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For the many Australians deeply concerned about the growing climate emergency, it’s been a tough year. As nations like the United States and the United Kingdom have pledged to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions…
A student protester speaks to the crowd during a climate change protest in Brisbane.
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Make Safe Visits to Aged Care Homes a Reality

For the first time in 12 weeks, residents of Sydney, Australia are now allowed to gather outdoors with up to four friends who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Since a fresh Covid-19 outbreak in late June, millions of people in Sydney have…
Summitcare aged care facility in Baulkham Hills in Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2021.
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New South Wales Should Urgently Address Spread of Covid-19 in Prisons

(Sydney) – The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) should urgently ensure that prisoners have access to Covid-19 vaccines, Human Rights Watch said today. The Covid-19 Delta strain has spread inside NSW prisons. State authorities told…
The entry sign to Parklea Correctional Centre in Sydney.
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Authorities Should End Mistreatment of Prisoners, Allow Investigations

This week, apparently hacked videos of surveillance cameras in Iran’s Evin prison, in the capital Tehran, have confirmed many of the patterns of abusive treatment and violations of due process human rights groups have documented for decades. These…
In this undated frame grab taken from video shared with The Associated Press by a self-identified hacker group called "The Justice of Ali," a guard hits a prisoner, at Evin prison in Tehran, Iran. 
News
Ahmad, an Afghan Australian, was already feeling exhausted after weeks of strict lockdown in a Western Sydney suburb, as he and his wife worked from home and home-schooled their four children. Then on August 15, Ahmad, like many Afghans abroad,…
Afghanistan evacuees arrive at Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East
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Ensure Vaccine Access for First Nations People; Increase Prisoner Protections

(Sydney) – The Australian government should urgently act to prevent an outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta strain from having devastating outcomes for vulnerable First Nations and prisoner populations, Human Rights Watch said today. Although the federal…
Deep cleaning at Dubbo West Public School
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Vaccine Prohibitions, Poor Transparency Undermining Response

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities’ prohibition on procuring US- and UK-produced vaccines, lack of transparency, and mismanagement are exacerbating the already dire impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Iran, Human Rights Watch said today. Iran is…
An Iranian man wearing a protective face mask looks on as people line-up to receive China's Sinopharm vaccine in central Tehran on July 19, 2021. 
News

Increase Humanitarian Aid, Support UN Reporting on Abuses

(Sydney) – The Australian government should urgently help protect Afghan civilians who are at heightened risk under the new Taliban authorities, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The government…
Two children walk by armed soldiers in the countryside
News

Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice for Long-Ignored Crimes

(Stockholm) – The opening of a landmark trial in Sweden on August 10, 2021 of an Iranian citizen accused of participating in the mass execution of political prisoners is an important moment for victims long denied recognition and justice. On July…
A human rights exhibition on Iran during the international campaign to demand justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre, held near the French National Assembly in Paris, November 14, 2017.
News
Over the past few years, Human Rights Watch has seen numerous governments wage disinformation wars to further their agendas. Journalists and human rights activists, including Human Rights Watch staff, face online harassment campaigns, including by state-…
News

Senate Should Pass Motion Disallowing Regulation

By Laura Thomas, Acting Australia Director  In Australia, occupying inconvenient places has been a crucial tactic for protesters to highlight human rights abuses and environmental destruction. That’s why it’s concerning to see the Australian…
Two Jabiluka mine protesters sit chained to heavy drilling equipment installed at the proposed site of the Jabiluka Uranium mine in Jabiluka, Australia on March 24, 1998.
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Hundreds Arrested; At Least 9 Deaths, Including a Child

(Beirut) – The rising death toll and mass arrests raise grave concerns about the Iranian authorities’ response to recent protests in Khuzestan and other provinces, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and…
Map of Iran with Khuzestan Province Highlighted
News

Waive TRIPS Amid Delta Outbreak, Vaccine Shortages

Right now, half of Australia’s population – more than 13 million people – are living under a hard lockdown after a growing outbreak of the Delta coronavirus strain that began in Sydney in June. The strict stay at home measures come amid a shortage in…
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, watches a pharmacist prepare a simulated vaccine at the Sydney local health district vaccination hub in Sydney, February 19, 2021.
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3 Protesters Reported Killed in Southwestern Khuzestan Province

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities appear to have used excessive force against demonstrators in southwestern Iran protesting lack of access to water, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should transparently investigate the reported deaths of at…
Map of Iran with Khuzestan Province Highlighted
News

Governments Should Reject Costly, Harmful Policy for Refugees, Asylum Seekers

(Sydney) – Other governments should reject Australia’s abusive and costly offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. July 19, 2021 is the eighth anniversary of the Australian government’s resumption of its…
Asylum seekers and human rights activists protest against the detention of refugees amid the Covid-19 crisis in Brisbane.
News

Federal Court Indicts 4 Iranians for Targeting Journalist Masih Alinejad

(New York) – The United States Justice Department’s indictment of four Iranian nationals allegedly plotting to kidnap an Iranian dissident journalist living in New York City heightens concerns about Iranian efforts to target Iranian activists abroad,…
Journalist and author Masih Alinejad speaks at a conference in New York City, on October 16, 2018.
News

Address Asylum Policy, Indigenous Inequality, Climate Change

(Geneva, July 8, 2021) – Australia’s rejection of recommendations from United Nations member countries to end the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and close offshore processing centers shows continuing disregard for the rights of migrants, Human…
2015-australia-asia-hrc2
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Item 6 - Universal Periodic Review

Human Rights Watch deeply regrets that Australia has rejected recommendations to end the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and close offshore processing centers. Human Rights Watch and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have…
2015-australia-asia-hrc2
Report
Summary I have to censor myself. This is the reality. I come to Australia and still I’m not free. —Lei Chen (pseudonym), student from mainland China describing his experience studying in an Australian university, September 25, 2020 You have…