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200 Held in Squalid Camps and Prisons in Libya, Syria, Iraq

(Tunis) – Tunisian officials have been dragging their feet on helping bring home Tunisian children held without charge in foreign camps and prisons for families of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members, Human Rights Watch said…
A woman walks with a child in Roj camp, which holds foreign wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) members, in northeast Syria, September 2018. © 2018 Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
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Baraa Zayani, a 4-year-old Tunisian boy, has been held for the past two years in a militia-run prison in Libya. In 2016, a bullet tore through his stomach during clashes between armed groups that killed his father, a member of the…
View from hill overlooking Ain Issa displacement camp in Syria, May 2018. © Human Rights Watch
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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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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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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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Scores Confined Without Charge Under State of Emergency

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s use of house arrest for at least 139 people under a November 2015 state of emergency decree has left many facing stigmatization and unable to pursue studies and work, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have justified the…
TUnisisa house arrest warrant OCT 2016
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A Tunisian man formerly held in secret United States Central Intelligence Agency custody have described previously unreported methods of torture that shed new light on the earliest days of the CIA program. Lotfi al-Arabi El Gherissi, 52, recounted being…
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Alongside 45 Tunisian and international organizations, including Nobel Peace Prize winning ones, Human Rights Watch has launched a campaign titled “No To Terrorism, Yes To Human Rights”. After several terrorist attacks hit Tunisia in 2015 and 2016, these…
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Legislate Safeguards Against Abuse

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s new counterterrorism law imperils human rights and lacks the necessary safeguards against abuse, eight nongovernmental organizations said today. The law grants security forces broad and vague monitoring and surveillance powers, extends…
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Strengthen Safeguards for Detention, Abolish Death Penalty

(Tunis) – The Tunisian government’s new draft counterterrorism law would permit extended incommunicado detention, weaken due process guarantees for people charged with terrorism offenses, and allow the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today in a…
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“Madame, I hope you will now stop defending the human rights of terrorists.” This comment on my facebook page does indeed reflect the thinking of some Tunisians in the aftermath of the murderous attacks at the Bardo Museum. The same view is being hammered…
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2 Dead in Apparent Unlawful Use of Force

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities should conduct a thorough, independent investigation into the fatal shooting by police of two young women on August 23, 2014. Any officers found to have used lethal fire unlawfully should be held accountable. The two women…
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Improves on 2003 Law, but Concerns Remain

(Tunis) – Tunisian legislators should revise the draft counterterrorism law to make it fully consistent with international human rights standards on fair trial, privacy, and freedom of expression. The new law will replace a 2003 law used for years to…
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Summary Background Recommendations Areas of Concern Overly Broad Definition of Terrorism and Terrorists Overly Broad Definition of “Praising” Terrorism. Fair Trial Guarantees and Due Process Special Protective Measures Closed Hearing Anonymous Witnesses…
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Reforms Necessary to Protect Fundamental Rights

(Tunis) – Tunisian legislators should revise the 2003 counterterrorism law, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the National Constituent Assembly. The 2003 law uses an overly broad definition of terrorism and incitement to terrorism and…
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Parties’ Responses to Questionnaire Shed Light on Their Stances

(Tunis) – Many parties competing in Tunisia’s election for a constituent assembly on October 23, 2011, believe that basic freedoms should be protected, but they disagree about circumstances under which freedoms could be limited, Human Rights Watch said in…
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Foreigners Arrested Outside Afghanistan Can't Challenge Detention in US Courts

(Washington, DC) - A US federal appeals court ruling today that bars the courts from hearing the claims of detainees arrested outside of Afghanistan and brought to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan leaves them without legal recourse against unlawful…
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Post-Prison Regime Robs Dissidents of Normal Lives

(New York) – The Tunisian authorities should end arbitrary restrictions on released political prisoners, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The measures seem aimed to ensuring that dissidents are unable to resume normal lives upon release…
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As one would expect from so eloquent a leader, Barack Obama has brought a marked improvement in presidential rhetoric on human rights compared with his predecessor. In a series of speeches around the world, carefully tailored for each audience, the…
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Finally Freed From 18 Years of Prison and Internal Exile, Abdallah Zouari Still Under Tight Surveillance

(New York) - The Tunisian government should end the harassment of the human rights activist and journalist Abdallah Zouari immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. Zouari, who was imprisoned for 11 years, then forced to spend seven more in a remote…