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Rights Groups Call for Decisive Action on International Day for Victims

(New York) – The Bangladesh government has failed to address widespread allegations of torture and ill-treatment by its security forces, ten rights groups said on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The groups called on the…
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) officials stand alert inside a truck in front of Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka, Bangladesh on February 20, 2021.
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One Year Anniversary of Wanchalearm Satsaksit’s Abduction

(New York) – The Cambodian authorities have failed to seriously investigate the enforced disappearance of the prominent Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Phnom Penh one year ago, Human Rights Watch said today. During this time, Thailand’s…
Sitanun Satsaksit holds a portrait of her brother, Wanchalearm, who was forcibly disappeared while living in exile in Cambodia on June 4, 2020. 
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Documentary Alleges Links Between General Aziz and Security Force Abuses

(New York) – The United Nations should use its meetings with senior Bangladeshi military officials next week to protest attempts to use the UN as cover for abuses at home, seven human rights groups said today. The UN should announce a comprehensive…
Army chief General Aziz Ahmed (R) looks on during a program in a refugee camp in Ukhia on November 24, 2019.
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Pursuit of Justice for Serious Crimes Continues Amidst Challenges

July 17 marks International Criminal Justice Day, commemorating the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is a moment to reflect on the importance of obtaining justice for…
Members of Myanmar's Rohingya ethnic minority walk through rice fields after crossing the border into Bangladesh near Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area, September 5, 2017.
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Disbanding Future Forward Party, Banning Leaders a Blow to Democracy

(Bangkok) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court dissolved the opposition Future Forward Party on February 21, 2020, on politically motivated allegations, seriously damaging the country’s return to genuine democratic rule, Human Rights Watch said today…
Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit arrives for a press conference at the party's headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, March 25, 2019.
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End Restrictions on Movement, Internet; Investigate Killings of 4

(New York) – The Bangladesh government should end restrictions on Rohingya refugees’ freedom of movement and access to the internet and online communications, Human Rights Watch said today. Government restrictions have intensified following a…
Rohingya refugees gather in the open field at kutupalong refugee camp to commemorate the second anniversary of the 2017 crisis when they were forced to flee from their northern Rakhine state homes in Myanmar escaping a brutal military crackdown. According
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Justice for ‘Billy’ Hindered by Cover-Up, Legal Loopholes

(New York) – Thai authorities should immediately conduct a credible investigation into the abduction and murder of a prominent ethnic Karen activist who was forcibly disappeared more than five years ago. At a news conference on September…
Billy Thai Presser 20170206
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A Rohingya Widow’s Call for Justice

Rahama Khatun’s husband, Shaker Ahmed, has been dead for two years. He was massacred alongside nine other ethnic Rohingya men in the village of Inn Din, in northern Rakhine State, by Myanmar security officers and local Buddhist…
Rahama Khatun holds up photos of her husband who was massacred in Myanmar’s Inn Din village on September 2, 2017, in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, Bangladesh, August 14, 2019.
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Urgent Revamp Needed to Ensure Credibility, Independence

The resignation of two prominent human rights advocates from the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) is an alarm bell signaling the need for a total revamp of the flawed and scandal-ridden agency. Commissioners Angkhana…
Jose L. Cuisia Jr., chairperson of Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, presents the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay awardee Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand during an event in Manila, Philippines, Friday Aug. 2, 2019.
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Military Prosecutor Drops Case Against 8 Soldiers

(New York) – Thai authorities have failed to punish policymakers, military commanders, and soldiers responsible for the deadly crackdown on “Red Shirt” protests in May 2010, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 4, 2019, the military prosecutor…
On August 30, 2017, Phayao Akhard wears the bloody nurses gown worn by her daughter, nurse Kamolkate “Kate” Akhard, when she was killed by Thai Special Forces soldiers while tending wounded persons at the front of Wat Pathum temple on May 19, 2010, to pro
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Conditions Unsafe Until Myanmar Ensures Rights, Security

(New York) – The Bangladesh government should follow the recommendations of senior United Nations refugee and human rights officials and immediately halt the proposed repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
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Human Rights Council Panel commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, I wish to address the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in realizing its ideals. This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the ICC’s…
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No Laws on Enforced Disappearance Mean No Justice for Victims

Today, August 30, is the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. Despite the Thai government’s countless promises, enforced disappearance – the heinous practice by which government officials take someone into custody…
Billy Thai Presser 20170206
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Use of Martial Law Raises Fears of Mistreatment

(New York) – Thai authorities should release or charge with a credible offense an ethnic Malay Muslim human rights activist who has been detained in the deep south, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities arrested Burhan Buraheng of the human rights…
Human rights activist Burhan Buraheng has been arbitrarily detained without charge in a military camp in Thailand’s Pattani province since August 1, 2018.
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Policymakers, Soldiers Escape Accountability for Violence Against ‘Red Shirts’

Eight years ago my colleagues and I watched as the streets of Bangkok were covered with blood in one of Thailand’s most violent political confrontations. Yet there is still no justice for the at least 98 people killed and more than 2,000 injured…
On August 30, 2017, Phayao Akhard wears the bloody nurses gown worn by her daughter, nurse Kamolkate “Kate” Akhard, when she was killed by Thai Special Forces soldiers while tending wounded persons at the front of Wat Pathum temple on May 19, 2010.
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Over the last nine months some 700,000 ethnic Rohingya in Burma have been driven from their homes across the border into Bangladesh by the Burmese military. The attacks have been described by the UN as “a textbook case of ethnic…
Rohingya refugees cross the Naf River with an improvised raft to reach to Bangladesh in Teknaf, Bangladesh, November 12, 2017. Picture taken November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain TO FIND ALL PICTURES SEARCH REUTERS PULITZER
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Security Council Should Refer Situation in Myanmar to the Court

On Monday, International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court’s judges to rule on whether the ICC “can exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.”…
Rohingya refugees walk inside Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh January 8, 2018.
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Security Camera Footage Goes Missing

An inquest in Thailand into the death of a teenage ethnic Lahu activist ended today without an answer to a critical question: What happened to the missing security camera footage the army claims justified the shooting? Chaiyaphum…
Ethnic Lahu activist Chaiyaphum Pa-sae, 17, was shot dead by Thai soldiers during an anti-drug operation on March 17, 2017.
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Sedition, Illegal Assembly Charges Stifle Free Speech, Peaceful Assembly

(New York) – Thai authorities should immediately drop criminal charges against 39 activists who peacefully protested military rule at a rally in Bangkok on January 27, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. If convicted, seven activists…
Pro-democracy activists face sedition and illegal assembly charges for peacefully protesting against military rule in Thailand.