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Over 60 Detained, Forcibly Moved from Occupied Territories

(Beirut) – Turkey and the Syrian National Army have arrested and illegally transferred at least 63 Syrian nationals from northeast Syria to Turkey to face trial on serious charges that could lead to life in prison, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Fighters of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (also called the Syrian National Army) enter the town of Tal Abyad.
News

As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
News

Investigations into Medical Chamber Leaders Undermine Pandemic Response

(Istanbul) – Turkish authorities should immediately halt investigations into doctors running three professional medical associations in Turkey’s southeast and eastern regions, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should respect both freedom…
A team of doctors puts on protective suits before they meet a patient with suspected COVID-19, Istanbul May 2020. © 2020 Yasin Akgu/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
News

End Media Crackdown, Mass Arbitrary Arrests

(Nairobi) – Rwandan police have arbitrarily arrested scores of people since directives to prevent the spread of Covid-19 came into force on March 22, 2020. The authorities have accused people of violating the measures and at times detained people…
A Rwandan police officer checks the temperature of a motorist as he enforces a lockdown to stem the Covid-19 outbreak in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 15, 2020.
News

Overcrowding, Unsanitary Conditions Threaten Catastrophe

(New York) – Asia’s overcrowded and unsanitary prisons, jails, and detention centers are at grave risk of COVID-19 outbreaks that threaten the physical and mental health of both detainees and staff and the broader population. …
Indonesian prisoners approaching the end of their sentences are released to avoid a coronavirus outbreak in overcrowded prisons in Depok, near Jakarta, Indonesia, April 2, 2020.
News

COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News

Offer Most Vulnerable Inmates Alternatives to Prison

  (Istanbul) – An examination of cases of prisoners, in the hundreds, whose underlying health conditions put them most at risk of the deadly effects of COVID-19 demonstrates why the Turkish authorities should include such inmates in its new…
Thousands of political prisoners are held in the vast Silivri campus prison, Istanbul.
News

Early Release Program Should Seek to Lower Threat of Coronavirus for All Prisoners

The risk the coronavirus pandemic poses to staff and inmates in Turkey’s vastly overcrowded prisons has prompted the government to accelerate a plan to substitute prison time with alternatives such as early parole and house arrest. While a welcome…
Silivri Prison, Istanbul.
News

Use September 7 Meeting to Address Arbitrary Detentions, Disappearances, Abductions

(Beirut) – The Astana working group on detentions and abductions in the Syrian conflict should take immediate steps to address the Syrian government’s arbitrary detentions, torture of detainees, and enforced disappearances, 11 human…
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. © 2018 Tolga Bozoglu/Pool Photo via AP
News

Draft Law Permits Purging Judges; Prolonged Detention; Curbing Movement, Assembly

(Istanbul)—A draft law being rushed through Turkey’s parliament will preserve many of the abusive powers granted to the president and executive under the country’s recent state of emergency, which formally ended on July 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch…
The human rights monument in Ankara cordoned off with a police barricade during Turkey’s state of emergency to prevent its use as a site of public assembly and protest, 2017.
Report
Summary The mayor said, “All thieves must be killed.” He said it was an order. −Witness to the execution of Fulgence Rukundo on December 6, 2016 Rwandan security forces summarily executed at least…
News

Ill-Treatment, Unfair Trial for Those Sought by Turkey Over Alleged Gulenist Links

(New York) – Burmese authorities have forced back Turkish asylum seeker, Muhammet Furkan Sökmen via Thailand, putting him at risk of serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 24, 2017, Burmese officials…
Burma/Thailand: Deported Turkish Man at Risk PHOTO
News

Crackdown Targets Activists and Bloggers

(New York) – Vietnam should immediately release rights activist Tran Thi Nga and drop politically motivated charges against her, Human Rights Watch said today. Vietnam’s donors should issue public statements calling on the government to end harassment and…
Tran Thi Nga protests against the arrest of blogger “Mother Mushroom” in October 2016.
News

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
Report
Summary Because of the state of emergency, nobody will care if I kill you. I will just say I shot you while you tried to run away. -Police officer to a detainee, overheard by family members of another detainee…
News

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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(Nairobi, September 24, 2015) – The Rwandan authorities are arbitrarily arresting and unlawfully holding some of the country’s most vulnerable people in an unofficial detention center, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 48-page…
News

Protect Free Speech, Right to Protest, Rule of Law

(Istanbul) – Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is taking far-reaching steps to weaken the rule of law, control the media and Internet, and clamp down on critics and protestors, Human Rights Watch said…
News

Statement Delivered Under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the release before completion of their sentences of a number of people convicted on politically-motivated charges for their non-violent exercise of their human rights.  They include Nguyen Huu Cau (released on March 21), Nguyen…