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Abuses Overlooked to Justify Cruel Asylum Policy

This week, the United Kingdom published its safety assessment on Rwanda, intended to justify a recently announced agreement to send asylum seekers crossing the English Channel or other so called “irregular” or dangerous routes to the Central African…
Protesters hold placards reading "refugees welcome here" at a demonstration
News

Government Continues to Rip Up its Duties to Asylum Seekers

Shirking its obligations to persons seeking asylum at its shores, the UK government has today signed an agreement with Rwanda to send asylum seekers crossing the English Channel there. Under the new Asylum Partnership Arrangement, people arriving…
British Home Secretary Priti Patel (L), and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta sign an agreement
News

The House of Lords Should Safeguard Life and Rights in the Channel

Today, the House of Lords has the chance to take a stand against the UK government’s attempt to “legalize” pushbacks in the English Channel. The House will debate an amendment to the Nationality and Borders Bill, which would ensure UK officials cannot…
A damaged inflatable small boat is pictured on the shore in Calais, northern France, November 25, 2021.
News
Last Wednesday, the Nationality and Borders Bill ­– fittingly dubbed the “Anti-refugee bill”­– passed its third reading in the House of Commons, 298 ayes to 231 noes. The Borders Bill works to dismantle the international refugee…
Border Force officers assist 20 Syrian migrants aboard HMC Hunter after they were stopped as they crossed The Channel in an inflatable dinghy headed in the direction of England.
News

Proposed Borders Bill Would Cause More Suffering, Less Protection

Perhaps the most draconian immigration bill in the United Kingdom’s history is moving swiftly through parliament, currently in its final days of scrutiny in the Commons. The Nationality and Borders Bill seeks to dismantle core tenets of the…
A group of people on the deck of HMC Seeker as they wait to be brought ashore by the UK Border Force in Kent. September 22, 2020.
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
News

Proposed Pushbacks Show Disregard for Life and Safety at Sea

The UK government’s reported plan to “turn around” boats of migrants and refugees in the English Channel is irresponsible, dangerous, and unlawful. But talking about “turn-arounds” almost makes these tactics sound gentle. Pushbacks at sea would…
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers on September 5, 2021.
News

Costly, Abusive Approach Fails to Address System’s Flaws

The United Kingdom government’s new borders bill is expected to include the option of detaining asylum seekers offshore, according to multiple news reports. The emerging details of the policy shift suggest an approach that would not only likely cause…
A group of people on the deck of HMC Seeker as they wait to be brought ashore by the UK Border Force in Kent. September 22, 2020.
Report
Summary One of the [border] officers said to me : “Canada is a free country for Canadians, not for foreigners.” He seemed very happy to tell me: “You’re going to sleep in jail tonight.” The other officers were laughing about this.… Immigration…
News

NATO Members, Australia Should Expedite Relocation of Local Staff

(Washington, DC) – Countries with troops departing Afghanistan should accelerate programs to resettle former Afghan interpreters and other employees who are increasingly at risk from Taliban forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The planned…
Former Afghan interpreters hold placards during a protest against the U.S. government and NATO in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 30, 2021.
News
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
News

Vague Charges; Allegations of Abuse and Torture

(Beirut) – Iranian courts have reportedly issued or upheld at least four execution sentences since late June 2020 in connection to repeated protests against the deterioration of economic conditions and government corruption over the past two years,…
Iranian protesters gather around a burning car during a demonstration against an increase in gasoline prices in the capital Tehran, on November 16, 2019.
News

No Access to Lawyer, Risk of Mistreatment

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities have detained two students from Sharif University in Tehran in solitary confinement for nearly two months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should release the two students immediately – unless they can…
News

Some Released, Remainder Face Serious Risks from COVID-19

On April 1, Canadian authorities released several detainees from the Laval Immigration Holding Centre in Quebec. Some had gone on hunger strike to protest the lack of protection from COVID-19 in detention facilities. “We felt abandoned,” one man…
People wait in a temporary detention center in Blackpool, Quebec, August 5, 2017.
News

COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News
Canadians across the country welcomed the news last week that Vanessa Rodel and her young daughter, Keana, had finally found shelter in Montreal. They are two of “Snowden’s angels,” asylum-seekers whose kindness in sheltering the…
Asylum seekers, from left: Ajith Pushpa Kumara, Vanessa Mae Rodel and her daughter Keana, Nadeeka Dilrukshi Nonis and her son Dinath and daughter Sethmundi Kellapatha, and Supun Thilina Kellapatha, pose outside the building of Hong Kong's immigration depa
News
My mobile phone vibrating next to my head far too early on a Sunday morning was the first indication someone was in trouble. Even in an organization such as Human Rights Watch, that spans time zones across the globe, people don’t usually call at that hour…
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