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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
News

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

Quash Unjust Charges and Sentence

(Beirut) – The release from prison of the prominent Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab on June 9, 2020 is a long-overdue but positive development, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities detained him in June 2016 and a court later…
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Rights Defenders Imprisoned, Free Expression Prosecuted

(Beirut) – Participants in the ‘Peace to Prosperity’ workshop on June 25 and 26 in Manama, and journalists covering the event, should question Bahraini officials about the government’s jailing of human rights defenders and suppression…
Bahraini anti-government protesters hold up images of jailed human rights activist Nabeel Rajab during a solidarity protest on May 14, 2015.
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

Free Speech and Association, Dissidents Under Attack

(Beirut) –Bahrain cracked down on peaceful dissent during 2018, virtually eliminating all opposition, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2019. No independent media were allowed to operate in the country in 2018, and…
Demonstrations after the death of a young Bahraini after being shot outside the home of the Shiite leader in Bahrain on March 25, 2017. © 2017 Sayed Baqer AlKamel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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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

Bahrainis Deported from Homeland; Others at Risk

(Beirut) – Bahraini authorities should restore citizenship to hundreds of nationals whose citizenship they revoked through executive orders or court decisions since 2012, rendering most of them stateless, Human Rights Watch said today…
© 2017 Human Rights Watch
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Prosecution Should Drop Charges in ‘Tweets Case’

(Beirut) – The Bahraini government should drop its charges against a prominent Bahraini human rights defender for peacefully expressing his views and order his immediate release, Human Rights Watch said today. The Manama Appeals Court…
Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015.
News

Exonerate, Free Nabeel Rajab

(Beirut) – The Bahrain High Criminal Court on February 21, 2018, sentenced the prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab to five years in prison for criticizing torture in a Bahrain prison and Saudi airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights…
Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015.
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…
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While Saudi Arabia Fights Yemen War Crimes Investigation

This week Saudi Arabia and its allies in Geneva are blustering and threatening other countries to try to defeat a UN Human Rights Council resolution that would set up an independent investigation into war crimes by all parties –…
MENA 2015 Bahrain Nabeel Rajab
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Leading Bahraini Rights Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have sustained their campaigns to silence peaceful critics during the first half of 2017, Human Rights Watch said today, updating an interactive website, created in November 2016, featuring targeted human rights activists. On…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
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…
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Restrictions on Free Speech and Protest in Bahrain and the Foreign Policy Responsibilities of Western Governments

Bahraini human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja, known to her 47, 900 Twitter followers as @angryarabiya, faced trial in a courtroom in Manama in October 2014. The charges related to an incident two years earlier when she had ripped up a photo of Bahrain…
MENA Bahrain protesters Pearl roundabout February 2011