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Hopes for Accessible Voting on Election Day Dashed

In the weeks leading up to the October 10 parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) promised to take steps to ensure people with disabilities could vote. But on election day, videos circulated suggested IHEC’s…
A man helps his mother as she casts her ballot during the parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq on October 10, 2021.
News

Progress Toward Accessibility Ahead of Elections, but Gaps Remain

Next week, Iraq will hold parliamentary elections, but many people with disabilities are effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places. Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, has one…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018.
Report
Summary Iraq is holding parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021. Without change, hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities will face barriers to participation and some of them may not be able to vote. The exact number of people with…
News

Urgent Need to Improve Accessibility Before Upcoming Elections

(Beirut) – People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018. 
News

Protect Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities, Impose Death Penalty Moratorium

On September 21, the Pakistan Supreme Court directed a medical board to examine two death row prisoners with psychosocial disabilities, or mental health conditions, seeking expert opinion on mental health as a mitigating factor in capital punishment…
The Supreme court building is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 17, 2017.
News

Enforce Decision, Protect Rights of People with Disabilities

A recent decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court directs the federal and provincial governments to take steps to fully realize equal participation of people with disabilities. The court ruling was in response to a petition…
The Supreme court building is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 17, 2017.
News

7 Missing, 2 Known Arrested

(Beirut) – At least seven people, including a boy of 16, were reported missing since October 7 from or near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where they were participating in ongoing protests in Iraq’s capital, Human Rights Watch said today.…
An image that a friend of Mustafa Munthir Ali, who was arrested from a Baghdad protest on November 15, posted to an Instagram account, lostiraqiprotesters2, where people across Iraq are posting information about protesters who have gone missing, asking fo
News

Women, Children With Perceived ISIS Ties to Be Transferred from Syria

(Erbil) – A local Iraqi organization managing a camp for displaced people is making preparations to unlawfully confine families scheduled to be transferred from northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The Jadah 5 camp…
The beginnings of a gate erected in Jadah 5 camp intended to enclose a section of the camp to prevent free movement. © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Reject Plan to ‘Intern’ Up to 280,000 Women, Children

(Baghdad) – The Iraqi government should reject a plan that would unlawfully detain families with perceived Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation, Human Rights Watch said today. In early 2019, Iraq’s Implementation and Follow Up National…
Graffiti that reads "Daesh (ISIS)," marks the home of relatives of an ISIS member in a west Mosul neighborhood, Iraq. © 2018 Private.
News

Protect Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities, Impose a Complete Moratorium on Death Sentence

This week, a medical board confirmed that Saleem Ahmad, a prisoner on death row for 14 years, has chronic schizophrenia. Ahmad, 50, had been scheduled to be executed in November 2017, but a court suspended his execution and…
Imdad Ali, who is aged around 50, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious cleric in 2002 and is set to be hanged tomorrow.
News

Failure to Meet Pledges on Accountability, Counterterrorism Reforms

(Geneva) – The Sri Lankan government has failed to fulfill its pledge to abolish the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. For decades, the PTA has been used to arbitrarily detain…
Sri Lankan police stand guard at a protest calling for the release of Tamil activists being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in Colombo, Sri Lanka, October 14, 2015.
News

Undermines Justice for Victims

(Baghdad) – The Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are conducting thousands of trials of Islamic State suspects without a strategy to prioritize the worst abuses under Iraqi and international law, Human Rights…
An ISIS suspect held for questioning by Iraqi forces near Mosul.
News

Unnamed US Detainee Held 2 Months in Iraq

(Washington, DC) – The US government has been holding a US citizen suspected of fighting with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) for two months in an undisclosed military prison in Iraq without access to legal counsel, Human Rights…
The American flag flies next to a statue of the scales of justice at United States Court House, February 6, 2002.
News

Investigate Killings, Abductions of Foreign Men

  (Beirut) – Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,400 foreign women and their children who surrendered with ISIS fighters in late August 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The detentions appear to have no legal…
Iraqi Ministry of Transportation buses taking internally displaced families to Hammam al-Alil in May 2017. In late August, Iraqi authorities bused 1,400 foreign women and children to the site. © 2017 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Investigate, Punish Any War Crimes

  (Beirut) – Allegations are emerging of Iraqi forces beating and unlawfully killing men and boys fleeing Mosul in the final phase of the battle against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today.…
A member of Iraqi security forces stands on the turret of an armoured vehicle along a highway near west of Mosul, Iraq, June 22, 2017.
News

Draft Law Falls Far Short of Colombo’s Pledges to United Nations

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s latest counterterrorism bill falls far short of the government’s pledges to the United Nations Human Rights Council to end abusive detention without charge, Human Rights Watch said today. The Cabinet approved the…
Sri Lanka: Anti-Terror Bill Revives Concerns of Abuse PHOTO
Video
The European Union has provided significant funding to the Greek government, and to United Nations and nongovernmental agencies, to operate the centers on the Greek eastern Aegean islands, known as “hotspots,” and camps on the mainland. But asylum seekers…
News

At Least 300 Women From the Yezidi Sect are Estimated to Remain Inside the City

When fighters from the Islamic State (IS) attacked the Yezidi communities in northern Iraq in August 2014, they took many of their victims captive. They raped, forcibly married and converted to Islam thousands of Yezidi women, using them as sex slaves. IS…
News

Imdad Ali’s Execution Imminent

Does Imdad Ali, a 50-year-old Pakistani with schizophrenia, understand that he will be executed in the next few days? It’s hard to tell. The death penalty is inherently cruel – but even more so for those who may not recognize their crimes. Ali’s…
Imdad Ali, who is aged around 50, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious cleric in 2002 and is set to be hanged tomorrow.
Report
Summary I have no hope of getting justice in this crooked system. —Umar Daraz, Karachi, January 2016 How do you expect us to recover stolen items from hardened criminals? Do you think they will agree if we say, ‘Be nice to us and return…