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UN, Donors Should Urge Protection, Freedom of Movement on Bhasan Char

(New York) – The Bangladesh government has relocated nearly 20,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island without adequate health care, livelihoods, or protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United Nations and donor…
An elderly man carries luggage over his head as he walks he off a ship
News

Free Expression Under Serious Threat

(New York) – The Bangladesh government’s increasingly violent crackdown on media freedom is of urgent concern on World Press Freedom Day, nine nongovernmental organizations said in a letter today to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High…
Journalists work in front of a Covid-19 Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 20, 2021. 
News

Investigate Security Force Beatings for Attempting to Flee Bhasan Char Island

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should immediately investigate allegations that security forces beat and arbitrarily detained Rohingya refugees who tried to leave Bhasan Char island, Human Rights Watch said today. The Bangladesh government has…
Rohingya refugees headed to the Bhasan Char island prepare to board navy vessels from the south eastern port city of Chattogram, Bangladesh on Feb.15,2021. © 2021 AP Photo
News

Held in Pretrial Detention After Criticizing Government

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should conduct a transparent and independent investigation into the circumstances of Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in custody, Human Rights Watch said today. Ahmed, a writer, died in prison on February 25, 2021, after being…
Activists and students demonstrate against writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in police custody, Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 26, 2021.
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Transfers Need Independent Assessment, Refugees’ Informed Consent

(New York) – The Bangladesh government should immediately halt imminent relocations of Rohingya refugees to remote Bhasan Char island, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have reportedly prepared a list of 4,000 Rohingya refugees to be…
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Rights, Rule of Law Key in Response to Region’s Crises

(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should set consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response to political turmoil, such as in Kyrgyzstan, or to challenges…
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
News

Inadequate Measures Heighten Existing Risks for Health, Lives

(London) – Government inaction has left women and girls facing avoidable obstacles to accessing legal abortion in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s failure to…
Banners and posters from a sit-in by pro-choice activists at the Ministry of Health in Rome on July 2, 2020.
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Nine-months pregnant, Fatema Akhter Mukta, 30, died on June 10 after her family struggled for five days to find a hospital in Bangladesh willing to admit her when she began having trouble breathing. When, finally, a hospital admitted her and referred…
Patients sit on the ground as they wait in queue outside of a hospital for Covid-19 test in Dhaka, Bangladesh on May 16, 2020. 
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Amid protests against racism and police brutality in Minneapolis, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington likened police investigations of arrested protesters and their associates to contact tracing for COVID-19. This reckless analogy…
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Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan Should Allow Free Flow of Information

(Geneva) – The World Health Organization (WHO) should press four governments that have shut down the internet to minority populations during the Covid-19 crisis to restore internet access, Human Rights Watch and 47 other organizations…
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Boat People Face Cyclones, Flooding on Bhasan Char

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities have quarantined 29 Rohingya refugees without adequate access to aid on an unstable silt island in the Bay of Bengal, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities said that they…
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Refugee Camp Restrictions Threaten ‘Critical Services’

(Bangkok) – The Bangladesh government’s new Covid-19 restrictions on access to aid put Rohingya refugees at greater risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The lockdown measures cut humanitarian workers in refugee camps by 80 percent and put the…
Rohingya refugees place empty jars in a line while waiting to collect water in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on April, 20, 2020.
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Ensure Information Access, Curb Abuses, Protect Detainees

(Berlin) – Governments in Central Asia have failed to consistently uphold human rights obligations in their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic by limiting access to information about the spread of the virus and implementing restrictions in…
Kyrgyz law enforcement officers verify drivers and passengers' documents at a check point, after authorities declared a state of emergency in the capital Bishkek.
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  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
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States Should Allow Rescue Boats to Land, While Protecting Health

(Milan) – European governments’ actions to close their ports to people rescued at sea puts lives at risk and cannot be justified on public health grounds, Human Rights Watch said today. The imperative to protect the right to health in a pandemic…
Crew work seen on the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, operated by German charity Sea Eye.
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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

Companies Canceling Orders, Adding to Job Loss, Unpaid Wages

  (London) – Apparel brands’ business practices in response to COVID-19 are exacerbating the economic plight of millions of garment workers in Asia, Human Rights Watch said today. Scores of clothing brands and retailers have canceled…
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Academics, Critics Apparently Targeted in Violation of Free Speech Rights

(New York) – The Bangladesh government appears to be cracking down on free speech as COVID-19 hits the country, silencing those who express concern over the government’s handling of the epidemic, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities…
Police members wear protective equipment as they patrol the streets during the nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the Coronavirus outbreak, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 2, 2020.