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Pregnancy Risks Left Out of Climate Change Planning

We have corrected the online version of this report to include an additional state government response on heat health action plans received by Human Rights Watch after the requested deadline but prior to publication. Germany has delayed…
A woman shields herself from the sun with an umbrella on a hot summer day in Cologne, Germany, July 25, 2019. 
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With the G7 Summit around the corner and debates about waiving intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines and other health products heating up, all eyes will be on Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel has stood in the way of the waiver, making it…
A woman receives the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 at an apartment building in Bengaluru, India, April 24, 2021.
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Create Consultative Process to End Military Occupation

 (New York) – The Sri Lankan government has yet to fully restore civilian ownership of land and property nearly a decade since the end of the civil war in 2009, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Progress, particularly since the…
 A Sri Lankan Tamil man holds a placard during a protest in Colombo on August 21, 2018, demanding the release of lands still occupied by the military.
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Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
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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.
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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
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Geneva Resolution Should Be Implemented Promptly and Transparently

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s government should ensure greater transparency and progress in meeting its undertakings to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said in its 2017 World Report. The president and other senior officials have…
Women conduct a silent protest to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Colombo, August 30, 2016.
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Consultations Highlight Broad Accountability Concerns

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s government should promptly implement recommendations on transitional justice proposed by the Consultation Task Force (CTF) in a report released on January 3, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The report reflects the first broad…
sri lanka CTF image 20170110
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'We kept climbing higher and higher as the boat was sinking,'' Arif B. told me, describing how he spent three nights clinging to a sinking boat as he tried to reach Australia. Many of his fellow passengers died, he said.   Arif was only 15 when he fled…
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19 Sri Lankans, Including 6 Women, at Grave Risk of Torture if Returned

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should not deport 19 Tamil refugees to Sri Lanka because they would be at serious risk of torture and persecution upon return. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has recognized all 19 as refugees,…
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30 Attacks Reported on Medical Facilities Since December

(New York) - The Sri Lankan armed forces have repeatedly struck hospitals in the northern Vanni region in indiscriminate artillery and aerial attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. Commanders responsible for ordering or conducting such attacks may be…
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When the fifty-ninth division of Sri Lanka's army entered Mullaitivu on 25 January 2009, it marked the fall of the last major town under the control of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The end may be in sight for the conventional…
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Government Should Lift Restrictions on UN and Other Groups Now

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government should immediately lift its September order barring humanitarian agencies from the Vanni conflict area in northern Sri Lanka so they can assist thousands of persons displaced by flooding from Cyclone Nisha.…
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Government Illegally Holding Civilians Fleeing Fighting in the North

(New York) - The Sri Lankan government should end the arbitrary detention of more than 400 civilians displaced by recent fighting at a newly established camp in northern Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch said today. Since March 2008, the government of Sri…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…
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In 1990, Mahinda Rajapaksa was arrested at Colombo airport trying to smuggle dossiers on the "disappeared" out of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva. Rajapaksa, then an rising politician from the country's south, worked to organize the mothers of…
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(New York) – The Central Intelligence Agency secretly operated illegal prisons for terrorism suspects in multiple locations in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005, according to a report released today by the Council of Europe, a European…
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Public Hearing: The Human Rights Situation and Humanitarian Space in Sri Lanka

Your Excellencies and Colleagues, Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak at this gathering. This event could not be happening at a more timely moment. Sri Lanka faces a human rights crisis. The cease-fire between the government and the LTTE…