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Ensure Counterinsurgency Operations Are Not Abusive

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should drop politically motivated treason charges and unconditionally release an activist detained for peacefully advocating Papuan independence, Human Rights Watch said today. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should…
Supporters of West Papua shout slogans during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 1, 2020. 
News
February 15, 2021 Human Rights Watch Submission to the Ministry of Unification Regarding the Interpretation Guidelines of the Amendments of the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act We are writing in response to your call for comments regarding…
China: Don’t Force 8 Refugees Back to North Korea PHOTO
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Kim Jong Un Uses Pandemic to Further Isolate Population

(New York, January 13, 2021) – North Korea’s government used unnecessary and opaque Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 to reinforce its standing as one of the world’s most repressive countries, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Under…
Kim Song Ju Primary school students have their temperatures checked before entering the school in Pyongyang, North Korea. 
News

Law Would Block South Koreans from Sending Materials North

(New York) – The South Korean National Assembly should reject a proposed law that would criminalize sending leaflets, information, money, and other items to North Korea, Human Rights Watch said today. If enacted, the law would violate South Koreans’…
People watch a news program showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. 
Report
Summary In late 2014, police officers entered the home of Lim Ok Kyung, a smuggler in her forties from North Korea’s South Hwanghae province. The police were looking for, and found, home appliances smuggled from China. Lim Ok Kyung was detained at a…
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Torture, Lack of Due Process, Arbitrary Punishment, Corruption Rampant

(Seoul) – The North Korean pretrial detention and investigation system is arbitrary and lacks any semblance of due process, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Former detainees described systematic torture, dangerous and unhygienic…
An overhead illustration of people in a crowded jail cell
News

Complaints Commission Needs Real Investigatory, Disciplinary Powers

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government’s proposed police complaints commission would have no powers to punish rights-abusing police, Human Rights Watch said today. A bill to create an “Independent Police Conduct Commission” (IPCC) was submitted to…
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attending parliament session at parliament lower house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
News

Golfrid Siregar Helped to Protect Sumatra’s Rainforests, Villagers

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should immediately and impartially investigate the death of an environmental lawyer, Golfrid Siregar, in Medan, North Sumatra, Human Rights Watch said today. After midnight on October 3, 2019, a pedicab…
Golfrid Siregar (left),  an environmental lawyer, died on October 6, 2019 three days after his unconscious body was found in Medan, North Sumatra.
News

Broad Consultations Needed Before Law Is Finalized

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government’s proposed police complaints commission is an important step toward accountability for abuses by police, Human Rights Watch said today. A bill creating an Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission…
Riot police members stand guard at the Seafield temple on November 27, 2018 in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. The priest says there are criminal elements involved in the attack on the temple yesterday. Temple chief priest Jeyakumar Subramaniam said he s
News

Government’s Latest Backtracking on Human Rights Reform

(New York) – Malaysia’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) barely a month after joining makes a mockery of the government’s commitment to justice, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 5, 2019, Prime Minister …
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, left, passes the opening speech to King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah during the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 11, 2019.
News

Arrests for Peaceful Protest Highlights Police Abuse of Treason Laws

Update: On February 6, 2019, Ruben Saija, a Moluccan political prisoner, was released from Ambon prison after President Joko Widodo issued him a pardon. Five political prisoners remain incarcerated in Ambon prison.  (Jakarta…
Yanto Awerkion (far left) detained in the Timika police station in September 2017 for his role in organizing a petition calling on the UN to organize a referendum in Papua.
News

Police Should Investigate Worksite Killings; Military Should Show Restraint

(Jakarta) – Indonesian police should investigate a Papuan armed group’s killing of at least 17 people, including a soldier, at a construction area in Nduga in Papua’s densely forested Central Highlands on December 2, 2018, Human Rights Watch said…
Cartoonist's depiction of Indonesian government restrictions on media freedom and rights monitoring in Papua.
News

Jakarta ‘Anti-Crime Campaign’ Kills 11 People in 10 Days

(Jakarta) – Indonesia’s government should promptly and impartially investigate a surge of killings of criminal suspects by the Jakarta police, Human Rights Watch said today. Jakarta police data indicates that police killed 11 suspects and wounded…
A parade marks the arrival of the Asian Games torch from India ahead of the 18th Asian Games, in Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia July 17, 2018.
News

Romancing Kim Won’t Denuclearize North Korea or Improve Its Human Rights Record

As counterproliferation experts and seasoned North Korea watchers have concluded in parsing the joint communique to Tuesday’s summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, no significant or tangible steps were actually taken toward…
Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump after their meeting in Singapore, June 12, 2018.
News

Press North Korea to Engage With UN Special Rapporteur, Allow Country Visit

(Seoul) – South Korea should raise the dire human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) during the April 27 summit between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Human Rights…
South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during a ceremony celebrating the 99th anniversary of the March First Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule, at Seodaemun Prison History Hall in Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2018. REUTERS
News

Over 200 NGOs Call for Rights to Be Prioritized

(Seoul) – South Korea should press for human rights issues to be included in all discussions with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including in the agenda of the summit between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and…
Head of the North Korean delegation, Ri Son Gwon talks with South Korean counterpart Cho Myoung-gyon during their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, January 9, 2018.
News

Justice Demands Full Disclosure of Classified Materials on Mass Killings

(New York) – Newly released US government documents on the mass killings in Indonesia in 1965-66 underscore the need for the US and Indonesian governments to fully disclose all related classified materials, Human Rights Watch said today. Those…
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Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
201707Asia_Indonesia_Nigeria
Report
Summary Malaysia’s use of criminal laws to arrest, question, and prosecute individuals for peaceful speech and assembly has deepened in the year since Human Rights Watch published Creating a Culture of Fear: The Criminalization of…
News

Kim Jong-Il Entrenched Abuses, Personality Cult, and Mass Starvation

(Seoul) – North Korea’s decision to celebrate late leader Kim Jong-Il’s birthday on February 16, 2016, with a satellite launch should not distract the international community from the regime’s extensive abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Instead, the…
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