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Allegations of Torture, Unfair Trials, Misuse of Terrorism Law

(Berlin) – Russian military courts handed down guilty verdicts on February 5 and 10, 2020 in three separate, deeply flawed terrorism cases in which the defendants alleged incommunicado detention, torture, and other ill-treatment to…
Pictured (L) members of a left-wing group Set (Network) in court in Penza, Russia on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, when the court convicted seven members on terrorism charges, sentencing them to prison terms ranging from six to 18 years. (R) Eduard Nizamov.
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(Berlin, July 12, 2019) – Russian authorities have brought unfounded terrorism charges against 24 Crimean Tatars, 20 of whom were arrested during heavily armed raids on their homes in the spring of this year, Human Rights Watch said today. Security…
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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.
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Rushed Proceedings, Lack of Due Process, Disproportionate Sentences

  (Beirut) – Iraq’s judiciary should change its approach to dealing with detained foreign women and children who are accused of affiliation with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said…
Russian women, sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining ISIS, sit with children in a hallway of Baghdad's Central Criminal Court, April 29, 2018. © 2018 Ammar Karim/AFP/Getty Images
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Investigate Suspects’ Abuse Claims, End Effort to Disbar Lawyer

UPDATE: On December 14, 2017, at around 7 a.m., police detained Akhral Azimov, the father of two St. Petersburg bombing suspects Akram and Abor Azimov, and took him to the Kuntsevsky district police station in Moscow. The reason for his…
Mourners place flowers at the Tekhnologichesky Institut subway station in St. Petersburg to commemorate victims of the April 3, 2017 suicide bombing on a subway train.
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Provide Safe Passage from Deir al-Zor

(Beirut) – A group of civilians is stranded in the last remaining pocket under Islamic State (also known as ISIS) control in the city of Deir al-Zor, Human Rights Watch said today. All parties to the conflict, including the Syrian-…
A road sign welcomes people to the town of Deir al-Zor in Syria, September 20, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Arbitrary Detentions; Separatism, Terrorism Charges

(Berlin) – Russian authorities in Crimea have intensified persecution of Crimean Tatars, under various pretexts and with the apparent goal of completely silencing dissent on the peninsula, Human Rights Watch said today. Crimean Tatars are a Muslim…
Law enforcement officials during a search in Bakhchysarai, Crimea on January 26, 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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Authorities Should Allow Immediate Access to Lawyers, Family

(Kuala Lumpur) – Malaysian authorities on May 2, 2017, detained without charge two Turkish nationals who are longtime Kuala Lumpur residents, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should provide the basis for holding the men –…
Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia’s inspector general of police.
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Ruthless Assault on Press Freedom Shields State from Scrutiny

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s government has all but silenced independent media in an effort to prevent scrutiny or criticism of its ruthless crackdown on perceived enemies, Human Rights Watch said today. The assault on critical journalism sharpened in…
Journalists targeted in Turkey’s media crackdown. From top left: Aslı Erdoğan, Ahmet Altan, Kadri Gürsel, Necmiye Alpay; Erdem Gül, Ceyda Karan, Can Dündar, Hatice Kamer; Refik Tekin, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Nedim Oruç, Nazlı Ilıcak
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Summary Because of the state of emergency, nobody will care if I kill you. I will just say I shot you while you tried to run away. -Police officer to a detainee, overheard by family members of another detainee…
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Reinstate Safeguards to Curb Abuse by Police

  (Istanbul) – Turkish police have tortured and otherwise ill-treated individuals in their custody after emergency decrees removed crucial safeguards in the wake of a failed coup attempt in July, 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
The Istanbul Security Directorate in Vatan Street where some of the cases of police torture and ill-treatment documented by Human Rights Watch took place. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
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Prolonged State of Emergency Used to Censor Media

(Istanbul) – The closure of eight independent news and current affairs-focused TV channels effectively ends critical television news reporting in Turkey. The channels are among 23 television and radio stations reported by the media to face closure on the…
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Amid an influx of Iraqis and Syrians into Europe, the West is neglecting another group of refugees also in desperate need of help.

TOVARNIK, Croatia — Rajab Ali, a 16-year-old Hazara boy from Afghanistan’s Bamyan province, was silently weeping when we found him standing at the last remaining opening in the 12-foot-high razor-wire border fence Hungary has constructed on its…
Afghan Refugees
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The Russian government’s response to a decade-long insurgency in Dagestan, a southern Russian republic, has been marked by serious human rights violations. Insurgents also have attacked civilians. The abuses are set against a background in…
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Protect Free Speech, Right to Protest, Rule of Law

(Istanbul) – Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is taking far-reaching steps to weaken the rule of law, control the media and Internet, and clamp down on critics and protestors, Human Rights Watch said…