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Summary Iraq is holding parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021. Without change, hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities will face barriers to participation and some of them may not be able to vote. The exact number of people with…
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Urgent Need to Improve Accessibility Before Upcoming Elections

(Beirut) – People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018. 
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Sovereign Council and Council of Ministers, Republic of the Sudan His Excellency Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, Republic of the Sudan Nasredeen Abdulbari, Minister of Justice, Republic of the Sudan 26 August 2021 Re: Transfer of ICC Suspects…
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Displaced Iraqis’ Rights Trampled Repeatedly

(Beirut) – The Iraqi army has unlawfully evicted dozens of families from a village north of Baghdad since July 2021 in an apparent family feud involving a government minister, Human Rights Watch said today. The 91 families from al-Aetha, a village in…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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Proper Security Forces Reform Urgently Needed

Sudan’s transitional government announced plans last week to create a new joint security force tasked with ensuring the rule of law and fighting security threats across the country. But the joint force is riddled with problems, not least of which is…
A Sudanese soldier from the Rapid Support Forces or RSF stands on his vehicle during a military-backed tribe's rally in the East Nile province, Sudan on June 22th, 2019.
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A federal judge in California ruled on April 21 that the Iraqi extradition case against Omar Ameen, a resettled refugee in the U.S., was based on an alleged series of events that is "simply not plausible." The evidence the government presented,…
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Vulnerable People Stripped of Services During Pandemic

Update 8/25/21: In a letter dated August 13, 2021, the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut responded to Human Rights Watch laying out the measures the government is taking to ensure that returns are not forced, and saying that it is providing food, shelter, and…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Sudan Should Transfer al-Bashir, Other Suspects to International Criminal Court

(Hague) – The International Criminal Court’s first major hearings in the case of Ali Kosheib on May 24, 2021, are an important step toward justice for grave crimes committed in Darfur, Sudan, Human Rights Watch said today. But the absence of four…
Displaced people living in Ardamata camp in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, welcoming the start of proceedings in the case against “Janjaweed” militia leader Ali Kosheib at the International Criminal Court. Photos courtesy of Radio Dabanga www.dabangasudan.org. 
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When protests erupted in Baghdad and other parts of central and southern Iraq in October 2019, tens of thousands of mostly young people took to the streets demanding improved government services and more action to curb widespread corruption. The…
Iraqi security forces fire tear gas to disperse protesters during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.
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Allow Peaceful Assembly, Reform Security Forces

(Nairobi) – Sudan’s armed forces used excessive and lethal force against peaceful protesters gathered in Khartoum on May 11, 2021, to commemorate victims of a 2019 deadly crackdown, Human Rights Watch said today. Sudan’s Health Ministry said two…
Sudanese protesters gather to commemorate the two-year anniversary of a deadly crackdown by security forces outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, on May 11, 2021.
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Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
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Bill Would Have Criminalized Wide Range of Peaceful Expression

In a win for online freedom in Iraq, in February the Iraqi parliament said it will stop pushing forward a cybercrimes draft law until after it is amended so that it protects rather than infringes upon free speech. As it stood, the law would have…
Woman holding up a sign in Arabic
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Appeals Court Should Consider Flagrant Irregularities

(Beirut) – A court in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq sentenced three journalists and two activists to six years in prison on February 16, 2021, in deeply flawed proceedings, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities continue to hold two other…
Families of the journalists and activists on trial on February 16, 2021, sitting outside the Erbil District Court of Appeal.
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More Efforts Needed to Ensure Timely, Transparent Accountability

When Sudan’s long-standing president Omar al-Bashir was ousted on April 11, 2019, protesters who had placed their lives on the line hoped this would mark the beginning of a freer and more just Sudan. Two years on, amidst slow progress and complex…
Sudanese celebrate after officials said the military had forced longtime autocratic President Omar al-Bashir to step down after 30 years in power in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, April 11, 2019.
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Victims Await Justice for Darfur Atrocities

On March 11, former Darfuri tribal leader, Musa Hilal, was released after four years in detention in Sudan’s capital Khartoum after being pardoned by the country’s Sovereign Council. Hilal gained notoriety playing a well-documented role leading the…
Sudanese Janjaweed militia chief Musa Hilal waves following his release in the Maamoura suburb of the capital Khartoum, Sudan, March 11, 2021. 
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Stop Military Arrests of Civilians, Investigate Abuses

    UPDATE: On February 23 Sudan announced it had passed laws ratifying both International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the United Nations Convention against Torture. Human…
Protesters gather demanding the closure of the headquarters of Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, January 14, 2021.
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Important Step, but More Action Needed to Rein in Continued Attacks

(Beirut) – On February 15, Iraqi authorities detained at least four men, with alleged ties to a unit within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF or Hashad, formally under the control of the prime minister) who are alleged to have killed at least four…
Ali Naseer Alawy, after armed masked men beat him and used an acid mixture to try to remove a tattoo on his arm.