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In late 2018, Sierra Leone's First Lady, Fatima Bio, opened a national campaign "Hands Off Our Girls."   Her campaign made big promises to reduce child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country, in part to tackle the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
Report
Summary My brother asked, “Can I have your identity? What is your force? Are you RAB, CID, DB?” They did not identify themselves. He asked several times. They did not wear any uniform and they had no legal arrest warrant. Nothing. They just said, “…
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Government Action Needed to Address Discrimination, Ensure Access

“Sometimes [having your period] is a challenge. [It] stops girls from going to school.” Rebeca, who was 17 when she spoke to Human Rights Watch in 2016, should know. She and other school girls in Tanzania told us they lacked menstrual supplies…
Female and male latrines at a secondary school in Mwanza, northeastern Tanzania. Many students told Human Rights Watch that they had to use dirty and congested pit latrines.
Report
Summary On the morning of February 28, 2013, the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party called a strike to protest the death penalty handed down against its leader, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, who had been convicted by Bangladesh’s International Crimes…
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Carry Out Proper Investigations to Identify and Prosecute ‘Machete Attacks’

(New York) – The Bangladeshi authorities should investigate attacks on secular writers, gay rights activists, and religious minorities, and identify and prosecute the perpetrators, but should immediately stop arbitrarily arresting people without proper…
Police stand guard during a rally by activists demanding capital punishment for a group of bloggers in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 12, 2013.
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On June 26, the world commemorates the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In Tanzania, however, such commemorations are likely to be muted. Tanzania is among a small minority of countries that have not signed or ratified the Convention…
News

People Most at Risk Driven Underground by Discrimination, Violence

(Dar es Salaam) – Tanzanians who are most at risk of HIV face widespread police abuse and often can’t get help when they are victims of crime, Human Rights Watch and the Wake Up and Step Forward Coalition (WASO) said in a report released today. …
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Reforms Should Tackle Failings of Courts, Laws, and Assistance Programs

(New York) – Bangladesh’s discriminatory personal laws on marriage, separation, and divorce trap many women and girls in abusive marriages or drive them into poverty when marriages fall apart, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. In…
News
Doe-eyed and frail, with a mellow voice and a cheery smile, nothing about Sara (not her real name) suggested she had been through ordeal after ordeal in her 22 years. Forcibly married at 15 to a much older man, she discovered after the marriage that her…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…
News

Three Groups File Lawsuit Seeking Information about ‘Ghost’ Detention

(New York) – In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The…