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Investigate, Protect Rights Defenders, End Hateful Rhetoric

Update: Poland’s Ministry of the Interior responded to Human Rights Watch’s request for information and comment on our findings in a four-page letter dated April 8, 2021. The letter states that the government adheres to international law guaranteeing…
Protesters hold a banner of Strajk Kobiet (Women's Strike) during a protest in Warsaw on March 8,  International Women's Day, organized by the Women's Strike (Strajk Kobiet) against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the decision of the Constitutional Court.
News

France and Other EU States Should Act Decisively to Protect Rights in the EU

“I will go to an ‘LGBT-free zone’ in Poland,’” said Clément Beaune, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, in a December interview in which he also publicly came out as a gay man. But when he asked to visit Kraśnik, authorities denied him…
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For 30 days, beginning January 17, European Union commissioners received daily Twitter notifications linking to personal stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Poles who have been harmed  by the  so-called “LGBT Ideology…
People take part in a gay pride parade in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, June 8, 2019.
News

Stop Detaining Democracy Rally Organizers

(New York) – Thai authorities are increasingly arresting pro-democracy leaders in Bangkok for their role in organizing the widening protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately drop all charges and unconditionally…
Over 10,000 people gathered in the streets around Bangkok's Democracy Monument on August 16, 2020 calling for reform in the Thai government. 
News

Authorities Should Release Margot Szutowicz in Line with Calls by European Parliament and Council of Europe

Warsaw police have arrested a nonbinary activist, Margot Szutowicz, who has been placed in pretrial detention, in the latest example of Polish authorities’ anti-LGBT actions. Forty-eight other people, from a crowd of LGBT rights supporters protesting…
Activist Malgorzata Szutowicz, center, known as Margot, before being arrested in Warsaw, Poland,
News

Respect Freedom of Expression, Equality for Everyone

(Brussels) – Polish authorities should stop trying to silence activists who support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people’s rights, and instead promote and protect the right to equality, Human Rights Watch said today. In recent weeks,…
The Mermaid of Warsaw statue is seen holding the LGBT rainbow flag and wearing a pink mask with the anarcha-queer symbol in Warsaw, Poland July 29, 2020 in this image taken from social media.
News

Don’t Manipulate Pandemic to Endanger Women, Adolescents

UPDATE: On April 16, 2020, the Polish Parliament sent both the “Stop Abortion” bill and the “Stop Pedophilia” bill to committee for “further work.” This decision means neither bill has been rejected, but further consideration has been postponed…
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Young People Need Access to Comprehensive Sex Education

Threatening sex educators with jail may seem extreme – but it seems Poland’s ruling Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS) party is willing to go there to cement power by generating fear and misinformation. Fueling intolerance and…
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Police Action in Lublin Should Set Example for All Polish Authorities

Police in Lublin, Poland took action to protect participants in a pride march last Saturday from anti-LGBT protesters, who, according to a media report, tried to stop the march and attack the marchers with eggs. Such action should stand…
Thousands of people take part in the Equality March in Lublin city, Poland, September 28, 2019.
News

Discriminatory Campaign Highlights Rising Political Homophobia

A court in Poland has ruled that a newspaper must stop including hateful “LGBT-Free Zone” stickers in its publications. The Warsaw District Court ordered Gazeta Polska, a government-aligned newspaper, to halt distribution of the…
"LGBT-free zone" stickers inside the weekly edition of the conservative Polish Gazeta Polska magazine
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Response to LGBT-Themed Artwork Threatens Free Speech, Gender Equality

(Berlin) – The arrest of a woman over a picture of a religious icon with a rainbow halo on May 6, 2019 is the latest attempt by Polish authorities to target LGBT and gender equality activists. Government officials allege the work is blasphemous and…
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Fact-based Sex Education That Recognizes LGBT People Saves Lives

In an apparent attempt to boost its popularity ahead of upcoming elections, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party is once again scapegoating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and sexual and reproductive health. After…
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Junta’s Empty Promises to Respect Rights, Restore Democracy

(New York) – Thailand’s junta did little in 2018 to address the country’s mounting human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has promised general elections…
Protesters march near Thammasat University in Bangkok on May 22, 2018, the fourth anniversary of the Thai junta's 2014 coup, demanding that a general election be held this year. (
News

Use of Martial Law Raises Fears of Mistreatment

(New York) – Thai authorities should release or charge with a credible offense an ethnic Malay Muslim human rights activist who has been detained in the deep south, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities arrested Burhan Buraheng of the human rights…
Human rights activist Burhan Buraheng has been arbitrarily detained without charge in a military camp in Thailand’s Pattani province since August 1, 2018.
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

Ruling Shows the Importance of Judicial Independence

Last week, Poland’s Supreme Court ruled that an employee of a print shop could not refuse to print a banner for an LGBT organization because he did not want, in his eyes, to “promote” the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,…
People take part in the annual "Equality Parade" rally of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights supporters in Warsaw, Poland June 3, 2017.
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Ill-Treatment, Unfair Trial for Those Sought by Turkey Over Alleged Gulenist Links

(New York) – Burmese authorities have forced back Turkish asylum seeker, Muhammet Furkan Sökmen via Thailand, putting him at risk of serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 24, 2017, Burmese officials…
Burma/Thailand: Deported Turkish Man at Risk PHOTO
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This week Poland’s parliament has the chance to improve the lives of transgender people by passing a law that simplifies the legal gender recognition procedure. Recognition before the law in your preferred gender is a vital aspect of ensuring…
Poland Gender Accordance Act
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Thailand has taken a big step in protecting transgender people from discrimination. Earlier this month, Thailand’s Gender Equality Act came into effect, signaling an inclusive future for the country’s legal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual…