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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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News

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

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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News

Rights, Rule of Law Key in Response to Region’s Crises

(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should set consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response to political turmoil, such as in Kyrgyzstan, or to challenges…
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
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

Officials Withhold Information, Pressure Health Workers

(Berlin) – Turkmenistan authorities are jeopardizing public health by denying an apparent outbreak of the coronavirus, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials claim there are no Covid-19 cases, silence health workers, and do not promote social…
Entrance to the Niyazov Medical Center in Ashgabat, one of Turkmenistan's top medical facilities, June 2020.
News

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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News

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.
News

Covid-19 No Basis for Pushing Back Boats

  (Bangkok) – Malaysia’s government is risking lives by pushing back overloaded boats of Rohingya refugees, Human Rights Watch said today. The government can appropriately respond to the Covid-19 pandemic without blocking life-saving rescues…
A screenshot of an exhausted Rohingya refugee receiving aid from the Bangladeshi coast guard. ©2020 Bangladeshi Coast Guard/Facebook
News

Repeal ‘Insulting Religion’ Law, Support Freedom of Expression

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s government should immediately drop all criminal charges against three street artists arrested for painting a mural that raises awareness about the coronavirus pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. The artists, Zayar Hnaung…
Screenshot of the mural painted by three artists charged with "insulting religion" in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar (undated).
News

Immediately Release Political Prisoners, Pre-Trial Detainees, High Health Risks

(Bangkok) – Myanmar authorities should immediately move to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus by reducing the populations of the country’s overcrowded and unsanitary prisons, Human Rights Watch said today. Myanmar confirmed its first COVID-19…
A member of the Yangon City and Development Committee disinfects government offices to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Yangon, Myanmar Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
News

Pandemic Threatens Refugee Camps, Densely Populated Urban Areas

What are your main concerns about the coronavirus moving through Africa? In many countries where we work there is an extremely weak public health and healthcare infrastructure. The fact that the spread in Africa has been slower than elsewhere…
A member of the Senegalese graffiti collective "RBS CREW" paints informational murals advising how to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, on the wall of a high school in the Parcelles Assainies neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal, March 25, 2020.
News

Lift Restrictions on Movement, Health Care, Internet, Aid

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar government should take urgent steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among the estimated 350,000 people displaced by conflict and violence across the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Overcrowding, a mobile…
A city worker disinfects government offices as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, Yangon, Myanmar, March 25, 2020.
Report
  Summary In late August and September 2017, Bangladesh welcomed the sudden influx of several hundred thousand Rohingya refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. This followed an earlier wave of violence in October 2016, which forced over…