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Over 60 Detained, Forcibly Moved from Occupied Territories

(Beirut) – Turkey and the Syrian National Army have arrested and illegally transferred at least 63 Syrian nationals from northeast Syria to Turkey to face trial on serious charges that could lead to life in prison, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Fighters of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (also called the Syrian National Army) enter the town of Tal Abyad.
News

Inadequate Government Response; Lack of Transparency Put Health at Risk

Update January 28, 2021: On January 27, 2021 the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum’s press office shared by email with media outlets and with Human Rights Watch a 79-page document detailing the results from the soil sample testing conducted in…
child plays next to an earth digger
News

Test Soil, Clear Firing Range

(Athens) Thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, United Nations, and Greek and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning in a new migrant camp that Greek authorities have built on a repurposed military firing range on the island of…
A girl from Syria living in Mavrovouni camp watches the Greek military search for unexploded munitions
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As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
News

Authorities Should End Discriminatory Restrictions

For many in Greece, life has returned to normal after the government last month lifted lockdown restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19. The country is gradually opening to tourism, and bars, restaurants, and beaches are filled with…
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Investigations into Medical Chamber Leaders Undermine Pandemic Response

(Istanbul) – Turkish authorities should immediately halt investigations into doctors running three professional medical associations in Turkey’s southeast and eastern regions, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should respect both freedom…
A team of doctors puts on protective suits before they meet a patient with suspected COVID-19, Istanbul May 2020. © 2020 Yasin Akgu/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
News

Rights Court’s Instructions Show Urgent Need for Better Health Care, Conditions

The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened already dire conditions for pregnant people in overcrowded reception centers for migrants and asylum seekers on Greek islands. Highlighting the situation’s urgency, the European Court of Human Rights has ordered…
A child plays in a temporary tent camp near the camp for migrants in Moria, Lesbos which is overcrowded and lacks adequate hygiene facilities and sanitation, putting migrants, including pregnant people, at particular risk amid Covid-19
News

276 Unaccompanied Children Behind Bars

(Athens) – Greek authorities should free the 276 unaccompanied migrant children currently detained in police cells and detention centers in Greece, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.…
A child places his hands on a fence as Greek police officers stand guard at a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees in Greece.
News

Greece Extends Covid-19 Lockdown at Refugee Camps

The Greek government has begun easing lockdown measures, given the country’s success in keeping Covid-19 under control. Starting last week, people could leave their homes without authorization, most shops have re-opened, and older…
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Government Neglect Puts Lives at Risk

(Athens) – Greek authorities have not done enough to address the acute overcrowding and lack of health care, access to adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene products to limit the spread of Covid-19 in camps for asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch…
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New Campaign to Shelter Children, End Detention Amid COVID-19

  (Athens) – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis should free hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children detained in unhygienic police cells and detention centers in Greece, Human Rights Watch said today in opening a campaign to…
A child places his hands on a fence as Greek police officers stand guard at a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees in Greece.
News

Basic Hygiene Not Only for Public Health But a Human Right

Soap, now more than ever, is a central part of our daily lives. But not for many refugees. I’ve been in refugee camps worldwide. This they all have in common: refugees make great efforts to keep clean, but often lack these…
People in the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos wait to use one of the few overcrowded water stations in the camp.
News

Overcrowding, Unsanitary Conditions Threaten Catastrophe

(New York) – Asia’s overcrowded and unsanitary prisons, jails, and detention centers are at grave risk of COVID-19 outbreaks that threaten the physical and mental health of both detainees and staff and the broader population. …
Indonesian prisoners approaching the end of their sentences are released to avoid a coronavirus outbreak in overcrowded prisons in Depok, near Jakarta, Indonesia, April 2, 2020.
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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News

Offer Most Vulnerable Inmates Alternatives to Prison

  (Istanbul) – An examination of cases of prisoners, in the hundreds, whose underlying health conditions put them most at risk of the deadly effects of COVID-19 demonstrates why the Turkish authorities should include such inmates in its new…
Thousands of political prisoners are held in the vast Silivri campus prison, Istanbul.
News

Citing COVID-19, Authorities Arbitrarily Detain New Arrivals

  (Athens) – Greek authorities are arbitrarily detaining nearly 2,000 migrants and asylum seekers in unacceptable conditions, and denying them the right to lodge asylum claims, in two recently established detention sites on mainland Greece,…
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Early Release Program Should Seek to Lower Threat of Coronavirus for All Prisoners

The risk the coronavirus pandemic poses to staff and inmates in Turkey’s vastly overcrowded prisons has prompted the government to accelerate a plan to substitute prison time with alternatives such as early parole and house arrest. While a welcome…
Silivri Prison, Istanbul.
News

Use September 7 Meeting to Address Arbitrary Detentions, Disappearances, Abductions

(Beirut) – The Astana working group on detentions and abductions in the Syrian conflict should take immediate steps to address the Syrian government’s arbitrary detentions, torture of detainees, and enforced disappearances, 11 human…
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. © 2018 Tolga Bozoglu/Pool Photo via AP
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Draft Law Permits Purging Judges; Prolonged Detention; Curbing Movement, Assembly

(Istanbul)—A draft law being rushed through Turkey’s parliament will preserve many of the abusive powers granted to the president and executive under the country’s recent state of emergency, which formally ended on July 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch…
The human rights monument in Ankara cordoned off with a police barricade during Turkey’s state of emergency to prevent its use as a site of public assembly and protest, 2017.