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Junta Packs Jails with Opponents as Virus Thrives

Myanmar’s Covid-19 crisis is spiraling out of control, as the coronavirus spreads among the most marginalized populations, including those in the country’s prisons. The escalation of politically motivated arrests since the February 1 military coup…
People stand outside the gates of a prison
News

Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
News

Many Tell of Beatings, Ill-Treatment in Detention

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have arbitrarily detained thousands of people and, according to numerous credible sources, subjected many to torture, routine beatings, and other ill-treatment since the February 1, 2021 military coup, Human…
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
News

UN, Donors Should Urge Protection, Freedom of Movement on Bhasan Char

(New York) – The Bangladesh government has relocated nearly 20,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island without adequate health care, livelihoods, or protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United Nations and donor…
An elderly man carries luggage over his head as he walks he off a ship
News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

Account for Missing Politicians, Activists, Others at Risk of Torture, Death

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta has forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the February 1, 2021 coup, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have taken into custody politicians, election officials, journalists, activists, and…
A man is held by police during a crackdown on anti-coup protesters holding a rally in front of the Myanmar Economic Bank in Mandalay, Myanmar on February 15, 2021.
News

Upsurge in Attacks on Activists, Community Leaders, Rights Defenders

(Manila, January 13, 2021) – The Philippine government’s “drug war” killings intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, as did unnecessary arrests during lockdowns, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Attacks by the police,…
Detainees sleep in an open basketball court inside the Quezon City Jail in Quezon City, Philippines on July 24, 2020. 
News

Transfers Need Independent Assessment, Refugees’ Informed Consent

(New York) – The Bangladesh government should immediately halt imminent relocations of Rohingya refugees to remote Bhasan Char island, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have reportedly prepared a list of 4,000 Rohingya refugees to be…
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‘Drug War’ Deaths Rise Dramatically as Country Reels from Covid-19

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s bloody “war on drugs” worsened during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to the government’s own statistics. Police killed 50 percent more people between April to July 2020 than they did in the…
Police officers secure the road leading to the House of Representatives where President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27, 2020 in Metro Manila, Philippines.
News

Reinstating Capital Punishment Risks International Condemnation, Sanctions

The plummeting human rights situation in the Philippines got even worse this week as the government began considering bills to reinstate the death penalty. The move by the House Committee on Justice came a week after President Rodrigo Duterte used his…
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a late night live broadcast in Malacanang, Manila, Philippines, April 3, 2020.
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Authorities Should Urgently Remove Armed Forces, Reopen Girls’ School

On vehicles mounted with machine guns, armed paramilitaries took over a girls’ primary school on June 14, 2020, according to a local human rights organization.  The armed men, from Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces, dug a trench around the school,…
This file photo shows a sign reading "Education is a right for a girl child" at a refugee settlement of people from South Sudan in Imvepi, Uganda, 27 June 2017.
News

End Assistance to All Military-Controlled Entities

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should immediately cancel plans to donate money to purchase vehicles and communications equipment for the Myanmar police force, Human Rights Watch said today. The police force, which operates under the auspices of the…
Myanmar border guard police officers walk along a path in Tin May village in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, July 14, 2017.
News

Police to Go House-to-House, Rely on Neighbor Reporting

The Philippine government announced this week that police will conduct house-to-house searches for people who might have been infected with the novel coronavirus and then forcibly relocate them to government-run isolation facilities. The authorities…
A police officer checks the temperatures of passengers inside a jeepney at a checkpoint in Manila, Philippines, March 16, 2020. 
News

Burmese Authorities Are Using Covid-19 Response Measures as a Pretext to Harass and Extort Rohingyas

This is what life is like for the 130,000 internally displaced Rohingyas trapped in detention camps in central Rakhine state in Myanmar: in the camps, they have no future, with little access to land or livelihoods. They depend on foreign aid supplies and…
Rohingya refugees stand at the Kutupalong refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, April 1, 2020.
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Prison Time for Breaking Curfew, Quarantine Is Excessive and Unsafe

(Bangkok) – At least 500 people, including children, returning migrant workers, and religious minorities, have been sentenced to between one month and one year in prison in Myanmar since late March 2020 for violating curfews, quarantines, or other…
Pastor David Lah leaves court after an appearance on charges filed against him for holding religious services in April, Yangon, Myanmar, May 20, 2020.
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Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan Should Allow Free Flow of Information

(Geneva) – The World Health Organization (WHO) should press four governments that have shut down the internet to minority populations during the Covid-19 crisis to restore internet access, Human Rights Watch and 47 other organizations…
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Workers Fear Increase in Union Busting at Factories During Covid-19 Lockdown

In previous years on May 1, workers across Myanmar would rally and march in solidarity for workers’ rights and justice. But this May Day the streets will be quiet, as no marches are allowed with Covid-19 lockdowns and curfews in place. Most…
Workers shout slogans during a May Day march in Yangon, Myanmar, May 1, 2019.
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Refugee Camp Restrictions Threaten ‘Critical Services’

(Bangkok) – The Bangladesh government’s new Covid-19 restrictions on access to aid put Rohingya refugees at greater risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The lockdown measures cut humanitarian workers in refugee camps by 80 percent and put the…
Rohingya refugees place empty jars in a line while waiting to collect water in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on April, 20, 2020.