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Journalists and Online Commentators Face Persecution for Critical Reporting

Celebrating World Press Freedom Day in Rwanda may well require journalists, activists, and diplomats to toe the line of the government’s ever-growing list of forbidden topics. In a country where the president coolly gives speeches gloating about the…
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame speaks during the state funeral of Kenya’s former president, Daniel arap Moi, at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, February 11, 2020.
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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…
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Norway Deported Nkusi, Who Faces Prosecution in Rwanda

Joseph Nkusi is a Rwandan blogger who has sharply criticized Rwanda’s government, made false and inflammatory claims about the 1994 genocide, and founded a radical opposition group while living in exile in Norway. Next Monday, he is slated to go on trial…
A general view of Rwanda's capital Kigali, March 26, 2014.
News

Investigate Crimes against Journalists, Protect Independent Press

(Berlin) – Journalists across the Western Balkans face a hostile environment that impedes their ability to do critical reporting. More than a year after Human Rights Watch documented impediments to media freedom in Bosnia and…
Balkan media under threat
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(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
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It’s not easy to be an investigative journalist in the Western Balkans. Besides the inherent challenges of the job, reporters can face physical attacks, intimidation, even death threats. Reporting an attack to the authorities rarely brings justice.…
A cartoon in Serbian Blic satirizing Olja Bećković’s weekly TV show Utisak Nedelje
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Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, who is giving a speech at London’s Chatham House today, is viewed by his admirers as the man who saved the nation – who brought stability and rapid economic development to a country devastated by genocide now 20 years ago.…
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Brussels, 24 July 2013 Dear Commissioners Füle and Malmström, We are writing to call on your immediate response to a recent law severely limiting the freedom of expression in the Republic of Moldova. The law – article 90.1 of the Code of Administrative…
News

Ugandan Government Should Ensure Safety of Rwandan Exiles

(New York) – The Ugandan authorities should open an effective and transparent investigation into the murder of a Rwandan journalist on November 30, 2011, and identify and bring those responsible to justice, Human Rights Watch said today. The Ugandan…
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Oral Statement at the 17th Session of the Human Rights Council - June 7th, 2011

Human Rights Watch welcomes the outcome of the UPR of Rwanda, in particular its recommendations on freedom of expression, legal reforms and the independence of the judiciary.   We also welcome the Rwandan government's undertakings to ensure that human…
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When Rwanda's President Paul Kagame joins the other heads of state for the UN General Assembly this week, there'll be awkward questions to answer about alleged atrocities

Among the heads of state who gather for the United Nations General Assembly every September, the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame has always glittered a little brighter, appearing to have more friends and admirers in New York than any other head of state…
News

Government Actions Undermine Democracy as Presidential Election Draws Near

(New York) - Insecurity and political repression are increasing in advance of Rwanda's August 2010 presidential elections, Human Rights Watch warned today.  In the last two days, an independent journalist has been killed, the leader of an opposition party…
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Growing Media Restrictions Cast Doubt on Nation’s Commitment to Free Speech

(New York) - The Rwandan government should immediately reverse its suspension of the Kinyarwanda radio service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Human Rights Watch said today.  The Rwandan minister of information, Louise Mushikiwabo,…
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(New York) - The Rwandan government should reverse its decision barring Human Rights Watch's senior adviser on Africa, Dr. Alison Des Forges, from Rwanda, Human Rights Watch said today. Rwanda has not previously excluded any Human Rights Watch staff…
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(New York) – The Central Intelligence Agency secretly operated illegal prisons for terrorism suspects in multiple locations in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005, according to a report released today by the Council of Europe, a European…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
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Council of Europe Deadline Is Today; European Parliament to Begin Hearings

European governments must provide detailed information about their participation in or knowledge of the Central Intelligence Agency’s unlawful detention and transfer of terrorist suspects. Two European bodies are investigating the CIA’s activities in…
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(Geneva) — With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva next week must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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(New York) - The Rwandan government should reject a parliamentary request to dissolve one of the country’s leading human rights groups unfairly accused by a parliamentary commission of harboring genocidal ideas, Human Rights Watch said today. After three…