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Need Better Protection for Holy Sites and Comprehensive Efforts to Combat Rising Hate

The attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, is a terrifying reminder that the scourge of anti-Semitism persists in Europe today. A woman and a man were killed…
People mourn in front of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
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Government Censors Indie Band Instead of Protecting Free Speech

(Beirut) – The Byblos International Festival Committee has cancelled the indie band Mashrou Leila’s August 9, 2019 concert, Human Rights Watch said today. The committee cited security considerations and said it wanted to avoid “bloodshed,”…
A group of Lebanese activists chant slogans as they hold Arabic placards that read: "Freedom of expression," right, and "With Mashrou' Leila against the suppression of freedoms.
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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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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.
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Lebanon is presented with the most serious challenges it has faced in the past decade. The economy is struggling, the internal security situation deteriorating and the country’s neighbors pose real threats. Yet amidst everything, there are opportunities…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Summary Racist and other hate violence is a problem in Germany—as it is in many European Union countries— with hundreds of violent attacks recorded by authorities and civil society groups each year. Germany has made progress in…
News

Two Inmates Die During Security Forces Raid

Lebanon's government should order an independent investigation into the deaths of two inmates and injuries to about 45 others on April 6, 2011, in Lebanon's main prison, Human Rights Watch said today. The two died during a raid at Roumieh prison by the…
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To Help Women, Leaders Should Dig Deeper than Religious Clothing

President Sarkozy of France has reignited the debate about how Muslim women in Europe should dress by calling for a ban on clothing that, as he puts it, imprisons women and undermines their dignity. But in this burqa debate the voices of Muslim women…
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Last week's decision by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to release Jamil al-Sayyed and three other high-ranking Lebanese security officials was a victory for the basic principle that no one should be detained for a lengthy period without charge. The…
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Nawar `Abboud Disappeared Following Detention by Military Intelligence

(Beirut) - Lebanese authorities should disclose all available information on the whereabouts of Nawar `Abboud, who disappeared three months ago after Lebanese Military Intelligence detained him in Tripoli, Human Rights Watch and the Lebanese Center for…
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Excluding Muslim women who wear headscarves from the public sphere does nothing for gender equality or peaceful integration

Throughout Europe, over the past decade, there has been a loud - and at times openly xenophobic - debate about whether a Muslim woman should be allowed to wear a headscarf while on duty in a government job. Various types of bans have been enacted in…
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State Restrictions on Religious Dress for Teachers Target Muslim Women

(Berlin) - German state bans on religious symbols and clothing for teachers and other civil servants discriminate against Muslim women who wear the headscarf, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 67-page report, "Discrimination in the…
Report
I. Executive Summary To use the language of sports, the law you put forward essentially says, "Ball games are forbidden in the schoolyard." But then comes the second sentence: "Soccer is not a ball game." …
News

Amend Laws to Reform Sectarian System and End Discrimination

(Beirut) - The decision by Lebanon's Minister of Interior to give citizens the right to remove their religious affiliation from identification papers is an improvement, but further steps are needed for Lebanon to meet its international human rights…
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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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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
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Report Stresses Further Need to Investigate Secret Detention and Rendition to Torture

A new report by the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on illegal CIA activity in Europe is a powerful indictment of European governments’ complicity in CIA abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. “The report shows how European governments acted as…
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Council of Europe Deadline Is Today; European Parliament to Begin Hearings

European governments must provide detailed information about their participation in or knowledge of the Central Intelligence Agency’s unlawful detention and transfer of terrorist suspects. Two European bodies are investigating the CIA’s activities in…
News

German Chancellor Should Call for New Rights Strategy in Afghanistan, Iraq

(New York) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder should not sacrifice human rights concerns when mending fences with the United States, Human Rights Watch said ahead of Schröder’s meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House today.   "…