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Authorities Should Focus on Solutions, Not Misguided, Abusive Policies

Hundreds of corpses, many suspected victims of Covid-19, are being left along riverbanks in northern India. Local officials say that decomposition makes it difficult to determine whether they died of the coronavirus. But villagers say that fear of the…
Policeman stand bodies Ganges River India Covid
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Covid-19 is surging through India, resulting in record-breaking numbers of new cases with medicine, oxygen, and vaccines in tragically short supply. Amy Braunschweiger speaks with South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly about how this humanitarian crisis is…
People wait to get tested for Covid-19 in Hyderabad, India. A crowd stands before two health care workers.
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Free Expression Crucial to Managing Covid-19 Pandemic

Indian groups trying to locate assistance for Covid-19 patients are finding that the requests keep coming. Although the government has attempted to increase medical supply stocks, distribution remains patchy. The authorities have often responded to…
People wait to get tested for Covid-19 in Hyderabad, India. A crowd stands before two health care workers.
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Provide Essential Medical Supplies; Urge India to Free Rights Defenders, Address Abuses

(Brussels) – European leaders at the May 8, 2021 summit with their Indian counterparts should prioritize the deteriorating human rights situation in India, including the right to health, eight organizations said today. With a devastating Covid-19…
People suffering from breathing problems receive free oxygen support at a gurdwara, a place of assembly and worship for Sikhs, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Delhi, India.
News

Address Healthcare Shortages, End Mixed Messaging

As India faces the world’s fastest-growing number of Covid-19 cases, with 316,000 new confirmed infections on April 21, the highest single-day count in any country, and more than 2,100 deaths, the government’s response appears to have collapsed. A…
A hospital information board shows non-availability of beds in New Delhi, India, April 21, 2021.
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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…
202003bhr_coronavirus_kashmir_internet shutdowns
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Discrimination Will Affect the Country’s Fight Against the Pandemic

As the number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 10,000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on April 14 to announce an extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 3. He acknowledged the hardship, particularly for…
Men wait for a bus that will take them to a quarantine facility in the Nizamuddin area of New Delhi, India, March 31, 2020.
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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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Ensure All Have Access to Food, Health Care

(New York) – Indian authorities need to urgently adopt measures to protect the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people if COVID-19 containment and relief measures prove inadequate, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 24…
Migrant workers make the journey to their villages on foot following a lockdown amid concern of the spread of coronavirus in New Delhi, India, March 27, 2020.
News
“We don’t get any other job no matter where we go. I have tried. I know this is discrimination, but what can I do?” In June 2014, when I met 18-year-old Bablu, he was working through a contractor for the government, cleaning garbage and…
 Gangashree walks through the village to manually clean human excrement from dry toilets in Kasela, Uttar Pradesh, which she will collect in her basket and carry to the outskirts of the village for disposal.
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Investigate Alleged Use of Excessive Force

(New York) – Authorities in India’s Tamil Nadu state should conduct a prompt, impartial, and transparent investigation into the police shooting of protesters against a copper plant that left at least 12 dead and 80 injured, Human Rights Watch said…
People shout slogans outisde the Tamil Nadu House during a protest, after at least 10 people were killed when police fired on protesters seeking closure of plant on environmental grounds in town of Thoothukudi in southern state of Tamil Nadu, in New Delhi
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Ill-treatment of Prisoners Continues Unabated

“The last time I saw my son alive, he was begging me to save him. He told me that the policemen holding him in custody beat him with a belt the entire night, forcing him to confess to the crime.” Leonard Valdaris’s son Agnelo…
Police officers in New Delhi, India in January 2016. Police in India are often accused of protecting colleagues from accountability for abuses.
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Abusive Officer Rewarded in Kashmir

(New York) – The Indian army’s rewarding of an officer for actions that included serious human rights violations undermines accountability and the stature of the military, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 22, 2017, Maj. Nitin Leetul…
India: Lack of Army Justice Could Provoke New Crimes PHOTO
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Prosecute Assailants, Protect Targeted Minorities

(New York) – Indian authorities should promptly investigate and prosecute self-appointed “cow protectors” who have committed brutal attacks against Muslims and Dalits over rumors that they sold, bought, or killed cows for beef, Human…
India: ‘Cow Protection’ Spurs Vigilante Violence PHOTO1
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A Postmortem Report, a Special Public Prosecutor, and an Eyewitness Testimony Turned the Tide in the Case of 20-Year-Old Aniket Khicchi

Aniket Khicchi and Ratan Vani were arrested on October 26, 2013, for alleged theft and taken to the Vanrai police station in Mumbai’s Goregaon neighbourhood. Khicchi died that night. The police did not inform Khicchi’s family either of the arrest or of…
Police officers in New Delhi, India in January 2016. Police in India are often accused of protecting colleagues from accountability for abuses.
News

Police Are Rarely Held Accountable for Custodial Deaths, As the Case of 22-Year-Old Altaf Shaikh Shows

“From his affidavit it appears that he has already made up his mind and has given a clean chit to the police officers,” the Bombay High Court found in October 2009 in response to an affidavit from the assistant commissioner of police of Maharashtra’s…
Copy of post-mortem report of Altaf Shaikh, September 11, 2009.
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How the Police Disregard the Laws Designed to Prevent Torture and Mistreatment in Custody

“He was crying bitterly, he was saying, ‘Daddy save me, save me. They have been beating me the whole night. They will kill me, Daddy. These policemen will kill me.’” Leonard Valdaris, father of 25-year-old Agnelo, is haunted by the last words…
Agnelo's grave.
Report
Summary This is what I have to say about the wounds on the body of the said accused. Since he was a hard core criminal, he refused to give any information. It was essential to get that information from him, that’s why [the police] used the “truth…
News

Enforce Laws to End Torture, Deaths of Detainees

(New York) – Police in India often bypass arrest procedures and torture suspects in custody to death, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. At least 591 people died in police custody in India between 2010 and 2015, according to official data…
Police officers in New Delhi, India in January 2016. Police in India are often accused of protecting colleagues from accountability for abuses.