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“Grow up!”, Boris Johnson told world leaders in his address to the United Nations. The British Prime Minister warned that all countries must commit to major changes ahead of the global climate summit in the UK, at the beginning of next month. If we…
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 22, 2021.
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(Kampala) – Ugandan authorities on August 20, 2021, announced without prior notification that they had halted the activities of 54 civil society groups, including human rights and election monitoring organizations, Human Rights Watch said today.…
The flag of Uganda.
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Government Should Include Pregnant People in Heat Action and Climate Adaptation Plans

As the UK bakes in record-setting temperatures, its meteorological service issued its first-ever extreme heat warning this week. Public Health England extended its own heat health alert through July 23, as soaring day- and night-time temperatures…
A woman walks under a parasol to shelter from the sun in Birmingham, U.K., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The U.K.'s Met Office has issued its first-ever Extreme Heat weather warning, stating that continuing high temperatures will lead to public health impacts.
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Concrete Plans Needed to Address Climate Crisis, Protect Rights

(London) – G7 member countries should take immediate and concrete action to end fossil fuel subsidies, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-answer document released today. Ending these subsidies is key to countries meeting their human rights…
A Uniper coal-fired power plant and a BP refinery steam beside a wind generator in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on Jan. 16, 2020. © 2020 Martin Meissner/AP Photo
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Michael Muhima Faces Prison Over a Tweet; End Criminalization of Free Speech

(Kampala) – Ugandan authorities should drop the abusive charges against a 24-year-old law student over a tweet, Human Rights Watch said today. Michael Muhima was charged on May 14, 2021, with “offensive communication” for a tweet he posted in…
Mike Muhima
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After Pledging Reforms, UK Development Bank Should Implement Them

A United Kingdom development bank, CDC Group, has taken another step toward addressing human rights abuses at oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May, the bank committed to reforming its complaints mechanism and adopting a…
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Arrests Prompt Calls to #FreeBizonto

On Friday, July 24, Ugandan police arrested four comedians for a satirical video they posted online. The comedians, Julius Sserwanja, Simon Peter Ssabakaki, Merceli Mbabali, and Gold Kimatono, are part of a group called Bizonto and perform skits that…
The flag of Uganda.
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Authorities Also Repressing Political Opposition Events

  Uganda is once again targeting media outlets it believes to be critical of the government. Last week, Uganda’s media regulatory body, the Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC), accused 13 radio and…
Media and members of Uganda's Human Rights Network for Journalists struggle with police as they protest outside the Daily Monitor newspaper head office
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On Press Freedom Day, Authorities Should Commit to Supporting Free Expression

This week, the director of Uganda’s media regulatory authority, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), directed thirteen radio and television stations, including a Kampala-based television station to suspend their staff after they …
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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New Law Restricts Right to Free Speech and Information on Social Media

This weekend the Ugandan government began to implement a troubling new set of tax rules requiring social media users – including of popular apps like WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook - to pay a daily fee of 200 Ugandan Shilling (US$0.05…
Ugandan lawmakers arrive at the parliament, in Kampala, Uganda September 21, 2017.
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Press Visiting Junta Leader to Fulfill Promises on Rights, Democracy

(London) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron should press Thailand’s junta leader to respect human rights and ensure a rapid transition to democratic civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Gen…
A Pro-democracy activist holds a fan during protest against junta near Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
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UK Home Secretary Suggests Only Bad Guys Want ‘Unbreakable Security’

In a recent op-ed, United Kingdom Home Secretary Amber Rudd argued strong encryption was thwarting the government’s ability to monitor terrorists and criminals. Rudd expressed skepticism about the need for end-to-end encryption,…
WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone in Manchester , Britain March 27, 2017.
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Defending against right-wing populism requires standing up for democratic values

It has been a bad few weeks for the populists and others who attack human rights. Emmanuel Macron trounced Marine Le Pen in the presidential elections, then his party collected a parliamentary majority of 350 seats against her National…
British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron attend the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 22, 2017.
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High Profile Academic Jailed Over Facebook Posting

“When you hear of my arrest, prepare your most comfortable clothes for you will soon be travelling to my village-home in Kalinga to bury me in the brown earth next to my father.  When you hear of my arrest, tell the judge assigned to my…
Ugandan prominent academic Stella Nyanzi (L) speaks with her lawyer during court appearance for criticising the wife of President Yoweri Museveni on social media, at Buganda Road Court, Kampala, Uganda April 10, 2017.
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Applicants Seek to Know if GCHQ Spied on Them, Legally or Not

Human Rights Watch and six individuals lodged a challenge with the European Court of Human Rights, demanding that the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal confirm whether or not they were subject to surveillance by GCHQ. The challenge, filed on November 4,…
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My country feels unmoored since the EU referendum decision. Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation, the main political parties are internally divided, the markets volatile. What will happen next is unclear and people are anxious about…
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