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Belarusian Association of Journalists Continues its Work despite the Crackdown

On August 27, the Supreme Court of Belarus upheld the appeal by the Justice Ministry to strip the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) of its official registration. Formal “liquidation” of the prominent group, which has worked tirelessly for 25…
 The door of the Belarusian Association of Journalists main office in Minsk, Belarus on June 2021
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Belarusian Independent Media and Civil Society Need International Support

Democratic governments and international organizations are this week expressing shock and outrage over the unlawful forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk, and the consequent arbitrary arrest of prominent Belarussian activist and journalist Raman…
Belarus Protest Arrest Roman Protesevich
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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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Searches, Arrests of Journalists and Blocking of TUT.BY Websites

This week Belarusian authorities took yet another step in their relentless campaign to stifle independent media. This time their target is TUT.BY, one of the country’s largest news outlets. On the morning of May 18, police searched TUT.BY’s offices…
Marina Zolotova take questions media after announcement
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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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Parliament Should Reject the Bills, Guarantee Media Freedom

On April 2, Belarus’ parliament moved forward eight bills, including a raft of amendments to the country’s Mass Media Law and Mass Gatherings Law. If adopted, these amendments will further undermine freedom of speech and the work of independent…
Belarusian journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich, right, and Dr. Artsiom Sorokin attend a court hearing in Minsk, Belarus, 19 February, 2021.
News

Stop Prosecutions, Guarantee Freedom of Press

(Moscow) – Belarusian authorities have escalated repression against independent journalists in the past five months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have arbitrarily detained and beaten journalists, imposed fines and prison sentences on…
Katsiaryna Barysevich, a journalist for the independent TUT.BY news website enters a court room during a trial in Minsk on 19 February, 2021.
News

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. 
News

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. 
News

Countrywide Raids Target Top Rights Groups, Activists, Journalists

(Berlin) – Belarusian law enforcement officials carried out a nationwide wave of raids targeting human rights defenders and journalists on February 16, 2021, rounding up at least 40 people and searching their homes and offices, Human Rights Watch said…
Police in Minsk carry documents and computers out of the office of the Belarusian Association of Journalists on February 16, 2021, as Andrei Bastunets, the head of the organization, looks on.
News

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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Online News Outlet TUT.BY Stripped of Media Credentials

On December 3, a court in Minsk stripped TUT.BY of its media license over allegedly spreading “false information.” TUT.BY is one of the most popular online outlets in Belarus, reporting on a broad range of social and political issues, including police…
Young demonstrators during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, 6 December 2020.
News

Documented Wide Range of Government Abuses against Protesters, Political

(Berlin) – A new expert report has found “massive and systemic” human rights violations in Belarus before and in the aftermath of the August 9, 2020 presidential election, Human Rights Watch said today. The report documents election fraud, violations…
A protester waves the former national Belarus' flag in Minsk, on June 7, 2020, during a collect of signatures in support of alternative candidates ahead of Belarus presidential election on August 9, 2020.
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Thousands Detained; Beatings, Stun Grenades, Rubber Bullets

(Berlin) – Belarus security forces viciously beat and detained largely peaceful protesters over the country’s election outcome on August 9 and 10, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The security forces variously used stun grenades, rubber bullets…
People argue with police during a rally after the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, late Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020.
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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…
News

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

Authorities Arbitrarily Detain Peaceful Critics, Endangering Health

(Moscow) – Belarusian authorities have intensified their crackdown on independent activists and journalists, with presidential elections less than three months away, Human Rights Watch said today. Between May 6 and 13, 2020, the…
A nearly empty Oktyabrskaya Street in Minsk, Belarus amid coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic precautions on April 05, 2020.
News

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.