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Mandatory Order to Install Surveillance Software Infringes on Child Privacy, Expression

Singapore’s Education Ministry has made it mandatory for secondary school students to install tracking and remote access software on all laptops issued under a national digital literacy program, and on students’ personal devices that are used to…
A student uses a laptop for schoolwork while participating in remote learning, September 7, 2020.
News

At least 60 investigated for social media posts since October 17

(Beirut) – Fourteen Lebanese and international organizations announced on July 13, 2020 the formation of a “Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression in Lebanon” to oppose the Lebanese authorities’ attempts to stifle free speech and opinion in the…
Lebanese protesters wave national flags during demonstrations to demand better living conditions on October 21, 2019 in downtown Beirut.
News

Proposed Law Would Excessively Restrict Online Freedom of Speech

(New York) – Singapore’s proposed law on “online falsehoods” is sweepingly broad and threatens to stifle discussion on websites worldwide, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should withdraw the Protection from Online Falsehoods and…
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks during a press conference following the 33rd ASEAN summit in Singapore, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.
News

Government Misuses Criminal Law to Prevent Criticism

(Bangkok) – Singapore authorities should drop criminal defamation charges against Terry Xu, editor of the online news site The Online Citizen, for publishing a letter alleging government corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. Xu is scheduled to…
A general view of the Parliament House in Singapore June 2, 2016.
News

Students on Trial Despite Right to Free Speech

(Berlin) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has chosen to drop a complaint against four Ankara students he accused of “insulting the president” for holding up a satirical banner, Human Rights Watch said today. The students’ trial is due to…
The graduation ceremony at Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, July 6. 2018. The banner carried by students accused of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is among the hundreds laid out at the ceremony.
News

Detention, Prosecutions Over Criticisms of Turkish Army Actions in Syria

(Berlin) – Turkish authorities have detained and prosecuted large numbers of people in recent weeks over social media posts criticizing Turkey’s military operation in the northwest Syrian district of Afrin, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Nurcan Baysal, journalist; Ali Erol, LGBT activist; Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, medical doctor;  Kutay  Meriç, executive member of rights group "Halkevleri" (from upper left corner clockwise)
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Rights Record on Free Expression, Assembly Worsens

(New York) – Singapore’s government imposed further restrictions on free speech and peaceful assembly while harassing and prosecuting critical voices in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. In the 643-page…
201801wr_singapore_human_rights A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017.
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The Singapore government’s use of overly broad criminal laws, oppressive regulations, and civil lawsuits severely curtails freedom of speech and assembly, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  The 133-page report, “‘Killing the…
News

Repeal Criminal Sanctions for Defamation, Criticizing Officials

(Beirut) – A Lebanese activist was arrested on March 21, 2017, and faces charges over a Facebook post criticizing public officials, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrest and detention of the activist, Ahmad Amhaz, is incompatible with Lebanon’s human…
Lebanese security forces block a street leading to the parliament building in downtown Beirut, Lebanon September 9, 2015.
News

Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
News

Ruthless Assault on Press Freedom Shields State from Scrutiny

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s government has all but silenced independent media in an effort to prevent scrutiny or criticism of its ruthless crackdown on perceived enemies, Human Rights Watch said today. The assault on critical journalism sharpened in…
Journalists targeted in Turkey’s media crackdown. From top left: Aslı Erdoğan, Ahmet Altan, Kadri Gürsel, Necmiye Alpay; Erdem Gül, Ceyda Karan, Can Dündar, Hatice Kamer; Refik Tekin, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Nedim Oruç, Nazlı Ilıcak
Report
Summary On the night of July 15, 2016, elements of the Turkish military staged an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government. According to official figures, at least 241 citizens and security personnel were killed, and…
News

Cumhuriyet Journalists Held; Kurdish Media Closed; Mayors Jailed

(Istanbul) – The detention of journalists from independent newspaper Cumhuriyet, the closure of the remaining Kurdish media, and the jailing of elected mayors in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir in the space of two days is evidence of the deepening…
2016-10-31-turkey-newspaper-protest
Report
Summary Because of the state of emergency, nobody will care if I kill you. I will just say I shot you while you tried to run away. -Police officer to a detainee, overheard by family members of another detainee…
Report
Turkey’s Human Rights Rollback Recommendations for Reform Introduction Human Rights and the Peace Process with the PKK The Rule of Law Impunity Restrictions on…
News

Protect Free Speech, Right to Protest, Rule of Law

(Istanbul) – Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is taking far-reaching steps to weaken the rule of law, control the media and Internet, and clamp down on critics and protestors, Human Rights Watch said…
News

Powers to Block Websites, Collect Online Data Violate Rights

(Istanbul) – New legal amendments giving the Turkish authorities broad powers to block websites and to amass users’ internet activity data should be overturned, Human Rights Watch said today. The new measures deepen existing internet censorship in Turkey…