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Creating a Criminal Offense Essential to Police Reform

(New York) – Pakistan’s National Assembly should urgently pass a bill that would make torture a criminal offense, Human Rights Watch and Justice Project Pakistan said today. The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Act 2019, which…
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(Washington, DC, April 26, 2021) – Venezuelan security forces have committed egregious abuses against local residents during a weeks-long operation against armed groups on the border with Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuelan security…
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Proposed Law First Step to Curb Impunity, Reform Police

Pakistan is moving to make torture a criminal offense, an important step in stemming widespread abuses by the police. A bill submitted to parliament this week by Senator Sherry Rehman – The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment…
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Stiffer Punishments Don’t Appear to be Deterring Crimes

On September 20, a man in Peshawar killed his two daughters because he thought they had boyfriends, and felt “ashamed” – the latest in a series of recent horrific acts of violence perpetrated in the name of “honor.” In a…
Members of civil society hold placards during a protest in Islamabad, Pakistan against a recent "honor" killing on May 29, 2014.
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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.
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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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Lack of Accountability, Outdated Methods Contribute to Rights Violations

(New York) – The Pakistani government should overhaul its police system that enables and even encourages serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Successive Pakistani governments have for…
A police officer is framed by the architecture of Lahore's Badshahi Mosque while standing guard during a prayer session on Eid al-Adha November 7, 2011. Copyright Reuters
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
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Ensure Perpetrators Prosecuted, Health Services for Victims of Rape, Domestic Violence

(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s laws on violence against women are not adequately protecting victims displaced by the armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face…
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It’s the Americas’ largest reunion. Happening every three years, the Summit of the Americas brings together the heads-of-state of the region to talk about pressing concerns. Over the weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, the theme will be “Connecting the…
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  Torturers can run but they can’t hide. And regardless of who they are or how powerful, they will be named, shamed and forever pursued. In February 2011, former US president George W Bush cancelled a trip to Switzerland, where alleged victims of torture…
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“We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years” Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan Map of Balochistan Summary Key Recommendations Methodology      Background: Conflict and Abuses in…
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1. In February 2003, the mayor of a small town on Colombia's Caribbean coast stood up at a nationally televised meeting with then President Álvaro Uribe and announced his own murder. "Señor Presidente, I am the mayor of El Roble," Tito Díaz said as he…
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New Law Criminalizing Sexual Harassment Welcome but Needs Enforcement Tools

(New York) - The Pakistani government should quickly reintroduce legislation to protect women and children from domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said today. The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill was passed unanimously by the National…
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British Government Should Stop Stonewalling

(London) - The UK government should immediately order an independent judicial inquiry into the role and complicity of British security services in the torture of terrorism suspects in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 46-…
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Cruel Britannia British Complicity in the Torture and Ill-treatment of Terror Suspects in Pakistan Cruel Britannia Summary Key Recommendations The British government should: Methodology I. Background…
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Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

Summary Ongoing human rights concerns in Pakistan include arbitrary detention (including of lawyers and human rights defenders); lack of fair trials; mistreatment, torture and enforced disappearances of terrorism suspects and political opponents;…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…