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Protect Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities, Impose Death Penalty Moratorium

On September 21, the Pakistan Supreme Court directed a medical board to examine two death row prisoners with psychosocial disabilities, or mental health conditions, seeking expert opinion on mental health as a mitigating factor in capital punishment…
The Supreme court building is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 17, 2017.
News

Enforce Decision, Protect Rights of People with Disabilities

A recent decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court directs the federal and provincial governments to take steps to fully realize equal participation of people with disabilities. The court ruling was in response to a petition…
The Supreme court building is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 17, 2017.
News
With great sadness we share the news that Medi Ssengooba, a dear friend, partner, and colleague at Human Rights Watch, passed away last week after a short illness. Medi was a strong advocate, a sharp lawyer, and a kind and…
201812africa_ghana_disabilities_medissengooba
News

Protect Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities, Impose a Complete Moratorium on Death Sentence

This week, a medical board confirmed that Saleem Ahmad, a prisoner on death row for 14 years, has chronic schizophrenia. Ahmad, 50, had been scheduled to be executed in November 2017, but a court suspended his execution and…
Imdad Ali, who is aged around 50, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious cleric in 2002 and is set to be hanged tomorrow.
News

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.
News

Activists and Journalists Targeted for Criticizing Military, Militant Groups

(New York) – The Pakistani government should immediately end its crackdown on peaceful speech on the internet, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should cease intimidating internet critics of the military and government, and…
Pakistan: Internet Crackdown Intensifies PHOTO
News

Women, Religious Groups, Refugees Endure Violence, Intimidation

(New York) – Pakistan’s government did little to protect vulnerable groups and religious minorities from attack by militant groups in 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. The authorities clamped down on civil society groups for…
Supporters of the Gender Interactive Alliance dance and chant slogans as they pose with a national flag ahead of the Independence Day in Karachi, August 13, 2016.
News

Imdad Ali’s Execution Imminent

Does Imdad Ali, a 50-year-old Pakistani with schizophrenia, understand that he will be executed in the next few days? It’s hard to tell. The death penalty is inherently cruel – but even more so for those who may not recognize their crimes. Ali’s…
Imdad Ali, who is aged around 50, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious cleric in 2002 and is set to be hanged tomorrow.
Report
Summary I have no hope of getting justice in this crooked system. —Umar Daraz, Karachi, January 2016 How do you expect us to recover stolen items from hardened criminals? Do you think they will agree if we say, ‘Be nice to us and return…
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Imminent Execution Cruel, Would Not Serve Justice

Update 9/19: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has stayed the execution of Imdad Ali for one week, until September 27, 2016. (New York) – Pakistani authorities should halt the execution of Imdad Ali, which is scheduled for September 20, 2016,…
News
Abdul Basit, a 43-year-old prisoner paralyzed from the waist down after developing tuberculosis in prison in 2010, will likely go to the gallows in his wheelchair in the next few days. Basit is the latest person with a disability on death row whose life…
Abdul Basit
News

Lawmakers Should Reject Bill to Ensure Free Expression

(New York) – Pakistani lawmakers should reject a new cybercrime prevention bill which contains provisions which threaten rights of privacy and freedom of expression. In a joint statement published on April 20 and distributed to Pakistani members of…
News
In Pakistan, even an accusation of insulting Islam can be a death sentence. It is therefore good news that officials in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province have taken a small step to limit the injustice of Pakistan’s “blasphemy” law. Last Friday, Sindh…
News
Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week recognized the enormity of the country’s problem of enforced disappearances with a simple directive: identify the bodies. On February 10, the Supreme Court asked federal and provincial governments to ensure that “…
News
Where is Sam Mugumya? This question is plaguing his family and Uganda’s opposition leadership. Sam, an ardent opposition party activist, disappeared from his home district of Rukungiri, on Uganda’s western border with Congo, in early November. His friends…
News
Two steep steps. This is what makes it so hard for Amman to go into his school like the rest of his classmates. His school's entrance has no ramp, and these two steep steps leave him no choice but to crawl into his classroom. Amman, who has a physical…