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Allowing Private Employers to Ban Religious Dress Hurts Muslim Women Most

Protection of religious freedom – for Muslim women in particular – was dented last week by the European Union’s highest court’s ruling that permits employers to discriminate against people who wear religious dress. Ruling on two cases brought by…
Young women with headscarves sit in the Bundestag in Berlin, Germany on January 31, 2020. 
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Free Expression Under Serious Threat

(New York) – The Bangladesh government’s increasingly violent crackdown on media freedom is of urgent concern on World Press Freedom Day, nine nongovernmental organizations said in a letter today to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High…
Journalists work in front of a Covid-19 Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 20, 2021. 
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Provide Essential Medical Supplies; Urge India to Free Rights Defenders, Address Abuses

(Brussels) – European leaders at the May 8, 2021 summit with their Indian counterparts should prioritize the deteriorating human rights situation in India, including the right to health, eight organizations said today. With a devastating Covid-19…
People suffering from breathing problems receive free oxygen support at a gurdwara, a place of assembly and worship for Sikhs, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Delhi, India.
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Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate daily against the military junta in Burma (also known as Myanmar). Many Burmese people have expressed their opposition to the military's takeover of the democratically elected government – but they need the…
Mandalay University graduates bow their heads as they hold posters of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, a 19-year-old woman fatally shot by police on February 9 in Naypyidaw, during an anti-coup protest in Mandalay, Myanmar, February 14, 2021. 
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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.
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EU Should Act on Latest Blow to Press Freedom

In the most recent attack on media freedom in Hungary, the country’s Media Council last week unexpectedly announced it would revoke Klubradio’s frequency as of February 2021. It justified its decision by referring to the independent, commercial station’s…
Klubradio’s president, Andras Arato, is seen on air in Klubradio's studio in Budapest, Hungary, March 2020. 
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Many Problematic Laws Still Need Reform

On July 18, the Sudanese army issued a statement saying they had appointed a special commissioner to bring lawsuits against individuals who “insult” the army, including activists and journalists, both in and outside of Sudan, who write online.…
Sudanese soldiers stand guard as demonstrators rally near the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, April 11, 2019.
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End Pressure on Media; Respect, Protect Independent Journalism

(Budapest) – The firing of Szabolcs Dull, the editor-in-chief of Hungary’s biggest independent news website, Index, on July 22, 2020 has political interference written all over it, Human Rights Watch said today. The dismissal is a blow to media…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addresses supporters after the announcement of partial results of the parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018.
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Hong Kong, Xinjiang Responses Should Top Agenda

(Brussels) – European Union leaders should use the forthcoming EU-China summit to press for an end to Beijing’s grave and systemic human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. The 22nd EU-China summit will be held virtually, because of the…
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel participate in a media conference after a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the European Council building in Brussels, March 9, 2020.  
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Sakharov Prize to Uyghur Scholar Spotlights Xinjiang Crisis

(Brussels) – The European Parliament should use its 2019 Sakharov Prize, awarded to the unjustly detained Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, to significantly increase pressure on China to release him, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the…
In this Feb. 4, 2013 file photo, Ilham Tohti, an outspoken scholar of China's Uighur minority, gestures as he speaks during an interview at his home in Beijing, China.
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Xinjiang Rights Crisis Merits Maximum Caution

(Brussels) – European Union member countries should not forcibly return Turkic Muslims to China without providing a full and fair individualized examination of their risk of being ill-treated there, Human Rights Watch said today in a…
Chinese police patrol a night market near Id Kah Mosque in Xinjiang, a day before the Eid al-Fitr holiday, June 25, 2017.
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Suspend Deportations to China, Expedite Asylum Claims

Dear Ministers, We write regarding the status of ethnic Turkic refugees and asylum seekers from China in your country. Over the past year, Human Rights Watch has extensively documented gross human rights violations in…
Ethnically Turkic people are transported back to a detention facility in the town of Songkhla in southern Thailand, March 26, 2014.
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Foreign Ministers Should Invoke Article 7 to Support Rule of Law

(Budapest) – European Union (EU) foreign ministers should adopt a clear roadmap to declaring Hungary in serious breach of EU values, Human Rights Watch said today. Ministers meeting in the General Affairs Council session on October 16,…
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Government Should Respect Media Freedom

Update: On August 22, the Sughd regional court considered the appeal of Khayrullo Mirsaidov’s case and, while upholding his conviction, changed his jail term to a fine of 80,000 somoni (approx. $8,500) and a year of community service.…
Khayrullo Mirsaidov, a well-respected independent journalist in Tajikistan, was arrested on December 5, 2017, after publicly appealing to Tajikistan’s president about alleged local authority corruption.
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Case Underlines Fight Against Gender Discrimination and Repression

Khartoum-based rights activist Wini Omer has long been a vocal opponent of Sudan’s morality laws that criminalize “indecent dress” and other private choices, making her a frequent target for prosecution by authorities. This…
Wini Omer.