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Decision Likely to Have Chilling Effect on Civil Society in France and Beyond

On September 24, France’s top administrative court, the Council of State, approved the French authorities’ December 2020 dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a leading anti-discrimination group. The court’s decision…
Protesters hold a banner at a demonstration against a bill dubbed as "anti-separatism" and islamophobic in Paris, France on March 21, 2021.
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Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate daily against the military junta in Burma (also known as Myanmar). Many Burmese people have expressed their opposition to the military's takeover of the democratically elected government – but they need the…
Mandalay University graduates bow their heads as they hold posters of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, a 19-year-old woman fatally shot by police on February 9 in Naypyidaw, during an anti-coup protest in Mandalay, Myanmar, February 14, 2021. 
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Foreign Minister Should Raise Issue of Attacks on Civil Society

Foreign Minister Ann Linde’s trip to Moscow this week, the first one during Sweden’s chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), comes as Russia is in the midst of a severe human rights crisis. Last month’s arrest…
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, meets with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde in Moscow, February 2, 2021.
News

Appeals Court Ruling Sets Dangerous Precedent

(Paris) – An appeals court’s confirmation of the defamation conviction of an aid worker on June 24, 2019 for an ironic tweet sets a dangerous precedent for freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today. The case was a serious escalation in…
Loan Torondel
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17 Organizations Denounce Threats to Prosecute Journalists Investigating French Arms Sales

(Paris) – Seventeen humanitarian and human rights organizations denounced threats to press freedom after three French journalists were summoned by French intelligence services for investigating the presence of French weapons in the conflict in Yemen,…
People are seen near a bus destroyed by an airstrike that killed dozens of children, in a photograph taken on August 12, 2018 in Saada, Yemen.
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French Arms Sales to Coalition Raise Complicity Concerns

(Paris) – President Emmanuel Macron of France should raise serious concerns with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince regarding laws-of-war violations in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Faj Attan, a densely populated neighborhood in Sanaa, on August 25, 2017. Two of the buildings were completely destroyed and the third suffered extensive damage. Saudi-led coalition aircraft
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First Such Conviction in French Courts

(Paris) — A humanitarian worker’s defamation conviction on September 25, 2018, for an ironic tweet represents a dangerous escalation in official harassment of groups providing crucial aid to migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. It…
Loan Torondel
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Press Visiting Junta Leader to Fulfill Promises on Rights, Democracy

(London) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron should press Thailand’s junta leader to respect human rights and ensure a rapid transition to democratic civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Gen…
A Pro-democracy activist holds a fan during protest against junta near Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
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European Governments Should Investigate Grave Violations

(Paris) – The European Court of Human Rights on May 31, 2018, issued two key judgments that underscore the ongoing impunity for European complicity with US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counterterrorism abuses, Human Rights Watch…
A Romanian journalist walks past a building on the Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase, 250km (155 miles) east of Bucharest, cited as a possible location for the transfer of terrorist suspects by the CIA. December 19, 2005.
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On Visit, Urge Liu Xia’s Release, Raise Internet Censorship

(Paris) – French President Emmanuel Macron should honor his pledge and call publicly for human rights improvements in meetings with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Macron…
201801asia_china_macron French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his New Year wishes to the members of the press corps at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 3, 2018.
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Court Ruled Provision Was Too Restrictive of Freedoms

France’s legislators have again been reminded that imprisoning people who look at websites perceived as glorifying or inciting terrorism is not acceptable in a democratic society – not least because France already has an extensive legal…
A woman holds her smart phone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken February 24, 2016.
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Defending against right-wing populism requires standing up for democratic values

It has been a bad few weeks for the populists and others who attack human rights. Emmanuel Macron trounced Marine Le Pen in the presidential elections, then his party collected a parliamentary majority of 350 seats against her National…
British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron attend the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 22, 2017.
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With only three months gone, populism looks like a shoo-in for word of year. Headlines warn that populism is a threat to Europe, perhaps even an existential one. Populist radical right parties have the wind in their sails, the argument goes, boosted by…
Germany's Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry, France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen, Italian Matteo Salvini of the Northern League, Netherlands' Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders, Harald Vilimsky of Austria's Freedom Party
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A Letter to France and Germany from an imprisoned Bahraini activist

By Nabeel Rajab, Director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights - published in le Monde (in french) on 21 december 2016 It took years for the consequences of the west’s failures in the Middle East to be felt, but as the tragedy…
Open letter Nabeel Rajab (French) - Le Monde - 21 dec 2016
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Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015.
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Publicly Press Beijing on Crackdown

(Paris) – On his visit to China, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault should publicly call for an end to Beijing’s crackdown on human rights defenders and lawyers, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the foreign minister. Ayrault is…
Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and President Xi Jinping meet in Beijing, China.
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Democracy must be grounded in human rights. To many, that is obvious, but increasingly, we see some in Europe suggesting that democracy is about merely winning elections and then doing whatever the voters are deemed to want.  Democracy, for them, becomes…
Kenneth Roth Headshot
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Rolls Back Refugee Rights; Could Harm Children

(Stockholm) – The Swedish Parliament is expected to approve a restrictive new asylum bill on June 21, 2016, that could harm the well-being of migrant children in need of protection and undermine their opportunity to effectively integrate into Swedish…
Nour T., a 16-year-old Syrian girl, at a group home in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Halt Warrantless Search and House Arrest

(Paris) – France has carried out abusive and discriminatory raids and house arrests against Muslims under its sweeping new state of emergency law. The measures have created economic hardship, stigmatized those targeted, and have…
Halim A. says his reputation and business were ruined after police placed him under house arrest on November 15, 2015 during France’s state of emergency. A judge suspended the house arrest on January 23, 2016, and ordered the authorities to pay Halim €1,5