

February 2017

Around the world, religious freedom is under a sustained attack. In the Asia-Pacific region, there are governments that restrict the freedom to choose and practice a religion, that discriminate in law and policy against certain religious groups, that…