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Surge in Police Harassment of Journalists, Activists, Protesters

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities are increasingly using criminal investigations to harass journalists, protest leaders, and various other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are facing potential prosecution and have…
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Family Members Face Trial for Criticizing Government

(New York) – The Vietnamese authorities should immediately release the democracy campaigner Can Thi Theu and her two sons and drop all charges against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Can Thi Theu and her younger son, Trinh Ba Tu, face trial on…
Trịnh Bá Tư and Cấn Thị Thêu 
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With GE15 on the horizon, there is a grave risk that arrests will continue to rise. Respect for freedom of speech in Malaysia is in free fall - a decline illustrated by two recent arrests. On the evening of Friday, April 23, seven police…
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attending parliament session at parliament lower house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
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New Law Criminalizes Expression, Violates Privacy Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should revoke a new “fake news” ordinance that poses a serious threat to freedom of expression and privacy and the right to a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2)…
A television shows a live broadcast of Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at a shopping outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. 
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Decision Holding Portals Liable Poses Serious Risk to Freedom of Speech

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian Federal Court decision holding an online news site responsible for reader comments contravenes international human rights standards and will chill free speech in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today. The court on…
Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief Steven Gan speaks to the media at the Federal Court in in Putrajaya, Malaysia on February 19, 2021. 
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Dissidents Sent to Prison Amid Preparations for Key Political Event

(Bangkok) – The Vietnamese government’s crackdown on dissidents has been unrelenting prior to the major Communist Party Congress set to begin on January 25, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. During this 13th Party Congress, meetings held every five…
Photo released by the Vietnam News Agency on January 5, 2021 shows Vietnamese bloggers Pham Chi Dung (right), Nguyen Tuong Thuy (front left), and Le Huu Minh Tuan (back left) during their trial in Ho Chi Minh city.
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Immunity, Police Powers for Military Raise Risk of Abuse

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s recently announced Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance is overly broad and should urgently be revised to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The ordinance, announced on January 14,…
Perdana Menteri Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin berbicara dalam sebuah konferensi pers setelah pertemuan kabinet pertama di kantor perdana menteri di Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 Maret 2020.
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Numerous New Arrests in Lead-up to Party Congress

(New York, January 13, 2021) – Vietnamese authorities increased restrictions on basic political and civil rights in 2020, especially freedom of expression and association, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. The tightening of…
Vietnamese Political Detainees: Pham Doan Trang; Can Thi Theu and her sons Trinh Ba Phuong and Trinh Ba Tu; Dinh Thi Thu Thuy; Pham Chi Dung; Nguyen Tuong Thuy; Le Huu Minh Tuan; Tran Duc Thach
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Vietnamese Public Security Ministry a Major Rights Violator

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should immediately cancel plans to provide financial assistance to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, which has long been responsible for serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. On…
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, left, shakes hands with Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc after the exchange of documents at the Government Office in Hanoi on Monday, October 19, 2020. 
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Prime Minister Suga Should Use Favorable Position to Advocate Reforms

(Tokyo) – Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, should press the governments of Vietnam and Indonesia to improve their deteriorating human rights records during his visit to the two countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Suga will visit…
Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
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Arrest of Bangladeshi in Documentary Violates Free Speech Rights

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities’ arrest of a Bangladeshi migrant worker who was featured in an Al Jazeera documentary is clear retaliation for his criticism of government policies towards migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities…
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Abusive Investigations for Critical Speech on the Rise

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities are increasingly responding to criticism of the government by initiating criminal investigations, Human Rights Watch said today. Journalists, civil society activists, and ordinary people have all recently faced…
Perdana Menteri Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin berbicara dalam sebuah konferensi pers setelah pertemuan kabinet pertama di kantor perdana menteri di Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 Maret 2020.
News

Company Caves to Government After Local Servers Disrupted

(New York) – Facebook has bowed to pressure by the government of Vietnam and agreed to restrict posts by dissidents, setting a bad precedent for both human rights and its global policies, Human Rights Watch said today. The decision…
a Vietnamese man logs in internet for blogging on his iPad in Hanoi, Vietnam.
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Upcoming Dialogue Should Focus on Commitments Made in Recent Trade Deals

(Bangkok) – The European Union should press Vietnam to end its systemic repression of human rights and release political prisoners and detainees, Human Rights Watch said today. A human rights dialogue between the EU and Vietnam is scheduled for…
Members of the European Parliament sit in the plenary chamber of the European Parliament during a vote. Among other things, MEPs will vote today on a free trade agreement with Vietnam.
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Little Tolerance for Freedom of Expression, Independent Trade Unions

(New York) – At least 30 activists and dissidents were sentenced to prison in Vietnam in 2019 simply for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and religion, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World…
Vietnam Political Prisoners
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Backtracking on Free Expression, Accountability, LGBT Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s promised human rights reforms stalled in 2019 as the government either backed away from or delayed action on its campaign commitments, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. “Malaysia’s reform…
Protesters hold placards reading " Save Malaysia, Arrest the Thief " during a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, April 14, 2018.
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Persecuted for Criticizing the Government on Facebook

(Bangkok) – Vietnamese authorities should drop all charges against the blogger Pham Van Diep and immediately release him, Human Rights Watch said today. Pham Van Diep will face trial on November 26, 2019 in Thanh Hoa Province on charges…
Pham Van Diep © 2018 private
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Keep Pledge to Repeal Abusive Laws

(New York) – The Malaysian government should reinstate its moratorium on using the Sedition Act pending the law’s repeal, Human Rights Watch said today. Previous Malaysian governments have used the broadly-worded law, which goes well beyond…
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad listens to questions during an interview with foreign media on one years anniversary of government in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Thursday, May 9, 2019.
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Keep Election Promise to Abolish National Security Council Act

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government is breaking a key election pledge by proposing to amend rather than repeal an abusive national security law, Human Rights Watch said today. The government on April 9, 2019, put before Parliament a bill to amend…
Section from Malaysia ruling party’s election manifesto, “Buku Harapan: Rebuilding Our Nation, Fulfilling Our Hopes,” promising to repeal abusive laws including the National Security Act of 2016.